Wintry weather is more than enough reason for us to seek warmth in a restaurant (not that we needed an excuse), and the SquareMeal team certainly didn’t go hungry this month. We’ve picked four of our favourite new eating spots which are definitely worth trying out. Browse our shortened reviews below, then click through to read more on each and book a table.
Our verdict: This new Japanese blends traditional minimalist looks with a friendly welcome and some contemporary flourishes on a menu that rarely puts a foot wrong. Agedashi tofu has lightly fried, barely-set bean curd in a delicate broth, while hamachi with jalapeño is prettily arranged and we were grateful for the sparing use of the fiery pepper. Not cheap, though.
Our menu pick: Miso-marinated ‘fisherman’s roll’, wrapped in a fold of seared salmon and packing a wasabi punch.
Where: 64 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QD
Our verdict: Owned by former Chiltern Firehouse chef Niall Davidson, Nuala sprinkles a little bit of stardust on to a grimy corner by Old Street roundabout. Starters and extras impressed the most: don’t skimp on the sourdough with seaweed butter, or dauphinois potatoes with lamb fat gravy. The downstairs bar, meanwhile, is a destination in its own right.
Our menu pick: Roughly chopped steak tartare made sloppy with egg yolk and stout sauce.
Where: 70-74 City Road, EC1Y 2BJ
Our verdict: Simon Rogan has resurrected his much-lauded pop up Roganic as a permanent restaurant serving up multi-course tasting menus of dainty but dynamic plates. Everything we tried was near perfect, from the intensely creamy starting snack of preserved raspberry tart to a dessert of apple slices caramelised into a bundle of sweetness.
Our menu pick: A ramekin of unassuming-looking custard, which surprises with its savoury notes of seaweed and caviar.
Where: 5-7 Blandford Street, W1U 3DB
Our verdict: Robin Gill has closed his much-praised The Manor and opened this new Italian on the same site. We’d recommend trying the £45 chef’s menu to get a small taste of everything that the kitchen has to offer. Standouts include velvety crab linguine, a light chocolate mousse served with vibrant fennel gelato, and Italian-accented drinks.
Our menu pick: Semolina sourdough served with three fabulous dips – ricotta given a silky finish by Jersey milk, pressed black olives, and a delectable melted parmesan.
Where: 148 Clapham Manor Street, SW4 6BX