STOP PRESS: May 2013: Barrafina is set to open its second site on the former premises of bar Kudos, in June 2013. Existing review:“A serious rival to Cal Pep for the world’s greatest tapas!” – this “high-energy” bar, in the heart of Soho, offers “a true Barcelona experience”; no booking, though, and there are only 23 seats – “you’ve got to be early or lucky to get in!”; late-2012 sees the opening of a spin-off in Covent Garden.www.barrafina.co.uk
STOP PRESS: Closed for refurbishment until June 2013. Existing review:“A great veggie that’s stood the test of time” – this “superb” Hammersmith “hidden gem” has long been one of London’s top non-meat haunts – it re-opens in late-2012, after a major refurbishment; a spin-off recently opened opposite Sadlers Wells, too late for any survey feedback.www.thegate.tv
From Bunmi Okolosi (former General Manager at LIMA) and Andrew Justice (former Masterchef Professional contestant), a Texas-inspired barbecue restaurant, on the former site of Seaport. www.lockhartlondon.com
Casa Negra EC2 Shoreditch,Mexican/TexMex 54-56 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3QR awaiting tel
On the former site of Great Eastern Dining Room (RIP 2013), the Ricker restaurant group is relaunching the site as a Mexican restaurant. www.rickerrestaurants.com
Nanban E1 Shoreditch,Japanese 147 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JE awaiting tel
From MasterChef winner Tim Anderson, a restaurant serving Japanese-inspired comfort food.
STOP PRESS: 2013 opening date to be confirmed. Existing review:Opening in late-2012, in former Planet Hollywood premises near Piccadilly Circus, the first UK branch of a garish American chain loosely based on the characters in ‘Forrest Gump’; if successful, more will follow – you have been warned!
Next to L'Anima, Francesco Mazzei is set to open this more casual dining space, featuring takeaway options and pizzas, later this year.
Okku SW1 St James's,Japanese 16 St James's St, SW1A 1ER awaiting tel
Outpost of a concept established in Dubai, this flashy new Japanese is to open in late-2012; the setting is the vast former banking hall formerly occupied by Just St James (RIP), near the Palace of that name.
Shake Shack WC2 Covent Garden,Burgers, etc 23 The Mkt, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RD awaiting tel
NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer brings his popular burger and fries chain to the UK in mid-2013, with its first opening in Covent Garden.
The Ape & Bird WC2 Covent Garden,British, Modern 142 Shaftesbury Ave, WC2H 8HJ awaiting tel
From Russell Norman and Richard Beatty, a new restaurant in the former pub premises of the Marquis of Granby.
From Jamie Oliver, a new restaurant specialising in hot dogs.
Yashin SW7 South Kensington,Japanese 117-119 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3RN awaiting tel
STOP PRESS: The second branch of this sushi bar opens in South Kensington on the former site of Bistro K (RIP 2012). Existing review:“Brilliant, inventive sushi-with-a-twist” create a “sensational” culinary experience at this Manhattan-esque (and quite un-Japanese) Kensington yearling; even fans, though, note that “the prices induce more tears than an overdose of wasabi!”www.yashinsushi.com
With inspiration from NOBU (with the menu developed by an ex-Nobu chef, and the owner the former head of NOBU Europe), this Nikkei-inspired Japanese bar and restaurant is set to open on the former site of Giraffe.
STOP PRESS: A second site is set to open, in late-2013, on the former Walkabout site in Covent Garden. Existing review:Japan meets, er, Denmark at this “really interesting” new concept – a “well-designed” unit in “downtown Wimbledon”, with “bubbly” service, and where the sushi (mainly California-style) and ‘sticks’ (yakitori) are both “very good”.www.sticksnsushi.com
STOP PRESS: Now scheduled to open in 2013, with financial backing from David Beckham. Existing review:Gordon-Ramsay-goes-Southwark-casual – the promise of this very long-awaited, two-floor, 250-seater, finally set to open in late-2012.
Boulestin SW1 St James's,French 5 St James’s St, SW1A 1EF awaiting tel
From Joel Kissin - the co-founder of Conran Restaurants - a new restaurant and café, on the former site of L'Oranger (RIP 2012), inspired by chef Marcel Boulestin. www.boulestin.co.uk
STOP PRESS: January 2013: This restaurant is now closed and will re-open late-Spring. Existing review:Putney’s former Phoenix restaurant (ownership unchanged) continues to attract few and notably mixed reviews – it does have fans, who find it a “very authentic” modern Italian, but also critics who think the food surprisingly “poor”.www.cantinetta.co.uk
Other rumour and hearsay...
Nobu are set to open their first European hotel, (after opening the group's first hotel in Las Vegas), in Shoreditch on Willow Street. There will also be a new restaurant. No opening date has been confirmed
Skye Gyngell, formerly of Richmond's Petersham Nurseries, will be Culinary Director at a new Hampshire hotel, Heckfield Place, as well as its smaller sibling in Soho. Both are due to open in 2013
Veggie restaurant The Gate, of Hammersmith and, more recently, Islington, is rumoured to be opening a third branch on the South Bank in early-2013
Pimlico restaurant Roussillon looks set to reopen later this year, following its closure in June 2012. No word yet on management or head chef
Soho Peruvian restaurant Ceviche is set to open a second branch in Shoreditch, location and date TBC
Sticks'n'Sushi – the Danish-owned Japanese restaurant which opened in Wimbledon in 2012 – plans to expand in 2013, with a second branch set to open in Covent Garden in the latter-half of this year
Street food vendors Pizza Pilgrims are set to open their first restaurant in London later this year
Wine bar and restaurant 28/50 is currently planning to open its third location, on Maddox Street