In September alone, forty-four new restaurants opened in London and the year over, that number is in the thousands. Max and I didn’t quite get to all of those but of the ninety or so (yes, we’re very tired and full) we did visit in 2017, these were our favourite new openings.
The same phenomenal cooking you’ve come to expect from Bao but with a full a la carte menu set in a 1930’s Taiwanese cinema. The decor is beautiful, elegant, nostalgic and perfectly comfortable. It looks a little cramped from outside but you can absolutely get a buggy in here. Yes, there’s no high chairs and no children’s menu but the staff are so gregarious and accommodating, that if you bring a portable highchair or are happy for your little one to remain in their buggy, you’ll be just fine. Read the full review here.
The Sous Chef from Paradise Garage is now head chef at Kudu a neighbourhood small plates and brunch spot with a South African influence in partnership with the daughter of the restauranteurs behind The Delauney, Wolsely et al. Clearly a very talented duo. Bare concrete walls, soul music playing, just enough room to squeak a buggy through. Open kitchen, gracious, friendly waitstaff. And the menu. Ooft. The brunch menu is short but perfectly formed. The dinner menu which I am now desperate to try isn’t much longer but also looks perfect. The full review will be published next week. Stay tuned.
All day eatery Coal Rooms is sophisticated, understated and inventive. The restaurant is divided into a coffee shop space, counter seats over looking the open kitchen and a light dining room with pale wood flooring. It feels big and airy and comfortable. Currently open for breakfast and dinner 7 days as well as brunch/lunch at the weekend, I’d try their much talked about bacon roll. Read the full review here.
Snug, tasteful and deeply pretty, Minnow, the newest addition to The Pavement in Clapham Common, is in good company with The Dairy just down the road, their perfectly executed dishes are of a comparable standard. There is significant eye to detail here (not just in the food), down to the little vases of wild flowers on each table, the beautiful artwork on the walls and the warm glow from the Art Deco lamps above the bar. Read the full review here.
The Wigmore is a high ceilinged, impressively green room with a lot of Art Deco lighting. A pleasant low hum, warm, gracious and effervescent service BUT THE FOOD. I really wasn’t prepared. The reviews had all been complimentary but it is, I think, better than the reviews it has received thus far. The last time I had gammon was at boarding school in 1996, which as you imagine wasn’t thrilling. (I’m from Australia and it is less weird to go to boarding school there) Imagine Michelin starred gammon, egg and crisps though. Phwoar. The full review will be published in January, stay tuned.
We ventured to Rambla whilst Max was cutting his top teeth and desperate to stand up at all times, they kindly sat us in back, at our request and we narrowly avoided breaking a chicken ornament. It’s only just opened so all the baby friendly stuff (highchairs/baby change) is still in the works but the dining room is spacious enough to manage a buggy and the staff are willing. Cool and paired back, bare boards and cobalt and hessian, the Catalan tapas menu is choc full of seriously tasty and unusually presented dishes, all of which delighted. Read the full review here.
Sparrow is a frantic diamond in the rough. They’re still working out the kinks – when we went for brunch it was cash only and several items on the menu weren’t available ‘yet’ – but the cooking is very fine, as to be expected from the ex-St. John chefs running the kitchen. These guys know what they’re doing. Read the full review here.
Plaquemine Lock is a beautiful ode to New Orleans Creole and Cajun cooking. It’s taken residency in an old boozer hiding behind Angel station and because it’s off the beaten track, it’s quiet. This is some proper NOLA cooking, the portions here are decent and the whole place just has a really good vibe. Read the full here.
Monty’s is a dream for babies. It’s loud and busy with both booths and table space. They made space for not one but two buggies with delight on our visit, whilst they fawned over our children. The menu is straight up Jewish soul food and the service is delightful. They even do a Shabbat dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Read the full review here.
Llewelyn’s is staffed by a whole lot of really good restaurant alumni, we’re talking Fifteen, St. John, Rochelle canteen and Anchor & Hope, right? Unsurprisingly, The food at Llewelyn’s is marvellous. It’s a bit on the pricey side for a neighbourhood joint but it reminded me a lot of Rochelle Canteen and is therefore, worth it. Read the full in the new year.
That’s all for us for 2017, thanks for reading and hopefully we will tempt you along for some fantastic eats in 2018.
Emily & Max x