Another month, another stream of great restaurant openings for London! Here’s The Resident’s pick of the best new restaurant openings, exciting new menus and jazzy refurbishments…
Lead image: All Star Lanes Shepherd’s Bush
1 Sargeant’s Mess, Tower of London
Sargeant’s Mess, the new all-day restaurant, bar and deli from chef Mark Sargeant, will open on 4 May. Set within the Tower of London, Sargeant’s Mess will offer views of the Thames and Tower Bridge with an alfresco terrace and a bar serving prosecco on tap, frozen cocktails and beer slushies. The kitchen, headed up by chef Simon Oakley, will offer breakfasts like smoked haddock kedgeree cake with poached egg, lunches of Atlantic cod with dripping chips, daily specials like slow cooked pork belly, and a Sunday roast. Cakes and afternoon tea will also be available every day from 3pm-5pm. A soft launch offer of 1/3 off food is available for groups who book in advance for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the restaurant during the soft launch week (4-10 May) quoting ‘soft launch’.
The Wharf, St Katharine’s & Wapping EC3N 4AB; sargeantsmess.com
2 Café Hampstead
Café Hampstead is a new all-day dining brasserie open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and serving dishes inspired by the café culture of Tel Aviv. Dishes start with ‘Baking and Dipping’, such as handmade Israeli pitta finished over coal, hummus masabacha, and fried cauliflower served with tahini, followed by small plates like lamb ragu served with tahini and fried calamari with harissa and aioli dip; while larger dishes comprise Hanout lamb cutlets served on a Jerusalem artichoke purée, and Marinated prawn kebab with Moroccan spices. Breakfast is served daily with everything from pastries and granola to scrambled eggs and spicy shakshuka. There’s also a first-floor cocktail bar.
48 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead NW3 1NH; cafehampstead.co.uk
3 Babel House, Mayfair
Due to open early May, Babel House is inspired by the vibrant sounds and salty air from the multicultural port towns of the Black Sea, infusing the rich cultural heritage of the area’s six bordering countries with a slick avant-garde design. The restaurant brings the refreshing taste of the Black Sea’s finest seafood to its restaurant, with fresh produce delivered from the infamous Odessan Privoz. Traditional recipes are served generously in communal dishes. Appetisers include super-soft pike caviar with Borodinsky toast, and traditional lamb soup with Georgian spices, while main signature dishes include regional fish like pan-fried Black Sea Turbot, Blue Fish and Goby, as well as slow cooked lamb shoulder and Odessan honey marinated duck.
26-28 Bruton Place, Mayfair W1J 6NG; babelhouse.co.uk
4 Mother Clucker Exmouth Market
For the past five years, Mother Clucker has been the authority in Southern fried chicken in street food terms, and now they’re going permanent with their first bricks and mortar site in Exmouth Market. Their signature melt-in-your-mouth chicken strips and fiery cajun fries have become legendary, but the new site will be so much more than a chicken shop, with breakfasts, coffee, ice cold beers by The Five Points Brewing Co, New Orleans-inspired cocktails and plenty of top-notch fried chicken. Mother Clucker Exmouth Market opens on Tuesday 15 May with 50% off all food and drink (breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, snacks, tea, supper or dinner) until Thursday 17 May. Full service kicks off on Friday 18 May.
59-61 Roseberry Avenue EC1R 4SD; motherclucker.co.uk
5 United Chip, Clerkenwell
The recently opened United Chip has been reeling in even the most discerning fish and chip devotees since it opened recently in Clerkenwell. And now there’s another reason to visit: the insanely delicious Soft Shell Crab Burger has arrived. A heavenly combination of tempura soft shell crab, lettuce, pickles and Bangkok mayonnaise in a wonderfully soft brioche bun, it really is a thing of beauty.
5 Clerkenwell Road EC1M 5PE; unitedchip.co.uk
6 Kricket, Brixton
Kricket will be returning to its birthplace of Brixton this May with a new restaurant. The much-loved Soho restaurant run by Rik Campbell and Chef Will Bowlby started as one of POP Brixton’s fantastic container restaurants back in 2015 (keeping good company with the likes of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen which, incidentally, opened a permanent site in London Fields in March). It’s now set to launch a new permanent site under the railway arches on Atlantic Road, with 40 covers to showcase its casual, contemporary and oh-so-delicious Indian cooking.
41-43 Atlantic Road, Brixton SW9 8JL; kricket.co.uk
7 CERU, Soho
CERU (short for Cerulean, the brightest of azure blues) is bringing a taste of sunshine to Soho with the opening of its Levant restaurant on D’Arblay Street on 21 May. With an almost wholly gluten and dairy-free menu, plus plenty of vegan options, the open-plan theatre kitchen will be serving up delicious sharing dishes. Small plates include Pancar dip made with roasted beetroot, yoghurt, garlic and crushed pistachio, and a crisp apple, mint and pomegranate salad while the slow roasted lamb shoulder, marinated in the secret 12-spice blend, is a must try. From 21-27 May, get 50% off the total bill (email email@example.com and quote ‘Cerulean Blue’ to book).
11 D’Arblay Street, Soho W1F 8DS; cerurestaurants.com
8 Cocotte Rotisserie, Hoxton Square
French farm-to-table chicken rotisserie Cocotte launched its second site in late April. The new restaurant at 8 Hoxton Square seats up to 60 people across two floors and an outside terrace overlooking the square. Enjoy delicious free-range chicken marinated for 24-hours in Cocotte’s secret recipe of herbs and spices (£23 for a whole chicken, £13 for a half, £8 for a quarter), or tuck into a variety of fresh salads and sides with seven homemade sauces. Cocotte will also offer French wines and an extensive cocktail range including refreshing summer spritzes. Get 50% off all food until 5 May upon presentation of a voucher available from the Cocotte website.
8 Hoxton Square N1 6NU; mycocotte.uk
9 Jimmy Garcia’s The BBQ Club at Southbank Centre
Jimmy Garcia’s The BBQ Club returns to Southbank Centre on Saturday 5 May 2018. The split-level, riverside summer eatery features an upstairs BBQ Club, serving an interactive six-course tasting menu (£45pp) with dishes such as Char Ma Lass with miso-glazed charred baby aubergines, and Hard Core Prawn with fresh langoustines, roast red pepper puree and jamon. The walk-up BBQ Bar downstairs will be serving speedy BBQ dishes such as Hot Smoked salmon and monkfish burger with tarragon mayo, all priced at £10 or under. Upstairs in the rooftop restaurant there will be a private bar, and downstairs there will be a riverside bar.
Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; thebbqclub.com
10 The Old Ship, Hammersmith
The Old Ship Hammersmith, an 300-year old grand pub, has been transformed in a major refurbishment set to make it this summer’s riverside hot spot. Its expansive Thames-side terrace has plenty of seating, plus there’s a conservatory opening onto the river courtesy of bi-fold windows and a relaxed lounge. There’s fantastic food, too, with traditional English dishes created using fresh, seasonal ingredients, such as Wick’s Manor sausages with buttered mash and braised lamb shoulder shepherd’s pie, as well as vegan pearl barley cake with roasted shallots and chestnut mushrooms. You’ll also find weekend brunch, Sunday lunch, cask-conditioned ales, craft beers and quality wines.
25 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TD; oldshipw6.co.uk
11 All Star Lanes, Shepherd’s Bush
All Star Lanes has launched a new venue in Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush with Miami-inspired design features including three Art Deco bars, 10 state-of-the-art walnut-finished bowling lanes, karaoke booths and a heated outdoor terrace. Even the menu has been given a Miami face-lift, featuring light bites and mouth-watering mains including Philly cheese steak, soft shell crab burgers, king scallops and blackened salmon, as well as staple favourites such as homemade beef burgers, crispy buttermilk chicken, Halloumi fries and vegan options. There’s also a new lunchtime menu offer, which includes a main and a soft drink for £8.
Ariel Way, Westfield London, White City W12 7GF; allstarlanes.co.uk