London’s best new bar and restaurant openings in April 2019, from a refurbed No. Fifty Cheyne in Chelsea to Vinegar Yard, London’s latest street food hub in London Bridge, and the latest incarnation of Dalloway Terrace
1 The Gate, St John’s Wood
One of London’s favourite plant-based restaurants, The Gate, launches a brand new site in leafy St John’s Wood on 8 April. Their fourth site in London, the pioneering eatery will be offering up some new dishes, along with the classics The Gate has become famous for. Opening for late morning coffees, lunch and dinner, diners will be able to enjoy a delicious variety of dishes made using high quality and sustainable ingredients. Try the Butternut & Ricotta Rotolo (pommes dauphinoises filled with butternut squash, semi-dried tomato, basil & ricotta), and Aubergine Schnitzel (grilled aubergine layered with cashew cheese and basil pesto, roasted peppers and tomato). Dairy-free desserts include Tiramisu, Prune & Apple Crumble and Cranberry & Vanilla Cheesecake. Since opening their first site in Hammersmith 30 years ago, the plant-based restaurant has delighted foodies with their 80% vegan menu and completely vegan wine list – a huge hit with vegans, vegetarians, plant-based flexitarians and curious diners alike.
87 Allitsen Road, St John’s Wood NW8 7AS; thegaterestaurants.com
Iconic Spitalfields pub The Gun pub is relaunching following a full renovation and a revamped food and drink offering. High ceilings mimic those of a Victorian artillery factory, while a long pewter bar counter with copper finishing and green marble, an open fire and plush velvet seating make for a warm, contemporary offering. The Gun’s new Executive Chef, Jimi Tegerdine, will introduce a menu of indulgent, punchy small plates of international influence, with dishes such as beef and date meatballs, corn and avo tempura, seared tuna tataki and lamb croquettes. And what’s a pub without brunch in this day and age? The Saturday brunch menu will feature vodka and beetroot cured salmon, spiced chorizo and potato skillet, and a Full English, alongside brunch cocktails like the Breakfast Margarita Sundays are for roasts, and from 5pm there will be live jazz performances from Mark Kavuma and friends.
54 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields E1 6AG; thegunlondon.com
3 No. Fifty Cheyne, Chelsea
Re-opening on 1 April following a refurbishment, the much-loved No. Fifty Cheyne will see Jason Atherton’s protégé, Iain Smith, lead the culinary way as Head Chef. His extensive experience in the Galvin Brothers’ Kitchens and as Head Chef at Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, goes into every dish he crafts. The debut menu will feature modern British dishes including Beef Fillet and Cheek with spinach and rainbow chard, John Dory with braised black cabbage, potato straw and roast chicken broth, and Seared Scallops with a shellfish and tomato ragout and cabbage pesto. Sunday roast connoisseurs can order in their favourite roast, cooked especially for their table, such as a rack of lamb, rib of beef, whole salmon, or anything else that takes your fancy (three days’ notice required). The restaurant’s locally renowned open grill will be working its magic on the freshest fish and hand-picked choice meats. The carefully crafted wine lists include a premium list, individually selected based on excellence and vintage, and there’s a ruby-red first floor cocktail bar serving night caps, afternoon aperitifs and brunchtime coffees.
50 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea SW3 5LR; fiftycheyne.com
4 144 ON THE HILL, Richmond
144 ON THE HILL, a brand new destination restaurant on Richmond Hill, opens this month, taking inspiration from the town’s rich heritage and flora and fauna of the Royal Park. The robust ‘turf to table’ menus, crafted with the finest seasonal ingredients, will feature a number of British classics and sharing plates that give a nod to the local area, including vegan and vegetarian options, and the wine list will feature British vineyards such as Chapel Down in Kent. Guests can sip on expertly mixed cocktails that will draw from the local larder, and a bespoke mead uses honey from the Richmond Bee Keepers. Combining the Georgian architecture of the building with the fine elegant detailing of the interior, the design is influenced by famous poets, writers and artists including portrait painter and former resident of the area, Thomas Hudson. A series of spaces have been created to offer distinct experiences, from the quiet, comfortable Snug to the upbeat bar and lounge with live music and small plates, pick your spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks.
144-150 Richmond Hill, Richmond TW10 6RW; 144onthehill.co.uk
5 Lucknow 49, Mayfair
Lucknow 49, an Indian restaurant specialising in Lucknavi cuisine, opened just off Regent Street on 2 April. In the Northern Indian city of Lucknow, the galawati kawab can be found on every street corner, so Lucknow 49 founder Dhruv Mittal decided to introduce it to London. Originally invented as a special request by a toothless King of Lucknow, the extra-tender kawab will be a staple on Lucknow 49’s lunchtime menu. The dinner menu, designed by Dhruv alongside Executive Chef, Irfan Khan, features a choice of kawabs, including the beef galawati made with minced beef and over 50 dry spices. There’s also a line-up of fragrant biryanis, including an Awadhi goat biryani flavoured with saffron and rose water, as well as slowly simmered curries and fresh sides of moong makhani dal. Interiors celebrate the idiosyncrasies of Indian roadside cafés, railway platforms, markets and the warmth of a Lucknavi household, while the back of the restaurant will have an open, courtyard feel along with vintage photographs and skylight. Opening offer: Get a free Beef Galawati Kawab during lunchtime (12pm-3pm) on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 April. You can also take your chances with the Galawati Kawab rolls, priced at 100 rupees (circa £1 depending on the exchange rate that day).
49 Maddox Street, Mayfair W1S 2PQ; lucknowldn.com
6 Bambusa, Fitzrovia
Bambusa, Fitzrovia’s new all-day Modern Asian café, open for breakfast, coffee, matcha and lunch to go, opened in late March. The first café offering by restaurateur Rohit Chugh, founder of Roti Chai in Marylebone and Chai Ki in Canary Wharf, the menu showcases the flavours he enjoyed when travelling and working in Japan, Singapore, Laos and across Asia. Home-style dishes are based on recipes shared with Rohit by friends and their families. Fermentation and umami are key elements of the food, with ingredients like kimchi, miso and nam pla – all highly regarded for their health benefits – feature predominantly. The breakfast menu includes Sriracha Egg Scramble Buns, Kewpie Mayo Omelette Sliders and Chia Coconut Yoghurt, along with fresh pastries from east London bakery Galeta. The lunch menu offers the chance to build your own lunch box to go, with the likes of Ginger Shoyu Chicken, Chilli Bean Tofu and Kimchi BBQ Jackfruit served on sushi rice or salad leaves and toppings, sides and sauces of Furikake (Japanese seaweed seasoning), Orange Sesame Slaw and Ponzu Citrus Dressing. Gluten-free and dairy-free diets are catered for and food and drinks are served in sustainable sugarcane packaging.
6 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2LR; bambusalondon.com
7 Bubbledogs Champagne Bar, Fitzrovia
Sandia Chang’s legendary bubbledogs restaurant – famed for champagne and hotdogs – closed on 24 March and will reopen on 30 April as a fully fledged champagne bar. The emphasis won’t be on those delicious dogs, but fear not, a refined selection of dogs will still be on the menu. With a beautiful new design featuring deep purple and mustard tones highlighted by copper accenting, the champagne bar will have and an increased focus on approachable, hand-selected Grower Champagnes. The center of the room will feature a new marble high-top table, seating eight guests, complete with its own built-in champagne trough. Sandia will further championing the small producers she has supported over the years including Dhodnt-Grellet, Jean-Marc Seleque, Lancelot Royer and Olivier Horiot, as well as introducing more Coteaux Champenois bottles – still wines from the Champagne region.
70 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 4QG; bubbledogs.co.uk
Vinegar Yard is a brand-new eating, drinking, shopping and art space from the team behind Flat Iron Square, opening on Wednesday 3 April in London Bridge. Located on St Thomas Street by The Shard, Vinegar Yard will feature art installations (check out the train carriage installation), container pop-up shops, bars, street food traders and a huge open air garden area with outdoor seating for hundreds. The rotating food line-up includes TV’s Million Pound Menu winners Baba G’s, serving Indian-inspired pachos and their signature ‘naanwhiches’; Argentinian-inspired steak and chimichurri from BBQ experts Up in My Grill; and burgers and croquettes from Nanny Bills. Borough-based coffee experts, The Gentlemen Baristas, will provide a ‘well-mannered’ all-day coffee shop and dining space, serving breakfast and lunch, and the Vinegar Yard open-air bar will serve cold draught beer and a rotating tap for local London craft breweries. There will also be sustainable shopping daily from an eclectic mix of makers and vintage traders, as well as Flea London, a curated vintage and makers market, at the weekend.
St Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 3QU; vinegaryard.london
9 Thunderbird Fried Chicken, Villiers Street
Thunderbird Fried Chicken, which launched in 2017 at Street Feast’s Dinerama and Giant Robot venues, opened its first permanent site in Brixton in February, its second at the O2 in March and is now due to launch a third in Villiers Street. The brainchild of racing car driver turned ‘Wing King’ Matt Harris, who discovered his love of fried chicken while racing in the Deep South, Thunderbird’s fried chicken connoisseurs will be bringing their famous Wings, Buns and Pieces to central London. Favourites include the Thunderbun (Thunderbird’s cult classic featuring the revamped secret recipe Awesome Sauce, iceberg lettuce and pickles), Chipuffalo Wings (a mix of buffalo, chipotle, coriander, pickled celery with blue cheese dip), Salted Caramel Chicken Wings and Habanero Wings (slathered in roasted red pepper cream, habanero, tamarind and coriander). Diners can also enjoy The Meltdown, a fried chicken bun with molten jalapeno and miso cheese, charred pepper aioli, lettuce and pickles. A selection of Veggie Buns are also available so diners can try Thunderbird’s iconic sauces with halloumi instead of chicken.
Villiers Street, off the Strand WC2N 6NQ; thunderbirdckn.co.uk
10 Dalloway Terrace Launches the Spring Jungle, Bloomsbury
The arrival of spring means it’s time for Dalloway Terrace to brighten up with with a new look. The renowned Bloomsbury restaurant has once again been transformed, this time into a tropical paradise adorned with the unique flora of Sri Lanka. Taking inspiration from The Village in the Jungle, a novel by Leonard Woolf, part of The Bloomsbury Set, the idyllic space is now a wild jungle oasis of silk foliage stems, tropical ferns, orchids, passion flower and the giant iconic leaves of the banana plant. The luscious overgrown jungle canopy is accompanied by a new seasonal menu including a smoked jackfruit salad and Sri Lankan tofu curry, as well as an afternoon tea with a Sri Lankan twist, plus a breakfast and weekend brunch offering. New cocktails include the Ceylon Punch (mango-infused Ceylon Arrack with Ceylon Black Tea, citrus shrub and coconut water), and the Tropical Negroni (with Mór Pineapple Gin, Belsazar Dry, cinnamon tincture, pink grapefruit and kumquat shrub, and Amaro Montenegro).
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
11 The Gentlemen Baristas, London Bridge
Well-mannered coffee connoisseurs The Gentlemen Baristas march forth with their mission to bring good coffee to all corners of London, with a new opening at Vinegar Yard, the new eating, drinking, shopping and art space in London Bridge. Since launching in 2014, The Gentlemen Baristas have strived to recapture the spirit of the coffee houses of old, where manners, service and community are at the heart of the coffee experience and their new site will be no exception to that. Alongside signature coffees, crafted using beans from their dedicated roastery in nearby Shadwell, the new venue is also offering alfresco barbequed breakfast rolls and a brunch and lunch menu seven days a week. Dishes include avocado on toast with sumac, dukkah and herbs, sausage and egg roll with cold-brew ketchup, and regularly changing salads like Kohl-Slaw with kohlrabi, carrot, red cabbage and parsley for lunch. Opening offer: Get one of 50 free breakfast rolls and free coffee all day on Wednesday 3 April.
St Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 3QU; thegentlemenbaristas.com
12 Serata Hall, Old Street
Serata Hall, Albion & East’s fourth offering alongside sister sites Martello Hall in Hackney, Canova Hall and Cattivo, both in Brixton, opens just a stone’s throw away from Old Street station on 3 April. A brand new hub for London’s creatives, the work, play, dinner and drinks space with have everything from super-fast Wi-Fi and hot-desk spaces to an on-site gin distillery making Small Batch Serata Hall gin. There will also be an in-house bakery making pastries, cakes, bread and pizza dough on-site daily. Diners can enjoy top-notch, slow-fermented pizzas and other dishes such as the Truffle Tagliatelle with gorgonzola, walnuts, mushrooms, truffle oil, pink peppercorns, salsa di noci and thyme, the Slow Beef Rigatoni, and the Fried Vegan ‘Chicken’. Open 6.30am through to 11.30pm on weekdays and 12.30am at weekends.
207 Old Street, Shoreditch EC1V 9EY; seratahall.com
13 ZA by PizzaExpress, Fenchurch Street
ZA on Fenchurch Place is a new, all-day offering serving PizzaExpress pizza by the slice and on-the-go eats covering your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. Founder of PizzaExpress, Peter Boizot, started out selling by the slice at his original Wardour Street restaurant in 1965. His latest venture takes the enterprise back to its roots, with slice highlights include the Za-gherita, American Hot, Padana, Pollo ad Astra, La Reine or the Vegan Giardiniera. Other new hot items will include freshly made soups and salads that will sit alongside Pizza Wraps, made with PizzaExpress’ signature dough recipe and filled with popular toppings from the American Hot, Padana and Pollo ad Astra. The famed dough recipe comes into play elsewhere with a range of Piadinas, served cold, sandwich style, with various fillings such as Tuna Nicoise or Artichoke and Olive. You can also grab breakfast in the form of a Luna Flat bread (freshly baked dough filled with various ingredients including ham, spinach or egg) with a Hand Roasted Union coffee.
5 Fenchurch Place, Fenchurch Street EC3M 4AJ; za.life