Encouragingly, new restaurants are coming thick and fast in London. Some of the best chefs, restaurateurs and fresh new talent are capitalising on an ever more engaged and savvy London public.
Here’s what’s most exciting:
Ben Spalding @ John Salt
131 Upper Street, Islington, @John_Salt, Opens November 13th
This tops the list simply due to the fact that Ben Spalding was the head chef at Simon Rogan’s Roganic. Rogan is easily one of the biggest talents in the UK right now and his 2 year pop up Roganic is the most acclaimed of its type (and soon to move location). Ben recently left Roganic and has been working on a few projects such as Stripped Back on Broadway Market.
Spalding will be showing off some very rare ingredients and approaches to his cooking. His signature dish looks set to be the ‘chicken on a brick’, which you are encouraged to lick. Nice.
It’s difficult to know why something so simple sounds so different. When pop up restaurants are so successful that they turn into restaurants, it’s a good sign. Bonnie Gull is a seafood shack, which in itself makes it very rare in London.
There’s a really clear focus on excellent British seafood ingredients combined with a creative approach. They’re already getting rave reviews after being open for a couple of weeks. The menu is mouthwatering. I cannot wait to go, it’s exactly what London needs.
The Clove Club
Isaac Mchale, Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith are founding members of Young Turks the team behind Upstairs At The Ten Bells. The three (who call themselves the “St. Vibes” crew (wicked)) have now expanded and are launching their new place in Shoreditch town hall. The town hall is currently being revamped and the sheer scale of it means that it should a really interesting space.
118 Piccadilly, www.coyarestaurant.com , Opens November 16th
Arjan Waney has a seriously impressive back catalogue. Zuma and Roka are pretty much London institutions while Le Petit Maison and The Arts Club Mayfair are doing very well. He’s now turning his hand to zeitgeisty Peruvian (with other South American influences).
Waney clearly knows exactly how to make incredibly popular, modern, international restaurants. His signature is beautiful design, top quality fusion – sharing food. Coya on paper is his sweet spot and should continue this trend. There will be live bands, DJs and a private members’ club.
Square Meal says: “The whole place will have a ‘luxurious dilapidated’ feel with sumptuously distressed South American overtones, Incan colours, murals and modern metallic finishes. Coya will also include a traditional pisco bar”
Which all sounds cool and expensive. Let’s hope the crowd isn’t too wanky.
Granary Square Kitchen
1 Granary Square, @Bruno_Loubet, Opens Jan 2013
Kings Cross is undergoing a restaurant revolution and fast becoming a top dining postcode. Critics’ and chefs’ favourite Bruno Loubet is now joining the club. This will be more relaxed than his Bistrot Bruno Loubet and with a focus on the world’s best vegetables. The Western Transit Shed looks a great space, home of Central St Martins, with its own an outdoor area.
If it’s anything like as good as Bistro Bruno Loubet, then it will become a must place to go.