The best new restaurants in London to savour this Winter
The next few months are going to be great fun, judging by the best new restaurants in London opening this Winter. The calibre is deliciously high. We’ve got Richard Caring’s long-awaited Bacchanalia to look forward to, an historic Parisian institution, and some bold new projects from world-renowned chefs, not to mention the return of long-time favourites the Big Mamma Group and Henry Harris’s Racine, albeit in a slightly different guise. Time to get booking, and fast.
There is a gap in the market the size of Nantucket for New England seafood in London. So we warmly welcome Saltie Girl, fresh from Boston’s Back Bay, launched this week on North Audley Street in Mayfair. Clam chowder and lobster rolls are front and centre, as is fresh, sustainable seafood from across the British Isles. Saltie Girl, founded by Kathy Sidell in Boston in 2016, was an early champion of the canned fish trend; in common with the Boston original, the London outpost will serve some 65 varieties with French bread, butter, salts, condiments and even sides of potato chips (that’s crisps to us).
Saltie Girl, 15 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6WZ
Notto, not Otto as it was originally known, is acclaimed chef Phil Howard’s lockdown pasta delivery project in bricks-and-mortar form. Howard, of Elystan Street and, formerly, the two Michelin-starred Square, has never not had pasta on his menus; it’s something of an obsession. He and executive chef Louis Korovilas (ex-Bancone and Locatelli) have together created a menu of not-just-pasta, featuring warming chestnut soup with ricotta and chilli, vitello tonnato, and octopus salad, ahead of strozzapreti with black truffles, rigatoni cacio e pepe, and gnocchetti with sausage, white wine, fennel, and chilli. The Piccadilly location, approachable prices, and extensive opening hours are heavily in its favour.
Notto, 198-200 Piccadilly, Westminster, London, W1J 9EZ
Richard Caring’s Greco-Roman fun palace Bacchanalia set tongues wagging with its full-page ad in the Sunday Times recruiting London’s “first grape feeder.’ An outrageous publicity stunt and an actual job ad (the post has been filled, alas), it sets the tone for what’s certain to be the most talked about dining destination of the year. We can hardly wait until 24 November to see the Martin Brudnizki interiors, the floor-to-ceiling Gary Myatt mural, and the not one but four Damien Hirst statues. And to be fed a grape. Beyond grapes, expect Greek and Italian-inspired dishes such as octopus with wild oregano, turbot for two, and risotto nero for three. Get booking for what will swiftly become one of the best new restaurants in London.
Bacchanalia, 1 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3NA
Here we go, another new one from the shy and retiring types at Paris’s Big Mamma Group! This should be fun. Can they better Gloria, Circolo Popolare, and Ave Mario? They’re certainly going to give it a try at Jacuzzi, which bubbles up on Kensington High Street in January. Brace yourself for an “antique villa of worldly pleasures” complete with gigantic lemon tree, Italian fashion mural, and disco toilet. As understated as ever, the menu will involve pizzette with caviar, truffle pasta for two, and chocolate fondue made with a half kilo of Valrhôna.
Jacuzzi, 94 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 4SJ
Swedish chef Björn Frantzén of Frantzén, holder of six Michelin stars and the number 25 spot on the World’s 50 Best, is one of the world’s most famous chefs and Harrods has signed him – a serious coup for the legendary store. The big reveal is on 28 November, when Studio Frantzén opens up its two-floor space and brand-new roof terrace. The menu will blend neo-Nordic and modern Asian for tuna and red deer tartare with luxurious Kalix vendace roe; kombu, fermented mirabelle plum and warm ginger butter; and veal ma la with fermented kampot pepper jus, Sichuan pepper oil, and crispy shiso salad.
Studio Frantzén, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Straker’s has only been open one hot minute and already it’s fully booked through December (though walk-ins are welcomed warmly). The reason for the hype is the chef, one Thomas Straker, a social media sensation with some 1.5m followers on TikTok. Don’t be put off! He’s the real thing, trained at the Dorchester, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and Elystan Street, long before his vids went viral. His “epic neighbourhood restaurant” will bring the East London vibes West, with natural wines and sharing plates such as scallop and burnt chilli butter, girolles tagliolini, ex-dairy sirloin on the bone and fresh doughnuts. Cool merch too.
Straker’s, 91 Golborne Road, Kensal Town, London W10 5NL
Acclaimed Franco-Palestinian chef and restaurateur Fadi Kattan makes his London debut this December with the opening of Akub (meaning cardoon) in Notting Hill. Few in London are likely to be familiar with Palestinian culinary traditions; Kattan’s contemporary interpretations of which include arak-cured sea bream, maftool salad, freekeh risotto, and Bethlehem knafeh, alongside small batch arak and craft beers from Palestine. Adorning the space will be olive trees, verdigris lights and vintage keys, symbol of homes lost in the region.
Akub, 27 Uxbridge Street, Notting Hill, London W8 7TQ
Gorgeous, gorgeous 17th Century Belvedere in Holland Park has a colourful past, going from stables to ballroom to political salon, and playing host to such luminaries as Lord Byron and Noël Coward. It’s wonderful news, then, that George Bukhov-Weinstein and Ilya Demichev of Goodman and Chelsea’s Wild Tavern have seen its potential. We eagerly await its transformation into a Tuscan-style palazzo on November 14. There’s talk of fresh pasta, veal chops, whole sea bream and very fine wine.
Belvedere, Holland Park, Abbotsbury Road, Holland Park, London W8 6LU
Seven years since we bid farewell to the original, Henry Harris’s wonderful and widely adored restaurant Racine is back, this time as Bouchon Racine found above the Three Compasses in Farringdon. The pub opened on 8 November; the “unashamedly French” Bouchon Racine follows in a few weeks, reviving such Racine classics as calf’s brains with capers; grilled rabbit with mustard sauce and Alsace bacon; Bayonne ham and celeriac remoulade; and crème caramel. A bientôt, mes amis!
Bouchon Racine, 66 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London EC1M 6BP
North Londoners are already wise to the alchemy that arises from the union of Spanish tapas and Scottish seafood. Now it’s Soho’s turn, as Maresco, the new tapas bar from the folk behind Crouch End’s Bar Esteban and Stoke Newington’s Escocesa, opens on Berwick Street on 14th November. If Little Loch Broom oysters with green gazpacho and Gigha halibut and vegetable escalivada taste as good as they sound, we’re in for a treat.
Maresco, 45 Berwick Street, Soho London, W1F 8SF