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Hot new restaurant openings: January 2017

Bleecker St Victoria

Big news for burger lovers – beloved brand Bleecker Street is to open a permanent site in Victoria this month, meaning no more shivering in the cold while you chow down on their divine buns. After years of living the nomadic lifestyle, taking its burger van on the road around London, the team behind Bleecker St have finally found a permanent parking space. Classics like the much loved and highly lauded double cheeseburger will be present and correct, as will the hot sauce and blue cheese laden ‘angry fries’.

The beauty of the burgers lies in their simplicity: delicious medium-rare, 45 day dry-aged beef from grass-fed cattle cooked to perfection and served slathered with American cheese and a peppery secret sauce in a lightly toasted seeded bun.

Duck Duck Goose

Duck is tipped to be the meat on Londoners’ lips in 2017 thanks so a slew of exciting new openings that put the beaked bird in the spotlight. One of the newbies we’re most excited about is Cantonese canteen Duck Duck Goose in Pop Brixton, which takes its inspiration from Hong Kong’s ubiquitous roasted meat shops. Heading up the site is Rowley Leigh protégé Oli Brown, who most recently worked for Leigh’s café concept The Continental in Hong Kong.

Duck, pork and goose will be air-dried and roasted on site and turned into delights like char siu pork collar and pork belly with five spice; roast duck and a twist on prawn toast made with white bread slathered in prawn mousse, kewpie mayo, pickled kohlrabi and bonito flakes, which was no doubt inspired by the beloved and dangerously addictive version at Hong Kong’s Ho Lee Fook.

Duck & Waffle Mayfair 

The owners of Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba are set to have a big year in 2017, with the openings of two sisters sites in London. SushiSamba will open a second site in Covent Garden, while Duck & Waffle is set to launch a more casual concept in Mayfair. Details of both venues and their menus are currently being kept tightly under wraps.


One to watch Seb Holmes is to open his own Thai street food venture this year tantalisingly close to db towers at a new dining space in Flat Iron Square under the railways arches between London Bridge and Waterloo East. Called Farang after a colloquial Thai word for “foreigner”, the site was due to open last year but has been pushed back to early 2017.

Aged just 26, Holmes cut his teeth at The Begging Bowl in Peckham before moving to the Smoking Goat in Soho where he was head chef. He’s also found the time to work with Andy Oliver at his Som Saa pop-up, which found a permanent home in Spitalfields last year.


The brilliant and brilliantly bearded Andrew Clarke of Salt Yard fame is to open his first solo venture Bastien this year in partnership with foodie Will Leigh. Duck will be given top billing at the on-trend venue, with the beasts fired on open flames over a hearth and spit using sustainably sourced British oak (natch). Taking sourcing incredibly seriously, ducks hail from Challans near the Loire Valley due to their super succulent flavour and juicy, fatty skin.

If a recent pop-up at Sager + Wilde is anything to go by, you can expect the likes of duck hearts on skewers, salted mirabelles with cobnuts; grilled duck pastrami, foe gras & fried duck egg; and BBQ Challans duck with green olives, chicory and mint to feature on the menu.

The Other Naughty Piglet

Popular Brixton haunt Naughty Piglets is to open a sister site – The Other Naughty Piglet – within The Other Palace theatre in Westminster. The natural wine specialist has teamed up with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber on the venture, which will be headed up by The Clove Club’s Joe Knowlden.

Apparently Lloyd Webber was so impressed by the Brixton original that he asked the owners to join forces with him at his theatrical venue. Among the dishes at the 60-cover site will be truffle pecorino croquettes; fried oysters; acorn fed Ibérico pork shoulder and Devon crab with peanut and pickled cabbage.

The Cheese Bar

Cheese fiends rejoice! Popular peripatetic yellow ice cream van The Cheese Truck has found a permanent home after three years at Stables Market in Camden for its grilled sarnies oozing with the good stuff.

Renamed The Cheese Bar, expect gooey grilled toasties rammed with Cropwell Bishop Stilton, bacon and pear chutney, or rosemary goat’s cheese, honey and walnut; and a deliriously good sounding Queso Fundido – a Mexican twist on a fondue.

Bala Baya

With the area around db towers under rapid development, we now have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in the food stakes. Now news comes to us that Yotam Ottolenghi alumnus Eran Tibi is to open an Israeli-inspired debut venture under the arches on Union Street this month.

The site boasts its own ‘gazoz’ bar serving soda-water drinks mixed with homemade fruit syrups like plum with fig and lemon thyme, or watermelon and red basil. Those seeking something stronger can get their lips around a Truffle Sour, made with honey syrup, lemon and truffle oil.

By day expect piping hot pitta breads stuffed with slow cooked meats served with quince, pecorino and salad; and an Israeli twist on a fish finger sarnie. By night you can tuck into salt-baked blackened salmon with tahini; tea-smoked aubergine with harissa and date glaze with a spicy nut crumb; and chocolate and hazelnut babka with plums and pecan praline.


In keeping with the blossoming trend for Nordic cuisine in the capital, D&D London is to open Aster in Victoria’s Nova complex early this year, which will specialise in meatballs with capers and beets, juniper-smoked turbot with leeks, and lashings of aquavit. Split across two floors, the site is divided into a casual cafe serving cinnamon pastries, pickled herring and cured salmon on rye; and a more formal sit-down restaurant offering a blini tasting menu paired with a selection of vodkas and aquavits.

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