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Read all about the hottest new restaurant openings of the last six months.
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Feb
Cincinatti Chillibomb - EC2A
  London
Tim Brice, aka ‘Captain Chilli’, bravely launched London’s first dedicated Cincinnati-style chili restaurant in February 2021. It occupies the small (40 seats) former Shoreditch premises of Rök (RIP). Part of the vogue for Americana-driven menus, Tim has developed a chili-filled brioche ‘bombshell’ for his new venture. Each batch is three days in the making and – the coup de grâce – you inject your Chilibomb with a syringe of chili-infused oil to get the level of heat that you desire.
Native at Browns - W1K
British, Modern
  London
Having escaped Borough for Osea Island last year, Imogen Davis and Ivan Tisdall-Downes are returning to London to set up a Native restaurant in the new Browns Brook Street store. It will continue to uphold the zero-waste, ethical, sustainable, seasonal cuisine of the original, and is offering dine at home kits until restaurants re-open.
The Red Duck - SW12
Chinese
  London
Opened during Lockdown #3 in Balham, this Cantonese operation comes from an Alan Yau protege, Chi San. Operating initially as takeaway only, it hopes to open as a sit-in restaurant once lockdown restrictions are eased: 2th April for their terrace, 17th May for indoor dining. The menu is focused on Chinese classics, free from flavour enhancers or additives. Also, low intervention and organic wines.
Heritage - SE21
Indian
  London
Fine-dining Indian from executive chef Dayashankar Sharma, who is head chef at Grand Trunk Road and has worked at Tamarind and Zika in his 30-year career. Expect regional small plates and Indian-inspired cocktails; opening Spring 2021.
Butta Burger - EH2
Burgers, etc
  Edinburgh
Currently delivery and takeaway only, this new burger joint, which bastes the inside of their burgers with their own seasoned butter, opened mid-lockdown in January 2021.
Jan
Hot Stone - W1T
Japanese
  London
Open from early 2021 (initially for delivery only), a second, 50-cover, branch of Padam Raj Rai's ishiyaki and sushi restaurant, serving certified Kobe beef, one of only eight restaurants in the UK to do so.
The Fox Inn - DT2
British, Modern
  Corscombe
Mr Ji - W1D
Taiwanese
  London
Taiwanese fried chicken is the order of the day at Mr Ji's, which started a few years ago as a stall in Camden; this bricks and mortar branch opened in January 2021, with a little help from the team behind cult favourite Ta Ta Eatery.
Sumi - W11
Japanese
  London
Endo Kazutoshi – the man behind White City’s super-swish sushi mecca, Endo at Rotunda – was to open this Notting Hill sushi haunt in December 2020, before COVID-19 scuppered his plans. At first, he's just opened it for click and collect.
Dec
Elliot's - SE1
British, Modern
  London
A sibling for the Borough Market restaurant and natural wine bar; open now for delivery ("small plates, pizza, dessert and wine"), and then as a restaurant in February 2021.
Nadu - BS1
Sri Lankan
  Bristol
Delayed by lockdowns but now open, this Sri Lankan and Tamil restaurant in Stokes (on the former site of Msa + Mezcal) Croft comes from the team behind Clifton's Nutmeg.
Kineya Mugimaru - N1C
Japanese
  London
An udon noodle chain founded in 1967 in Osaka, with 500 stores across Japan, Hong Kong and USA, from the same company that brought us Wasabi; noodles are made fresh daily, with a strong focus on vegan dishes. It's on the concourse at St Pancras, so 'outside' for purposes of Covid restrictions.
Zia Lucia - SW18
Pizza
  London
Locker Hyndland - G12
British, Modern
  Glasgow
Sister to Locker 1012, a new brunch spot for the West End, which opened following an £80,000 investment and four-month refurbishment.
Le Bab at Kraft Dalston - E8
British, Modern
  London
The fourth London aparthotel from Locke sees a restaurant from the Le Bab team in the co-working space downstairs, alongside a microbrewery from Elephant & Castle's German Kraft Brewery and a gin distillery from Jim and Tonic Distillery in SE1 - the three components together make Kraft Dalston.
Cafe Bao - N1C
Taiwanese
  London
The people behind the popular Bao chain have finally opened their new all-day dining spot called Cafe Bao, which will be the first branch to serve breakfast (think a bao loaf served with syrup and butter, baked ham hock congee pie and a bacon, egg and cheese spring onion pancake - known as "Yoshoku cuisine, an interpretation of western food, seen through an Asian lens") and also have baked goods to take away.
Casanova - CF10
Italian
  Cardiff
Street Burger - EC4M
Burgers, etc
  London
Gordon Ramsay's new burger chain launched in December 2020, after trials at several pop-ups; all burgers costs £15, including fries and unlimited soft drinks.
Andanza - SE1
Spanish
  London
Tapas and pintxos in a former bookies, from the owners of The Rose across the street; means luck or fate in Spanish.
Darjeeling Express - WC2E
Indian
  London
Asma Khan announced before COVID-19 struck that she was looking to move to a bigger space than her Soho site. In August 2020, it was announced that the new opening would be in Covent Garden in the former Carluccio's prominent site.
Café Deco - WC1E
British, Modern
  London
The team behind 40 Maltby Street have teamed up with chef Anna Tobias (P Franco, Rochelle Canteen) at this site, which takes over a greasy spoon of the same name.
Nobu Portman Square - W1H
Japanese
  London
Nobu's second London hotel opened in late 2020, with 249 rooms, a Nobu restaurant, a ballroom and meeting spaces.
Rudie's Jerk Shack - SW9
Afro-Caribbean
  London
Da Henrietta - WC2E
Italian
  London
Casacosta - SW6
Italian
  London
On the site of sister company Ardiciocca, another Italian restaurant, which opened as a "Italian kitchen, larder and butcher" and delivery company in October 2020. The restaurant is accessed through a "secret door" in the back of the shop. Owner Roberto Costa is the man behind Macellaio RC.
Tomahawk Steakhouse - N1
Steaks & grills
  London
This small North East branch of steakhouses opened in London in December 2020, on the former site of Hoxton's Fifteen.
Only Food and Courses - SW9
British, Traditional
  London
Serving eighties and nineties dishes, this shipping container restaurant from former Shard and Chelsea FC chef Robbie Lorraine has been modelled on "a classic greasy spoon".
Joan - E1
Mediterranean
  London
In the former Beach Blanket Babylon premises, a new Mediterranean spot from Greek Niko Kontogiannatos, who was previously former head chef at Caravan Fitzrovia.
The Good Plot - W11
British, Modern
  London
An all-day wholefood cafe, restaurant and deli using seasonal ingredients and ethical produce sourced from predominantly British farmers and makers; opened in December 2020 by deep-pocketed Malaysian model and actress Mandy Lieu, who has also bought Ewhurst Park in Hampshire to convert in to a farm to supply produce.
Cocotte - NW6
Chicken
  London
A fourth branch for the farm-to-table chicken rotisserie restaurant concept.
Pascor - W8
Mediterranean
  London
Mangal cooking, from the cuisines of the Aegean countries including Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Turkey.
Flat Iron Marylebone - W1U
Steaks & grills
  London
The newest (Dec 2020) branch of the steak chain "houses a large heated terrace overlooking James Street and the whole of St Christopher’s Place quarter".
Nov
Homestead - E14
British, Modern
  London
Ex-Ritz chef Sven-Hanson Britt has opened this all-day dining spot on London City Island, opposite The O2, with a focus on ethically sourced and high-welfare British ingredients.
Thomas Carr 1873 - EX34
British, Modern
  Ilfracombe
Third time lucky for ex-Nathan Outlaw chef Thomas Carr, who has opened (and closed) at two other sites in the town. This one, in the Victorian former police station attracted Michelin's attention (and a star) after just a few months.
The Prince of Wales - W6
  London
In November 2020, this newly opened gastropub (from the Big Smoke Brew Company) on a Hammersmith site formerly known as The Rook’s Nest, followed a 6-month closure and extensive refurbishment. Seating 86, it provides 30 draught beers and ciders on tap. Eats are hearty: smoked meats from the pub’s wood-fired Bertha oven and six burgers on the menu. On the weekend, there's a Bottomless Brunch and Sunday Roast menu. It also boasts a large garden area with seating for 80 and seven bedrooms.
Oct
The King's Arms - TW20
British, Modern
  Egham
Egham's former Loch Fyne has been converted back to a pub and reopened its doors to the public on 31 October 2020. This Grade II listed pub-restaurant with rooms and alfresco terrace will revert to the name of The King’s Arms: the name it traded under 30 years ago. It now also boasts six boutique hotel rooms, a cocktail area, restaurant bar and tap room.
Robin Wylde - DT7
British, Modern
  Lyme Regis
Chef Harriet Mansell (a recent Great British Menu contestant) has run a series of successful pop-ups, but has now made her restaurant a permanent fixture in Lyme Regis, in a former pottery workshop; the set tasting menu costs £60 (wine pairing available for £45) and will change every six weeks.
Alter - E1
Vegan
  London
After a successful residency at Counter Culture, Andy Hogben's Alter has moved across town to Leman Locke in Aldgate for another long-term residency. Sensibly, given the difficult times, they are also on Deliveroo.
Native - CM9
Fish & seafood
  Osea Island
Native is on the move again: from autumn 2020 it is operating from Osea Island on the Essex Coast in a former WW1 torpedo store with 30 covers. Dining times will be dictated by the tide, with access via car over the Roman causeway or boat. Start with a campfire and snacks on the beach, before a tasting menu priced at £75 per person (with £55 per person for the wine pairing). There will also be a seafood shack, specialising in Blackwater and West Mersea oysters.
Kol - WC2B
Mexican/TexMex
  London
Opened in October 2020, a Mexican restaurant from Santiago Lastra, who ran Noma's Mexico pop-up back in 2017.
Pali Hill - W1W
Indian
  London
Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri, the duo behind Azure Hospitality, have taken over the veteran Indian restaurant site that was home to Gaylord (RIP); in October 2020 (delayed from May by lockdown) they opened Pali Hill, a Indian seasonal restaurant, and also Bandra Bhai, a basement cocktail bar that's inspired by an illicit smuggling den.
Sycamore - WC2B
Italian
  London
Head chef Paul Robinson (ex-Temper and The Coal Shed) serves food from Northern Italy using British produce at this elegant hotel restaurant.
Heddon Yokocho - W1B
Japanese
  London
On the site formerly known as Sakagura, and still from the Japan Centre team, a "downtown retro-style ramen bar" inspired by the yokocho 'alleyways' of Japan and 1970s Tokyo.
The Tapas Room - SW11
Spanish
  London
The fourth branch to open for this growing mini-chain.
Galvin Bistrot & Bar - E1
French
  London
Opened almost 15 years to the day after their first London venture (Bistrot de Luxe, which also inspires it), this new Galvin Brothers restaurant next to La Chapelle serves familiar, traditional French bistrot dishes and wines.
Akoko - W1T
Afro-Caribbean
  London
Masterchef: The Professionals finalist William JM Chilila has his own restaurant, serving "progressive west African food"; delayed by lockdown, Akoko opened in October 2020.
The Tramshed Project - EC2
International
  London
Mark Hix's Tramshed restaurant may be gone (his business went in to administration during lockdown), but the Tramshed building lives on, revived by Dominic Cools-Lartigue, founder of Street Feast. He fed 21,000 people with his Plate For London campaign during lockdown, and now he's brought three top chefs (Andrew Clarke, James Cochran and Zoe Adjonyoh) to this great space to create a socially distanced working-dining space. The main restaurant is downstairs, with food and music events on the schedule, and co-working areas.
8 - B1
British, Modern
  Birmingham
An 'autobiographical' restaurant from chef Andrew Sheridan (also of Craft Dining), along the same lines as Tom Aikens' Muse - Andrew describes the eight-course menu (served at 8pm, one sitting only) as " his whole career in eight courses".
Luccio's - DT1
Italian
  Dorchester
With no social media presence as yet, and a hard-to-find name (lots of search results for Carluccio's - not helped by the fact that this location used to be one, and even repurposes the sign), we are presuming that Luciano Pierre White is relying on word of mouth - and his famous name - to get punters into his first solo restaurant. He's worked with Pierre Koffmann and the Adria brothers according to press quotes, and his father credits him with a great work ethic. An early-doors visit from a reporter noted it to be "very promising" with "good food and excellent service".
Arenella - N1
  London
A new "autumnal alfresco terrace" opening at The Chapel Bar.
Klosterhaus - BS1
East & Cent. European
  Bristol
D&D London's fist Bristol opening will be a "modern take on a Grand Café, serving Mittel-European dishes"; opening 2 October in Cabot Circus.
Four Wise Monkeys - BS1
Japanese
  Bristol
City-centre Japanese small plates restaurant that's a "meeting of Asian folklore and retro 80s Tokyo vibes". Previously Pata Negra, and under the same ownership.
The Red Church - BS5
British, Modern
  Whitehall
New Redfield eating, drinking and dancing venue, formerly St George; house in the former Lloyds bank building.
The Silver Birch - W4
British, Modern
  London
The first solo project from Kimberley Hernandex (previously head chef at XU and Kym’s).
Pipal Leaf - BS5
Indian
  Bristol
Sibling to the popular Easton restaurant Pipal Tree which serves Punjabi British fusion.
Behind - E8
Fish & seafood
  London
The first solo restaurant from Andy Beynon, previously Jason Atherton's development chef. Behind is a chef's table restaurant - all 18 seats overlook the kitchen - and will serve an eight-course tasting menu focused on sustainable seafood. Next door there's also a wine bar and bottle shop.
Bindas Eatery - W1B
Indian
  London
After winning a mentorship in a pop-up competition at Westfield White City Shopping Centre in 2019, Mehak Kansal is opening her first bricks-and-mortar restaurant, serving "epic" Indian street food in swanky Mayfair - and already has plans for a second site in 2021.
Sonny Stores - BS3
British, Modern
  Bristol
Replacing the popular Birch, as of October 2020, is this restaurant that doubles as a deli (future-proofing at its best) from Pegs Quinn, formerly head chef at Bianchis, and with stints at Pasta Ripiena and The River Cafe under his belt.
Kkini - NW5
Korean
  London
Sep
Sonora Taquería - E8
Mexican/TexMex
  London
Taka Marylebone - W1U
Japanese
  London
Originally due to open in Spring 2020 in the premises that formerly housed Providores, a second branch for high-end Japanese Taka.
Smoke & Salt - SW17
British, Traditional
  London
After the success of their shipping container pop-up at Pop Brixton, Remi Williams and Aaron Webster have moved on to this Tooting site (formerly an outpost of Dip & Flip). The cuisine will continue to celebrate "the ancient techniques of smoking, curing and preserving, combined with bold, global flavours and modern influences".
Café Kitsuné at Pantechnicon - SW1X
Japanese
  London
On the ground floor of this new Japanese-Nordic food and retail emporium, in a Grade II listed property, is the UK's first branch of Café Kitsuné (which means 'fox' in Japanese), serving breakfast and lunch, with Japanese inspired pastries and lunch dishes. See also Sachi, Eldr and the Roof Garden.
Sachi at Pantechnicon - SW1X
Japanese
  London
Eventually (Spring 2021) Sachi will occupy the lower ground floor of this new Japanese-Nordic food and retail emporium, in a Grade II listed property, but until then, it's running as a pop-up in a gallery above Café Kitsuné (see also). The name means 'happiness' and 'fortune' in Japanese; the food on offer will be "lunch and dinner featuring comforting Japanese dishes". See also Eldr and the Roof Garden.
Eldr at Pantechnicon - SW1X
Scandinavian
  London
On the second floor of this new Japanese-Nordic food and retail emporium, in a Grade II listed property, is a Nordic restaurant "inspired by travels" and meaning ‘fire’ in Old Norse. Eldr is a 70-seat restaurant with counter dining and a seasonal menu showcasing Nordic cooking methods and traditions; pickling, foraging and cooking with fire. See also Sachi, Café Kitsuné and the Roof Garden.
Roof Garden at Pantechnicon - SW1X
Scandinavian
  London
With a fully retractable electric glass roof, the top floor of this new Japanese-Nordic food and retail emporium, housing the 130-seat roof garden with an expansive south-facing terrace will be a local hot ticket whatever the weather. Food includes an all-day small plate menu with main dishes at lunch and dinner, served from the kitchen at Eldr (see also) with main dishes for lunch and dinner. See also Café Kitsuné and Sachi.
Big Jo Bakery - N7
British, Modern
  London
Opening a bakery seems to be what every restaurateur is up to these days... the team from Jolene are on the bandwagon, took over a former air conditioning shop to open a bakery and restaurant in September 2020.
Lerpwl - L3
British, Modern
  Liverpool
The Barrie brothers of Anglesey's Marram Grass have now opened their next restaurant, on the Albert Dock site they secured in early 2019; Lerpwl is the Welsh name for Liverpool.
Noble Rot Soho - W1D
British, Modern
  London
Exciting news. The old, legendary Gay Hussar site has been rejuvenated by the Noble Rot team. Marina O'Loughlin, The Sunday Times restaurant critic, has what she calls "a minuscule investment" in the newcomer, which has a menu from chef Paul Weaver and The Sportsman's Stephen Harris that "will include subtle references to The Gay Hussar's glory days" (and Hungarian dishes). Wines, of course, are a major feature.
Murger Han - EC3M
Chinese
  London
The Xi'an group's first City branch.
Maison Francois - SW1Y
French
  London
Originally planned for Spring 2020, Maison Francois opened on the former site of Green's in September, a brasserie and wine bar that's part of a shiny new building called The Marq; it "pays homage to the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace".
Nebula Pizza - E2
Pizza
  London
A new pizza, beer and cocktail joint where ABQ used to be.
Bermondsey Larder (formerly The Dairy) - SE1
British, Modern
  London
The name changed from The Dairy to Bermondsey Larder just weeks after opening; according to the website, nothing else has changed.
The Black Book - W1D
British, Modern
  London
Formerly Trade, a members-only club for those in the hospitality industry, this underground Soho spot has relaunched as a late-night restaurant and wine bar under the same team of master sommeliers, Gearoid Devaney and Xavier Rousset.
Outlaw's New Road - PL29
Fish & seafood
  Port Isaac
What was Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has simplified; in a brave move, Outlaw is no longer chasing stars or serving high-end fare, this reincarnation serves good quality fish and seafood, simply and inexpensively.
Giannino Dal 1899 - W1S
Italian
  London
Established in Milan 120 years ago and now open outside of Italy for the first time, in Mayfair (on the site of Camillo Benso) in September 2020.
Tendril - W1F
Vegan
  London
'Mostly' vegan food from Rishim Sachdeva, who previously worked at The Almeida, Chiltern Firehouse and The Dairy.
Hankies - W2
  London
A fourth branch for the "tapas meets traditional Delhi street food" group.

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