(Bloomberg) -- London is going to be busy this autumn.
First of all, expect lots of visitors: This year, there are projected to be 2 million more international tourists than in 2022, bringing in £674 million ($827 million) in revenue, according to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office.
The city’s restaurant scene is looking forward to the influx. Autumn is always the busy season for the hospitality world, as people (mostly) return to the office after summer and the holiday build-up begins. It’s a good time to open a new dining room and have people talk about it.
Accordingly, the city has a slew of new places that are throwing open their doors. Some familiar faces are back in action: Jamie Oliver is opening his first new UK restaurant in four years, after his Jamie’s Italian chain went bust in 2019 and he closed more than 20 spots. His new place will be in the heart of Covent Garden, and front and center on the menu will be food from the British purveyors he highlights. In the next few months, one of London’s most iconic dining rooms, the Wolseley, will recreate its all-day menu in a vast space for the business crowd in the City.
There are swanky new options in hotels, like Brooklands on the rooftop of the just-opened Peninsula London, where the decor’s theme is speed (it’s adorned with a model of the Concorde); the menu is also decidedly British.
But food from other parts of the globe features at other spots. The beloved Chishuru—and chef Adejoké Bakare’s modern Nigerian menu—has relocated from Brixton to bigger quarters not far from Oxford Street in a space that spotlights the work of designers from around Africa.
The most talked-about places, though, will arguably be the ones with Japanese menus. Sushi master Masayoshi Takayama, known worldwide as Masa, is opening his first UK restaurant in Harrods’ newly renovated Food Halls. And Aragawa, an outpost of the revered meat enclave in Tokyo, is bringing its very, very pricey beef to London.
Feeling hungry? A few spots below have already opened; the rest are coming soon. Here are this season’s top new spots in London.
Everyone in London flipped out for the West African restaurant from Adejoké Bakare in its original shoebox-sized location in a Brixton food hall. Last October, she closed it to look for new digs. She found them in Covent Garden, where she’s finally re-opened in a richly colored, 60-seat space with a customized light fixture from the South African design studio Mash.T. Bakare’s set menus (£65 at dinner, £35 at lunch) expands on the original featuring dishes like fermented rice cakes (sinasir) with white and brown crab; cod with spiced black sauce (mbongo tchobi); and grilled Hispi cabbage with wild watermelon seed sauce. Bakare’s team mixes pickled okra martinis to start the meal, and alligator pepper-infused eau de vie shots to finish. Open now
Llama Inn, Shoreditch
At the busy Hoxton hotel, Shoreditch, there’s now opportunity to feast on stellar Peruvian food and drinks. Like the Williamsburg flagship, Llama Inn London has a rooftop location with urban views. On chef Erik Ramirez’s London menu: bright ceviches, like crispy squid with yuca and spicy aji rocoto and lomo saltado—the Peruvian classic of stir-fried steak, served with fries and scallion pancakes. The engaging drink list has pisco, of course, but also cocktails like the gin-based Yayo Hipster, which features olive lemonade. Open now
L’Atelier Robuchon, Mayfair
This swanky dining spot’s late founder, Joël Robuchon, still has more Michelin stars associated with his name than any other chef. The restaurant, located near Le Deli Robuchon—which gave the world the cube croissant—re-opened in mid-September under the leadership of chef Andrea Cofini. Behind a marble chef’s counter, he and his team are serving classics like quail with foie gras and mashed potatoes that include an outrageous amount of butter. The wine list has a strong selection of Champagnes, and there’s a rotating roster of DJs who provide ambiance in the new bar section. Open now
Bébé Bob, Soho
Bob Bob Ricard is synonymous with a table-side “press for Champagne” button. Now, a cleverly named sibling joins the family with a different menu than the original’s classic Russian offerings. Bébé Bob will specialize in rotisserie chicken, roasting birds from France and serving them with jus and a handful of sides like sautéed kale and truffle fries. But because this is a Bob Bob spot, there will be the option of caviar and blinis to start. The wine list favors red and white Burgundy; even bottles on the high end of the list aren’t marked up more than £75. Opening: late September
Paper Moon London, Westminster
The OWO might be making its name around London for the £1.4 billion Raffles London hotel that anchors it—and the Winston Churchill office-turned-high-end suite. But it’s also becoming a destination restaurant complex. World-renowned chef Mauro Colagreco has three places on the property; there’s also an outpost of the fabulous Parisian Café Lapérouse. And then there’s Paper Moon, an extension of the stylish Milan dining spot, on the ground floor of the OWO residences wing. The marble-filled, 100-plus-seat space includes a grand, standing bar with a tree at its center; there are plans to add outdoor seating. The menu is stocked with dishes like burrata-and-prawn-stuffed ravioli; fritto misto with homemade horseradish mayo; and beef tenderloin with pink peppercorn sauce. Opening: Oct. 2.
Set on the eighth floor of the just-opened Peninsula hotel, Brooklands has sweeping views of Hyde Park. Sit in the bar and your view will include neighboring Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Chef Claude Bosi oversees the kitchen. The food is decidedly British: onions with Exmoor caviar and duck jelly; local guinea hens with Scottish clams and sea beets, and a dessert labeled the Best of the British Apples, adorned with wild meadowsweet flowers. The room’s focal point is a Napier-Railton 1930s race car and a scale model of the Concorde; the fast-moving vehicles pay homage to the Surrey racetrack the place is named for, where speed records were set. Opening: Oct. 4
There will be no shortage of roasted chicken in London this fall. It will be front and center, along with steak, at the unfussy, dark-wood paneled spot Solis in the Battersea Power Station from Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, the couple behind the roving Ta Ta Eatery. The menu is influenced by Spain, Portugal, Argentina and especially Uruguay, with lots of open-fire cooking. To start, there will be deviled eggs with spiced tuna filling. The charred chicken will be served with smoked aji-aji oil. Drinks will include sangria and a South American-focused wine list.
Later in the year, Solis will have a new Power Station neighbor, tashas, the first UK outpost of the stylish South Africa-based chain that is also popular in the United Arab Emirates. In an airy, plant-filled dining room, designed by founder Natasha Sideris with textiles and products from South African designers, the menu will feature the chain’s staples, like lemon butter-dressed chicken with rice, and Dr. Paw Paw, featuring the mango-like fruit with yogurt. Solis opening: Oct. 4. Tashas opening: late fall
The Wolseley City, the City
When it opens on King William Street, this big-deal spot will be even larger than the iconic Piccadilly one, but similar in grand cafe vibe. The menu is slated to include the same crowd-pleasing dishes as the original, like chicken and wiener schnitzels, shellfish platters and steak tartare. Likewise, there will be breakfast for the back-to-the-office City crowd. The opening marks the 20th anniversary of the first spot; it’s also the second from the Wolseley Hospitality Group since the well-publicized departure of co-founder Jeremy King. Opening: autumn
Kolae, Borough Market
London’s ever-expanding Thai food scene is sweeping into Borough Market, courtesy of Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver, the team behind the popular Som Saa restaurant. One of the signature dishes will be grilled chicken, coated in a potent pepper and lemongrass marinade. Also on the menu: seafood and vegetables also cooked over fire; the all-purpose chili sauce nam phrik; and salads enlivened with flavorings that have been freshly crushed with a mortar and pestle. Among the drinks will be cocktails that feature Thai ingredients, as well as about 20 wines, plus beer and ciders. The three-story restaurant will inhabit an old coach house, with outdoor dining in the courtyard. Opening: October
Sushi by Masa, Harrods Dining Hall
The famed department store is switching up its list of dining options. Gone are Karma by Vineet Bhatia and the Sushi Bar. The new headliners are headed up by a roster of heavy-hitting international chefs. Chef Neha Mishra is opening Kinoya Ramen Bar, an outpost of her wildly popular spot in Dubai. On the menu is a tonkotsu exclusive to Harrods, made with 12-hour pork broth and bacon katsuobushi salt. But the biggest name is undoubtedly Masayoshi Takayama, better known as Masa. He’s opening the first UK location of his legendary NY sushi spot with a long list of sushi by the piece and a £350 omakase that includes 15 pieces of nigiri. You probably don’t want to pair that stellar fish with cocktails, but if you did, there’s selection of them, including the Torri Sunset, a mix of Japanese whisky, elderflower and mandarin purée. Opening: Oct. 7
In Tokyo, Aragawa is renowned for the premium beef it’s been serving to guests for half a century. Soon, its well-marbled steaks will arrive in a two-story, 26-seat dining room in London, where it will be cooked simply over binchotancharcoal in a custom-made kiln. The meat is sourced from Tajima cows from the Hyogo prefecture, a region that includes Kobe. (The Kobe beef label is wildly overused; at Aragawa, it’s accurate.) The 1,000-plus bottle list will be stocked with Grand Cru Burgundies and Bordeaux; a wine wall curves through the space putting them on display. The luxury of the beef will come at a price: Meals with wine will start at about £750. Opening: Late October
Jamie Oliver Catherine Street, Covent Garden
Over the past few years, Jamie Oliver has made news for closing restaurants, not opening them. But now comes his first new UK restaurant in the UK in four years, and the famed chef has chosen to set up shop in the middle of Covent Garden, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Unsurprisingly, Oliver will highlight British ingredients, sourcing products from local farmers and sustainable seafood purveyors, and feature classic dishes as well as ones created especially for the new restaurant. Running the kitchen is his longtime chef Chris Shail; the pastry will be overseen by Emma Jackson, formerly of Soho Farmhouse. Opening: November
In Georgia, khinkali—meat-filled, artfully twisted dumplings—are a popular local dish. Russian restaurateur Diana Militski wants to make them equally in-demand in London. At her upcoming Charlotte Street spot, she’ll serve them with gourmet stuffings like wagyu with truffles and pheasant with wild mushrooms. Alongside will be other small-plate options like smoked-beet salad with persimmons. Downstairs from the restaurant—which is technically styled Kink(all)y—is Bar Kinky, where the unconventional drinks from bartender Andrew Pruts will include a honey and chocolate-infused Old Fashioned. Opening: November
(Fixes spelling of second reference to Chishuru.)
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