Four must-visit new restaurants to book now

Four must-visit new restaurants to book now

Plenty of new London restaurants have opened in the last month, but a select few have really stood out. We’ve picked four of our favourite newbies which are definitely worth making a visit to. Browse our shortened reviews below, then click through to read more on each and book a table.

Words: Eamonn Crowe

The Ivy City Garden London restaurant bar

The Ivy City Garden, City

Our verdict: The second Ivy site to possess the ‘Garden’ moniker after The Ivy Chelsea Garden, the restaurant is located right by Liverpool Street station in serene Bishopsgate Gardens. A long, cuisine-leaping menu features everything from the famous shepherd’s pie to tuna carpaccio; ask one of the on-the-ball waiters for advice if you’re stumped what to order. We’d recommend prawn tempura pepped up with a matcha tea sauce and sprinklings of green papaya, edamame beans and cucumber shavings, and a generously portioned main of perfectly-cooked lobster with a side of rich truffle-and-parmesan-topped thick-cut chips. Vibrant surrounds (including a DJ) help this incarnation of The Ivy keep up with its younger City counterparts – Book The Ivy City Garden now

Our menu pick: The chocolate bombe, which is melted with a hot caramel sauce at your table – perfect Instagram bait.

Where: Dashwood House, 69 Old Broad Street, EC2M 1NA

mei umi dining area 2017 web

Mei Ume at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, City

Our verdict: A hotel restaurant offering Chinese and Japanese dishes on the same menu might sound horribly like a food-court buffet, but this super-swish dining room in the City’s Four Seasons is a delight for deep pockets. Start with springy squid deep-fried in a subtly flavoured batter of salted egg, and steamed diver scallops, still soft and quivery; then from the bigger plates, Szechuan chicken and wasabi king prawns, both the right side of spicy. Just be warned that it doesn’t come cheap
– Book Mei Ume now

Our menu pick: The house speciality of whole peking duck.

Where: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ

neo bistro meat 2017 web

Neo Bistro, Mayfair

Our verdict: Anything that bears the imprimatur of chef-patron Mark Jarvis (Anglo was one of our favourite openings in 2016) is good news to us. Jarvis has opened Neo Bistro with former Harwood Arms head chef Alex Harper, and it combines high-end cooking with good-value pricing in a casual setting: no tablecloths, counter seating for walk-ins and bare brick walls. The food is fancier – white crab meat flaked over a vividly green courgette purée – and rigorously seasonal 
– Book Neo Bistro now

Our menu pick: Veal sweetbreads, a blancmangey wobble of gentle offal, is the best we’ve ever eaten, complemented by soft folds of pied de bleu mushrooms.

Where: 11 Woodstock Street, W1C 2AE

Xu Soho London Taiwanese restaurant bar tea

Xu, Soho

Our verdict: From the team behind Bao Soho and Fitzrovia comes this Soho Taiwanese. It’s a handsome, if narrow site, spread over two floors and styled in an oriental art deco style. Highlights include numbing beef tendon in which thinly cut beef is set in a jellied terrine pooled with fiery chilli vinaigrette; another terrine of foie gras, this time quivering on a chewy spring onion pancake and cut with Shaoxing wine jelly, and a pungent whip of creamy crab meat with fermented shrimp, garlic and more hot chilli. An exciting introduction to an under-represented cuisine – Book Xu now

Our menu pick: The ibérico pork, which is meltingly tender in the middle and crisped around the edges.

Where: 30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL

Hungry for even more new London restaurants? Then scroll down for our top-rated new restaurant reviews from May.

Duck & Waffle Local London restaurant bar Covent Garden

Duck & Waffle Local, St James’s

Our verdict: London’s second Duck & Waffle is an altogether more casual offering than its City sibling. Aside from vegetable side orders, including a bowl of baked and pickled beetroot, the menu is almost entirely duck-based. Try the namesake duck and waffle (confit leg with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup) and an ice-cream waffle cone piled with jam and cream for pudding.

Our menu pick: The richly rounded duck burger with miso mayonnaise and spiced coleslaw

Where: 52 Haymarket, SW1Y 4RP

Henrietta restaurant at The Henrietta Hotel Ollie Dabbous London

Henrietta, Covent Garden

Our verdict: This hotel collaboration from the team behind Experimental Cocktail Club and chef Ollie Dabbous lets the food do the talking. A dining room that lacks wow factor is balanced by a menu of seasonal, simple dishes: think strongly flavoured grilled mackerel on a bed of cucumber and lovage, festooned with cockles. As you’d expect from the owners, there’s a great cocktail bar too.

Our menu pick: Spring vegetables with wild garlic and Graceburn cheese sitting in a limpid lamb broth

Where: The Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH

food spread

Lupins, Southwark

Our verdict: Right outside the entrance to Flat Iron Square, Lupins is a calming mix of exposed brickwork, faded pink seating and coloured scatter cushions. The seasonal menu is equally as vibrant – think sea bass ceviche served in lettuce cups and dotted with greens. Round your meal off with dark chocolate mousse topped with sesame snaps – a real crowd-pleaser.

Our menu pick: Lupin’s take on a 2am kebab: pull-apart pork belly served on flatbread drizzled in mint sauce

Where: 66 Union Street, SE1 1TD

Madame D's London city restaurant bar

Madame D’s, City

Our verdict: From Harneet and Devina Baweja (the couple behind the hugely popular Gunpowder nearby), this intimate walk-ins only site serves up a Himalayan-inspired small plates menu that throws together influences from India, Nepal, China and Tibet. Top shouts include the pan-fried duck momos (Tibetan-style steamed dumplings bathed in a rich chilli sauce).  

Our menu pick: Masala noodles smothered in spicy minced lamb and topped with a runny fried egg

Where: 2nd floor, 76 Commercial Street, E1 6LY

millie's lounge at the ned 2017 web

Millie’s Lounge at The Ned, City

Our verdict: One of seven dining options open to the public at The Ned hotel, this British-American mashup is open 24/7 and features staples from both sides of the pond, ranging from traditional afternoon tea, to mac ’n’ cheese and BBQ short ribs. Huge mains include perfectly cooked fish & chips while to drink, there are fun cocktails like the Nedgroni and a decent wine selection.

Our menu pick: Don’t miss the starting snacks, including a crumbly, runny Scotch egg and a flaky, herb-flecked sausage roll

Where: The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ

Hungry for even more new London restaurants? Then scroll down for our top-rated new restaurant reviews from April.

Blacklock City London restaurant bar chops steak meat

Blacklock, City

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

Onodera London Japanese restaurant

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

Isabel restaurant 26 Albemarle Street London W1S 4HY Square Meal SquareMeal Casa Cruz restaurant Hotting Hill Juan Santa Cruz

Isabel, Mayfair

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

lorne chicken victoria 2017 web

Lorne, Pimlico

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

Sparrow London restaurant bar

Sparrow, Lewisham 

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

Still not satisfied? Make your way through our full list oLondon’s latest restaurant and bar openings

This article was updated 29 June 2017


Four must-visit new restaurants to book now
Xu Soho London Taiwanese restaurant bar tea

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