The London dining scene is as busy as ever, despite the recent closures of major restaurant chains.
Opening in April, we have several pop-ups turned permanent sites as well as second locations for loved locals. With that in mind, here are seven new restaurants to look out for – as well as some recent openings you can try now.
Butterscotch Tea Room – April 4
Bea Vo, the woman behind Stax Diner, Famous Flames and Boondocks, will be opening her latest venue in Marylebone this month. Butterscotch Tea Room is a two-floor concept where the ground floor is a cafe and porridge bar. Downstairs there’s also a tea parlour offering afternoon and evening tea.
Lahpet – April 10
If you’ve never tried Burmese food, head to Shoreditch, where Lahpet is opening its first permanent site. The name means tea, which is very appropriate given that the restaurant’s signature dish is a tea leaf salad. And ahead of its opening, from April 6 to 8, they are having a soft launch weekend.
Tortilleria El Pastor – April 13
The team behind El Pastor are opening a second site – Tortilleria El Pastor – in Bermondsey. It’s just down the road from the original and will focus on freshly made tortillas, which you can also purchase to take away. And to wash it down, you can try the mezcal that’s made just for the restaurant.
Chokhi Dhani – April 13
If you fancied a taste of Rajasthani cuisine, then head to Chokhi Dhani in Battersea. It’s the first London opening from the India-based group and will showcase a mixture of street food and fine dining cuisine. With a team that comes from Michelin-starred and fine dining restaurants, you should expect something very special indeed – and even better, between March 29 and April 11, there’s a soft launch with 50% off food.
Beck at Brown’s – April 16
Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck is returning to London with a new restaurant in Mayfair this month. The food will be a more relaxed approach to Italian classics such as risotto with aged parmesan, artichokes and olive oil, and grilled black cod with nduja crust, red peppers and cucumber. In true Italian style, there’s also an Aperitivo offering with separate menu items to choose from.
Wellbourne Brasserie – April 16
White City is getting a new all-day restaurant in the shape of Wellbourne Brasserie. The new venue comes from chefs Ross Gibbens and Michael Kennedy, who between them have worked for the likes of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Dabbous and The Square. Food here will be more relaxed though, and there will even be a plate du jour for £10. Petersham Nurseries in Covent
Garden – April 23
Petersham Nurseries will be opening two restaurants, a bar and courtyard in Covent Garden this month. The Petersham, La Goccia, La Goccia Bar and Floral Court form the second phase of the venture, part of which opened last year. Both of the restaurants will be Italian, with La Goccia focusing more on the small plates.
Recent openings to check out:
Scott Hallsworth has finally found a permanent site for his Freak Scene concept, which had previously operated as a pop up.
Billed as ‘curious Asian plates’, the menu will feature signature dishes such as chilli crab and avocado wonton bombs and honey-hoisin grilled pork belly, mussels and chilli jam ssam wrap.
There’s a bit of kitsch as well, with Takeshi’s Castle projected onto the walls.
After a long stint doing pop ups in different locations, Zoe Adjonyoh has taken up residency at The Institute of Light in London Fields.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen at the IOL features some of her best known dishes as well as the cuisines of other part of West Africa.
Look out for Zoe’s signature Ghanaian red red bean stew if you’re trying her food for the first time.
Bistronomic restaurant La Ferme has opened a new outpost in Primrose Hill, showcasing an all-French, weekly changing market menu.
Guillaume Dunos, the chef behind the food, was a finalist in Michelin’s Young Chef of the Year 2017.
And if you’re wondering what to drink, there’s a Deutz champagne bar upstairs.
Dalston recently gained another wine-driven restaurant – Sapling. Each week, the restaurant focuses on 36 different wines with food created to complement the drinks. There’s a mixture of small and large plates, including dishes such as hake, cockle and potato sauce and monk’s beard.
Lokhandwala in Fitzrovia has recently opened Vijay’s Bar & Lounge upstairs, serving up cocktails and bar snacks with Indian influences.
The restaurant remains the main pit stop for refueling, but if you just wanted a light bite, there are smaller dishes such as the tikki – an almond kebab with beetroot, goat’s cheese, potatoes and cauliflower chaat – on offer.
And for the Indian-inspired drinks, there are the likes of Star of India, which features fennel seed and cardamom as part of the mix.
Mare Street Market is a new kind of dining space in Hackney – coming from Gizzi Erskine – combining restaurant, cafe, florist, deli and a community radio all in one place. Think of it as a few different concepts sharing the same space.
And to make things even more convenient, the whole place is completely cashless – so don’t forget to bring your bank card.