Restaurant Radar: Openings May 2017

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

New restaurant openings Radar: May 2017

Related tags: Chef, London

From already-celebrity-filled The Ned, the new Duck & Waffle Local from the sky-high site of the same name, and a higher-end take from the Bao team, we round up this month's openings to watch

Xu, Soho


The team behind London street food sensation Bao are to open a new restaurant serving high-­end Taiwanese cuisine in Soho this spring. Named Xu after chef and founder Erchen Chang’s late grandfather, the 68-cover site is spread across two floors in Chinatown. Bao’s menu is famous for its steamed buns costing up to £5, but the price point at Xu is around £55 per person before drinks. Dishes will include a whole chicken stuffed with herbs and spices that will required diners to wear gloves to break it apart. Downstairs a 24­-cover tea bar will serve hot and cold brews of traditional Taiwanese tea, available for customers to take home.

Curveball, Balham


(Photo: Curveball)

This new restaurant is offering a twist on the humble meatball. Curveball is the brainchild of food blogger Hannah Pemberton and Paul Harris, former chief financial officer at London’s Liberty department store. The duo is aiming to highlight flavours from around the world in spherical form when the restaurant launches in Balham next month. Dishes will include beef chuck and parmesan meatballs in a short­rib ragu; beetroot and tahini ‘vegballs’ with lime avocado crema and pomegranate; and crispy bitesize balls of potato rosti. There will also be balls of doughnut filled with coconut mango, salted caramel or Nutella for dessert

The Ned, City of London


(Photo: The Ned)

The Ned, the hotel, club and restaurant project launched by Soho House and New York­-based Sydell Group, is arguably one of the biggest openings this month. The multi-million pound, 252­bedroom hotel has now launched, after a huge celebrity-studded party saw everyone and their mum turn out to see Paloma Faith and Gary Barlow take the stage in celebration. Housed in the former Midland Bank building in the City of London, it includes nine restaurants and a private members’ club, and has been restored to a 1920s-30s design. There is also a spa, gym, sauna and pool.

Cottons, Vauxhall


(Photo: Cottons Notting Hill)

Caribbean restaurant group Cottons is to open a new site in Vauxhall as part of its plans to open two new venues (the other one is a new place in Shoreditch). Vauxhall will cover 4,235 sq ft and overlook the Thames, in St George’s Wharf in June. It will serve Cottons’ Caribbean-­inspired menu, including starters such as the 48-­hour marinated jerk wings with banana sauce; and salt fish fritters with green mango and homemade scotch bonnet pepper relish. Main dishes will be along the lines of curried mutton with fried plantain; and whole baby jerk chicken with slaw, and there will also be a ‘rum shack’, with an extensive variety of rum. The new sites will take the group to four in total, including its original Camden venue, which opened in 1985, and its newer Notting Hill site, which opened in 2016.

Neo Bistro, Mayfair


(Photo: The Neo Bistro team)

Alex Harper, former head chef at the Michelin-­starred Harwood Arms, has teamed up with Anglo chef-­patron Mark Jarvis to launch Neo Bistro in Mayfair, which is inspired by modern Parisian restaurants and will offer a more relaxed take on fine dining. Harper will head up the kitchen, working with Jarvis to create a menu of simple and ‘modestly’ priced dishes, with daily specials chalked up on the dining room’s blackboard. Dishes will include cured Tamworth pork, venison chorizo and fresh cheese with smoked potato, grilled leeks and walnut pesto; roast sea bass with mousserons, English asparagus and thyme; and a chocolate tart with malt ice cream, salted caramel and Gariguette strawberries. Front-­of-­house will be overseen by Anglo’s Nick Gilkinson, who has curated a wine list starting from £5 a glass and £19 a bottle, alongside cocktails and local craft beers.

Dirty Bones, Soho


(Photo: Dirty Bones)

'New York-­inspired' restaurant Dirty Bones is to open its fourth London site later this spring. Located in the former Clockjack site in Soho, the new restaurant will feature a design based on a New York loft apartment and will serve a similar comfort food menu to its existing sites. Dirty Bones is known for its US-­inspired dishes such as the 'Mac Daddy' burger topped with macaroni and cheese; and fried chicken and waffles. The group currently runs three London sites in Shoreditch, Carnaby Street and South Kensington and will open its first restaurant outside London in Oxford later this year.

Henrietta, Fitzrovia


(Photo: Ollie Dabbous and team)

Ollie Dabbous is expected to open his third London restaurant at Experimental Group’s debut UK hotel, the 18-bedroom Henrietta Hotel, in Covent Garden this month. The chef is said to be launching Henrietta, an 80­-cover restaurant. Dishes will be ingredients­-led with a ‘subtle nod to France’, while cocktail specialists Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller will curate the drinks menu. Dabbous’ eponymous Fitzrovia restaurant won its first Michelin star just eight months after opening in 2012, and the chef launched his second venue Barnyard in 2014.

Pizza Pilgrims, West India Quay


(Photo: The Pizza Pilgrims duo)

Pizza Pilgrims founders Thom and James Elliot, who first opened as a street food operation, are to open in West India Quay as part of plans to open three sites in London this year (comprising Shoreditch, West India Quay, and Waterloo). New menu items will include Crust Dippers; Prosciutto Pops; and Tiramisu served in takeaway cardboard espresso cups, alongside the group's signature thin-­crust pizzas.

Tapas Room, Tooting


(Photo: Tapas Room)

This new tapas restaurant comes from the team behind Spanish street food pop­up Donostia Social Club. The Tapas Room will function as a shop, deli and eatery when it launches in Tooting’s Broadway Market in on 4 May. Guests will sit at a bar to dine on Basque­inspired tapas, charcuterie and cheese alongside Spanish wine, sherry, vermouth and cava. All dishes will be available for takeaway or delivery through UberEATS, Deliveroo and Amazon Restaurants.

Foxlow, Soho


(Photo: Hawksmoor / Foxlow)

The founders of Hawksmoor, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, are to open a new 120-seat (plus 40 covers downstairs) site under their neighbourhood restaurant brand Foxlow in Soho, just off Golden Square. The announcement brings the brand back up to four sites following the closure of Foxlow’s Stoke Newington site in January. The Soho restaurant will open daily for brunch, lunch and dinner, serving classic British dishes such as slow­-smoked pork ribs; fried castlemead chicken; and Sunday roasts. For those less keen on the meat­-heavy menu Foxlow’s development chef Lewis Hannaford is also creating several new vegan options. Diners will be able to bring their own wine on Tuesday nights with no corkage charge, while the restaurant will also offer an expanded cocktail menu with ingredients such as manzanilla, lime and Peychaud’s Bitters.

Duck & Waffle Local, St James's Market


(Photo: Duck & Waffle Local)

Duck & Waffle Local is a 120-cover, fast-casual offshoot of its parent brand Duck & Waffle, serving a quicker and ‘more accessible’ menu. Time­-pressed guests will be able to order at a counter before being shown to a table, or use a takeaway service to eat on the go. While the original Duck & Waffle in Bishopsgate is open 24 hours, the new restaurant will open from early morning to late night and offer both breakfast and all­-day menus. Duck & Waffle’s chef director Dan Doherty has created new dishes centred on the restaurant’s namesake bird, including a duck burger with crispy duck leg; and a duck jam doughnut.

Tim Hortons, Glasgow


(Photo: Tim Hortons)

Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons is to open its first UK site in Glasgow this month. The cult chain will launch its first store in early May, before rolling out to other UK cities later this year. It is the first European agreement of its kind for the company, which serves over five million Canadians ­ approximately 15% of the population ­every day. The UK stores will offer coffees, baked goods, breakfast and lunch options and the brand's signature Timbit bite­-sized doughnuts. Tim Hortons' coffee and doughnuts were available at self­-service counters at Spar stores in the UK in the mid to late­ 2000’s, but the Glasgow opening will be its first full-­service restaurant in the country.

The Bothy, West India Quay


(Photo: The Bothy, West India Quay)

Opening on 8 May, the Bothy is one of several key new sites announced by the Drake & Morgan restaurant group as part of its wider expansion plans. The 11,522 sq ft space in a Grade-­I listed warehouse in West India Quay will have 400 seats; 200 inside across a ground floor bar and lower ground floor restaurant, and 200 outside on a large riverside terrace with its own external bar. The site will open seven days a week and serve an all­-day menu of small plates and sharing platters ‒ including breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner ‒ and an extensive wine list, plus original cocktails, mocktails, and craft beers. The design will incorporate many of the original warehouse features, including the timber beams, exposed floorboards, flagstone flooring, cast iron columns and deep-­founded brick walls.

Dinings SW3, Knightsbridge


(Photo: Dinings)

The team behind Japanese restaurant Dinings are to open a second London site this month. Dinings SW3 will launch in the former Toto’s site in Knightsbridge, 11 years after the first restaurant opened its doors in Marylebone. There will be two dining bars, a 24-­cover dining room with a 10-­cover sushi counter, as well as a 20-­cover courtyard space. The brainchild of co-­founder Tomonari Chiba, who previously worked at the Nobu Japanese restaurant group, it will serve the same small plates of sushi and sashimi, alongside new robata-­style dishes cooked in a Josper Grill, and a Japanese take on ‘Plateau de Fruits de Mer’. Dishes will include Dover sole with butter soy and wasabi salsa; sweet soy marinated Chilean sea bass with sansyo pepper; and native Scottish lobster with yuzu kimizu sauce.

Madame D’s, Spitalfields


(Photo: Gunpowder / Madame D's)

The husband and wife team behind Gunpowder, the Indian restaurant in Spitalfields which won a Michelin Bib Gourmand, are to open a new site focusing on Himalayan cooking. Harneet and Devina Baweja and head chef Nirmal Save will launch Madame D’s down the road from their critically-acclaimed first site this month. The 25-­cover restaurant will sit above the Spirit of 76 pub and be lit by candlelight, with long wooden benches lining the room for communal dining. The menu will focus on sharing plates, priced from £3­-£15, with flavours from Nepalese, Tibetan, and Chinese cooking. Dishes will include pan-­fried Tibetan duck momo; garlic coriander steamed chicken; and prawn on toast, a take on the Chinese classic.

Red Rooster, Shoreditch


(Photo: Marcus Samuelsson)

Launching at the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch, Red Rooster will be US chef Marcus Samuelsson’s debut London restaurant, and will showcase the Harlem chef’s take on American comfort food. Alongside the restaurant will be an all-­day taqueria and bar on Curtain Road called Rooster Taqueria. Red Rooster will have a large, dine­-at open kitchen with adjacent DJ booth while Rooster Taqueria will feature a double height ceiling and large floor-­to-­ceiling windows. The site will serve many signature dishes from the Harlem original, including Harlem fried chicken and waffles with pickles and hot bourbon maple syrup; pork and shrimp hot rice; and fried yardbird with gravy, yams, hot honey and collards. The all-­day Rooster Taqueria will serve a short Mexican­inspired breakfast menu as well as a concise list of tacos.

The Clifton, St John's Wood


(Photo: The Clifton)

Karl Calvert, former head chef at Peter Gordon’s The Providores, is to head up the kitchen at a new London gastropub, The Clifton. It is expected to offer a lighter and ‘more adventurous’ take on pub grub when it launches in St John’s Wood, and is the brainchild of brothers Ben and Ed Robson, who ran The Horseshoe pub in Hampstead for three years and launched Austrian restaurant Boopshi's in Fitzrovia in 2013. Calvert, who has also cooked at Caravan and Beef & Brew, will make use of overlooked cuts of meat such as ox heart, mutton and pork neck in his menu. The pub will shun the traditional Sunday roast in favour of weekend brunches, as well as serving an all­day menu and selection of small plates to be enjoyed with a drink. The Robson brothers also plan to brew their own Clifton beer.

Coya, City of London


(Photo: Coya)

Latin American restaurant group Coya, from from Arjun Waney, one half of the duo behind London’s Zuma and Roka restaurants, is expanding to the City with a 4,500 sq.ft site on the ground floor of the new Angel Court development. Coya executive chef Sanjay Dwivedi has created a menu of ‘light and healthy’ Peruvian dishes, alongside an express lunch menu for time-­pressed City workers. The 170-­cover restaurant will feature a six­-cover Rum Round Table, two private dining rooms, Pisco Lounge bar and a DJ booth. Guests will also have the option to buy their favourite spirit and have it stored in a ‘bottle library’ locker for when they return. The launch is part of a wider expansion of the Coya brand, wihich also has an opening in Abu Dhabi lined up for later this year.

GBR, The Dukes London


(Photo: GBR)

GBR, or Great British Restaurant, is to open in the luxury Dukes London hotel this month. Overseeing the 56­-seat space will be executive head chef Nigel Mendham, whose career has included the South Lodge in West Sussex; The Samling in the Lake District; Stapleford Park in Leicestershire; and The Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds. Debrah Dhugga will oversee the launch as managing director of the 90- ­bedroom, five star Red AA hotel at 36 Little St James Street. Open all day, every day, the restaurant will serve dishes such as traditional Scotch egg; British charcuterie with pickled vegetables; new season lamb with smoked aubergine; fish and chips with beer batter and mushy peas; plus desserts such as treacle sponge with custard and roasted banana. Bar snacks will include truffle chips, and Norfolk crab on rye toast. The drinks menu will feature classic and original cocktails and English craft beers, plus 15 red wines and 15 whites.

Ham and Friends, Leeds

ham and friends 610

(Photo: Ben Bentley)

This new wine bar, food hall and restaurant is set to open late this month, from the team behind the existing Friends of Ham site in Leeds. The 60-cover dining area will serve seasonal small plates from head chef Joel Monkman, and as the new home of the Yorkshire Wine School (overseen by Laura Kent), the venue will also offer regular tastings and classes. General manager will be Lucy Cheetham, and Simon Hilton-Smith with head up the bar. There will also be retail areas, most notably featuring cheesemongers George & Joseph. 

Tratra, Shoreditch


(Photo: Stephane Reynaud)

First mentioned in our April roundup, Tratra is to be the first London restaurant from French chef Stéphane Reynaud, and has been pushed back to this month. Set to open at the Boundary Hotel in Shoreditch, the site will be the third restaurant from Reynaud, and his first outside Paris. He previously owned and cooked at Villa9Trois in Montreuil. The space will aim to offer relaxed eating and drinking across the generations, and will be inspired by Reynaud’s own recipes, including dishes from his home Ardeche region in south­central France. A chef for 25 years, he grew up in a family of pig farmers and butchers and as a result, emphasises meat and charcuterie on his menus. Tratra will be the latest restaurant to join the Prescott & Conran group, which owns the Boundary Hotel.

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