Lead image: BLACK COD & WAGYU at Zelman Meats, Soho
1 Caractère, Notting Hill
After months of anticipation, Caractère, the first restaurant by husband and wife team Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari, opens its doors on 4 October. tomorrow. While most will be expecting to see Emily – the daughter of the legendary Michel Roux Jr – in chef whites, it’s Diego in the kitchen as Head Chef, while Emily heads up front of house. Italian born Diego has been Head Chef at Le Gavroche for the past three years. Caractère, meaning ‘character’, encompasses what both Emily and Diego hold dearest – beautiful food, warm surroundings and friendly service – all delivered with real character. Both chefs were trained in the classic French way but their love for Italian food is also what has bound them, and it shines in their menu. On the basis of its namesake, Caractère, the menu is divided into six character traits with up to three dishes to choose from in each section: Curious, with small plates and starters; Subtle, with vegetable-focussed small plates and starters; Delicate, with fish-based main courses; Robust, with Meat-based main courses; Strong – the cheese plates – and Greedy, where you’ll find dessert. With the Tasting Menu, you can choose a dish from each trait for £78pp, or you can go a la carte.
209 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill W11 1EA; caractererestaurant.com
2 Teatulia, Covent Garden
A unique blend of tea shop, cocktail bar and literary salon, Teatulia will show Londoners a new way to enjoy tea when it opens on 15 October in Covent Garden. Teatulia will be the first tea shop in London to have complete ownership of its provenance, with every leaf hand-picked in the Teatulia garden in northern Bangladesh, a tea-growing region between Assam and Darjeeling. By day, Teatulia will serve six impeccable teas, for consumption at home or on site, while in the evenings it will serve tea-based cocktails from a menu designed by Enrico Gonzato, from Dandelyan at the Mondrian Hotel (World’s Best Bar, 2017). The signature tea will be the Bengal Builder’s – a rich, dark and bold blend, served with milk, nearly as caffeinated as coffee for your morning cup (all teas are £3 per cup or £5 per pot). The rest of the tea menu will showcase the finest examples of organic single-origin Green, Jasmine Green, Oolong, Ginger and Lemongrass. Enrico Gonzato’s drinks list for Teatulia will marry these teas within a sophisticated cocktail offering such as Builder’s Bourbon (Black Tea, Blackberries, Sugar, Fresh Mint, Bourbon) and Chai Hot-Buttered Rum (Chai Tea, Dark Brown Sugar, Butter, Honey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Spiced Rum). Soft launch offer: From 1 October for two weeks you can get cups of tea for £1.50 or a pot for £2.50.
36 Neal Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9PS; teatuliabar.com
3 Wright Brothers, Soho
Wright Brothers, the seafood and oyster specialists, are relaunching their Soho restaurant on Thursday 4 October with a fresh new look by Macaulay Sinclair, alongside newly curated food and drink menus. The 82-cover restaurant, designed with social dining in mind, will reflect Sinclair’s signature contemporary style. A beautiful captain’s table will seat groups of eight and the main dining room will feature a vast octopus mural on the ceiling by artist Peter Barber. The restaurant will be furnished with bespoke fixtures such as pendant light fittings and marble counters, creating a modern and sophisticated feel. Two outdoor terraces will be heated with green flora, lit candles and cosy blankets for year-round alfresco dining. Head Chef David Jones has created a new menu focusing on sharing and small plates, with dishes such as pan-fried red mullet with an Asian slaw, and teriyaki cod collar with BBQ hispi cabbage. Wright Brothers classics like the seafood platters and oysters will remain on the menu, alongside larger plates like confit pork belly, seared scallop and kimchi cabbage. You can also order WB at Home for collection. Soft launch offer: Get 50% off the food bill from 8-10 October (to sign up see thewrightbrothers.co.uk).
13 Kingly Street & G7/ G8 Kingly Court W1B 5PW; thewrightbrothers.co.uk
4 Heads + Tails, West Hampstead
Launching in mid October in West Hampstead, Heads + Tails is a new late-night cocktail bar from Will Partridge (Wax Jambu, Kilburn Ironworks) and Chris Dennis (Sovereign Loss, Disrepute). A bar of contrasts, Heads will be a bright airy bar, serving light cocktails, gins, wines and aperitivo, while Tails will be a dark, atmospheric basement bar specialising in whiskies and rums. The site, formerly one of West Hampstead’s longest standing nightspots, Lately, is now set to cultivate a new wave of stylish drinking spaces in its village-like location on West End Lane. Bright, with lofty ceilings and natural light, the ground floor bar Heads has been designed with a cooling colour palette, a marble-topped bar and full-length glass windows at both the front and rear. There’s also a separate outdoor area. The cocktail menu features light and refreshing vodka and gin-based twists on classics and contemporary libations. Downstairs, you’ll find the dark, moody Tails, with low ceilings, atmospheric dark walls, plush comfortable seating and a beautifully warm solid wood bar makes, alongside short, bold offerings based mainly on bourbon, rum and Scotch.
175 West End Lane, West Hampstead NW6 2LH; headsandtails.bar
5 Flat Iron, King’s Cross
Self-taught butcher Charlie Carroll opens Flat Iron in King’s Cross on 4 October. Originally a pop-up in the summer of 2012, Flat Iron’s unwavering mind set of doing a small number of things really well has since garnered a cult following. Founder Charlie’s ‘learn to do it yourself’ approach continues to drive their pursuit of making great steak available to everyone. The ‘flat iron’ steak that Charlie’s restaurants specialise in is taken from the often underused feather blade of the animal. Flat Iron King’s Cross will also serve more specialist cuts, including the underblade fillet, tri tip and rump cap from Flat Iron’s own Yorkshire herd of rare and native breed cattle. Charlie, who still loves to break down whole sides of beef at his butchers block, works with third generation beef farmer, Charles Ashbridge, to source well finished examples of the best native breeds. These whole animals are then butchered on-site in the Covent Garden restaurant. Alongside the beef dripping chips, there’ll be Wagyu Fries, cooked in wagyu fat, and made-to-order ice-cream customised with a host of toppings from Madagascan vanilla Chantilly cream to Italian wild Amarena cherry syrup.
47-51 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross N1 9BU; flatironsteak.co.uk
6 Sticks’n’Sushi, Kings Road, Chelsea
Sticks’n’Sushi opened their eighth UK restaurant, and their largest to date, on Kings Road in Chelsea on Monday 1 October. The focal point of the 90-cover ground floor will be an open kitchen island with counter seating, where you can eat or just enjoy a drink. Upstairs on the first floor, counter seating, low banquettes and tables will offer a variety of spaces to discover. The basement houses a a first for the group – The Kings Room, a 26-seat ‘restaurant-within-a-restaurant’ private dining room, equipped with its own kitchen, cocktail bar and dedicated team. Sticks’n’Sushi’s serves freshly-made sushi and grilled yakitori, with a menu presented as a ‘photo album’ featuring images of every dish, grouped into categories so you can order intuitively. Sticks, sushi and sashimi can be ordered a la carte as individual pieces, or as menus composed by Sticks’n’Sushi. Going Greener is a core philosophy at Sticks’n’Sushi, so vegetarian and vegan dishes have their own dedicated Green Card pages so you can spot the plant-based dishes at a glance.
113-115 Kings Road, Chelsea SW3 4NT; sticksnsushi.com
7 BLACK COD & WAGYU at Zelman Meats, Soho
BLACK COD & WAGYU, a new residency promising to make the eponymous luxury foods affordable, opened on Monday 1 October in Soho. Taking over the bar area of Zelman Meats in St Anne’s Court, BLACK COD & WAGYU’s menu, developed by executive head chef Olly Bird, features black cod cooked in miso and 200g Wagyu steaks for just £15 each at lunch and £20 at dinner. Starters include Tiger Prawn Tempura, Lobster Croquetas, Hot & Sour Wagyu Beef Tartare, Tuna Tartare and Burrata, with side dishes such as Som Tam Salad and Lobster Fried Rice. BLACK COD & WAGYU’s mission is to make premium foods that diners might ordinarily rule out as being too expensive accessible and affordable. But no corners will be cut in delivering the highest-quality experience; the room will be opulently decorated with huge fish tanks and bold Japanese-inspired illustration, and the food will be beautifully presented on vintage-style china. Accommodating just 30 covers, bookings are essential and can be made via Instagram and online (taking reservations until at least the end of 2018).
2 St Anne’s Court (access via Zelman Meats), Soho W1F 0AZ; blackcodandwagyu.com
8 Nathalie, Hanover Square
Restaurateur and designer, Juan Santa Cruz will open his latest London venture, Nathalie – a revolutionary take-out spot in Hanover Square – in late October. Changing the face of London’s lunch scene, Juan – who with his company Santa Cruz is the mastermind behind the glamorous Casa Cruz in Notting Hill and elegant Mayfair restaurant, Isabel – will bring his unique flair to breakfast, lunch and dinner with an Art Deco vibe. If his stunning Santa Cruz Co restaurants are the haute couture, Nathalie is the ‘ready to wear’ for busy Londoners demanding healthy fuel on the go. Inside, the modern surrounds feature Dalmatia marble that Juan personally sourced from Italy. Pick your sustainable Cruz Box, made from compostable plant-based material, either through the trailblazing custom order app, or just by walking into the deli-style eatery. You can also shop for Santa Cruz lifestyle products, from salt and pepper grinders to beautiful cutlery sets, napkins and oil-lamps.
7 Hanover Square W1S 1HQ; nathaliemayfair.london
9 Berenjak, Soho
Berenjak aims to reinterpret the classic hole-in-the-wall kabab houses lining the streets of Tehran when its opens in Soho on 23 October. Berenjak, named for the handfuls of crunchy toasted rice eaten as a snack at funfairs in Iran, is inspired by founder and chef Kian Samyani’s childhood, gathered around the dining table with his family, as well as his experience cooking at Gymkhana and Brigadiers. Kian will evoke the style of a rustic Persian kabab house, with an open kitchen, exposed brick walls, stained glass windows and Persian-inspired mosaic lining the floor. Whether perched around the kitchen counter or one of the communal tables, you can enjoy punchy small plates like blackened aubergine with whey, walnuts and dried mint, and a daily-changing Kuku (an omelette of seasonal herbs with whipped Westcombe ricotta). To follow, take your pick from traditional kababs on freshly baked breads hot from the tandoor, including a whole poussin marinated in saffron, lemon and tomato, and tender minced kid goat dish that’s a staple at every kabab house.
27 Romilly Street, Soho W1D 5AL; berenjaklondon.com
10 Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, Liverpool Street
Usain Bolt – treble Olympic hero and fastest man in history – is set to launch his Jamaican restaurant, bar and late lounge, Tracks & Records, on 10 October. Located a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station, Tracks & Records will offering an authentic slice of Jamaica, mixing bold flavours with sports memorabilia and a soundtrack of live reggae and dub DJ sets. Enjoy Bolt’s favourite dishes, such as jerk chicken and pork, and fried fish and bammy – all packed full of authentic seasonings and spices. The rum bar, which features an extensive collection of over 150 global rums, most of which are Jamaican, offers a range of signature cocktails including traditional favourites and a new range all exclusively created for London. The venue is split across two floors, with a stylish bar, dancefloor and club downstairs, alongside a Jamaican-inspired chillout area to immerse guests in the island’s vibes.
94 Middlesex Street E1 7EZ; tracksandrecords.com