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Recent London restaurant openings — May 2009

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Archives for May 2009

El Camino, Portobello Road - Recent London restaurant openings El Camino, Portobello Road

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... Cancelled your flight to Cancun? Well don't let a bit of swine-flu-avoidance get in the way of that Mexican food craving – simply head into Notting Hill. Already home to a host of Mexican eateries, including Taqueria, Crazy Homies and Santo, there's now a new kid on the block, in the form of El Camino. Specialising in meat cooked over a mesquite grill, it also serves tacos and burritos for under a fiver. Who needs international travel, anyway?

No.20, Soho - Recent London restaurant openings No.20, Soho

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... Whether you're a bona fide rock star or a skinny-jeaned wannabe, new boutique hotel Sanctum Soho ought to fit the bill. This venture from Embassy founder Mark Fuller comes chock-full of grown-up bells and whistles, not least a naughty 'box of tricks' in the bedrooms. If that sounds a little too racy for your taste, head to the restaurant, where it's a tamer affair, with plenty of shellfish, grills and comfort food: think burgers and lemon sponge pud.

Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, E1 - Recent London restaurant openings Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, E1

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... It's hard to imagine there was once a time when dining in an art gallery was a last resort. Now it seems you can't move for 'proper' restaurants being unveiled within public spaces. This latest venture is a grown-up dining room within the refurbished Whitechapel Gallery. Ex-Delfina chef Maria Elia is at the helm and dishing up big, bold flavours: think smoked eel pâté with beets, or rabbit with capers, rosemary and sage.

Caleya Ibérica, Great Portland Street - Recent London restaurant openings Caleya Ibérica, Great Portland Street

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)...

If, like us, you appreciate the finer things in life, then this modern Spanish newcomer should be just the ticket. Up a floor from hugely popular tapas bar Iberica London, the cooking here is more elevated too: from a ‘surf and turf' dish of tender octopus chunks and wild mushrooms to cod fillet and crab cooked simply in their own juices. Round it off with a moreish take on crème caramel, sprinkled with crumbs of salty dried olive.

The Clink, Her Majesty's Prison, High Down, Surrey - Recent London restaurant openings The Clink, Her Majesty's Prison, High Down, Surrey

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... The cutlery may be plastic, but everything else about newly launched prison restaurant The Clink is the real deal. As reported in the Daily Telegraph, the kitchen is staffed by offenders-cum-trainee chefs and serves modern European classics such as steak with Béarnaise sauce, or oxtail and black pudding-stuffed chicken ballotine. Diners are pre-vetted, with preference for those who can offer support for ex-offenders (such as employment opportunities). For enquiries, please call 020 7147 6524.

The Park Terrace, Knightsbridge - Recent London restaurant openings The Park Terrace, Knightsbridge

RECENTLY RE-OPENED (May 2009)... The British summer is an elusive creature. No sooner do we don flip-flops than the dark clouds reappear. Still, if you're going to take your chances and dine outside, there are few better places to do it than the Mandarin Oriental's idyllic alfresco space, open May to September. Drink in views of Hyde Park alongside seasonal dishes, and depending which way the weather turns, there are designer sunnies and pashminas on loan.

Drapers Arms, Islington - Recent London restaurant openings Drapers Arms, Islington

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... People were talking about the Drapers Arms even before it re-launched – largely because Ben Maschler (son of Evening Standard’s redoubtable foodie pundit, Fay) is one of the team behind its new incarnation. Following an eight-month refurb, the Islington favourite has turned on the lights and opened its doors to reveal a cheery bar, an upstairs dining room and a pleasant garden out back. The daily menu inhabits the earthy, nose-to-tail world of potted rabbit with pickled cherries or hake with carrots, leeks and aïoli.

National Vegetarian Week, 18-24 May 2009 - Recent London restaurant openings National Vegetarian Week, 18-24 May 2009

DATE FOR THE DIARY (May 2009)... Kim Basinger, Joaquin Phoenix & Natalie Portman have all been nominated in Peta’s poll of 2009’s sexiest vegetarians. And while it’s probably not the fact that they’re veggies that has made them so sexy there’s no doubt that getting your five a day can do wonders for the body and mind. So why not take advantage of the fact that’s its national vegetarian week, ditch the meat and fish and hotfoot it down to one of London’s best veggie restaurants – it might just leave you feeling full of beans.

The Crescent Champagne Bar, W14 - Recent London restaurant openings The Crescent Champagne Bar, W14

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... It’s an unlikely location for a Champagne bar, but forget the cars zooming past on the A4 and The Crescent in West Kensington is a fine place to tuck into a bumper crop of bubbly. Cristal, Krug Rosé and trendy Armand de Brignac all mingle on the list, and if champers isn’t your thing there’s swanky Roberto Cavalli vodka, jazzed-up cocktails including the kiwi Collins and whiskey and ginger sour, plus nibbles served until late.

Twotwentytwo, Marylebone - Recent London restaurant openings Twotwentytwo, Marylebone

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... With all this talk of alfresco dining of late, it's nice to know there are still corners of the capital to retreat to when summer turns out to be more chilly than chilli. Enter Twotwentytwo, a stylish basement restaurant in Marylebone's Landmark hotel. It has a £1m makeover to thank for its good looks (all oak panelling and chandeliers) and offers a pan-European menu for all tastes: think sharing platters, steaks and grills, or tiger prawn linguini.

Maguro, Maida Vale - Recent London restaurant openings Maguro, Maida Vale

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... The pretty neighbourhood of Maida Vale may be littered with great cafés and pubs, but until now its residents have been missing out on sushi. Step in Maguro, a smartly dressed Japanese with elegant food to match its surroundings – seaweed salad comes topped with delicate slivers of octopus & sweet prawn and sushi rolls filled with crunchy soft-shell crab, avocado and spring onion.

Anise, Bishopsgate - Recent London restaurant openings Anise, Bishopsgate

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... If you often find alfresco drinking to be on the breezy side, then Anise may be just the place. Though this slick City watering hole – the stand-alone bar of sexy Indian street-food restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen – has been open since winter, it has lately come into its own for its stunning courtyard area. Shared with the dining room, this space is nicely sheltered, meaning you can enjoy your exotically spiced cocktail without the wind chill.

Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, Hyde Park - Recent London restaurant openings Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, Hyde Park

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... According to the weather forecast it’s set to be a scorcher this Bank Holiday weekend. And, if eating alfresco is high on your agenda, then you won’t find a prettier setting than that of the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. The new café from the Benugo team sits right on the banks of the Serpentine offering summery British dishes such as char-grilled sardines and salad niçoise, as well as takeaway options for makeshift picnics in Hyde Park.

Eastside Inn, Clerkenwell - Recent London restaurant openings Eastside Inn, Clerkenwell

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... His name may be a mouthful, but luckily Bjorn van der Horst's modern French cooking is easier to get your chops around. The Michelin-starred chef, who left Gordon Ramsay Holdings after the closure of La Noisette, has just launched his first solo venture, with highlights including eel with spring peas and broad beans, salt marsh lamb with ricotta gnocchi and a mousse-filled chocolate sphere with popcorn sorbet. In the bistro, it's more casual: think bone marrow with oxtail or spit-roasted short rib of beef.

Palm Restaurant, Knightsbridge - Recent London restaurant openings Palm Restaurant, Knightsbridge

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)...Mickey Rourke, Jeff Goldblum and our very own Cheryl Cole (pictured) have all been spotted at the LA branch of Palm Restaurant in recent months, but will the new Knightsbridge outpost turn out to be such a celeb-fest? Its intention is to bring US hospitality and good old Stateside fare to the capital – so that’s jumbo Nova Scotia lobster and New York strip steak served up with a smile.

Zeen, Euston - Recent London restaurant openings Zeen, Euston

RECENTLY OPENED (May 2009)... Don't judge a book by its cover, we're told. Well, this Drummond Street newcomer does a decent job of drumming that lesson home: look past the less than salubrious area and basement site and you'll be rewarded with vibrant Indian cooking, dished up in colourful contemporary surrounds. Highlights include spiced potato and lamb cutlets, delicate tandoori stuffed squid, and Goan poussin cafrael with sautéed potatoes.

Mortimer's Grill, Fitzrovia - Recent London restaurant openings Mortimer's Grill, Fitzrovia

RECENTLY RELAUNCHED (May 2009)... Finding decent alfresco spots in central London is no mean feat – so we’ll let you in to a little secret to make the most of this weekend’s sunshine. The terrace at the recently relaunched Mortimer's Grill can seat up to 100 guests for drinks or dinner, and since its new owners are the carnivorous Black & Blue group, you can expect a cranked up menu of burgers, steaks and rotisserie chicken, with easy-drinking wines and bottle beers to wash it down.

Delve inside earlier archives for April 2009 or browse through newer archives for June 2009.