Pick Of The Best: New Bars And Restos Of 2018

Pick Of The Best: New Bars And Restos Of 2018

As Virgina Woolf once rightly said: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” something we here at The Handbook can totally vouch for! And if you are a Handbooker then you’ll know that we love nothing more than food, glorious food. Which is why, each month, we dig deep to bring you a listical of all the brand spanking new openings across the capital. And, as the year comes to a close, it’s time to cast our minds back to all of the locations that have totally wow-ed us, and will continue to do so.

Without further ado, here are ALL of the restaurant’s that flung open their doors in 2018:

Kazu

Kazu, a new contemporary Japanese restaurant. In the kitchen, you’ll find Executive Chef and partner, Dham Kodituwakku who has spent the last fifteen years working as head chef at Chisou in Mayfair. He’ll be serving up a menu of sushi and sashimi as well as dishes such as seared fatty tuna with pickled wasabi; wagyu beef steak; deep fried soft- shell crab sushi rolls and black cod with miso. Accompanying it will be sakes, spirits and an extensive wine list, so either say goodbye to Dry January or get ready to exercise, serious self-control.

Opened in January

Where: 64 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 4QD

Website: www.kazurestaurants.com

Kettner's Townhouse

Brought to life again by Soho House, Kettner’s Townhouse is a restaurant and Champagne bar with 33 bedrooms. The restaurant will use locally sourced ingredients to create a menu that is inspired by the history of the building whilst many of its original Grade II listed details, floral plasterwork and heritage mirrors have also been retained. The adjacent Champagne bar, has its original mosaic tiled floor, an early-deco 1920s design, French glass lights, walnut bar with marble top, sofas, armchairs and vintage photos.

Opened in January

Where: 29 Romilly Street, Soho, W1D 5HP

Website: kettnerstownhouse.com

Greyhound Café

Set over two floors, the Greyhound Café London will draw on the signature monochrome design with hand drawn, chalk designs and an eclectic Thai-meets-West interior. Thai dishes are given a Greyhound twist and, as well as an extensive vegetarian menu.

Opened in January

Where: 37 Berners St, Fitzrovia, W1T 3LZ

Website: www.greyhoundcafe.uk

Kudu

The 46-cover restaurant is named after Kudu Bread, which is cooked in a copper pot and served with melted lardon or seafood butter. It will obviously be centre-stage, but will share the limelight with other South African classics including mussel potjie pots, which are served with seaweed gnocchi, pig’s head tortellini with hay bone broth and crispy onions and onion and beer tarte tatin.

Opened in January

Where: 119 Queens Road, Peckham, SE15 2EZ

Website: www.kudu-restaurant.com

Roganic

Roganic will bring elements of L’Enclume, Simon’s two Michelin star restaurant in the Lake District to London. Mirroring the original pop-up, Roganic will be all about informal dining and imaginative, innovative menu which uses the finest ingredients from around the country, including Simon’s ‘Our Farm’ in the Lake District. They’ll also be bringing back many of the original Roganic team to run the restaurant, with the kitchen run by Head Chef Oliver Marlow, who has worked his way up through Simon’s kitchen.

Opened in January

Where: 5-7 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DB

Website: www.roganic.uk

The Principal London

Originally the Frederick Hotels Company, the Bloomsbury hotel opened in 1898 and the terracotta building dominates the eastern side of Russell Square. It lived up to the grande dame title throughout the twentieth century, the dining room was famously a near identical copy of the one on the Titanic (designed by the same architect, Charles Fitzroy Doll), the Bloomsbury group flitted around it and the Russell Group of universities are named after the hotel, which was previously called Hotel Russell. Principal have taken all this history, and added something special of their own with a total revamp returning the grande dame to it’s palatial glory.

Opened in January

Where: 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE

Website: www.phcompany.com

Le Petit Bistro

Bringing the quintessentially french concept of a bistro to our London streets. With a focus on simple, delicious food created from authentic and superb quality ingredients, beautifully presented in a warm and inviting setting. The restaurant seats 70 guests, 30 indoors and 40 on the terrace, serving a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Though the restaurant is attached to Victory House it is independently operated by the founders of legendary Soho and Manchester restaurant Randall & Aubin.

Opened in January

Where: 14 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BZ

Website: www.petitbistrolondon.co.uk

Enoteca Rosso

Freshly made seasonal pasta dishes at Enoteca Rosso. The menu features rare and unusual cheeses and charcuterie, coming from small batch producers throughout Italy. All dishes are served alongside one of the capital’s most unique and extensive Italian-only wine lists.

Opened in January

Where: 276-280 Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6ND

Website: www.enotecarosso.com

Pi Pizza

What:

Pi was founded in 2014 by fashion designer Rosie Whaley, it’s her work on the interior of the original Pi that has made it such a hit down in Hampshire. Along with her team of Italian chefs, she intends to work the same magic on London, with Battersea Rise marking ground zero. Look out for her signature exposed brickwork, tables hand carved from fallen oak trees from woodland in Salisbury and a tree growing in the middle of the actual restaurant (it’s the old Scoffer’s Kitchen).

Opened in February

Where: 4-6A Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EE

Website: www.battersea.pi-pizza.co.uk

Zia Lucia

Zia Lucia, Islington’s independent pizzeria, has opened a new restaurant in Brook Green next month: Make ours a spicy spianata salami! Zia Lucia is known across North London for their unusual doughs and imaginative toppings. While most pizza places do their clever stuff on the top of the pizza, Zia Lucia put as much effort into the bases as the toppings. Their 48-hour slow-fermented doughs are renowned, including the restaurant’s traditional white flour, earthy wholemeal, crisp gluten free and a vegetable charcoal black dough bases.

Opened in February

Where: 61 Blythe Road, Brook Green, W14 0HP

Website: www.zialucia.com

Prosecco House

The Prosecco House has been in the pipeline for a while and came into fruition because the owner and founder Kristina Issa was fed up of ordering mediocre prosecco. She began researching her market, and of course her Prosecco. Many bottles of bubbly (and some bad decisions later) Kristina was well equipped to hand-pick the five Italian wineries that are to be The Prosecco House’s exclusive stockists. These include; Marchiori, Rivalta, Cirotto, TASI Bio, and Andreola. All from Veneto Italy, the home and birth place of Prosecco.

Opened in February

Where: One Tower Bridge, SE1 2SE

Website: www.proseccohouse.com

Horatio Street Social Club

The cocktail menu takes centre stage, with newly created drinks like the Naïve Melody (Campari, white wine and kola nut cordial), inspired by the Italian Bicicletta – so named because after one drink a bicycle could be safely cycled home (The Handbook isn’t recommending putting this to the test!)), the Dirty Faces (Beeswax, Calvados, gin, apricot and verjus and Kill The Cook (tequila, red pepper, urfa, Red Iron and lime). The interior is intimate, low lighting, artwork on the walls and an emphasis on atmosphere, making this a cool place to hang out as well as a guaranteed excellent drinks!

Opened in February

Where: Below Nelson's Head, 32 Horatio St, E2 7SB

Website: www.clubsaresocial.com

Popina

The new cafe and delicatessen from chef Isadora Popović graces Mayfair’s Duke Street with it’s first permanent home for what’s become a hugely popular weekly farmers market stalwart with stalls at over 20 locations from Broadway Markets to Portobello Road. With room for 20 (26 in summer, when outside seating becomes feasible) the intimate interior will play host to dinging between 8am and 6pm. Expect a breakfast of kedgeree, followed by a lunch of hearty sandwiches or even heartier stews and curries in both meat and veggie varieties. Freshly baked sweet pastries will also be on-hand as if all that wasn’t enough, including Popina’s acclaimed chocolate hazelnut cake.

Opened in February

Where: 83 Duke St, Mayfair, W1K 5PF

Website: www.popina.co.uk

Farm Girl Cafe

During the day you’ll find the brunches and super lattes that they are known for, including: chai lattes; rose lattes; apple pancakes with coconut yoghurt; açai bowls with chia seeds and oven baked aubergine with chickpea sauce, mint and tahini yoghurt dressing. Unlike the other two Farm Girls, this new restaurant will serve the group’s first dinner and superfood cocktail menu. Evening dishes will include the likes of lamb gyro with roasted pistachio yoghurt and cod croquettes with herb green sauce.

Opened in February

Where: 9 Park Walk, Chelsea, SW10 0AJ

Website: www.thefarmgirl.co.uk

Sabor

Prepare for a journey through the tapas bars of Andalucia, the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia, as the menu captures the flavours (sabor is Spanish for flavour) of the pairs’ native Spain. On the restaurant menu you’ll find daily changing seafood, (depending on what they can get at the market) and the likes of wild rabbit empanadilla and diver caught scallops with five jotas ham consome. In keeping with Spanish restaurants, the kitchen will be open, and diners will sit at the counter, so you can see everything being prepared.

Opened in February

Where: 35-37 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4BR

Website: www.saborrestaurants.co.uk

Plates London

What:

The plant based restaurant is open in Dalston and will be offering their creations initially only at weekends. Vegans and veggies are rejoicing, and so should carnivores, the food should be exceptional. The food marries vegan and veggie dining with haute cuisine and is inspired by Haworth’s own health problems as a sufferer of Lyme disease. The disease made him entirely rethink his approach to food and as such the meals will be exceptionally high in nutritional value. And, we’re sure, tasty.

Opened in February

Where: 93 Kingsland Road, E2 8AG

Website: www.plates-london.com

Daddy Bao

Frank Yeung is the genius behind Peckham’s Mr Bao. The Taiwanese restaurant has been cooking up their signature bao buns since 2016 when Yeung, with the help of his father Joe who retired from his own successful restaurant business last year. His second location, Daddy Bao in Tooting is named in his honour.

Serving their pillowy bao buns, crunchy fried chicken and Taiwanese snacks, with dishes including slow braised Flock and Herd pork, pickles and peanut powder packed into a milky white bun or Drunken Prawn Bao, which comprises of a classic bun stuffed with beer-marinated prawns, pickled mooli and spiced spring onion.

Opened in February

Where: 113 Mitcham Rd, SW17 9PE

Website: www.daddybao.com

Jidori Covent Garden

The team behind Jidori, the yakitori restaurant in Dalston, have started work on their new venue in Covent Garden. And what’s more, there’s going to be karaoke! Sign us right up, our’s will be a bowl of shiitake mushroom and Bohemian Rhapsody. The new location, on Catherine Street, will see Head Chef Shunta Matsubara adding his unusual twist to yakitori over three floors. Owners Natalie Lee-Joe and Brett Redman have again combined forces with architect Giles Reid to create a similar clean, wood accented aesthetic, complimented by pastel details, to their Dalston restaurant. The menu will build on the success of their Dalston ‘specials board’ and the team have worked closely to extend this with a number of small and large plates. These dishes will compliment the traditional yakitori, with dishes including Tsukune (minced chicken with egg yolk), katsu curry Scotch egg, okra-nomiyaki, and ginger ice cream with miso caramel and sweet potato crisps.

Opened in February

Where: 15 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5JZ

Website: www.jidori.co.uk

Chucs Harrod

What:

There’s a new Chuc town and this time you’ll find it within Harrods. Specialising in flavours of the Italian Riviera and evoking the essence of yacht life and the Mediterranean Sea, the restaurant has opened within the department store’s new Fine Watch Room, with dedicated direct street access and late-night opening. Created by Executive Chef Alessandro Verdenelli, the Chucs Harrods menu features a number of exclusive dishes created for Harrods, including Alaskan crab, quinoa and avocado; homemade tagliatelle with mazzara red prawns; fior di zucca, anchovies and stracciatella, and halal slowly cooked lamb rump and Italian cicoria.

Opened in February

Where: 87 Brompton Road, Harrods, SW1X 7XL

Website: www.chucs.com

Brat

Opening on Redchurch Street, the restaurant will bring together Tomos Parry’s (formerly of Kitty Fisher’s and Climpson’s Arch) Welsh heritage with the Basque region of Northern Spain, to create a menu that uses British produce cooked on an open fire wood grill. Expect to find dishes of Carmarthen ham; fresh cheese; grilled baby peas and wood fire grilled breads; Cedar wood sea trout with Jersey cream and river herbs and a take on the Welsh national dish of Cawl – offal hot pot with laverbread and potatoes.

Opened in March

Where: Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ

Website: www.bratrestaurant.com

Brynn Williams

For a location with such pedigree, it’s only right that Bryn Williams should choose Somerset House as the base for his first London restaurant in a decade, Bryn Williams at Somerset House. The new restaurant, ‘a creative exploration of seasonal produce with a strong focus on sustainability and provenance’, will be located in the South Wing of the building. The food quality is, as you’d expect, very high and despite the incredible surroundings and views, it’s also the main event. Intended to put fruit and veg centre-stage (Williams believes they should be treated with the same respect as a cut of meat or a fillet of fish) the menu will include roast young broccoli, olive tapenade, sage beignet, scorched Cornish mackerel and char-grilled leeks, Burke Brown egg, morel mushroom among others.

Opened in March

Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA

Website: www.bryn-somersethouse.co.uk

Cinammon Kitchen

Feel the power! The Cinnamon Club’s superstar chef Vivek Singh is opening yet another restaurant, this time at Battersea Power Station. Adding to his stable of five wildly successful Cinnamon themed eateries (The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho, Cinnamon Bazaar and Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford) the chef will be taking a railway arch of his own at the Grade II-listed site and will be bringing his cinnamon-y magic to the iconic structure. Expect a sleek and urban feel inside, in keeping with the whole regenerated site, channelling industrial minimalism. Not so the menu, which will be a medley of Singh’s Indian creations spread over brunch, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails and light bites from Monday to Sunday.

Opened in March

Where: Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea, 4 Arches Lane, SW11 8AB

Website: www.cinnamon-kitchen.com/battersea

Delamina

Following a residency at Shoreditch House and making a success of their first restaurant, Strut & Cluck, husband and wife team Limor and Amir Chen have gone West to Marylebone Lane to open Delamina. Inspired by the founders’ Israeli, Iranian and Russian roots the food heavily draws on the herbs and spices of the Eastern Med, with an emphasis on healthy eating. Dishes include deboned poussin, glazed with ras-el-hanout and honey, then charcoal grilled and served with roasted sweet potato and Limor’s chermoula-glazed cod on a warm salad of Israeli cous cous, artichokes and wild za’atar, served with yoghurt.

Opened in March

Where: 56-58 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, W1U 2NX

Website: www.delaminamarylebone.co.uk

Hām

Hām is the Old English word for home. It’s also the name of the new West Hampstead neighbourhood restaurant. Head Chef Matt Osborne has cooked up a menu that champions produce from small British famers and artisan suppliers, as well as reflecting his Australian background. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, dishes include crumpets with honeycomb, Westcomb ricotta and pear and Bircher muesli, almonds with Hurdlebrook yoghurt and rhubarb; whilst in the evening you’ll find Norfolk quail, artichoke, kombu and watercress and Dexter beef with black sesame, white soy and turnips. Finish with chocolate crémeux, blood orange sorbet and peppermint of cheese from Mons Cheesemongers and Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Opened in March

Where: 238 West End Lane, West Hampstead, NW6 1LG

Website: www.hamwesthampstead.com

What the Pitta

What the Pitta, the UK’s first vegan doner kebab stall opened their third and flagship branch in Camden. Realising the benefits of a plant-based diet but missing the grilled flavours of Turkish foods, vegan Cem Yildiz, joined forces with friend, Rojdan Gul, whose uncle had been making cult vegan kebabs in Germany for years. The result was What the Pitta and a pop-up in 2016 at The Pump in Shoreditch. The kebabs are made from non-GMO soya chunks, marinated in a blend of Middle Eastern spices, homemade humus, tzatziki and fresh salads, and wrapped in handmade bread. Also, on the menu you’ll find a Turkish pizza, baklava and a couscous salad box.

Opened in March

Where: 89-91 Bayham Street, Camden, NW1 0AG

Website: whatthepitta.com

Abd el Wahab

Abd el Wahab, one of the most acclaimed Lebanese restaurants in the Middle East, has opened its first international outpost on Belgravia’s Pont Street. The slick import is serving traditional Lebanese dishes alongside wines and Arabic coffees from the region, all set over two light-filled floors designed by Beirut-based Antonie Tabet & Associates. The menu mirrors the style and quality of the restaurant group’s existing restaurants, with a selection of Abd el Wahab classics, selected by the group’s Executive Chef Kamil Bouloot. Expect a wide array of mezze dishes, perfect for sharing, along with vegetarian, meat and fish-based courses.

Opened in March

Where: 2 Pont Street, Belgravia, SW1X 9EL.

Website: www.ghiaholding.com

Kanada-Ya Islington

In 2014 Kanada Ya arrived in Covent Garden, opening a further restaurant in Haymarket and, as of 22nd March, on Islington’s Upper Street.

The authentic Tonkotsu ramen specialist uses an incredibly time-consuming process to perfect their ramen and as a result it has a unique flavour and creamy appearance that has proved irresistible to Londoners. The new Upper Street restaurant will not only provide the same popular selection as found in the two existing outposts of Kazuhiro’s empire, but will also introduce gyoza later in the year.

Opened in March

Where: 35 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0PN

Website: www.kanada-ya.com

Freak Scene

Created by Scott Hallsworth (along with Phar Shaweewan) last July after he left Kurobuta, the Freak Scene pop-up served up ‘curious’ Asian dishes inspired by Scott’s experience in Japan, Singapore and Malay and it was a big hit. So this month they went permanent, opening on Soho’s Frith Street. The menu includes favourites from the pop-up such as miso-grilled black cod tacos with sushi rice and scorched red chilli; chicken-fried chicken with peanut soy and cucumber pickles and a honey-hoisin grilled pork belly with mussels and chilli jam ssam wrap. New to the menu are the likes of foie gras croissant with star anise jus and a crispy nori cone with tea-smoked beef fillet, pickled onions and wasabi cream. And when it comes to drinks, we’ll be ordering the Wet Pussy (seriously, why?) a mix of peach schnapps and vodka with a twist of lemon and lime.

Opened in March

Where: 54 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SL

Website: www.freakscene.london

Lokhandwala

Those who have been to Indian restaurant Lokhandwala, will know that it is based on Victorian aristocrat Lady Charlotte, the spurned lover of Vijay Kapur, an insalubrious cad from Bombay. Well now it’s Vijay’s turn to have somewhere dedicated to him as Vijay’s Lounge opens today, a speak easy bar, above the restaurant. A secretive bar where he could run his empire and no doubt hide from Lady Charlotte.

Just like Vijay, the bar will be rich, moody and opulent with an impressively stocked bar, striking bronze chandeliers, oil paintings and a silver elephant; come the summer, you can drink on the alfresco terrace. The cocktails narrate the story of Lady Charlotte and Vijay, which rather reads like a 19th century Jilly Cooper: broken hearts, promiscuous unsuitable lovers and lots of fleeing to and fro. We’ve got our eye on the Spice Route made from red saffron infused Sailor Jerry rum, camomile infused Cointreau, liquore Strega, anise syrup, cinnamon syrup and goji berries bitter. To eat there’ll be Indian inspired bar snacks or head downstairs to Lokhandwala for the likes of Masaledar fish and chips.

Opened in March

Where: 93 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 4PY

Website: www.lokhandwala.co.uk

The Hero of Maida

What:

Part of the Harcourt Inns collection, The Hero of Maida (formerly the Truscott Arms)  follows the Three Cranes in the City and The Coach in Clerkenwell and is modelled on traditional French bistros. So it’s lucky then that Head Chef Steve Collins has an expert knowledge of regional French cooking, he’s also been Head Chef at Les Deux Salons and gained Michelin Bib Gourmand status within a year of working at Bellanger in Islington. Alongside daily changing menus, they will be reinstating the Sunday roast menu with classics including slow-roasted shoulder of lamb and rosemary; other dishes will include fish soup, lamb rump and artichokes barigoule and fresh sandwiches.

Opened in April

Where: 55 Shirland Road, Maida Vale, W9 2JD

Website: www.theheromaidavale.co.uk

Hide

Ollie Dabbous is back with his new restaurant, Hide. Set over three floors, overlooking Green Park and dominated by a magnificent spiral staircase. “Ground”, on, surprisingly enough, the ground floor, will be the go-to for a la carte lunch and dinner menus, as well as afternoon tea and breakfast. An open bakery will serve freshly baked breads, cakes and viennoiseries. Simple, seasonal fare. “Above”, on the mezzanine floor they’ll be serving a tasting menu, whilst “Below” will feature a wide array of spirits and cocktails. The whole venture is in partnership with  Hedonism Wines and their Russian owner, mobile phone billionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin.

Opened in April

Where: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB

Website: www.hide.co.uk

White City House

The West London outpost of the Soho House Group will boast 45 bedrooms within the original TV Centre ‘doughnut’, a members’ space including games room with a large billiards table, bar and outside terrace for eating and drinking and whatever else you fancy doing out-of-doors. There’s also (most exciting) a 10th floor rooftop swimming pool, surrounded by sun loungers and a bar. Finally a gym and East-meets-West restaurant completes the lineup. Oh, we nearly forgot: and there’s a full-on cinema in the basement.

Opened in April

Where: Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, W12 7FR

Website: www.whitecityhouse.com

The Principal London

Back in 1898, Charles Fitzroy Doll (what a name) designed a hotel at 1-8 Russell Square and now 120 years later it is reopening at The Principal. The 334 bedrooms and suites have been designed by Tara Bernerd & Partners and The Principal in-house team, with each one featuring custom-made beds and furniture and ceramic and marble bathrooms. Adding a further touch of luxury each room will have specially commissioned artwork, Penguin clothbound classics, Ruark music systems and The Perfumer’s Story toiletries.

Opened in April

Where: 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE

Website: www.phcompany.com

Cornerstone

Loving the Artic Monkeys so much, Nathan Outlaw’s protégé, Tom Brown, has announced that his debut restaurant is called Cornerstone after a song from the band’s third album. Sitting in Hackney Wick, the restaurant will be showcasing Tom’s simple clean cooking which makes the most of British produce in sharing plates. Think, raw mackerel with lime pickle, coconut yogurt and crispy garlic; marinated squid accompanied by black pudding, blood orange and a brown butter dressing and for pudding, Cornerstone’s pear crumble accompanied by Earl Grey ice-cream.

Opened in April

Where: 3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LX

Website: www.cornerstonehackney.com

Beck at Brown's

Last year Michelin starred chef Heinz Beck took up residency alongside drinks maestro Salvatore Calabrese at Brown’s hotel. Well, now he’s returned to launch a new restaurant: Beck at Brown’s. The restaurant will serve up classic Italian dishes using British seasonal ingredients. To start will be dressed crab with grilled Romain lettuce and wild herbs followed by the likes of spaghetti cacao e pepe with lime-marinated langoustine; Aged Rhug estate striploin with truffle mash and rosemary sauce; red mullet ‘sandwich’ with black olive and tarragon and traditional puddings such as tiramisu affogato and Sorrento lemon cheesecake.

Opened in April

Where: Brown’s Hotel Albermarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4BP

Website: www.roccofortehotels.com

Lahpet

Lahpet has proven itself over the last year with its year-long Hackney popup, and now they’ve pretty much got everything buttoned down by now, so the perfect moment to launch a permanent home. It’s a long way from their stall on Maltby Street Market when they originally launched. Lahpet, which translates directly as ‘tea’ will continue using the very best Burmese and British, using locally supplied fish, meat and vegetables and a wide range of indigenous ingredients imported monthly from Myanmar monthly, ensuring faithful seasonality. The menu will include mixed fritters, lamb and lahpet (slow cooked pulled lamb with pickled tea leaves, beans and baby carrots), hake masala (Burmese masala with lemongrass rosti, spring onion and lime) tofu nway (Shan tofu soup) and Mohinga (fish chowder).

Opened in April

Where: 58 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6JW

Website: www.lahpet.co.uk

Bluebird Café White City

White City (0.1 miles)

Bluebird; it’s synonymous with the Kings Road, entertaining those in MiC and being one of London’s iconic restaurants. But now they have opened their second restaurant in White City. Opening at the Television Centre, the restaurant will spread out onto a piazza overlooked by the centre’s famous circular core, making Bluebird at the heart of the £8billion regeneration. Executive chef, Simon Gregory, has created a modern European all-day menu which will include dishes such as nduja crusted yellow fin tuna with grilled onions and green sauce; butter chicken curry with basmati rice and spiced king prawns with yoghurt and pistachio. Puddings, pastries and desserts will be the work of Roger Pizey, the award-winning executive pastry chef.

Opened in April

Where: 101 Wood Lane, London, UK

Website: www.bluebirdcafe.co.uk

Kricket Brixton

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.

Opened in May

Where: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ

Website: www.kricket.co.uk

The Little Blue Door

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.

Opened in May

Where: 871-873, Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HP

Website: www.thelittlebluedoor.co.uk

JubJub Bar

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.

Opened in May

Where: Callooh Callay 65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY

Website: www.calloohcallaybar.com

601 Queen's Road

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.

Opened in May

Where: 601 Queen’s Road, Wimbledon, SW19 7NH

Website: www.601queensrd.co.uk

Sarona

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.

Opened in May

Where: 27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN

Website: www.saronarestaurant.com

Andina Panaderia and Andina Picanteria

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.

Opened in May

Where: 155 – 157 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RS

Website: www.andinalondon.com

Tuk Shop

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.

Opened in May

Where: 62 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LT

Website: www.tukshop.co

Market Hall Fulham

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.

Opened in May

Where: 472 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 1BY

Website: www.markethalls.co.uk

Scarlett Green

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.

Opened in May

Where: 4 Noel Street, Soho, W1F 8GB

Website: www.daisygreenfood.com

Babel House

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.

Opened in May

Where: 26- 28 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6NG

Website: www.babelhouse.co.uk

Bucket

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.

Opened in May

Where: 107 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 4UW

Website: www.bucketrestaurant.com

Moonshine Saloon

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.

Opened in May

Where: 535 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW10 0SZ

Website: www.moonshinesaloon.com

The Leopard Bar at The Rubens At The Palace

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.

Opened in May

Where: 9 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, SW1W 0PS

Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Feya

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.

Opened in May

Where: 23 James Street, Marylebone, W1U 1DT

Website: www.feya.co.uk

Inko Nito

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.

Opened in May

Where: 55 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 9QS

Website: www.inkonitorestaurant.com

The Jones Family Kitchen

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.

Opened in May

Where: 7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF

Website: www.jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk

Laurent

This month saw the first European restaurant from the internationally renowned chef, Laurent Tourondel. Found on the first floor of the hotel overlooking the new lobby, (previously the Ten Room restaurant) the restaurant serves up a menu centred around the grill with dishes including: king prawn; Cornish sea bass; American Wagyu ribeye and Somerset lamb chop. Make sure you eat the American popovers, their alternative to bread.

Opened in June

Where: 68 Regent Street, W1B 4DY

Website: www.laurentatcaferoyal.com

Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Old Spitalfields Market

Following on from their Soho hatch, Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Trading Stall has now opened up in Old Spitalfields Market. For those not in the know, a Jian bing is a thin crispy pancake that is folded up and eaten  on the street. Fillings include Iberico char siu pork; grilled miso chicken and cumin spiced lamb. If you work in the area, this is your new lunch time spot.

Opened in June

Where: Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, E1 6EW

Website: Find Out More Here

Brigadiers

London Cannon Street (0.1 miles)

Barbecue season is amongst us, so what better time than now for JKS Restaurant’s new venue, Indian barbecue restaurant and drinking tavern Brigadiers, where it really is all in the name. Brigadiers certainly will provide comrades with an immersive experience, inspired by the army mess bars of India. Visitors can enjoy live sports in selected rooms, card games and pool for those who wish to play while they eat and drink. To capture the atmosphere in full, the restaurant will reference Indian art deco design, creating a different vibe in each room. Dishes include madras mess mix, chaat masala pork scratchings and shellfish pakora pao. Focusing on classic methods of grilling and barbecuing meat, Brigadiers will also dedicate a section to mixed grill, on the bone cuts, steaks, ribs and chops. In true army mess style, there will be a large focus on the drinks side of things at Brigadiers, with an emphasis placed on the beer, with a monthly changing list of ten beers on tap.

Opened in June

Where: Brigadiers, London, UK

Website: www.brigadierslondon.com

St Leonards

Following on from the successful restaurant at Brunswick House, Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have now opened St Leonards in Shoreditch. Covering both ends of the spectrum, the restaurant is based around a large log-fuelled hearth which is adjacent to an ice bar. The menu is, in part, a tribute to the food that their mothers and grandmothers cooked and the food they cooked when the duo spent time in West Sussex on Pound Farm.

Opened in June

Where: 70 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4QX

Website: www.saintleonards.london

Café Wolseley

Café Wolseley

Guess which is the UK’s third most popular tourist attraction? No, not the Tower of London or the V&A, it’s… Bicester Village. Now guess where The Wolseley is opening their restaurant? Bingo, you got it. With more visitors than the National Gallery or the Tate Modern, 6.4 million tourists will now have the chance to visit Café Wolseley as London’s best-loved breakfast spot heads to the Oxfordshire high-end shopping mall.

Opened in June

Joe's Cafe

Joe’s Café looks like the type of place one might stumble across during a trip to pick up Miranda Priestly’s steak in Runway – smom,mmoth, sleek and unapologetically cool. Now, the much-loved city staple is relaunching under the direction of new head chef Anupam Som, after first opening in 1984. Housed within fashion store JOSEPH on Sloane Square, the fashion empire began in 1972 by the late Jospeh Ettedgui, and we’re grateful to him for feeding not only our appetites, but our fashion cravings too.

Opened in June

Where: 16 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, SW1X 9NB

Website: www.joseph-fashion.com

Banh Bao

It would appear that the people behind Vietnamese restaurant Banh Bao Brothers had some hearty, flavoursome meals as kids… and certainly didn’t hide their food in plants, under carpets or in other crevices for that matter. The new Vietnamese restaurant, Banh Bao Brothers, set to open this month, sees co-owner Chris Evernden’s belief that “the history of food is written by grandmas” re-created through flavours his business partner Raymond Ly’s grandma used. In other words, whilst our grandmas were handing out the rich tea’s and penguin biscuits, Chris and Raymond were recipients of flavours so good that they could create dishes like the Banh Boa – a steamed dish made with minced pork, Chinese sausage and a quails egg.

Opened in June

Where: Unit 6, 20 Leake St, Lambeth, SE1 7NN

Website: www.banhbaobrothers.com

Little Kolkata

It seems that the onward march of posh Indians is showing no sign of slowing as we welcome Little Kolkata to Covent Garden. And thank goodness, the past year has seen the Cinnamon, Dishoom and Kricket empires expanding as well as top-end newcomers like Indian Accent and Jamavar laying claim to this growing market, which is great for diners. But also leaves Little Kolkata with plenty to prove as it graduates from sell-out supper club to permanent restaurant next month. And by all accounts, it will live up to all the hype. Founded by Prabir Chattopadhyay and Biswajit Deb Das, the restaurant focusses on authentic Bengali cuisine, drawing on Chattopadhyay’s childhood in Calcutta and Deb Das’s Bangladeshi roots to produce a taste of home using their favourite spices and ingredients to create something that is both contemporary yet traditional. The pair built a very successful supper club that consistently sold out and realised that there was clearly a wide market for their food and style. Hence Little Kolkata, an alternative name for former Indian capital Calcutta.

Opened in June

Where: 51-53 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9JU

Website: www.littlekolkata.co.uk

Brother Marcus

Younger siblings, they always seem to come along and upstage their big brothers and it’s no different when it comes to restaurants. Brother Marcus, is actually getting a brother next month and this new site in Angel is set to be bigger and better than the original Balham site. Alongside their award-winning brunch, they’ll be serving up a brand-new evening menu of Mediterranean small and sharing plates, inspired by co-founder Tasos’ Cretan upbringing. Split into four sections, earth, land, sea and snacks with an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dishes, you’ll find the likes of fried feta with honey and sesame; homemade crisps with oregano and lemon zest salt; pork belly with a Metaxa and date glaze with apple labneh and walnuts and for pudding honey bombs with cinnamon syrup and sesame and sticky toffee and Mexata pudding with dates and cream.

Opened in June

Website: brothermarcus.co.uk

Ottolenghi

The man who inspires most of London’s dinner party menus, Ottolenghi is set to open a new restaurant with his team this summer. And since Brangelina, Bennifer and Hiddleswift are all no more, we’re going to bring you a new one, ROVI. No, we haven’t gone off on a tangent, it’s the name of the restaurant, it’s a little bit of NOPI, a little bit of Fitzrovia but it’s doing its own thing with vegetables and sustainability taking centre stage. There’ll be a new focus on fermentation, cooking over fire and making the most of leftovers to create new dishes. You’ll find leftover wine is turned into vinegars and coffee grinds being used to cook dishes such as Hasselback beetroots. Even the air won’t go to waste as the heat generated in the kitchen will be used to warm up the restaurant and the water used on site.

Opened in June

Where: 55 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, W1A 3AE

Website: www.ottolenghi.co.uk/rovi

Isla Ray

If you’re an advocate for food-well-travelled, or if you find choosing whether to have an Indian or Chinese takeaway more challenging than rocket science, then new Deptford restaurant Isla Ray is the nomad-enticing, food conglomeration you need to try. Owner Rachael Dalton-Loveland has taken inspo from a range of places she’s visited across the globe, including Melbourne, to create a diverse menu created, as she describes, “through inspiration of places I have visited around the world and this is a medley of all my favourite.” Rachael’s menu of choice consists of salad bowls, meze plates filled with falafel, hummus, feta, bread and olives, and plates of cured meats, cheeses, pickles and bread. Open sandwiches are also on offer with crusty sourdough concoctions that include brie and crushed walnuts with rosemary and maple syrup​ and ​Salmon, creme mascarpone and capers.

Opened in July

Where: 37 Deptford High Street, SE8 4AD 

Website: www.islaray.co.uk

Casa do Frango

Casa do Frango brings a new style of Portuguese cooking to London, it specialises in regional Algarvian-style piri piri chicken ‘frango’ cooked over wood charcoal using traditional techniques which are deceivingly simple. Alongside the chicken you’ll find grilled chorizo, octopus rice, grilled vegetables in piri piri and for pudding, Portugal’s famous custard tarts, chocolate mousse and almond tart.

Opened in July

Where: 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU

Website: www.casadofrango.co.uk

Tish

David S Levin has always dreamed of opening his own restaurant, over the years he has perfected his skills cooking for family and friends and now the time has come for him to open the doors to Tish, a contemporary kosher restaurant and bar serving up Jewish heritage family favourites. Opening in Belsize Park, the restaurant will be serving up a dairy-free menu of both classic and modern dishes such as Challah French toast with pear compote and maple syrup and Tish chicken schnitzel with roasted fingerling potatoes, peppers and caper berries. Head there on a Friday night or Saturday lunch time and you’ll find that they are celebrating the Jewish day of Shabbat with special prixe-fixe menus and family style feasting.

Opened in July

Where: 196 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, N32 2AG

Website: www.tish.london

Gazelle

Good minds think alike, especially if you’re chef Rob Roy Cameron and drinks specialist Tony Conigliaro. The two hospitality hotshots opened their Mayfair restaurant Gazelle, wrapped in an Edwardian building brimming with personality in Mayfair. If you’ve ever tuned into a spot of David Attenborough and witnessed a stint on gazelles, you’ll know they’re a rather sleek and elegant creature. In championing this vibe and corresponding with its name, the restaurant too will play host to a private members club vibe, set amongst two natural light flooded storeys.

Opened in July

Where: 48 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4DH

Website: www.gazelle-mayfair.com

Chakra, Kensington

Sleepy Kingston on Thames could probably do with a little spicing up, right? Well now it will, as Indian restaurant Chakra opens its second restaurant, right in the centre of Kingston. Kensington has been good to Chakra, the Indian restaurant has built up a loyal following and the food is some of the best Indian cuisine in London, so the perfect time for a second version. And with Kingston prime for the taking, they’ve brought things to the river. Bringing with them a team of Indian chefs at the extensive lunch and evening menus will include some of Chakra’s most popular dishes like their lamb rogan josh, their signature Kashmiri lamb with ginger, chilli, saffron and whole spices and their vegan-friendly Chakra channa.

Opened in July

Where: 33C Holland Street, Kensington, W8 4LX

Website: www.chakra.restaurant

Hotel Indigo London - 1 Leicester Square

Hotel Indigo can now say it is home to the only rooftop terrace in Leicester Square. The new terrace will give the best film premiere celeb-spotting from up-high, or provide some respite from bumping into people with shopping bag, in desperate search of a cocktail. Head there for sundowners, late-night drinking and a range of modern dishes as you take in the sweeping panorama of London.

Opened in August

Where: 1 Leicester Square, West End, WC2H 7NA

Website: www.ihg.com

Avobar

Instagram, unicorns, matcha lattes and cactuses, nothing quite matches the ultimate millennial icon: the avocado. Yes, the humble avocado has found itself at the centre of all that is right and supposedly all that is wrong with us millennials. Anyway, why are we talking about avocado? Because London’s first restaurant dedicated to the fruit will be opening at this month and we’re feeling #blessed. Simply named, Avobar, the restaurant (filled with living plant walls and natural materials inspired by California) will be joining the likes of Frenchie, The Oystermen, Sticks & Sushi, Ollie Dabbous’ Henrietta and Flat Iron on Henrietta Street. The menu will include the Avo Bun Burger, shakshuka bowls and of course avocado on toast which you can either have on sourdough or sweet potato ‘toast’ with toppings including smashed avo served with a homemade coconut labneh and beetroot hummas with feta. You’ll be able to take away too, so you can eat your smashed avo in front of Netflix. Just remember to Instagram it, because of course phones eat first.

Opened in August

Where: 23-24 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8ND

Website: www.avobar.co.uk

Camillo Benso

There’s a new kid on the Mayfair block, and we’re intrigued. Milan: best known as a fast-paced metropolis that champions a frilled frock, bold boot, and over-all some very coveted fashion. However, the food is also worth a sample and this is something restaurant Camillo Benso sure does recognise as it brings Milan’s dining style to Mayfair. Everything’s that bit more exciting with a bit of sibling rivalry thrown in though, which is why we’re interested to see how this new Milanese hot-spot will compare to big sister in Milan. If you haven’t tried Amaro yet, Camillo Benso will give you the perfect opportunity to do so. The Italian herbal liqueur will be just one of the drinks found amongst a conglomerate of cocktails.

Opened in August

Where: 8-10 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, W1S 1LJ

Website: www.camillobenso.co.uk

Kahani

Chelsea got a new restaurant this month, Kahani, from chef Peter Joseph. Having been the executive chef at Tamarind for ten years where he helped the restaurant maintain its Michelin star, Peter is now venturing out on his own with his first solo venture and he’s secured a rather nice spot in Chelsea to start.

Opening up opposite Cadogan Hall, Kahani which means ‘story’ in Hindi is inspired by Peter’s upbringing in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India but will use seasonal and sustainable British ingredients as a nod to his other home. Bringing a sense of community through eating and sharing food together, starters will be served as finger food, we’ve got our eye on the venison, kid goat and chicken tikka samosas. There’s a section dedicated to classic dishes which are cooked either by a tandoor or robata grill and will include smoked Malabar prawns with coconut and Keralan spices; Gressingham duck with coriander, apple chutney and a kumquat salad and Tandoori broccoli marinated in honey, nigella seeds and wheat crisps. Showing that there is a lot more to Indian cooking than curry, there’s  just two on the menu and puddings, which can often be neglected, will take a centre role with the likes of chilli chocolate mousse bomb and a melt in the middle cheesecake on the menu. To accompany will be wines from around the world as well as an inventive cocktail list.

Opened in September

Designed by Kai Interiors, the 90-cover restaurant is reminiscent of India’s national bird, the peacock, with rich colours whilst bespoke wallpaper and fabrics will highlight many of India’s fables. There’ll be an open view to the dessert area (which is where you’ll most likely find me), a private dining room that seats ten and a backbar inspired by India’s ancient stairwells.

Where: 1 Wilbraham Place, Chelsea, SW1X 9AE

Website: www.kahanilondon.com

Hotel Café Royal

Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

When David Bowie came to throw a retirement party for his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, in the 1970 he chose the notorious Café Royal, the central London haunt of celebrities and creatives and now in honour of both Bowie and Ziggy Stardust, Hotel Café Royal is opening a new bar, Ziggy’s.

The bar is a playful tribute to the singer with cocktails inspired by both Bowie’s life and his famous album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ with each drink named after a lyric from the record. We’ve got our eye on the Tiger on Vaseline, inspired by the 70s classic the Piña Colada but with a modern twist of Cachaça, Tanaka spiced rum, roasted pineapple juice and lime juice and topped with homemade coconut and white chocolate foam. If you’re a fan of martinis, then you would have made a good drinking buddy for Bowie who had a particular penchant for them and so Ziggy’s has created the Femme Fatale which also links with sushi you’ll find in Laurent (the first-floor restaurant adjacent to the bar). It’s made using Japanese liqueur sake and French aperitif Byrrh and topped with a single rose petal.

Throughout the room there are a curated selection of images of David Bowie by his official photographer, Mick Rock, who worked with Bowie in the last years of Ziggy’s career. Alongside popular and familiar pictures of Ziggy, there’ll also be more intimate photographs, some of which have rarely been seen before. The opening of Ziggy’s is part of a big year for Hotel Café Royal, in June they saw the opening of Laurent, The Green Bar has just launched a new cocktail menu and in November Albert Adrià who has just been voted The World’s Best Pastry Chef will be opening his first permanent site outside of Spain, Cakes & Bubbles.

Opened in September

Where: 68 Regent Street, Piccadilly, W1B 4DY

Website: www.hotelcaferoyal.com

Old Compton Brasserie

From gloom and war emerged baby booms, ‘mod’ fashions and mini-skirts, and it’s without a doubt that the 60s are worthy of a recap, which is why Old Compton Brasserie, n the heart of Soho is sure to stir up the nostalgia. The artsy drinking and dining space seeks to relight the sixties Soho fire, equipped with pop paintings of Twiggy and Kate Moss, and in true houndstooth and mod style, there’s an abundance of colour throughout the space.

Holding hands with the theme is a curated cocktail list, by The Talented Mr Fox, which will feature The Paul Raymond, an ode to the King of Soho made with champagne, strawberry, white chocolate and more and the Regina Fong which pays homage to the female impersonator who made an impact in the 60s. On the food front, it’s British munching on the menu, from the ol’ classic ham, egg and chips to start your morning off and lazy meet-up meals of pigs in blankets with creamy mash and onion jus.

As Twiggy once said “the sixties were a time when ordinary people could do extraordinary things” and we think Old Compton Brasserie is going to rejuvenate us with that bit of the extraordinary.

Opened in September

Where: 36-38 Old Compton Street

Website: www.oldcomptonbrasserie.co.uk

Rotunda Bar and Restaurant

London St Pancras (0.3 miles)

Rotunda in Kings Cross had a refresh and opened with a 50% off soft launch before opening fully on the 24th of September. Highlights include meat from their up-north farm, a huge meat fridge display area, a new bar and outdoor terrace and a new varied menu with meat highlights.

Opened in September

Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1 9AG, United Kingdom

Website: www.rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk

Mrs Fogg's

Although it wasn’t ‘ladies first’, intrepid maritime explorer Mrs Fogg (Mr Fogg’s better half), today arrives on the London scene…fashionably late, might we add to set things right! Welcome to Mrs Fogg’s Maritime Club and Distillery.

Inspired by Aouda, the explorer Phileas Fogg’s wife in the Jules Verne novel, the new venue from Inception Group will continue its journey of avid cocktail inventions and downright different dishes, with a nod to Auoda’s nautical heritage. Flinging its doors open until 11pm, Mrs Fogg’s will quench your appetite with small plates like Keralan Fried Chicken, Mini Mango Salad, Sweet Potato Pani Puri and Jackfruit Biryani, served up in uber cute Indian tiffin boxes that’ll have you snapping pictures all eve long.

Opened in November

Where: Mrs Fogg’s, 37 Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS

Website: www.mr-foggs.com

Brera

Brera opened in Canary Wharf as an all day coffee specialist, restaurant and wine bar. The offers guests authentic coffee and fresh Italian produce from first light, transforming into a dinner and drinks destination in the evening.

Opened in November

Where: 31 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, E14 8RR

Website: www.cafebrera.com

Cecconi's

For a newly opened venue Redchurch Townhouse, which houses Cecconi’s, has more buzz than an angry bee! Serving up pasta, seafood and chichetti, Cecconi’s is a place filled with post-work drinkers, suit-wearers and birthday candle blower-outers. Overall, however, it seems like a real family dinner location, littered with alluring artwork and ideal for big overdue get-togethers where conversations call for raised voices over the hubbub of diners. Contributing to the atmosphere is a menu great food and wine, which is plentiful at Cecconi’s. The menu is separated into cicchetti, pasta, wood oven pizza, carpaccio and tartare.

When we visited, we delved into the avocado and chickpea dip, which is presented like hummus with bread for dipping. It’s delicious, and nice and light before a more stodgy pasta dish (which is a total must-have). Pasta ranges from rotoli to paccheri with tomato and burrata, and whilst it’s not an extensive list, it’s clearly a well thought-through one. The food can be ideally washed down by a sumptuous glass of red, or an Aperol! And don’t forget to grab a shot of Limoncello at some point throughout the meal.

P.s. On a Sunday, you can opt for the Sunday Fest option. This includes pastas, pizzas, meatballs, roast meats and more for a fixed price.

Opened in November

Where: 58-60 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP

Website: www.cecconisshoreditch.com

Onima

Onima plays with sumptuous colours one might find inside any up-market exclusive venue, blood reds and black taking precedence; a far cry from staple Mykonos embellishments of terracotta and shades of blue. It’s cosy whilst being luxe, emanating real date-night vibes. Designed by Greek interior designers Archset, there’s a real love affair going on with plush velvet sofas and grandiose art-work. Walking into the restaurant, the eye catches the glimmering bar; a centre-point where mixologists are working their magic. The interiors blend well with the dimly-lit room, providing a strikingly sexy atmosphere. And, on the sexy front, the loos are follow suit. It’s one of those where everything looks good, big appetite or no. The food waltzes between Mediterranean and Asian influence and mixes flavours of Greek, Italian and Japanese cuisine. Sashay between a menu emboldened by options, from meat offerings to fish, salads or mezze. On par with the chichi interior, the menu also boasts a ‘From The Josper’ section; this being coveted food such as Wagya beef ribeye and Greek seabass cooked over Japanese “Binchotan” charcoal.

Opened in November

Where: 1-3 Avery Row, Mayfair, W1K 4AJ

Website: www.onimarestaurant.com

The Ivy in the Park

There’s always excitement when there’s a new Ivy afoot (even if they have been coming thick-and-fast over recent years). The Ivy Collection opened The Ivy in the Park in Canada Square Park this autumn. The restaurant, situated in Canary Wharf, overlooks the green spaces where events are held throughout the year – hence the ‘In The Park’ clarification, presumably.

Opened in November

Where: 50 Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5FW

Website: www.theivycanarywharf.com

Giggling Squid

Giggling Squid – what a name! This new resto has totally hit the nail on the head when it comes to cute and catchy names, plus it’s Thai food so loads of boxes are getting ticked here! The restaurant has a cute back story; the owner and her husband sat in a tiny basement of a fisherman’s cottage back in the good ol’ days of 2002, they chatted and chatted and thus came their idea – let’s just blimmin’ create a Thai tapas menu. Here we are, god knows how many years later, and there’s a new kid on the restaurant block that we’re terrifically excited to try! With unusual flavour combos and a huge range on offer, it’s one not to miss in 2019!

Opened in December

Website: www.gigglingsquid.com

Din Tai Fung

Saying something is the ‘best in the world’ is a huge claim in any case, but we feel like the one made about these delicious looking dumplings from Din Tai Fung may well be true. On the 5th of December, as Christmas mingling began to crowd the city, a restaurant extravaganza that began in Taiwan in 1958 as a cooking oil retail shop, threw its doors open in London’s Covent Garden. And thus the world’s best dumplings landed on our shores. The pork dumplings – also known as pork xiao long bao – have been raucously raved about across the globe, receiving various shout-outs and accolades for their simplistic visage and spot-on flavours.

Now the wait may be over, but waiting was still something we had to do, as the opening saw stretches of people queuing around the block to get their hands on the world’s best dumplings. And yet the question on everyone’s lips seems to be why has it taken this long to bring the dumpling giants to London, with 140 restaurants already across the world? Well perhaps in a state of sorriness, they’ve decided to open not one, but two restaurants in London. The first being this already popular joint in CG, and the second will be opening in Centre Point Building in 2019. Hurrah! Din Tai Fung has got its hands on two Michelin stars, including the accolade of one of the world’s ten best restaurants as named by the New York Times. The dumplings are folded eighteen times in total, woah, and will take a huge team of chefs to prepare them before you get to delve in. Suffice to say they definitely don’t shirk on care and presentation. This attention to detail also seeps through into the restaurant, as pictured below, with interiors reminiscent of their Taiwanese history. But, if dumplings aren’t your thing (we’re not judging, promise) then you can still go along and munch on other Taiwanese food variations, inclusive of chicken soup, Oriental salads, and fried rice dishes.

Opened in December

Where: 5 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8PT

Website: www.dintaifung.com.my

Wild Food Café

The Wild Food Cafe in Neal’s Yard is such a London staple – and if you’re yet to visit put it on your 2019 bucket list. Seriously! Joel and Aiste, the duo behind the vegan eatery, headed to Islington this December to wow with their creations on Upper Street. The new location, which we’re sure will have queue’s out the door in no time, focuses on freshly foraged wild and artisanal ingredients, with a notable commitment to the organic. All that’s really left to say is if you liked their first spot – and I mean who doesn’t – then you’re bound to be a huge fan of this one!

Opened in December

Where: Wild Food Café 269 - 270 Upper Street N1 2UQ

Website: www.wildfoodcafe.com/islington

Neal's Yard

This quirky new spot is our hope at redeeming ourselves after stuffing our faces over Christmas. Redemption Bar in Seven Dials is a 45-cover space and the third brand to open, offering guilt-free food in the form of sumptuous vegan and gluten-free offerings. Staples will still be ablaze on the menu including pulled barbecue jackfruit and the zucchini pesto pasta. You’ll also have the option to takeaway, you lucky thing!

Where: 2 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9AT

Website: www.redemptionbar.co.uk

Tamarind Restaurant

Focusing on the idea that the kitchen should be the heart of any home (rightly so), Tamarind Mayfair is throwing its doors back open after an eight-month refurb! With new being the word of the moment, the restaurant will also have a refurbed menu including tandoori quail and masala tossed lamb brain. The altered interior showcases a distressed gold, pale grey, pink and cream colour palette. It’s luxe, and we love it!

Where: 20 Queen Street, W1J 5PR

Website: www.tamarindrestaurant.com

Art Yard Bar & Kitchen

If not for the love of food go to Art Yard Bar & Kitchen for its alluring interiors! The new venue certainly lives up to its namesake with quirky lights proving the centrepiece of the space. The menu triumphs British produce through the seasons under the influence of Head Chef Lee Streeton, formerly of 45 Jermyn Street.

Where: 2 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 9JU

Website: www.banksidehotel.com

And for the 1% of you who managed to get to the end of this article, here’s some upcoming openings to look forward to this year.

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