Keep your finger on the pulse with our guide to the best new restaurants in London. From cool brunch spots to fine dining venues, these are the buzziest openings of the moment.
Townsend was started by Nick Gilkinson, a restaurateur who has form on the London food scene, previously managing Anglo and the Garden Café, the restaurant at the Garden Museum (another gallery restaurant well worth checking out). Helming the kitchen is Joe Fox, none other than the ex-head chef of Petersham Nurseries. The restaurant is named after its 19th-century architect, Charles Harrison Townsend, and Fox has mirrored his famous style of combining classical elements with fierce originality in the cooking. The result is a refreshingly short and simple menu stuffed with delicious modern twists on much-loved British dishes, like the bacon scones with goat curd and chives, a scrumptious savoury twist on the English classic. Other plates like the curried veal sweetbread with cauliflower, burnt onions, and sour yoghurt are inspired by the food culture of Whitechapel’s east London neighbourhood. Check out our full review here.
Pasta lovers will be happy to hear the legendary Padella has opened a second location, this one in Shoreditch’s Phipp Street. Hand-rolled pasta remains the star of the show, and they’re keeping the no reservations policy so long queues are inevitable – though like the other venue, you can leave your name and get notified when there’s availability via an app. It’s well worth the wait.
The man behind the famed Cronut, Dominique Ansel, has launched a new site on Covent Garden’s Floral Street. Unlike the original bakery, this treehouse-themed spot offers a sit-down menu of sweet and savoury dishes, loosely following the traditional starter-main-pudding format. Savoury doughs are a key focus here – think vol au vents, hand-made pastas, gnocchi and pies.
The glitzy London first from restauranteur Guillaume Depoix, Folie has welcomed a host of glamorous names since its opening – Victoria Beckham recently hailed it as one of her favourite places to dine out in Europe. Rumour has it the restaurant cost a whopping £5 million to produce – no surprise, when you see the ultra-chic interiors, which come courtesy of Studio KO, the Parisian agency behind Chiltern Firehouse. The Mediterranean-inspired menu is fittingly stylish, led by Executive Head Chef Christophe Marleix, whose sparkling CV includes The Dorchester, Annabel’s and Plaza Athénée in Paris. Check out our full review here.
Tucked away behind a forest-green awning in Charlotte Street, Ampéli is the latest cosy opening to Fitzrovia’s buzzing food scene. With a tantalising fusion of Greek and Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and a list of indigenous Greek wines curated by Greek Master of Wine Yiannis Karakasis, it’s a strong first solo venture for founder Jenny Pagnoi. Not to mention Oren Goldfield in the kitchen – whose CV includes stints at Nopi and Queenswood. The environment is small and intimate, think: low-hanging lamps and glossy marble tables. The menu is of the perennially trendy, small plate variety, and excellent for sharing. Key players include goats cheese fritters with perfectly crisped okra tempura underscored by zesty Greek yogurt, whipped feta with earthy pistachio and Aleppo pepper served with crisp breads. Don’t leave without trying loukoumades, a traditional Greek doughnut marinated in mountain tea syrup – a honey-flavoured nectar, with Goldfield’s twist, a creamy poppy seed custard. No Greek tragedies here – but book quickly, having only opened in January we predict that over the next few months you won’t be able to get a reservation in edgeways. Check out our full review here.
Iconic restaurant The Connaught Grill has re-opened on Mount Street after a 20 year hiatus. Located on the ground floor of Mayfair hotel The Connaught, The Grill is overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who continues to run his eponymous restaurant there. The menu focuses on British produce, with dishes including langoustines, Dover sole, British game and seasonal vegetables, alongside classics from the old Connaught Grill.
One of this year’s hottest openings comes from Britain’s youngest ever two Michelin star chef, Tom Aikens. Housed within a Georgian townhouse in Belgravia, the restaurant has space for just five tables seating a total of 26 diners, with a choice of two tasting menus available featuring a selection of dishes inspired by experiences and events in his life to make up what’s described as a ‘gastronomic autobiography.’
After much anticipation, Swiss chef Daniel Humm of the iconic New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park has opened a restaurant in Claridge’s, replacing Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred restaurant Fera. Earlier this year Humm split with the other half of his culinary duo Will Guidara (no hard feelings, we’re told) and continued with the project alone. Named after the hotel’s Mayfair location at the intersection of Davies Street and Brook Street, the restaurant aims to be more relaxed than its New York sibling – though service is slick as can be. On the menu you’ll find Humm’s famous dry-aged duck, glazed with honey and lavender, as well as black cod with napa cabbage and miso, braised beef short rib, and a poached lobster starter – plus the option of Osietra caviar for the table.
Berkeley Square has had a Latin American shake-up, thanks to an exciting new opening from acclaimed husband and wife duo Sandro Silva and Marta Seco. Taking over the 13,000 sq ft space in the former Allied Irish Bank Building, Amazónico has been launched in partnership with D.Ream International, the restaurant group behind Coya and Zuma – and you can expect equally opulent, striking interiors as seen their previous projects. Amazónico promises to offer a sensory experience for guests, with rainforest-themed décor, live music and a vibrant culinary offering, featuring everything from Peruvian sushi to traditional Brazilian dishes.
A botanical-themed rooftop restaurant has opened in the heart of the city, filled floor to ceiling with plants and trees and boasting panoramic views of London. It’s a beautiful space, with an oval onyx bar as the restaurant’s centrepiece alongside garden-style interiors including a canopy of evergreen plants and seasonal plants growing across the ceiling. Heading up the kitchen is Thomas Piat, formerly executive chef at Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud, with a focus on modern British cooking with French and European influences – signature dishes on the menu include a venison sharing dish, alongside a seafood starter of white crab, cauliflower and oscietra caviar.