A whole host of new restaurants have opened their doors in London in the past month, but with so many to choose from, it’s tough to know where to go. To help you out, we’ve picked five of our favourite newbies which are definitely worth your money. Browse our shortened reviews below, then click through to read more on each and book a table.
Words: Eamonn Crowe
Our verdict: A sequel to the wildly popular Soho original, this site seats 100 in an industrial-style basement. New menu additions include a pig’s head on toast starter, but for the most part, founder Gordon Ker has wisely stuck to the blueprint. Blacklock’s signature ‘all in’ remains a must-order: a perfectly cooked stack of beef, lamb and pork chops served atop crisp, herb-flecked flatbreads. Thirsty? Cocktails are a steal at just £5.
Our menu pick: Don’t miss the vanilla cheesecake atop a crumbly biscuit base, which is served tableside out of a tray.
Where: 13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 8AA
Ginza Onodera, St James’s
Our verdict: The former Matsuri site has had a contemporary update, now featuring a robata grill, a marble sushi bar, and luxe monochrome furnishings. This isn’t a case of style over substance though, as the kitchen deals in ultra-respectful versions of classic sushi and tempura. Our favourites included tuna tartare with spicy miso sauce and a crunch of roasted pine nuts. Best of all, the food is easily matched to the impressive collection of wines, sakés and Japanese single malts.
Our menu pick: Sticky chunks of yakitori made with Norfolk Black chicken skewered on cocktail sticks.
Where: 15 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AL
Our verdict: From the man behind Casa Cruz comes Isabel, where low-carb, high-protein small plates are served in one of the most beautiful-looking dining rooms to open in London for some time. The cold plates impress the most: we loved the spears of green and white asparagus, and the vitello tonnato served with a punchy, chunky tuna mayo.
Our menu pick: Raw tuna folded atop a hump of avocado and dressed with grassy olive oil.
Where: 26 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HY
Our verdict: Ex-River Café sommelier Katie Exton has taken full advantage of SW1’s blossoming food scene with this 48-cover modern Brit, in collaboration with chef Peter Hall (formerly of The Square). Dishes change daily but on our visit, we were impressed by the likes of an unashamedly rich starter of cuttlefish coated in a creamy romesco sauce. Thanks to Exton’s expertise, the wine is just as important as the food and the globe-trotting list is approachable and accessible.
Our menu pick: If it’s on the menu, go for the chocolate crémeux, with refreshing drizzles of passion fruit and crisps mouthfuls of honeycomb.
Where: 76 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Our verdict: Ex-St John husband and wife team Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar have taken a punt on up-and-coming Lewisham, and it’s paid off. An open kitchen takes inspiration from across the globe – think tender bang-bang beef ribs with anchovy-miso aubergine, or house-cured salmon with lemon and fennel seeds. A sticky dark chocolate and caramel tart made for a great finish, while the refreshingly short wine list is all available by the glass or bottle.
Our menu pick: If there’s pork belly on the menu when you visit, the crackling is the crispiest you’ll find south of the river.
Where: 2 Rennell Street, SE13 7HD
Hungry for even more new London restaurants? Then scroll down for our top-rated new restaurant reviews from March.
Bōkan at Novotel, Canary Wharf
Our verdict: Part of the E14’s new Novotel hotel, this three-floor, sky-high space features two bars as well as the restaurant. The kitchen is the domain of French chef Aurelie Altemaire, who spent a decade at Joël Robuchon working her way up to head chef. Touches of her home country can be detected across the international menu, from oysters with chanterelle mushrooms to its predilection for cheese and charcuterie. Prices are fair considering the restaurant’s altitude and quality of food, although the super-polite service was occasionally slow on our visit.
Our menu pick: The beef tartare, dotted with peppy sauces and given welcome crispness via shards of sesame brittle
Where: Novotel Canary Wharf, 40 Marsh Wall, E14 9TP
Our verdict: From Masterchef judge Monica Galetti comes Mere (pronounced Mary). Striking design is coupled with excellent cooking, as Galetti’s Samoan and Kiwi heritage is blended seamlessly with haute cuisine. Menu highlights include poached lobster served with potato purée, cabbage and a bisque sauce, and 30-day aged sirloin with puffs of onion beignets, glazed cheek and a tarragon crème fraiche.
Our menu pick: Don’t skip on dessert and go for the coconut cream pie, filled with roasted banana and drizzled with rum caramel
Where: 74 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QH
The Other Naughty Piglet, Victoria
Our verdict: Restaurants in theatres may not have the best reputation, but this wine-focussed charmer is a pleasant surprise. From the team behind Brixton’s much-loved Naughty Piglets, it’s a down-to-earth site serving a globetrotting menu, with highlights including sticky-sweet grilled pear with crumbly blue cheese and artichoke crisps. Service can be a little intrusive, but this Piglet definitely has stage presence.
Our menu pick: Black pudding cake, with strips of moist cuttlefish layered on top
Where: The Other Palace, 12 Palace Street, SW1E 5JA
The Game Bird at The Stafford London, St James’s
Our verdict: Game Bird does something that few five-star hotels now do: a dining room serving traditional British food. The space feels less like a restaurant and more like a hotel lounge, but the food is well worth a visit from non-guests. Traditional dishes include gently flavoured oak-smoked salmon, carved from a trolley, and a savoury pudding of steak with rich gravy in a pliable suet crust. Prices are as you’d expect for the location, but a three-course Sunday roast for £40 is a local bargain.
Our menu pick: The chicken Kiev is loaded with so much garlic butter that it comes with a bib to tie around your neck
Where: The Stafford London, 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ
Our verdict: Foodie mecca Borough Market makes an apt setting for the sixth London Hawksmoor. The delicious classics are all here, while trying to choose is even tougher thanks to the Borough Market specials (ox-cheek cottage pie, for example). Perfectly cooked steaks are the main event, each charred and crusted without and ruby-red within. As usual, fabulously good sides almost steal the show – don’t miss the sticky roasted bone marrow or soft maple bacon.
Our menu pick: Save room for pudding and go for the dripping doughnuts with maple bacon
Where: 16 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AQ
If this lot has got you salivating, then why not make your way through our full list of London’s latest restaurant and bar openings?
This article was updated 26 April 2017