August is always a quiet month in the capital, but there were still a few new openings to pique the interest of food-obsessed Londoners. We’ve picked four of our favourite new eating and drinking spots which are definitely worth trying out. Browse our shortened reviews below, then click through to read more on each and book a table.
Words: Eamonn Crowe
Jean-Georges at The Connaught, Mayfair
Our verdict: Nineties hotshot Jean-Georges Vongerichten has returned to the world of five-star London hotels in what used to be The Connaught’s Espelette restaurant. Playful luxury is a running theme on the menu – silky egg yolks sandwiched between caviar-topped brioche toast, or lobster partnered by a crispy fried squash flower stuffed with prawns – and the desserts exquisite. The final size of the bill is the only intrusion of reality into an otherwise delightfully escapist confection – book Jean-Georges at The Connaught now
Our menu pick: The Fontina cheese and black truffle pizza is an intensely fragrant flavour-bomb of gooey gorgeousness
Where: The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
Kaia at The Ned, City
Our verdict: One of the more casual options in Soho House’s Ned hotel, Kaia is an Asia-Pacific restaurant specialising in on-trend bowls of healthy food to share – an Instagram-baiting mix of rainbow-coloured vegetables and dishes from a robata grill. The stars of the show, however, are the gorgeous-looking poké bowls; try the ahi tuna, bursting with colour and flavour thanks to chilli and roasted pineapple, creamy avocado and chunks of fresh fish – book Kaia at The Ned now
Our menu pick: The Matcha Sour cocktail, which mixes Japanese whisky, elderflower, matcha, lemon, egg white and shisho.
Where: The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Our verdict: From the team behind Pidgin London comes a British take on a dim sum restaurant. Although the food mostly impressed, we found that delivering food on a trolley doesn’t work very well in practice, with constant interruptions and lukewarm dishes detracting from the meal. Miniature marvels on the menu included sparky Lindisfarne oysters with a scattering of pork scratchings, and beef tartare blobbed with French’s mustard – book Magpie now
Our menu pick: A deep-filled wedge of sweet prawn toast, which came seductively draped with lardo.
Where: 10 Heddon Street, W1B 4BX
Our verdict: This bright and airy site fits right in with Broadway Market’s hip crowd, with its on-trend offering of Mediterranean and Levantine small plates. Tuyo excels at serving dishes with subtle but effective twists – falafel balls coated in sesame seeds and dipped in a gooey black olive and piquillo tapenade, or tender octopus atop a mound of hummus and fragrant cumin yoghurt. On-trend, relaxed and affordable, Tuyo is a welcome addition to this gentrified neighbourhood – book Tuyo now
Our menu pick: Don’t miss the dessert of banana and pecan cake soaked in coffee syrup and topped with mascarpone – an indulgent triumph.
Where: 129a Prichard’s Road, E2 9AP
Hungry for even more new London restaurants? Then scroll down for our top-rated new restaurant reviews from July.
Coupette, Bethnal Green
Our verdict: Gritty Bethnal Green is the destination as Chris Moore, former head barman at The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, flies solo. The low-key, low-lit space is bang on the East End money. The drinks list highlights Calvados, Armagnac, ‘cidre’ and fortified kirs, indicating Moore’s Parisian inspiration. Similarly edgy but decidedly uptown, Coupette’s gimmick-free cocktails are a tour de force. Modernities such as Spyglass (Bacardi eight year-old rum, Cognac, port, clay and pastis bitters) measure up well against the classics. From the kitchen, there’s croque monsieur, truffled creamed leeks and confit salmon – book Coupette now
Our menu pick: We loved the Soyer au Champagne (a belle époque brandy and cherry-wine fizz topped with ice cream).
Where: 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
Our verdict: Love or hate the idea, Nobu’s arrival in Shoreditch certainly caused a stir. The impressive space touts a shorter version of Nobu London’s menu and showcases the brand’s greatest hits, including springy rock shrimp tempura encased in light batter and slicked in addictive creamy jalapeño sauce. Puddings were less impressive though, with our chocolate orb failing twice to melt on cue under its torrent of hot sauce. Despite the corporate-for-Shoreditch feel, Nobu is sure to delight those looking for a touch of global glamour on the edge of the City – book Nobu Shoreditch now
Our menu pick: The excellent pork belly, which comes in a beautifully balanced spicy miso caramel sauce, and is exclusive to the Shoreditch site.
Where: 10-50 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH
Red Rooster at The Curtain, Shoreditch
Our verdict: The Curtain hotel may be a luxe offering, but its quirky decor and painfully cool staff help its in-house restaurant, Red Rooster, retain a Shoreditch vibe. A triumphant celebration of American southern soul food, the menu features dishes such as meatballs served swimming in zingy pickled gravy, and a bowl of tender, spicy jerk pork with prawns, served atop sweet coconut rice and chunks of juicy pineapple. With brunch on Sunday and live music most evenings, Red Rooster is an impressive addition to the Shoreditch scene – book Red Rooster now
Our menu pick: Don’t skip the starting snack of cornbread, slathered with sweet honey butter and spicy tomato jam.
Where: 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 4PJ
Tea Room at Bun House, Soho
Our verdict: Descend to Bun House’s theatrically louche basement and you’ll discover this well-observed homage to hedonistic Hong Kong dens of yore. Inside, a vintage jukebox plays a soundtrack of 1960s Kowloon divas, while waitresses in cheongsams waft between punters seated at booths or on rattan verandah chairs. Highlights include Fenjiu-based sweet and sour sharpener, and Coriander and Cucumber. Otherwise, order Chinese beers, teas, plum or rice wines, and snack from Cantonese sharing plates: tea egg brûlée with tea tree nest, perhaps, or oolong-smoked quail – book Tea Room now
Our menu pick: Cigarette & Palm (a smoky Old Fashioned made with palm syrup, tobacco liqueur and revered Baijiu brand, Moutai).
Where: 23 Greek Street, W1D 4DZ
Still hungry for more? Make your way through our full list of London’s latest restaurant and bar openings
This article was updated 31 August 2017