As ever, London’s restaurant scene is an exciting mix of new local eateries, beautiful refurbishments and not-to-miss pop-ups. This month The Ivy comes to Chelsea, Ceviche to east London and France to Kentish Town. Book early to avoid disappointment
Words by: Stefanie Packard
1 Ceviche Old St
Following the success of Martin Morales’ restaurants Ceviche and Soho and Andina in Shoreditch comes his latest export from Peru, Ceviche Mark II on Old Street. At the new restaurants there will be a dedicated ceviche bar, Peruvian rotisserie, charcoal BBQ grill and of course a bar serving Ceviche’s famously-good Pisco cocktails (along with Latin American and British craft beer). Stomachs filled, diners will also be able to browse through a modern Peruvian art gallery, showcasing and selling the latest and best from Peru’s contemporary artists. To top it off, Ceviche will do brunch on weekends, is open seven days and does take-away and local deliveries too. Check it out from the 30 March.
2 Baldwin Street, Old Street, EC1V 9NU; cevicheuk.com
2 Le Chabanais
Taking its name from a Belle Époque absinthe den, Le Chabanais arrives in London this March, courtesy of the team behind Le Chateaubriand, France’s famous and highly ranked restaurant – number 27 of the top 50 in the world, in fact, who are working alongside film producer Varun Talreja. The team at Le Chabanais will be serving up Chateaubriand-inspired dishes with seasonal produce sourced from Europe, and an excellent wine list. The restaurant itself has been designed by Clément Blanchet, who designed The Serpentine Summer Pavilion in 2006, another reason for this being one of 2015’s most exciting new openings.
8 Mount Street, London W1K 3NF; lechabanaislondon.com
3 Portrait Restaurant
Recently re-opened, the Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery combines excellent views of London from a newly refurbished venue and the best of British seasonal produce. Culinary director Helena Puolakka and head chef Steve Beadle work together to source quality produce from around the UK and have created a modern menu, ranging from light bar dishes to a full à la carte selection. Expect the likes of Ashdown Forest venison tartare and espresso and hazelnut flourless cake with clotted cream ice cream.
Floor 3, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE; npg.org.uk
This new cocktail bar, opening on the 25 March, will join a group of four 5cc bars around London offering excellent cocktails with interesting takes on the old classics. Stylish, understated and refined, each 5cc bar offers a menu with its own style. The bars are the perfect places to discover the spirits of the world, with tasty bar snacks to boot. If the others are anything to go off, this new City Road venue will be one to check out.
Secret address, City Road, Islington; 5cc-london.com
5 Butlers Wharf Chop House
With a new look, a new head chef and a new menu, the Butlers Wharf Chop House refurbishment is one to check out. The idea behind the revamp is traditional ingredients with a modern spin, and a commitment to British produce and suppliers. The beef is grass fed and aged for up to 65 days, and the drinks list will tempt you with cocktail ingredients such as Earl Grey tea and nettle cordial.
36e Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YE; chophouse-restaurant.co.uk
6 The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Caprice Holdings is bringing its first restaurant to Chelsea, and about time too! The King’s Road building that will house The Ivy Chelsea Garden dates back to 1722, when it was a public house famous for its bowling green. Over the last 12 months it has been carefully and cleverly refurbished. The results – an alluring combination of vintage and luxury – include an extensive terrace, garden and orangery. Decorated with trailing wisteria, climbing roses, antique mirrors and fountains, come summer, this outdoor space will be heaving with locals. On offer is a range of modern British and international dishes from breakfast to dinner. Think toasted crumpets with Marmite, mustard and parsley butter for elevenses, raw yellow fin tuna carpaccio with spiced avocado, crème fraîche and coriander for something more, and a melting chocolate bombe with milk foam, honeycomb centre and hot salted caramel sauce for dessert. There’s also an excellent cocktail list. Doors open on the 30 March.
197 King’s Road, London SW3 5ED; no website yet
In Italian incontro means a meeting or encounter – the concept behind South Kensington’s newest Sicilian restaurant. Working with the Sicilian tradition of sharing conversation and friendship over fresh, healthy food, IDDU is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and take-away with excellent service in an inviting atmosphere. Breakfast offerings include home-made granola with organic yoghurt and egg white frittatas with asparagus and ricotta. For lunch and dinner choose from grilled paninis and spelt foccaccias, or mains like kamut linguine with organic Sicilian tomato sauce. The wine list showcases the best in Sicilian wine, and the drinks list is inspired, with creations such as hot tomato vodka and a cucumber and rosemary gin and tonic. Of course the coffee will be a main draw too.
44 Harrington Road, SW7; iddulondon.com
8 The Cross Keys
The Cross Keys pub in Chelsea is reopening this March, after a hiatus of a few years. It’s easy to forgive them for taking a break, though, having been open for 300 years serving the likes of Agatha Christie and Dylan Thomas. With a traditional, country atmosphere and wood fires burning, the team will offer up hearty pub food such as lamb pot au feu with sweetbreads, root vegetables and madeira; and fillet of beef with shallot and girolles fricassée, duck fat chips and red wine sauce. Make sure you try its famous bar snack, the scotch egg, and the great range of cask ales and lagers to go with it. Doors open on the 5 March.
1 Lawrence Street, Chelsea, SW3 5NB; thecrosskeyschelsea.co.uk
9 Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar
Following the popularity of its Covent Garden location, which opened in 2013, Joe’s Southern Kitchen is bringing the best of southern America food to Kentish Town. As in the first location, Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar promises food that will be ‘finger-licking’ good. Fun and unpretentious, this is the place to go to fill up on beef short ribs, mac and cheese or the new signature dish – tea-brined fried chicken with lemon salt and Tabasco honey. An old fashioned blues and rockabilly sound track accompanies, the Americana décor, both in the restaurant and the JAILBIRD basement bar.
300 Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2TG; joessouthernkitchen.co.uk
Patron is a new cave à manger in Kentish Town that aims to bring a piece of Paris to the area. Run by a local French/English couple with Kentish Town’s residents in mind, it will be a wine bar and French restaurant where people can enjoy an wide selection of French wines with small plates like charcuterie selections, cheeses and garlic butter escargot. They will also serve traditional French main dishes and desserts, and breakfast on weekends. With a curved wooden bar, leather banquette seating, and bistro style chairs the place is decked out in authentic French fashion.
26 Fortess Road, London NW5 2HB; patronlondon.com
11 Maple & Fitz
Isn’t it great when food that’s good for you is genuinely delicious, so that you don’t have to choose between health and flavour? That is exactly what Maple & Fitz offers diners in Fitzrovia, after opening at the beginning of March. Having trained at Le Cordon Bleu and studied nutrition, Canadian chef Adria Wu serves up salads, grain bowls, cold-pressed juices, and guilt-free sweets, such as the salted caramel brownies made from medjool dates, almonds, raw cocoa powder and chia seeds. With a cosy and welcoming indoor area and an alfresco space for the summer months, the only choice will be between eating in, take-away and what to order.
36A Berners Street, Entrance on Mortimer St, W1T 3LY; mapleandfitz.com
12 The Richmond
With negronis on tap and an oyster happy hour, there is a lot to get excited about with the launch of The Richmond on the 20 March. Opening for seven days a week, The Richmond promises snacks, comfort food and East London’s first and only raw bar – choose from several types of oysters and clams, a rotating selection of carpaccios and tartares, and range of ethically sourced fish. Menu items will include scallops ceviched in Sicilian citrus with basil, and a Shetland mussel salad with diced razor clams and horseradish. The Richmond will also finish off the week with a family-style Sunday roast.
361 Queensbridge Road, E8 3NH; therichmondhackney.com
13 Vinoteca King’s Cross
Opening mid-March and joining four other restaurants and wine bars around London, Vinoteca King’s Cross will be the first Vinoteca site with a dedicated wine shop and tasting space. There will be over 250 wines available to taste and then enjoy in the restaurant. To go with them, the chefs will offer up a varied, rustic menu of seasonal produce, with dishes such as a grilled Cornish mackerel with warm pickled vegetables, capers and pine nuts. For breakfast (and brunch on weekends) there is a dedicated breakfast wine menu, as well as the choice between light, modern dishes such as muesli with ginger wine-soaked raisins and more traditional breakfasts like coddled eggs. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Vinoteca King’s Cross will provide a naturally lit, open space for a coffee, wine or full meal.
1 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG; vinoteca.co.uk/kingscross
14 The Moveable Feast
London loves a good food pop-up, especially when it comes with a good cause attached. The Moveable Feast is a vegetarian food emporium, showcasing a rotating selection of the best new vegetarian food businesses. Relaxed and welcoming, The Moveable Feast aims to give start-up vegetarian companies a space to show what they can do, and to show customers that vegetarian food is exciting, tasty and filling. They will be joined by specialty coffee company Three Wheels Coffee, and the Luminary Bakery’s pastries – a charity that empowers vulnerable women in East London. First up for food is Not Dogs – vegetarian hot dogs with a whole range of fillings. The Moveable Feast will open on the 9t March.
21-27 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY; feastonthemove.com
15 Ice & Slice
We think the simple things can sometimes be the best things, and the guys at Ice & Slice think this too – they’ve opened a dedicated pizza and gelato place in Fulham. Quality pizzas made with sourdough bases and toppings like truffles, pistachios and anchovies promise a full stomach, and the gelato is made in small batches, meaning they leave out the artificial additives. The delicious gelato comes in all the traditional flavours as well as inspired creations like aperol spritz. They opened on the 2 March and will do deliveries.
24 Jerdan Place, London SW6 1BH; iceandslice.co.uk
17 Joe’s Oriental Diner
It’s a good month for restaurants called Joe. A hat-trick for restaurateur Scott Hallsworth of Kurobuta and Ramusake fame, Joe’s Oriental Diner opened on the King’s Road on 6 March. Evoking the dive bar of the Orient, Joe’s Oriental Diner will serve Scott’s signature take on pan-Asian food, including the likes of Fire Cracker Chicken, crunchy sweet and sour fish, coconut short-rib rendang and slow-cooked duck. Cocktails come served in Chinese teapots and beer in frosted tankards known as ‘Frosties’.
Joe’s Oriental Diner, 251 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EL; joesorientaldiner.com
Opening on the 19 March, Queenswood’s varied and exciting menu will offer food all day in Battersea. Its wide range of dishes cover everyone’s taste, from mirin and wasabi coated cod with sprinkled pistachio and sake dressing, to chai pannacota with macadamia milk. The focus is healthy, with vegans and vegetarians being well taken care of. It’s run by the same people as Damson & Co in Soho and the head chef is moving here from Paris after a number of high end ventures, so Battersea diners can look forward to the opening of this one.
15 Battersea Square, SW11 3RA; queenswoodldn.com