The best new London restaurants and bars to try in July

To help you make sense of the city’s eating-and-drinking jumble, every month we’ll spotlight the latest openings worth putting in your calendar

Those who dive into London’s restaurant-and-bar scene – from the first-time visitor with a dog-eared Time Out in their bag, to the seasoned pros chasing new-wave wine bars – will know of its overwhelming surfeit of choice, stretching across the clusters of ocakbaşi on Green Lanes down to Brixton’s independent destinations, the collection of New Malden’s South Korean eats to the jumble of bakeries and dive bars around Dalston.

With more than a lifetime of exploration on offer, there are, of course, boundless checklists of tandoori houses, steak halls and destinations of high-temple haute cuisine whose front doors most of us will never step through. To help make some sense of it all, each month we’ll spotlight the new openings that might be worth putting in your calendar, and, this year, the city sees expansions from Claude Bosi, Endo Kazutoshi, Santiago Lastra and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, smash-hit names who underscore the fact that London is a place with a fairly unsurpassed culinary spirit. For the best tables and counters to book now, read on…

Tollington’s

The backstory and dishes to expect: For some time now, good pubs with good food have been the talk of the town, thanks largely to The Pelican and The Plimsoll. The latter, known for offerings such as veal cheek with polenta, is run by the Four Legs, a team whose newest feather in its bow is an Iberian fish bar in Finsbury Park, all high stools and long counters, complete with a menu full of hits you’d find in a coastal Spanish eaterie: devilled crab, pollock pil pil, and strawberries and flan.

Location: 172 Tollington Park, N4 3AJ

Learn more: instagram.com/tollingtons.fishbar

The River Cafe Cafe

The backstory and dishes to expect: Almost four decades since its opening, The River Cafe has launched a new venture, located seconds from the original and serving a more approachable, affordable menu, beginning with Italian breakfast (brioche and cakes, peaches and melons), and moving into an all-day affair – summer might see zucchini and grilled peppers; in the colder months, perhaps roasted pumpkin, squash, and borlotti beans. Desserts and pastries will also feature, as will aperitivos, wine by the glass and non-alc libations.

Location: Thames Wharf Studios, Rainville Road, W6 9HA

Learn more: rivercafe.co.uk

Kolamba East

The backstory and dishes to expect: Following their Soho success, the founders of Kolamba will extend their reach to Blossom Street, bringing the punchy hits of Colombo to east London, with a particular focus on home-style cooking (a move that chimes in well with the current move towards more casual, comforting plates). Dishes, some influenced by those handed down by family and friends, will include mas paan (a bun filled with slow-cooked black pork curry, and served with pineapple jam), and large-format creations (we’re quite looking forward to the Jaffna lamb shank, served in a tamarind sauce). Meanwhile, desserts are likely to include a rice pudding called payasam.

Location: 12 Blossom St, E1 6PL

Learn more about the original: kolamba.co.uk

Lahpet Larder

Lahpet West End

The backstory and dishes to expect: London’s leading Burmese restaurant, Lahpet, meaning fermented or pickled tea leaves, will open its third outpost in the capital, in Bermondsey, a neighbourhood already filled with winners such as 40 Maltby Street. Regional fare will be the anchor here – pork with fermented horse gram beans; a fish noodle soup from Dawei – and there will also be some pantry staples (either made in-house or imported) for diners to take home.

Location: 39-45 Bermondsey St, SE1 3XF

Learn more about the original: lahpet.co.uk

The best openings in June

Akira Back

The backstory and dishes to expect: After its long-awaited arrival, Mandarin Oriental Mayfair has finally swung open its lobby doors to the West End (and international) set. Its flagship restaurant is overseen by Akira Back, a chef raised in Colorado and who, here, makes his UK debut with a menu that intertwines Japanese and Korean fare; the listings will showcase previous hits, such as AB tuna pizza, as well as London-only offers (‘dynamite’ lobster paired with pickled shimeji and micro coriander; and Highland Wagyu striploin with yuzu kosho jus). Bento boxes will be served at lunch, too. The triple-height space is a fine place from which to take it all in.

Location: Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, 22 Hanover Square, W1S 1JP

Book now: mandarinoriental.com

Koyn Thai

The backstory and dishes to expect: Everywhere restaurateur Samyukta Nair, who’s found success with Mimi Mei Fair, Socca and Jamavar, has teamed up with Bangkok-born chef Rose Chalalai Singh to open Koyn Thai, set below Nair’s upscale Japanese restaurant, Koyn. Whereas other Thai-influenced destinations in London focus on specific areas (Kolae, for example, zones in on the country’s south) inspiration here will come from the north, south and central provinces – there’ll be a Chiang Mai platter that showcases spicy homemade pork sausage, capsicum nam prik, sticky rice and crackling pork skin; a southern-Thai crab curry; and river prawn choo chee.

Location: 38 Grosvenor St, W1K 4QA

Book now: koynrestaurants.com

The Park

The backstory and dishes to expect: With all the commotion having finally settled over the opening of Arlington, Jeremy King will now turn his focus to his next venture, The Park. Though not much has been revealed about the place, besides its location by Lancaster Gate Underground station, King has previously said that it will be something similar to that done by Jonathan Waxman and Danny Meyer, in the US, with a menu based around grills.

Location: 123 Bayswater Road, W2 3JH

More from Jeremy King: instagram.com/jeremyrbking

Henri

The backstory and dishes to expect: Together with the Experimental Group, Jackson Boxer (Brunswick House, Orasay) will be launching on the ground floor of boutique hotel The Henrietta. Named Henri, it will be a Parisian-inspired bistro, with a scheme overseen by interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon, known for her soft palettes at various boltholes across the continent.

Location: 14–15 Henrietta St, WC2E 8QH

Book now: henriettahotel.com/eat

Nijū

Image: Carla Barber

The backstory and dishes to expect: Endo Kazutoshi is a hero of the kitchen in Britain, an extraordinary chef celebrated for his beautiful processions of food at his namesake restaurant in White City; his casual Sumi; and his other newly launched venture, Kioku, which seems to appear on everyone’s Instagram feed right now. At Nijū, which takes over 20 Berkeley, the restaurant that tried to recreate the feel of a countryside manor, Kazutoshi directs the food programme, which comprises a grill, custom-made sushi bar, PDR, ‘innovative dining spaces’ and a hidden cocktail spot called Nipperkin.

With an emphasis on katei ryori (home-style cooking), there’s more of an easygoing feel here – a notion especially pronounced in a square occupied by an upmarket auction house, a watch label whose wristwear doubles as a key for supercars, and the old-school pleasures of Annabel’s and Hakkasan – with the rhythm of dishes leaning away from the high-tone rigidity of the omakase and more towards plates to be shared: hamachi layered with mini discs of myoga, tiny shiso leaves and a hit of lime dressing; wonderful plates of nigiri and sashimi, some in their conventional form, others given an in-house spin; pork belly that may bring to mind the sweet, caramelised crunch of Chinese char siu, aided by a few blistered root vegetables; and you’ve just got to request the Japanese A4 Wagyu sirloin, a small, slender brick of meat that’s been flavoured with smoke emanating from a mix of briquettes, binchotan and cherrywood charcoal, and entirely customisable with a fresh grating of wasabi, a bit of shiso salt, onion ponzu, and yuzu salsa verde.

Location: 20 Berkeley St, W1J 8EE

Book now: nijulondon.com

The best openings in May

Kioku by Endo

Image: Carla Barber

The backstory and dishes to expect: Endo Kazutoshi, as we’ve said many times, is on the Mount Rushmore of the sushisphere, a chef’s chef who commands the reverence of fish markets, peers and critics in equal measure. Adding to his stable, which already includes his flagship destination at the Rotunda, is Kioku by Endo, situated within The OWO. On the rooftop is a restaurant that pairs the kitchens of Japan and the Mediterranean, a nod to Kazutoshi’s terms in Spain (there’s a ‘chashu pork ramen ravioli’, for example), and on the ground floor is a 25-cover bar that zones in on world-class sake and a curation of great tracks, a nod to Japanese listening bars.

Location: Raffles London at The OWO, Whitehall, SW1A 2BX

Book now: kiokubyendo.com

Paradise 2.0

Image: Eleonora Boscarelli

The backstory and dishes to expect: Since 2020, chef Dom Fernando has been modernising Sri Lankan fare from within his tropical-brutalist-style restaurant space, Paradise. Now, he’s pushing reset on the venture, overhauling the menu and interiors, and will soon offer an ambitious six-course menu that has a stronger emphasis on Sri Lankan techniques, including heritage claypot cooking and braising in coconut milk. Moreover, the design spirit will remain, but will fold in ‘a more intimate personality’ and a considered use of wood.

Location: 61 Rupert St, W1D 7PW

Book now: paradisesoho.com

The Hero

The backstory and dishes to expect: From the team behind The Pelican and The Bull, in Charlbury comes The Hero, which appears to be another upmarket boozer with great, great food. Open-fire grilling is said to be one of the focuses, as are classic cocktails, with Ed Baillieu overseeing a menu that’s reported to include lamb chops with peas and mint, and a cheese-and-onion pie.

Location: 55 Shirland Road, W9 2JD

Learn more: theherow9.com

The Counter Soho and Under The Counter

The backstory and dishes to expect: Chef Kemal Demirasal found popular success with an array of mangal platters at his Notting Hill venue, a place that showcased the cooking of south-eastern Anatolia. His follow-up, The Counter Soho, will be a paean to the food styles of the countries that encircle the Aegean – olives, citrus fruits, seafood and nicely scented herbs are typical staples. Cold plates, for example, will include seabass crudo and citrus zest with ‘umami sauce’; meanwhile, grilled octopus with mashed fava will appear in the hot section. Underneath the restaurant will be a listening-and-cocktail bar, Under The Counter. The menu will take influence from the same locations; we’re looking forward to imbibing the Silkroad, which makes use of sesame oil Cognac, amaretto, lemon and sugar syrup, meanwhile a Michell Gyrodec turntable and Klipsch Heresy speakers will ensure the sonics are on point.

Location: 15 Kingly St, W1B 5PS

Book now: thecounterlondon.com

Chez Roux

The backstory and dishes to expect: Following the somewhat shock closure of the seminal Le Gavroche earlier this year, Michel Roux Jr. has made a quick follow-up with Chez Roux, at The Langham, billed as a marriage of traditional French culinary techniques with historical British staples (grilled lobster with fries and béarnaise sauce; Welsh rarebit).

Location: The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent St, W1B 1JA

Book now: langhamhotels.com

The best openings in April

Crispin at Studio Voltaire

The backstory and dishes to expect: With chefs that have some serious pedigree (Manteca, Mountain, Petersham Nurseries), the kitchen here will focus on the type of British and European fare that makes London a leader on the continent, which is to say produce that’s firmly in season, fresh pastas, modern takes on old-school desserts, and a menu that never stays the same. As it’s done by the team that launched Crispin, Bar Crispin and Bistro Freddie, and because of its setting within a gallery, expect an extremely creative emphasis across all aspects, from the fit-out to the plating.

Location: 1a Nelsons Row, SW4 7JR

Book now: studiovoltaire.org/crispin-at-studio-voltaire

Oma

The backstory and dishes to expect: Adding to Borough Market’s slew of splendid options is Oma, a restaurant by David Carter (Smokestak, Manteca), Nick Molyviatis (Kiln) and Jorge Paredes (Sabor), all of who look to the Greek isles, ‘the bold flavours of the Levant’ and areas ‘further afield.’ Here, they’ve amalgamated a menu that dovetails raw-bar essentials – seabass crudo with pomelo and pickled ginger – with grilled skewers and clay-pot dishes. It’s also worth diving into the extensive wine list (450+ bin), too. Downstairs is the setting for a casual sibling, Agora, which takes its cues from the street food of Athens.

Location: 2–4 Bedale St, SE1 9AL

Book now: oma.london

Cloth

The backstory and dishes to expect: Launching within a Grade-II-listed pile, Cloth will set its stall out with a bistro-style feel: tables made from white marble and lit by candles, antique tableware and darkwood banquettes, the type of stuff that doesn’t veer too far away from the spirit of The Quality Chop House, which is within the same neighbourhood. The sample menu, which zones in on prime British produce, incorporates bar snacks, such as fried panisse with sumac and Roscoff onion, and mains such as Somerset hogget with grilled cos lettuce, anchovy and smoked tongue.

Location: 44 Cloth Fair, EC1A 7JQ

Book now: clothrestaurants.com

Abc Kitchens at The Emory

The backstory and dishes to expect: Alongside Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of those bankable chefs synonymous with guaranteed quality across the continents. JGV, who already has a presence in The Connaught hotel, is now taking over the stoves at The Emory (part of the group in which The Connaught belongs), and has unified several elements that are found within his three New York-based Abc restaurants. Damien Hirst’s works will be pinned to the walls, and the menu is set to feature crispy-fish tacos slicked with aioli and cabbage-apple slaw, and pizza-oven-roasted whole lobster with red chilli and oregano.

Location: The Emory, Old Barrack Yard, SW1X 7NP

Book now: the-emory.co.uk/restaurants-bars/abc-kitchens

TOU

The backstory and dishes to expect: One of London’s finest sandwiches – an Ibérico katsu sando – is brought south of the river, courtesy of TĀTĀ Eatery’s resurrected offshoot. Click away from this page and get in line now (walk-ins only).

Location: Upstairs at The Globe Tavern, 8 Bedale St, SE1 9AL

Learn more: tou-london.com

El Pastor

The backstory and dishes to expect: Sam and Eddie Hart have long been a reliable duo, thanks to their wins with Barrafina, Quo Vadis, and El Pastor. The latter, one of the better Mexican offerings in a city that has a deficit of them, is due to open in Battersea Power Station, joining the likes of Bao in giving the retail destination some culinary cachet. Tacos, tostadas and mezcal will underpin the offerings, but site-specific dishes will include scrambled eggs with refried beans, and queso fundido.

Location: Battersea Power Station

Learn more: tacoselpastor.co.uk

The best openings in March

Josephine Bouchon

The backstory and dishes to expect: Chef Claude Bosi is perhaps best known in London for the oyster platters and seafood plateaus he and his team serve at the Michelin House, in Chelsea. His recent venture is a paean to his late grandmother and the French fare she used to cook for him when he was younger: rabbit in mustard sauce, French onion soup, and a salad of endives, gruyère and walnuts. There will also be Lyonnaise specialities – the sausages baked in brioche with a slick of Beaujolaise sauce have been well noted. Unlike Bosi’s other recent venture, Brooklands by Claude Bosi, Josephine will be a more relaxed affair, with small bistro tables lit by candelabras.

Location: 315 Fulham Road, SW10 9QH

Book now: josephinebouchon.com

Carmel, Fitzrovia

Lamb flatbread at the original Carmel

The backstory and dishes to expect: Famed among the restaurant chasers for its elegant, smokey menu influenced by the eastern Mediterranean, Carmel, in Queen’s Park, will open an outpost in Fitzrovia – it will be a larger situation, with 95 seats, and former head chef of The Palomar, Jeremy Borrow, will oversee the dishes, such as whole sea bream zipped up with lemon butter and Calabrian hot honey; monkfish crudo with tomato and sheep’s yoghurt; and a selection of flatbreads.

Location: 7 Market Place, W1W 8AG

Learn more about the original Carmel: carmelrestaurant.co.uk

Arlington

The interior of Le Caprice, where Arlington now stands

The backstory and dishes to expect: The big one. Legend of the industry Jeremy King – feted for The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay – makes a grand return to the scene with the opening of Arlington, on the site of what used to be Le Caprice. The first of three alleged destinations King will be launching this year, Arlington, named after the street on which it is located, will showcase comforting winners – namely salmon fish cake with sorrel sauce; risotto nero; and lobster thermidor soufflé.

Location: 20 Arlington St, SW1A 1RJ

Book now: arlington.london

Three Sheets, Soho

The backstory and drinks/dishes to expect: Three Sheets has been slinging out contemporary takes on classics (Palomas, French 75s, dirty martinis, et al.) to the Dalston crowd since 2016, becoming a lynchpin of London’s bar offerings as a result. The Soho outpost will be an all-dayer, with innovative cocktails (Mango ice tea made with rum, pickled mango and Lapsang teas), a considered edit of wines, and food (croquettes, oysters and salt-beef sandwiches will feature).

Location: 13 Manette St, W1D 4AW

Learn more about the original Three Sheets: threesheets-bar.com

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