This winter sees a slew of much-talked about new openings across the capital, including some very exciting limited-run pop-up restaurants. From Skye McAlpine’s festive Sunday lunch at Wild by Tart to Fortnum’s field-to-table restaurant and Stevie Parle’s takeover of Sotheby’s, there’s never been a better time to book yourself in to try something a little bit unusual. Here, we’ve rounded up the best pop-up restaurants in London to visit this winter.
Following hot on the heels of their recent pop-up success in Marylebone, restaurateur Stevie Parle and designer Tom Dixon are back, only this time with an arty twist. They’re bringing their unique brand of food, plants and joie de vivre to Sotheby’s New Bond Street for five days as part of Modern British Art Week, with the duo immersing Joy amongst artworks by the some of the titans of modern British art, including Henry Moore and Bridget Riley. Dishes will feature their trademark ultra-seasonal ingredients – think white truffle risotto and Scottish langoustine – while the space will be dressed with Dixon’s sleek homeware pieces, all of which will be available to buy through Sotheby’s.
34-35 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1
and 20 – 24 December
After the runaway success of his modern Nepalese pop-up at Cinnamon Kitchen City, which ran for five sell-out weeks, chef Santosh Shah is extending his residency for a further five, including one last hurrah before Christmas. Serving just 16 guests per sitting, the elevated tasting menu takes diners on a journey through the Himalayas, kicking off with an authentic Nepalese Ayla cocktail, made with fermented rice, before settling down to inventive dishes including chargrilled octopus with bhang ko chutney, steamed chicken dumplings with caviar and gold leaf, and Timur spiced pigeon breast.
9 Devonshire Square, The City, London, EC2
Two of the UK’s most exciting chefs – Gareth Ward of the Michelin-starred Ynyshir in Wales and Theo Clench of the much-celebrated Akoko in Fitzrovia – are joining forces for one night only to create a one-off tasting menu featuring dishes like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. Held at Akoko and combining Clench’s beautifully-crafted West African flavours with Ward’s innovative Japanese-meets-Welsh cuisine, the 15-course menu will be full of flavour-packed dishes that encapsulate each chef’s signature style while working in perfect harmony with each other. With only 30 seats available for the night, expect these tickets to be like gold dust.
21 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1
This is Sunday lunch but not as you know it, as Soho’s Mr Ji shakes things up with their take on a traditional roast dinner. With a menu designed by Ta Ta Eatery founders Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, you can expect plenty of Asian delights, with Cantonese-style roast duck, crispy roast pork belly with sweet mustard and Mr Ji’s signature soy-poached chicken with ginger and spring onion dipping sauce taking centre stage. It wouldn’t be a roast without all the trimmings, so alongside the meat you’ll find jasmine rice with salted duck egg, lettuce cups with shiso and an array of pickles.
72 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1
After being cancelled last year, Noble Rot returns with its annual Fête Du Beaujolais dinner, which is held every third Thursday in November – the day when Beaujolais Nouveau was historically released – as a celebration of Cru Beaujolais, the region’s highest-quality classification. Angela Hartnett will be cooking a special menu for the occasion, pairing Italian classics such as pheasant agnolotti, seabass carpaccio agro dolce and osso bucco with risotto Milanese with a stellar selection of Beaujolais, and there’ll be a free wine tasting held from 4pm, where oenophiles will be joined by Le Grappin’s Andrew and Emma Nielsen and celebrated vignerons David and Michele Chapel.
41 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1
As part of their popular guest chef series, which has seen the likes of Thomasina Miers and Ravneet Gill take to the kitchen, cookery writer Skye McAlpine will be hosting a one-off Sunday lunch at Wild by Tart to kick off the festive season. Guests will sit down to an Italian-inspired feast of burrata with preserved lemon, mint and chilli, roast pork with honey roast persimmons and chocolate chestnut meringue pie, with the recipes taken straight from McAlpine’s latest cookery book, A Table for Friends. What’s more, 10% of the proceeds from the tickets will go to the Wild at Heart Foundation, which rescues and rehomes stray dogs.
3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London, SW1
and Anna Haugh from 14 December
The cheese and mustard toasties at The Wigmore – Michel Roux Jr’s pub tucked away within the Langham Hotel – has reached legendary status, having been dubbed “the best cheese toastie in town” by Jay Rayner. So it seems only fitting that Roux would launch a dedicated guest chef series in honour of the not-so-humble sandwich, ensuring Londoners can get their comfort food fix throughout the winter. First up is Cyrus Todiwala, who will no doubt be adding a spicy twist to his version, followed by Ready, Steady, Cook favourite Anna Haugh, who will be bringing her trademark Irish spirit to the dish.
15 Langham Place, Marylebone, London, W1
Fortnum’s has always been the place to go for the finest British fare, and now London’s oldest department store has launched an eco-friendly pop-up restaurant to showcase food from some of their favourite small and sustainable local businesses. The plant-led menu features dishes designed around ingredients that can be sourced daily, with the meat, dairy and vegetables coming direct from farms that follow regenerative farming principles. Any leftovers are weighed every day and turned into other dishes, like soup, in a bid to reduce waste, while any items from the shop floor that aren’t quite fit for sale but still taste delicious will end up on the menu too.
181 Piccadilly, St James’s, London, W1
The team behind Gymkhana and recent hit Bibi have launched their first ever pop-up restaurant, Việtpopulaire. Situated in the heart of Chinatown and helmed by bánh mì king Luke Farrell, who ran the hugely popular ViệtBaguette over a decade ago, the pop-up will run for seven weeks and will serve street food classics found in the coffee shops and beer stations of Hanoi’s old quarter. Bánh mì is the star of the menu here, with the sandwich’s signature bread baked fresh each day, and weekly-changing specials will be on offer, including crispy fishcake and sweet chilli, grilled pork patties and a festive option with turkey ham and duck liver parfait.
30 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1
West London favourite Sam Harrison left his perennially popular Chiswick brasserie in 2019 so set up shop in Hammersmith, with a restaurant that boasts some of the best river views in London. Now he’s bringing a taste of Cornwall to the Thames through a series of five events with his good friend Stephane Delourme, Group Head Chef for Rick Stein. Offering a series of ticketed four-course lunches and dinners, the menu will be a celebration of the best in British seafood, with seared queen scallops, razor clams with Cornish white crab meat and roast Cornish turbot with ceps and chicken jus on offer.
1 Crisp Walk, Hammersmith, London, W6