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Hot new London restaurant openings: December

Granary Square Brasserie

It’s always sad when beloved restaurants close, but the pain is made that bit sweeter when an exciting new concept breathes life back into a space. Earlier this year we bid adieu to Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store in Granary Square – one of the first restaurants in the capital to give veggies the limelight.

Rising phoenix-like from its ashes is the Granary Square Brasserie from the unstoppable Richard Caring of The Ivy fame. Boasting similar interiors to many of the Ivy spin-offs, crystal chandeliers, chic burnt orange leather bar stools and electric blue velvet booths abound.

The all-day menu features timeless classics like Eggs Benedict and steak tartare alongside duck curries, Thai spiced mussels, yellowfin tuna carpaccio with pozu, and the ‘HLT’ – a halloumi, avocado and tomato sarnie with herb mayo.


Parsons is so new we haven’t got a photo of it yet

Unpretentious but always delicious, The 10 Cases in Covent Garden is one of db’s favourite go to restaurants for a midweek glass (or three) of off the beaten track wine and some enticing sharing plates. We’re delighted to hear that the team have opened a sister site called Parsons across the road on Endell Street.

The focus this time is on simple seafood and similarly saline wines to match. Expect the likes of potted shrimp croquettes; sea trout tartare; squid ink risotto with cauliflower aioli; fish pie and lobster mash at the 32-seater venue. Like its older sister, mark ups here are small, with wines starting at just £4 a glass.

The by the glass list runs the gamut from salty manzanillas and a sprightly Vinho Verde to a Morgon by David Bouland and Hampshire’s finest, Hambledon’s Classic Cuvée.

Little Duck – The Picklery

In keeping with the growing penchant for pickling in the capital, the third site from the team behind Duck Soup in Soho and Raw Duck in Hackney focuses on ferments. Food is pickled and fermented on site at the Dalston venue, as are the drinks, which are fermented from scratch each day and served in jars. Expect drinking vinegars, elixirs, kombucha and kefirs alongside an ever-evolving range of natural and biodynamic wines.

Open daily from breakfast to dinner, the menu is simple, seasonal and inspired by the Med. Each night a different slow-cooked dish is offered and keen picklers and cooks can get involved in monthly workshops. All of the condiments are homemade, from fermented chilli to smoked chilli salts.

The Drunken Butler

We love the name, and are even more bowled over by the promise of French cuisine with Persian and Korean twists at Clerkenwell newcomer, The Drunken Butler. Headed up by exec chef Yuma Hashemi, former head chef at The Chancery, expect a hell of a lot of pickling, smoking, salting, fermenting and brining from this energetic innovator.

Among the delights on offer are salt-pickled veggies with wild sorrel and borani; oyster kimchi with cucumber; Persian omelletes; slow cooked eggs in a saffron velouté; foie gras with burnt leeks; pigeon pastilla; and salt baked sea bass. The coffee is also killer too.


Horvada, an Aegean-inspired restaurant from the owners of Frescobaldi in Mayfair and Yosma in Marylebone, has opened on trendy Rupert Street in Soho. Drinks reinvent classic cocktails with Italian and Greek spirits at the oceanic-inspired site, boasting a colour palate of blue and green.

Dishes have a Greek and Turkish accent, with a dash of Italian for good measure. Expect the likes of taramasalata; smoked eel with fava beans and caper leaves; crispy crab borek; and Dover sole for classicists. Wines, as you’d hope, hail from Turkey and Greece, shining a light on these exciting and often underappreciated wine countries.

Good Egg Soho

We’ve had the original Good Egg in Stoke Newington, then Bad Egg in the City, but we’ve yet to see the launch of the Ugly Egg. Instead, the good people at Good Egg have opened a sister site in Soho to satiate central London’s thirst for banging brunches.

In keeping with the Israeli influence of the original, the Soho menu features the likes of slow-braised brisket hash with home-fries, Russian dressing, pickles and a fried egg; a challah French toast sandwich with white peach jam, candied pecans and crème fraiche; and sabih – an Iraqi aubergine pita with tahini, mango amba, dakdak, pickles and zhoug, plus freshly-made challah bagels to take away and Tel Aviv-inspired cocktails.

Harry’s Dolce Vita

Fellini lovers rejoice! Having just put the finishing touches on his Granary Square Brasserie, the ever-restless Richard Caring has opened a 1950s Italy-inspired eaterie in swanky Knightsbridge, which will come alive in the summer with its green-and-white striped terrace.

A precious stone’s throw from Harrods, Harry’s Dolce Vita goes big on Italian chic, via classic cocktails like the Negroni and Bellini, and comforting classics like linguine vongole; pappardelle ragu; baked sea bass with fennel, rosemary and Amalfi lemon; and a decadent tiramisù for pud. While we can’t promise Marcello Mastroianni, modern-day celebrities will no doubt be flocking to it like bees to honey.

Wahaca Test Kitchen

Another growing trend in the capital is the rise of test kitchens, which offer diners a front-row seat to their favourite chefs in full experimentation mode.

The latest chef to open up her kitchen is Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers, who has opened Wahaca Test Kitchen in Shoreditch, where diners will get to try dishes before they make it to the menu or get pulped.

Being a test kitchen, it’s impossible to report what tasty, seasonal, Mexican-inspired morsels will be on offer, but less adventurous diners can be boring and stick to the tried and tested classics if they must.

Those who go now may get to try the likes of blackened cauliflower tacos with cashew nut mole; whole roast sea bream with al ajillo butter and kohlrabi slaw; and thyme and roasted sweet potato taquitos.


Fried chicken fiends can get their Butchies fix on a regular as the Broadway Market street food vendor has found a permanent home on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. Set across two floors, the 45-seater site also offers takeaway for time poor Londoners forced to eat their lunch ‘al desko’.

Butchies offers a sextet of different chicken sarnies, including the original with house pickles and Butchies’ homemade garlic and herb aioli; and the Jenny from the Block, which comes with guacamole, chipotle mayo and smoked streaky bacon. There’s also an exciting sounding craft beer vending machine dispensing everything from Cloudwater to Beavertown.

La Tagliata

It sounds like a Verdi opera, but La Tagliata is in fact a Spitalfields Italian headed up by former investment bankers Carlo and Lorenzo, who have just opened a sister site in Fitzrovia complete with its own 25-seater wine bar. Expect indecent amounts of tagliatelle and enough Italian wine to fill the Trevi fountain, including Giovannia Bulgari’s Sangiovese from Siena.

The menu sticks to Italian classics, offering the likes of bucatini all’Amatriciana with cured pork cheek; nduja pizzas; and crab linguine.

The star of the show however, is the ‘tagliata’, after which the restaurant takes its name – a juicy combination of sliced rare steak with parmesan and rocket dressed in a blend of cooking jucies and a balsamic glaze. Also on offer will be grilled tuna and endive with a pink pepper and leek dressing; and oven-baked mozzarella stuffed with porcini and sun-dried tomatoes.

Sophie’s Soho

Chelesa stalwart Sophie’s Steakhouse is to open a cavernous, 125-seater Soho restaurant on the site of the former Moulin Cinema on Great Windmill Street in the heart of theatreland – one of the oldest cinemas in London known for screening racy flicks in the ‘70s.

The all-day venue, run by Rupert Power and Sophie Bathgate (pictured) will serve steaks that are butchered and dry-aged for a month in house. The beef is imported from their family farm in Oxfordshire. For those less mad about meat, charred eel, turbot with sorrel butter, and scallops from the fire should do the trick.

Next door, a six-seater kiosk with an in-built wood-fired smoker will serve takeaway dishes. Don’t miss the 10oz Martinis at the bar. The first Sophie’s Steakhouse opened in Chelsea back in 2002, which makes db feel old…

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