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.
The dim sum and lacquered roast duck at Duddell’s have been all over Instagram since it opened near London Bridge. The original Duddell’s in Hong Kong holds two Michelin stars, so there were very high expectations indeed for this (albeit a little more casual) London outpost. It helps, too, that the restaurant is inside St. Thomas’ Church. Snap-happy central.
The Times’ Marina O’Loughlin loved the duck (paywall) which made her ‘levitate with pleasure’ and was similarly wowed by soya chicken (‘just gorgeous’) and salt ‘n’ pepper squid (‘celestial scraps’). She recommends we avoid those Instagram-friendly dumplings, however, reporting that the dim sum ‘is where it falls apart.’
Everything you need to know: Duddell’s
Bombay Bustle is one of a clutch of new high-end Indian restaurants to open in Mayfair and it’s fantastic. Rohit Ghai is the Executive Chef here, having gained notoriety at Trishna and Gymkhana, both established as Indian restaurants at the top of their game.
Our reviewer Chris Pople loved BB, calling it ‘a joy’ that ‘deserves to be on everybody’s wish list.’ Make sure you add it to yours.
Everything you need to know: Bombay Bustle
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 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.
Everything you need to know: Parsons
Koya in The City
The original Koya Bar (and Koya before it) holds cult status and now there’s a new branch to visit for your udon fix.
Everything you need to know: Koya in The City
Victor Garvey’s restaurant Sibarita graced this list just recently and now his opening focusing on the food and wine of Catalonia is causing a stir in Soho. Fay Maschler gave it a rare five stars in the Evening Standard, observing ‘it is not often that authenticity is handled with such a keen collector’s eye for gastronomic advances’ although she does provide a caveat that she is friends with Garvey.
Everything you need to know: Rambla
London is going gaga for carbs once again as Stevie Parle’s new pasta restaurant opens in Soho. It’s in the same vein as the popular Padella at London Bridge, meaning it’s affordable but high quality. Did we love it? Well, no we didn’t, actually but that didn’t stop it making our list of the most important restaurant openings in November.
Everything you need to know: Pastaio
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
Rochelle Canteen at The ICA
Arnold & Henderson have opened a second Rochelle Canteen in The Institute of Contemporary Arts and everyone has dutifully followed. Fay Maschler gave it 4 stars in The Evening Standard (‘canteen cooking elevated to an art form’) while also mentioning that she’d seen the editor of Restaurant Magazine posting about it on Instagram, while she was writing the review. It’s good to know she’s not the only one who likes a cheeky scroll while writing.
Jay Rayner loved it too, saying, ‘Rochelle Canteen produces the kind of food you like to think you cook at home, but never quite do.’ Speak for yourself, Jay… ahem.
Everything you need to know: Rochelle Canteen at The ICA
Gilly’s Fry Bar
Neil Gill (yeah, that’s Gilly) has opened something we’ve been missing in London: a thoroughly modern fry bar with the heart of a traditional chippy. We’re done with jerk crumbed this and posh pickled that — here is a spot where you can order a proper pickled egg to go with your chips and buttered bap. Grace Dent (soon to move over to The Guardian as their new permanent restaurant critic, it was revealed recently) called it ‘one of the oddest but nicest places I’ve been to in 2017‘ in The Evening Standard.
Everything you need to know: Gilly’s Fry Bar
There’s always a stir when Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) opens a new bar and this is no different. It’s more food-focused this time, and in collaboration with Doug McMaster of the zero waste SILO restaurant in Brighton and Dr Arielle Johnson, a former flavour scientists at Copenhagen’s Noma. Nice. It’s typically forward-thinking, with ingredients like ‘compost smoked carrot’, Ambergris and ‘tea stems’ on the menu. S’ok, we trust him. The reviewers have been impressed, even if they were a little confused by the whole experience. Our man Chris Pople called it ‘a genuinely unique and innovative way of looking at the business of eating and drinking‘ while The Times’ Marina O Loughlin said it left her ‘feeling peckish – and a bit thick‘ (£) thanks to the size of the dishes ordered from the indecipherable menu.
Everything you need to know: Cub
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
Leandro Carreira has opened a Portuguese restaurant near London Bridge and it’s causing a stir. You may remember Leandro from his residency at Climpson’s Arch, where he replaced the also much-loved Som Saa. Here, he’s showing off the flavours of his home country, with a few global influences thrown in.
Everything you need to know: Londrino