How we are already halfway through the year, we do not know. Still, May has been London’s busiest month yet with the opening with 26 venues! Below: the exhaustive list…
Pizza Pilgrims Pizza Playground
Our favourite pizza purveyors opened their first playground this month. It’s housed in a historic Grade I listed warehouse, and of course, has been decked out with green and white checked tablecloths, in true Pizza Pilgrim style. There’s super long fussball table for 22 players, an outdoor bocce ball court, and a 65” screen TV where you can play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. The menu offers classic Neapolitan flavours such as Portobello mushroom and truffle, smoked Napoli and of course the signature N’duja, but other than the pizzas there’re deep fried artichoke hearts, calzone fritta, arancini and Italian mac’n’cheese.
The new Islington seafood restaurant makes the most of the lesser known treasures of the sea. They only serve fresh fish delivered that day, except rather than ‘traditional’ catches you’ll find the likes of pilchards, coley, sprat, grey mullet and cray fish. The menu includes the likes of beetroot cured ling served on rye toast with pickled beetroot, dill, horseradish and watercress; grey mullet escadeche with carrots, red onion and bay; kipper carbonara with peas and rocket and steamed mussels with cider, clotted cream, diced apples, parsley and chips.
Pergola on the Roof Paddington
Summer rooftop favourite opened up a new location this month. Situated in Paddington Basin, this waterside location almost pips the White City original to the post from the get-go. To eat, there’s Patty&Bun, D/F Mexico, Decateur and, for the health-conscious, Raw Press. There’s space for 850 guests, plus it’s open for both lunch and dinner!
Yolk began life as a market stall, but after establishing a loyal following, it was time to open up a permanent site. So they did. They’ve taken over a site in Finsbury Avenue Square and as the name suggests, eggs rule the roost. Breakfast, served from 7am, sees egg pots like Yolk’s signature Eggs Benedict pot while later in the day, meatier options are introduced like the steak béarnaise sandwich.
COYA Angel Court
COYA has been previously crowned as London’s ‘Best Restaurant of the Year’, and this month, they opened up a second site in Banks new Angel Court development. Executive Chef Sanjay Dwivedi oversees the menu’s seasonal dishes, which are inspired by a fusion of Asian, Peruvian and modern European cuisine, while the Pisco Lounge will serve signature Latin American cocktails like the Pisco Sour and the Chilli Margarita.
The team behind Gunpowder opened a new restaurant exploring the oriental flavours of the Himalayas that they fell in love with, when visiting family in North East India. Madame D’s brings together the flavours of Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese cooking with local ingredients to create a succinct sharing menu. Dishes include gold coin dumplings, pan-fried Tibetan duck momo, garlic coriander steamed chicken and prawn on toast.
Taking the humble meatball to the next level is Curveball, opened by Hannah Pemberton, author of recipe blog, ‘The Kitchen Alchemist’ and Paul Harris, former CFO of Liberty. Small plates include the Bomba (chorizo croquettes) whilst larger plates include The Mothership – beef chuck and parmesan meatballs in a four-hour short-rib ragu and the Wizard of Oz, beetroot and tahini vegballs with lime avocado cream, popped seeds, pomegranate and freekeh. Add Tater Nots aka potato rosti balls on the side and finish with fresh donut holes pumped full of coconut mango, salted caramel or Nutella.
Lower Holloway’s newest restaurant centres around a chalkboard which shows the daily changing menu of seafood and dishes made from the best produce from the British Isles. Expect to find the likes of sea bass and seaweed tartare; pork loin with chopped greens, basil and capers; and green apple sorbet. There are over 200 wines to choose from, as well as Belgian Beers and handpicked vermouths.
Duck and Waffle Local
Duck and Waffle Local? That’s right, Duck and Waffle opened up a second restaurant this May. Chef Director Dan Doherty has created a new duck-centric menu. So as well as the classic duck and waffles and the Full Elvis (a waffle topped with all manner of decadence including caramelised banana, berries and peanut butter), you’ll find a whole host of new dishes. There’s The Duck Burger with crispy duck leg and their take on the sweet meets savoury craving – the duck doughnut.
The Stoke House
Heading up the kitchen at The Stoke House is Pete Denhart, former Head Chef of The Newman Arms. He works with UK’s best farmers to create a menu of top quality meats and seasonal sides, for all your carvery needs. Meats include slowly smoked aged Ruby Red Suffolk beef short rib and slow roasted Welsh lamb belly. Sides include smoked cauliflower cheese and roasted balsamic beets with confit red onion and feta. And for dessert? Banana split, salted chocolate tart and ice cream sundaes.
Housed in a railway arch, Lupins’ menu includes 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. Desserts include rhubarb with ginger, vanilla yoghurt and shortbread or Neal’s Yard Cheeses.
Opening up their second permanent restaurant on one of London’s favourite foodie streets, Charlotte Street, Señor Ceviche’s menu remains Peruvian with a range of new dishes. You’ll find barbecued scallops with aji Amarillo and pisco butter; yellowfin tuna with yuzu tiger’s milk, wasabi and miso and slow-cooked short rib with anji panca and pickled garlic anticucho sauce. If you fancy brunch, expect dishes like sweet potato waffle with crispy lamb shoulder and huacatay salsa and Peruvian sausage with root vegetable hash, corn bread and onsen egg.
The Italian Job
The team behind The Italian Job opened up their third site, following on the success of The Italian Job in Chiswick and their craft beer shack at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle. There’s a weekly changing menu of dishes based on Italian street food, including arancini alla carbonara. But it’s what’s on offer to drink that’s more important. They’ve enlisted the drinks guru, Luca Corradini of Oriole and The Savoy’s American Bar to create a series of classic cocktails with a modern twist.
This month, Fulham welcomed Neverland London, a 20 metre Thameside beach complete with deck chairs, swings, palm trees and pastel-coloured beach huts. Beach activities come in the form of petanque and beer pong, and daybeds available to hire for up to 25 people scream summer birthday, while dedicated mixologists known as ‘Beach Butlers’ shake up bespoke cocktails. Don’t worry, there’s also a stellar line up of street food vendors.
The Tapas Room
Drink shop, deli and eatery, The Tapas Room, opened in Tooting Broadway Market from the pair behind Donostia Social Club. The tapas, charcuterie and cheese menu includes white tuna and escabeche; chicken liver parfait with pickled figs and griddled white asparagus with Romesco and toasted almonds, and on the sweeter side, a chocolate and macadamia brownie with a PX sherry glaze. Accompany all that with wines, sherries, vermouths and cavas from the Basque and Spanish regions, which have all been carefully sourced.
Leicester Square Kitchen
Serving up a contemporary Mexican and Peruvian menu, is Leicester Square Kitchen. The monochrome interior offers a sleek, smart setting for dishes such as Mayan-spiced marinated chicken ensalada with cashews, black lime and sesame oil; prawn soft tacos with spicy papaya habanero salsa; robata-grilled pisco-glazed smoked paprika ribs and lime; robata-seared tenderstem broccoli and charred kale and shimeji mushroom anticucho served in a hot clay pot.
Undoubtedly 2017’s biggest opening, The Ned is from the team behind London-based Soho House & Co and New York’s Sydell Group. It houses nine restaurants, 252 bedrooms, a club, rooftop pool, gym, spa, hamam and a late night bar…no wonder it’s in the iconic former Midland Bank building – it needs the room! The roof offers unparalleled views over the city, with a range of classic cocktails to accompany. There are six private hire rooms and two terraces and the bedrooms each channel the 1920s and 1930s.
Arthur Hooper was a fruit salesman who occupied 8 Stoney Street back in the days when Queen Victoria ruled, and this month, the historical site became a restaurant serving up European small plates with a curated wine list. Expect dishes such as harissa butter beans with charred tenderstem, ricotta and nigella seeds; pork and fennel ragu fettuccine; and, for pudding, chocolate hazelnut pot with salted caramel tuile and a ricotta cheesecake with rhubarb orange compote. The crafted steel, caged light fittings, custom hexagonal concrete flooring, tailored rare-wood cabinetry reflects the sites Victorian history.
Japanese restaurant Dinings opened up their second site this May. The restaurant redefines what we think of Japanese food, of course serving up sushi and sashimi though made using seafood from Cornish day boats. There’s also a Josper grill which cooks up robata-style dishes like Chilean seabass marinated in sweet soy and sansyo pepper and Scottish native lobster with yuzu kimizu sauce.
Great British Restaurant
GBR, as it’s fondly known, opened up this month opened up in St. James’s, and serves up classic British fare. Executive Head Chef Nigel Mendham heads up the kitchen, with dishes like the GBR full English; Coronation chicken salad with wild rice, curry mayonnaise, apricot and coriander; jam roly poly. Of course, you can’t have a British restaurant without an afternoon tea and GBR’s version offers up sultana scones with clotted cream and jam and on the savoury side, mature Cheddar cheese scones with truffle cream cheese.
NYC favourite hotel The Curtain opened up a post in Shoreditch this month. It’s the first European hotel for Michael Achenbaum, the New York hotelier. The rooms channel a rustic-industrial style and are divided up into four categories ranging from Courtyard and City to larger Loft and Loft Terrace rooms. There are also four Shoreditch Suites as well as one deluxe suite, The Curtain Suite.
The Prince of Peckham
South London native Clement Ogbonnaya opened up his first pub which also happens to be the first venture from The Arbuthnot Group. It’s a South London pub, operated by and for, South Londoners. In the kitchen will be street food connoisseurs White Men Can’t Jerk, Saturdays will be bottomless brunch day, on Sundays there’ll be a jerk-inspired roast. Hot Mess Mondays is aptly named, with bottomless wings on offer, to cure your Monday blues.
Hackney Downs’ newest pub features a 50-cover restaurant downstairs with a further 20-covers upstairs with space for 50 diners on the outdoor terrace. Head Chef Rob McMillan has curated a menu to feature the likes of signature smoked hoisin crispy duck with peach and pomegranate and fried chicken with aioli and their classic cheeseburger; or for brunch, home-smoked meats and fish and baked eggs and waffles. To drink, beers on tap from Five Points and Pressure Drop from Hackney and bottles from some of London and the UK’s finest craft microbrewers. There’s also a concise wine and cocktail list.
After it’s unexpected closure in 2013, The Clifton has reopened! brothers Ben and Ed Robson have given the pub a new lease of life. They’ve enlisted the help of New Zealander Head Chef, Karl Calvert (Providores, Beef & Brew and Caravan) to create a menu of globally-inspired dishes. Divided into two sections, Drinking House (aka bar snacks) and Eating House (full all-day menu), the menu features the likes of mutton rendang croquettes with banana raita, lime pickle and curry leaves; and sweet corn jalapeno fritters with chipotle onion jam, avocado and rocket. They plan to brew their own Clifton beer but until that happens there’re local and craft beers on tap and a strong wine list.
Opening below Bun House, Tea Room is a speakeasy that pays homage to 1960s Hong Kong. Focusing on Chinese ingredients, cocktails include the likes of Rice Wine & Aged Tangerine made from Fen jiu 30 year aged Baijiu, home brewed rice wine vermouth garnished with sun dried and aged tangerine peel. Food is all about sharing plates with the likes of bruleé tea egg with sweet charred corn; preserved olive leaf and green beans on the menu.
After ten months at Wolf in Stoke Newington, Head Chef Mattia Antonioni has moved over to Wolf II, which you’ll find in a shipping container in Finsbury Avenue Square near Liverpool Street. Grab the likes of a superfood pot with quinoa, avocado, toasted flaked almonds, Sicilian cherry tomatoes, poached free range egg and Amalfi lemon dressing for breakfast or if you have more time tuck into the likes of wild boar waffle filled with tender wild boar and gooey fontina cheese, served with their special ‘Ammazza’ sauce.