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1 August 2014

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The hottest new restaurants and bars of 2014

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2014 is already shaping up to be a great year for new restaurant openings in the capital, with some fresh faces on the scene as well as new ventures from established chefs. The Square Meal boffins have analysed the areas of London that are brimming with new openings, and so far, it’s central, east and south-west London that are leading the pack. For example, Gordon Ramsay’s new venture, London House (pictured), is wowing Battersea crowds with its modern European cuisine, while Bones on Kingsland Road serves up sophisticated grub in hip Shoreditch.

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Heading north to Marylebone, Swiss chef Michael Riemenschneider has opened Canvas, where diners can build their own bespoke tasting menu, while in Waterloo, Cyrus Todiwala’s Assado blends Portuguese, Brazilian and Asian cuisine. The revamped MARCUS at The Berkeley will bring a fresh look and menu to Marcus Wareing’s Michelin-starred Knightsbridge outpost. And just south of Farringdon, The Fable is wooing City workers with its theatrical stylings and bathtub cocktails. Looks like we’re in for another great year...

To get you started on your own gastronomic journey across London, here are some recent restaurant and bar openings to whet your appetite:

North:

Made in The Shade: You can expect premium cocktails from the confident shakers alongside an artsy 60's vibe, complete with a mish-mash soundtrack channelling Woodstock/Memphis. If experimental cocktails aren't your thing, knock back craft beers or try one of the global wines.

The Proud Archivist:The Proud Archivist is not just a one-trick pony. It works day-to-day as an art gallery, café, deli, bistro and community events space, all in the shape of a grand, old-school London coffeehouse. The kitchen serves an all-day menu, ranging from pancakes and pumpkin hash to gnocchi with Stilton, spinach and walnuts or heritage burgers.

South-east:

The Rose Public House:This quirky gastropub pumps out pub grub: think venison sausages with mash, steak and ale pie, pork loin with red cabbage, alongside pork pies and apple tarts, while the drinks list, most appropriately, houses the finest artisanal bottles and craft beers. Don't forget to check out the floor made of pennies. Yes, really.

West:

Dirty Bones: Hot dogs, fried chicken and rib-eye steaks. It all sounds simple enough at this new all-American gaff, but it's headed up by chef Ross Clarke, previously at The Fat Duck’s Experimental Kitchen, which could prove interesting. Dirty Bones operates as a takeaway during the day, so if you want the full experience, make sure to pay a visit for dinner.

The Brackenbury: Hammersmith welcomes back The Brackenbury, now outfitted in a new look, and with a new team fronting the kitchen. Whatever the season, lentils and salads with a Med-twist are on the sunny menu, plus more substantial offerings, such as deep-fried whitebait with violetta artichokes and aïoli to grilled chicken with Montpellier butter, celery and endive.

South-west:

Tommi's Burger Joint: Icelandic entrepreneur Tomas Tómasson's second outpost of his big-hitting burger chain has opened up on King's Road in Chelsea. A simple menu with UK-sourced beef cooked on an American gas-fired charcoal grill keeps burger fiends satisfied, all washed down with Icelandic Viking beer.

Lobster House: Summer days are soon to be upon us and Lobster House is perfect for a casual weekend brunch in the sunshine with pleasing river views to boot. The name of the game is seafood but meat lovers have the option of Wagyu burgers and 24-hour slow-cooked beef ribs.

East:

The Shrubbery: The Shrubbery is home to quirky cocktail wizards mixing up unusual drinks made from sustainably sourced ingredients. Try original nutter: an Amaretto and bourbon flip, or Somerset brandy with pear and vanilla.

Oslo: Oslo adds a 'dark Nordic aesthetic' to the too-cool-for-school streets of Hackney. This Scandi all-day eatery is housed in an old Victorian railway station and serves up casual fare plus smart evening fodder with live music for a buzzing atmosphere.

Central*:

Chiltern Firehouse: The kitchen at this stylish hotel restaurant is fronted by none other than Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes of ex-Viajante fame. You won't find the experimental flourishes that Mendes is known for, however, you can expect top quality and ingredients-led cooking. Make sure to order the moreish cornbread fingers doused in chipotle-maple butter.

Beefeater Bar at Hackett: This partnership between Beefeater and men's clothing label Hackett brings you a quintessionally British experience on the first floor of Hackett's flagship shop on Regent Street. Lounge on charcoal pinstriped sofas while sipping on premium gin and ponder the cut of your next suit.

*City, West End

To keep on top of the exciting London restaurant scene, check out Square Meal's hottest new openings and restaurants that are due to open, and don't forget to leave us your review for a chance to some great prizes.

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