The Hot List: London’s Best New Openings
Need to know which newly opened restaurants are the hottest in town, right now? Let us help. We update this list every week so you know exactly where to go when you need an on-trend table.
Consider it your personal hot list.
Tomos Parry’s Basque barbecue inspired restaurant sits above Smoking Goat in Shoreditch (also on this list) and it’s about as smoking hot as it gets right now. Instagram is awash with pictures of grilled turbot grilled slowly and served with an emulsion made from the gelatinous cooking juices. The menu is focused mainly on seafood, sourced from Cornwall and cooked over fire. Londoners are going gaga for it.
Everything you need to know: BRAT
Simon Rogan reopened his former pop up as a permanent restaurant earlier this year and it’s been the most significant opening of the year so far. The food is as spectacular as ever and much of the vegetable produce is grown on the farm attached to his famous L’Enclume restaurant in Cartmel. He does wonderful things with vegetables, does Simon, although the menu isn’t entirely vegetarian. His food is also very pretty indeed (don’t forget to take a snap for Instagram).
Everything you need to know: Roganic
Henry Harris (formerly of now-closed Racine) is reopening pub kitchens and doing a very good job of it. Most recent is The Coach, and we can barely scroll through Instagram without seeing a dish of brains (yes) or a fillet of beef with foie gras. So yeah, this is rich, comforting, life-affirming food. Giles Coren loved it too, writing in The Times (paywall) that dishes are familiar ‘but less polished, rougher edged, revealing a genuine French family kitchen style. And all the rarer and more interesting for it.’
Everything you need to know: The Coach
The food is looking spectacular at Sabor, and now their upstairs asador is open in addition to the bar and restaurant. It was always going to be spectacular – Nieves Barragan and her business partner José Etura are ex-Barrafina. Truth be told, this is pretty similar to Barrafina although the menu is more wide-ranging in terms of regional styles. We adored the lardo with anchovies and Galician steak.
Everything you need to know: Sabor
Kudu opened on the softest of launches before Christmas – an ‘old school’ launch that really did seem to involve inviting just friends and family in to eat. This means we skipped all the usual opening kerfuffle and reviews dripped in slowly. We’ve been, of course. Chris Pople loved the elegant, modern South African influenced dishes cooked up by Patrick Williams, praising his restrained approach. You’re not going to find bobotie on the menu, put it that way.
Everything you need to know: Kudu
Fay Maschler awarded Indian Accent a very rare five stars in her review in The Evening Standard and the news whipped around London’s food scene like wildfire. She praises the kitchen’s unique take on the cuisine, saying ‘this is Indian food but not as we know it, Jim.’ Our reviewer Chris Pople loved it too, praising the playful takes on traditional dishes and concluding, ‘this is how you reinvent Indian cuisine while remaining accessible and enjoyable.’ Grace Dent loved the food but concluded it’s definitely a restaurant where one should spend ‘OPM’ or ‘Other People’s Money.’
Everything you need to know: Indian Accent
Nuala is a modern take on the Irish bar and restaurant and we’ve heard nothing but praise since it opened. The chef (Niall Davidson) is ex-Chiltern Firehouse and the sommelier (Honey Spencer) has worked at Noma. The combination of this dream team, the giant fire pit, and large cuts of meat and fish for sharing are drawing in the food and drink obsessives like the easiest catch in the river. Fay Maschler loved the atmosphere as much as she did the food, describing Nuala as having ‘a warm heart.‘
Everything you need to know: Nuala
What do you mean you’ve not been to Parsons yet? This new seafood restaurant and wine bar from the guys behind The 10 Cases (and wine home delivery service, Drop) is making one heck of a splash. Think super fresh seafood, cooked simply and served alongside really interesting wines. This place has got ‘long lunch’ written all over it. Fay Maschler stayed for the long haul, thanks to nearly all the dishes being ‘irresistible’ while Jay Rayner loves everything but particularly the chips.
Everything you need to know: Parsons
Smoking Goat Shoreditch
This second branch of Thai favourite Smoking Goat is more specialised than the first, serving the kind of food Thai people like to eat while drinking. It’s going down a storm. Londoners are scrabbling for a spot at the table here, gobbling down skewered meats, fish sauce-laced wings and other regional specialities. Chef and restaurateur Ben Chapman (also of Kiln) is seemingly unstoppable right now and one of the most influential people in the London restaurant industry.
Everything you need to know: Smoking Goat
Ikoyi is something we’ve never seen before in London – a unique and very modern African restaurant. Fay Maschler loved it, citing it as an example of the energy of London’s restaurant scene, ‘If you argue, as some do, about whether London is now the most dynamic restaurant city on earth, Ikoyi is a bit of a clincher.’ Giles Coren described his lunch there as, ‘one of the most interesting, original and super-delicious lunches of my entire year‘ so he’s confused that the restaurant ‘was getting on for empty on a bright Friday afternoon at the start of the holiday fun season.’
Everything you need to know: Ikoyi
Featured image: BRAT