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Hot new London restaurants: October

Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Tom Kerridge is sending critics into a spin with his first London restaurant, where the dishes are unashamedly decadent and wonderfully comforting. The owner of two-Michelin-starred gastropub Hand and Flowers in Marlow has made a home for himself at the Corinthia Hotel in Westminster where his all-day British brasserie is surprisingly laid-back given its swanky setting.

The interiors of Kerridge’s Bar & Grill are cosy and classic, think racing green walls and burgundy-hued leather upholstered booths. Already emerging as firm favourites are the lobster thermidor omelette; the mushroom risotto with crispy egg and aged Parmesan; and the deep fried brill and chips with pease pudding, tartare and matson spiced sauce. The brown butter tart with buttermilk ice cream sounds divine too.

Two Lights

Modern American restaurant Two Lights, from the talented team behind The Clove Club, is headed up by US chef Chase Lovecky and occupies at 52-cover site on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch. Named after the National Park in Lovecky’s home state of Maine, The Clove Club alumnus takes inspiration from his time working at David Tang’s bold, innovative and experimental Momofuku Ko in New York’s East Village.

Championing informal fine dining and influenced by his global travels, Lovecky’s dishes draw from Japanese and Korean cuisine, pairing roast artichoke with sunflower seed miso, and riffing on a Katsu sandwich with the addition of sardine.

More classic dishes include grilled shortrib with pickled walnuts, while British game makes an appearance in the form of grouse sausage with cocoa beans and figs. We love the sound of the brown butter ice cream with hazelnut and pear. Wines shine a light on the Golden state.

Barrafina and Casa Pastor, Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross is set to become London’s latest foodie hub when a slew of new restaurants and bars open in the development this month. Among the newbies will be three sites from the Harts Group – the restaurant group behind Barrafina, Quo Vadis and El Pastor – led by Sam and James Hart and Crispin Somerville.

Their fourth Barrafina site will have 34 covers and an outdoor terrace seating 60. Details are being kept under wraps but we’re expecting classics like their unbeatable tortilla, croquetas and pata negra jamón to make an appearance. Taco joint Casa Pastor, an 80-cover big sister to the popular original El Pastor in Borough Market, will serve churros and features an outdoor seating area with a rotisserie called Plaza Pastor.


Following in her father’s footsteps, Michel Roux Jr.’s daughter, chef Emily Roux, opened her first restaurant in Notting Hill in west London this month. Caractère, is a joint venture with her husband Diego Ferrari, former head chef of Le Gavroche.

Taking over Bumpkin bistro on the corner of Ledbury Road in Notting Hill, the venue assures the continuation of the celebrated Roux culinary dynasty in the UK for the next generation. Given Ferrari and Roux’s roots, Caractère takes inspiration from French and Italian cooking.

Among the dishes on the debut menu are seared ox tail ravioli in a beef consommé with bone marrow and fresh herbs; celeriac cacio e pepe with extra aged balsamic vinegar; and whole roasted figs with gateau Basque and extra thick double cream. Our appetites are duly whetted. 

Cora Pearl

We love the sound of Cora Pearl in Covent Garden from the team behind the wildly popular Kitty Fischer’s, not least because it’s named after a celebrated British courtesan. Headed up by George Barson, his menu combines simple classics with more decadent dishes that pay homage to Pearl’s British roots and the time she spend as a courtesan to pleasure seekers in 19th century Paris.

Among the dishes on the debut menu are shrimp Newburg; leek heart with smoked eel; fish stew; confit pork belly with smoked quince; and wild strawberry and Earl Grey ice cream. On the drinks front you’ll find contemporary twists on classic sip like the Chaine d’Or, featuring gin, Quinquina, Chartreuse and lime, and the French Pearl, which blends gin and pastis. Martinis meanwhile are served in antique French glasses.

Set in a townhouse, the interiors are inspired by Cora’s life and include dark textiles, upholstered wall-panels, tarnished mirrors and vintage lights.


Andrew Wong is back with a bang, having opened a 120-cover sister restaurant to his popular eponymous dim sum pleasure dome in Pimlico, which won a Michelin star last year. Named after his mum, Kym’s is set across two floors linked by a five-metre high cherry blossom tree in the Bloomberg Arcade in the City. The modern Chinese site sees Wong interpret classic Chinese dishes in an innovative and playful way.

The menu features a selection of small bites, including Yunnanese lemongrass salad with peanuts, lettuce, chilli, lime; crispy duck pancakes with plum sauce; and Wong classics like slow poached soy chicken, ginger and rice; seaweed rice crackers; Ibércio pork char sui; sweet and sour pork ribs; and the ‘Chinatown’ pineapple bun with custard.


Sharing a name with Dolly Parton’s 1973 hit inspired by a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband shortly after they got married, Jolene in Newington Green is from the dream team behind Western’s Laundry and Primeur, so it’s likely to be a corker.

By days it’s a rare grain bakery, by night it turns into a restaurant and natural wine bar. Using grain from farms in Sussex and Norfolk, expect piping hot fresh breads, pastries running the gamut from madeleines and palmiers to cinnamon buns, and oodles of pasta.

At night you’ll find the likes of grilled cod on the bone, and giant T-bone steaks on the menu, served alongside minimum intervention wines, craft beers and ciders and seasonal cocktails.

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