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A range of dishes at Plaza Khao Gaeng: top-left, kua kling moo, a dish of wok-fried pork in aromatic curry paste; and top-right, gaeng massaman neua, made with Indian shallots in a slick of red oil.

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The Most Anticipated London Restaurant Openings This Spring

A major food hall is having a major revamp, while the pandemic restaurant is bringing Roman pizza to Hackney, Dumpling Shack will open its first proper restaurant, and Barrafina’s owners will open a sherry bar it is calling its “prequel”

Plaza Khao Gaeng

Since London’s omicron-tainted Christmas holiday, restaurants in London have been steadily returning to some sort of pre-pandemic normal; the industry, the cadence of openings and closures, is beginning to resemble the one turned on its head almost exactly two years ago, in the March of 2020.

So now, in March 2022, as the winter draws to a close, the temperatures begin to feel less hostile, and the nights get lighter and longer, Londoners can look forward not just to the embrace of a new normal where business may sometimes be unusual, but a group of exciting new restaurants in the city. Among the highlights this spring is a follow-up from the city’s “pandemic restaurant,” a first site for a cult-followed food stall, a restaurant which classifies sustainability as inclusive of the mental wellbeing of its people, and a hype fest at a central London food hall. It’s all here.

Here are the eight most anticipated spring openings in London.


Mitshel Ibrahim at Hackney Italian trattoria Ombra in November after coronavirus national lockdown in England closed restaurants
Mitshel Ibrahim at Ombra in Hackney
Michaël Protin/Eater London

Forno

Address: Vyner Street, Hackney E2 9DG
Key people: Mitshel Ibrahim, chef-owner of the original Ombra, and co.
What to expect: A pasta and charcuterie production site that will be open to the public for pastries, soups, and Roman pizza, in the vein of London Fields favourite E5 Bakehouse. A long-time coming, Forno is Ibrahim’s pandemic baby and everything so far suggests that is nailed on to become Londoners’s third favourite Italian restaurant.
Projected opening: March 2022

Sichuan Fry’s mapo chicken burger
Sichuan Fry’s mapo chicken burger.
Sichuan Fry

Sichuan Fry and Dumpling Shack

Address: 2 Westgate Street, London Fields E8 3RN
Key people: John and Yee Li.
What to expect: A first full restaurant for one of London’s most queued-for street food hits, with Sichuan fried chicken on the ground floor and its inimitable shengjianbao pork soup dumplings in the basement. Hackney be ready.
Projected opening: Mid May 2022

A range of dishes at Plaza Khao Gaeng: top-left, kua kling moo, a dish of wok-fried pork in aromatic curry paste; and top-right, gaeng massaman neua, made with Indian shallots in a slick of red oil.
A range of dishes at Plaza Khao Gaeng: top-left, kua kling moo, a dish of wok-fried pork in aromatic curry paste; and top-right, gaeng massaman neua, made with Indian shallots in a slick of red oil.
Plaza Khao Gaeng

Plaza Khao Gaeng

Address: 103 — 105 New Oxford Street, WC2H 8LH
Key people: JKS Restaurants, the group behind Gymkhana, Trishna, Hoppers, Bao, Lyle’s, and many of the capital’s most successful restaurants and Luke Farrell, a grower of Southeast Asian plants and herbs at Ryewater in Dorset.
What to expect: A hyper regional southern Thai curry, rice, and stir fry restaurant.
Projected opening: April 2022

A render of the new Arcade site at the base of Centre Point in central London
Everyone has seen this render enough.
JKS Restaurants

Arcade Food Hall

Address: 103 — 105 New Oxford Street, WC2H 8LH
Key people: JKS Restaurants, the group behind Gymkhana, Trishna, Hoppers, Bao, Lyle’s, and many of the capital’s most successful restaurants.
What to expect: An entirely new suite of restaurants and kitchens for the site formerly known as Arcade Food Theatre, including a central London debut for one of the city’s low-key most talented fast food chefs. There will be Indonesian fried duck and chicken; tapas; and North Indian fast food, including variations on butter chicken.
Projected opening: April 2022

Chef Chantelle Nicholson will open a restaurant focused on sustainable cooking with a heavy emphasis on vegetables in 2022
Chef Chantelle Nicholson.
Lisa Tse/Apricity

Apricity

Address: 68 Duke Street, Mayfair, W1K 6JU
Key people: Chef Chantelle Nicholson, formerly of Tredwell’s and All’s Well.
What to expect: A restaurant focused on sustainability — both from the point of view of food waste and conscious sourcing and the mental health and wellbeing of its employees. A welcome step forward.
Projected opening: 12 April 2022

Pouring a bottle of Oloroso sherry into a glass on a marble bar at Barrafina Drury Lane
Pouring Oloroso sherry at Barrafina Drury Lane.
Barrafina

Bar Daskal

Address: Borough Yards
Key people: Harts Brothers, they behind Barrafina, Parillan, and Tacos Pastor.
What to expect: As well as the first Barrafina restaurant south of the river, and a second less-DIY Parillan, an intriguing new sherry and cold tapas bar from seasoned pros at the same-same-but-different restaurant development on the edge of Borough Market. Bar Daskal is named after the Harts brothers’s grandfather — a “Bulgarian seafaring nomad and Bauhaus-schooled artist” — and is being described as the “prequel” venue in the group.
Projected opening: Spring 2022

A plate of prawns and seafood rice by Nuno Mendes, one of the modern Portuguese dishes the chef will serve at his new London restaurants, Lisboetta on Charlotte Street
A pot of prawns and seafood rice by Nuno Mendes.
Lisboeta

Lisboeta

Address: 30 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 4AF
Key people: Chef-restaurateur Nuno Mendes
What to expect: Modern Portuguese food from one of London’s historically most visionary and pioneering chefs. “As Nuno returns to London he brings with him his own discoveries and secrets from Lisbon’s wonderful food and wine scene, that have both inspired him on his journey and reflect the rhythm of Lisbon today,” the restaurant’s official spokesperson said.
Projected opening: 21 March 2022

Fish curry and roti prata on a green plate at Hawker’s Kitchen in King’s Cross
Fish curry and roti prata at Hawker’s Kitchen in King’s Cross.
Adam Coghlan/Eater London

Hawker’s Kitchen

Address: TBD, Caledonian Road
Key people: The Hawker’s Kitchen team.
What to expect: Expansion for one of London’s best new Malay roti, curry, and noodle specialists. This time, the group which has taken the city by storm, in large part thanks to the obsessive roti prata documenting done by Vittles’s Jonathan Nunn, there will be many more seats for customers to occupy; the two existing sites — in King’s Cross and Brick Lane — are focused on delivery as much they are on dine-in.
Projected opening: March 2022

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