London Readies for Hot New Restaurants

the betterment london restaurant
(Image: Twitter, @the_betterment_)

(Bloomberg) — Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York is just one of the chefs set to open restaurants in London later this year as the dynamism of the city’s dining scene shows little sign of slowing, even in the face of high-profile casualties such as Jamie Oliver.

British and overseas chefs keep coming up with new ideas, including a cheese restaurant, an Israeli-inspired brasserie,  a seafood establishment inspired by Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, and the long-awaited arrival of Turkish butcher-turned-restaurateur Salt Bae, sprinkling a little Instagram magic over prime steaks.

A weakening pound has made imports pricey for local chefs, but the currency’s decline is likely to bring more tourists to London while discouraging Britons from traveling to continental Europe.

Read: The World’s Best Restaurants: 2019

And prime sites such as Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa, near St. Paul’s Cathedral, are being snapped up by other operators. (Barbecoa has been taken over by restaurateur Richard Caring’s Caprice Holdings, which is turning it into the Ivy Asia.)

If you want to plan your dining diary for the rest of the year, here’s the pick of the new restaurants to look out for.

September

The Betterment, Mayfair

Jason Atherton is the highest-profile of TV chef Gordon Ramsay’s proteges, with restaurants around the world, including the Clocktower in New York. Hit latest London outpost is in the Biltmore hotel, immediately across Grosvenor Square from the TV chef’s Lucky Cat. Atherton will serve a seasonal menu of wood-fired fish and meats, as well as salads and vegetable-based plates. At the heart of the restaurant will be a rustic open grill. Head chef will be Paul Walsh, who won a Michelin star for Atherton at City Social.

 

Haya, Notting Hill

This neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant is inspired by founder Victoria Paltina’s visits to Tel Aviv, a city whose culinary influence is increasingly being felt in London. It will be an all-day restaurant. At lunchtimes, there will be sharing plates with seasonal ingredients, including quinoa salad, crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds; and spiced lamb cutlets with a spoonful of honey yoghurt. In the evening, the focus will be on small plates such as zaatar duck breast, freekeh risotto; crispy prawns, spicy yoghurt and harissa.

Lina Stores, King’s Cross

Lina Stores traces its history as a Soho delicatessen back 75 years, but last year’s opening of a simple restaurant nearby grabbed a lot of attention. Its popularity can mean a long wait for a table. Now, the owners are opening a combined store and trattoria under one roof, near Granary Square. It is housed inside a converted Victorian building, with room for 100 diners. Expect excellent and inexpensive pasta dishes from chef Masha Rena, using family recipes. The menu will be expanded from Soho and desserts will be served from a retro trolley.

Loyal Tavern, Bermondsey

Former Duck & Waffle chef Tom Cenci is opening this neighborhood restaurant in Bermondsey on the site of the former Village East with that venue’s founder, restaurateur Adam White. The menu will focus on British comfort food, with small plates using local sustainable produce. Dishes may include options such as Cornish mackerel with apple, pine nut and truffle; and venison tartar with beef dripping. Cenci started in Michelin restaurants in Paris and London.

Norma, Fitzrovia

The Stafford London, a discreet luxury hotel in Mayfair, is opening its first independent restaurant. Culinary Director Ben Tish is the man behind Norma, inspired by the food and culture of Sicily. It will occupy three floors of a historic townhouse in Fitzrovia and will feature a cocktail bar and a private dining room. The restaurant will be open all day and promises old-school hospitality in a contemporary setting.

Read: Where Top Chefs Eat in Mumbai

Pick & Cheese, Covent Garden

This newcomer to Seven Dials bills itself as the U.K.’s first conveyor-belt cheese restaurant. If that sounds like a gimmick you can live without, there is a serious cheese-lover behind the idea. Mathew Carver works closely with small producers. He will serve dishes such as Gubbeen with sweet and sour pineapple; and Rollright with a Treacle Spread. There will also be British charcuterie plates by Tottenham’s Black Hand Food. The natural wine list will be by Les Caves de Pyrene.

Seabird, Southwark

This new restaurant atop The Hoxton, Southwark, is a collaboration with the team behind Maison Premiere in Brooklyn. Seabird promises London’s longest oyster list, a marble raw bar and impressive views. The menu focuses on Spanish and Portuguese flavors, with dishes such as Cornish plaice a la plancha with Morecombe Bay shrimps and capers. William Elliott, the bar director of Maison Premiere, has created the drinks list, which focuses on exotic cocktails available on draught, bottled or frozen.

Sons + Daughters, King’s Cross

James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, the duo behind East London restaurant Pidgin, are opening their take on a classic sandwich shop in Coal Drops Yard. Sons and Daughters will be open all day, serving freshly made sandwiches and sides, plus ice cream and a bar menu along with cocktails and soft drinks.

There will be six sandwiches at lunch and dinner, including options such as the Tenderstem, with broccoli, mushroom relish, coconut sambal, açai and cashew cream served in a baguette. The kitchen will be headed up by head chef Jacqueline Barbosa—previously of the Guinea Grill and Where the Pancakes.

 

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October

Kolamba, Soho

The popularity of a Soho restaurant called Hoppers has created considerable interest in Sri Lankan cuisine. The latest opening promises “big flavors from a small island” served over two floors. Owners Eroshan and Aushi Meewella promise home-style cooking from family recipes on a menu that will feature many vegetarian and vegan options in addition to spicy fish and meat dishes.

Sam’s Riverside, Hammersmith

Rowley Leigh, a respected veteran London chef, is culinary director of this all-day brasserie and bar adjacent to the Riverside Studios. He promises a modern European menu, with a focus on Anglo-French dishes. The head chef will be Harvey Trollope, who previously worked at the Ritz restaurant, and whose resume includes Wheelers of St James, with Marco Pierre White; Enoteca Rossini in Florence and Leon de Lyon in France.

Silo, Hackney Wick

Chef Doug McMaster, an alumnus of St. John, is relocating his Silo zero-waste restaurant to London from Brighton. Silo will be housed in Crate brewery, following a crowdfunding campaign from Crate. While zero-waste is a fashion, catching the attention of chefs and publicists, McMaster is almost an obsessive. Everything is recycled. Silo first opened in 2014 and became known for its plates made from plastic bags, tables from floor tiles and work benches from filing cabinets.

Trivet, Bermondsey

Chef Jonny Lake and sommelier Isa Bal, who worked together for more than 12 years at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, have come together to create this restaurant, wine bar and cellar in Bermondsey. They say they plan to explore ingredients, dishes and drinks from regions around the world in a restaurant combining functional Nordic design with warm Mediterranean service and a sense of fun. No, we have no idea what that means, either. But all those years at the Fat Duck surely promise experimentation and creativity.

November

Café Murano, Bermondsey

Angela Hartnett plans to open a third branch of her casual Italian restaurant on Bermondsey Street, and Café Murano Bermondsey will offer many of the dishes from the menus at St. James and Covent Garden: Ossobuco alla Milanese; and Anolini in brodoCafé Murano is known for being friendly and informal, like Hartnett herself, a popular chef who was once the protégé of Gordon Ramsay and likes to celebrate her Italian heritage. Chef Adam Jay from St. James will head the kitchen.

Daffodil Mulligan, Shoreditch

Chef Richard Corrigan’s new restaurant and bar will celebrate the food and culture of his native Ireland. He’s planning to cook with produce from his own estate in Ireland, and he has partnered with the Irish restaurateur John Nugent in what looks like a labor of love. He’s already lining up Irish musicians to perform in the basement bar. Corrigan is a high-profile chef, known for TV appearances as well as for his other London restaurants, Bentley’s and Corrigan’s Mayfair.

Davies and Brook, Mayfair

Chef Humm of Eleven Madison Park plans to open his first European outpost at the luxury Claridge’s hotel in London. The plan is for a gourmet restaurant in the smart-casual style of the New York mothership, only without the lengthy tasting menus. Humm’s former business partner Will Guidara was heavily involved in the planning, but the two friends have now gone their separate ways.

Locket’s, St James’s

This is the new café and wine bar from the owners of Wiltons, a charming old-style establishment that traces its history to 1742. They’re shaking it up a little in the former Economist Building (now Smithson Plaza), serving healthy salads and other dishes (including to go) at lunchtimes and small plates to accompany wines in the evening. The plan is for 40 reds and 40 whites—many available by the glass—from regions such as the U.S. East Coast, the Czech republic and Austria. It will be open all day.

December

Nusr-Et Steakhouse, Knightsbridge

Superstar Turkish chef butcher-turned-restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, alias Salt Bae, has long been rumored to be planning his London debut at the Park Tower Knightsbridge. But there is precious little firm information about the Nusr-Et steakhouse. Speculation now centers on a December opening. It remains to be seen when Londoners, like New Yorkers, will welcome the opportunity to pay huge prices for steaks sprinkled with Salt Bae magic.

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