Claude Bosi is making a return to Mayfair this summer having teamed up with Bombay Bustle and Jamavar owner Samyukta Nair. The pair will open French-Mediterranean inspired restaurant Socca on South Audley Street on the former Richoux site, which has been serving diners since 1909. Socca will pay homage to the coastal towns of Cannes, Marseille and Nice, with simplicity and seasonality at its core. The dining room is said to be inspired 'by the whimsical stylings of Villa Santo Sospir' with scallop shell lights, navy leather banquette seating and timber paneling. The result, according to the marketing info, will be a modern bistro drawing inspiration from French establishments such as La Columbe d’Or. And, in case you were wondering, the restaurant takes its name from both chickpea flour, the staple ingredient of panisse, and the pea flower.
AngloThai's John and Desiree Chantarasak have captivated diners with their various residencies and in their own South London home with their AngloThai Baan series of intimate dinners, but bigger plans are afoot this year. The couple have secured the backing of MJMK, the group behind Casa do Frango and KOL restaurants, to open a central London restaurant this year bringing their creative Thai food and low intervention wines to a wider audience. Details are still thin on the ground, but the food is expected to be less fiery and slightly more delicate than the previous pop-ups with a changing chalkboard of dishes served alongside a more regular menu.
X by Harry Guy
Roux Scholar Harry Guy will branch out on his own this year having built a solid cheffing career under the tutelage of Simon Rogan and at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill. Called X by Harry Guy, his debut solo venture has been four years in gestation and will serve ‘flavour-first’ dishes in an ‘invitingly dark’ restaurant space. The new restaurant will be located within boutique hotel Wildes Chester and will certainly be one to look out for this year.
Meaning ‘a person from Lisbon’, Lisboeta will mark a welcome return to the capital for Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes. His new project on London restaurant hot spot Charlotte Street will be set across three floors in a townhouse building with the ground floor inspired by café culture with a long, seated bar and an upstairs dining room with banquette seats and whitewashed walls. There will also be a cellar space called The Adega that will house a glass-fronted kitchen and wine cellar when it opens later in the year. Mendes has opted for a menu of small plate ‘petiscos’ and large sharing dishes for the table inspired by the popular ‘tasca’ restaurants of Lisbon.
Mexican chef made a name for herself in the capital last year with her summer residency at the Dorchester Rooftop pop-up and she intends to build on this with her own restaurant this year. Opening in Marylebone Village, Cavita is likely to serve the style of Mexican food from the pop-up, which included dishes such as chargrilled corn-fed chicken and crispy fried half lobster with ajillo sauce as well as a selection of tacos.
Chef Akwasi has named his new restaurant after the Ghanaian plantain pancake but the menu at Tatale will span the African continent when it opens at the recently relocated The Africa Centre in Southwark. It will be Brenya-Mensa’s debut restaurant but the Ghanaian-British has spent the past decade running street food operations and pop-ups. His 50-cover venue will tell stories through food, art and culture ‘born in Ghana and developed in London’.
Arcade Food Theatre
The glass-fronted Oxford Street food hall opened with huge fanfare a few years back, attracting names such as Selin Kaizim, Hart Brothers and Flat Iron to its ranks, but it never reopened after the first lockdown and has been empty ever since. Now it is being brought back to life by London restaurateur du jour JKS, which has taken full ownership of the vast site’s culinary direction. It is keeping its exact plans under wraps but expect to see riffs on dishes from some of its food hall friendly brands, not least Bao, Hoppers and Berenjak with a diverse food offer that will encompass Thai curries, Indonesian street food, North Indian fast food, Spanish tapas, Middle Eastern shawarma, Japanese sushi, and American-style burgers.
Tredwell’s chef Chantelle Nicholson is building on the success of her All’s Well extended pop-up in Hackney for the opening of her next project. This time she’s leaving east London behind for a more glamourous Mayfair setting for the launch of Apricity, a restaurant that ‘will pioneer the principles of a circular economy’. What this means in practice is that it will serve a menu centred on hyper-seasonal, sustainable produce sourced from small-scale farmers and locally foraged ingredients, with a zero-waste approach to cooking. Here’s hoping the well-heeled of Mayfair have a green conscience.
Grace & Savour
Head chef David Taylor and his wife Anette Taylor will run this new restaurant and development kitchen when it opens in West Midlands-based Hampton Manor in February. Open to non residents as well as staying guests for dinner only, the restaurant will be located within the 45-acre family-run Hampton Manor estate and will serve a meal of around 15 dishes accompanied by drinks pairings that will include kombuchas, teas and small-batch wines. Dish details are yet to be revealed but the menu will reflect what is available at the time and will feature dishes that ‘replicate an understanding of the complexities of produce, broken food chains and scarcity of nutrient-rich soil’, according to the hotel.
Burger group Honest Burgers readily embraced the plant-based movement with a number of meat-free additions to its menu but this year it is taking things one step further with a brand that is dedicated entirely to its vegan customers. Called V Honest, it will take the place of brand’s existing restaurant on Covent Garden's Garrick Street serving a‘an innovative, completely new menu of plant-based burgers, sauces and sides’. V Honest will offer Honest’s most extensive vegan selection to date, with a menu combining vegan takes on its classic burgers, including the Honest and Tribute burgers that have been on the menu since the brand’s inception in 2011, alongside new serves such as the Buffalo, Teriyaki, and Pesto.
Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London
Acclaimed Argentine-born chef Mauro Colagreco will make his UK debut later in this year with two restaurants as well as an ‘avante garde chef’s table’ at upcoming Whitehall hotel Raffles London At The OWO. The chef, who is best-known for his Mirazur restaurant in Menton, France which was voted the best restaurant in the world at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2019, is yet to reveal the names of the venues but they will comprise a fine dining restaurant, a brasserie ‘with a twist’ and a ‘private’ chef’s table. Anyone lucky enough to have eaten at Mirazur will know Colagreco is undeniably one of the world’s top cooking talent so Londoners should be in for a treat.
Bjorn Frantzen at Harrods
Swedish chef Bjorn Frantzen is one of the world’s leading chefs and so his appointment by Harrods is a bit of a coup for the department store, especially considering the now vacant space left in Claridge’s following the departure of Daniel Humm and his team. The chef’s flagship three-star eponymous restaurant currently sits at number six in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and Harrods will be hoping he can bring some of his culinary magic to his new Knightsbridge setting. Menu details are yet to be revealed, but diners can expect to eat some of the most creative and stunning dishes in the capital when it does open.
Blacklock Covent Garden
The Pandemic forced Blacklock to mothball its Covent Garden restaurant but plans for its fourth venue in the capital are now back on track. Opening in February, the chop specialist says the new restaurant will coincide with its ‘journey’ to B Corp status - for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. There will be chops aplenty at the new restaurant but some new additions too, including lesser-known cuts such as Denver and tri-tip steaks.
Izakaya restaurant The Aubrey will replace the site left vacant by Bar Boulud at five-star hotel Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park this year. Owner, Hong Kong-based bar and restaurant group Maximal Concepts, already operates The Aubrey in the Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental and the menu is likely to be similar, so expect A3 wagyu tartare; a range of sushi, sashimi, maki and tempura as well as dishes cooked on a robata grill such as Hokkaido king crab leg; and Iberico secreto pork as well as rice and noodle dishes.
Stuart Gillies and his wife Cecilia have had success with their debut restaurant Bank House in Chiselhurst since it launched in 2019 so they’re going again, this time with a venue in Sevenoaks. Called Number Eight, it will open in the Kent town this month in a 16th century building complete with courtyard terrace. The menu will reflect the former Gordon Ramsay Group CEO’s career working in restaurants in Stockholm, Rome, New York and London with dishes including whipped cod’s roe with hazelnuts, green beans and homemade focaccia; truffled artichokes with creme fraiche dressing and mache salad; buttermilk chicken, bbq sauce, blue cheese shavings; and monkfish curry.
Eataly London has been open for a while now but not until this month will all its restaurant spaces be in operation. Last but by no means least is Terra, a restaurant that will have a wood-fired grill as its centrepiece. The menu will feature a range of antipasti as well as a small selection of pasta and risotto but the main event will be the market selection of fish, meat and vegetables are expertly cooked on the grill. Terra will also stock what is said to be UK’s largest selection of Italian wines and spirits with more than 2,000 labels from its neighbouring wine shop Il Vino available to be drunk in the restaurant.
Lahpet West End
Burmese cuisine is getting a bigger billing in the capital this year with the opening of a second Lahpet restaurant in Covent Garden this year. Owners Dan Anton and Zaw Mahesh will open the two-storey, 100-cover restaurant next month serving a menu developed by Burmese-born chef Mahesh. Expect Lahpet favourites with new dishes including roasted pork belly and bamboo shoots, made with shallot, fermented soya bean paste, garlic and chilli; rakhine fish noodle soup, a spicy and sour soup, cooked with fermented fish paste, chilli, tamarind and black pepper; and shan fish and rice, a popular Shan state street food dish, containing jasmine rice, sea bream, potato, tomato, fried garlic and shallots, peanuts and chives.
Corbin & King’s fish-focused restaurant has been a labour of love with it first being delayed by the pandemic and then over ‘differing views’ with the restaurant group’s backers. Nevertheless, the 240-cover restaurant will finally open its doors this year and will be an homage to its Soho setting with ornate seafood and mermaid art pieces throughout. As with all Corbin & King venues expect a large, dazzling room, minute attention to detail, and the clatter and hum of very content diners.
Riding House Bloomsbury
Ten years on from the launch of Riding House Café in Fitzrovia and London is getting a second Riding House, this time located in the up-and-coming The Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury. Co-founder Adam White, who also operates Rail House Café in Victoria’s Nova development, is taking on a former Carluccio’s site for a 165-cover all-day restaurant (with an additional 65 covers outside) that will follow the original’s split zone approach with a casual area for all-day dining and a slightly more formal restaurant area for dinner. The menu will be similar to the Fitzrovia original but will also further explore executive chef Henry Omereye’s Caribbean heritage.
Harts Group Borough Yards
Harts Group is bringing its Barrafina and Parrillan restaurants to the soon-to-open Borough Yards development as well as Spanish wine and sherry venue Bar Daskal. As with all of its Barrafinas, the new restaurant will follow a similar format of serving classic Spanish tapas dishes alongside some new plates unique to the restaurant. The second Parrillan will be a bit different, however. Diners will still be able to cook their own ingredients over a table grill as in the Coal Drops Yards original but this time round larger dishes cooked by the kitchen team will also be available because of the additional space the new venue will have.
M Newfoundland Canary Wharf
Set in the 220-metre residential skyscraper known as the Diamond Tower, the third M venue will comprise a 180-cover dining room as well as two private dining rooms, a wine tasting room, a ‘wagyu and wine café’ and private members’ lounge. Split across two floors, owner Martin Williams is pulling out all the stops with a design inspired by the French Riviera and vintage yachts, with teak and leather throughout. As with other M restaurants, there will be a menu of high-end meat cuts such as 9+ grade Blackmore wagyu and 10+ grade Kobe steaks with the group working closely with producers to serve an exclusively carbon neutral beef menu with meat sourced only from ethical farms.
D&D London will up its high-rise restaurant presence this year with the opening of a fine dining restaurant atop Birmingham’s tallest office tower. The 103 Colmore Row restaurant will be the group’s first Birmingham location, and will open on the building’s 24th floor accessed via a self-contained lift. Menu details are yet to be disclosed, but the food will be different to that at the group’s most recent European openings, Klosterhaus in Bristol and Haugen in Stratford. D&D will also operate a cocktail bar and café on the building’s ground floor.
Mayfair will become home to an intimate 10-seater counter-style Japanese restaurant this month. Husband and wife chefs Tamas Naszai and Tomoko Hasegawa’s restaurant will serve a hyper-seasonal menu focusing on British produce with sushi and dishes based on pickling and preserving techniques as well as those cooked on a charcoal grill. Menus will be required to be prepaid at around £150 per head for dinner excluding drinks, with drinks options to include selections from an extensive sake list that will feature some hard to find and limited run bottles.
Former Bancone head chef Louis Korovilas’ new neighbourhood-style pasta restaurant will open in Islington early this year. Called Noci, which translates as walnut in Italian, the restaurant will draw inspiration from Korovilas's travels across Italy with a menu that will start with range of fritti including fried parcels of leek, taleggio, gorgonzola and walnut; and sage and anchovy beignets before going into seasonally-changing plates of pasta. Launch dishes will include ragu of veal, pork and onions with tubes of paccheri; gnocchetti with confit tomato and smoked ricotta; and bucatini with brown butter cacio e pepe.
Upmarket Chinese restaurant group Tattu already has four restaurants across England and now it hopes to make its mark on the capital with its ambitious fifth project. The 220-cover restaurant will sit in The Now Building on Denmark Street just east of Soho, which will feature a first-of-its-kind public atrium containing a four-storey high digital canvas. Tattu serves ‘contemporary Chinese food in glamorous, modern surrounds’ and its London venue is set to be its most glamorous and impressive to date.
Restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini and chef Ivan Simeoli’s debut UK restaurant opens in Marylebone this month. The 60-cover space on Great Portland Street will serve a menu of Italian cuisine using Japanese flavours and technique with signature dishes to include soya milk poached pork belly with baked Umbrian beans; miso Cornish monkfish with flamed pumpkin and Tuscan black cabbage; Sicilian red prawns with black truffle ponzu and shis; truffle carbonara; and seafood linguine. There will also be a raw bar with a selection of sashimi and vegetables.
Richard Corrigan at Hawley Wharf
Richard Corrigan successfully added to his London restaurant group with the opening of Daffodil Mulligans in Old Street in 2020 and he’s going again this year with another new venture, this time in Hawley Wharf in Camden Basin. Details are sketchy, but the restaurant is being designed by the architects who built Soho House in Berlin and is said to have two rooftop areas for 120 seats as well as space for a further 50 covers on a terrace.
Named after Walter Hathaway, a local master milliner, costumier and original owner of the building in which the restaurant is housed, Walter’s will be the follow up restaurant from the duo behind Covent Garden’s The Oystermen. The 50-cover dining room will be split into two distinct spaces, a front dining room and a lounge area to the rear, with former Social Eating House, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Murano chef Khalid Hassan leading the kitchen. Menu items will include snacks, such as trout skin with a cod roe dip and truffle arancini; starters and small plates including Bloody Mary crab salad; and apricot and harissa glazed lamb belly; and mains of roasted venison loin and parsnip; ox cheek and mushroom pie; and a whole sea bass served table-side.