And that’s another month down, I’m going to sound very clichéd here when I say, where is the year going? Luckily it doesn’t seem like restaurant openings are taking a break as 20 opened this month, from a new Instagram haven to a Thai fast food restaurant, London really has it all.
What: Kricket Returns to Brixton
Why: The sun’s out, blue sky and the smell of mown grass! Time for some Kricket? No, not the endlessly dull summer sport, but the Indian restaurant phenomenon. Kricket, feted for its casual and creative Indian food served out of their Soho flagship restaurant, will be opening in Brixton this May. In a tremendous homecoming, Kricket will return to Brixton as ‘boy done good’. The restaurant was born in POP Brixton back in 2015, went to Soho to seek its fortune, and now, hot on the heels of an opening at the prestigious Television Centre, will be opening back on home-turf in the railway arches on Atlantic Road. The permanent restaurant will continue the fine traditions of the Soho hotspot, with a menu majoring on Indian inspired street-food dishes and bar snacks but also accompanied by a cocktail and drinks list. Brand new dishes for the restaurant will include lotus root yakni, morels and lotus root crisps, or pig head vindaloo with artichoke tarka and pickled shallot. Or why not taste the rock oyster pakora, rhubarb chutney and thecha? As well as new menu items, don’t worry as there’ll be some of the Kricket classics, familiar to Kricket Brixton old-timers including bhel puri, samphire pakoras and Keralan fried chicken.
Where: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ
The Little Blue Door
What: Fulham's New Flat
Why: The Little Yellow Door was how we all imagine living in London was going to be, one long party, with plenty of drinks, no tidying up and a Notting Hill postcode to match. But just like when your favourite housemate leaves and suddenly everything falls apart, The Little Yellow Door has now closed its door and had their locks changed. The flatmates have moved on, getting their own places in different areas and the first flatmate has set up shop in Fulham, with The Little Blue Door. A new home which will act as a late-night neighbourhood bar and restaurant, bigger, brighter and bolder than the old flat. The flat promises to bring that house party vibe to SW6 with cocktails served in cafetieres and trophies, dancing on tables and a global tapas menu. Expect to find the likes of pea and dill falafel; cayenne glazed wings served with blue cheese dressing and house pickles; baked camembert with truffle hone, roast pear and sugared almonds and beetroot hummus with zhoug, feta and crudités, not a takeaway box in sight. And in a nod to the latest flatmate to join, the all-American Hunter, there will also be a special menu of East Coast specialities like a salted peanut caramel chocolate fondant served with a Reese’s biscuit.
Where: 871-873, Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HP
What: Shoreditch's Hidden Bar
Why: We might have grown up being aware of the Jubjub bird and shunning the frumious Bandersnatch, but for some of us next month will be frabjous as Richard Wynne, the founder of Callooh Callay has announced that the secret upstairs bar JubJub will be reopening as a members’ space following a dramatic transformation. Members (who will either be invited to join or chosen my application) will being given a special JubJub key to unlock the door to the bar. Don’t worry though it’s not going to be stuffy, rather, it’ll be exclusive but inclusive. You won’t find yourself having to go out and slay any Jabberwockies you’ll just have to be a lover of great cocktails and spirits which seems pretty simple to us.
Where: Callooh Callay 65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY
601 Queen’s Road
What: A New Wimbledon Champion
Why: 601 Queen’s Rd has just opened in the heart of Wimbledon, down the hill from the village and a reasonable walk from the tennis. But with all the expertise honed over No 11 Pimlico Road, No 32 The Old Town, No1a Duke Street, No 197 Chiswick Fire Station and No 29 Power Station West restauranteurs Darwin & Wallace should by now have worked out exactly how to keep your interest, tennis be damned. The group have poured all their creativity into the Wimbledon opening (though, to be fair, not into their venue names) and bring a Scandi vibe to their new location. The space is ‘inspired by horticultural cyanotypes’ and it comes with a magnificent roof terrace and pergola, decked with salvaged boardwalk timber.
Where: 601 Queen’s Road, Wimbledon, SW19 7NH
What: From the Markets of Tel Aviv to the Streets of East London
Why: Bringing the flavours and vibrancy of Tel Aviv to East London, you’ll find Sarona on the corner of Clerkenwell Road and St John’s Street. It will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday to Friday and will also serve Shabbat brunch on Saturday. The thoughtfully curated menu is based on traditional Yemenite dishes, with strong Ashkenazi and Sephardi influence, and an exciting modern sensibility. Guests can look forward to seasonally changing Tel Aviv inspired delights, such as crispy cauliflower with amba, Hawayej roast lamb shoulder shakshuka, chargrilled schug spiced tuna, the signature Sarona trio of chillies and staples including home-made hummus, chopped grilled aubergine, and more. The breakfast offering includes a number of delicious treats such as Halva twist, Rogelach, cheese Bourekas and more – all baked freshly on-site each morning.
Where: 27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN
Andina Panaderia and Andina Picanteria
What: Ceviche Team Open Peruvian Bakery
Why: If you like carbs and you have a thing for Ceviche, then listen up, pioneer of Peruvian cooking Martin Morales is launching London’s first Peruvian bakery – Andina Panaderia and not only that, but it’ll sit alongside Andina Picanteria a new restaurant, which (along with the bakerty) will pay homage to the female Andean chefs who have inspired Martin and his team. Fitting as 2018 is the year of the woman. Head Pastry Chef Ana Velasquez will be starting the baking magic early in the morning, so that when you wake, the shelves will be filled with Peruvian breads such as Andean black mint and sweet potato sourdough; crusted traditional pan frances roll and the challah-like chancay bread (it’s a cinnamon-scented take on brioche). Other treats include include the Pastel de Lúcuma, an Andean spin on the famed Portuguese custard tart and the chicha morada muffin, a purple corn muffin with a moorish corn and almond centre. Of course, there’ll be Peruvian coffees, teas, smoothies and juices joining them.
Where: 155 – 157 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RS
What: Naturally Fast Thai Food
Why: New from the LEON team, Tuk Shop is a joint venture with Bangkok-based food group Aylmer Aaharn. The menu will combine a love of Thai food and fast food whilst keeping food natural and healthy. Expect to find pumpkin and turmeric braised rice, green papaya salad, pad Thai and sweet iced Thai coffee.
Where: 62 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LT
Market Hall Fulham
What: Fulham Finally Gets a Foodie Hangout
Why: Pitching up in the centre of Fulham, Market Hall will be sit in the Grade II former Edward ticket hall of Fulham Broaway station, which, for the last six years has been left vacant. Now, however, it will become a much-needed foodie hub. There are ten traders and a bar and between them they’ve got it sorted. You’ve got the seasonal British, Claude’s Deli; poke from Ahi Poke; pizza by the team at Yard Sale; Calcutta Canteen serving up Indian dishes; kebabs are found at Fanny’s Kebabs; Thai from Thima; Hotbox have BBQ covered; Soft Serve Society is on the ice cream; you’ll find fried chicken at Butchies, the Bar serving up cocktails and Press Coffee will ensure everyone has enough caffeine to function on.
Where: 472 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 1BY
What: The New Aussie Restaurant
Why: The restaurant, inspired by Melbourne and Sydney cafe culture and looks set to be the perfect place to find healthy food in a relaxed yet buzzing atmosphere. And founder Daisy Green certainly has form, she’s already made a mark on London cafe culture with openings including Timmy Green in Nova, one of Vogue’s Top Paleo restaurants in 2017, and Darcie and May Green, two boats in Paddington Basin with artist Sir Peter Blake. So what can we expect from Scarlett Green? Well the 4,000 square foot site on Noel Street in Soho will be smattered with artworks including a 20 foot mural by Paul Robinson (the artist, not the Neighbours character) and original pieces from Oli Epp, Louise Dear and Shuby. Meanwhile the laid-back vibe will be underscored with the acoustic live music in the afternoon and DJ sets later on.
Where: 4 Noel Street, Soho, W1F 8GB
What: Mayfair's New Restaurant
Why: Bruton Place is set to welcome a new face next month, Babel House, a restaurant inspired by the vibrant sounds and multicultural port towns of the Black Sea. On the menu will be the Black Sea’s finest seafood with fresh produce delivered from the infamous Odessan Privoz and used in traditional recipes which have been handed down from generation to generation and served as communal dishes. Starters include Salad Olivier with salmon and seared scallops; traditional lamb soup with Georgian spices and red borscht with sour cream and garlic. Main courses will include an array of seafood from the region such as pan-fried Black Sea turbot, blue fish which is prepared in the in-house smoker and goby. Elsewhere you’ll find classic beef stroganoff, Odessan honey marinated duck and their own creations.
Where: 26- 28 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6NG
What: Bucket Anchors Up in Westbourne Grove
Why: As the all too familiar saying goes “there are plenty more fish in the sea”, a motto new seafood restaurant, Bucket, seem oh so familiar with. Washing up in Westbourne Grove this May, the seafood haven promises dishes by the bucket load, coupled with an inside attitude as laid-back and breezy as Otis Redding must have felt, Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay. With sustainability at the helm, husband and wife team Georgie Godik Hayward and Adam Hayward prove the sea is for sharing with this new venture, mixing the classics with seasonal specials. So, what can we expect at Bucket? Well, like a “grown-up” version of pic ‘n’ mix, the seafood buckets on offer can be enjoyed in numerous ways. From buckets of prawns, whitebait and calamari, to buckets of mussels that can be enjoyed with zany sauces inclusive of coconut chilli, lobster brandy, or a classic white wine.
Where: 107 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 4UW
What: Taking You to the Wild West
Why: Moonshine Saloon, is an immersive byob cocktail bar that will transport you to the time of moonshining when everyone looked out for themselves and hid from the beady eye of the local Sheriff. First of all, you’ll visit the tailor who will fix you up with Stetson hats and cowboy gear – you don’t want to attract attention for sticking out do you? No, you want to fit in and drink your cocktails. Once you look like you might be a moonshiner you’ll be allowed into the saloon where the shadiest spirit makers in town hang out. Play dice, try and get lucky in a game of cards and swap stories about your days herding cattle and riding across the plains. Just make sure that if the Sheriff talks to you, he knows that you definitely aren’t drinking alcohol. If you manage to slip by unnoticed, you’ll be able to stop by the General Store for a little refreshment. If you don’t…well expect to feel the full force of the Wild West law.
Where: 535 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW10 0SZ
The Leopard Bar at The Rubens At The Palace
What: Spot the Newcomer
Why: The hotel, overlooking Buckingham Palace, is opening a new bar and everything, yes everything, will be leopard print. A signature of the Red Carnation Hotel Group, the Leopard Bar is pretty much an institution. With panelled walls and deep buttoned sofas the big cat themed bar is sophistication writ-large. In the centre there might be a statement bronze leopard sculpture by South African artist and jeweller Donald Greig, but it’s what’s behind the bar that’ll really grab your attention: there are 30 Champagnes and more whiskies than you could shake a leopard’s tail at (200 in total). All Champagnes are available by the glass, even the really posh ones like Krug and Cristal, and there’s also a range of cocktails in attendance, from a classic Champagne Bellini to a more adventurous Buddha Punch. If all this talk about carnivores has made you feel a little peckish, fear not. There will be a selection of finger food on offer, as well as Red Carnation Hotels President and Founder Bea Tollman’s much loved recipes and famous Steak sandwich.
Where: 9 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, SW1W 0PS
What: Coming to an Instagram Feed Near You
Why: If you’re looking for the latest Instagram hangout then we’ve heard it’s going to be new café Feya. Opening in St Christopher’s Place, they’ll have everything you need for that Instashot: marble textures, a white cherry blossom tree, brass finishes floral and pastel interiors and superfood lattes in all the colours as they are serving beetroot, blue algae, matcha and turmeric lattes. To eat, there’ll be our favourite avocado on toast, smoothie bowls, vegan dishes and pastries, cakes and tarts. Except these aren’t going to be your average dishes, here they really will look just as good as they taste. Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find Kusmi tea and coffee from Ozone. There’ll be space inside for 31 guests and seats outside for a lucky six.
Where: 23 James Street, Marylebone, W1U 1DT
What: Arriving From LA
Why: The man behind Zuma restaurants, ROKA, Oblix and Florida’s ETARU has just launched a new project, INKO NITO. The brainchild of Rainer Becker and chef Hamish Brown, the restaurant launched in Los Angeles’ Art District in December and now comes to Soho’s Broadwick Street. The restaurant’s signature is dishes cooked over an open robata grill. Of note their beef cheek, served with spicy Korean miso and picked daikon with butter lettuce or bone marrow, smoked soy, garlic toast and shallot. Lighter dishes will include Dungeness crab tartare with wasabi mayo, chicken skin and roasted nori. There’s also a new style of sushi, Nigaki, which will be served with roasted nori, sushi rice and various toppings and variations including The chirashi, which is salmon, yellowtail and wasabi shiso or The cali, made from crab, avocado, wasabi tobiko and yuzu mayo.
Where: 55 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 9QS
The Karaoke Hole
What: Time to be Fierce
Why: Inside all of us, there is a RuPaul waiting to emerge, fingers clicking, sashaying and delivering one liners with unprecedented level of sass and now you can be one step closer to unleashing it as The Karaoke Hole opens, a karaoke dive bar hosted by drag queens. Behind it is the team who opened Dalston Superstore and this new bar won’t be straying far from the path, opening on Kingsland High Street. Descend off the street down the stairs and enter a neon-lit bar where every Thursday to Saturday you can watch some of London’s leading drag queens (including Sink the Pink superstar Little Jimmy Johnson) belting out classic karaoke tracks.
Where: 95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, E8 2PB
Why: The Principal is already one of the most interesting openings this year, a major London hotel right in the heart of Bloomsbury with a rich history but a totally modern take following major investment. And every major hotel needs its flagship restaurant so it was only natural to turn to Brett Redman and Margaret Crow who had already been making waves over in Hackney at The Richmond. And they’ll be bringing the same flavour put The Richmond on the map, namely seafood, to The Principal. Neptune will centre around an oyster bar, serving several varieties of oyster and shellfish, each specially selected from independent British growers. Expect a shoal of flavours and dishes, including wild Cornish mussels with a saffron, orange & bay leaf soffrito, or steamed chowder clams with buttermilk dressing and dill granite as well as dived scallop carpaccio with ajo blanc and nori. They’ll also be reviving their signature, steamed-to-order, ‘Whole Cornish crab with house spaghetti in a smoked Datterini tomato, Vietnamese basil and long pepper sauce’.
Where: Cnr of Guilford Street and Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE
What: Clucking Hell
Why: The streetfood specialists have spent the last five years honing their Southern fried chicken skills on the mean streets of South London, and South London really does know its fried chicken. And so it’s little surprise to hear that they’ve now decided to go big or go home with a bricks-and-mortar permanent home in Exmouth Market. We should look forward to some excellent breakfasts, (seriously strong coffee, like seriously), New Orleans inspired cocktails including Sex On The Rocks, Peeking Through The Grass Skirts and Kermit’s Middle Leg, ice cold beer thanks to The Five Points Brewing Co, an excellent selection of tunes – a reminder of time plying their trade at festivals from their converted US Army Ambulance – and, of course, chicken. LOTS. OF. CHICKEN.
Where: 49-51 Rosebery Avenue, Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QL
The Jones Family Kitchen
What: One Of Our Favourite Steak Restaurants Arrives In Belgravia
Why: Jones Family Project know their meat better than anyone, and now they’ve decided to take their expertise to the heart of red-meat-eater-land, Belgravia. The restaurant has been delighting the East London’s hipster masses from their Shoreditch home for years, and now Belgravia, where townhouses sell for over £10m and residents ride to their hedge fund offices on peacocks, is to get a taste of their magic. Jones Family Kitchen opens in Belgravia’s Eccleston Yards, a stone’s throw from Victoria Station, next month and is already getting us licking our lips. With seating for 90 inside the regenerated site they will be bringing along their North Yorkshire premium meats, cooked on Josper grills, that have made them such a hit. All the meat is sourced by The Ginger Pig, the Northern farmer and butcher combo, to ensure some of the best steaks in London.
Where: 7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF
The Curtain Hotel
What: New at The Curtain
Why: Last year, Michael Achenbaum opened members club The Curtain. It was his first European venture and now, having survived its first year in the treacherous waters of London’s restaurant scene, they will be celebrating their birthday they are launching a new world class cocktail bar, Green Room, supposedly because they’ll need somewhere to toast their birthday too. The Curtain’s Director of Beverage, Jenny Willing, who previously opened the Dandelyan Bar, has created a drinks menu that reflects Jenny’s experience of East London and her favourite places with ingredients such as rum from East London Liquor Company Rum, Land Chocolate, London Turmeric Honey and E5 Bakery sourdough. The walled rose garden in Victoria Park lends itself as inspiration to the floral MaBelle and the vibrant tiki-style drink with a Bangladeshi twist is based on Brick Lane
Where: 45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 4PT