London’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants For Autumn 2018
Lamb chops at Gunpowder. Photograph by Mr Enzo Cerri. Courtesy of Gunpowder
The best places to try the latest meals and food trends.
It’s a golden age for dining out in the UK. From established chefs taking on high-profile positions to pop-up street-food stalls transmogrifying into permanent restaurants, the regular drumbeat of exciting new openings shows no sign of slowing. There’s something to suit every palate, whether you’re in the mood for reimagined Persian kebabs or Michelin-starred fish and chips. To get you ahead of the wave of hype that will inevitably follow, we’ve compiled a list of the essential new restaurants to add to your must-visit list this autumn.
Organic Kent-bred lamb with smoked cod's roe, artichokes, black olives and garlic. Photograph by Ms Jessica Jill Partridge. Courtesy of 1251
The menu at renowned chef Mr James Cochran’s second solo restaurant nods to his Scottish-Caribbean heritage and combines it with some gastronomic influences from Kent, where he grew up. Modern-day dishes blend the best of the produce from these three culinary homelands: think raw Orkney scallops with buttermilk whey, jerk-spiced monkfish with watermelon and coriander, and Kent-bred pork with smoked eel and blood pudding.
Jolene, Stoke Newington
A made-from-scratch ethos will inform the food at Jolene, a new restaurant and bakery from the team behind Westerns Laundry and Primeur. Co-founders Mr Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and Mr David Gingell have worked with farmer (and sometime Groove Armada DJ) Mr Andy Cato, crafting their menu around his heritage grain varieties, all of which will be milled on-site. By day, they’ll be made into slow-fermented breads, fresh pastas, flaky sausage rolls and cinnamon buns. Evening will see a more substantial choice chalked up on the blackboard menu, due to change daily. Think grilled cod with artichokes and olives and a 1kg T-bone steak with parmesan.
Maison Bab, Covent Garden
Maison Bab, from the team behind Le Bab in Kingly Court, will set out to prove that kebabs have graduated far beyond ill-advised post-pub sustenance to something much more urbane. Hand-stretched flatbreads, blackened at the edges from the woodfired oven, will come topped with miso celeriac and pickled crispy onions, while Lebanese-style pizzas will be piled high with Yorkshire lamb, Sussex labneh and za’atar. Downstairs, meanwhile, Kebab Queen will be a 10-seater restaurant with a six-course “chef’s table” tasting menu that will elevate the takeaway favourite to dizzying new heights.
Two Lights, Shoreditch
Mackerel with cherries. Photograph by Mr David Oldham. Courtesy of Two Lights
The team behind Shoreditch restaurant The Clove Club have come a long way since making their name at Mr Nuno Mendes’ now-infamous Dalston supper club in 2012. Their first permanent restaurant has since earned a Michelin star, and they’ve also opened sister site Luca, a British-Italian restaurant, in Clerkenwell. This month, ex-Clove Club head chef Mr Chase Lovecky will spearhead the group’s third – and equally diverse – opening. Two Lights is named after a skate park in Mr Lovecky’s home state of Maine, US, and the menu promises a creative take on American cuisine: Hereford beef tartare with togarashi; lemon sole, charred tomatoes, and seaweed; and grilled mackerel with cherries and black olives.
Little Kolkata, Covent Garden
After winning the hearts and stomachs of diners at their raved-about supper clubs, chefs and co-founders Mr Prabir Kumar Chattopadhyay and Mr Biswajit Deb Das have found a permanent home in Covent Garden. The pair will be serving vibrant Bengali small plates inspired by family recipes and the eclectic street food of Kolkatz (formerly Calcutta) and Bangladesh, no doubt to the delight of the many enthusiasts who donated to their runaway-success crowdfunding campaign.
Gunpowder Tower Bridge
Venison vermicelli doughnut. Photograph by Mr Enzo Cerri. Courtesy of Gunpowder
Originally a 20-cover restaurant in Shoreditch, Gunpowder is all grown up and has opened 60-seater site in the shiny One Tower Bridge development. As well as the fiery Indian small plates that made the original so popular (the venison vermicelli doughnut is the stuff of spice-addicts’ dreams), expect an expanded menu, featuring made-to-share dishes such as Kerala beef ribs with masala mashed potatoes. Also look out for sister site Custard, a Bombay-style bakery and wine bar, opening downstairs in October.
Barrafina, Casa Pastor, and The Drop, King’s Cross
Three major openings from the acclaimed Hart Brothers group (Quo Vadis, Tacos El Pastor) will transform the Coal Drops Yard development in north London this autumn. There’s intimate wine bar The Drop; tacos, churros and Mexican rotisserie at Casa Pastor; and a new branch of Barrafina, the much-loved Spanish counter-dining chain. Don’t miss its legendary tortilla.
Mr Nicholas Balfe, founder of excellent seasonal small plates eatery Salon, in Brixton, has taken inspiration from the “neo-bistrot” movement in Paris for his anticipated second restaurant, focusing on incredible ingredients and a pared-back approach. Housed in a cavernous, light-filled warehouse space, Levan will serve an all-day menu of contemporary European dishes, spanning sourdough tartines with smoked salmon in the morning to rump with garlic aioli in the evening. An innovative drinks offering includes low-intervention wines and botanical cocktails made with herbs and plants grown in the kitchen garden.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill, Westminster
Mushroom risotto. Photograph by Mr Cristian Barnett. Courtesy of Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
Having made his name at the UK’s first Michelin-starred pub, The Hand & Flowers, Mr Tom Kerridge makes his long-awaited London restaurant debut this autumn at the Corinthia Hotel London with Kerridge’s Bar and Grill. The chef is known for his refined versions of old-school British dishes, and the menu here is no exception: think Cornish crab vol-au-vent with avocado and fish fried in a satisfyingly crisp batter with pease pudding and matson-spiced sauce.
The JKS group, which already boast a bulging portfolio of successful restaurants including Gymkhana and Bao, has something of a Midas touch when it comes to food, and this looks set to continue as its empire expands this autumn. Berenjak will serve a modern-day take on traditional Persian kebab-house dishes made with seasonal British produce, with the meats charred beneath the flames of an imposing mangal grill, and handmade flatbreads straight out of the tandoor.