The Best Pop-Up Restaurants in London
As the nights start to draw in, the emphasis moves away from glorious alfresco spots to decadent dining rooms, and the most exciting openings in the capital. Alongside a crop of buzzy new restaurants, the city will also be playing host to a series of eclectic pop-ups that deserve to be on any discerning food-lovers radar. From Kricket’s latest chef series to a Sicilian supper club and Stevie Parle’s plant shop in Marylebone, there’s never been a better time to try something a bit different in the heart of the capital. Here, we’ve rounded up the best pop-ups restaurants in London to visit this autumn.
20 September – 20 October
After lighting up our television screens with his turn on MasterChef: The Professionals last year, former Cinnamon Kitchen City chef Santosh Shah is returning to his old haunt to host a modern Nepalese pop-up series inspired by his time on the show. Running Wednesdays through Saturdays for six weeks, the residency will showcase fine-dining Nepalese dishes drawn from the heritage of his hometown in regional Nepal, but elevated to offer a modern take on the traditional cuisine of Southern Asia. The intimate pop-up will serve just 15 guests at a time from the restaurant’s kitchen counter and will offer a 15-course tasting menu featuring dishes including miniature lamb brain donuts, fried fish with burnt tomato chutney and chicken dumplings with pickled cucumber and caviar.
Cinnamon Kitchen City, 9 Devonshire Square, The City, London, EC2
14, 21 and 28 September
Perennially-popular modern Indian-inspired restaurant Kricket is returning with its third annual chef series, with top chefs Michel Roux Jr, Andrew Clarke and Selin Kiazim joining forces with Chef Patron Will Bowlby in their White City kitchen. Each of the three-course sharing menus will be available for one night only and will be crafted to exhibit the diversity of India’s culinary culture and history at its very finest – with an added unique twist from each chef. Tickets cost £55 per person, with all profits going to Kricket’s charity partner in India, Apne Aap Women’s Collective, an anti-trafficking organisation that supports the women and children in the red-light district of Mumbai, the largest in Asia.
Kricket White City, 101 Wood Lane, Sheperd’s Bush, London, W12
5 October, 2 November and 1 December
Renowned Sicilian-inspired Fitzrovia restaurant Norma is launching a supper club series helmed by Culinary Director Ben Tish, drawing inspiration from the best of Italian food and drink. First up is Marsala Night on 5 October, which will celebrate the unique Western Sicilian fortified wine with a special four-course menu with Marsala pairings. Next up is an evening dedicated to the family-run, Sicilian wine producers Donnafugata on 2 November – on the night, Norma will have a Sicilian wine expert on hand to answer any questions you might have about the origins of the wine and the making process. And on 1 December, just in time for Christmas, comes the most indulgent offering off all, the winter truffle menu, which features a rich five-course menu that pays homage to the not-so-humble fungus.
Norma, 8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1
Until the end of the year
After their wildly successful residency at Portobello Dock last year, restaurateur Stevie Parle and designer Tom Dixon have joined forces once again on their new pop-up space on Marylebone High Street. Part plant shop, part restaurant, Joy serves a small seasonal à la carte menu which changes each day using hyper-fresh produce from The Goods Shed in Kent – think aubergine caponata and Dorset clams cooked in fino sherry – but the real draw here are the weekly supper clubs. Held every Thursday night for 30 people, they see Parle take to the kitchen to serve up one-off, specially-devised menus put together using the freshest produce available that week, including vegetables from Parle’s own garden.
Joy, 94 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London, W1
Until 4 October
Cantonese Chinatown favourite Bun House is teaming up with acclaimed South Korean cook Joo Won, former head chef at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows, for a two-month-long residency featuring a range of mouth-watering South Korean and European-inspired sharing dishes. Along with his pastry chef wife Sujin, Woo will be taking over the restaurant’s top floor to serve up his signature JFC – Joo’s fried chicken – alongside innovative dishes like kimchi and cheddar risotto with poached egg and seaweed crisp, marinated flatiron beef bulgogi served with holy basil, spring onion, crunchy chicory and pickled mooli, and cured grey mullet in a sesame, chilli and plum soy sauce.
Bun House, 26-27 Lisle Street, Chinatown, London, WC2
20 September, 4 October, 1 November
Wiltons is one of the most famous seafood restaurants in London, having been running since 1742 and receiving a Royal Warrant for supplying Queen Victoria with oysters in 1836, so there’s nowhere better placed to host a definitive oyster masterclass. Luckily, the restaurant will be doing just that and running a series of such events with their very own oyster master Tommaso Sicurro, in partnership with English sparkling wine label Nyetimber. The informal two-hour sessions are limited to just eight people and will take you through the etiquette of opening and eating oysters, whilst sampling a range of the delicacies from around the British Isles paired with wine and Champagne.
Wiltons, 55 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, SW1
19 September, 10 October and 14 November
Chef and restaurateur Ravinder Bhogal will launch the third series of her sell-out ‘Civilised Sundays’ programme this month, her much-lauded series where she serves up a special feast that celebrates her guest while they discuss their backgrounds, careers and heritage. Kicking off this instalment is BBC presenter and Woman’s Hour co-host Anita Rani, who will be discussing her first book, The Right Sort of Girl; next up Bhogal will be joined by food writer Claudia Roden, followed by composer, sitarist and activist Anoushka Shankar. For each of the talks, Bhogal will weave together a menu which plays tribute to each of her guests’ stories and their favourite food, as well as showcasing Jikoni’s signature style of cooking across borders.
Jikoni, 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1
21 – 26 September
As the King’s Road plays host to the Chelsea Flower Show in a later-than-usual slot this year thanks to the pandemic, some of the neighbourhood’s top restaurants have decided to get in on the act too, including the Gladwin brothers’ celebrated British restaurant Rabbit, which is partnering up with Double Dutch and Hendrick’s to launch a bespoke menu for the week. Expect to be greeted by show-stopping floral arrangements as the restaurant takes part in the Chelsea in Bloom festival, before sitting down to a menu that champions wild and organically produced dishes, with mushroom marmite eclairs, South Coast scallops and wild boar ragu. Each dish has been paired with a cocktail featuring Hendricks’s gin and Double Dutch tonic, including signature G&Ts and cucumber gimlets.
Rabbit, 172 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3