And now April is over… We’re speeding through the year at alarming rates but luckily it’s another month that has been full of great restaurants. Several pop-ups have now turned permanent and there have been second and third ventures from London favourites. You know the saying; time flies when you’re eating well…
The Kitchen Counter
Following on from the success of The MaE Deli on Seymour Place and MaE on Weighhouse Street, Deliciously Ella is going for lucky number three and opening The Kitchen Counter in Herne Hill. Serving up an all-day menu, The Kitchen Counter is an extension of the development kitchen so you’ll find classic dishes like the sweetcorn fritters with baked beans and smashed avocado and the fudgy brownies, but you’ll also find new additions to the menu. These include freshly made rye sandwiches, new almond and blueberry protein balls and a children’s menu.
For the last three years, Saucy Chip have been touring the country in their red, white and blue Citroen H truck, amassing loyal fans serving up the likes of Rock and Roll Chips – chips covered 24-hour steeped beef gravy and topped with oozing melted Red Leicester and Cheddar, basically portions of heaven. Now, they have a found a permanent home in London’s Jerusalem Bar and Kitchen, the menu will include all the current festival favourites such as their five signature gourmet chip dishes and new additions include fish balls made with smoked haddock and cod and a new signature burger, The Double Whammy. When it comes to sauces they’ll have over 20 different varieties from around the world.
Aaron Burgess-Smith and Tony Lam, the duo behind Kanada-Ya, have opened, Machiya an all-day Japanese restaurant. There’ll be Japanese tapas-style dishes known as kobachi; hotcakes (similar to pancakes but fluffier) and their own take on the popular avocado on toast made from thickly sliced Japanese milk bread, crushed avocado and yuzu juice with furikake seasoning. Lunch and dinner will centre around traditional Japanese dishes such as Gyukatsu, a panko-crusted wagyu steak lightly fried until rare, which you get to finish cooking yourself on your own little shichirin (a small Japanese charcoal grill). Beneath the restaurant will be The Bar, where they’ll be whipping up traditional Japanese cocktails.
In 2012 Monty’s began life as a market stall with the pastrami smoked in founder Mark Ogus’ backyard. Joining forces with Owen Barratt, they gained a loyal following – mainly because their sandwiches are just the best. Piled high with hand carved towers of their home-made signature salt beef and pastrami, it’s the sandwich you can’t stop eating but don’t want to eat because then it’s over. They also make a cracking chicken soup. This month they moved into an old bakery in the East End. Breakfast will be all about hand-rolled bagels, sweet pastries and breads, including chocolate Babka which will be baked daily. Lunchtime will revolve around the immense Reuben Special. In the evening, you’ll find whole joints of hot pastrami or salt beef and meatballs topped with pastrami dripping breadcrumbs.
The Ivy Cafe Richmond
The Ivy Collection is growing again and this time they’ve found a spot on Hill Street which they will fill with a restaurant, bar and the Isabella private dining room, named after Richmond Park’s Isabella Plantation. Making up 140-covers, the restaurant will be open seven days a week and will be serving everything from breakfast right through to dinner. Dishes include tuna carpaccio with crushed avocado, jalapeno, coriander and lime dressing with shaved radish and the classic chicken Milanese with fried hen’s egg and black truffle. Executive Bar Manager, Jeremy Evans, had been experimenting with cocktails to create twists on classics like the Richmond Park Royale made from Kir royale with Briottet rose liqueur, Sipsmith sloe gin and hibiscus topped with Champagne.
Roof Deck Restaurant & Bar
Inspired by West Coast cool, the Roof Deck Restaurant & Bar is Des McDonald’s seventh collaboration with Selfridges and it’s all warm timber beams, low hanging wicker lighting, sanded parquet flooring, tropical foliage, suspended planters and views out across London. Channelling the healthy, wholesome Californian lifestyle, Executive Chef Steve Tonkin and Head Chef Baran Baltaci have created a menu that revolves around salads, grains, fresh fish and seafood with a Latin influence.
This month saw the opening of Stagolee’s, a Fulham restaurant serving Southern American food and Moonshine drinks. It’s a hot chicken and liquor joint and the work of Texan chef Ashley Harris (she’s worked at the acclaimed Rainbow Room in New York and has trained under Chef Tom Aikens) and Jordan Harris, a native of Nashville, Tennessee and all round food lover. On the comfort food scale, the dishes are right at the top, Ashley’s drawn inspiration from her grandmother’s soulful approach to cooking to create a menu full of big flavours and with plenty of cheese and fried chicken. We’re talking skillet chicken dipped in buttermilk and fried; a cheesy spinach and artichoke dip and baked macaroni and cheese. When it comes to moonshine drinks you’ve got the sweet Vanilla MoonPie Moonshine; the zestier Firefly Moonshine and a Mountain-rita aka a margarita using moonshine instead of tequila.
Mercer & Co
Mercer & Co is a new salt beef bar serving up salt beef bagels and sandwiches, washed down with cocktails. It’s the work of Alex Foley, Islington resident and the man behind The Chapel Bar – he’s used his knowledge of the area and his passion for food, to create a simple, independent café. There’ll be space for 20 inside and 16 outside with the interior made from recycled materials, with large wooden wicker lights and sliding glass doors providing a light, airy feel. You’ll find salt beef, mustard and gherkin bagels; Ruebens with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and mac n cheese with Mercer beef chilli. Other dishes without salt beef include a breakfast bowl of blueberry, chia and pumpkin seeds and a Mexican style quinoa with corn, avocado, tomatoes, coriander, red onion and sour cream salad.
Comptoir Café & Wine will bring together seasonal ingredients and produce from quality suppliers, to serve up the likes of eggs benedict and home-made granolas at breakfast and ceviche, salads and hot dishes until the late hours. When it comes to wine, you’ve got choice, a lot of choice – the basement wine cellar will be home to 1,000 wines from across the globe. They’ll also be able to host private tastings and events for up to 30 people.
The latest restaurant to open from the D & D London Group (Aster, Bluebird, Avenue et al) is the work of Francesco Mazzei, Chef Patron of Sartoria who will be cooking up a menu that that reflects his Calabrian heritage – Radici, after all, does mean ‘roots’. The menu will be ever-evolving but we know that it’s going to include charcuterie and cheeses as well as some of Francesco’s favourite dishes from home such as salt cod with potatoes, tomato sauce, onions, capers and black olives; calf liver stuffed with pancetta, garlic and sage, served with smoked potato mash and eggless pasta with southern Italian lamb, pork and beef ragu. We’ve also been told to look out for the seafood cavatelli, king prawns salmoriglio and oven baked baccala. On Sundays head there for the feasting menu and make sure you visit for pizza straight from the wood-fired oven.
Last month saw the closure of the Dandy Café, the popular shipping container pop-up restaurant in London Fields, but as one door closes another always opens and this time, the door opening is the door to Dandy, the new permanent restaurant from Daniel Wilson and Andrew Leitch. There’s an extended menu from the one that they served at the pop-up, which takes inspiration from their travels and uses seasonal produce from trusted suppliers. You’ll find the likes of Shawarma-spiced lamb belly, baba ganoush and cauliflower; burnt onion broth, spring leaves and hay-smoked labne and radichhio with blood orange and miso. On the drinks front you’ll find speciality coffee, beer and natural wines. The 50-cover restaurant which overlooks Newington Green will transition from a light and airy all-day café spot to a cosy, intimate restaurant at night.
Andi Oliver and Kelly Miles have opened their new restaurant, Andi’s, on Stoke Newington Church Street. Andi says the food is designed to ‘uplift the spirit and calm the heart. It’s a little bit of love in your tummy’. Dishes include a French toast bacon sandwich with sticky maple syrup; a Reuben stacked with home-cured salt beef, sauerkraut and dripping with melted Swiss cheese (there’s a vegan version too); baked eggs with the likes of chipotle, or roast garlic and onion cream sauce with roast tomatoes, mushrooms, sausages, crispy lardons, smoked haddock or halloumi and energy bowls with pulses, green leaves, root vegetables and avocado mash.
Matt Whiley is the man behind: Peg + Patriot, Purl, Worship Street Whistling Shop and the cocktail and bar branding and development consultancy Talented Mr Fox. And this month has seen the opening of his newest bar, Scout. It’s all about sustainability, championing the produce our fair isle grows and keeping waste to an absolute minimum, so they’ll be foraging for seasonal British ingredients and creating house ferments. The drinks list will be kept succinct with just ten cocktails, five house ferments, five beers and a handful of natural wines, including a strawberry wine. Bar snacks will make use of every ingredient that comes through the door at Scout with dishes including toasted sourdough with house kohlrabi sauerkraut and London coppa; pickled celeriac with truffle and fried vegetable skins with house seasoning. Downstairs will be the Laboratory which is where you can get insight into how Matt and the Scout team create the perfect cocktails.
Maple & Kings
Back in 2013, Adria Wu left her job as an engineer to train as a chef, in 2015 she opened Maple & Fitz in Fitzrovia and now, two years later, she is opening Maple & King’s in St Pancras Square. Start the day with maple porridge with toasted walnuts and chia seeds and miso porridge with a poached egg, spring onions and almonds. Alongside porridge will be eggs, avocado and smoked salmon on toast. Lunch will be all about salads whilst brunch is going to be a virtuous affair with cold-pressed beetroot mojitos; raw coconut matcha coladas; gluten-free rhubarb pomegranate oat pancakes with coconut yoghurt and maple vegan butter and poached eggs and beetroot smoked salmon with cauliflower hotcake and charred kale.
Soho is about to get dirty, or maybe we should say dirtier, because this spring, Dirty Bones is arriving on Denman Street. It’s the fourth restaurant from the group (you’ll find the others at Kingly Court, Kensington Church Street and Club Row in Shoreditch) and will be keeping to the ethos of old school cool. Think strong cocktails, American comfort food and a cracking soundtrack of classic hip hop.
The award-winning Tamarind Collection (Tamarind of Mayfair and Zaika of Kensington) have opened their next restaurant, Tamarind Kitchen. Focusing on the idea that the kitchen should be the heart of any home (rightly so), they’ll be bringing convivial dining to Soho, with dishes that are reimagined from their Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant. With many dishes cooked in the Tandoor oven, you can expect to find the likes of Makai Kachumber: a corn and vegetable salad with chat masala dressing and Karara Kekda, soft shell crab with potato salad and homemade pickles. Other dishes include Guchchhee Kofta, morel mushroom and pea dumplings in a spiced creamy sauce, Hydrabadi Gosht slow-cooked lamb in a browned onion sauce flavoured with Kashmiri chilli and a traditional South Indian Alappuzha fish curry with kingfish and spiced with tamarind, mustard and curry leaves.
Following on from their bespoke catering company and pop-up, Lucy Pedder and Natasha Cooke are opening a restaurant in Flat Iron Square, Lupins. On the menu, you’ll find snacks such as sumac lamb scrumpets with pomegranate molasses and cornmeal fried spring onions with smoked chili aioli. Small plates include polenta crusted anchovies with a wild garlic and onion salad; sea trout, cucumber and seaweed butter and chipotle roast pigeon with charred baby gem and carrot. Finish off with Neal’s Yard cheeses or rhubarb with ginger, vanilla yoghurt and shortbread. Smashing Wines, a new independent wine company, will be providing natural, organic and biodynamic wines and there’ll also be a monthly changing cocktail too.
Date pushed back – opens 2nd May
Keep up to date with all the latest restaurant, bar and hotel openings, as soon as they are announced