In London, there’s always an exciting restaurant opening to look forward to. A city brimming with creative energy and innovation, in 2015 it had more new restaurants launch than any other city. The official gourmet capital of the world, with so many high-level eateries, it’s hard to know where to beeline for the best. From the most beautifully designed to the ground-breaking culinary innovation, here’s 10 of the most buzz-worthy bookings.
“Place to be seen.”
With shimmering red and gold interiors- rumoured to cost £15 million- Sexy Fish is still a great place to see and be seen. From the hand-printed linen ceiling panels by Michael Roberts (Vanity Fair’s Style Editor-At-Large) to multiple Frank Gehry pieces or the resident DJ til 2am (Thurs-Sat) and a constant stream of paparazzi outside, there's never a dull moment here. It has one of the largest whiskey lists in the world and two of the biggest coral reef tanks ever to be designed.
london NOBU HOTEL, SHOREDITCH
Ok so it’s not officially open yet, but we are giving you one for your 2017 diary: Nobu’s new London Hotel in Shoreditch. With five stories that are fractured into angular, concrete architectural design it’s very East London on the outside and delightfully luxury and Japanese on the inner. We’ll see you there for black cod and lychee martini when it opens in Q1.
Hot on the back of winning GQ’s restaurant of the year award, Kitty Fisher’s is still a hot restaurant reservation to snag. With only 6 tables and list of celebrity clientele which ranges from ex-Prime Minister David Cameron (and wife Samantha) to celebrity-chef Nigella Lawson who tweeted she had just eaten “about everything on the menu.” It’s billed as the best steak in town with high-quality British ingredients grilled in the back.
Frenchie, Paris’s hottest teeny tiny eaterie and wine bar, opened its doors in London’s Covent Garden in February with a seasonal cocktail menu, memorable sharing dishes and an array of luxury French cheeses. But it’s the boutique wine menu and trademark cooking techniques such as house-smoked meat and fish that have everyone talking. Interior-wise, think whitewashed walls, exposed brick and copper accents.
The latest spin-off from the Soho House group, this buzzy French bistro spot is open to non-members and aims to take you back to old-world Paris. Think confit chicken or the signature Parmesan custard with anchovy toast and light aperitifs. Great all-day brasserie fare.
With 40 seats and simple decor, this recently-opened low-key restaurant could have easily been overlooked. Until the city’s most influential food critic Grace Dent asked “is this the best food in London?” Queue an Instagram flurry and a jam-packed reservation list. With a menu that changes daily (a la carte by day, a seven course tasting menu by night) it’s not one for fussy eaters who want their dressing on the side, rather an all out adventure into British feasting for those who are happy to trust a great chef.
Jason Atherton, the first British chef to work in Spain’s prestigious El Bulli restaurant, has been spicing up London’s dining scene with hip haunts ever since he returned to the capital city 5 years ago. With Pollen St Social, Little Social, Berners Tavern and 5 other buzz spots all comfortably under his belt, he has now turned his Midas touch to creating sexy izakaya-style Japanese dishes. Sosharu uses seasonal British ingredients and has a sake sommelier, just incase you need one.
There are certain names that cause a buzz in London no matter what they do. Restauranteur Alan Yau, founder of the Wagamamma food chain and high-end eatery Hakkasan, is one of them. After ten years (at least) in the making, his new Mayfair restaurant Park Chinois hails back to the glamour of 1930s Shanghai and is like dining on a film set. The food is special too- don’t miss the Park Carbonara or duck pancakes served with caviar.
Artist Damian Hirst and his friend, one of the city’s most esteemed chefs, Mark Hix are certainly two names that always cause a stir. Having opened a restaurant at Newport Street Gallery, in Vauxhall this year, it gives visitors the opportunity to eat amidst Hirst’s works of art. We’d book for a Sunday brunch, then mooch around the gallery.
BERBER & Q
If you want to immerse yourself in London’s hipster scene, then your Saturday morning must consist of 1) a trip to Broadway Market 2) a walk round London Fields 3) food at this converted railway arch in Haggerston. The coolest brunch in London right now, it’s inspired by flavors across Africa and the Ottoman. The meat is smoked and marinated in-house, then open grilled on their specialized clay oven. Mouthwatering flavors combine from pomegranate molasses to date syrup short rib. They take no reservations, so be prepared to queue or go mid-week and just skip the hipsters altogether.