Welcome to the inaugural edition of London’s Hottest New Openings! We’re very excited to be here.
We continue our regular monthly feature where we summarise some of our highlights from the previous month and offer recommendations for where you should visit or have on your radar for the month ahead. Encompassing new London restaurants and old favourites, pop-up venues, events and everything in between, here is the inside track for those sharking for chips and drinks.
If we’ve missed any exciting new places off this list, please get in touch in the comments section. In case you missed it – check out what OPENED IN FEBRUARY & MARCH in Melbourne. Might give you itchy feet…
When? April 8, 2015.
What is it? Vietnamese Banh Mi (Baguettes) with hot fill meat and vegetarian fillings, salads and spring rolls.
Who’s behind it? Tom Barlow who spent the last 5 years living in Saigon. Tom operated as a street trader through 2014 and this is his first venture.
Size? No seating, 100% takeaway. They’ve got original exposed Soho brick walling with mapped on floor to ceiling original popart, a reclaimed tea crate counter with Le Creuset brightly coloured casserole pots, Vietnamese graffiti and reclaimed popart bill posters. They also have feature lighting from a Japanese frigate from WWII.
What’s on the Menu? Banh Mi with 5 hot fillings, spring rolls with dipping sauces, fresh Asian salads, Vietnamese coffee and latte art by their Awesome Jess from Brisbane. Wham Banh Mi also serve bottled healthy drinks. Ensure you try out their signature bread that took them 13 months to develop.
Bookings? No, although from 1St May they will do office deliveries at lunch.
Trading Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am-10pm.
When? April 24, 2015.
What is it? Middle Eastern and North African grill house with Brooklyn, Tel Aviv and London.
Who’s behind it? Josh Katz has opened his first restaurant, Berber & Q, a Middle Eastern and North African grill house, within the railway arches of Haggerston. Formerly at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Ottolenghi and Zest, Josh has taken influence for Berber & Q from all over – London, Marrakesh, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and New York.
Second to his love of food is travel, and Josh has extensively explored Mangal restaurants in Turkey, the grill & kebab houses of Istanbul, the food stalls of Jmaa el Fna in Marrakesh and the Shipudim in Tel Aviv. Growing up in North London meant regular visits to the falafel shops, Middle Eastern grocery stores, bakeries, butchers, Shawarma houses and Israeli restaurants which became regular after-school haunts. In more recent years, Josh has frequently travelled to New York, eating his way through the city’s BBQ joints and developing a passion for the cuisine which will be carried over to his menu at Berber & Q.
Co Founder, Mattia Bianchi, who previously worked at Ottolenghi and with Ben Spalding, will oversee the front of house and bar offering.
Size? Berber & Q, designed by London based Judith Pearson, will sit under a weathered, brick railway arch (previously a disused taxi rank), its exterior clad with rusted and corrugated metal sheets, and finely patterned lattice vinyl. A long, dark-wood bar will stretch the length of the room. With the open kitchen as a backdrop, seating will comprise a mixture of dark wooden booths covered with sackcloth cushions and long, communal sharing tables made from railway sleepers, all overhung with lights made from sheet metal.
What’s on the Menu? With the open mangal, charcoal grill and smoker at the centre of the offering, Josh has split his menu into ‘Meat’, ‘Pickles’, ‘Mezze’, ‘Sandwiches’ and ‘Sweets’, that will all be served on communal mess trays. Signature ‘Meats’ will include Lamb Mechoui (£9.50), pulled forequarter of lamb eaten by hand with cumin salt for dipping; Fennel seed & paprika smoked pork belly (£8.50); and maple-glazed smoked Merguez (£8.00). The changing menu will include ‘mezzes’ of Blackened aubergine with walnut and tahini (£5); Cauliflower shawarma (1/4, ½, whole) (£3/5/8); and Glazed beetroot with date syrup and whipped feta (£5).
House-made sauces will accompany the dishes, like Zhug, harissa and garlic yoghurt, and all orders will come with griddled Israeli Ciapita and Berber house salad. Desserts will be offerings such as Rose Malabi (£4.50) and Saffron rice pudding with green pistachio (£5).
Berber & Q will collaborate with Crate Brewery to offer their very own Golden on draught, made with Thyme, Za’atra, Sumac and orange zest, served in growlers. Other beers will include Golden Taybeh from Palestine, and Moroccan lager Casablanca.
The short wine list will be ever changing, including no more than 15 bins. There will be wines from small producers in Southern Italy, Spain, and France, along with lesser-known bottles from Morocco and Turkey. Mattia will choose one magnum every month – his current favourite, which will take pride of place on the list, and will represent excellent value. The list will begin at £3.50 for a glass, and £18.50 for a bottle.
Trading Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday: 6pm – 11pm. Closed Mondays.
When? March 10, 2015
What is it? Big Fernand has crossed the Channel for its first venture on UK soil. Located a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street on Percy Street, this central London burger workshop is big on French flavours and Parisian savoir-faire.
Who’s behind it? Founders Steve Burggraf, Alexandre Auriac and Guillaume Pagliano, first launched Big Fernand in Paris in 2012.
Size? 60 covers
What’s on the Menu? What is this ‘hamburger’ you speak of? It’s hamburgés that Big Fernand deals in, marrying the comforting American classic with French gastronomy to deliver the crème de la crème of burgers.
Trading Hours: 12 until 2:30 and from 6pm until 10:30pm daily Monday-Sunday.
When? June, 2015
What is it? Iconic fine-dining steakhouse.
Who’s behind it? Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group / Head Chef – TBC.
Size? 300 including bar seating / Designed by Martin Brudnizki.
What’s on the Menu? Perfectly cooked USDA Prime dry-aged steaks alongside British and Irish cuts and premium seafood. 30 classic cocktails with a twist and a wide range of award-winning wines. Big, beautiful beef roasts will be available on Sundays.
When? March 2, 2015
What is it? Healthy café and cold-pressed juice bar – nutritious yet delicious meals
Who’s behind it? Adria Wu – originally qualified as an engineer, Adria worked in management consulting and finance before training at Le Cordon Bleu and also attended the British College of Nutrition and Health.
Size? 16 seats – upstairs and downstairs. Small courtyard set to launch later this year.
What’s on the Menu? Salted Caramel gluten-free brownie and ‘everything’ cookies made with coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, oats and dark chocolate. Nutritious salads (such as Samurai slaw and Mexican standoff!) and cold-pressed juices.
Bookings? No, but offers take-away and caters for large orders
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm
When? September 21, 2014.
What is it? Late night cocktail and dessert bar in Soho
Who’s behind it? Basement Sate is the brainchild of Cathleen McGarry, the co-owner of the world-renowned Sherry Butt cocktail bar in Paris.
Size? 120 capacity.
What’s on the Menu? Desserts and cocktails. Cocktails (prices range from £7-12) include Thunder Cloud – tequila, aperol, blueberry vinegar, lemonade. Desserts (prices range from £6-8) like Purple Rain – blackcurrant & yoghurt mousse macaroon, meringue, yoghurt mousse
Trading Hours: Monday – Saturday, 6pm – 1.30am.
When? April 30, 2015
What is it? A late Night Dim Sum and Cocktail Bar taking its inspiration from the Chinese master criminal, it combines Victorian Opium Den with a modern graphic edge.
Size? 55 covers for dining, 250 for drinking and dancing.
What’s on the Menu? Fragrant and authentic dim sum, served in beautiful wicker baskets, ideal for sharing. Signature Cocktails include Manchu’s Mind Control (Bacardi Superior, Bacardi Gold, Bacardi Black, Apricot Brandy, Orange Curacao, pineapple, guava, lime, absinthe ) and the Kiss of Death (Woodford Reserve, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Cocktail bitters, spice)
Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm – Midnight, Thu 5pm – 1am, Fri 5pm – 3am, Sat midday – 3am, Sun midday – 11pm.
When? February 23, 2015.
What is it? A unique new independent, vibrant Hoxton neighbourhood eatery, offering a relaxed environment and serving breakfast, brunch and lunch. We have an imaginative seasonal menu, inspired by the cafe scene in Melbourne, and the food is served alongside specialty Ozone coffee.
Who’s behind it? Owners – Anthony Dyer & Man Wong – 1st venture together having left their jobs in the City. Head Chef – Sebastion Harris – trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, and previously of the Larrik Inn, Marylebone.
Size? 26 seats inside with 4 additional outdoor seats
What’s on the Menu? Modern healthy twists on brunch classics, superfood salads, and takeaway toasties. Dishes include sweet potato & courgette rosti – with smoked bacon, avocado and poached eggs; Jerk crusted minute steak – with smoked mango butter, paprika chips and watercress & grapefruit salad; Buttermilk fried chicken – with straw fries and apple slaw; Smashed avocado – with fresh tomatoes, chilli chutney, dukkah and poached eggs.; Super Mario’s mushrooms – creamed portobellos, creamy sauce, burrata, cherry tomatoes, sourdough toast
Bookings? Yes for groups of 6 or larger
Trading Hours: Tues – Fri – 8am till 5pm, Sat – 9am till 5pm, Sun – 10am till 5pm.
Don’t miss out on any other London food & drink news – subscribe to the email list to receive every update (top right corner) and Follow @Shark4ChipDrink Know of any other places opening soon that aren’t on this list or that were missed? Let me know! Send Email. See you next month.