May, we’re going to miss you and all of your fabulous bank holidays! It’s been a jam-packed month and even more so on the restaurant front as a huge host of places threw open their doors in foodie frenzy. From a new BAO restaurant with an epic karaoke room to a second edition of the Instagrammable favourite Kalifornia Kitchen, there’s been no drought where eateries are concerned and here are just some of our favourite’s…
You’ll be in charge of how your foods cooked at Parrillan, a terrace bar and grill restaurant from the Barrafina team. Each table is given their own bespoke mini charcoal grill, or parrillas, allowing you to cook up select cuts of meat, fish and veggies at the table. The menu is developed by Barrafina’s Executive Chef, Angel Zapata Martin, following his career working with some of the worlds leading chefs. You’ll be transformed to a Spanish taverna with the Mediterranean inspired terraces filled with olive trees, herbs and traditional Mallorcan ikat fabrics. You better get your grill on with this one…
On the 18th of May, MOLO threw open its doors showering happy Londons with delicious burgers (no, not literally!) The concept of the resto is fine dining meets street food as the brand puts a focus on gourmet fish buns featuring highlights of octopus with with homemade hummus and pimenton mayo in a poppy seed brioche bun ad the Vegano, with rice and nori patty, with a shredded carrot and Chinese cabbage salad dressing, and garlic tofu aioli in a poppy seed brioche bun! The Netil Market based eatery uses sustainable seafood, adding it to buns packed with flavour – if you like buns, hun, this is for you!
Hot dogs and champagne? We’re sold. Bubbledogs has been refurbed with a newly designed Champagne bar to mark the coming of age for the restaurant. It’s now increasingly focusing on hand selected, approachable Grower Champagnes and we couldn’t be more on board. It’s not just champagne that’s been added, it has a completed new look with deep purple and mustard tones running throughout (and thats not just mustard from a hot dog!) Bubbledogs has gone bougie and we’re all for it.
There’s a new kid on the Turkish restaurant block named the MANTL and we’re urging you to give it a go! The alluring eatery has rocked up in glam Knightsbridge, seeking to feed hungry Londoners, exhausted from shopping, with tantalising Turkish flavours. The 74-cover restaurant takes inspo from a ‘home is where the heart is’ vibe, centered around the fire hearth where cooking and families come together. Expect menu highlights of hot and cold traditional starters such as Tutsulu Koyun Yogurdu – glazed figs, smoked sheep yoghurt, oak cured beef, grape molasses, pistachio and Ocke – light homemade puffs of zucchini, seeds, feta and garlic yoghurt.
Anywhere along Notting Hill will always have a soft spot in our hearts and Gold definitely isn’t going to change that. The neighbourhood modern European restaurant and late night bar has opened up inspired by the area’s diverse mix of artists, designers and musicians. Its dining approach will reflect the cosmopolitan spirit of contemporary west London with all dishes being cooked in wood ovens or over open flame adding a smokey tinge to the night. As for the interior, you can expect a rustic vibe whilst contracted against the industrial details and modern furniture – sounds like a place we’d like to hang out.
Creator of London’s first pure sea water pizza, ‘O ver has opened up a new authentic Neapolitan restaurant in St James’s and we can’t get over how mouthwateringly delish the food looks. Following the success of their Borough kitchen, they’ve brought a slice of Italy to St James’s, serving up traditional street food and revolutionising their sea water concept. The result leaves the pizzas softer, more tender and fragrant. I mean come on, who doesn’t love a slice of pizza?
Bao, oh bao, these look good. For those who don’t know, BAO is the famed Taiwanese restaurant that took London by storm with its funky, animated steamed buns that have lit up our social feeds and taste delicious. At BAO Borough there’s even a karaoke room – We can’t deny that karaoke and bao are two things that haven’t really gone hand-in-hand when conjuring up ideas for a night out, but it turns out KTV in Taiwan is in fact one of the most popular things to do at the weekend. Food wise though, they’ve rustled up five new options including the chicken nugget BAO; beef meatball, fried egg; and Borough curry, panko goat and frankfurter. So whose ready for a sing-a-long and a BAO?
The rise of veganism continues with Kalifornia Kitchen who have opened up their second restaurant, this time in Fulham Markethall. You’ll be able to whack some Insta’s up on your feed in no time because as soon as you step inside it’s truly an Instagrammers dream with home-made pink croissants, rainbow bowls and of course, the classic Kalifornia burger. Not forgetting the overtly pink aesthetic that’ll fill you with interior envy. We really are California dreaming…
Opening up in buzzy Shoreditch this month is The Alchemist; a booming bar that’s set to host more than twenty molecular mixologists, mystical concoctions and a tantalising menu. The Harry Potter-esque cocktail list is a mystical one, aptly matching the remainder of the venue. Playing up to the namesake is the Colour Changing One, the Bubblebath and the exclusive augmented reality cocktail collection. It’s a surefire way to try cocktails with a splash of the old abracadabra and you can also try out masterclasses and unique tasting experiences to boot! Now that’s what I’m Tolkien about…
Think Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth in the style of a chic restaurant and botanical bar and you have the new Hello Darling, an immersive collaboration from theatrical set designers Darling and Edge, arts venue The Vaults and 2013 Masterchef winner Natalie Coleman. The large dining areas feels as though you are walking into an extravagant west-end theatrical performance, catering for 80 covers, surrounded with beautiful artwork, endless collectables and oddities.
Coleman has worked profusely hard in creating the menu which fits the charming elegance of Hello Darling’s surroundings offering sharing dishes incorporating flavours like wasabi and watermelon, and spiced walnuts infused with blood orange and heritage beetroot.
Another day, another The Social Company venue. No.5 Social is the latest concept of the group’s popular French bistro, Little Social, following six years of trading. The restaurant was transformed with a new look and menu, celebrating seasonal British produce. Executive Chef, Kostas Papathanaiou, has worked in some of the UK’s finest eateries and the menu will draw on his experience focusing on accessible, seasonal ingredients, which showcase the best of British produce. Some menu highlights include; poached Hebridean halibut, celeriac truffle emulsion and purée with pickled mushrooms and a black truffle beurre blanc; roasted Herdwick lamb chop and cannon fillet served alongside Jersey Royal potatoes, spring peas, cucumber and mint; and a Richmond Park honey, oat crumble, milk ice cream and meringue. Sounds divine, right?
Coffee by day, cocktails by night… Grind has opened up a new location this time in Broadgate Circle. Known for its exceptionally punchy house blend, Grind also serves up an extensive coffee selection as well as coffee cocktails to fuel you through your mid-week slum. So you’ll be able to grab your favourite coffee or cocktail, and indulge in a delicious bite to eat or sharing platter at this all day dining concept.
Tuck into ‘tapas’ style dishes at ROBATA, an Izakaya style Japanese restaurant that specialises in charcoal cooking. Head Chef Charles Lee has used his Michelin-star experience to create a unique and modernised take on Japanese cuisine. You’ll find everyone from grilled skewers to sushi to bao – plus a whole selection of veggie goodies too! Having created a concept with the customer in mind, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed night with the girls or the guys.
Set in the heart of Trafalgar Square is Rockwell which takes inspiration from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. With its vibrant artwork and herbaceous foliage, the bar will take you on a sensory journey. Heading the bar is Marco Ercolano, whose taken inspo from the arrival of exotic imports retrieved through both culinary exploration and traditional English spirits. It’s a tropical retreat for the British eye.
If we’ve got some hardcore Come Dine with Me fans, you’ll remember chef Craig Ian McAlpine, from the original series back in 2005, where his win actually led him to change his career entirely as a private chef. Ember is the chefs first brainchild, serving up small plates with huge international flavours. You’ll feel right cosy here, as it only has 36 covers – so definitely book ahead if you want to be guaranteed a spot.