Autumn, is to many, the year’s most rewarding season: the last of the summer often now bleeds into September and October and from orchards fall apples and pears; squashes and pumpkins are made into soups and mushrooms cover forest floors; it’s also the beginning of game season and stew season and warming broths for the shorter, darker nights. Whether or not London’s most important autumn openings will be serving all or any of the above remains to be seen. But here they are, in no particular order.
Location: 64 Shoreditch High Street, at the intersection with Redchurch Street
Key people: Ben Chapman — chef/owner and Ali Borer — head chef
Projected opening: Early November
Ben Chapman’s third restaurant will open in a former strip club in the heart of Shoreditch — at 100 covers, it will be his biggest restaurant to date. Following the success of the first Smoking Goat and even greater success of his follow-up restaurant Kiln, the second Smoking Goat will join Som Saa as the current torchbearer of so-called nu-Thai in east London. Chapman and head chef Ali Borer will focus on slow-grilled seafood around a large kitchen counter. The restaurant’s other specialisms will be a naam sai tom yum for as little as £5 a bowl and Moo Yang — grilled pork, the Thai version of char siu at £7 or £8 for a sharing plate, as well laaps and an authentic soy-braised chicken dish, designed to be drunk with beer. It will be a bar as much as it will be a restaurant, aiming to remain open until 1.30am on most nights. There’ll also be a big focus on affordable wines by the glass.
Location: St. Christopher Place will be at 77 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 1QE
Key people: JKS Restaurants
Projected opening: Early September
As well as the signature egg hoppers, dosas and karis at the original branch of this Sri Lankan Soho favourite will be the introduction of ‘Rice and Roast’ dishes designed to be shared, feasting style. Feasting dishes will include banana leaf-roasted bream, green mango and madras onion; Jaffna lamb cutlets, cucumber mooli sambol; and chicken buriani, chicken heart acharu and yoghurt. A new feature will also the ‘Taste of Hoppers’ menu, offering a selection of favourites off the menu. At lunch, a rice plate will offer guests a set dish featuring rice, dal, kari, seeni sambol, gotukola sambol, aubergine moju, duck egg, cutlet — a fortifying traditional Sri Lankan lunch. The restaurant will also take reservations, which those who have queued for two hours at the original will surely welcome. The restaurant will also be over double the size of the original with 85 covers over two floors and 16 seats on an outside terrace.
Location: 35 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BR
Key people: Nieves Barragán Mohacho, José Etura, backed by JKS Restaurants
Projected opening: October
Chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho was executive chef for the Barrafina group for nine years — helping make it many Londoners’ favourite tapas restaurant. José Etura spent ten years with Barrafina, becoming the group’s general manager in 2009. Barragán Mohacho is from Bilbao in the Basque Country; Etura from Valladolid in Castile — together the pair will aim to introduce a restaurant that draws on flavours from all over Spain, from the “tapas bars of Andalucía through to the asadors (wood fired ovens) of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia.” Indeed “Sabor” means flavour in Spanish. The restaurant will be over two floors: a ground floor will feature a dining counter that surrounds an open kitchen and fresh seafood display. A separate bar area will have a strong southern Spanish influence with sherries, vermouths, beers and wines. Upstairs the focus will turn towards Galicia and Castile with a menu that focuses on two specialities from those regions — octopus and suckling pig. And txakoli wine, too. Galician octopus will be cooked in traditional copper pans with olive oil and paprika while a Castilian roast suckling pig will be cooked in the asador.
Location: 20 – 21 Newman Street, London W1T 1PG
Key people: Chef, Frédéric Peneau and designer, Charles Pelletier
Projected opening: 15 September
Restaurateur and chef, Frédéric – Fred – Peneau (one of the creators of Paris’ 50 Best mainstay Le Chateaubriand) and designer, Charles Pelletier have collaborated with hotelier Rami Fustok on a project Peneau says has “been five years in the making.” The 58-cover restaurant, inside the Mandrake Hotel, will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and weekend brunch) and will include a 16-cover private dining room and three bars. Like Serge et le Phoque in Hong Kong is inspired by the ingredients and flavours of China, their London restaurant will use British ingredients — “the quality has improved so much” — as well as import from Europe. It seems it will belong to the modern European tradition, more than anything else — where innovation, plurality of influence and seasonality direct the kitchen.
Location: 3 Queen Victoria Street, London EC2R
Key people: Caravan City, Bleecker Burger, Homeslice, Koya, Vinoteca, Ahi Poke
Projected opening: Caravan opens on 2 October; Vinoteca opens in October; all above will open pre-Christmas
One of the most eagerly-awaited restaurant stories of the year broke earlier this month: in total ten new restaurants are opening in the new European headquarters for Bloomberg — some of them this autumn. Seven of them have so far been announced; others have been rumoured. Caravan, the all-day Antipodean brunch restaurant will open first; Vinoteca, the wine bar and bistro will follow, both will open in October. One of the more surprising names to be announced to be opening their second site is Koya Bar, the cult Japanese udon noodle restaurant in Soho. Though no date is yet fixed for their opening — like burger restaurant Bleecker, Homeslice pizza and Ahi Poke poke — Eater London understands that it will be called Koya and will serve much similar udon bowls but have a different daily blackboard of specials. That special board in Soho is one of the most special boards in town, so the City is getting a treat.
Location: 152 Tooley Street, London SE1 2TU
Key people: Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes
Projected opening: Second week of September
Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes’s Mexican restaurant, bar and taqueria opening near London Bridge is one the industry and lovers of Mexican food have been waiting for. When Santo Remedio opened in Shoreditch early last year it was the first of a series of Mexican openings in London. Many said it was the city’s best and most authentic taqueria. After battling with licensing issues early on, the restaurant eventually closed — in September — “for reasons outside of [Diaz-Fuentes’s] control.” The new 90-cover ‘cantina and comedor’ which was financed through a crowdsourcing website is significantly bigger than their original site and is set over two floors. Downstairs will act principally as a taco bar, with cocktails, mezcal and tequila; upstairs will be more of a restaurant, featuring dishes such as fish al pastor, gorditas de chicharron prensado and Chiles Rellenos. The chef has a much larger kitchen in the new space will he says will “allow me to create more than I was able to at the original site.”
Location: 36 Snowsfields Yard, London SE1 3SU
Key people: Leandro Carreira, Cameron Dewer and Loh Peng
Projected opening: Mid November
Leo Carreira moved to northern Spain and worked with Andoni Luis Aduriz’s at Mugaritz for three years, before travelling to London to work at Nuno Mendes’ then Hackney restaurant, Viajante as head chef. He subsequently spent time at Koya with Junya Yamasaki and Shuko Oda and with James Lowe at Lyle's. Last year, he ran a pop-up in London Fields: L.C. at Climpson’s Arch. Cameron Dewar, who worked with the chef both at Viajante and L.C., will be joining him as manager-sommelier at Londrino. He’s said that Londrino will observe the flavours, traditions and ingredients from his native Portugal but will be cooked and explored through the lens of a chef who now calls London his home. Eater London understand that Londrino’s new menu will include crispy pigs ears with fennel and apple and quail with toffee mayo. The project is a collaboration between Carreira and Loh Peng, the restaurateur and hotelier who owns Unlisted Collection.
Location: 65 Commercial Street, London E1 6BD
Key people: Harneet and Devina Baweja and chef Nirmal Save
Projected opening: September
Husband and wife team Harneet and Devina Baweja will open with executive chef Nirmal Save their third restaurant in less than two years — within walking distance of their two existing sites, Gunpowder (Indian) and Madame D’s (Himalayan). Gul e Sepoy will draw on influences from Punjab and Rajasthan, to Maharashtra and Kerala on the south western Indian coastline. Over two floors — downstairs will be more informal — it will focus on both rustic and royal Indian cuisine.
Location: 36 Golborne Road, London W10 5PR
Key people: Chris Denney and Luca Lombardi
Projected opening: September
Chris Denney and Luca Lombardi opened their first restaurant 108 Garage only at the start of this year. It drew plaudits from the critics, not only because it was the kind of modern European restaurant that west London had been missing. Their new site, which replaces a pub, will be set over three floors, with a focus on grilling downstairs: both a robata grill and a Big Green Egg, regarded as the elite apparatus for cooking with fire, will be used to cook meat, fish and vegetables. Upstairs there’ll be a raw bar and will be overseen by an unnamed “sushi master”, with a focus on Nikkei — the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. An adjoining sake room is being planned for the same floor. On the second floor there’ll be a champagne bar and an private members club.
Location: 16 1⁄2 Neal’s Yard, London WC2E 9HP
Key people: Zoë and Layo Paskin
Projected opening: 30 August
Zoë and Layo Paskin — the siblings behind famously-hard-to-get-into The Palomar and The Barbary — are opening an English coffee house. It will sit directly next-door to The Barbary. The site will have only 13 covers: 10 inside and three outside and will serve coffee, breakfast, lunch and tea but have an emphasis on takeaway. A stellar list of suppliers have been named: Square Mile coffee, Dusty Knuckle Bakery bread, Cannon & Cannon for British charcuterie and Neal’s Yard Dairy will provide all of their cheese. As well as quiches, sandwiches and cakes, in the afternoons there’ll be tahini madeleines, passion fruit marshmallows and peanut butter blondies. A signature will be coconut cream pies, available as individual pies for one. At the outset, the kitchen plan to make just 30 a day.
Location: 19 Ganton St, London, W1F 7BU
Key people: Stevie Parle
Projected opening: October
Stevie Parle is opening his sixth restaurant this autumn. It will open — with a focus on fresh pasta, “made by hand” — near Kingly Court on the edge of Carnaby Street in Soho. The concise menu at will feature simple, seasonal plates of fresh pasta priced between £7 and £11, including tonarelli cacio e pepe; potato and gravy ravioli; cassarecce, pesto, green beans and potato; grouse, rabbit and pork agnoli, as well as anitpasti, cured meats and sweet pickles. Attention-grabbing and playful Prosecco and Aperol slushies — at £4 — will feature on the drinks list. “A democratic wine list will encourage discovery of lesser known Italian growers, priced by the glass.” The communal dining space, on what was Cha Cha Moon, will seat 70.
Location: 153-155 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ
Key people: Ryan Chetiyawardana, Doug McMaster and Dr Arielle Johnson
Projected opening: 7 September
Dandelyan’s Ryan Chetiyawardana — aka Mr Lyan — is opening a flagship restaurant in London. Cub — a project as well as a restaurant and cocktail bar — will open on the ground floor of White Lyan’s former site on Hoxton Street, with Super Lyan continuing to operate below. Chetiyawardna is collaborating with Doug McMaster of SILO, Brighton and Dr Arielle Johnson, former resident scientist at Noma and Head of Research for MAD Symposium. The 35-cover site will aim to address the issue of food waste, focusing on upcycling and “interception,” not recycling, foraging and notional attempts at seasonality. Courses will be fluid: sometimes food, sometimes drink, sometimes both. They include, ‘Japanese knotweed, raw sheep’s milk and ramson’, ‘Burnt peach, capsaicin, cognac, coffee’, and the ‘Sea buckthorn, Douglas Fir, burnt butter’ trifecta that has garnered a cult following at SILO in Brighton. It could be a game-changer.