12 unmissable restaurant openings in London, as chosen by the city’s top chefs

12 unmissable restaurant openings in London, as chosen by the city’s top chefs

As though the past 14 months never happened, restaurants have suddenly woken from their state-mandated slumber. After a fraught year of frantic, scrambling plans, the light at the end of the tunnel is here — and, despite the most pessimistic forecasts, hasn’t turned out to be a train coming the other way.

The restaurant scene is in a strange state of disarray: true, money is tight, but landlords have been forced to be flexible and for some the opportunities are there, and news of new places is pouring in. Big names are at it — Jason Atherton is heading into Harrods, Salt Bae is opening in Knightsbridge with a £700, 24 karat gold steak, Scott Collins is taking Meat Liquor to Forest Hill’s Dartmouth Arms in July and Corbin & King are still planning fish palace Manzi’s for Soho — but smaller groups are making their moves as well. The Clarence Tavern team are heading to the Hoxton museum with Molly’s Café, Brighton’s acclaimed Italian Cin Cin is trying its luck in Fitzrovia and Patty & Bun are hoping their chicken dinner spin-off Sidechick is a winner, winner in Marylebone. There are almost countless more; this is shaping up to be a busy year. But space has had to be found somewhere, and the new openings follow a tide of closures. Below, some of London’s top chefs and restaurateurs weigh in on the places they’re most excited to head into.

12 new restaurants opening in London

The Blue Boar

45 Tothill Street, SW1, blueboarlondon.com

Sally Abé’s style of food is designed for ease of eating, and I love that. You can put a lot of thought into presentation, colour, flavour — but not many chefs focus on the functionality of a dish, and that’s just as important. Sally’s so well known for the Harwood Arms and it’s always exciting when a chef who’s been somewhere for a long time moves on, to see how their style develops.

Norman’s Cafe

 167 Junction Road, N19, normanscafe.co.uk

I’m really looking forward to Norman’s Cafe in Archway opening up properly — their unique take on greasy spoon content has certainly generated a lot of hype and they’ve just got an alcohol licence, so I can only hope their wet offering will be as simple and unpretentious as the food!


157 Westbourne Grove, W11, sushisumi.com

I can’t wait for sushi master Endo Kazutoshi to open Sumi fully. He’s that perfect balance of a hardcore, classically trained Japanese chef meets food-is-all-about-fun and that’s what Sumi is going to be, I think. Proper sushi dining experience that isn’t going to break the bank. I’m excited for this one.


18 Farm Lane, SW6, sixescricket.com

I can’t wait to visit Sixes from our friends at Mac and Wild. Such a great idea playing indoor cricket midweek in London, whilst enjoying Mac and Wild’s amazing food and drinks. This is right up my wicket. Cricket and deer, wow! I’m really looking forward to The Sixes burger — these guys certainly know their burgers.


18 Shepherd Market, W1, @marumayfair

Aside from food, my other huge passion lies in art and design. I’ve always loved the clinical and clean interior at Taiji Maruyama’s Taka, and am as excited to see what they do to makeover Maru’s aesthetics as I am to taste the food. I love intimate dining experiences that you are almost encouraged to share with your fellow diners; it adds a beautiful social aspect to the incredible flavours. I really think this will be special.

Humble Chicken

54 Frith St, W1, humblechickenuk.com

This is exactly the kind of place I will go to on my day off: I love Japanese small plates, and it’s not far from where I live either so I’m sure this is somewhere I’ll keep going back to again and again. I see that they will be doing a Hakat Pork Belly dish — I’m particularly looking forward to trying that, as well as the oyster yakitori. The chef, Angelo Sato, is ex Trinity and Story, so has some great creds.

Ave Mario

15 Henrietta Street, WC2, bigmammagroup.com

Ever since arriving in London, seemingly out of nowhere, Big Mamma Group has produced the impossible: huge restaurants buzzing with guests desperate for a table. Customers are in love with the saturated, over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek pastiche they lay on as thickly as their meringue. It’s all about fun, something some critics seemed to miss. They are the number one restaurant group in London right now.

Trattoria Brutto

36-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1, @bru.tto

I’ve always loved Italian cuisine as I think it has many similarities to Mexican cuisine, especially in how they place an emphasis on regionally-changing, family-style dishes made with local, seasonal produce. Russell Norman’s restaurants have always been charming, fun and rustic, with a great approach to hospitality, so I’m very excited to see what he has in store for us with Trattoria Brutto.

Il Borro

15 Berkeley St, W1, ilborro.it

There’s been lots of noise about Il Borro taking over the Nobu site so I’m keen to see what it’s like when it does finally open — it’s such a well known site, they’re going to have to be something pretty special. I’m a huge Italophile and I hear they’re sourcing their produce from their estate in Tuscany, so am hoping for another top Italian round the corner from Murano!

Som Saa

43A Commercial St, London E1 6BD, somsaa.com

We’ve heard a rumour that a new Som Saa is opening this year. We absolutely love Thai food, our travels there have often inspired dishes at Prawn on the Lawn. We’ve been to the original Som Saa loads as well as Smoking Goat, Kiln, Farang and Begging Bowl and can’t welcome another great Thai haunt soon enough — hopefully the rumours are true!


42 North Audley Street, W1K, bibirestaurants.com

I’m really excited to experience the new JKS venture — Bibi. JKS is such a successful restaurant empire with many impressive venues so I look forward to what talented Chef Sharma will be creating in the kitchen. After a very difficult year for the industry, it is great to hear of new places opening up again.


322-324 Acton Mews, E8, planque.co.uk

I’ve heard quite a lot of people talking about the arrival of Planque; it’s a great idea to combine low-intervention wine bar with a members’ club and I imagine there will be a lot of demand. Seb Myers’s style of modern French food sounds great — and he had such success at P Franco and Chiltern Firehouse — plus I’ve vowed to start spending more time in east London this year.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/reveller/restaurants/new-london-restaurant-openingslondon-closures-covid-may-17-b934688.html

Andy Halliday

Andy is a camping expert with over 20 years of outdoor experience. He shares his expertise through his blog that features on his very own e-commerce camping gear store. He aspires to use his knowledge and experience to help disabled families get the most out of every trip they take.

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