Our top London openings of 2014


It was a record year for restaurants in London. Closures were at an all-time low and new dining spots sprang up from east to west resulting in a net total of 101 new restaurants – the highest number we have ever recorded in Harden’s 24 year history. Of course, not every newcomer can be a winner but we’ve picked what we feel are the cream of the 2014 crop…



Lyle’s E1

“Sparse” the decor may be, but this Shoreditch newcomer surprises with its “very intelligent and interesting dishes, with a ”real light touch” (in the school of St John), and “excellent” service too.


Typing Room E2

“A superb replacement for Viajante (RIP)”; “amazing” tasting menus – with “wow” flavours, “fantastic” presentation, and “interesting wine pairings” – are quickly putting this Bethnal Green dining room firmly back on the map; service is notably “attentive” too.



The Palomar W1

“Genuinely new and different”, this “brilliant” modern Israeli opening is “off to a flying start” with its “interesting fusion-style menu”, “buzzing” atmosphere and “infectiously enthusiastic” staff; handy location too, three minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus.


City Social EC2

“Views to die for”, “fabulous” cooking and “incredibly attentive” service – Jason Atherton has served up “another hit” with this City newcomer, “breathing new life” into the 24th-floor premises which were formerly Rhodes 24 (RIP).



Fera at Claridge’s W1

“Hats off” to Simon Rogan, for the relaunch of this landmark Mayfair Art Deco chamber, where “gloriously attentive” service only adds to the enjoyment of the “phenomenal” meals – up to 17 courses that are “so different” (and, for those who so opt, come with some “exceptionally well-matched wines”).


Kurobuta SW3 and W2

After his King’s Road pop-up, Nobu’s former head chef opened this “welcome addition to London’s rock ’n’ roll Asian dining scene” – a “very casual” and “buzzy” izakaya-style spot, in Bayswater, serving “all sorts of funky Japanese dishes” which deliver “incredible and unusual” flavours.



Chiltern Firehouse W1

“So hard to get a table!” – poseurs and paparazzi abound at Nuno Mendes’s hot Marylebone newcomer… but less starry-eyed reporters say the food is actually pretty “meh”; “superb fun,” though, and the room itself is “amazing”.




The New Angel W2

TV chef John Burton-Race’s Bayswater newcomer pleases early-days reporters, as it did us, with its “elegant” decor – in a bourgeois style you don’t often see in London nowadays – and its “surprisingly generous” modern European cooking.


Uni SW1

A bright Belgravia newcomer, acclaimed in early-days survey reports for its “unusual and creative” Peruvian/Japanese cuisine; “superb sushi” a highlight.


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