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A spread of börek pastries on a plush pink fabric background, scattered with red candles, lighters, and bowls of pickles and dips
A börek spread from Spasia Dinkovski’s Mystic Börek
Caitlin Isola

London’s Best Restaurant Pop-Ups Right Now

All the pop-up adaptations and chef-at-home specialists the city needs to know about

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A börek spread from Spasia Dinkovski’s Mystic Börek
| Caitlin Isola

Welcome to Eater London’s weekly updated guide to all the temporary food worth knowing about in London. Whether it’s a pop-up residency, a one-off dinner, or something only available one night of the week, these are the capital’s elusive and occasional restaurants worth knowing about before they’re gone. With the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, more chefs and restaurants are turning to residencies, taking advantage of short-term spaces or the lure of the one-off to intrigue diners. Some are also starting entirely new ventures, either while furloughed or just to stave off lockdown boredom. Here’s a pick of the best.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kamienko’s Bagels

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Former head chef at Shoreditch’s Leroy, Sam Kamienko has developed a winning sideline in baking bagels, getting on a bike, and biking the bagels around London. He’s since expanded his repertoire and is popping up at market stalls all over town — keep an eye on Instagram for the latest news.

2. Newgate Studio

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Islington
London, UK

Coco Kwok’s cooking — and documenting of that cooking under @newgatestudio Instagram handle — is a gentle kind of mesmeric. Clams bob in their water, with a sandcastle of anchovy seasoning; placid pies recall time at St. John; omelettes that lazily twist around each other like boomerangs. Sometimes find it at Meletius Coffee in Angel, where a menu of hot: grilled pork shoulder or velvet crab rice wrapped in lotus leaf; cold: cured sea bass in buttermilk, or master stock pig ears or tofu; and green: with cured beef fat dripping, lemon, and chicory reads and eats beautifully. Other times, DM for takeaway via Instagram.

3. Liu Xiaomian Marylebone

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The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews
London W1G 7EQ, UK

Charlene Liu and Liu Qian specialise in bowls of xiǎomiàn in broths heavy with Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, soy, sesame paste, ginger, and a signature chilli oil. Minced pork, yellow peas, and water spinach are typical toppings, with the dish traditionally eaten for breakfast in Chongqing; glass noodles made from sweet potato starch are also available for a slippy, chewier textural alternative.

4. Tendril - A (mostly) vegan kitchen

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21 Great Pulteney St, West End
London W1F 9NG, UK

Tendril is chef Rishim Sachdeva’s riposte to the stereotype that Indian chefs should only be cooking Indian food. A “mostly vegan” kitchen, Sachdeva develops dishes by centering one ingredient, before layering up different iterations of it with complimentary flavours. So a roast cauliflower — the vegan hero of the 2010s — gets perked up by XO sauce and cacao nibs; grilled carrot sits atop a base of bulgur and quinoa.

5. Mystic Börek

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Spasia Dinkovski’s hypnotising spirals of burnished pastry don’t just look like what they are — börek from the gods — but the rings on a tree trunk, showing the ancestral traditions that she so lovingly details alongside the pies themselves on Instagram. After a sold-out lockdown, a new kitchen, website, and delivery system are in the offing, with new börek dropping every other Wednesday at 1 p.m.

6. Peppeckish @ The Hill Station

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The Hill Station, Kitto Rd
London SE14 5TW, UK
Wednesday nights only
Visit Website

Guiseppe Comino is still cooking some of the best Italian food in London, but he’s adapted his residency on Telegraph Hill to a new home at the Hill Station Cafe, sticking to the Wednesday night schedule that he’d made his own before COVID-19 hit. Deliveries are continuing on Fridays in the local area.

7. Passa Passa @ Tola

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56 Peckham High St
London SE15 5DP, UK
https://www.instagram.com/passapassalondon/
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Chef Zae Millen takes over Noodle Neighbour at Tola on Peckham High Street with a range of Afro-Caribbean dishes, served Tuesday — Saturday. Snackable small plates like suya skewers, saltfish fritters with plantain ketchup, and cured halibut with scoth bonnet chilli might precede a generous prawn taco platter, or flat iron steak with curried delica pumpkin and green sauce.

8. Matsudai Ramen

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21 Stephen St
London W1T 1LN, UK
20 October — 21 November, Thursday — Saturday
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This popular Cardiff-based ramen joint is popping up from October - November, Thursday through Saturday, with a range of styles including lighter shoyu, creamy tonkotsu, and the heat of tantanmen. There’s also a collaboration with Nigel Ng’s “Uncle Roger,” based around Minora Yoshimura’s leikei-style ramen.

1. Kamienko’s Bagels

London E8, UK

Former head chef at Shoreditch’s Leroy, Sam Kamienko has developed a winning sideline in baking bagels, getting on a bike, and biking the bagels around London. He’s since expanded his repertoire and is popping up at market stalls all over town — keep an eye on Instagram for the latest news.

2. Newgate Studio

Islington, London, UK

Coco Kwok’s cooking — and documenting of that cooking under @newgatestudio Instagram handle — is a gentle kind of mesmeric. Clams bob in their water, with a sandcastle of anchovy seasoning; placid pies recall time at St. John; omelettes that lazily twist around each other like boomerangs. Sometimes find it at Meletius Coffee in Angel, where a menu of hot: grilled pork shoulder or velvet crab rice wrapped in lotus leaf; cold: cured sea bass in buttermilk, or master stock pig ears or tofu; and green: with cured beef fat dripping, lemon, and chicory reads and eats beautifully. Other times, DM for takeaway via Instagram.

Islington
London, UK

3. Liu Xiaomian Marylebone

The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews, London W1G 7EQ, UK

Charlene Liu and Liu Qian specialise in bowls of xiǎomiàn in broths heavy with Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, soy, sesame paste, ginger, and a signature chilli oil. Minced pork, yellow peas, and water spinach are typical toppings, with the dish traditionally eaten for breakfast in Chongqing; glass noodles made from sweet potato starch are also available for a slippy, chewier textural alternative.

The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews
London W1G 7EQ, UK

4. Tendril - A (mostly) vegan kitchen

21 Great Pulteney St, West End, London W1F 9NG, UK

Tendril is chef Rishim Sachdeva’s riposte to the stereotype that Indian chefs should only be cooking Indian food. A “mostly vegan” kitchen, Sachdeva develops dishes by centering one ingredient, before layering up different iterations of it with complimentary flavours. So a roast cauliflower — the vegan hero of the 2010s — gets perked up by XO sauce and cacao nibs; grilled carrot sits atop a base of bulgur and quinoa.

21 Great Pulteney St, West End
London W1F 9NG, UK

5. Mystic Börek

London, UK

Spasia Dinkovski’s hypnotising spirals of burnished pastry don’t just look like what they are — börek from the gods — but the rings on a tree trunk, showing the ancestral traditions that she so lovingly details alongside the pies themselves on Instagram. After a sold-out lockdown, a new kitchen, website, and delivery system are in the offing, with new börek dropping every other Wednesday at 1 p.m.

6. Peppeckish @ The Hill Station

The Hill Station, Kitto Rd, London SE14 5TW, UK

Guiseppe Comino is still cooking some of the best Italian food in London, but he’s adapted his residency on Telegraph Hill to a new home at the Hill Station Cafe, sticking to the Wednesday night schedule that he’d made his own before COVID-19 hit. Deliveries are continuing on Fridays in the local area.

The Hill Station, Kitto Rd
London SE14 5TW, UK

7. Passa Passa @ Tola

56 Peckham High St, London SE15 5DP, UK

Chef Zae Millen takes over Noodle Neighbour at Tola on Peckham High Street with a range of Afro-Caribbean dishes, served Tuesday — Saturday. Snackable small plates like suya skewers, saltfish fritters with plantain ketchup, and cured halibut with scoth bonnet chilli might precede a generous prawn taco platter, or flat iron steak with curried delica pumpkin and green sauce.

56 Peckham High St
London SE15 5DP, UK

8. Matsudai Ramen

21 Stephen St, London W1T 1LN, UK

This popular Cardiff-based ramen joint is popping up from October - November, Thursday through Saturday, with a range of styles including lighter shoyu, creamy tonkotsu, and the heat of tantanmen. There’s also a collaboration with Nigel Ng’s “Uncle Roger,” based around Minora Yoshimura’s leikei-style ramen.

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