You’d think January would be a quiet month on the new openings front, but not in London, where no fewer than 20 new bars, restaurants and cafes are due to launch. Here’s The Resident’s pick of the bunch…
Lead image: 28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen, Covent Garden
1 Muse by Tom Aikens, Belgravia
Muse, Tom Aikens’ cosy new 25-seater restaurant located in a cosy renovated mews house in Belgravia, opens on 11 January. Aiken has spent years looking for the perfect site, so you can expect him to put his all into this rather personal venture. The seasonal, stripped-back tasting menu has been inspired by poignant memories of his early childhood and professional path throughout the years. Signature dishes will spotlight one key ingredient or element per dish, allowing it to tell a story through minimal, yet expertly selected produce. The dining space will be split over two floors – each a fully open plan theatre kitchen – and designer Rebecca Korner has created a luxurious, inviting interior combining an eclectic mix of furniture and lighting with exquisite fabrics, rich woods and jewel-toned marbles.
38 Groom Place, Belgravia SW1X 7BA; musebytomaikens.co.uk
2 TSQ Playhouse, Covent Garden
TSQ Playhouse by Thai Square Restaurants launches on 16 January within the Covent Garden restaurant that underwent a refurb in December. Located at the rear of the restaurant, with its own entrance, the all new TSQ Playhouse cocktail bar is a fun, quirky and eclectic spot with joyful fairy tale déco and fabulous cocktails from a selection of storytelling chapters such as the Enchanted Forest and Cloud 9. You’ll also find two decadent karaoke rooms and a play zone, equipped with a digital beer pong table. The restaurant has a fresh, contemporary look and a revised menu offering the likes of their notorious signature dishes, Crispy Duck with Ruby Sauce, Chu Chi Sea Bass Curry and Tom Yum Soup, as well as a great value pre-theatre dinner menu.
166-170 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8JB; tsqplayhouse.com
3 Ampéli, Fitzrovia
Ampéli restaurant by Jenny Pagoni opens its doors on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia on 15 January. Taking cues from the modern wine-focused restaurants of Athens, Ampéli will feature dishes inspired by both Greek and Eastern Mediterranean cultures, accompanied by a list of indigenous wines from across Greece. The kitchen, led by Head Chef Oren Goldfeld (formerly of Nopi and Tel Aviv’s acclaimed Toto), offers up everything from sharing plates to enjoy over a glass of wine – like feta saganaki with tomato jam, okra and goat’s cheese fritters, and smoked cod’s roe dip with lavash crisps – to heartier dishes like pan-fried Welsh lamb sweetbreads with Jerusalem mixed spice and comforting short rib stew with quince and date molasses. Other highlights include dishes inspired by the food of the Eastern Mediterranean coastline, such as spiced potato brik with soft egg yolk, brown shrimp and harissa mayo, and braised cuttlefish with orzo and Moroccan red pepper sauce. The wines at Ampéli have been curated by Greek Master of Wine Yiannis Karakasis, championing native varietals and dynamic producers from emerging wine regions. Classic spirits such as Ouzo, Raki, Mastica and Tsipouro also feature on the drinks menu.
18 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2LZ; ampeli.london
4 28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen, Covent Garden
Independent wine specialists 28°-50° has opened 28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen in Covent Garden, offering brasserie-inspired food and a thoughtfully curated wine selection of Old and New World wines. The new 180-cover wine bar & kitchen is spearheading The Yards, the newly re-branded series of interconnecting foodie courtyards that includes St Martin’s Courtyard and Mercer Walk. The eclectic European-inspired menu, created by executive chef Julien Baris, offers light bites and charcuterie, a pre and post-theatre menu, and signature a la carte favourites such as stone bass with celeriac choucroute and shellfish bisque, a duck confit with homemade duck-fat chips and 28°-50°’s famous hot dog. The stylish wine bar and kitchen is owned and operated by the privately-owned Riviera Restaurants and Luxury, whose founder Richard Green has personally designed the beautiful new venue. Inside, you’ll find a dedicated champagne bar, plush table and bar seating, and an Instagrammable cork bottle wall. Wine crates and steel girders give a nod to its sister restaurant in Marylebone, softened by pastel pink and sky-blue velvet armchairs.
10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden WC2H 9FB; 2850coventgarden.co.uk
Critically acclaimed Portuguese wine bar and restaurant Bar Douro, which established its flagship in London Bridge in 2016, is opening its second site on 28 January. Located in the new Finsbury Avenue development at Broadgate, the new Bar Douro will offer a more extensive menu, delving deeper into Portugal’s regional gastronomy from the Minho in the north to the Algarve in the south. Restaurateur Max Graham’s contemporary take on traditional Portuguese cuisine bar snacks such as croquetes de Alheira with smoked sausage, fried eels with Bairrada sauce, and the return of award-winning sandes de leitão (sucking pig sandwich in sweet potato flat bread). Small plates will be divided into dishes from garden, land and sea, from bacalhau à Brás salt cod hash to succulent gambas á la guilho and presa Ibérico. New to the city the menu will include seafood stews, rice dishes and braised meats. The wine selection will also journey through Portugal’s growing regions. Soft launch offer: 50% off food from 28 January until 11 February (email firstname.lastname@example.org to book).
1 Finsbury Avenue, Broadgate EC2M 2PF; bardouro.co.uk
6 Big Fernand, South Kensington
Parisian burger brand Big Fernand has crossed the Channel to add a certain je ne sais quoi to the Big Smoke. Known for bringing France’s culinary flair and unique ingredients to the international burger scene, Big Fernand has become synonymous with carefully considered casual dining. Quality French beef is paired with cheeses, sauces and potatoes all sourced from France – a trademark element that has shaken up the burger world’s American conventions. The hamburgé menu runs to nine options, anchored by le Big Fernand, which sandwiches an organic French beef patty between freshly baked brioche buns, with Tomme de Savoie cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and Big Fernand cocktail sauce. Classically French Fernand frites and gooey frites raclette are also on the menu. Big Fernand will serve a light breakfast menu too. Launching in February, it will cover all the continental breakfast essentials such as freshly made French pastries, Tartine or Ficelle beurrée bread baked on site, hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, yoghurts and fruit salads.
37 Thurloe Place, South Kensington SW7 2HP; bigfernanduk.com
7 Sarap, Brixton
Filipino-inspired neighbourhood restaurant Sarap opens its very first stand-alone site in the vibrant Brixton Village on 30 January. Sydney-raised chef-owner Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya brings won top prize in the Brixton Kitchen competition last spring, where chefs Jackson Boxer, James Cochran and esteemed baker Claire Ptak awarded Montoya the chance to upgrade his roaming supperclub to a full-time business. A menu serving up small and large sharing plates inspired by the Philippines will centre around Sarap’s speciality dish, Lechon Liempo, featuring slow-roasted pork belly rolled stuffed with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilli, coconut vinegar and soy sauce. A small and carefully curated drinks list will focus on low-intervention wines alongside Filipino-branded and local craft beers. On 30 January, Sarap with be offering free food and drink on a first-come-first-served basis. Soft launch offer: 50% off the entire bill from 24-26 January (walk-ins only).
14D Market Row, Brixton SW9 8LB; saraplondon.com
8 Peckham Cellars, Peckham
Peckham Cellars, a new neighbourhood wine bar and kitchen from longtime friends and industry veterans Helen Hall, Luke West-Whylie and Ben McVeigh, opens on 9 January. Located a stone’s throw from Queens Road Peckham station, the wine bar, restaurant and wine shop is a low-key, intimate spot featuring a seasonal and regularly changing menu and wine list. The bar menu includes rosemary and garlic salami, potato dauphines with Cornish gouda and their ‘dirty onion’ tortilla. In the restaurant area, diners can feast on a menu of small and large plates with produce sourced from nearby suppliers Flock and Herd and London Smoke & Cure. Larger plates include the likes of day-boat Cornish brill, fava and salsa verde, and onglet with Colston Bassett, smashed potatoes and aioli, as well as a spin on the traditional Sunday lunch. Plus, should you take a liking to your tipple, all wines on the menu are available to buy at the Peckham Cellars bottle shop.
125 Queens Road, Peckham SE15 2ND; peckhamcellars.co.uk
9 Shaman, Aldgate
Shaman, London’s first no/low alcohol bar, launches on 16 January – perfect for Dry January. The brainchild of hospitality trailblazers The Initiative, Shaman aims to disrupt the idea that bars can only be enjoyed with alcohol. The menu, crafted in collaboration with renowned chef Robin Gill and nutritionist Olga Hamilton, is designed to be both delicious and nutritious and will leave you feeling energised. Located in Aldgate East at the Leman Locke Hotel, Shaman offers up healthy salads and sandwiches, like the Spelt Pasta & Tamari mushroom Salad and the Beetroot & Avocado Sandwich, as well as juices designed to improve gut health, revive your liver, increase energy levels and reduce stress. Opt for the likes of the Skin Glow juice, with carrot, turmeric, apple, ginger and lemon, or Beat the Bloat, with activated coconut charcoal, lemon, lime, H20 and agave. Plus, the beautiful interior, designed by award-winning interior design agency Grzywinski + Pons, is a feast for the eyes, too.
15 Leman Street, Aldgate East E1 8EN; shaman-coffee.com
10 Oklava Bakery + Wine, Fitzrovia
Oklava Bakery + Wine, the new concept from Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie, opens on the site of the pair’s former restaurant, Kyseri, in Fitzrovia on 21 January. Borrowing popular elements from Kyseri, the original Oklava in Shoreditch and Oklava at Arcade, the venue will showcase new dishes and Selin’s passion for Turkish baking, with many recipes passed down from Selin’s grandmother. The all-day bakery will also serve a daily changing pasta including their much-loved manti (Turkish pasta), such as beef & sour cherry, and pide specials including the Black Sea cheese & butter pide from Arcade. Oklava Bakery + Wine will be open all day, serving lunch and dinner, and, for the first time, a Turkish breakfast and Saturday brunch. For lunch and dinner, try dishes such as the Tepsi Kebab, a beautiful combination of spiced beef and lamb baked kofte, yogurt and brown butter with house bread and chopped salad. Soft launch offer: 50% off lunch and dinner from 15-18 January (email email@example.com to book). To celebrate the soft launch opening on 15 January, the first 100 people to walk through the door will receive one of Selin’s new pastries.
64 Grafton Way, Fitzrovia W1T 5DP; oklava.co.uk
11 Pastaio, Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush
Stevie Parle’s popular Soho fresh pasta joint, Pastaio, is opens at Westfield London on 10 January. The second branch of the fast-casual pasta and prosecco slushie favourite brings Pastaio’s top quality dishes to west London for the first time, alongside new plates developed specifically for the Westfield London site. Try the likes of pillowy gnocco fritto, deep fried squash fritti with chilli; and 30 egg-yolk taglioni with jersey butter and 30-month aged parmesan. New desserts include hot pocket apple pie and the group’s first ever soft-serve vanilla ice-cream, with pistachio, sour cherries and melted chocolate. Pastaio Westfield London also offers a kids menu, as well as a brand new Green menu of plant based dishes such as vegan cacio e pepe and ‘ragu’ bolognese with mafaldine. Celebrated designer Tom Dixon created the interiors, featuring his iconic slab chairs and new OPAL pendant lighting, as well as a striking hung staircase. Situated on Southern Terrace opposite Waitrose, the site incorporates a covered ground floor, street terrace and a first-floor balcony.
Unit 1032, Lower Southern Terrace, Westfield London, Shepherds Bush W12 7GF; pastaio.co.uk
12 Pizza Pilgrims, Victoria
Traditional Neapolitan pizzeria group Pizza Pilgrims launches an immersive ‘pizza pilgrimage’ in Victoria on 13 January. The pizzeria will be a visual representation of the Italian pilgrimage that sparked the idea for brothers Thom and James Elliot to create Pizza Pilgrims. Split across four stylised areas, Pizza Pilgrims Victoria represents different regions of Italy, from Naples to Amalfi and up to Tuscany and Bologna, paying homage to the regions and producers the dedicated dough duo met when learning the secrets of great pizza. The restaurant represents Naples – the home of pizza – decked out in the style of a traditional cobbled piazza complete, while the bar area represents Amalfi, the coastal region famed for its lemons, which inspired Pococello, James and Thom’s Limoncello brand. Step down the religious Emilia-Romagna stairway to the Tuscan Wine Room, complete with a wall of wine, and finally, enjoy a trip through Bologna via a lit Parmigiano corridor, which will feature row upon row of the ‘king of cheese’.
32-34 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria SW1W 0QP; pizzapilgrims.co.uk
13 Brindisa Kitchen at Borough Market Kitchen
Brindisa, the home of Spanish food in London, opens Brindisa Kitchen at the new Borough Market Kitchen on 6 January. Dishes and drinks take visitors on a culinary journey in the footsteps of an ancient Spanish pilgrimage, La Ruta de la Plata, the Roman route for goods, troops, traders and travellers from Andalucía in the south to the wild Northern Asturian coastline. The new communal dining space is walk-in only, seating guests around a marble-topped, horseshoe-shaped bar where you can take your pick of the day’s freshly landed catches from the seafood counter. Rockfish from the north, trout from the rivers, salt cod from inland areas and crispy fish and tuna from the south form the backbone of the menu. Wild game, lamb and pulses from the woodland and mountains along the route create a food journey through España profunda. You’ll also find award-winning cheeses from farms dotted along La Ruta de la Plata, as well as hearty breakfast dishes of migas, churros and thick hot chocolate, stove coffee and more.
Borough Market Kitchen, Winchester Walk, Borough SE1 9A; brindisakitchens.com
14 Milroy’s of Spitalfields
Milroy’s of Spitalfields is a new whisky bar, a cocktail bar, a tasting room and an exclusive private members club with a cigar terrace. Open now, Milroy’s aims to trailblaze a laid-back and inclusive approach to the traditionally stuffy and inaccessible world of whisky, championing women in whisky and showcasing a carefully curated whisky selection from around the globe. In the basement, guests can find The Proofing Room, a cocktail bar created by Chris Tanner and the team behind the award-winning Vault Soho, below Milroy’s Greek Street. On the ground floor there is a 1000-strong whisky bar with space for 40 people, showcasing scotch from the Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, Islands and Campletown, alongside American whiskies, Asian whiskies, European whiskies and those flown in from Australia and South Africa. Finally, The first floor houses The Dram House, a private members club for loyal customers and whisky aficionados with a bar offering an exclusive selection of whiskies and tasting opportunities.
76 Commercial Street, Spitalfields E1 6LY; milroys.co.uk
15 Colette, Chelsea
Dinner party fans who don’t like to cook – Colette, a gourmet traiteur and delicatessen that aims to usher in a new age of dining-at-home with style – could be your saviour. Set to launch on Fulham Road, Chelsea, on 20 January, the concept fuses modern-traditional delicatessen with curated shopping for a fresh approach to gourmet dining at home, without all the heavy lifting. Executive Chef Chris Hill, who formerly served under renowned Chef John Williams at The Ritz, has designed an uncompromising menu of the finest seasonal ingredients for quality, take-home dining dishes. The menu will offer the likes of classic confit cod, smoked chestnut and butternut squash risotto, and soy glazed beef rib. You’ll also find a curated selections of fine wines and champagnes, artisan cheeses, charcuterie, luxury chocolates, unique gifts.
315 Fulham Road, Chelsea SW10 9QH; colette.co.uk
16 Ditto Coffee, Shoreditch
Ditto Coffee, the brand-new coffee chain from music distribution and label service provider Ditto Music, launches Ditto Coffee in Shoreditch on 14 January. Ditto, which has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Chance The Rapper, has launched the brand new coffee chain to give independent musicians a new route to market, outside of digital distribution. The coffee shop – the third in the UK – will celebrate the local independent music scene, with live sessions from local artists and the opportunity to physically sell their music directly in-store. Ditto Coffee in Shoreditch will celebrate London’s thriving and rich independent music scene, offering London-based musician’s the chance to perform live, host listening parties and sell their music directly to fans. The venue also offers a free meeting space, where local independent musicians can connect with like-minded musicians and get their music heard to a wider audience.
91 Rivington Street, Hackney EC2A 3AY; dittocoffee.co.uk
17 New Ground, Selfridges
Selfridges is going great guns this new year, with the launch of a cinema, comedy club, mood elevating lifts and, now, a sustainable and ethical pop-up coffee shop. It’s all part of Selfridges’ Happy New Decade creative campaign, presenting unexpected ways to make sure the new-gen 20s are roaring, not boring. New Ground, open from 6 January until 9 February, offers training and work opportunities for ex-offenders, with a menu of 10 coffees, each with an optional shot of CBD oil, as well as tea, hot chocolate and breakfast pastries. Founders Dickon Morris and Joel Grates source high-grade coffee ethically from small-scale farmers, and each is roasted differently to fully develop and showcase the flavours. Plus, all drinks come in specially designed coffee cups, which will be turned into Selfridges yellow Kraft paper shopping bags. The Corner Shop, where you’ll find the coffee shop, also has a full-sized yellow slide for customers to enjoy. Open from 7.30am Monday-Friday and during normal store hours at weekends.
The Corner Shop, Selfridges Ground Floor, 400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com
18 Apple Butter Café, Seven Dials
Apple Butter Café on Monmouth Street is a new east-meets-west fusion café concept, created by Middle Eastern-born brothers Saleh and Mohammad Alayan alongside Faycal Abdel Khalek. Open now, the cosy yet sophisticated interior centres on a very instagrammable apple tree, and the all-day dining menu offers a warm welcome for all. Alongside specialty coffee and cold brews, the cafe will serve gourmet sandwiches and salads, indulgent Middle Eastern-inspired desserts, daily freshly-baked cakes and pastries, and a full gluten and diary-free range. Highlights from the menu include goat labneh salad with Mesclun, baby spinach, caramelised walnuts, goji berries and balsamic dressing; chicken yakitori with honey mustard mayo, baby rocket, pickles and soya sesame oil; and the signature lotus flower dessert filled with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips and topped with ice cream and caramel sauce.
32-34 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9HA; @applebuttercafe
19 Carousel, Marylebone
Not new, but always reinventing itself, Carousel, Marylebone’s creative hub and home of the chef residency, has announced its January line-up. Following its fifth birthday celebrations in 2019, marking more than 150 chefs through the doors since opening, Carousel embraces the new decade with grander ambitions and a stellar line-up for the year ahead. Upcoming chef residencies include Suhyung Lee from Busan in South Korea, combining traditional Korean products and contemporary techniques to create the likes of Beef Ragù Tteokbokki and Pork Katsu (14-18 January); Masterchef: The Professionals – ‘The Rematch’ winner Sven-Hanson Britt, offering an exclusive preview of his debut restaurant, Oxeye, which opens later this year in Derbyshire (20-24 January); and Akané Monavon from Paris, showcasing a delicate and understated French-Japanese style with dishes like Szechuan Duck Breast with soy, sesame, orange zest and honey (28 January-1 February).
71 Blandford Street, Marylebone W1U 8AB; carousel-london.com
20 Boxpark Launches New Food Offerings in Wembley, Shoreditch & Croydon
Boxpark is entering the new decade with a bang as it announces a handful of new restaurant openings across its three sites this January. In Shoreditch, Veganuary participants will be pleased to hear that Humbledough is launching the nation’s first Vegan & Gluten Free Scratch Bakery on 14 January, offering freshly mixed raw edible cookie dough pots topped with whipped coconut creams, freshly baked cookies, speciality vegan coffee, and its first oat and granola breakfast cookies. Launching at the Croydon site on 7 January is Pan-Asian street food trader Kanji, offering Korean favourite bibimbap (a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul or kimchi, and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang). Over in Wembley, T4 Bubble Tea, which serves serves bubble tea, fruit tea, milkshakes, smoothies and waffles, opens on 10 January, while Spoon & Rice will offer Filipino street food such as Pinoy BBQ Chicken and Manila BBQ Pork Belly from 27 January.