Sometimes there are just TOO many new restaurants opening. And while we cover them all - sometimes you'll want to know which ones to really zero in on. So here are - in our minds - the best new London restaurants to open in 2018... so far.
Opened in June 2018
Unit Su 59, London Bridge Station, St Thomas Street, London SE1 3QX
In a nutshell: The lobster masters go permanent at London Bridge
After years turning out top seafood and lobster rolls at street food events across London, BOB's lobster have set up a permanent spot in London Bridge - which even incorporates the old van inside too. Expect the usual excellent lobster and crab rolls, plus tuna tacos, shrimp burritos, lobster mac n cheese and more.
1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
In a nutshell: Indian gastropub in the city (and much more besides)
The restaurants at Bloomberg Arcade have been a cut above the norm (due to the influence of Bloomberg's Richard Vines) and this continues with Brigadiers, from the people behind Gymkhana and Hoppers. With a huge menu of Indian dishes in a warren of rooms, it's really offering something that you just can't get anywhere else in town. As Frankie McCoy in the Standard says, it offers "a solid menu of Indian hits, brilliantly executed by brilliant operators."
59 Wells Street London W1A 3AE
In a nutshell: Ottolenghi does fire and fermentation
Yotam Ottolenghi's new restaurant in Fitzrovia is a bit of a departure. Veg will still be at the heart, but this place with an ex-Grain Store chef sees them using fire and fermentation more.
74-76 York St, Marylebone, London W1H 1QN
In a nutshell: Ec Duck and Waffle's Dan Doherty opens a pub
All eyes were on Dan Doherty when he left his previous restaurant overlooking the city, Duck and Waffle. He has a New York restaurant on the way too, but it's the London base that we're particularly interested in - and this is is. He's taken on the Royal Oak in Fitzrovia and will be gradually refining the menu over the next few months - and there's still the promise of something extra special to come in the space upstairs. If you want to see a chef in his element, watching the development of the menu, this is the place to come. And expect a mean scotch egg too.
171 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX
In a nutshell: Laksa and more as this Malaysian restaurant goes permanent
Sambal Shiok have been popping up in various locations all over town for five years, serving up great Malaysian food - and most importantly what's viewed by many as the BEST laksa in town. Now owner Mandy Yin has set up a permanent position on Holloway Road, and she describes it as "like a ramen bar but instead focusing on Malaysian Nyonya laksa". We're still waiting for reviews (Giles Coren has visited) but in a visit to the pop-up, Jay Rayner said " It’s powerful, satisfying and for me at least, the very stuff of memories."
70 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4QX
In a nutshell: Brunswick House's Jackson Boxer teams up with chef Andrew Clarke in Shoreditch.
With hits like Brunswick House (and the much-missed Rita's), all eyes were on Jackson Boxer's next opening, St Leonards which has taken over the big Shoreditch space vacated by Eyre Brothers. Teaming up with Andrew Clarke, they've the very best mix of raw bar delights mixed with flaming cooking (and a spacious bar space that is much-needed in the area). Jay Rayner hints that it may divide people - "Dinner at St Leonards, lubricated by well-priced, classic French wines, is not so much a meal out as a funfair ride." However, Marina O'Loughlin is in love: "To my “ideal restaurants” list, I’m now adding St Leonards. It has all the hallmarks of a classic in the making."
Opened in May 2018
1 Westgate Street, London E8 3RL
In a nutshell: P Franco open their first standalone restaurant
The much-loved Clapton wine bar was always a highlight of East London when it came to food.Then they went one step further, opening their first full restaurant in Netil House where Ellory used to be. James Ramsden (co-owner of Pidgin and Magpie) said their Cantonese style duck hearts were the "best thing I've eaten all year" and Instagrammer Felicity Spector found herself "literally gasping in admiration at a dish of crab in a kind of ajo blanco." The FT's Tim Hayward concurred, admiring the kitchen team's "quiet self-confidence".
316 Queensbridge Road, Hackney, London E8 3NH
In a nutshell: Tom Oldroyd's Hackney pub
It's early days for the Duke of Richmond, but there's been huge anticipation of the second Oldroyd restaurant, not least because the head chef is Rory Shannon, coming off a very well reviewed stint at Winemakers Deptford. Both the main dining room and the pub sound like they're worth separate visits, and we're hearing very good things about their burger. Not to mention the slow roasted duck on the Sunday lunch menu.
41-43 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JL
In a nutshell: Kricket returns to its home ground
When Kricket moved into Soho, it was a great move for them but many were obviously going to miss them on their home turf of Pop Brixton. Now they're back in a permanent restaurant with all the hits and a lot more besides (not least the ability to book a seat).
64 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DN
In a nutshell: Selin Kiazim's Oklava follow-up
Selin Kiazim's Oklava in Shoreditch has been a quiet, consistent hit, so there was always going to be a lot of attention on their follow up. This Fitzrovia restaurant sees her once again teaming up with Oklava's Laura Christie for this Turkish restaurant. And it's already impressed The Standard, as David Sexton said "Kyseri is a treat of the kind that only a restaurant culture as vigorous and varied as London’s makes possible."
51 Greek Street, London W1D 4EH
In a nutshell: Italian deli turns its hand to a restaurant.
Italian deli Lina stores has been a beloved fixture of Soho for over 75 years, so the news that they were opening a pasta restaurant on Greek Street was clearly news for celebration. Primarily all about fresh pasta (which London can't get enough of lately, it seems). Susannah Butter in the Standard says "they’ve mastered the pasta. That should be enough to ensure it becomes a Soho institution like the deli."
5 Princes Street, London W1B 2LF
In a nutshell: Modern British in Mayfair
Mark Jarvis has expanded expanding his modern British empire by opening a new Mayfair restaurant - the third in the group that also includes Anglo and Neo Bistro.
Mercers Walk, Covent Garden, London
In a nutshell: Pizza, meet fire and vermouth
Neil Rankin's temper restaurant once again reinvents itself, this time the fire-based chain will focus on pizzas with an extensive list of vermouths too. As The Infatuation says, "It’s fearless, but more importantly, it’s fun. That’s what you want most from someone or something trying to do something a bit different."
Opened in April 2018
3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LX
In a nutshell: Seasonal dining in Hackney
Tom Brown's had plenty of seafood experience, most recently at Outlaw's at the Capital - but now he's opened his own place in Hackney and there's still plenty of seafood on the menu. Food blogger Elizabeth Auerbach said she "was immediately impressed with his cooking from the first bite on" and Giles Coren declared the food "out of this world... I’ve never been one for tarama on veg. So I smeared it on their otherworldly sourdough toast with dripping and my eyes just rolled back in my head …".
85 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NB
In a nutshell: Dabbous mk II. And then some.
Of course, the pre-opening buzz surrounding Ollie Dabbous' new venture with Hedonism Wines was crazy, but then the Standard review came out and it was a good 'un. The place looks completely amazing, and it's definitely one to put on any self-respecting London foodie's list. And if your budget is tight, go for breakfast instead. Frankie McCoy gave it five stars in the Standard, saying "Don’t overthink it. Dabbous is knocking out his most fabulous five-star food yet." And Fiona Beckett in The Decanter said; "It’s worth ordering the extra course of what is simply described as ‘Cornish Fish in two services’ to experience one of the best fish stews you’ll ever have eaten."
27 King Street, London WC2E 8JD
In a nutshell: The famed floral restaurant comes to the centre of town.
The buzz on the foodie grapevine was good for this serious new Covent Garden endeavour - just try getting a table here for dinner and you'll see how good. Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy saved his greatest praise for the "incredible pistachio and hazelnut semifreddo." Unfortunately Marina O'Loughlin wasn't as impressed feeling "it has none of the insouciant, bucolic charm of the original.". Praise is reserved for its second restaurant, La Goccia, of which The Standard said "Petersham Nurseries may be selling a lifestyle aspiration, but La Goccia is also just a great Italian joint."
41 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ
In a nutshell: Next level supperclub
Nuno Mendes' next project will be an intimate restaurant seating diners around one table in a space in Shoreditch. Picky Glutton said "While the overall experience was undoubtedly intimate and convivial, providing a possible template for others to use in attracting novelty-seeking high spenders, in the end this is outweighed by the booking palaver."
Opened in March 2018
Where: Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ
In a nutshell: Ex Kitty Fisher's chef Tomos Parry's Shoreditch restaurant
He was an instant hit when he started at Kitty Fisher's (after a successful stint at Climpson's Arch) so all eyes were on Tomos Parry for his next venture. This sees him cooking in a restaurant that's directly above Smoking Goat in Shoreditch. An impressive open kitchen makes the cooking on fire that's central to the restaurant a real focus, and a partnership with the people behind Noble Rot means that the wine's pretty decent too. Expect wonderful cooking over fire - the turbot and the beef chop should both be on your list. And dont miss the small plates, as Keith Miller in the Telegraph says - "spider crab, one of many Basque touches on the menu, was tossed with cabbage – perfect with its slightly funky flavour – and fennel. "
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
In a nutshell: The Odette's chef takes on an institution
Odette's chef Bryn Williams has opened a fruit and veg focused restaurant overlooking the river at Somerset House. Expect British dining with lots of Welsh produce.
56-58 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2NX
In a nutshell: Levantine spot on Marylebone Lane
The couple who opened turkey restaurant Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch are behind this new Eastern Mediterranean kitchen on Marylebone Lane and they've been inspired by their family heritage. Ben Norum in The Standard says "Settle in for small plates and go by-the-glass to make the most of the varied and vibrant flavours at this stylish spot."
238 West End Lane, London NW6 1LG
In a nutshell: Neighbourhood spot in West Hampstead
An ex Ledbury and ToastED chef is in the kitchen for this new West Hampstead opening which has a strong brunch offering and will offer a regularly changing menu. Fay Maschler prasies the brunch: "Hām Breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and toast is excellent in each of its particulars although the sausage might be a little too virtuous — a certain amount of filler and fat is desirable."
18 Phipp Street, London EC2A 4NU
In a nutshell: Michelin-starred Ellory moves to Shoreditch
A big hit in London Fields - and Michelin-starred to boot - there have been changes for Ellory. They've moved from their original digs into the heart of Shoreditch, and changed the name in the process (it was the nickname of the original). With that comes more of a bistro focus. David Sexton was a fan of their asparagus dish - "This felt like a delicious rebuke to the sloppiness of asparagus with hollandaise, an impressive composition more than it was commonplace food." And Grace Dent declared the move a total success saying: "Ellory was good – we all loved Ellory – but Leroy is much, much better."
80 Cleveland Street, London, United Kingdom
In a nutshell: Philly cheesesteak champions
The Philly cheesesteak is a much-loved dish for many folk, but it's often easy to get it oh-so-wrong. Not so for Passyunk Avenue who have been perfecting their own version as a Spitalfields food truck and who have now moved into their permanent Fitzrovian accommodation. Part fast food, part dive bar - if you want the best Philly cheesesteak in London - here's where to go.
378 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA
In a nutshell: A proper wine bar in Dalston.
We fell quite in love with this elegant new wine bar and restaurant on Kingsland Road. David Sexton in The Standard was won over too, calling it "a brilliantly conceived, devotedly delivered, mini-palais of taste and pleasure that would grace any quarter" and that fits right at home in Dalston too.
4 St James's Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4QU
In a nutshell: Ex NOPI chef goes it alone
Ex NOPI chef Ramael Scully has opened up his first restaurant in the St James's Market development and it's getting as much praise as his Ottolenghi-helmed previous restaurant. Here you can expect a range of cuisines that draw across family influences that include Chinese, Indian, Irish and Balinese with the arepa, eggplant sambal, and bergamot labneh being an early favourite. Plus the menu should grow and evolve as all the pickling and preparation Scully has put in takes fruit later in the year - and that's what ES reviewer Robert Peston says made "most of what we ate mind-blowing." Tim Hayward agreed saying the tomato shrub salad, "I guarantee will change the way you think about salads."
1A Shepherd St, Mayfair, London W1J 7HJ
In a nutshell: Shepherd Market gyoza bar
This new gyoza spot in Mayfair completely won over the Financial Times reviewer Tim Hayward who said: "It’s also got a seriously talented chef who seems to want to create unique food that makes people happy. And that’s kind of heart-warming."
Opened in February 2018
28 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DJ
In a nutshell: 11 seater restaurant from the Palomar folk
The ambience is relaxed, as though the whole restaurant is at the same dinner party," says Vogue.com of the latest opening from the Palomar crowd. And blogger Chris Pople of Cheese and Biscuits praised the "gorgeous lean, minerally oysters" on Instagram. And Kate Spicer in The Standard said "The food was split between good and the last three dishes we ate, which moved into a different realm of awesome."
15 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JZ
In a nutshell: Yakitori, izakaya and karaoke in Covent Garden
The second Jidori, following the popular Dalston original. Yakitori and other Japanese treats tare at the heart of the menu, and if you're in the mood, head to the basement for sake and karaoke.
4-5 London Road, London SE1 6JZ
In a nutshell: Latin American cuisine in Lambeth
Paladar is bringing the best of Latin America to Lambeth, drawing from areas as wide as Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. There's a varied menu as well as a bodega where you can stock up, and a courtyard garden for warmer weather. Ben Norumin The Standard says "This might not be the first very good South American restaurant in town, but it’s the first I can think of that successfully combines a slick setting and creative cooking with such a genuinely homely vibe."
35 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BR
In a nutshell: Ex Barrafina chef Nieves Barragan opens her own restaurant
The restaurant from the person who propelled Barrafina to its success has proven to be a huge instant hit. With two separate entities - the downstairs restaurant and the upstairs asador, both have proven to be winners. Grace Dent in The Guardian said "it’s still – and this is testament to Barragán and Etura – some of the best Spanish food in Great Britain." And of the Asador upstairs, Giles Coren said "This is Spain. This is how they eat and live. And that is how slow-cooked natural piglet tastes and smells. Terrible and delicious."
Opened in January 2018
21 Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5QA
In a nutshell: Crab and a lot more in Carnaby
Claw's signature dish "drenched in garlic and lime butter... are a lovely thing to eat," says blogger Samphire and Salsify. "It’s wonderful to see businesses like @clawfood go from market stall to pop up to restaurant. Especially when they champion sustainable British seafood. XO crayfish a highlight," declared food writer Miranda York on Instagram.
In a nutshell: French food, Champagne and a Soho boutique hotel
Nearly 150 years ago, Auguste Kettner opened Kettner’s, which was one of the first restaurants in London to serve French food. Now after a brief lull, it’s reopened with more French food, bath loads of Champagne and looking more gorgeous than ever. Eyes peeled for the stunning 18th century spiral staircase...
119 Queens Road, Peckham, London SE15 2EZ
In a nutshell: Peckham gets a South African inspired eatery
"A vibrant new addition to the neighbourhood," concluded the Standard's Ben Norum, who loved the Pigs head tortellini which he says "burst with a deep meaty flavour that neatly contrasts the gently fragrant broth they bob in." While babka expert Felicity Spector said, "the food is wonderful and it’s warm and welcoming and beautifully designed."
5-7 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 3DB
In a nutshell: Simon Rogan is back in London
Back in town with his revival of Roganic, Simon Rogan is getting great reviews. In the Telegraph, Katherine Flett says "we consume everything punctuated by countless oohs, amazings and I-didn’t-expect-thats" but isn't so sure about the "fun" of it all. And Grace Dent was wowed by the desserts - "A mini caramelised douglas fir tarte tatin was a bewildering work of apple architecture: what felt like a million tiny, dainty slivers somehow arranged into a coherent, edible artwork."
148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX
In a nutshell: Classic coastal Italian food from The Dairy crowd
Fay Maschler gave Sorella a rare four stars, saying their "tagliatelle with pork and nduja ragù at the second meal was everything you want from a bowl of pasta including comfort and joy." Expect to see reviews in soon from Giles Coren and Grace Dent both of whom have been in recently.
That's not all...
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