Looking for the latest restaurant and bar openings? You’re in the right place. The Resident picks out the best of the February openings, new menus and soft launch offers
Lead image: VIVI, Centrepoint
1 The Oak SW11, Battersea
The Oak SW11 – the latest opening from Out of the Woods Restaurant Group, which also has the Oak W2 on Westbourne Park Road, The Bird in Hand in Brook Green and The Oak W12 in Shepherd’s Bush – opened on 5 February. Previously the Butcher & Grill, the 3,500 sq ft venue overlooking Ransome’s Dock houses a bar, lounge, dining room and expansive mezzanine. Oak herringbone table tops, emerald green banquette seating, a long white marble bar and bronzed pendant lighting create a contemporary, smart-yet-relaxed environment. The Mediterranean menu features sharing dishes, cicchetti, small plates and miniature pizzas. Executive Chef Nuno Franco’s highlights include seaweed-coated tuna loin with saffron onions, crispy capers and paprika aioli, and pappardelle with beef shin ragu and shaved Parmesan. Weekday breakfasts and weekend brunches will launch in spring.
39 Parkgate Road, Battersea SW11 4NP; theoaksw11.com
2 Donnelly’s at Bermondsey Bar and Kitchen, Bermondsey
Chef James Donnelly, whose has worked in the kitchens of The River Café, Tom Aiken and The Palmerston, has taken over the kitchen at Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen. Passionate about our green and pleasant land, Donnelly’s best of British dishes champion independent British producers. Pork belly from Gloucestershire is brined, slow-roasted and served with sour cabbage and apple compote; sustainable cod, sourced from the family-run Henderson Seafood in Devon, is served with English green lentils, herb salsa and grilled lemon; and British vegetables have time to shine thanks to roast beetroot and pumpkin with Beauvale blue cheese and hazelnut vinegar. Sunday roasts include 35-day aged Galloway beef, roast herb-fed chicken with all the trimmings and roast vegetable and wild mushroom puff pastry with parsnip purée.
40 Bermondsey Street SE1 3UD; donnellysrestaurant.co.uk
Koolcha, the highly anticipated casual dining venture from world-renowned chef Rohit Ghai, opens on 10 February at Boxpark Wembley. The 60-cover restaurant, one of only two dine-in options at the new Boxpark venue, is the second venture from business partners Chef Rohit Ghai and Abhishake Sangwan, who recently opened the well-received Kutir in Chelsea. Koolcha will serve a menu of signature biryanis alongside stuffed naans, small plates and grilled sandwiches. Get 50% off all food (dine-in only) during the soft launch on 9 February.
Olympic Way, Wembley Park HA9 0JT; boxpark.co.uk
The Green Man in Fitzrovia has just relaunched as The Greener Man with a brand new small-plates menu of vegan and vegetarian dishes, and it’s not just a #Veganuary thing. The new menu, which will be in situ for around six months, includes plant-based versions of pub classics, like nachos topped with chickpeas and melted vegan cheese, a red pepper macaroni with a garlic and herb crumb, and a roasted squash and pepper lasagne. There’s also a Beyond Meat burger topped with vegan cheese, vegan mayo, lettuce and tobacco onions in an ancient grain bun. To drink, choose from vegan craft beers, ales and wines from around the world.
36 Riding House Street, Fitzrovia W1W 7EP; thegreenmanw1.co.uk
5 William IV, Kensal Green
Kensal Green’s landmark pub and dining room, William IV, has just reopened following a lengthy closure for refurbishment. The building dates back to 1837 and is now under the charge of a local, independent restaurateur who wanted to restore the pub to its former glory. The menu features well-executed British pub favourites, such as Beer Battered Cod and Triple Cooked Chips and a signature Steak, Cheddar and Guinness Pie with Potato and Carrot Mash. There’s also a carefully selected choice of beers, as well as 15 individually decorated bedrooms above the pub, due to open soon and an outdoor terrace set to launch in spring.
786 Harrow Road NW10 5JX; williamiv.london
6 Rotate, Shoreditch
Rotate, an independent, all-day coffee shop, bar and event space that serves specialty coffee by day and tunes, craft beers and bespoke cocktails by night, is celebrating its launch by giving away a free bao bun and boozy drink for the first 100 guests on Friday 15 February from 5pm. The venue, which hosts a rotating residency of food and drink takeovers from London’s most exciting up and coming brands, will be launching with Asian-fusion street food brand Tiger Bites (set to air on BBC Two’s Million Pound Menu). Rotate is also haven for cyclists, selling the best design-led and high-performance clothing from leading independent brands, and has co-working space downstairs.
1 Bath Place, Rivington Street, Shoreditch EC2A 3DA; rotateshoreditch.com
7 Yopo at The Mandrake, Fitzrovia
Yopo, opening on 12 February, will bring a new, fresh restaurant to one of Fitzrovia’s hottest hotels, The Mandrake. Named for a plant found deep in the jungles of Venezuela, Yopo will be serving modern European cooking with South American elements, such as potato churros, ceviche of seabass, blood orange, red onion and nasturtium; charcoal grilled octopus with aji pancha and avocado; and smoked aubergine with sea herbs and lemon Itakuja tart. The bar will also serve grab-and-go coffees and dishes to take away throughout the day, and the entrance will be framed by floor-to-ceiling windows with artistic and floral displays reflecting the changing of the seasons. A hand-painted ceiling mural, textured wooden tables and hand thrown crockery will create a serene hangout.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia W1T 1PG; yopo.london
8 A.O.K. Kitchen & Bakery, Marylebone
A.O.K. Kitchen & Bakery – the debut restaurant from The Arts Club’s Kelly Landesberg – opens on Dorset Street, Marylebone, on 18 February. Located just a stone’s throw from the acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse and Yeotown Kitchen on Chiltern Street, it keeps good company. The healthy eating concept, inclusive of special dietary requirements, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a focus on gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free dishes, inspired by Mediterranean and Californian flavours. Landesberg will be joined by a team of acclaimed chefs from London’s dining scene, including Kostas Rampias, former Head Chef at MoMo’s, who will bring his passion for Mediterranean cooking to A.O.K.’s seasonal menu. The all-day dining space will offer a variety of dishes, from Acai bowls and a nutritious take on the full English breakfast, to salads, sea bass Ceviche and BBQ lamb chops. Sebastien Chiono, the Head Baker at The Arts Club, will also be creating freshly-made patisserie and viennoiserie in dairy, gluten and free varieties, all refined sugar free.
52-55 Dorset Street, Marylebone W1U 7NH; aokkitchen.co.uk
All-day dining restaurant Bar + Block Steakhouse will bring its fresh new beef cuts to The Broadway, Wimbledon, on 8 February. From a beefed-up breakfast or speedy working lunch to post-work drinks and a three-course meal, Bar + Block Steakhouse delivers. The restaurant, which also has branches in King’s Cross, Aldgate, and across the UK, aims to serve the best cuts of quality beef. Vegetarians are catered for as well, with dishes such as the halloumi and courgette burger and the mushroom and spinach gnocchi. There are plenty of other carnivorous options too, such as the chargrilled chicken salad and BBQ smoked pork belly. To celebrate the new opening, Bar + Block Wimbledon will be treating diners to two-for-one steaks from 18 February-17 March (excluding the Spiral Cut 10oz Fillet, Deconstructed Beef Wellington and Tira De Ancho). Sign up for the offer here.
153-163 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1NE; barandblock.co.uk
10 VIVI, Centre Point
Following an ambitious redevelopment, historical landmark Centre Point finally has a destination restaurant – VIVI – created by rhubarb, the company behind Sky Garden. Inspired by London’s decade of hedonism, the 60s, VIVI’s best of British all-day menu features modernised nostalgic dishes, such as chicken kiev with braised lettuce and mash, and Keen’s cheddar twice baked soufflé with Provençale peppers. Expect old school bartending at VIVI Bar, with classic and creative cocktails such as the Rolling in brown sugar (champagne, rum, Martini, jasmine and brown sugar), inspired by The Rolling Stones, and the Dazed and Confused (Tequila, kumquat liqueur, orange blossom and grapefruit), a nod to Led Zeppelin. You can also pick up fresh juices, smoothies and power shakes at VIVI’s Liquid Lounge, or afternoon tea overlooking New Oxford Street in The Gallery. Soft launch offer: 50% off food from 16-18 February and 25% off food from 19-24 February (pre-booking required).
Centre Point, 11 Saint Giles Square WC2H 8AP; vivirestaurant.co.uk
11 Ooty, Marylebone
Ooty, the first restaurant venture from Pooja Nayak and Aseela Goenka, opens on the former site of Galvin Bistro de Luxe on Baker Street on 14 February. Named after a small town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the fine dining restaurant will focus on the ingredients and cuisine of southern India, with Manmeet Singh Bali, formerly head chef at Michelin-starred Rasoi and Vineet Bhatia London (VBL), heading up the kitchen. Menu highlights include Keralan lime lobster with shellfish charu, squid ink idli and chutney spoon, and the traditional Andhra Natu Ko di Biryani (guinea fowl with basmati rice, egg salan and cucumber yoghurt pachadi). As well as an 80-cover fine dining restaurant, there will also be Ooty Club – a colonial-style basement bar serving cocktails inspired by railway journeys through India, and Ooty Station, an all-day casual dining space and cocktail bar (set to open before summer). Soft launch offer: 50% off food for lunch or dinner from 14-16 February (booking required via email@example.com).
66 Baker Street, Marylebone W1U 7DJ; ooty.co.uk
12 Big Chill, Brick Lane
Big Chill Brick Lane has reopened after a revamp, with a vibrant new colour scheme, moody tropical-inspired hideaways and concrete interior embellished with Instagrammable neons. A music-lovers haven, celebrating the best underground music from around the world alongside emerging London artists, the revival of Big Chill’s DJ nights, Thursday through Saturday, is not to be missed. There’s also a new resident restaurant, Chuck Burger, serving up American-style eats such as the Chuck N Cheese burger and the Korean-inspired Seoul Bird. As well as Big Chill’s innovative cocktails, you can also enjoy two-for-one on wine and beer from Monday to Friday between 4pm and 6pm.
Dray Walk E1 6QL; bigchillbar.com
13 Gloria, Shoreditch
Victor Lugger, Tigrane Seydoux and the team behind La Felicitá and Pink Mamma in Paris, are due to open their first London site, Gloria, on 22 February. The Italian trattoria’s star dish will likely be the carbonara served in a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel. Other highlights from the menu include The Ten Level Lasagne and La Vera Pasta al Tartufo, a dish of fresh pappardelle, black Molise truffle, mascarpone and button mushrooms. All their produce – Parma ham, ‘nudja, burrata – will be directly sourced from Italy and the pasta, roasted coffee, beer, limocello and gelato will be homemade on site. The two-story venue will have the look and feel of Capri in the 70s with decadent marble from Carrera, overflowing greenery and antique Italian ceramics. Downstairs, mirrored ceilings and velour banquettes will sit around a sunken kitchen and will be perfect for late night dining (open till 2am at weekends).
54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch EC2A 3QR; bigmammagroup.com
14 EartH Kitchen, Dalston
Auro Foxcroft, founder of Village Underground and champion of Hackney nightlife, launches EartH Kitchen, together with Chris Gillard, who previously helmed the St John Group as executive chef, on 12 February. Residing in the former art deco cinema on Dalston’s bustling Stoke Newington Road, the menu will reflect Chris’ passion for using the best available seasonal ingredients. Menu highlights include Pardina lentils with roasted root vegetables and Grilled Ox heart with chips, alongside smaller plates including pork and duck rillettes. There’s also a daily-changing set lunch menu, pre-show express specials and weekend with staples of avocado toast and poached eggs sitting alongside smoked haddock kedgeree and buttermilk pancakes. There’ll also be a strong emphasis on music throughout the building. Soft launch offer: To celebrate the opening, diners will be able to enjoy 50% off brunch on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February.
11-17 Stoke Newington Road N16 8BH; earth-kitchen.co.uk
15 The Ninth Life, Catford
The Ninth Life opened in Catford on 7 February, a fitting name for what was previously the Black Horse and Harrow, one of Lewisham’s oldest pubs. Plus, it’s in Catford, so let the kitty themes and memes roll. The huge venue has been refurbished by The Laine Pub Company to create a multi-level pub with a nine-room immersive theatre experience. Inspired by festival culture, The Ninth Life will host an extensive events programme with music, performance, live art, film screenings, games nights and more on the agenda. The top floors will host an Escape Room, interactive theatre and gaming experience, while downstairs there’s seasonal food and drinks from the likes of Brockley Brewery to be enjoyed.
167 Rushey Green, Catford SE6 4BD; ninthlife.pub