Wowee, what a year for London’s foodie scene! We’ve seen newly opened restaurants bagging already themselves a Michelin star, food legendary names opening their first ever foodie endeavours and instaworthy gems awaiting your discovery. So in celebration of 2019’s finest restaurant openings, we’ve popped together a mega list of our favourites. Here’s to another year of feasting!
There’s a new Chinese restaurant in town, and it’s a contender. Imperial Treasure, in St James’s Waterloo Place, opened in January and brought with it a wealth of experience from Asia where the group have already amassed a haul of four Michelin stars. Signature dishes include caviar on egg white; soft shell crab with soya crumble; crispy Iberico barbecued pork belly; salt and pepper deep fried eel; and silver cod steamed with chillies. Perhaps it would be inauspicious to sample the chilled pig’s shank, though I’m assured it’s excellent.
Occupying the rotunda of the former BBC headquarters, Endo at the Rotunda has seen Endo Kazutoshi extending his culinary prowess with a 15-seat restaurant that he hopes will gift him a Michelin.
This new venue may well be called Redemption, but how does one redeem themselves after eating a whole bunch of wholefood vegan gluten-free dishes and a ton of booze-less cocktails, we ask?! Well very easily is the answer, because newly opened Redemption in Seven Dials could well be the world’s healthiest restaurant. Natural unrefined sugars, created by co-founder and executive chef Andrea Waters, make up the menu and, in keeping to Dry January all year round, you can try out many a booze-less cocktails. This is a no alcohol zone, but health is at the core. We love you Redemption!
Farzi Café launched all the way back in 2014 in India and has since spread its influence with nine locations in the subcontinent and one in Dubai in its catalogue. The restaurant showcases Indian food, and prides itself on creating an allusion with its cuisine. Now in London, visitors can enjoy generous flavours and gastronomic illusion.
This is a vegan opening we think is kind of a big dill, as it plants itself in the city! Puns aside, Stem + Glory (whose name we’re totally digging) is an award-winning restaurant in Cambridge that boasts breakfast dishes like scrambled tofu on toast and banana bread to Asian and Middle-Eastern influenced mains for lunch and dinner. Now, it’s set to put down roots in London and it’s a must-try for any veggie lovers.
The Dixon is the vibrant and vivacious new addition to the Autograph Collection as a boutique hotel that champions local culture, art and design. The quirky little bolthole is situated on Tooley St and resides in a former police station and yes, you can find original jail cells in the Provisioners restaurant, making the hotel not only hospitable but historic… and meaning you should be on your best behaviour lest you wind up behind the bars! We’re only kidding, the cells are but a small feature compared to the artsy intricacies of the menu, and the drinks served up in The Courtroom Bar where you’ll find mugshots of criminals tried there from the early 20th Century.
Fifty Cheyne opened in February and sits on Chelsea Embankment. The new space plays the part of a restaurant and swanky cocktail bar from the musical imagination of Sally Green, the Old Vic Theatre’s Founding Director and Proprietor of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club! The menu boasts a British cuisine, brought together by Head Chef Iain Smith, who’s focus is on flavoursome seasonal ingredients. The latest hot-spot overlooks the River Thames and Cheyne Gardens, and sits just a stone’s throw from the Kings Road and Albert Bridge.
Oh mamma, this French restaurant group is getting big! Extending their influence to Shoreditch, Big Mamma opened a new location in February and it’s far to say we were pretty excited. The two-tiered venue houses space for 150 diners with Italian-inspired interiors and the menu is littered with coveted ingredients such as black truffle and huge wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Perhaps the biggest February opening depending on your palette, The Adam Handling Chelsea launched as the flagship restaurant within the Belmond Cadogan Hotel. The restaurant is the project of renowned Chef Patron Adam Handling, who has been preparing the restaurant for the past year as an homage to Britain.
Battersea babes, this one’s for you!
The Oak SW11 is a former industrial space which swung open its doors to give us the gift of mediterranean small plates. The space sits snug on the south bank of the Thames and houses a bar, lounge, dining room, centrepiece dining table and a large mezzanine level which we will be frequenting for a G&T or two over the summer months. The SW11 venue is the little sister to Jasper Gorst’s The Oak W2, which to this day remains a stalwart part of Notting Hill.
Momo is a simply iconic, as a restaurant that has reigned true in London for 22 years. Currently, to maintain its stalwart title, the resto had a refurb that had us queuing outside for the big reveal – and to get our hands on its North African and Mediterranean cuisine – and now, it’s finally open!
The brasserie now boasts a downstairs refined 19th Century styled cocktail bar “Kwānt.” It’s headed up by bartender Erik Lorincz, previously of the American Bar at The Savoy, so no biggie then?! Executive Head Chef Hervé Deville has a brand new menu for you to try that will highlight his culinary prowess with a focus on Mediterranean dishes and hints of North African flavour.
Yopo? More like yippee! The new restaurant in The Mandrake has opened this month and it’s all jolly exciting. Yopo is actually a plant found in the jungles of Venezuela and the space is just as outlandishly experimental as its shell, The Mandrake. Menu highlights will include charcoal grilled octopus with artichoke & olive empanada and monkfish, smoked paprika butter, spinach & artichokes, all of which will adopt the sense of escapism that the restaurant holds so dear.
A new fine dining restaurant sashayed into the city in the form of Xier by Carlo Scotto. Located in Marylebone, the restaurant is the first solo project of the chef, offering two distinct spaces, a ten-course tasting menu coupled with pared-down luxury flooding the space. Carlo draws inspo from his various travels through Europe and Asia, with cuisine taking on a global influence seeping primarily European flavour.
Umm, since when did a kitchen and bakery look this darn good? We’re totally A.O.K about this new venture founded by Kelly Landesberg, which opened its doors back in March in Marylebone. Equipped with a delightful seasonal menu on offer akin to the refreshing and airy interiors, and refined sugar is a complete no-no!
A wander downstairs will lead you to where the magic happens, as freshly made patisserie, viennoiserie and a variety of specialty breads created by Sebastien Chiono are whipped up. Designed to embody a sense of feel good fun and opulence, the new spot is wellness on a plate with Instagrammable settings to boot, and we highly recommend a visit!
Restaurant names are getting more fun by the hour, especially this one which we don’t know whether to find funny or shout “oi, who you calling a fat pundit?” Fatt Pundit is the latest Indo Chinese offering residing on bustling Berwick Street that triumphs traditional Chinese cooking techniques and implements bursting spices.
Basically if you love a spicy dumpling originating from Tibet then this is definitely your bag when it comes to restaurants. The menu is jam-packed full of Indian and Chinese flavours and the venue, we believe, is set to be a big rival to the other Thai offerings scattered across Soho.
Pasticceria Marchesi is Milan’s most established bakery, being founded in 1824 and now owned by Prada. The bakery is famed for its beautiful, mint green interior, its sugary sweets and panettone and is pretty much a Milanese landmark. The bakery arrived this April in a new spot on Mount Street immediately opposite The Connaught and down the road from Berkeley Square. Expect an espresso bar, favourites from the Milan shop’s menu and, of course, lots and lots of panettone!
The Sea, docking up in Chelsea, is somewhere you’re going to want to dive into. If you take the plunge, you’ll enjoy fish galore at the chef-led fishmonger, deli and seafood bar. It’s all about fresh, fresh, fresh and chefs will work tirelessly to educate guests about all things fishy-dishy. From interactive masterclasses (oyster shucking, fish filleting and curing) and regular guest fishmonger series, there’s something for everyone.
So, if you’re on the sea food and eat it diet, this one’s for you…
If you like buns, hun, then how about this? Bun House opened its doors to its new Chinatown restaurant on Lisle Street recently and it created quite the flurry. The Chinese steam bun favourite has two new additions to its menu, a beef brisket option and a soft, brioche-style pineapple bun, but not to fear, cult favourites will still have their pride of place.
Embr Kitchen, the brainchild of chef Dougy Robertson, who champions sustainability and ethically sourced dishes, brought his farms to fork concept to London in April and we’re still going slightly crazy over how good it is. All in bowls, the offerings showcase delicious food including British meat and vegetables, with hints of Brazilian flavours and Scandinavian cooking techniques. In siding with the movement of going green, everything is recycled, reused or composted, plus the food makes for the perfect fuel for an on-the-go Londoner. What are you waiting for?
As the hub of all things foodie, and the place to blame for us piling on the pounds, Borough Market will play host to Mimo’s first UK outpost, as the insatiably popular cookery school from San Sabastien brings its culinary prowess to our city. Current venues reside in sunnier climes – Seville, Mallorca and The Algarve – and now, as Mimo hits our home turf, we can revel in the cookery classes it has to offer.
Classes are themed around different local area and you’ll enjoy delicious dishes such as Galician octopus and prawn skewers, whilst washing down the flavours with an abundance of drinks, of which many of the ingredients will be sourced from Borough Market.
Ready, steady, cook!
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.
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, centred around the fire hearth where cooking and families come together.
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.
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…
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, opening in May. Each spiralling room feels like an escape from the bustling city streets of Waterloo helping to create an intimate feeling intricately decorated with hand-painted furniture, frescoed ceilings and theatrical artwork.
Ooo Mama! Big Mamma opened Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia and boy is it a whopper of a resto. If you’re familiar with Gloria, the epic Italian trattoria that opened in Feb that has since infiltrated Insta feeds all over, then you’ll be familiar with the Big Mamma family.
Their latest child/restaurant features 20,000 bottles of spirits lining the walls – sounds like our Friday nights – and 280 covers, 60 of which will be snug on the outdoor terrace. The menu boasts a slightly ‘over the top’ nature, made comprising small cicchetti as well as larger platters and well, our tummies are positively rumbling…
When the news broke of Wild Honey St James spreading its pollen to a new, coveted London location, foodies were practically banging their well-travelled knives and forks on tables. And, in June of this year, as Chef Anthony Demetre opened the doors to the restaurant at a new site at Sofitel London St James, those with their ears to the ground on the culinary front were prowling the web for croutons of feedback.
Housed inside the dominant and grand building standing on 8 Pall Mall, is a smorgasbord of alternative dishes, with French-based contemporary, seasonal cooking methods still at the helm, partnered with a nod to the British Isles, where Wild Honey first gained notoriety. It’s clear to see that, twelve years on, Wild Honey despite a change of location was still sensationally popular.
The Queen’s favourite hotel opened their royal doors to a brand new restaurant this June for the first time in 109 years. So you could say Siren’s entrance was a pretty big deal. Showcasing the best of Cornish produce, Siren’s menu shines through with seafood at the forefront.
June saw Lucky Cat’s doors swing open in Mayfair for the first time, bringing with it a new style of Asian inspired flair. Filled with plush banquettes, mirrored ceilings and low lighting, Lucky Cat takes inspiration from Asian eating houses and the late-night lounges of 1930s Tokyo. The menu celebrates Asian cuisine through a series of signature dishes, culinary styles and cooking methods.
The Grand Duchess is the second offering from the London Shell Co. team that’s moored on the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Central. On board, you’ll be dining on the freshest fish available in London, plus a few friendly British classics thrown in.
The Berkeley has been up to its old tricks again, this time with the launch of The Berkeley Bar and Terrace. You’ll be channelling your inner bougie wine connoisseur in no time, indulging in a fine selection of rare wines, Champagne and dark spirits.
From July 15th, they engulfed guests in the rich design story conceived by Irish interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan thanks to the opening of The Berkeley Bar and Terrace. It’s the second bar to open at this landmark five star hotel joining the notorious Blue Bar, which opened back in 2000.
There’s a really intimate feel to this new bar, with a sense of old world glamour and its own terrace for the warmer evenings overlooking St Paul’s Church. The space oozes 1970s vibes thanks to the decor and the central material is a stunning walnut wood, taken from a 300-year-old tree from the Fullback Estate, Lincolnshire. It’s coupled with a colour palette of soft corals, creams and pinks to offset its earthy richness. It’s so dreamy, and you simply must go!
Opening to the applause of Londoners all round, Heritage veers away from tradition with its classic Swiss dishes and Swedish theme that captivates the restaurant space on Rupert Street. Located a short walk from the buzz of Soho, Chinatown and Piccadilly Circus, is the wafts of fondue, raclette, rösti, charbonnade and more, that can be found at the charming restaurant. Alongside this, wash down food with wine, cocktails and more amongst refreshing, rustic interiors.
Oh, sultry Skylark, how we adore you! This roof garden is the kind that makes you plead for sunnier days to consume summer, especially as it makes for the most marvellous sun trap. Perched overlooking Notting Hill, you can people watch galore and gaze at the stomping ground that saw Hugh Grant finally see sense and ask Julia Roberts on a date! Opening for lunch, dinner or simply drinks every Saturday and Sunday, the coveted spot has Insta goals written all over, no filter needed.
Bonjour Monsieur! After a successful six-months, the famed pop-up restaurant Monsieur Le Duck has finally landed itself a site, in the heart of Clerkenwell in fact, and is pushing out its duck rillettes, confit duck wings and French-inspired cocktail list from the comfort of its brand spanking new residency. The famed eatery plans to open more like it so watch this space, and definitely try the duck burger upon visiting… you’d be quackers not to!
This neat newbie is a gym-cum-foodie spot, positively oozing wellness. WE11 is the Great Portland Street venue that moulds together co-working with work-outs, all accessible simply by clicking! The space has been created to appease freelancers that keep their ear to the fitness ground, but struggle with the restrictive nature of some mainstream gyms. Expect chic spaces, designed by award-winning architects Bergman Interiors, that include The Lounge. This is a place to fuel up on lunch, protein shakes and the likes whilst you indulge in the fast, free Wi-Fi and cosy seats, before hitting the gym!
Thereâs a new kid on the Greenwich block and about time too (geddit, time? Like, Greenwich mean time?). Anyway, itâs called Mama Fuego and itâs all about Oz, with a sixties feel and milk bar! Wondering what a milk bar is? Us too. And we need to set the record straight as for some reason it keeps conjuring up images of cows waggling their udders! Hmmâ¦
Mama Fuego boats interiors as whacky as its name. Weâre talking playful yet glamorous, with hints of old school glamour infused throughout. Pairing antipodean offerings with Latin American flavours, this architecturally exciting venue covers all food bases.Â Altogether, youâll find six spaces which include the milk bar, the restaurant and the sunken lounge bar, each of which are as eccentric as they sound.
Just when we thought we’d heard every restaurant name under the sun, a new one hatched in central delightfully named Eggslut. Yep, you read that correctly. This LA-based diner has flown the nest over the Atlantic ocean launching their very first London venue, and it opened in August! This new eatery landed on Portobello Road and it’s been stirring up a bit of a name for itself. Mainly because of it’s charming name. But also because it’s serving up the ultimate comfort food – an eggy bap!
This LA fast-food joint serves up an upscaled McMuffin but they’re committed to using local suppliers, and they’ve certainly picked out some of London’s finest for the new branch!
Bloomsbury Street Kitchen brought snug neighbourhood vibes with it when it arrived in London this August. The kitchen showcases contemporary Mediterranean and Japanese small plates, alongside a variety of wines, sake and signature cocktails to get you in the mood for food! The interior magic fuses together the locations of the food, with Mediterranean gardens and Japan’s minimalist vibes intertwining.
BaoziInn, London Bridge, opened this month to the pitter patter of hungry Londoners heading in its direction. The 120-cover restaurant is known on most food blocks as a place to go for divine dumplings, Cantonese dim sum with Hunan and Sichuan influences, and dan dan noodles. Oh, and skewers and buns, and just about anything that tastes good! At the London Bridge outpost you’ll find dishes such as roast duck smoked with cherry wood, adventurous dishes such as Chef’s special recipe barbeque roast duck, and wonton noodles flown in specially from Yuen Long, Hong Kong.
If there’s one thing better than Italian food, it’s more Italian food. How about all day Italian food? Pass the olives…
Terra Terra is the new Italian restaurant from the folks that brought us the Mondrian, Manhattan Loft Project and Dreamland in Margate, and so the bar’s set high. And it looks like this North West London Finchley Road eatery is going to take that bar and down every drink in it because the restaurant is, of course, serving all day bar snacks and Italian cocktails – an Italian Mary (vodka, tomato juice, balsamic, Mediterranean herbs and pickles, in case you were wondering) anyone? The drinks are the the creation of mixologist Walter Pintus, formerly of The Ritz, so this is the level we’re working with here.
Of course, the main event is the food. And, unsurprisingly, the menu is looking mouthwateringly delicious, with Italian dishes inspired by the food markets of Florence and Bologna.
To find out more, pop this way!
Get yourselves to Charlie’s. Why? Because it’s by far one of the openings of the year at Brown’s Hotel. Named after Lord Charles Forte, the restaurant prides itself on serving high quality, authentic ingredients from suppliers across the globe, whilst embracing a bygone era of service.
Following a successful thirteen years at the top of the restaurant scene, Galvin at Windows has recently decided to take its offering to new heights and revamp its bar. Enter 10º, romantically named after evening’s golden hour and dressed with burnt orange and ochre interiors courtesy of Aylott + Van Tromp. The reimagined bar space radiates a dusky golden glow, usually only achievable with an £80 tub of Clarins self-tan, and an impressive amount of greenery for a venue that is approximately 280 feet above Hyde Park.
An inventive fusion of French and Korean bites have been curated to complement the drinks offering, led by crowd-pleasing stand-out dish Joo’s Fried Chicken. Elsewhere cocktails are led by crowd-pleasing spirits – 10º appears to be quite pally with Pernod Ricard – with darker spirits often balanced by sweeter or fresher recipes.
Mama Shelter is a snug sanctuary in Hackney hidden away from the cacophony of London’s streets. As a self-proclaimed home away from home, Mama Shelter is an eclectic, playful spot, sporting whacky interiors from Parisian designers Dion & Arles. Inside, expect several private atelier-style meeting rooms, a spacious and playfully designed bar and restaurant, outdoor courtyard and Japanese-style karaoke rooms, ideal for anyone who wants to, well, do anything really – Mama Shelter is your oyster!
Following an extensive refurbishment, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught reopened this October, and boy, is it looking beautiful! If you’re after an evening to remember, book yourself in at the newly installed Chef’s Table. You’ll find glorious bespoke Matteo Gonet lamps dazzling on the customised pink, marble tabletop, surrounded by plush armchairs. The menu has also received a glistening update, with each meal starting with a seasonal consommé to cleanse your palette to begin the dining experience.
Looking for a new sustainable restaurant to add to your list? Say hello to Wilder, the all-new restaurant sourcing a 100% of their produce from the British Isles, with as much local as possible. McLellan has partnered with restaurateur Sir Terence Conran opening his first solo venture down in the basement of east London institution, Boundary London. As the name suggests, each dish will include a wild element – many of which McLellan foraged himself! On the menu expect to find: bread cracker with carrot emulsion and carrot oil; venison, beets, elderberries and rye; and meadowsweet with white chocolate and fig leaf oil.
Seafood and wine? Utter perfection. Which is why we can’t tell you how excited we are about the newly launched Lyon’s Seafood and Wine Bar! The resto focuses on exceptional, sustainable seafood from the British Isles and sheds a light on showcasing independent wine producers. The menu is decided by the fresh catch of the day boats, with much of it cooked over charcoal added another layer of flavour.
The magnificent duo behind Tart London, Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison, and founder of Lock Studios, Tom Warren have launched the newest neighbourhood resto you need on your radar, and there’s no doubt the Insta-worthy dishes will help you dazzle away your following. You can expect Lucy and Jemima’s signature wholesome fare making its way onto the menu. A little favourite of ours is their mushroom tortellini with fermented shiitake dashi, celeriac and Sichuan oil. Alongside the Wild by Tart resto will be a bar, deli, juice and coffee kiosk, retail store, events space and photography studio (wowee, that’s a mouthful!).
Over the last few months we’ve seen an influx of rainforest-inspired restaurants and bars popping up all over the city, with the newest addition being 14 Hills. Trees, shrubs and foliage fill the restaurant from floor to ceiling, and the views showcase the best of London’s skyline twinkling at night – it’s truly magical. As you waltz through the doors, your eyes will be drawn impressively to the oval onyx bar slotted in the centre of the room boasting an extensive cocktail menu and stellar pink stalls.
As for food, the grab-and-go Deli serves up sandwiches, salads and freshly baked cakes, cookies and tarts, while diners in the restaurant can expect to enjoy a blend of British cooking with a touch of French flair. Pull up a pew at the bar and enjoy the rainforest ride.
The Grill at The Dorchester has already built up quite the reputation. At the helm, 26-year-old Tom Booton has relaunched the restaurant into a brand new realm. The youngest head chef to grace the floors of the luxurious 88-year-old restaurant, Booton’s menu champions British cuisine and celebrates the rich British ingredients we’ve all grown to know and love.
Following the tragic closure of the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in April, and the death of Joël Robuchon himself in August 2018, all of the foodies out there were extremely excited to hear about the new opening of Le Comptoir Robuchon this November. The chef’s name lives on with the two new restaurants.
Le Comptoir’s menu replicates Robuchon’s love of simpler things, with an emphasis primarily on light and small dishes, while Le Deli serves lunchtime and breakfast classics so you’ll be glad to know there’s another brekkie spot to add to your never-ending list…
Prepare to be guided along the Amazon river, uncovering the Latin American culinary experience, right in the heart of Mayfair as you enter Amazónico. You’ll find yourself surrounded by tropical animals, even a peacock will be gracing the bar countertop. As for food, expect Peruvian-style sushi, traditional Brazilian dishes and cachaça cocktails.
If you’ve been reading The Handbook for a while now you’ll know we’re a little bit obsessed with Gaucho. Whether it’s their succulent Argentinian steaks or their dog friendly lunches, we’re all over it. So when we heard Gaucho Charlotte Street was getting a major refurb, we were jumping with joy!
As you wander through the doors, you’ll find yourself transported into their private wine room before making your way through to the main restaurant. Expect flamboyant Buenos Aires inspired interiors, exceptional food and a whole lotta fun.
Where: Gaucho - Charlotte Street, Charlotte Street, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Goodge Street (0.1 miles)
If you’re looking for somewhere to get your pasta fix Bancone’s latest venture will be sure to satisfy. Drawing influences from the 20 regions around Italy, Bancone’s pasta is made in house by hand every day so you can expect to be munching your way through bowls of potato gnocchi and pasta laced with spicy ragu.
Opening Thursday 12th December
One of the world’s best restaurants, New York’s Eleven Madison Park, is getting a sibling this December and it’s coming to London in the form of new restaurant Davies and Brook. Having collected three-Michelin-stars for Eleven Madison Park, Daniel Humm will be bringing his expertise to Claridge’s this month. His Claridge’s offering will be bringing over some of the best dishes from Eleven Madison Park while championing British produce.
Sucker for an opening? Here’s the best restaurants that opened in 2018