The 22 Most Exciting Restaurant Openings In London And Beyond For 2023
From tableside sundaes to the return of chef Asma Khan, there are good things in store this year.
(Bloomberg) -- January. It’s the time for dieting and not drinking, and packing leftover lunches to make up for holiday extravagance.
It’s also the time to get excited about the many, many restaurant openings on the horizon.
Despite challenges, from cost-of-living increases to myriad rail strikes, the UK hospitality industry is gearing up for a big 2023. After a year when enormous food halls and tiny wine bars battled it out for domination (wine bars won), there’s a wide range of dining spots coming to London and its surrounding areas in the next several months.
A spate of new luxury hotel openings, many delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is bringing with it newly arrived top chefs to the greater London area. Among the multi-starred chefs you might see in action: Pro-snowboarder turned chef Akira Back will launch a handful of dining and drinking spots at the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair; Mauro Colagreco, whose Mirazur was at the top of the World’s 50 Best restaurant list in 2019, is taking up residence at the luxurious OWO; and three-Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno is opening at the Four Seasons Park Lane.
And then there’s the return of beloved restaurants that had closed to relocate: This year Asma’s Khan’s superior Indian restaurant Darjeeling Express will return to Kingly Court off Carnaby Street, while Adejoké Bakare will give London the gift of her West African cooking at Chishuru 2.0.
Outside London, Margot Henderson, co-founder of the seminal Rochelle Canteen, will set up shop in a restored 17th century inn in Somerset. Meanwhile, in Manchester, a slew of openings include a new spot set below the city’s upcoming Soho House and an updated comfort food restaurant in the Gary Neville-owned Stock Exchange Hotel.
And then there’s Portuguese croquettes in Battersea, tableside Knickerbocker Glory carts bearing ice cream and toppings in Mayfair, and glorious homemade pasta in Edinburgh. Get ready, there’s a lot to eat in 2023, here are the 22 best spots to do it.
AkubPalestinian food will be front and center at Fadi Kattan’s three-story spot in Notting Hill. On the menu: updated dishes from the chef’s native country, including sea bream cured with the anise-flavored spirit Arak, spiced lamb dumplings with beet tahini and musakhan, the traditional roast chicken dish that Kattan wraps in taboun bread. On the drinks list: Natural wines, Palestinian beers and more Arak.
JacuzziIndulgent Italian dining is coming to West London, courtesy of the team behind such over-the-top establishments as Gloria in Shoreditch and Ave Mario in Covent Garden. The 170-seat space, spread across 4,000 square feet and four floors, will highlight maximalism in the form of the group’s Instagram-famous cheese pasta wheel, complete with black truffles and Parmigiano foam. There will also be caviar-topped pizza, lobster risotto and a fondue with half a kilogram of Valrhona chocolate.
Darjeeling ExpressAsma Kahn has resurrected her beloved Indian spot at Kingly Court, the Carnaby Street enclave, where she opened her first restaurant in 2017. “It feels like a homecoming,” Khan says. The menu at her new site, twice the size of her first place, “celebrates our 10-year food journey from my supper clubs hosted around the dining table at my home to a 90-seater restaurant in the West End.” At dinner, the £65 Royal Thali menu will include kosha mangsho, or goat curry and beef tamatar gosht, cooked in spiced tomato and Bengali prawns in coconut milk.
HumoAt this 34-seat St. George Street restaurant, cooking will be done on the custom 4-meter (13-foot) long grill. South American-born chef Miller Prada is eschewing electricity and gas; instead he’ll use woods like oak, cherry, walnut and beech to flavor and cook his dishes. The menu includes juniper-smoked trout wrapped in kelp and Orkney scallops grilled over French oak and served with a single malt whiskey sabayon. Beverages range from sake to Champagne and aged Bordeaux.
RambutanThe already hectic Borough Market is about to get busier with this destination Sri Lankan restaurant from chef and cookbook author Cynthia Shanmugalingam. Located next to Monmouth Coffee, the two-story spot will feature decor from female Sri Lankan designers and curries ranging from green mango to cashew as well as hoppers, rotis and malu fish buns. Alongside natural wines, cocktails will highlight regional ingredients like lemongrass and Ceylon tea.
SoccaClaude Bosi, chef-owner of the stained-glass framed Bibendum in the Michelin House, and restaurateur Samyukta Nair, are bringing the South of France to London with their upcoming corner bistro in Mayfair. The menu will highlight Mediterranean dishes like tarte de Menton (a close relative of pissaladiere), Dover sole with the tomato and olive oil dressing antiboise, and the chickpea pancakes that the restaurant is named for. There’s also a strong wines by the glass selection.
JoiaThe iconic Battersea power station will soon be home to a restaurant from one of Portugal’s top chefs, Henrique Sá Pessoa. The 85-cover spot—its name translates as jewel — will sit on the top floors of the new Art’Otel Battersea, and focus on the culinary heritage of the Iberian peninsula. Sá Pessoa’s signature croquettes made from potato and Alheira sausage will be available, along with a selection of large plates including salted cod with shoestring potatoes, black olive and egg.
FornoSet alongside Regents Canal in Hackney, this hybrid bakery, deli and pasta store is the brainchild of Mitshel Ibrahim, who started Ombra in Bethnal Green. The all-day café will offer freshly baked cornetti (Italian croissants) for breakfast and stuffed focaccia sandwiches at lunch. There will be occasional evening events, including pop-ups that might feature his house-made pastas and pizza.
Akira Back LondonIn the soon-to-open Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, pro snowboarder-turned-chef Akira Back will helm his first UK restaurant, to complement locations in places like Singapore, Las Vegas, Paris and Bangkok. His Japanese-Korean-American menu will feature his signature scallop half shell: robata-grilled scallops in their roe served with kimchi butter sauce. Alongside his restaurant Back will operate Dosa, a counter for his fine dining menu, the Asian cocktail-focused ABar, and a rooftop space.
Midland Grand Dining RoomChiltern Firehouse alum chef Patrick Powell is taking up residence in the glorious, Harry Potter-evoking St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel; CT’s developer Harry Handelsman is also on board. The menu will be French styled; Powell has said that some dishes, like fruits de mer platters and souffles, will evoke the origins of the restaurant space that date back in 1873. The bar menu will be geared towards people who will be jumping on a nearby train; look for burgers to go with a glass or more of wine.
DovetaleTom Sellers, famous for his two Michelin star Story, will go more casual in the new 1 Hotel Mayfair with a view of Green Park. He’ll be joined in the kitchen by chef Chase Lovecky of Evernight and the cult favorite Two Lights. The a la carte menu will feature main courses from the grill with a focus on seasonal produce, accompanied by a far-ranging wine list. A dessert trolley will roll around the floor, ready to produce the Knickerbocker Glory — an ice cream sundae extravaganza — tableside.
Manzi’sThis extravagant, two-story tribute to London’s iconic seafood spot has been in the works for four years; it will finally open in the Bateman’s Buildings off Soho Square, in May without the noted hospitality team that first backed it, Corbin and King. (They lost ownership to Minor International a year ago and have been rebranded as The Wolseley Hospitality Group.) The nautical décor will feature mermen and mermaids, and lots of blues and greens. The all-day menu will have an expansive raw bar, moules mariniere, and classic Dover sole. There will also be a large outdoor terrace for nice weather.
Sam’s WatersideChef Sam Harrison is betting big on West London. He’ll be opening Sam’s Waterside, with a bar and outdoor terrace all along the river Brent. It’ll have a similar concept to his restaurant Sam’s Riverside in Hammersmith, which offers modern British cuisine like roasted Cornish hake, Devon lobster and crab rolls.
Chishiru 2.0Nigerian-born chef Adejoké Bakare’s smash hit Brixton restaurant is moving north this year. Bakare, who is rumored to be setting up her new location in the proximity of Covent Garden, will continue to serve dynamic West African cooking; she has said that the new space will be larger and that she will put even more focus on food cooked on the grill.
Big Chefs in Big Hotels
Yannick Alleno, whose eponymous Paris dining room has 3 Michelin stars, will open at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. Unlike some fancy chef dining rooms, his restaurant and bar will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering modern French dishes that feature local ingredients.
Larry Jayasekara is launching his first restaurant in the heart of Mayfair at Bruton Place mews, in partnership with art dealer Tim Jefferies. The space, encompassing 3,000 square feet across four floors of prime Mayfair real estate, will open its doors in the Spring. Jayasekara’s resume includes stints as head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus and at Waterside Inn, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.
Another internationally famous chef with another London debut this Spring. Mauro Colagreco will open not one, but two restaurants and a chef's table at the new Raffles London at The OWO this Spring.
Stock Market GrillAt the Stock Exchange hotel, co-owned by football/soccer star Gary Neville, this handsome new space from bartending brothers Joe and Daniel Schofield will update British classics. Chef Joshua Cooper will offer high-level comfort food like whipped black pudding on toast, rib-eye tartare with smoked drippings, and steamed cod with caramelized mash.
Restaurants at the Treehouse Hotel ManchesterAmong the dining spots at the new hotel in the city center is a dining room with a focus on zero waste from local chef Mary-Ellen McTague, which will feature an all-day menu stocked with British produce. The rooftop bar boasting panoramic views of the city will be operated by DJs Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford; the accompanying restaurant will have a Japanese-accented menu.
Mollie’sThe old Granada Studios in Manchester’s Quay Street will be taken over by the American spot Mollie’s, and a new Soho House. Inspired by classic Americana diner fare, the menus at the other branches of Mollie’s include rotisserie chicken with plenty of fries and coleslaw, chili cheese dogs, mac ’n’ cheese and cheeseburgers.
The Three HorseshoesMargot Henderson will open her first pub in the countryside village of Batcombe this spring. Henderson’s produce-focused menu will feature dishes like chicken tarragon pie, ricotta gnudi with sage and butter, and custard tarts. The separate bar menu will highlight snacks like mince on toast. As a bonus, the restored 17th century property has rooms attached.
TipoStuart Ralston’s third restaurant in the Scottish capital — he also has Aizle and Noto — will be named after the top-grade Italian flour. Unsurprisingly, pasta will reign supreme on the menu, accompanied by small plates, cocktails and wines from small, family-run wineries.
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