With somewhere new to eat springing up every week around the capital, it can be difficult to know which restaurants are worth a visit. So we’ve done the work for you! We bring you the best new restaurants in London, which are sure to satisfy. From Taiwanese to West African and everything in between, we will constantly update this page to bring you the hottest spots in the city for the discerning diner…
The Best New Restaurants in London
Chef Francisco Lafee (of El Celler de Can Roca and Barrafina) brings his dynamic talents to the kitchen of Kensington’s new home of modern Latin American fusion dining at Zuaya. Nailing the recent trend for Instagram-friendly botanical interiors, Zuaya’s jungle-inspired décor gives an outside-in feel to the restaurant, with ceilings and walls adorned with plants, and neon artwork leading the way around the dimly-lit, atmospheric layout. But Zuaya is certainly not style over substance, with the – slightly ambitious – mix of Peruvian, Mexican, Brazilian and Argentinian flavours (with an Asian twist), really paying off.
Be sure to start your meal by sampling the excellent Corn Brulee, a corn cake served with organic Italian burrata, and then share plates of ceviche and tacos (the Scottish salmon and wasabi peanut is excellent) before moving on to mains. The Dragon Red Mullet, served with Curry Nikkei Sauce is a real hero dish, while the Robata Octopus makes the perfect accompaniment if you can convince your companion to share. When it comes to desserts, the deconstructed ‘Jungle Cheesecake’ is excellent, but the Dulce de Leche served with candyfloss and fruit compote is an absolute must. Arrive hungry. 35 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5BA. (By Rebecca Cox)
The huge success of Jidori‘s first restaurant in Dalston meant a second site wasn’t far behind, opening earlier this year in the heart of Covent Garden. In welcome contrast to London’s multitude of flashy Japanese restaurants, Jidori is a much more casual affair which offers a fabulous menu of yakitori and small comfort food dishes. The pared-back décor and fun, informal vibes are reminiscent of Tokyo’s legendary yakitori-ya’s and izakayas, something which until now had been missing from the London food scene. Pair this with Chef Shunta’s family-recipe pickles, array of traditional yakitori sticks (the tsukune is a must) and innovative dishes such as the katsu curry scotch egg (a stroke of genius), and it’s no wonder that Jidori is a firm favourite of London’s most in-the-know foodies and dedicated Japanophiles alike. For those less familiar with the cuisine but up for an authentic journey through the back-streets of Tokyo, the Omakase menu showcases the chef’s best and is a snip at £30. And for a Lost in Translation throwback, head upstairs to the Karaoke Bar (with help from a few sakes). 15 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JZ
Muscling in on the 9 Elms Development near Battersea is Chokhi Dhani, a prestigious Rajasthani haunt choosing a tranquil, riverside vista for its London debut. The restaurant smacks of New York cosmopolitanism with its Indian character masked behind a modern skyscraper (although a 14foot bronze elephant figure at the entrance suggests you’re on track). This is Indian food at its best, a far cry from the tainted Friday night curry. Vishnu Natarajan (Carom) and Bhagwa Singh (Cinnamon Culture, Mint Leaf), a globally renowned expert in Rajasthani cuisine, along with senior sous chef Mohammed Naseem Qureshi (Bombay Bustle, Lotus) and Rakesh Sharma (Chutney Mary, Mint Leaf) all oversee a menu hinged on colour, spices, flavours that stop a conversation and inventive dishes for exploratory palates. If you’re feeling hungry, the Rajasthani Feast ensures you a taste of the very best of Chokhi Dhani, from their Poached Gram Flour Nuggets in Yoghurt Curry to the Classic Rajasthani Dish with Daal Panchmelli and Ghee Soaked Baati and Churma. The large prawn starter and Laal Maas are delectable beyond belief and sealed a return from our table, along with the attentive and well-informed waiters. The wine list, of course, comes carefully paired with the spicy epic. Arrive well-dressed and hungry. 2 Riverlight Quay, London SW11 8AW . (By Rosalyn Wikeley)
Ichibuns flung open its doors in late 2017 and just to keep us on our toes, this summer has launched a new menu from Brendan Fong, of Sydney’s Mr Wong, and Endo Kazutoshi the third-generation sushi master. The result is Hokkaido-inspired offerings with a nod to the fast food we all know and love. A slice of modern Japan in London, you may hear Ichibuns before you see it, with the DJ decks in the downstairs Ichibar coaxing you in. The interiors, by Tokyo-based Studio Glitt, are pared-back wooden tables and low-seats with bursts of colour from posters, hanging mobiles and plants. Begin with the new dish on the block, dynamite shrimp and Endo’s hand-rolled sushi (daily sashimi and sushi platters are available) before moving on to al-dente homemade udon with wagyu beef and (trendy) edible kelp. Ensure you leave room for the Ichibun burger with its 30-day aged British wagyu beef, Ichi burger sauce and cheese. Wash it all down with sake or whisky-based cocktails. If you aren’t totally sold yet, Ichibuns have just jumped on the sustainability wagon and removed single-use packaging from their menu. What’s not to love about them? 22 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QQ
The latest slick brasserie in Soho in which to see-and-be-seen, Old Compton Brasserie is the perfect place for after-work cocktails (the ‘faces of Soho’ list curated by Talented Mr Fox are worth checking out) or a bite to eat. The bar menu features British favourites such as Kedgeree Scotch Eggs and Beef Dripping Triple Cooked Chips, while the a la carte offering has a special selection of plant-based offerings for vegan diners (from barley risotto to a PB Burger) and brasserie favourites from pigs in blankets to ham, egg and chips. The walls are lined with pop art paintings of local celebrities and bespoke artworks from urban street artists. 34-36 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 4TT. (By Rebecca Cox)
This Knightsbridge restaurant is quickly becoming one of the area’s swankiest hotspots, created perfectly for its West London clientele with glitzy interiors, moody lighting and a hint of sparkle. By night, guests spill out from the uber-exclusive bar and lounge (invitation only) with its regular DJ nights, which provides a much-needed alternative to the usual clubs in the area which are the trendy go-to for a few months before being forgotten entirely. OSH, however, is entirely memorable and will no doubt stick as a firm favourite on the scene thanks to its exceptional food which promises guests ‘a taste of the Silk Road’ – an interesting mix of the cuisines from the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Those not familiar with Uzbek cuisine will soon become converts as they munch on charred shashlik skewers and fresh, tangy salads made with vegetables imported twice-weekly from Uzbekistan. Fish tartares and sashimi are decadently topped with Beluga caviar, while Knightsbridge keywords king crab, ponzu, and truffle feature throughout the menu – but not without an OSH twist. The crispy aubergine with soft cheese is a must-try, and don’t forget to pick up some groceries on the way out. 14-15 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 1NQ
This neighbourhood restaurant isn’t new, but the Head Chef is – and he’s given the Notting Hill hotspot a complete overhaul. Wolfe Conyngham is the younger son of the 8th Marquess Conyngham of Ireland (infamous for the rock n roll concerts he gives at Slane Castle), and as his multifarious chef’s scars attest, his vast experience behind the stoves has given him something of a unique creative flair. New colourful dishes take the best from various world cuisines, resulting in a menu of big flavours including soft shell crab with guacamole, Iberico pork, Welsh lamb rump with pea shoots and goat curd, and devilishly good Madagascan prawns. It all feels rather Antipodean, with brightly coloured décor, laidback vibes and a yoga studio next door, especially so when the sun’s out come summer and you can enjoy a cocktail or four on the pergola-style terrace. Don’t skip dessert (whyever would you?!) for a lemon posset as smooth as butter and the chocolate fondant with surprise bursts of popping candy. 47 Hereford Road, London W2 5AH
The latest Italian on the block takes it one step further by introducing rare and unusual products to its cuisine, coming from small-batch Italian producers and often exclusively available at the restaurant. The wine list is one of the most extensive we’ve seen, and of course, fully Italian – it’s obvious they like to ‘keep it in the family’ here, and the restaurant itself has a slightly private member’s club feel to it. Expect to find a line of expat through-and-through Italians perching on the bar stools from early evening onwards, sipping, smelling and talking wine. The menu features regional dishes, some of which are hard to come by this side of the Med – think ravioli filled with broccoli and ricotta and topped with sausage crumble and fresh chillies, or deliciously warming saffron and lamb ragu tagliatelle. The wild boar stew with polenta harks right back to nonna‘s Sunday lunch, and is heart-stoppingly good with a glass of Brunello. Most of the dishes come in small, medium and large, so we strongly recommend you order and try them all. 280 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND
This is Japanese fine dining at its absolute best. Following the restaurant’s huge success in Paris, its opening in London has been long-anticipated – and goes far in exceeding expectations. The kind of food served at Yen is unlikely to be something you have tried outside of Japan itself, so be prepared for a few surprises and a pared-down aesthetic which only highlights the exceptional quality of the food. Soba specialists handmake buckwheat Soba noodles on site every day, so fresh that they are served with few additions, while classics such as black cod, sushi and tempura stand apart from other London equivalents thanks to the quality of ingredients and skill.
We recommend you dive in and go for the most authentically Japanese dishes, such as home-made tofu (surprisingly soup-like but delicious), the chef’s sushi and sashimi selection, black chicken marinated in red miso and the plain cold Soba noodles. With a kitchen of Japanese chefs at the top of their game, highly knowledgeable staff to guide you, an on-site sake expert and even proper Japanese (heated) toilets, you’re guaranteed the ultimate authenticity and a top-notch experience every time. 190 Strand, 5 Arundel Street, London WC2
One of the most exciting Italian openings of the past months, Passo is a lively and effortlessly cool restaurant and café in the heart of trendy Old Street. Head Chef Massimiliano Iaquinoto cuts quite a dash with his long dark hair, piercings and tattoos from behind the flames of the open kitchen as he masterfully combines the best hand-selected Italian ingredients. With pizza and pasta dough made fresh on-site daily, authenticity of flavour is the order of the day. Best enjoyed with a large group of friends, plenty of plates to share and free-flowing wine, this is the kind of restaurant you’ll return to time and time again, and not only for the Truffle 3 Ways Pizza (it’s as amazing as it sounds). Burrata and zucchini chips cooked alla scapece and typical of Campania beautifully accompany Roman fried artichokes to start, while Tagliatelle with generous shavings of fresh truffle are well worth the £17 price tag. You absolutely must try the Orecchiette with octopus ragout, lemon thyme and olives – a beautiful combination which will make you nostalgic for summers on the Amalfi Coast. 80 City Road, London EC1
Soho’s new Aegean cuisine – sharing plates and martinis for the perfect pre/post theatre drop in… Good Food Society’s pre-Christmas opening is flush and fancy. Serving cocktails and wine in the lavishly decorated dining area designed by Spanish designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan, the surrounding is a far cry from Soho’s usual shabby chic with fish-scale tiling, marble countertops, glittering glass cabinets and an impressive chandelier centrepiece that flows from the open kitchen into the main dining area.
The luxe décor is matched in extravagance by an in-house DJ upstairs who is on the decks every evening, 7 days a week until 1 AM, with live music on Sundays. The food is a fusion of everything Aegean – Turkish, Greek, French and Italian – with a strong focus on seafood. Hus Vedat of Yosma consulted on the menu to incorporate fresh, raw, hot and cold meze with fish changing daily according to the chef’s special. Cooked over a live fire and served simply with lemon, sea salt and olive oil, the menu is best for sharing plates. It’s not cheap but if you’re in the area and fancy a special evening out… why not? Reviewed by Maya Monro-Somerville. 36 – 40 Rupert Street, London W1
Villa Mama’s brings an authentic taste of Bahraini cuisine to Chelsea. The cosy neighbourhood spot on Elystan Street distinguishes itself thanks to the expertise of Roaya Saleh, the Bahraini chef and restauranteur who has created a selection of delicious homely dishes to showcase the best of the Gulf, Persia and beyond. Guests will be pleased to discover new flavours in the little-known cuisine alongside more traditional pièces de résistance such as Tahcheen, an Iranian saffron rice ‘cake’ with spiced chicken and berries. There’s a strong sense of family at Villa Mama’s, with core components made specially by Roaya’s relatives, a focus on sharing, and the top-secret recipe used for Um Ali – an Egyptian bread pudding that is by far the best we’ve found in London. Grab a few of the beautifully-packaged spices and conserves on your way out; brought over straight from Bahrain, they’ll make fabulously fragrant stocking fillers. 25-27 Elystan Street, London SW3
If you’ve yet to grace the new Mandrake Hotel in Fitzrovia, you’re in for a psychedelic surprise. It’s worlds away from the gentrified hipster joints painting London’s restaurant scene, instead themed around the mystical hallucinogenic mandrake plant, with Lebanese-born Rami Rustok transforming two office blocks into this opulent and rather exotic oasis. In pile Charles Pelletier and Frederic Peneau, setting up their London outpost for Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurant Serge et le Phoque, and things get even more exciting. In sophisticated yet suitably wacky surroundings, modern French techniques are blended with locally sourced, seasonal produce.
The menu changes regularly, and with a few ambitious combinations – from Foie Gras in chicken broth, octopus with aji Amarillo, ginger and tobiko or red Sicilian prawns and turbot ceviche to start, to Lamb with pomme puree, smoked eel and harissa, or Monkfish with lardo di colonnata, radicchio and bottarga as a main. Their wine list is particularly impressive, curated by ex-Clove Club sommelier Bert Blaize with sustainability in mind. The hotel is built around a jungle-like terrace which feels miles away from London and calls for a digestif. Reviewed by Rosalyn Wikeley. 20-21 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1
Pasta’s having a moment, and it’s best encapsulated by brand new Pastaio, the restaurant headed by Stevie Parle of Dock Kitchen and Rotorino which is due to open at the end of October. The team make their pasta by hand daily to bring customers the freshest of seasonal pasta dishes, which include a deliciously creamy Tonarelli cacio e pepe that makes the trip worthwhile in itself. There are also smaller antipasti dishes to graze on, and the prosecco and Aperol slushies add a playful element (and they’re only £4!). 19 Ganton Street, Carnaby, London W1F 9BN
No longer the preserve of procrastinating commuters or lost tourists, 2017 saw Paddington play host to a series of exciting new openings, the most notable being The Pilgrm Hotel. This Victoriana townhouse has been revived to its former glory but with an innovative spin, redefining guests’ hotel expectations with self-check-in, 24hr luxury communal pantries to replace the minibar or room service, a larder and books galore. The first-floor lounge features an elegantly designed drawing room (in the informal sense of the word) with delicate retro velvet seating amid a somewhat eclectic but clean design. The food reflects the design, chic dressed down, with Grain Store alumna, Sara Lewis, as Head Chef.
It’s a British sharing plate paradise, including a tasty charcuterie selection from cured meat specialists Cannon & Cannon of Borough Market, a divine soy glazed crispy pork belly and chilli miso and the ultimate wild mushroom and dolcelatte cheese toastie. Dishes here are as comforting as they are exploratory, with enough choice to avoid overwhelming diners. But the siren call has to be the Pilgrm’s playful cocktail menu, collaborating with some of the best cocktail bars from around the world. Reviewed by Rosalyn Wikeley. Norfolk Square, 25 London St, London W2
Vastly popular Hoppers recently opened its second site in Marylebone. The original Sri Lankan pancake specialist still has round the block queues despite opening over a year ago, but the new Hoppers will take reservations for the first time, pleasing foodies city-wide. There will be new exclusive dishes on offer, and nearly half of the menu will be filled with new creations to accompany classic favourites such as the signature hoppers dish of pancakes made from a batter of rice flour, coconut milk and spices. St. Christopher’s Place, London W1U 1BF.
Lying in the heart of the civil servant-clad Whitehall is the Corinthia Hotel, an opulently fresh contemporary retreat for celebrities and politicians alike who frequent its lavish Northall Restaurant and quaff Laurent Perrier in the bar. But the vast Massimo Restaurant, in its tired, art-deco glad-rags was missing out on the fun.
Man of the hour, Tom Kerridge has seen to that. Not only has he clipped his gastro-pub panache to the Corinthia’s stately surroundings and well-heeled palates, his arrival has seen David Collins Studio’s aesthetic overhaul of the majestic, marble room, enveloping diners in whiffs of ‘old gents’ club with dark green walls and burgundy leather seats. Prize cuts of meat from Kerridge’s butchery are displayed in well-lit glass cased fridges against the wall, along with contemporary art and a dazzling, mirrored bar takes the edge off the room’s moody new coat. A marriage of art and food perhaps? The conversation-starter sculptures by his wife, piercing the gastro-theatre, would certainly suggest as much. This is Tom Kerridge’s first London restaurant following the giddy success of his Hand & Flower pub, the Coach (both Michelin starred) and the Butcher’s Tap. With his secret ingredient in tow, chef Nick Beardshaw who worked with Kerridge at his acclaimed pubs, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill is the most talked about London opening this Autumn, and for good reason.
The dishes, while elegant in presentation, have retained that hearty punch Kerridge is famed for. A Loch Duart salmon with Apple Pancake with Douglas Fir and Avruga Caviar locks sweet and savoury into a fluffy surprise (with ample cream for this divine, enlarged twist on the classic canapé). The Mushroom ‘Risotto’ with Daniel’s Crispy Egg and Aged Parmesan is delectable stuff, the crispy texture quickly unravelling into something entirely delicious on your taste buds. Kerridge’s trademark of elevating British classics governs the menu, from a posh fish and chips, Deep Fried Brill and Chips with Pease Pudding, to a kingly loin of Ramsbury Estate Venison with ‘Hand & Flower’ Carrot, Parsley Emulsion and Black Peppper Cottage Pie. Pulled from the Rotisserie, the Rib of Beef from The Butcher’s Tap with Chips, Bone Barrow Sauce and Gherkin Ketchup performs with British gusto, a modest portion to avoid eclipsing the culinary euphoria. The Hazelnut Crusted Cod with Irish Style Kale, Anchovy Mayonnaise and Squash Royale is beautifully cooked, tender and fully-charged with flavour. Classic Champagnes on the wine list are joined by English gins and sparkling wines, while the sommeliers excel in the authentic ‘no frills’ advice on wines to pair. In fact, above and beyond the plate, the marble walls and Kerridge’s reputation, it’s the staff here that redefine the concept of smart British dining: gracefully diplomatic, genuinely funny and switched on. The sommelier in particular prompted laughter almost as alien to these sophisticated walls as the concept of Kerridge’s rotisserie would have been a few years ago.
Try: For pudding, pierce the berry soufflé’s crusty top with a spoon and watch it sink into a red, gooey lava inside. Heaven.
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