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Hot new London restaurant openings: February


Having taken a bite out of the Big Apple last year with Social on Madison at Ian Schrager’s Edition hotel on New York’s Madison Avenue, Worksop-born wonder chef Jason Atherton has opened a Japanese venue, Sosharu, in Clerkenwell headed up by one of his protégés, Alex Craciun.

Seating 80, the restaurant serves dishes inspired by Japanese cuisine made with British ingredients. Based on Tokyo’s izakaya bars, the causal site shuns sushi and ramen in favour of tempura and teppanyaki dishes like pork belly udon; scallops in yuzu butter with pickled lotus root; and sea bass sashimi salad with shiso, apple oroshi and a ponzu dressing. Expect cocktails and Japanese hip-hop in the basement bar Seven Tails.


This Hackney newcomer is a joint venture between ex Mayfields chef Matthew Young and Jack Lewens, formerly the head sommelier of Skye Gyngell’s Spring at Somerset House. The pair decided to go into business together after meeting at London Wine Sessions, meaning food and wine are paid equal attention at the 48-seater site in Netil House.

Ellory offers a reasonably priced five course tasting menu for £38, with dishes including scallops, citrus and anise; turbot with chestnuts and pumpkin; and chicken with chicory and carrot. Cooking is simple, playful and focused around British and European cuisine. The wine list meanwhile, is formed of an ever-evolving carousel of 50 drops, with France and Spain dominating the line-up.


Knocking diners for six in Brixton is Kricket, an Indian tapas specialist within Pop Brixton. Aiming to combine the best of British seasonal ingredients with authentic Indian recipes in a relaxed environment, food comes courtesy of Will Bowlby, who cut his culinary teeth in Mumbai, before mastering his trade at Cinnamon Kitchen.

Made with British produce, this is fusion food in the best possible sense. Fast becoming the signature dish is the “KFC” – Keralan fried chicken with pachadi mayonnaise and pickled moul. Also on offer is pork belly with tamarind, and apple and fennel raita; grilled Lamb fillet with rock moss, mint and coriander chutney; and a vindaloo bavette with coriander, cassava chips and burnt onion.


Keen to go back to basics, Native in Covent Garden’s Neal’s Yard specialises in “wild food” presented in an achingly pretty way to the point where dishes look like edible art works.

A collaboration between falconer Imogen Davis and River Cottage alumnus Ivan Tisdall-Downes, game and rare meats such as raw Sussex venison with treacle-cured pheasant egg; and beef shin ragu with wild fennel play a starring role at Native alongside foraged veggie dishes like roast celeriac with Douglas fir oil and kale; and cauliflower “sushi”. For those seeking something dirtier, order the pigeon kebab or southern fried rabbit.

Shuang Shuang 

If you’re not keen on the idea of having to cook your own dinner when going out to eat then steer clear of Chinatown newbie Shuang Shuang, which puts guests in charge of making their meal. Stock pots are sunk into the tables, into which you’re free to fling all manner of ingredients, from British beef, pork, clams and chicken balls to crab wantons, to make everything from Sichuan broths with dried chili to lamb tonics with pickled cabbage.

Ingredients like pea shoots, crab claws and fresh oysters wind their way around a conveyor belt Yo Sushi style. To ease you into the process, the restaurant serves a series of starters, like orange squid, and duck with sour plum skewers. Drinks meanwhile, include papaya milk, bubble tea and pineapple beer, natch.

Aulis at Fera 

Foraging fiend Simon Rogan has opened a new space within his Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant, Fera at Claridge’s, called Aulis. Located next to the kitchen, the space will serve as both a development kitchen and a private dining room seating six lucky diners at the counter, who will be treated to a front row seat to the action unfolding behind closed doors.

Named after Finnish chef Aulis Lehtimaki, one of Rogan’s mentors, Aulis’ menu will be ever evolving and seasonal in its focus. Priced at £150 a head, dishes will include the likes of Portland crab leg with grilled fennel and cured mackerel with pork fat and pumpkin.


In keeping with the current trend for Paris restaurants opening sister sites in London, from by the glass specialist Les 110 de Taillevent to the ill-fated Le Chabanais in Mayfair, hot off the French pressé is Frenchie in Covent Garden, run by husband and wife duo Greg and Marie Marchant.

Loosely based on the Paris original, which opened in 2009, among the dishes on the duck-centric bistro menu are duck foie gras pressé; smoked eel, lentils and mustard; duck from Challans, leeks, anchovy and shiro dashi green cream; brill, duck broth, wild mushrooms and bergamot; and buckwheat ice cream with caramelised apple. While the majority of ingredients hail from the UK, cheese will be French, in a beret-tip to the fact that the French version serves British brands.

Dickie Fitz

From the team behind The Henry Root in Fulham and The Princess Victoria in Shepherd’s Bush comes Dickie Fitz, a glitzy new Art Deco-inspired restaurant boasting jazzy circular light fittings, a stained glass staircase and lemon yellow barstools and booths.

Based at what was once the Newman Street Tavern in Fitzrovia, the all-day dining venue offers a plethora of dishes inspired by the Pacific along with an Australian accented weekend brunch. Expect the likes of chicken schnitzel sarnies; oysters kilpatrick (with cheese, Worcestershire sauce and bacon); and whole suckling pig with five-spiced pumpkin. Cocktails meanwhile, are Asian-themed while the wine list shines a light on the New World.


The lovechild of a collaboration between Searcys and Anthony Demetre of Arbutus and Wild Honey, Osteria at the Barbican Centre specialises in big, bold Italian bistro cooking. With head chef Patrick Leano at the helm, the ever-evolving menu pays close attention to seasonal Italian ingredients.

With a meat slicer taking centre stage within the restaurant, Osteria goes large on charcuterie, but also offers the likes of sea bream carpaccio with clementines, fennel and chili; burrata with artichokes and hazelnuts; grilled octopus with smoked peppers; and sucking pig with sage potatoes. On the drinks front expect twists on Italian classics like the Negroni and the Bellini.

Patty & Bun Soho

In news that is music to our ears, as it means we may finally no longer have to queue for a table at the (just off) Oxford Street original, burger gods Patty & Bun have opened a second site on Old Compton Street in Soho. Old favourites like the Ari Gold will be present and correct, and will be joined by delicious sounding new dishes like roast chicken skin with maple syrup and P&B’s hot sauce; and fried chicken with chili butter and lemon.

The new venture also boasts an “all-new bar offering” and a late license Thursday to Saturday, with cocktails devised by Berber & Q’s head mixologist Danny Varley that include the Patty & Bullshit, featuring Bourbon, Aperol, Maraschino and lemon; and the Stockpot Sour (in honour of the restaurant it took over) made with gin, Amaretto, honey and bitters.

Polpo Knightsbridge 

Having just opened in Brighton, “The Restaurant Man” Russell Norman has expanded his empire further with a new Polpo site on the fifth floor of luxury Knightsbridge department store Harvey Nichols.

Decked out to look like the rustic “bacari” wine bars of Venice in a bid to channel “the gloriously faded grandeur of La Serenissima”, dishes will include Polpo favourites like zucchini arancini; cod cheeks with lentils and salsa verde; pizzetta with spicy pork and pickled peppers; and deep fried poltenta-crusted meatballs washed down with Aperol Spritz’ and Negronis. Yet another Polpo has also opened in Harvey Nichols in Leeds.

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