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Red mullet and green sauce at St. John Marylebone
Red mullet and green sauce at St. John Marylebone.
Sam Harris/St. John

The Hottest New Restaurants in London, December 2022

Where to eat in the capital right now

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Red mullet and green sauce at St. John Marylebone.
| Sam Harris/St. John

More often than not, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favourite chef just launched their hyped new spot: the “it” places of the moment.

Here’s where to find the heat in London as frosts descend for December.

Added December 2022: Straker’s

Added November 2022: All Kaps, Mr Ji, Evernight, and St. John Marylebone

Added October 2022: Speedboat, Crisp Pizza

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All Kaps at Papo’s Bagels

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London has seen much violence against America’s regional pizza vernacular — just ask anyone who has ever been lured in by the promise of “Detroit-style” anywhere in the city and run away crying afterwards. But All Kaps is a pleasing reversal to that trend, where Mid-Atlantic via Sicily tomato pie is puffed and pillowy, and the thinner crust slices pass the bend test. Best of all, the riffy, improvisational whole pizzas, which may be topped with, for example, teriyaki chicken; or duck confit, leek, and cornichons, are done with aplomb.

This new wine bar and restaurant in Newington Green brings two of the most respected pourers in the city — Tom Beattie and Francis Roberts — back to the bar, after leaving P. Franco and Bright respectively to set up an importer. Joined by George Jephson’s architecturally marvellous paté en croute, and former St. John, Flor, and Auberge de Chassinolles chef Jamie Smart’s soigné cooking, it’s a wonderful maturation for London’s natural wine scene.

The Quarter Kitchen

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This is a serious Mexican breakfast kiosk in a Hackney churchyard. Max Fishman, owner of the Quarter Store wine shop and provisioner on Mare Street, has installed chef Rodrigo Cervantes, originally from Mexico City but who has recently cut his teeth at a raft of London’s hottest restaurants, including Smoking Goat, Koya, and Rita’s. The result is a breakfast taco of charred salsa roja, a hash brown, fried egg and four rashers of good smoked bacon glazed with maple syrup and sugar; a breakfast burrito to fortify any morning, and come lunch, gorditas.

The Tamil Prince

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Executive chef Prince Durairaj and general manager Glen Leeson of this new Islington pub met at Euston institution Roti King, and have joined forces to evolve the deep London tradition of the desi pub. Drinking food like okra fries and chicken lollipops sits alongside dishes from Durariraj’s Tamil Nadu background, designed to be ordered by the boatload with pints aplenty.

TĀ TĀ Eatery’s Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, together with restaurateur Samuel Haim, have relocated their innovative, experimental Taiwanese restaurant and natural wine bar from Soho to Camden, without losing any of its playful creativity. A menu brims with stuff one wants to eat: rich, toasted brioche box filled with velvety prawns in a bechamel sauce with sweetcorn and showered with Parmesan; the O’JI, a fried chicken breast with chilli sprinkles, piccalilli mayo, and golden kimchi; double-cooked daikon cake with shiitake and garlic soy paste; and a new cult dish: the dome of fried rice with king prawns in a pool of hot and sour soup.

Honey & Co. Bloomsbury

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After vacating their cosy premises on Warren Street in the spring, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer have reimagined Honey & Co’s flagship — a similarly warm, welcoming. now-larger cafe-dining room on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Smart and imaginative dishes, like a mackerel salad with potato, pickled celery, harissa, and preserved lemon; or a crisped lamb shoulder with crushed fresh peas, rocket, mint, feta, and urfa butter demonstrate both chef’s continued commitment to tradition, innovation, and deliciousness. Don’t sleep on first-rate freshly baked pita and a spectacular range of cakes and sweet, spiced bakes.

St. John Marylebone

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The old ones are the best, some say. St. John — with institutions in Smithfield and Spitalfields — remains among London’s very best restaurants, for its inimitable sense of identity and style as much as what it puts on plates or in glasses. The newest member of the family is now open in Marylebone and exists in the same utilitarian image — a sleek dining room of zinc bars and white washed walls where guests can order dishes like fried sea bass with braised fennel; deep-fried lozenges of Welsh rarebit “croquettes”; onion soup; cold roast mallard; barley, mushrooms, and Spenwood; and whiskey and shortbread. A menu for autumns and winters, and a restaurant for all seasons.

Eyal Shani’s madcap, parodic, frequently ludicrous pita enterprise has arrived in London, and it’s getting weird from day one. The evocative slash cringe menu confers “naked tomatoes” that are of good quality; a carbfest of a cottage pie pita, and some solid hummus. It fits Soho well, even if the vibe may prove something of an acquired taste.

Speedboat Bar

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Chef and grower Luke Farrell’s second restaurant is a full-throttle bar and restaurant inspired by Yaowarat Road in Bangkok. Upstairs, a pool table, central bar, Thai sports memorabilia, and YouTube videos of speedboat racing play on a large screen. Downstairs, it is quieter and a little more sedate, but in both spaces Londoners can now find some of the most intense, flavourful, and sensory Thai cooking in the city: The tom yam mama, based on a late-night concoction of Mama brand instant noodles, pork, squid, lime and herbal fragrance of coriander and basils, pocked with chilli oil is the centre piece ,designed for sharing. But the selfish can have a very good time here too — with curries (fried mackerel is a marvel) or drunkard noodles, which uses Chinatown standby Lo’s for ho fun. Drinking snacks, including ceviches and and crispy chicken skin are the perfect foil for a range of similarly sharp drinks. Speedboat is a trip.

Crisp Pizza at The Chancellors

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A new style of pizza is having a bit of a moment in London: Closer relatives to the American slice-joint style “pies” — necessarily different (drier, and, well, crispier) than the sloppier, more saucy Neapolitan version which has dominated the London pizza scene for over a decade — are here and hyped. The aptly named Crisp Pizza (for Crisp street as well as the base and crust, presumably) is serving this style, on the well done side (don’t tell him), with a range of classic toppings, like pepperoni with mozzarella and tomato; or fennel sausage, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, chilli flakes, lemon and Burrata, Wednesday through to Saturday (evenings) and Sunday 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Chancellors pub, W6.

Evernight

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Ex-Laughing Heart chef, Lynus Lim is joined by Two Lights’s Chase Lovecky at this ambitious Japanese restaurant in the shadow of the American embassy at the Nine Elms development. It calls itself a “modern izakaya,” owing to its use of a grill and service of skewers, but this is a fine-dining restaurant more than it is a pub, modern or not. Yet, there is an informality to the format of a menu exhibiting a tidy edit from across the full gambit of Japanese cuisine: Torbay shrimp futomaki; chawanmushi of smoked eel and cep; chicken hearts and shiso; crab dumpling, with suimono, and cockles.

Toad Bakery

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Rebecca Spaven and Oliver Costello had time to hone Frog as a pop-up before opening this first bakery on Peckham Road, it’s true. But it remains rare that a debut, particularly in this finicky field, opens with such aplomb that it’s immediately challenging the best of the best in the city for supremacy. A bear claw made savoury with chipotle beef and adobo; an asparagus, Baron Bigod, and Coppa croissant; and a strawberry and elderflower croissant are early stars.

The new menu at Mambow, which had to close its former “bowl food” guise in 2020, is more self-consciously Malaysian, with a focus on Nyonya dishes and varied curries from the different parts of the country. Chef-owner Abby Lee cooks a black pepper chicken curry from the Perak region with the fragrance of Sarawak peppercorn, alongside the tamarind-sour, bracing heat of asam pedas, which derives from Minangkabau and Malay cuisines. There’s also a nifty modish touch to some of the dishes: A Hainanese chicken sando, only available at lunch, which features poached chicken, ginger and spring onion oil, kewpie mayo, chicken fat chilli vinegar, fried onions, and cucumber.

Straker’s

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Thomas Straker is probably most widely known for his ability to turn compound butters into fine quenelles of content on TikTok, but before all that he was a chef at the likes of the Ledbury and Dinner by Heston. He’s now a nearish neighbour to the former on Golborne Road, with an absolutely thronged restaurant of his own, serving a rotating cast of Now That’s What I Call Small Plates pop classics.

All Kaps at Papo’s Bagels

London has seen much violence against America’s regional pizza vernacular — just ask anyone who has ever been lured in by the promise of “Detroit-style” anywhere in the city and run away crying afterwards. But All Kaps is a pleasing reversal to that trend, where Mid-Atlantic via Sicily tomato pie is puffed and pillowy, and the thinner crust slices pass the bend test. Best of all, the riffy, improvisational whole pizzas, which may be topped with, for example, teriyaki chicken; or duck confit, leek, and cornichons, are done with aplomb.

Cadet

This new wine bar and restaurant in Newington Green brings two of the most respected pourers in the city — Tom Beattie and Francis Roberts — back to the bar, after leaving P. Franco and Bright respectively to set up an importer. Joined by George Jephson’s architecturally marvellous paté en croute, and former St. John, Flor, and Auberge de Chassinolles chef Jamie Smart’s soigné cooking, it’s a wonderful maturation for London’s natural wine scene.

The Quarter Kitchen

This is a serious Mexican breakfast kiosk in a Hackney churchyard. Max Fishman, owner of the Quarter Store wine shop and provisioner on Mare Street, has installed chef Rodrigo Cervantes, originally from Mexico City but who has recently cut his teeth at a raft of London’s hottest restaurants, including Smoking Goat, Koya, and Rita’s. The result is a breakfast taco of charred salsa roja, a hash brown, fried egg and four rashers of good smoked bacon glazed with maple syrup and sugar; a breakfast burrito to fortify any morning, and come lunch, gorditas.

The Tamil Prince

Executive chef Prince Durairaj and general manager Glen Leeson of this new Islington pub met at Euston institution Roti King, and have joined forces to evolve the deep London tradition of the desi pub. Drinking food like okra fries and chicken lollipops sits alongside dishes from Durariraj’s Tamil Nadu background, designed to be ordered by the boatload with pints aplenty.

Mr Ji

TĀ TĀ Eatery’s Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, together with restaurateur Samuel Haim, have relocated their innovative, experimental Taiwanese restaurant and natural wine bar from Soho to Camden, without losing any of its playful creativity. A menu brims with stuff one wants to eat: rich, toasted brioche box filled with velvety prawns in a bechamel sauce with sweetcorn and showered with Parmesan; the O’JI, a fried chicken breast with chilli sprinkles, piccalilli mayo, and golden kimchi; double-cooked daikon cake with shiitake and garlic soy paste; and a new cult dish: the dome of fried rice with king prawns in a pool of hot and sour soup.

Honey & Co. Bloomsbury

After vacating their cosy premises on Warren Street in the spring, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer have reimagined Honey & Co’s flagship — a similarly warm, welcoming. now-larger cafe-dining room on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Smart and imaginative dishes, like a mackerel salad with potato, pickled celery, harissa, and preserved lemon; or a crisped lamb shoulder with crushed fresh peas, rocket, mint, feta, and urfa butter demonstrate both chef’s continued commitment to tradition, innovation, and deliciousness. Don’t sleep on first-rate freshly baked pita and a spectacular range of cakes and sweet, spiced bakes.

St. John Marylebone

The old ones are the best, some say. St. John — with institutions in Smithfield and Spitalfields — remains among London’s very best restaurants, for its inimitable sense of identity and style as much as what it puts on plates or in glasses. The newest member of the family is now open in Marylebone and exists in the same utilitarian image — a sleek dining room of zinc bars and white washed walls where guests can order dishes like fried sea bass with braised fennel; deep-fried lozenges of Welsh rarebit “croquettes”; onion soup; cold roast mallard; barley, mushrooms, and Spenwood; and whiskey and shortbread. A menu for autumns and winters, and a restaurant for all seasons.

Miznon

Eyal Shani’s madcap, parodic, frequently ludicrous pita enterprise has arrived in London, and it’s getting weird from day one. The evocative slash cringe menu confers “naked tomatoes” that are of good quality; a carbfest of a cottage pie pita, and some solid hummus. It fits Soho well, even if the vibe may prove something of an acquired taste.

Speedboat Bar

Chef and grower Luke Farrell’s second restaurant is a full-throttle bar and restaurant inspired by Yaowarat Road in Bangkok. Upstairs, a pool table, central bar, Thai sports memorabilia, and YouTube videos of speedboat racing play on a large screen. Downstairs, it is quieter and a little more sedate, but in both spaces Londoners can now find some of the most intense, flavourful, and sensory Thai cooking in the city: The tom yam mama, based on a late-night concoction of Mama brand instant noodles, pork, squid, lime and herbal fragrance of coriander and basils, pocked with chilli oil is the centre piece ,designed for sharing. But the selfish can have a very good time here too — with curries (fried mackerel is a marvel) or drunkard noodles, which uses Chinatown standby Lo’s for ho fun. Drinking snacks, including ceviches and and crispy chicken skin are the perfect foil for a range of similarly sharp drinks. Speedboat is a trip.

Crisp Pizza at The Chancellors

A new style of pizza is having a bit of a moment in London: Closer relatives to the American slice-joint style “pies” — necessarily different (drier, and, well, crispier) than the sloppier, more saucy Neapolitan version which has dominated the London pizza scene for over a decade — are here and hyped. The aptly named Crisp Pizza (for Crisp street as well as the base and crust, presumably) is serving this style, on the well done side (don’t tell him), with a range of classic toppings, like pepperoni with mozzarella and tomato; or fennel sausage, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, chilli flakes, lemon and Burrata, Wednesday through to Saturday (evenings) and Sunday 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Chancellors pub, W6.

Evernight

Ex-Laughing Heart chef, Lynus Lim is joined by Two Lights’s Chase Lovecky at this ambitious Japanese restaurant in the shadow of the American embassy at the Nine Elms development. It calls itself a “modern izakaya,” owing to its use of a grill and service of skewers, but this is a fine-dining restaurant more than it is a pub, modern or not. Yet, there is an informality to the format of a menu exhibiting a tidy edit from across the full gambit of Japanese cuisine: Torbay shrimp futomaki; chawanmushi of smoked eel and cep; chicken hearts and shiso; crab dumpling, with suimono, and cockles.

Toad Bakery

Rebecca Spaven and Oliver Costello had time to hone Frog as a pop-up before opening this first bakery on Peckham Road, it’s true. But it remains rare that a debut, particularly in this finicky field, opens with such aplomb that it’s immediately challenging the best of the best in the city for supremacy. A bear claw made savoury with chipotle beef and adobo; an asparagus, Baron Bigod, and Coppa croissant; and a strawberry and elderflower croissant are early stars.

Mambow

The new menu at Mambow, which had to close its former “bowl food” guise in 2020, is more self-consciously Malaysian, with a focus on Nyonya dishes and varied curries from the different parts of the country. Chef-owner Abby Lee cooks a black pepper chicken curry from the Perak region with the fragrance of Sarawak peppercorn, alongside the tamarind-sour, bracing heat of asam pedas, which derives from Minangkabau and Malay cuisines. There’s also a nifty modish touch to some of the dishes: A Hainanese chicken sando, only available at lunch, which features poached chicken, ginger and spring onion oil, kewpie mayo, chicken fat chilli vinegar, fried onions, and cucumber.

Straker’s

Thomas Straker is probably most widely known for his ability to turn compound butters into fine quenelles of content on TikTok, but before all that he was a chef at the likes of the Ledbury and Dinner by Heston. He’s now a nearish neighbour to the former on Golborne Road, with an absolutely thronged restaurant of his own, serving a rotating cast of Now That’s What I Call Small Plates pop classics.

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