London never has a shortage of new restaurants and bars to try out or menus to sample. To help you navigate through them all, here’s our pick of the best…
Photo: The Ivy Asia Chelsea
1 Tendril (mostly vegan) Kitchen, The Sun & 13 Cantons, Soho
The bustling Sun & 13 Cantons has some pretty great plant-based dishes coming out of its kitchen at present, and will do so for the next six months. Chef Rishim Sachdeva, who has worked in the kitchens of the Dairy, Chiltern Firehouse and the Fat Duck, has created a contemporary vegan menu that has nods to various parts of the world – kimchi with smoked cauliflower and a tostada laden with pureed plum date and a pico de gallo salsa for example. Well, it’s an almost vegan menu. There’s a baked brie a top of a chewy seeded bread drizzled in honey which is pretty good, but not vegan. The dishes are superbly presented and offer a range of flavours and textures which showcase how interesting and creative plant-based cuisine can be. Choose from the a la carte menu or opt for the Discovery Menu (£33) a selection of seven dishes that lets you explore Tendril’s variety.
21 Great Pulteney Street, Soho, W1F 9NG; tendrilkitchen.co.uk
2 Sachi at Pantechnicon, Belgravia
Pantechnicon is London’s home for all things that celebrate Japanese and Nordic aesthetic and mindset, often marrying the two. And the centre’s new Sachi restaurant is no different. It showcases regional Japanese cooking with light Nordic touches. While ingredients are sourced locally, the contemporary dishes are inspired by the local flavours of Hokkaido, Osaka and Fukouka. Dine in the open-planned dining room, one of the private vaulted booths set in a Japanese garden, a private dining room or sushi counter. A lot of consideration has gone into the details too – the ceramics, cutlery, chopsticks and wooden bowls are all handcrafted across Japan by specialist workshops.
19 Motcomb St, SW1X 8LB; pantechnicon.com
3 Hive at Selfridges
Que dad jokes about being sweet enough as it is, Selfridges’ latest gourmet offering is HIVE, a honey-based restaurant concept that comes with its own onsite beekeepers and beehives. Honey is definitely the key ingredient and the menu weaves the golden liquid into a range of French dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; rosemary and honey roasted monk fish, and chicken with a potato, tomato and honey sauce gratin for example. Cocktails also feature the hero ingredient; think honey kombucha with vodka, or gin with chestnut honey and lemon juice. HIVE also offers honey and cheese pairings throughout the day, as well as a honey, cheese and Veuve Clicquot Champagne afternoon tea. Appropriately, the decor, designed by L’Atelier Five, is also honey inspired; golden-hued wood, botanical statement walls and external plant boxes – the inhabitants of which are pollinated by HIVE’s own set of 100,000 or so bees.
Located on the third floor, 400 Oxford Street, W1C 1JS; hiverestaurant.uk
4 The Ivy Asia, Chelsea
The younger sister to The Ivy Asia, St Paul’s, The Ivy Asia, Chelsea promises to come with all the playfulness, theatrics and fanfare of its older sibling. With a luscious, maximalist interior (complete with a tree designed by Tony Marklew), the bar and restaurant serves up lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends. The pan-Asian menu takes inspiration from many of the continent’s pockets and includes some of the favourites from the St Paul’s kitchen too. Wagyu beef, aromatic crispy duck, Hunan-spiced pork ribs and salmon sashimi all make an appearance, and there’s a sushi bar that fits up to four people as well. Cocktails take on a delicious Asian twist – try the Beijing Sling (Wyborowa vodka, Umeshi plum sake, jasmine, vanilla, lime, apple juice and plum bitter) or the Fair Dragon (Fair Asian Kumquat Liqueur, Midori, Yuzu juice and egg white).
201 King’s Road, SW3 5ED; theivyasiachelsea.com
5 The Engine Room, Highgate
This wine bar and restaurant combines classic cars, a modern art collection and an all-day Mediterranean menu, which changes regularly and with the seasons. Most of the ingredients come from Britain, and there is a focus on fish and vegetables while meat is used sparingly. Head chef James Harrison, formally of Taka Marylebone, has created moreish dishes such as a grey mullet ceviche with confit tomato dressing, cured egg yolk, samphire, and pistachio, and steamed Cornish hake, fennel & carrot escabeche. There’s also a pizza menu too. The walls are filled with art and car-related memorabilia too, so should you find yourself perched at the bar with a glass of wine waiting on a tardy friend, you’ll have a lot to look at.
82-92 Great N Road, N2 0NL; theenginerooms.co.uk
6 Christina’s Shoreditch
This new all day joint, which features a double heighted interior designed by Goddard Littlefair (who know a thing or two about nailing a contemporary, sleek look), is on the ground floor of the newly opened Mondrian Shoreditch. Good for a coffee and a pastry, cocktails, a glass or bottle of natural wine, and a sando (a Japanese-inspired sandwich) or two, Christina’s Shoreditch has partnered up with homegrown artisans to put food on your plate. This includes Redemption Roasters who work with prisoners, Belgravia’s luxe Chestnut Bakery and Modal Wines, which specialises in independent winemakers.
45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PT; sbe.com
7 BIBO Shoreditch
Also found in Mondrian Shoreditch, Spanish tapas kitchen, headed by chef Dani Garcia is set to be a lively, breezy affair. Plating up dishes to share, tuck into an oxtail brioche, Russian salad with quail eggs, or the numerous potatoes, jamon and seafood dishes that come grilled, fried, cured or in a croquette. Goddard Littlefair also designed BIBO’s interior, which has the same, laidback chic as Christina’s.
45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PT; sbe.com
8 BAO Noodle Shop, Shoreditch
Taiwanese bun masters BAO, venture into noodles with the opening of the restaurant’s latest location in London’s east. The restaurant (the interior is so pleasing to the eye!) takes it’s cues from the beef noodle shops of Taiwan, preparing wheat noodles each morning and offering a richer Taipei-style broth and a lighter Tainan-style broth, both made with aged beef bones and fermented chilli bean paste. Punchy, delightful ingredients pepper the menu such as cured eggs, spiced beef butter and kelp soup noodle for the non-meat eaters. Also on the menu are some of BAO’s most love buns and dumplings, as well as cocktails based on Taipei-styled shaved ice drinks, such as the Midori whiskey sour ice and the grape sake ice. Also, three entertainment rooms downstairs can be booked for private karaoke sessions, so warm up those vocal chords.
1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ; baolondon.com
9 Yard Sale Pizza, Crystal Palace
There may not be much pomp or ceremony to it, but arguably, Yard Sale Pizza, might just be the best pizza in London. And they’ve opened up a new shopfront in Crystal Palace – it’s eighth in total. Pizzas still come in 12-inch and the whopping but totally doable 18-inch bases, and customers can expect the same slow fermented dough and winning topping combinations Yard Sale Pizza is known for – the TBS (tender-stem broccoli) always goes down a treat. For even more glorious gluttony, Stuffed Crust Mondays will be available weekly from Monday, August 16 where you can grab a stuffed crust margherita or double pepperoni, to share, or to eat on your own. As an opening offer, Yard Sale Pizza is offering 50 per cent off pizza for delivery from August 2-5 and then again from August 6-11.
46 Westow Hill, SE19 1RX; yardsalepizza.com
10 Benjamin’s Bar at Harvey Nichols
If you’ve worked up a thirst shopping, head to cocktail and whiskey bar Benjamin’s Bar for a dram or two. The shelves stock more than 100 modern, rare (including Glengoyne 50 Year Old and Tamdhu 50 Year Old whiskies) and well known and loved whiskies, available by the dram or bottle. The cocktail list has been prepared by Rik Patel, previously of Mayfair’s Magpie and Cornerstone in Hackney, and the wine list is revolving. Charcuterie is available to go with your tipple. At 24 seats, Benjamin’s Bar is small, but the leather stools and moody atmosphere lighting make it a great choice to take a load off and enjoy yourself.
109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ; harveynichols.com
11 Fiend, Notting Hill
Chef Chris Denney who headed up the now closed 108 Garage, has launched Fiend, a new venture also in the heart of Notting Hill. The bar and restaurant takes over the site where Mexican restaurant and Portobello Road stalwart Santo used to stand and is set to plate up modern fare – bulgogi sweet bread with kefir cabbage, wagyu short rib with smoked tomato, to set the tone. An a la carte menu is on offer, as well as a six course set menu for those who would prefer their dinner curated.
301 Portobello Road, W10 5TD; fiend-portobello.com
12 The Top Hat, West End
This one is another for lovers of themes, or for anyone who discovered Monopoly Deal during a lockdown and got obsessed. Based on Monopoly, this restaurant and cocktail bar takes all of its ques from the classic board game. Motifs are woven into the interior design (chiefly, hundreds of top hats hidden in the wallpaper), you can order a deck of Monopoly Deal with a drink for a session with friends, and there’s also going to be a life-sized boards for a more immersive board game experience. Oh, and cocktails are based on the game’s property locations. Fare will be British small plates made from locally sourced ingredients and dishes sound like they will be good for the winter – roasted rump steak with mash and a Yorkie, stuffed pork belly, and lamb with minted jus.
Opens August 14; 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PS; thetophatrestaurant.com