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Hot new London restaurant openings


Proving that carbs are firmly back in favour, London’s love of pasta seems to know no bounds as Italian ventures continue to pop up all over the capital faster than it takes to bake a thin-crust pizza. Adding salt to our wounded waistlines is Stevie Parle, founder of the Italian-centric Rotorino and Palatino, who has just opened a third pasta palace called Pastaio in sociable Soho with interiors by lighting guru Tom Dixon.

Meaning ‘one who makes pasta by hand’ among the showstoppers at Pastaio are wild mushroom tagliatelle with garlic oil; crab courgette and yellow tomato fusilli; grouse, rabbit and pork agnoili; and cacio e pepe bucatini. If you’re tight for time you can nip in for a fried mozzarella, nduja and honey sarnie, while those with hours to spare can linger over a chocolate and cherry tart with pistachio and rose ice cream.

Aulis London

Having broken hearts when he left Fera at Claridge’s in April, one of db’s all-time favourite restaurant experiences, Simon Rogan is back with a bang with two new projects – the revival of his popular pop-up Roganic in Marylebone, and the opening of chef’s table venture Aulis London. With just eight lucky diners allowed through the door each evening, guests are left in Rogan’s capable hands at the new no menu venture.

Wines are also chosen for you and are designed to harmonise with each dish. The nearest you’ll get to a Rogan dinner party, a night at Aulis is designed to be an interactive experience, with dishes cooked and explained by Rogan inches away from you. Dinner costs £250 a head. Both the location and details of the dishes are still under wraps, but with Rogan involved, they’re likely to be mind-blowing. 


Karam, Sunaina and Jyotin Sethi, the trio behind Bao, Gymkhana and Xu, have opened a second site of popular Sri Lankan small plates venue Hoppers in St Christopher’s Place just behind Oxford Street.

More expansive than the Soho original, the 100-seater Hoppers 2.0, which blessedly takes bookings, has kept classics like the dosas and Hopper pancakes on the menu, but has added original dishes like claypot baby chicken kukul maas; string hopper seafood kothu; and kalupol black pork ribs with fennel and turmeric sambol to keep things exciting.

Nearly half of the dishes at the new site are new creations, including jaffna beef rib fry, and tuna and tapioca cutlets with avocado symbol. Guests can also pre-book feasting menus served in four vaulted rooms downstairs from £28. On the drinks front, the restaurant shines a light on gin and arrak at its standalone bar, and offers cocktail pairings with the feasting menus.

Serge et Le Phoque

Michelin-starred Hong Kong venture Serge et Le Phoque has opened a second site across the pond in London at the shiny new Mandrake hotel in Fitzrovia. The brainchild of Frédéric Peneau (the former co-owner of Le Chateaubriand in Paris) and Charles Pelletier, the original Hong Kong venue opened in a Wan Chai back street in 2014 and caused a stir with its eclectic dishes and quirky wine selection.

Named after Peneau’s son, Serge, whose imaginary best friend was a seal (‘phoque‘ in French), the avant-garde French restaurant with an Asian accent will have a daily changing menu that could include the likes of octopus with century egg, aji armaillo, tobico and ginger; scallop with anchovy, fried leek root, dried shitake and matcha tea; and dacquoise with an almond biscuit, vanilla cream and nougatine.

Head sommelier Albert Blaize, formerly of The Clove Club, oversees a list with a strong leaning towards organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ wines. 

The Frog Covent Garden

Spunky young chef Adam Handling has achieved a lot in his 28 years. Named Scottish Young Chef of the Year in 2015, two years prior he appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals while working at St Ermin’s Hotel in St James’s Park. Last June he opened his first solo venture, The Frog, in Ely’s Yard behind the Truman Brewery in Spitalfields, and has recently followed up with a sister site in Covent Garden, meaning you don’t need to schlep east for your Frog fix.

Slightly more formal than the Spitalfields original, the Covent Garden site showcases Handlings expert handling of fresh seasonal ingredients, technical prowess and eye for detail. Offering a meat and fish or veggie tasting menu, guests can choose between five or eight courses, and cocktail, wine or virgin cocktail pairings.

Expect the likes of kingfish with jalapeño and avocado; Ibérico pork with cauliflower and kimchi; courgette, goat’s curd and honey; and the ominous sounding ‘black potato’. We love the sound of the mandarin madeleines – the French fancy seems to be having a bit of a moment in the capital.


Before Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado in Spitalfields and Bar Douro in Flat Iron Square, London was distinctly lacking on the Portuguese restaurant front. Helping to change that is Portuguese chef Leandro Carreira, who worked with Mendes at Viajante at the Town Hall Hotel and the two Michelin star Mugaritz in Spain. Having tested the water with a popular pop-up at Climpson’s Arch, Carreira has found a permanent home with for his first solo venture Londrino in London Bridge.

Part à la carte restaurant, part walk-in wine bar, while the 70-seater Londrino will have a Portuguese accent, dishes take inspiration from Carreira’s time in kitchens all over the world and will have a fishy focus via the likes of octopus with red pepper miso; clams with coriander; and mackerel with smoked seaweed butter; alongside quirky dishes like fermented potato with egg yolk and mustard; and grilled quail with toffee mayo.

On the wine front, the changing list curated by head sommelier and general manager Cameron Dewar will explore the Iberian peninsula with a focus on wines from small producers designed to pair perfectly with native cheeses from Londrino’s well-stocked trolley.

Smoking Goat Shoreditch

Soho favourite The Smoking Goat is so smoking hot it needed to open a sister site in Shoreditch to satisfy demand from Londoners hungry for chilli fish sauce chicken wings, fiery papaya salads and heavenly pork belly.

Setting up shop on Redchurch Street, the East London little sister is blessedly bigger than the Soho original with a chance to book larger tables. Daring Thai barbecue dishes at the canteen-style site (housed in a former strip pub) include the likes of barbecued pork skewers; oysters with roasted chilli; cured monkfish and ginger; soya braised chicken; whole steamed wild sea bass; and barbecued goat massaman curry with turmeric.

Wines come by way of Zeren Wilson, whose expertise we drew upon while putting together our Wine List Confidential ratings guide. Expect whites from Pfalz, the Douro and Sicily, and reds from Valencia, the Yarra Valley and Sonoma.

Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

Chefs favourite Rochelle Canteen, housed in a converted bike shed within Shoreditch creative business hub the Rochelle School, has opened a sister site at the ICA in St James’s, allowing arty Londoners to get their food and culture fix at the same time. Run by Margot Henderson (wife of St John’s Fergus) and Melanie Arnold, the newbie serves a daily changing menu of comforting classics devised by head chef Ben Coombs.

Expect the likes of wild mushroom, violet artichoke and rocket salad; salt cod, chickpea and leeks; pumpkin, roast raddichio, lentils and goat’s curd; harissa, quail and aioli; Barnsely chop, black broccoli and anchovy; and apple tart and Jersey cream.

Breddos W1

Sister sites seem to be the theme of this round-up and taco joint Breddos is no exception. Expanding the brand to Kingly Street just off Oxford Street, the new venture serves similar dishes to the Clerkenwell original but is double the size.

Open from sunrise with early morning offerings like smoked brisket and breakfast quesadillas, among the new dishes to try are bone marrow nachos with dripping bread; artichoke mole with shishito peppers; corn tempura with queso fresco and habanero mayonnaise; lamb neck barbacoa with avocado leaf consommé; and wood grilled whole octopus with mole amarillo. Don’t miss the mezcal and Margarita menu and churros sarnies for pud.


Victor Garvey of Encant and Bravas Tapas has opened the Catalan-inspired Rambla on Dean Street in Soho where you’ll find tapas galore. The menu, inspired by Victor’s childhood in the famous Barcelona barrio, features cured meats, cheeses, veggie dishes, seafood, meat and game, and a selection of sweets.

Expect the likes of fresh sea urchin with Ibérico lard toast;  jumbo scallop with smoked roe sauce and crystallised veal jus; sobresada on sourdough; spinach croquettes with pine nuts; Catalan fried chicken; and the sumptuous sounding velveted hake with anchoy and Cava cream. The Spanish accented wine list includes a large selection by the glass alongside an impressive gin and tonic offering – olé!

Flour & Grape

The Italian takeover of London continues with Flour & Grape on Bermondsey Street near London Bridge. Serving lashings of homemade pasta, including bucatini with tomato, capers, olives and basil; sausage ragu; roasted pork shoulder tortellini with sage butter; and tiger prawn reginette in a basil-scented prawn bisque, those on the go can grab a portion to take away.

Dessert fiends can indulge in homemade gelati, while wine lovers can choose from 25 Italian drops by the glass. Head chef Adam Czmiel, who used to work at Pizarro down the road, crafts homemade ricotta with beetroot antipasti and pork tonnato that twists on the veal classic.

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