Autumn is often when the restaurant industry, following a summer lull, kicks into gear and enjoys a renewed interest. Whether or not by coincidence, it is also the time in which a number of the year’s most anticipated restaurant openings are set to launch. In London this year, there are planned expansions and new moves from some of the city’s most established and celebrated operators, a number of very notable debuts, and one fascinating international import with a cult following. Given it’s the restaurant business, many of these dates might slide, but in order of when they are expected to open, here are the 15 most anticipated openings in London this autumn.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
Location: Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
Key people: Tom Kerridge, of course, and Nick Beardshaw as head chef
Opened: 10 September 2018
What to expect: U.K. star chef Tom Kerridge is making his London debut. His London first London restaurant will sit in five-star The Corinthia hotel, near Trafalgar Square, where cleverly crafted modern British cooking will make use of a rotisserie, which is set to take centre stage. The meat will come from Kerridge’s butchers, The Butcher’s Tap in Marlow. Kerridge runs the U.K.’s only two-Michelin-starred pub, The Hand and Flowers, also in Marlow.
Location: 20 Newington Green, N16 9PU
Key people: David Gingell, Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim, Andy Cato
Opened: 18 September 2018
What to expect: A bakery, restaurant, and natural wine bar from the team at Westerns Laundry and Primeur, focussed on ancient and heritage grains. Flours will be milled on site for breads and sweet and savoury pastries.
Location: 88 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB
Key people: Chef Angelo Sato, formerly head chef at Story and founder of Mission Sato
Opened: 1 October 2018
What to expect: Sato will follow up his bento box operation, Mission Sato, with another grab-and-go brand. Omoide is rooted in the tradition of chirashi sushi, derived from the rice course in Japanese kaiseki (multi-course) format of service.
Location: 28-30 Rivington Street, EC2A 3DZ
Key people: Gordon Kerr of Blacklock
Opened: 8 October 2018
What to expect: More of the competitively priced and conscientiously sourced barbecued meats, sides, and plentiful roasts that have made Blacklock’s Soho and City sites such a hit. It takes the site formerly occupied by The Rivington Bar and Grill, itself perhaps modern-day Shoreditch’s first properly ‘cool’ and ambitious modern British cocktail bar and brasserie-style restaurant.
Location: Bloomberg Arcade, 3 Queen Street, EC4N 8BN
Key people: Andrew Wong, Eater London Chef of the Year 2017
Opened: 2 October 2018
What to expect: The name of Andrew Wong’s second restaurant has finally been confirmed: Kym’s, which is named after his parent’s Pimlico restaurant where A. Wong is now located, will offer small dishes such as Yunnanese lemongrass salad, peanuts, lettuce, chilli, and lime; sharing platters of crispy duck and pancakes; and slow-poached soy chicken with ginger relish, and rice. Desserts will include ‘Chinatown’ pineapple bun with custard. Significantly, for a chef who has become synonymous with distinctive, distinguished dumplings, no dim sum. “Some of the flavours will be instantly recognisable and even hark back to the nostalgia of the original Kym’s menus, with sweet and sour elements and more rice-based dishes. Like so much of Chinese gastronomy, it’ll be deceptively simple food with a big emphasis on the ancient craft of Chinese ‘roasting’ meats — and that includes poaching,” Wong said.
St. John Bakery
Location: 3 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Key people: Nose-to-tail pioneers, Fergus Henderson, Trevor Gulliver of the St John group
Opened: 21 September 2018
What to expect: A permanent, stand-alone bakery site for St. John’s lauded doughnuts, Eccles cakes, madeleines, and breads. With Neal’s Yard dairy in attendance, the Eccles cake / Lancashire cheese pro move will be easier than ever.
Location: 28-30 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DA
Key people: Chase Lovecky, Johnny Smith, Isaac McHale, Daniel Willis
Opened: 2 October 2018
What to expect: A third restaurant from the team behind Michelin-starred The Clove Club and Luca, headed up by chef Lovecky and taking the Shoreditch site formerly occupied by the Italian restaurant, Amici Mei. There will be a focus on “modern American cuisine” — dishes such as Hereford beef tartare with togarashi; grilled mackerel, cherries, and black olives; and lemon sole, charred tomatoes, and seaweed — aiming to be more of a neighbourhood restaurant than The Clove Club and Luca’s destination dining rooms.
Location: Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4AB
Key people: Pip Lacey, Gordy McIntyre, Angela Hartnett
Projected opening: 12 November 2018
What to expect: Even more wood-fire cooking. Great British Menu winner and former head chef of Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred Murano, Lacey has been cooking around London in the run-up to Hicce’s launch; wood will be the fuel for the fire which will smoke and steam as well as grilling. Yakitori could be a star.
Barrafina, Casa Pastor, The Drop
Location: Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4AB
Key people: The Hart Brothers and Crispin Somerville
Opened: 26 October 2018
What to expect: The holy triumvirate of the new Coal Drops Yard development — the brothers behind Barrafina, and their business partner from El Pastor, are opening three new venues there this year. A new Barrafina, plus Casa Pastor — a new “big sister” to Borough’s El Pastor — and The Drop, a wine bar featuring (largely) British plates and an oyster cart.
Location: 209 Westbourne Park Rd, W11 1EA
Key people: Emily Roux (yes, those Roux) and Diego Ferrari
Opened: 5 October 2018
What to expect: A characterful interplay of classical French and Italian cookery from two chefs with extensive Michelin-approved experience. Roux’s partner Ferrari was formerly the head chef at Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, the Roux family’s famous Mayfair restaurant.
Location: 12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Key people: Nicholas Balfe, Mark Gurney, and the team behind Salon Brixton
Opened: 31 October 2018
What to expect: A bistronomy restaurant influenced by Paris, London, and Copenhagen, with the same low waste, low intervention, meat, fish, and vegetable-focused approach to cooking that defines Salon’s place in the current modern British cuisine school.
Location: 27 Romilly Street, W1D 5AL
Key people: Chef Kian Samyani and JKS Restaurants
Projected opening: 23 October 2018
What to expect: The food at Berenjak will depart somewhat from Brigadiers’ Indian mess hall dining, leaning into Persian tradition: kababs, khoresht, and sharing plates — called mazeh. Iranian chef Kian Samyani has cooked at both Bloomberg’s Brigadiers and Mayfair’s Gymkhana: this is the first time the Sethis have backed a chef from their own restaurants in a solo venture.
Din Tai Fung
Location: 5-6 Henrietta St, WC2E 8PT
Key people: Taiwanese dim sum specialists Din Tai Fung
Projected opening: 6 December 2018
What to expect: Two prospective venues for Din Tai Fung, which is bringing its signature xiao long bao (steamed soup pork dumplings) and dim sum range to Europe for the first time. The brand is expected to open its second London site inside the newly redeveloped Centre Point building on Tottenham Court Road in early 2019.