New restaurants open every week in London and yet truth be told, there are only a handful each year that you really need to be aware of. Making it a little easier for you, Marie Teather tracks down the top 5 openings of the year to date.
It’s hard to have been in London over the last few months and not heard the hoo-ha surronding Heston Blumenthal first London restaurant. Head chef, Ashley Palmer-Watts, previously at The Fat Duck for nine years, has also moved to the big smoke to help establish the upmarket bistro. Featuring "historic British-influenced dishes" with that famous Blumenthal twist you can expect to tastes from England’s long forgotton cookbooks such as the Broth of Lamb, circa 1730, made with slow cooked hen's egg, celery, radish, turnip and sweetbreads followed by the Spiced Pigeon, circa 1780, made with ale and Artichokes.
66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
020 7201 3833
Friends for over a decade, Michelin starred chef Thierry Laborde, operations director Yann Chevris, wine expert Philippe Messy and celebrity florist Pascal Lavorel have fulfilled a longstanding dream by opening an authentic ‘bistro du coin’ tucked away in a narrow street in Knightsbridge Green.
Chabrot, an intimate 65-cover restaurant across two floors is reminiscent of a classic French bistro in design, offering a menu comprising of dishes from across Southern France. Chabrot is a traditional Dordogne ritual, which became increasingly popular during the food shortages in the second world war whereby wine is poured into a soup bowl allowing the last remnants of the soup to be drunk.
Thierry’s succinct menu includes highlights such as grilled spicy black pudding with cooked apple, and large prawns a la plancha and the main courses to share: a whole leg of milk fed lamb white beans and fresh piquillos or whole roasted foie gras with raisins.
9 Knightsbridge Green, London, SW1X 7QL
020 7225 2238
3 Spice Market London
Opened in February 2011, three Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has returned to the capital to open Spice Market London in the new W London hotel. Inspired by the vibrant street life of South East Asia, the restaurant is the sister restaurant of the iconic Spice Market in New York’s Meatpacking District
The interior transports diners to an o of opulent paradise with a unique blend of the authentic old world feel Spice Market NY and the contemporary architecture of the new W London, a ten-storey new build structure veiled in translucent glass which changes colour according to the time of day, the ambience of the area, or happenings in the hotel or the city.
Signature dishes include: Spiced Chicken Samosa with Coriander Yogurt, Cod with Malaysian Chilli Sauce and Thai Basil and Ovaltine Kulfi, Caramelized Banana and Spiced Milk Chocolate.
10 Wardour St, Westminster, London W1D 6
020 7758 1088
4 Amaranto Restaurant
Chef Adriano Cavagnini has returned to London to head Amaranto Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. Tipped to become on of city’s most fashionable venues for cuisine and cocktails, the question is whether Cavagnini will be able to pick up another Michelin star to add to the one he picked up at Terrazza restaurant at the Grosvenor House.
Amaranto has three different areas – restaurant, bar, and lounge – serving an Italian-inspired menu throughout the day. Simply choose the setting most appropriate for your occasion and mood.
For more intimate affairs, a private dining room seats up to eight guests.
Hamilton Pl Park Lane
London, W1K 1
020 7319 5206
The website which displays little more than 20 words, four of them including ‘no telephone, no reservations,’ hint at a New York speakeasy vibe—only with food. The restaurant seats just 30 diners and has been a hit since the doors to this secretive vault opened. Food and service is quirky and cool, expects sliders, scotch eggs and calamari to nibble on.
61 Rupert St London, W1 F0