From October's bounty of openings in London, we bring you the pick of the harvest.
Described as a 'downtown retro-style' 1970s Tokyo ramen bar, featuring retro signage and brightly coloured lanterns, the new restaurant Heddon Yokocho by Japan Centre - replacing Sakagura - has been inspired by the yokocho alleyways of Japan.
The menu includes different regional ramens and broths from across Japan served alongside a selection of karaage, buns, gyoza and maki roll sushi. Washed down with highballs, chu-hi - made with shochu and lemon, sakes and Japanese draft beers.
Signature dishes include Sapporo Miso with miso chicken & pork broth, Hakodate Shio with salt & miso broth, and the Yokocho with soy chicken & pork broth with slices of BBQ pork, naruto fish cake & nitamago egg.
Kol by Santiago Lastra
Bringing a sense of Mexican celebration and authentic influences to his cuisine, Lastra merges traditional recipes from his homeland with regional produce to create vibrant, flavoursome dishes.
Expect a vibrant and innovative take on Mexican tradition, a culmination of ideas and techniques developed from extensive exploration of Mexico’s culinary hotspots and heritage - whilst showcasing the finest quality British ingredients. Expect tacos stuffed with foraged herbs and pickled goosebettiers, and turbot cooked in corn husks, all masterfully assembled.
Lasta notably spent time at internationally acclaimed restaurants Mugaritz (Spain, one of the official ’50 Best’) and Bror (Copenhagen) and in 2017 he was appointed by celebrated chef Rene Redzepi to consult for Noma’s acclaimed seven week pop-up in Tulum.
The homely interiors reflect the vibrant colour palate of the rural Mexico blended with Nordic minimalism. The first floor houses 56-cover dining room and state-of-the-art open kitchen, located in the centre of the room. The space also houses a tortilla station, a specialist mezcal bar and 20-cover chef’s table.
Signature dishes include Langoustine tacos with sea buckthorn, lamb leg tostada cured in gooseberries with walnut oil and fermented chilis, Kolrabi ceviche and a dessert of tamal served with corn-husk ice-cream. The wine list showcases predominately biodynamic wines sourced from Central and Eastern Europe. The house wine has been created exclusively for KOL by acclaimed Slovakian winemakers Slobodne.
180 House By Soho House
180 House at 180 Strand houses two floors of members’ space; a restaurant, bar and rooftop pool with 360 views of London.
180 The Strand is an iconic Brutalist building, originally designed by noted architect Sir Frederick Gibberd in the 1970s - and has been reimagined by The Vinyl Factory as creative hub and home to The Store X and a mix of creative companies including Dazed Media Group, The Spaces and Fact magazine. The interiors of 180 House by Soho House Design reflect the design of the Brutalist landmark, with the original features retained, and a mid-century inspired and softened 1970s feel.
On the 9th floor, there is a rooftop pool with south-facing views over The Thames, the London Eye and Parliament, and a restaurant and bar encased in a glass box with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving uninterrupted views over St Paul’s and the City of London. The 8th floor is the main club space for eating, drinking and relaxing. Underneath is signature Soho Works, a workspace primarily designed for Soho House members.
Nobu Restaurant at Nobu Hotel Portman Square
The Nobu Hotel Portman Square is home to London's flagship Nobu restaurant, bringing the brand’s signature cuisine (from Nobu Berkeley Street) to the new space.
The restaurant is showcasing the best of Spanish and British produce - cooked in classic Spanish methods - overseen by Head Chef Urko Gochi (Barrafina Coal Drops Yard and Sabor). Working with favoured suppliers and directly with fishermen to bring in sustainable, hard to come-by catch, daily, for a menu that changes in accordance with what comes in. Ingredients include: Galician oysters, Mediterranean spiny lobster and sea urchins. There's also a few meat and veggie options using ingredients such as Galician dairy cow steaks and ceps.
As a consequence of social distancing and the removal of some of Barrafina’s traditional red leather bar stools the restaurant accommodates just 16 covers on the ground floor around the counter. Downstairs, the private dining room is available for a further 16 covers.
Darjeeling Express is a homage to founder and Chef's Table star Asma Khan's royal Mughlai ancestry and the busy streets of Calcutta, where she grew up. After being forced to close due to the pandemic, Asma Khan’s beloved family-owned eatery re-opens in a larger location in Covent Garden. The premises sees Darjeeling Express offer an all-day casual dining deli menu, including takeaway options and daily specials of their refined Indian dishes. In addition, the ‘Railway Menu’ has been inspired by the all-day breakfast available in train stations in India - alongside three tasting menus including a vegan menu and a Biryani tasting menu.
Khan is continuing her commitment to championing women in the kitchen - with the eatery staffed by an all-female team of chefs - and also to championing women’s causes too with a percentage of all proceeds from the restaurant funding a charity called ‘Second Daughters’, which benefits second-born daughters in Indian.
Signature dishes include Prawn malaikari (a Bengali speciality of spiced tiger prawns in coconut milk), slow-cooked Bengali goat curry and puchkas (wheat and semolina shells filled with a mixture of spiced black chickpeas, potato and tamarind water).
Behind By Andy Beynon
An intimate fish-focused tasting menu restaurant on the edge of London Fields, Behind has 18 kitchen-table seats for lunch and dinner sittings, as well as a small wine bar and bottle shop. Chef-patron has Andy Beynon has worked 'behind the scenes' as some of London's most prestigious Michelin-starred kitchens including with Claude Bosi at Hibiscus, Phil Howard at The Square and with Jason Atherton at Pollen Street Social. As for the menu, Beynon is serving up an eight-course tasting menu with sustainable seafood as its focus - on a counter encircling the kitchen 'behind' the pass.
An adjacent wine bar serves a concise list of wines and a cocktail menu making the most of Andy’s love for sours. The design of the space is warm and stripped back, with deep blues and coppers. Open Tuesday to Saturday dinner sitting at 7pm with a Friday to Saturday lunch sitting at 12:30pm.
Signature dishes include Cornish blue lobster with English muffin and yuzu; native oyster taco with cucumber and wasabi; Secret Smokehouse chowder and Copper Maran yolk and hake with cauliflower, emerald ice kale and roasted squid broth.