The one-stop shop for all of London’s latest pop ups and special chef residencies, regularly updated, for your reading pleasure. Read on for oyster bars, vegan delights and meals made purely from food waste.
This month, everybody’s talking about…
Club Mexicana at Pamela, Dalston (above) NEW
When: Until the end of the year
Residency: Pamela seems to have a good nose for a fantastic kitchen residency. Following the superb New Orleans-style junk food joy that was Decatur, this Dalston cocktail bar has now hauled an all-vegan and Mexican street-food outfit into the kitchen. We went along recently and loved the food: get in line for meat-free tacos and starters such as annato-glazed, coriander-sprinkled aubergines with sour cream.
Where: 428 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA
How much: Small plates from £4.50, tacos from £5.50
Creatista Studio, Notting Hill (above) NEW
When: Until 5 March
Pop up: If you can’t get through the morning without a caffeine fix and work near Notting Hill, you’ll be glad to know that Nespresso is popping up with The Creatista Studio. Named after the brand’s new machine, the studio is serving up complimentary coffees to bean lovers, as well as teaching visitors the craft of latte art with on-hand professionals – you’ll be one step closer to achieving that perfect Insta coffee shot.
Where: 235 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RW
How much: Free
La Maison Rémy Martin, Soho (above) NEW
When: Until Saturday 4 March
Pop up: This fancy-looking Soho members’ club offers up a range of Rémy Martin cocktails and great food, via daily lifestyle masterclasses. Membership applications are all being pre-approved, but you can swerve in under the radar by using our Squaremeal readers exclusive referral link, which means you’ll be approved immediately.
Where: 147 Wardour Street, W1F 8WD
How much: Membership free, masterclasses £12 each
Wasted London at Selfridges, Marylebone (above) NEW
When: 24 February until 2 April
Residency: Chef Dan Barber is bringing his Wasted concept from New York to London. All the dishes on the menu will make use of food waste, with the aim of getting Londoners to change their tune about throwing away food. Expect to see ingredients like cabbage cores and cover crop sprouts, with cocktails from the Mr. Lyan team.
Where: Rooftop at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
How much: All dishes £15
Oyster bar at Humble Grape, City (above) NEW
When: 8-24 February
Pop up: This Fleet Street wine bar is getting a touch fancier in February with a new, temporary oyster bar. There will be English rock and native pearl varieties on offer alongside plenty of Champagne, so you can get well and truly shucked.
Where: 1 St Bride's Passage, EC4Y 8EJ
How much: Oysters from £3
Forza Winter, Peckham (above) NEW
When: Thursdays-Saturdays until 25 February
Pop up: Serial supper clubbers Forza Win have reopened Forza Winter, so pull up a seat at one of its long communal benches and get your cockles fully warmed. Hearty European grub shapes the menu, such as grilled cauliflower with pine nuts and parsley or, the main attraction, beef short rib with creamy polenta. Expect brilliant food and a feel-good, sociable atmosphere.
Where: Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN
How much: £35
Kheera Kitchen, Shoreditch (above) NEW
When: Until the end of April
Pop up: This feel-good Indian in Spitalfields is being run in collaboration with charity Crisis, who help homeless people get back to work by training them for the hospitality industry. With a focus on fresh flavours, choose from the likes of lamb katil rolls, and grilled chicken with cardamom, gram purée and smoked chilli.
Where: 64 Commercial Street, E1 6LT
How much: Sharing plates from £5
Pesky’s Food, Hackney Wick (above) NEW
When: Until further notice
Residency: Specialising in vegan food, Pesky’s finds its home inside The Yard theatre. Nosh on the likes of a dhal burger with crispy shallots, tomato and spiced ketchup, or cauliflower tacos with a side of vegan mac ‘n’ cheese.
Where: 2a, Queen’s Yard, E9 5EN
How much: Mains from £7
Balkano Kitchen at Vault Festival 2017, South Bank (above)
When: From 25 January until 5 March
Residency: If you couldn’t make it down to Edinburgh last year, Waterloo‘s underground cultural explosion The Vaults will do the trick with its six-week-long return, spanning comedy, music and theatre. Several shows will be taking place nightly, alongside cocktails and Eastern European dishes from Balkano Kitchen (think smoky, Serbian-style salsa and flatbread, or chicken souvlaki with labneh). The best bit? Some of the shows are free to watch, so we definitely recommend clearing some diary space.
Where: The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
How much: Prices differ for individual shows, see website for details
MyPie at The King & Co, Clapham (above)
When: Until 26 February
Residency: You only have to look out the window to see that it’s still very much winter. Comfort food is the cure for any grumpiness the weather may induce, so head down to Clapham for some tasty pies. MyPie are taking over the site for two months, serving up a regularly changing menu of steamy pie-y goodness, with fillings including steak, chilli and cheese.
Where: 100 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BZ
How much: Pies from £8.50
Borough Plates, Borough (above)
When: Noon to 10pm Tuesday to Saturday, from 17 January until the end of February
Pop up: Food lovers’ favourite Borough Market has launched its very own restaurant in partnership with pop-up specialist Cuisson London, called Borough Plates. The pop up works with resident traders and farmers to create a seasonal menu that only uses ingredients sourced from the market. The opening menu featured red mullet served with seared scallop and rainbow chard followed by blood sausage with poached egg and pickled mushrooms, with raw milk panna cotta for dessert. The restaurant is accepting walk-ins and bookings for parties of six or more only (email email@example.com to make a booking).
Where: 1 Cathedral Street, SE1 9AL
How much: Small plates from £6-16
Yamagoya at Shuang Shuang, Soho (above)
When: Lunch from noon until 3pm, dinner from 5.30pm until 11pm (10.30pm on Sundays), every day until June
Residency: Ramen fans listen up, because Yamagoya has brought its traditional Japanese ramen to the UK for the first time. This six-month residency in Chinatown offers up the signature Yamagoya ramen, which means handmade noodles in a smoky, tonkotsu broth, garnished with Japanese chashu pork belly, marinated bamboo shoot, Kikurage mushrooms, nori and marinated Burford Brown egg.
Where: 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LU
How much: Ramen bowls from £10.50
Adam Rawson at The George & Dragon, Fitzrovia (above)
When: Until the end of February
Residency: Chef-to-watch Adam Rawson is making a habit out of pub residencies, but we’re not complaining. This time around, there’s a ‘Global Traveller Burger’ menu which features the likes of a chicharrón burger with chilli-pepper ketchup, with snacks such as an ‘nduja sausage and rosemary Scotch egg. You can also expect blackboard specials, as well as a short series of nine-course supper clubs planned for January and February.
Where: 151 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 6QF
How much: Burgers from £11, Scotch eggs £5
Project Awana, Holloway (above)
When: Tuesday to Sunday, until April 2017
Pop up: While a library might not be your first choice of destination for dinner, that’s exactly where Project Awana is based. With a focus on ethical and sustainable fusion food, the kitchen’s current menu includes monkfish with chicory and apple, and caramelised pear with coffee and walnut.
Where: Highbury Library, 66a Drayton Park, N5 1ND
How much: £40 per head
The Lodge, Clapham (above)
When: Tuesday to Sunday throughout winter
Pop up: “Oh yah, I’m just going on my ski holiday. To Clapham.” If the chalet isn’t an option this winter, head to pop-up-pro Jimmy Garcia’s wintry lodge. Guests can enjoy hot food, warm drinks and a private dining room. Dishes on the menu include gin-cured salmon and wild boar and apple sausages, to be enjoyed alongside Jamaican hot toddies or mulled wine.
Where: 409 Clapham Road, SW9 9BT
How much: Approximately £35 a head
Ballie Ballerson, Dalston (above)
When: Until further notice
Pop up: Relive all your childhood birthdays with this adults-only ball-pit bar. Featuring 200,000 balls, confectionary-based cocktails (ingredients include Wham bars, Sherbert Dip Dabs and Skittles), inflatable rings and foam toys, this is sure to make for one messy night out. The ball pit is chest-high, so we’d recommend keeping your phone firmly in your pocket.
Where: 79 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8AD
How much: £5 entry
Claw at The Sun & 13 Cantons, Soho (above)
When: Until the end of February
Residency: Street-food vendors Claw specialise in sustainable seafood dishes and are the latest Sun & 13 Cantons resident. Dishes to catch include cracked crab claws in a smoked pancetta broth, sourdough-fried oysters with oyster cream, as well as kimchi-fried softshell crab. Veggies are catered for too via BBQ tenderstem broccoli with black garlic yoghurt and pickled walnuts.
Where: 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG
How much: Sourdough-fried oysters with oyster cream £7, kimchi-fried softshell crab £12
Remix at Sanctum Hotel, Soho (above)
When: Until the end of February
Residency: Chef James Cathcart is overseeing this temporary site at Sanctum Soho Hotel, which will be replaced with a permanent restaurant in March (details TBA). Offering British cuisine and funky cocktails, you can expect the likes of fillet of beef with fondant potato, and lobster and strawberry salad with Champagne foam. Aforementioned sips include the Raw Egg: elderflower and passion-fruit consommé with mango, served in an eggshell… That’s bound to make for a cracking cocktail.
Where: Sanctum Soho Hotel, 20 Warwick Street, W1B 5NF
How much: Mains from £16
Wondering Wine Kitchen, City (above)
When: Until March 2017
Pop up: Rushing home for a glass of wine after work has been made far easier by Wondering Wine’s pop-up kitchen, inside Old Street Station. The site serves up bites of cheese, charcuterie and small plates. Wines are available by the glass, carafe and bottle and there’s even a takeaway option, if you’d rather drink in front of the telly (no judgement).
Where: Old Street station
How much: £12 for a 500ml carafe
Maman Le Mot, London Bridge (above)
When: Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm, until March 2017
Pop up: Set in a secret location near London Bridge, this immersive dining experience from A Place in Time takes you back to 1940s France, where you are enlisted as a secret British spy. Expect fake moustaches, berets and terribly bad French accents aplenty. There’s also a dinner, followed by a night of dancing… Serious people need not apply.
Where: The super-secret location is revealed when you pay up
How much: £42.50 per person
Pull & Punch at The Horn of Plenty, Mile End (above)
When: 6-10pm Monday to Friday and weekends from 1pm until late
Residency: ‘Low, slow, smoke and spice’ – that’s the ethos behind Adam McGurk’s roaming restaurant, focused on low and slow cooking ‘in all its forms’. He’s moving his meaty bandwagon (filled with the likes of North Indian-inspired sorpotel pork buns) into the kitchen of this classy East End boozer – it’s a good shout for enthusiastic carnivores.
Where: 36 Globe Road, Stepney, E1 4DU
How much: Mains from £10
This article was updated 7 February 2017