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Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard

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London’s 10 Most Anticipated Restaurants for Spring 2019

Restaurant openings to look out for include a third site for London’s favourite Taiwanese bun slingers, and a restaurant almost 18 months behind schedule

Pascal Grob

With 25 days remaining until Brexit, and a generally stiffening restaurant market, big-ticket restaurant openings are understandably thinner on the ground than they might have been 12 months ago. Here, though, are the new projects that are worth watching for the next few months, as spring bleeds into early summer, around mid-June. There’s a focus on sequels and diversifications — cooking styles honed at a flagship brought to bear on new neighbourhoods; small shifts in those styles designed to expand horizons; and the successful-restaurant-opens-wine-bar-and-or-bakery model that is fast becoming the hallmark of savvy operators in the city. Keep an eye.


Orasay

Address: 31 Kensington Park Road, W11 2EU
Key people: Andrew Clarke, Jackson Boxer
What to expect: A neighbourhood restaurant inspired by the Outer Hebrides, focussed on the region’s seafood, particularly shellfish. Boxer describes it as “aquanautical” — concerning water, and the sea, and early indications are that it will run with the pared back, but occasionally surprising formula that has earned St Leonards some plaudits in Shoreditch.
Projected opening: 5 March 2019

Orasay restaurant in Notting Hill will serve seafood from the Outer Hebrides Orasay [Official Photo]

Xier

Address: 13-14 Thayer Street, W1U 3JR
Key people: Carlo Scotto, the Rhug estate
What to expect: A split level operation similar in scope, but not ambition to Hide — Xier will be fine dining, with a ten course tasting menu, with XR estimably casual. Scotto’s Neapolitan background will guide much of the cooking, with some obligatory assemblies on 2019 menus looking promising: a smoked beef tartare; a tuna tartare; hanger steak, but marinated in papaya.
Projected opening: 5 March 2019

Xier [Official Photo]

Bob Bob Cité

Address: Level 8, 122 Leadenhall St, EC3V 4AB
Key people: Eric Chavot
What to expect: One of spring’s most anticipated openings partly because it was supposed to open in January 2018, an entirely different year and an entirely different season. The — at least — £11 million project will put those ‘press for champagne’ buttons on blast with a menu designed by Eric Chavot, promising “country-style plates,” as well as much of the opulent glitz that has so defined the Soho institution.
Projected opening: 25 March 2019

Upcoming London restaurant Bob Bob Cite comes from Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard with its ‘press for champagne’ button bobbobricard/Twitter

Master Wei

Address: 13 Cosmo Pl, WC1N 3AP
Key people: Wei Guirong
What to expect: Wei Guirong is one of London’s most accomplished chefs, the mastermind that makes Xi’an Impression a beacon for Xi’an Chinese cooking — and, indeed, for restaurants at large — in the shadow of Arsenal’s north London stadium. Master Wei is a new endeavour in Bloomsbury, set to mix dishes familiar to diners at her original restaurant with a rangier approach to Xi’an cuisine in a larger working environment.
Projected opening: March 2019

From top left: pot-sticker dumplings, ‘cold skin’ noodles, and biang biang noodles at Xi’an Impression, a Xi’an Chinese restaurant in Islington
Xi’an Impression’s noodles and dumplings prove Wei Guirong’s exceptional talent
Emma Hughes/Eater London

The Halal Guys

Address: 14-15 Irving Street, WC2H 7AU
Key people: The Halal Guys of NYC
What to expect: A New York City cart gone worldwide thanks to some canny franchising and a treasured garlic sauce, the Halal Guys is one of NYC’s street food successes. A restaurant site in central London doesn’t necessarily have the same allure of a cart wafting the smell of gyros, falafel, and breads flecked with grill marks, but the arrival of a genuine NYC institution — as opposed to the cornucopia of pick-and-mix franchises that have hit this part of London — is something to be excited about. If it doesn’t stand up, it will be a crying shame.
Projected opening: March 2019

Halal Guys New York restaurant chain will open London restaurants in 2019 Dan Nguyen/Flickr

Lucknow Social

Address: 49 Maddox St, W1S 2PQ
Key people: Dhruv Mittal
What to expect: The architect of Dum Biryani in Soho, Dhruv Mittal, will further represent the Awadhi cuisine found in Uttar Pradesh, northeastern India at Lucknow Social. There will be a signature biryani — here with saffron, rose water, screw pine essence, and a ‘perfume’ made with the roots of several flowers and seeds, alongside a range of kebabs derived from the Persian roots of the regions rulers.
Projected opening: 2 April 2019

Lucknow 49 [Official Photo]

Soutine

Address: 60 St Johns Wood High Street, NW8 7SH
Key people: Jeremy King and Chris Corbin behind The Wolseley
What to expect: Think Colbert — the French-inspired cafe-brasserie on Sloane Square — meets Fischer’s — the duo’s Viennese cafe in Marylebone. It’s another nod to the tradition of grands cafés, and likely another considered, welcoming outfit for one of the city’s most reliable and kindhearted restaurant groups.
Projected opening: Spring 2019

Flor

Address: 1 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL
Key people: James Lowe, John Ogier
What to expect: A wine bar and bakery from the owners of Lyle’s, Shoreditch’s Michelin-starred, ‘Modern British’ restaurant that many regard as one of the city’s best. All bread and pastries will be made on-site, from flour milled at Lyle’s, with the space and menu “inspired by the buvettes of Paris and pintxos bars in San Sebastian, with bread being an integral part of the offering.”
Projected opening: Spring / summer 2019

Mince pie from Lyle’s Lyle’s [Official Photo]

Bao

Address: 13 Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AD
Key people: Erchen Chang, Shing Tat Chung, Wai Ting Chung, JKS Restaurants
What to expect: One of the city’s most forward-thinking, innovative restaurant groups evolves again with this Borough Market opening, promising a grab-and-go hatch for the visiting hordes, a karaoke room, and a further evolution on the range of Taiwanese and Chinese dishes that have captivated so many diners. Yes, the signature eponymous buns will be on offer, but this — like the Fitzrovia departure from Soho — is a new restaurant, and not an imprint, with a focus on grilling and late-night noodle dishes.
Projected opening: Spring 2019

Bao’s Borough Market restaurant gets a positive review from Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard Pascal Grob

Tayer Elementary

Address: 152 Old St, London EC1V 9BP
Key people: TāTā Eatery, Monica Berg, Alex Kratena
What to expect: As close to a permanent site as one of the city’s most beloved restaurants might get: Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng will leads the kitchen at one of the most anticipated bar openings of the year. Meng has said to expect a tasting menu framework designed with genuine progression in mind: a whole cut of beef, or fish, will provide the impetus for courses to vary according to cooking method, or part of the cut used.
Projected opening: 2019

BAO

590 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 658-7453 Visit Website

Xier

13-14 Thayer Street , London , W1U 3JR Visit Website

TĀTĀ Eatery

152 Old Street, , England EC1V 9BW Visit Website

Colbert

50-52 Sloane Square, , England SW1W 8AX 020 7730 2804 Visit Website

HIDE

85 Piccadilly, , England W1J 7NB 020 3146 8666 Visit Website

St Leonards

70 Leonard Street, , England EC2A 4QX 020 7739 1291 Visit Website

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, , England W1J 9EB 020 7499 6996 Visit Website

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