The new London restaurants to try in June 2024 (2024)

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These are the best new London restaurants to book this month

By Olivia Morelli

The new London restaurants to try in June 2024 (2)

We've always got one eye on any new restaurants opening on the London food scene. Our editors are on the ball for the latest openings in each London neighbourhood, from Covent Garden restaurants to Shoreditch hotspots. For the ultimate list of places to eat in the city, check out our definitive guide to London's best restaurants. These are the places that we consider the crème de la crème, from generations-old spots that have stood the test of time and Michelin-starred dining rooms that get better each year to mind-blowing new openings from this list that we decided deserved a spot on the ultimate round-up of the best restaurants in London.

For new restaurants opening in London this year, we can expect follow-ups from some of the city's biggest-name chefs. In January, Tom Sellers will reopen Restaurant Story after closing for a multi-million-pound renovation, while Claude Bosi will open Lyonnaise restaurant Josephine. Later in the year, Endo Kazutoshi will open a rooftop sushi spot at The OWO and Akira Back will helm the restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair.

How we choose the tastiest new restaurant openings in London

The best new restaurants in London are the most exciting places to eat that have just opened in the capital city. Ranging from small affairs with daily changing menus from up-and-coming chefs to Michelin-starred spots with fresh new menus, these are London's new restaurants we've got our eye on right now.

Every restaurant on this list has been selected independently by our editors and written by a Condé Nast Traveller journalist who knows the destination and has eaten at that restaurant. When choosing new restaurants, our editors consider both high-end and affordable eateries that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination. We’re always looking for stand-out dishes, a great location, warm service, and serious sustainability credentials. We update this list regularly as new restaurants open in London.

Best new London restaurants in June 2024

Akira Back at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London

Akira Back, Mayfair

Akira Back’s been biding his time. The celebrated chef has been putting his Korean heritage, Colorado upbringing and experience in the world’s best Japanese restaurants into practice for some time now; restaurants include those in Paris’ Prince de Galles Hotel and one in Beverly Hills’ Beverly Center. So where better to launch his latest concept than London’s Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, officially London’s glitziest new hotel? The 148-cover restaurant is a sight to behold. Tokyo-based studio Curiosity led the design efforts, creating a sleek dining space flooded with natural light through the atrium. The emerald-green Ming marble spiral staircase is a strong contender for the capital’s most dramatic entrance. Fresh sushi and sashimi bites fly out of the open kitchen, where stealthy specialists slice through fish with surgical precision. The miso black cod dissolves in the mouth like a foam, while a stand-out was the gochujang rock shrimp – sweet and spicy with a homely, familial feel. While our visit was a lip-smacking one on the whole, a few dishes failed to hit the mark. These included the eringi pizza – a tortilla-style base topped with sliced mushrooms and umami aioli, and a texturally confusing seaweed salad. However, audible hums and lip-licking nods of approval at other tables made it clear not everyone shared this sentiment, so perhaps a clash of preferences. A spread of technicolour desserts was the perfect way to end the night, including a souffle-like pot of warming sponge with a banana kick, and a tart raspberry slice that wouldn’t look out of place in the Tate. Connor Sturges

Address: Akira Back London, 22 Hanover Square, London W1S 1JP
Price: £££
Book now

Chez Roux in the Palm Court at The LanghamRaffaella Bichiri

Chez Roux, Marylebone

When Michel Roux Jr declared he was closing the doors of his beloved Le Gavroche after 56 years, a gasp ricocheted across London. But soon after, the legendary chef broke the news of a fresh venture – Chez Roux. Here, he's looking back to his childhood in Kent. The restaurant is set in the Palm Court of The Langham Hotel in Fitzrovia, a glossy spot with sparkling chandeliers, leather banquettes and silvery hues. Food served here blends British classics with Roux’s famed French cooking techniques. “Many of the recipes that graced tables in the ’60s have faded into obscurity, yet the essence of those dishes holds a special place in my heart – with a hint of nostalgia and boundless excitement,” the menu’s front page welcome from the chef reads. This nostalgia is reflected in dishes such as Welsh rarebit with French mustard, Montgomery cheddar and pickled walnuts; salmon rillettes on a bed of Jersey Royals and leeks, and – the star of the tasting menu – a Buccleuch beef fillet with the creamiest Colcannon mash. For drinks, start with a glass of fizz (the Hambledon Classic Cuvée is delightful) or a co*cktail aperitif (the Madeira Cobbler is like a fruity starter in itself), and round off with a dessert wine to pair with the Stichelton and Pitchfork cheese course or the creamy vanilla rice pudding served tableside and topped with crystallised pistachios and a red currant coulis. If you’re craving classic comfort food cooked with flair and finished with a flourish, this is the place to book. Olivia Morelli

Address: 1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA
Price: £££
Book now

Best new London restaurants in May 2024

Chashu pork ramen ravioli at Kioku by Endo

Kioku by Endo, Whitehall

Few places are as grand and historically significant as the OWO; the building screams London, from the turrets to the sweeping staircases. The OWO is home to nine restaurants, and we’re here to try Creative Restaurant Group's newest venture, Kioku by Endo. We escape the relentless rain and grab a seat at Kioku Bar for a pre-dinner tipple. The dreariness of the day dissipates as we get talking to the mixologist –a passionate, driven Italian bartender –who encourages me to order the Yuzu. The co*cktail is silky, citrusy and easily one of the best I’ve had in a long while. The minutes quickly pass, and we find ourselves ushered to the elevator and headed to the rooftop restaurant. Clean lines, natural materials and a subdued colour palette define this elegant space, and lest we forget the endless views of Big Ben and Parliament. There’s a bustling open kitchen plan that overlooks the dining space, allowing guests to see first-hand the detailed precision with which the team works. Kioku translates to ‘memory’, and Michelin-starred Chef Endo Kazutoshi has worked to reflect his history in the menu, invoking nostalgia through each dish. We’re encouraged to try the Tasting Menu to experience the breadth of the menu, ranging from a nigiri selection of bluefin tuna, yellowtail and trout to an aged monkfish paired with smoked eel, ginger sauce and a potato rosti. The scallops with grilled radicchio are deliciously fresh, and the smoky and citrus notes create a lovely balance of flavours, while the beetroot salad with blackcurrant is perfectly earthy and sweet. The duck breast melts in your mouth, singing with umami and complemented beautifully by a zingy hispi cabbage. We move on to pudding – the twig tea créme brûlée with cream cheese ice cream officially becoming my favourite dessert of the year –salty, sweet and dead tasty. Kioku by Endo will undoubtedly be the talk of the town this year. Spectacular food aside, the team and servers are warm, passionate and engaged, making for an evening well spent. Amber Port

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Address: Sixth Floor, The OWO, 2 Whitehall Pl, London SW1A 2BD
Price: £££
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Beth Evans

Lita, Marylebone

The vibes are high even from the outside of Lita, a beautiful and buzzy newcomer to Marylebone. I’m here on London’s first coat-free evening of the year, and the doors to Lita – the name comes from ‘abuelita’ – have cleverly vanished, with packed tables speckled with coupe glasses spilling out onto the sunny street. Inside there’s just as much sunny jour de vive to bask in under the exposed wooden joists, with a hive of The Bear-esque “chef, yes chef!” energy coming from the open kitchen. The open-standing fire grill is a form of carnivorous entertainment in itself, as chefs impressively manoeuvre gargantuan hunks of Galician beef and Peak District T-Bones on the racks. The seasonally-led menu meets elegantly rustic decor concept – all mahogany velvet banquettes and terracotta tile herringbone floors – comes via Irish chef Luke Ahearne, formerly head chef at Corrigan’s Mayfair. The menu ventures towards southern Europe – sharing plates of smoked Basque sardines swimming in an oily vinaigrette pool and fish-finger-sized chunks of Fuentes Bluefin tuna cocooned in zesty layers of corno peppers, coriander and capers. The sourdough bread is pillow-thick, best ordered with the summer-in-Spain topping of pan con tomate and Cantarian anchovy. Seafood is a highlight here, from the St Austell mussels and Cornish co*ckles in the linguine to the wild South Coast seabass. This fish finale is the whole Cornish turbo, all 1.3kg and £130 price tag, and one to share between a group. Although between the cracking co*cktail menu and the cosy booths, Lita feels like it best lends itself to a romantic meal for two. One that should end on a sugar-high note via one of the pretty puddings – the Gariguette strawberry mille-feuille and the deconstructed Amalfi lemon meringue pie was just as much of a highlight as the mains. Lauren Burvill

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Address: 7-9 Paddington Street, London W1U 5QH
Price: £££
Book now

July, FitzroviaSafia Shakarchi

July, Fitzrovia

There is something immensely satisfying when you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a new favourite restaurant. This cutesy neighbourhood spot has that understated European feel so many London restaurants strive for, but few manage to pull off. Patchwork tiles set the tone for the interiors – serotonin-boosting primary colours come alive in the sunlight streaming in from the front windows, with canary yellow banquettes, red leather stools, and light-blue tables. Come sundown, delve further into the restaurant where moody low-lighting and candlelit tables create a more romantic setting. The menu is Alsace-inspired, blending recipes and techniques from France, Germany and Switzerland to suit the seasons – think deep-fried French cheese with cornichons and new potatoes drizzled with brown butter, braised sausages with a creamy mustard and bean mash with sauerkraut and perfectly flakey smoked trout with creamed nettle and horseradish. Dishes are simple but elegant and thoughtful – you’ll find no unnecessary flourishes or extravagant plating, just unpretentious, delicious cooking. The restaurant doubles as a wine bar, with an excellent array of whites, reds, ambers, sparkling and dessert wine, plus some innovative co*cktails like a melon negroni or a walnut old fashioned. It’s uncomplicated European hospitality at its most delightful. Olivia Morelli

Address: 10 Charlotte Street, W1T 2LT
Price: ££
Book now

ABC Kitchens at The Emory@lateef.photography

ABC Kitchens, Belgravia

Flavour leads the way at ABC Kitchens, the new restaurant led by Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the much-anticipated hotel opening Emory in Knightsbridge. The London iteration is said to be an amalgamation of all three ABC Kitchens in New York, but as a first-time diner, I had little expectation ahead of my visit during the week of opening. What immediately struck me was the lack of gimmicks here; just a focus on outstanding ingredients and overwhelming taste. The menu is – like many in London – made up of sharing plates, but given the number of dishes that appealed at first glance, that was no bad thing. We started our meal with spring pea guacamole, which turned out to be a highlight thanks to the freshness of the ingredients. Other memorable dishes included the sea scallop tartare (again, a wave of fresh flavours), the beet carpaccio – which was so beautifully colourful it almost looked like art – and the shrimp, with a wonderful sprinkling of crispy garlic, served in a sauce you’ll want to mop up with a slice of bread. This was truly a menu that made deciding difficult, and for that reason, I’d recommend visiting ABC Kitchens with a few friends to give you more chances to try a little taste of everything. The vibe lends itself to casual group dining, with its cool but laid-back decor (led by artwork from Damien Hirst) and chic, low-lighting once the sun goes down. If you’re unsure where to begin, lean on the expertise of the staff and sommeliers; despite this being a new opening, they’re extremely clued-up and only too happy to share their favourites with you. Oh, and as stuffed as you might feel, don’t skip dessert – the salted caramel ice cream sundae, topped with homemade sugar swirl, was finished off in a few spoonfuls. Abigail Malbon

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Address: The Emory, Old Barrack Yard, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7NP
Price: £££
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OMAGilles Draps

Oma, Borough Market

It’s no easy task introducing a new restaurant to Borough Market. The food market is one of London’s oldest, and each new foodie hotspot that opens up is subject to the criticism of the hordes of weekend foodies searching for the next best thing. But if anyone knows a thing or two about how to cause a buzz in the London food scene, it's David Carter (Smokestak founder and co-founder of Manteca, two of the capital’s best-loved restaurants). Along with a team of chefs from the likes of Sabor, Kiln and E5 Bakehouse, Carter has created a menu of Greek-inspired dishes that bring the flavour of summer and the sea to central London. Inside, tables are arranged around an open kitchen, with flickering candles casting a romantic glow over the pared-back dining room. Dishes are split into sections: spreads for dipping fluffy hunks of bread into, crudo for zingy bowls of fresh fish, small plates and skewers for those who like to share and larger plates for those who’d rather not. The chalkstream trout tartare was a highlight, with sweet datterini tomatoes and pink fish offset with peppery red onions and a zesty, cheek-pinching dressing (I could drink bowls of the stuff); as was the spring asparagus skewer, with a wild garlic pesto and heaped shavings of Greek graviera cheese. Wine is also a focal point here – the restaurant has close to 500 bottles on offer, each fizzing with coastal minerals from Greek shorelines, and plenty of fresh, skin-contact and pink options to boot. For a reliable date night spot with delicious sharing plates (though you may fight over the last bite), Oma is the place to book. Olivia Morelli

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Address: 2-4 Bedale St, London SE1 9AL
Price: ££
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Arlington, St. James's

“Have you been to Arlington yet?” must be one of the most asked questions in London at the moment. Those who can say “yes” do so with more than a hint of pride; those who can't return to frantically refreshing the website hoping to bag one of the hottest tables in town. The hype around this restaurant is unsurprising – it’s the homecoming of a beloved London legend. Jeremy King opened Le Caprice behind The Ritz at 20 Arlington Street with Chris Corbin in 1981. Forty years later, after opening several of London’s most famed restaurants, including The Ivy, J Sheekey, and Colbert, he returned to open Arlington. It’s as buzzy and brilliant as ever, with Jeremy moving ever so coolly between tables, greeting guests, royalty and rockstars like old friends (as many of them are). A thoroughly modern engine underpins art-deco elegance, the very best of a bygone era of the London restaurant scene masterfully refreshed for a new reign. The menu is bursting with British and European classics, including salmon fishcakes with sorrel sauce, shepherd’s pie and beer-battered haddock and chips. The bang bang chicken and crispy duck and watercress salad are the perfect warm-up acts – light, refreshing and fragrant, best enjoyed with an ice-cold glass of Cote de Provence rosé. The service is faultless, reassuringly weighty plates placed delicately with an ‘A’ perfectly positioned at the top. “This restaurant is fundamental to my history; it is in my DNA, my very soul”, declares Jeremy. Aren't we lucky that he also wants it to be part of his future. Louisa Parker Bowles

Address: 20 Arlington Street, St. James's, London SW1A 1RG
Price: £££
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Lobster at The Cocochine

The Cocochine, Mayfair

It’s no easy feat to bag a Mayfair address. Locals and visitors alike are familiar with the grand storefronts lining Bond Street, so you can imagine our surprise when we turned onto a quiet mews in the heart of London searching for The Cocochine. We walked by the restaurant not once but twice before noticing the understated entry – a deep red awning framed by the warm glow of Mayfair’s newest address.

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Cocochine is the love child of Sri Lankan-born Chef Larry Jayasekara and Hamiltons Gallery owner Tim Jefferies. And love child it is. It is apparent to us that each detail in this four-story townhouse was painstakingly considered; bespoke lighting to minimise shadows, a hand-painted mosaic inspired by Guido Mocafico and leather handrails that match that of the steak knives. The first floor is an intimate space where diners can enjoy an a la carte menu, while the second floor is home to the chef’s counter. Diners can sip on a glass of a Burgundy in the basem*nt-slash-wine cellar, while the top floor is a private event space equipped with a kitchen, dining table and sumptuous couches.

We start with an array of off-menu canapés before moving on to the starters. The Orkney Island scallops with creamy pumpkin and a zingy elderflower sauce is the star, as was the melt-in-your-mouth Otoro topped with caviar. Next is the bread course, a soft, steaming bun with the taste and smell of comforting French onion soup. The mains included 40-day-aged beef sirloin with razor clams and, my favourite, the dry-aged wild fillet of turbot. We topped it off with a Cocochine chocolate biscuit with caviar and an apple savarin. Cocochine is still ironing out the kinks when it comes to ambience, but there is no arguing that the food and design are masterfully executed. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re a diner in search of a classy Mayfair den. Amber Port

Address: The Cocochine, 27 Bruton Place, London W1J 6NQ
Price: £££
Book now

The Dover, LondonMatt Russell

The Dover, Mayfair

It’s rare for a restaurant to open in Mayfair without making a fuss. The arrival of glitzy new establishments with such a coveted postcode is often documented in real-time across digital tabloid pages as influencers and celebrities funnel in for DJ sets and bottomless bubbles.

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That isn't The Dover's style. Perhaps it’s Martin Kuczmarski’s background as Soho House’s COO or a response to the oversaturation of heavily papped spots in this corner of the capital, but this opening was an understated affair. Three days of ‘friends and family’ sittings were followed by in-the-know diners arriving at the New York-style Italian. They, in turn, spread the news by word of mouth. Arriving on a drizzly April afternoon, we would have walked straight past if it wasn’t for Google Maps leading the way. Heaving the currant-red drape aside unveils a space akin to a Big Apple speakeasy, candlelit tables on either side of a walkway that leads past the bar, a series of dining booths, and finally into the main dining space. Milanese designers Quincoces & Drago took charge of the interiors, a sturdy cocoon of curved American Walnut panelling illuminated by Art Deco lamps and flickering flames.

The bar snacks caught our attention more than the starters. Crispy cigar-sized zucchini and asparagus fritti stand tall on a glass plinth like firewood, shaved black truffle adorns an oozy cheese sauce quattro formaggi and a contender for the prettiest (miniature) hot dog in town stands proud. For the main event: a plump chicken cordon bleu in a pizzaiola sauce, a comfort-sized bowl of spaghetti meatballs, plus sides of mashed potatoes. Dive into the homemade pasta and, for a moment, you’re home, tucked up on the sofa far from the chitter-chatter of W1.

“There’s always room for the best part,” we’re assured as we agonise over the pudding menu. We tested this hypothesis with a zesty slice of baked crème brulée cheesecake and sour cherries. With a whisper of Savinguan Blanc still in our glasses, we retreated once again to the bar with the intention of more Martinis – The Dover's speciality. Connor Sturges

Address: The Dover, 33 Dover Street, London W1S 4NF
Price: £££
Book online

Mimosa, The Langham, LondonBen Carpenter

Mimosa, Marylebone

As I battle my way through the driving rain on what is supposed to be a spring evening in London, in my head I can picture no better place to be than on the sun-soaked French Riviera. Luckily, I’m getting as close as I can by visiting Mimosa, The Langham’s brand-new restaurant. The sister restaurant to its Paris counterpart, which opened in 2021, Mimosa aims to bring the spirit of the South of France and Italian Riviera to the city. As I step into the dining room, I’m enveloped by the warmth and glitz you might associate with such a theme. Opulent marble and dark wood are offset by a towering fig tree and bright, kitschy design details. The menu is an equally opulent and quirky roadmap of the Riviera. We spent many minutes – and a few semi-heated debates – poring over the variety of dishes on offer. Do we opt for the signature Mimosa egg with truffle or bottarga, the sea bream or beef carpaccio? Sidenote: as charming as sharing plates are in concept, it’s important to choose your dining partners wisely to avoid any hangry fallouts. We eventually settled for a wafer-thin beef carpaccio with fried capers, as well as a perfectly pink and plump yellowfin tuna belly with a rich, peppery sauce to start. Next, an unassuming corn-fed coquelet served with thyme, bulbous roasted garlic and lemon had us picking the carcass for every last strip of succulent meat. Buttery and herby crushed potatoes were served in abundance alongside, and a gargantuan meatball swimming in a sweet pomodoro sauce with lashings of stracciatella was really a sight to behold. We washed it all down with a light and lively Beaujolais – a deviation from the southern France theme but a delicious one at that. Finally, as we slumped deeper and deeper into the plush velvet sofa, we decided we had to opt for the original Italian ‘pick me up’, a tiramisu. Served “deconstructed”, we watched as the familiarly rich and decadent layers were pieced together at the table and finished with a flourish of cascading cocoa. While I still don’t really understand the benefit of serving a deconstructed dessert – or any dish for that matter – I can’t deny it was a suitably fun and over-the-top way to finish our dining experience.

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Address: Mimosa, The Langham, London, 1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA
Price: £££
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Best new London restaurants in March 2024

KinkallyZHEZHAKOV

Kink(all)y, Bloomsbury

Georgia-born chef David Chelidze made waves in Moscow with his Modern Georgian restaurant Hedonist. Financier-turned-restaurateur Diana Militski grew up in the States and Russia, a lifelong Georgiaphile. They’ve united for what is Militski’s first project – not that you’d guess it, with the precision passion she exudes. Compact, two-storey Kink(all)y offers Georgian food “but with a kink and a twist on everything”. This traditional cuisine inspires patriotism and change resistance – and this restaurant has taken the just-like-mother-made-it predictability out of the equation – but the Georgian diaspora are already booking out these plain timber tables in their minimalist, moody-dark, downlit setting. It’s a short, curated menu of intense but concentrated passions. It segues from small to larger plates, followed by khinkali (Georgian dumplings) and then one choice of dessert. It’s paired with a trio of natural wines from Georgia, which on the night I visited included the full-bodied, blackcurranty Nicolas Antadze; the orangey, unfiltered Shota Lagazidze (earthiness personified) and Didimi, a crisp and citrusy Krakhuna by slow food and wine hero Ramaz Nikoladze. The small plates are unforgettable. There’s a light, moussy rabbit pate on mazuki Georgian sweet bread with a soupçon of rhubarb and a “Gurian style” six-hour-dehydrated confit-like beetroot (the Georgians usually use cabbage) with Tkemali plum sauce on a ricotta bed with a hint of wild mint. Razer-thin strips of courgette join walnuts and the tartness of cherry dogwood; and a spicy-salty baked aubergine is spiked with ajika, an earthy chilli seasoning, and softened with vanilla matsoni, a fermented Georgian yoghurt. Larger plates included Imeruli flatbread with cheese, lamb chasuli (a sour plum, wine and tarragon casserole) and a pistachio praline. Their twisted dumplings are a switch-up on the standard, chunky versions, being soft, light and delicate, with unusual contents. “It’s a bit controversial,” says Diana. There’s langoustine with tarragon and matsoni, and pumpkin with gorgonzola and amaretto. The dessert of dry persimmon, salted caramel and mascarpone is my favourite of the year. A red-lamp-lit bar is tucked away behind swishy curtains in the basem*nt, the perfect hidden place for a tucked-away date between Wednesdays and Saturdays. co*cktails created by Andrew Pruts, part of the team behind Insider, are twists on classics. I loved their Nomad, a Negroni that switches the Campari for bitters, micro coriander and strawberry. Restaurants don’t normally have me googling flights to Tbilisi, but this one did. Lydia Bell

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Address: 43 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RS
Price: £££
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Sale e PepeJustin De Souza

Sale e Pepe, Knightsbridge

It takes a lot for the utterance of a London restaurant to raise eyebrows and activate envious lip-licking: “How did you get a table?!”. Sale e Pepe is one such address.

The Knightsbridge restaurant opened its doors in 1974 and quickly became synonymous with the Dolce Vita lifestyle and old-school Italian glamour. Priscilla Presley and Rod Stewart are among the superstar Italophiles spotted slurping bucatini and sipping zesty co*cktails in the corners – although staff remain tight-lipped on who they’re expecting to rush through the door. Thesleff Group, which owns Mexican-Japanese hotspot Los Mochis, acquired the restaurant in 2022 and drafted plans to return the glamorous hideout to her former glory. Hamilford Design has led the design efforts, drawing inspiration from classic Italian design found in the townhouses of Milan; midnight blue walls, dressed tables beneath eye-wateringly expensive art, and bronze mirrors stretching the compact in every direction. It’s a facelift sure to be the envy of many fabulous 50-somethings in this part of town.

Is it ‘small plates dining’ if it’s Italian? It’s debatable, but, while the beaming waiter’s encouragement to “order for the table” is an easy feat with a menu so filled with favourites, portions are hearty enough to enjoy a multi-course meal with an a la carte main each. Regardless, share we did, juicy prawns, herby tuna tartare and crispy shards of bread to pierce the plump burrata – the nucleus of a food-fuelled séance in the dimly-lit corner (put phones away or prepare to embrace the embarrassment of the necessary camera flash).

Bubbles flowed, punchy Negronis followed, and we again decorated our table in treats. Cacio e pepe arrived on a wiry pedestal (as it should), the combination of black pepper and rich parmesan triggering a fresh wave of wine orders. My first veal Milanese was a revelation, obligingly coated in a gluten-free crumb to cater for a companion’s intolerance. Pockets of ravioli sat, not swam, in a rich tomato sauce, stuffed with spinach and velvety ricotta. There’s always room for pudding when tiramisu is present, so in we dived, cleansing our tastebuds with zingy limoncello before heading into the night, stuffed and smug that we’d secured a sale a pepe experience before the rest of London discovered its back in business – and better than ever. Connor Sturges

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Address: Sale e Pepe, 9-15 Pavilion Road, London SW1X 0HD
Price: £££
Book online

Josephine

Josephine, Chelsea

My all-time favourite cuisine is French, which is a surprisingly controversial statement to make, especially in a city like London which is full to the gills with pasta and sushi lovers. “You can only eat so much steak,” a friend told me recently. The naysayers, I would venture, don't really know ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠French food, with a misguided impression that all French restaurants are white tablecloth affairs where women in berets daintily work through a steak tartare during a three-hour lunch break. Claude Bosi's newest Fulham Road opening is the perfect place for a re-education. Bosi (of Michelin-starred Bibendum and, more recently, Brooklands at the new Peninsula London) has taken inspiration from his hometown Lyon. “Lyon, gastronomic epicentre of France, and thus the universe, is built on two round hills that stand like salt-and-pepper pots on the vine-green topographic tablecloth of the Rhône valley,” Jonathan Bastable wrote in a feature on the food-obsessed French city a few years back, a line that has stayed with me since I read it. At Josephine, Bosi is stripping things back and drawing on this rich culinary tradition. I admit, I expected these dishes to be given the Michelin treatment – portion sizes reduced, plates prettied up, a foam here or a jús there. But the menu stays joyously true to Bosi's heritage, and the team staunchly avoids refining dishes beyond anything a Lyonnaise grandmother would recognise (Josephine is also named after Bosi's own grand-mère). That means house wine is served by the pot, a 460ml serving in a heavy-bottomed glass bottle, and charged to your bill based on how much you drink, whether that's one glass or three bottles. The £15.50 plat du jour is available Monday to Friday and changes daily; it might be steak haché one day and boeuf bourguignon the next.

We ordered Saint-Félicien cheese souffle, which wobbled delightfully in a rich cheese sauce, and the French onion soup, which was ugly-delicious personified, dark and stodgy and oozing with cheese that pulled from the bowl as we dipped our spoons in. Mains to share include rabbit with mustard and tarragon sauce, served unfussily in a crockpot left on the table for diners to dig into as they please. But when I go back, I'm reordering the saucisson brioche: a soft slice of bread filled with smoky Morteau sausage that transported me straight from Chelsea to the Rhône valley. The brioche, incidentally, is part of the menu du canet, priced at £24.50 for two courses or £29.50 for three. Prices that reasonable anywhere in London are rare these days and, for my money, make Josephine one of the most outrageously decent value-for-money openings of the past 12 months. Of course, you could spend more, racking up the bill with pink-rare steak (delicious) and a smattering of puddings for the table (don't skip the surprisingly light isles flotant, a perfect foil to all those heavy sauces and buttery dishes), if that's your bag. Either way, this is the kind of restaurant you want to lose an afternoon in, and might just – I hope – change the city's mind about French cuisine after all. Sarah James

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Address: Josephine, 315 Fulham Road, SW10 9QH, London
Price: £££
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The Tamil Crown, Islington

The Tamil Crown, Angel

Is the hype about The Tamil Crown – sister restaurant to the nearby The Tamil Prince – warranted? Plenty seem to think so. Entering the pub-meets-Indian gastro delight, I’m faced with bolshy hopefuls trying to score an elusive table anywhere on the premises, whether upstairs in the main dining room or the more casual ground-floor space. Truthfully, I enter every newIndian restaurantwith some caution. So often, they’re designed to suit a Western palate, but being South Indian, I grew up eating food that essentially tastes like fire. So, when ordering the onion bhajis, I instinctively fear the worst and balance that with a vegetarian uttapam, a South Indian pancake I grew up eating. Joyfully, both small plates were the perfectly balanced combination of home cooking with a luxurious twist.

We move to the larger plates which, as a word of warning to the hungry, aren’tthatlarge. But the tamarind-infused aubergine curry, moreish coconut prawn moilee and excellent Thanjavur chicken curry worked beautifully shared between two, with coconut rice (ask for a side of yoghurt to have with it.) The soft, buttery roti tastes like the ultimate flour-based love child of a flaky Malabar paratha and a petal-soft rumali roti. Though nothing is hot or spicy as such, the rich flavours ensure my mouth isn’t left wanting at all.

If you don’t have space for pudding, take a speedy walk around the block and make some. The gulab jamun – or warmdoughnut-like balls - came not in the usual sweet syrup, but in creamy payasam instead, a fragrant traditional south Indian milk-based soup-like pudding infused with cardamom and saffron. Despite being stuffed, it’s impossible to leave a morsel of its evocative and comforting sweetness behind. A week later and I’m already plotting my return. If you love unique flavours, Indian food and a relaxed setting, then this is sure to become your new favourite spot.Anita Bhagwandas

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Address: The Tamil Crown, 16 Elia Street, London N1 8DE
Price: ££
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Mambow, Clapton

Mambow, Clapton

When we talk of young chefs making waves on London’s restaurant scene, Abby Lee’s name won’t be far from in-the-know foodie's lips. Levelling up from her tiny outpost in Peckham, Lee recently brought her exciting modern Malaysian concept north of the river to a sweet spot in oh-so-trendy Lower Clapton. The new, bigger space still only has 20 indoor covers, making securing a table here a little like a game of musical chairs. But boy is it worth it when you do get your foot in the door.

We started things off with the 100+ Sour from their ever-changing co*cktail menu, an innovative take on the classic pisco sour featuring coconut liquor, miso syrup and blackberry. Next up, an array of small plates that ranged from my favourite lor bak – a spicy crispy pork bite that I’ve been dreaming about since – to a nutty grilled banana blossom and prawn toast (almost like a prawn cake) that was unlike any I’ve tasted before. Other highlights included wok-fried mussels with abundant chilli and, the understated winner for me, the black pepper chicken curry. Full to the gills but unwilling to stop consuming, we finished things off with pandang pancakes filled with a sweet toffee-like coconut filling and a coffee ice cream to cut through the sugar.

All-in-all this menu was a delight from start to finish, packed full of surprises and all produced in a tiny kitchen where chefs stand shoulder to shoulder. Despite Mambow's size, Abby Lee and her modern Malaysian restaurant will be stamping a big footprint on the London dining scene. Watch this space. Lucy Bruton

Address: 78 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0RN
Price: ££
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Donia

Donia, Soho

Florence Mae Maglanoc and Omar Shah are on a mission to put Filipino cuisine on the map. Their Maginhawa Group (behind some of London’s popular Filipino and Southeast Asian restaurants, including Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream) has grown exponentially in just six years. If world domination is their plan then we won’t stand in their way, especially when their latest venture, Donia, is serving some of the best food in London right now.

Reassuringly frequented by Filipino diners, this Kingly Court eatery combines Filipino street food concepts with British cooking techniques. The small-plate starters include crunchy croquetas stuffed with pickled mushrooms that are so delicious they had us chomping in silence. Chicken offal skewers (a Filipino street food staple), come with a sweet barbecue glaze and cucumber vinegar dip. Donia’s short menu descriptions undersell the intricacy of dishes such as the prawn and pork dumplings with white crab, which sit on a lovely, surprise pool of brown butter lime sauce sprinkled with divine roe. Diners can’t get enough of the lamb shoulder Caldereta pie, classic Filipino meat stew encased in British-style latticed puff pastry. Another crowd-pleaser, the crispy skinned pork belly, is roasted Léchon-style and accompanied with a sweet peppercorn liver sauce. Equally satisfying is the chicken Inasal – fabulously moist, tender and topped with calamansi pickles.

For seafood lovers, the sea bream with pickled lime, chive and mustard dressing, red chilli slices and dollops of Avocado purée is a treat. Finally, the choux filled with Ube praliné, coconut chantilly and Ube cream seals Maginhawa Group’s reputation for tasty and innovative desserts. A repeat visit feels already overdue. Noo Saro-Wiwa

Address: 2.14 (Top Floor) Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
Price: £££
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Best new London restaurants in January 2024

The Pelican, Notting Hill

Let’s face it, London is not short of buzzy gastro pubs with menus promising to be the one-stop food and drink destination in town. But what so many of these establishments sacrifice somewhere along the face-lift process is their soul, and that’s where The Pelican stands head and shoulders above the rest. Established in 1872, this Notting Hill boozer has earned its reputation as a cornerstone of West London, trying many different hats along the way with its long and storied history. The latest hat has been perfectly placed by restaurateur James Gummer alongside co-owners Phil Winser and Richard Squire who undertook a hefty refurb back in 2022. The resulting space is an understated delight, with a shabby-chic aesthetic, roaring open fire and plenty of cosy nooks and crannies perfect for sipping cool pints while spilling gossip between mouthfuls of bar snacks.

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The success of the refurbishment is made obvious as we force our way through the doors on a bustling Friday night in January. Thankfully, the dining area is tucked away in the back – a snug, candlelit room reminiscent of a French farmhouse kitchen. Aside from the aesthetics, the real heart of the pub's transformation lies, of course, in the food. Helmed by the acclaimed head chef Owen Kenworthy, highlights from the carefully curated menu include succulent bone marrow with a fresh parsley salad (a not-so-subtle ode to the famed St John equivalent), the juiciest of langoustine with lashings of lemon and a crunchy chargrilled King cabbage. The pièce de résistance was a gargantuan black bream dubbed by my very discerning mother, “quite possibly the best fish I’ve ever had”. If you’re feeling hungry the lobster and monkfish pie looked like an absolute triumph. Made for sharing between two to four people, we were too defeatist to make an attempt on this visit, but trust me when I say I'll be back to tuck in – elastic waistband at the ready. Lucy Bruton

Address: 45 All Saints Rd, London W11 1HE
Price: £££
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Restaurant StoryDafydd Ceri Davies

Restaurant Story, Bermondsey

Restaurant Story, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in London Bridge, is open again after a slick multi-million-pound makeover. The new and improved hotspot now has a second floor with a sophisticated private dining space, a cosy nook with a blazing fire and plush velvet seating, and a balcony with a top-notch view of The Shard. Most tables are still downstairs; a bright, modern space which directs all eyes towards the glass-framed kitchen in the corner. Tables are dressed in white linen topped with dainty flowers, with decorative copper birds hanging from above.

Tom Sellers, known for his ability to create playful fine-dining dishes that evoke a sense of nostalgia for diners, is in charge. There's a complex and creative 11-course tasting menu, but guests won't know exactly what they're being served until the dish is placed on the table. But rest assured it'll be a delicious and memorable experience with theatrical, fun and fragile dishes that you'll roll into bed dreaming about that evening (and probably the next few evenings, too).

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A few firm favourites have kept pride of place on the menu – and yes, that includes the infamous beef-dripping candle. The lit candle is placed in the middle of a silver tray that catches the melting beef fat. Soak up the juices with warm, sweet brioche and spoon dollops of slow-cooked beef shin and pickled celery on top.

Palate cleansers are served between courses – we particularly loved the warm langoustine broth which warms up your taste buds to a prime temperature for enjoying the following course. Other dishes included a barbecued langoustine tail served on a bed of stones, a roasted crown of duck cooked slowly over three hours at a temperature of 40 degrees, and a soft white turbot with fermented cabbage. Make the most of the in-house sommelier who is on hand to pair courses and wines; there are reds from the hillsides of Serbia to smooth and punchy wines from the coastal regions of South Africa. Sophie Knight

Address: 199 Tooley St, London SE1 2JX
Price: ££££
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SunePhilippa Langley

Sune, Broadway Market

Renowned sommelier Honey Spencer and partner Charlie Sims (formerly of Copenhagen’s Noma) are a food-and-wine pairing in human form. The power duo – who between them have 35 years of experience via Sydney, Mexico, and London’s Michelin-starred Lyle’s – have joined forces to launch Broadway Market’s latest eatery. Sune (derived from the Old Norse word for ‘son’), serves up British fare with international accents. The starters are a joy, from the Carlingford oysters in a koji mignonette, to the grilled flatbread slathered with trout roe and a horseradish cream that clears the sinuses without immolating them. It takes some self-discipline not to linger permanently at this stage of the meal, but the mains maintain the high standard; highlights include strozzapreti pasta and tangy, wild mushrooms and Rockefeller toasties with a parmesan, bacon, pecorino and spinach filling. The grilled pork chop comes in a jus, whose prawn, lemongrass and miso notes give strong, pan-Asian vibes. Spencer, a wine director at Studio Paskin, has curated a sure-footed selection of natural wines, including the Yo El Rey Grenache and Syrah from Stellenbosch in South Africa, their quietly charismatic flavours pairing well with everything. The brown rice sake, however, evokes Marmite and proved equally divisive on our table. It’s all enjoyed amid warm and woody, candlelit interiors, with windows overlooking the Regent’s Canal. And with plans to build a balcony at the back, we can look forward to glorious sunsets over the water in the summer. Yet another reason, if more were needed, for a return visit. Noo Saro-Wiwa

Address: Sune, 129A Pritchard’s Road, London E2 9AP
Price: £££
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TopicsFoodLondonUKEuropeRestaurants

The new London restaurants to try in June 2024 (2024)

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