Keep abreast of what's going on with the London dining scene here at GAYOT. You can learn all you need to know about new restaurant openings, dining deals and more.
NEW RESTAURANTS IN LONDON
At the start of 2016, Milanese company Savini took over one of London's oldest restaurants, The Criterion. Now an all-day dining destination, the restaurant serves breakfasts, set lunches, and a more extensive à la carte menu in the evenings, and it even has a well-stocked deli counter. Savini at Criterion, 224 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HP, 020-7930 1459.
The Silver Room in Mayfair's Hush plays host to a new dining space, Blades. Made to feel like a members-only club, it is in fact open to anyone. Expect the likes of Cornish lobster, different cuts of steak, and a showcase of whiskies including some limited and rarer bottles. Blades, 8 Lancashire Ct., London W1S 1EY, 020-7659 1500.
Six Portland Road has opened in Holland Park with pedigree from Terroirs: Oli Barker and head chef Pascal Wiedermann. Expect a fluid, seasonal menu, with approximately 80 wines. Six Portland Road, 6 Portland Rd., London W11 4LA, 020-7229 3130.
Closing the doors of its long-term Marylebone pop-up back in 2014, Pieds Nus from David Moore --- the man also behind Pied a Terre and L'Autre Pied --- is looking to reopen as a permanent fixture in Exmouth Market. Plans are for the restaurant to open every day, with later trading hours on weekends. Pieds Nus, 19-21a Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QD, no phone.
Australian chef Brett Redman is the man behind Elliot’s Café in Borough Market and seafood-driven The Richmond in Hackney. To this list he adds Jidori, located in the emerging culinary hot-spot of Dalston in East London. The tight and focused menu of Japanese small plates and skewers is inspired by the yakitori restaurants found across Tokyo, and it caters to the handful of tables and bar seating around the open kitchen, which lies at the heart. The concept is quite simply cooking good quality ingredients over charcoal, with yakitori being the main focus. Jidori, 89 Kingsland High St., London E8 2PB, 020-7686 5634.
David Moore, the man who brought us Pied a Terre on Charlotte Street, will be opening an Uzbeki restaurant called Samarkand in the place now-closed Fino once stood in Fitzrovia. Expect a mix of contemporary and traditional Uzbeki dishes. Slated to launch in spring 2016. Samarkand, 33 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RR, no phone.
The duo behind North African favorite Moro are to open a second Morito on Hackney Road in May 2016. At lunch and dinner, expect small plates and larger family-size dishes, as well as Moroccan breads at breakfast. The cuisine will cover Crete, Morocco, Turkey and southern Spain. Morito, 195 Hackney Rd., London E2 8JL, no phone.
Bob Bob Ricard will open a new restaurant called Bob Bob Exchange in the iconic The Leadenhall Building. It will debut on the third floor of the Cheesegrater in April 2017. Expect a focus on seasonal meat, fish and vegetables cooked over an open flame or smoked in-house, and a small nine-seat sushi and sashimi bar, too. Bob Bob Exchange, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall St., London EC3V 4AB, no phone.
Sosharu is a new Japanese restaurant venture from Jason Atherton, with executive head chef Alex Craciun bringing a year's worth of culinary training in Kyoto to the project. Small dishes made with British ingredients are the main focus, along with a daily changing tasting menu served in a separate space called Kisetsu. Sosharu, Turnmill Building, 64 Turnmill St., London EC1M 5RR, 020-3805 2304.
Tiny Leaf has opened in Notting Hill. It’s the first organic, vegetarian and zero-waste restaurant in London. The four-story site is temporary while those behind the project search for a permanent location. It was launched by food writer, food activist and chef Justin Horne, along with general manager Jonathan Krauss (previously of celebrity haunt Chiltern Firehouse), and the aim is to promote awareness about food waste with a daily-changing menu, based on using surplus food from suppliers such as Planet Organic. Tiny Leaf, 209 Westbourne Park Rd., London W11 1EA, 020-7243 9818.
One Aldwych is partnering with Spanish restaurant Azurmendi to launch an informal dining venue in the hotel. Eneko at One Aldwych will open in summer 2016 showcasing chef Eneko Atxa's interpretation of rustic Basque cuisine in a relaxed environment. Eneko at One Aldwych, One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, 020-7300 1000.
La Nuit Menu at Galvin at Windows
Head chef Joo Won has introduced a new gourmet fast food La Nuit menu to Park Lane, available at the Galvin at Windows bar at the top of The London Hilton on Park Lane. Expect the likes of Korean fried chicken, the Galvin's Dog Deluxe, and jam and custard doughnuts. The menu is available from noon to midnight Monday through Friday, and 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays. Galvin at Windows, The London Hilton on Park Lane , 22 Park Ln., 28th Floor, London W1K 1BE, 020-7208 4021.
Le Caprice Celebrates Vogue 100: A Century of Style Exhibition
To celebrate the new Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Le Caprice has created a value special menu. It includes two courses with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, a ticket to the exhibition, and a limited edition print, for £38 per person. Reservations are available from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9.30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday only. The show tickets are only valid on weekdays. To book, call 020-7629 2239 and quote “En Vogue.” Le Caprice, Arlington House, Arlington St., London SW1A 1RJ, 020-7629 2239.
Six-Course Weekend Menu at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught has introduced a six-course weekend menu with a roast chicken as the star of the show. The main dish of “Le Poulet du Dimanche” is chicken from Les Landes stuffed under the skin with seasonal mushrooms, served with boudin blanc and “Pommes Paysan.” The menu is available every Saturday from noon-2 p.m. and Sunday from noon-3 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.-9 p.m., costing £95 per couple. Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, The Connaught, Carlos Pl., London W1K 2AL, 020-3147 7200.
American History Cocktails at Oblix
Oblix has launched a new bar menu with concoctions influenced by all facets of America's history. Expect the likes of a unique take on the classic Moscow Mule, and a drink topped with a white chocolate skull and spun sugar. Oblix, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas St., 32nd floor, London SE1 9RY, 020-7268 6700.
Hawker House Returns
Street Feast's indoor night market Hawker House is back, and this time it’s heading over to Canada Water. Following a very successful winter stint in Dalston last year, it will this time be showcasing two floors of street food, bars and its now-famous whisky roulette, in a warehouse on Canada Street. New for this year is Neil Rankin's Meat Hook, Argentine-style, three-meter-long, whole-animal grill; and Up In My Grill, serving hunks of meat with shoestring fries and chimichurri. There'll be 13 street food vendors to choose from, and six bars serving everything from craft beer to classic cocktails. Hawker House will stay there until April 2016. Street Feast's Hawker House, Canada St., London SE16 2XU, no phone.
Raphael Francois, formerly executive chef at Le Cirque in New York, has moved back to London to take the reins of Launceston Place as Chef Patron. Francois has already introduced new dishes, and the restaurant itself has also seen some refurbishment in its private dining room. Launceston Place, 1A Launceston Pl., London W8 5RL, 020-7937 6912.
Hedone chef-owner Mikael Jonsson is leaving his consultancy role at Antidote wine bar and restaurant. The menu will continue under the full control of head chef Michael Hazlewood. Jonsson had been brought in to consult in 2014. Antidote, 12A Newburgh St., London, UK W1F 7RR, 020-7287 8488.
LONDON RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
Green's Restaurant & Oyster Bar, one of the capital's mainstays when it comes to good, straightforward British cooking, is closing its doors. Simon Parker Bowles plans to open a new location in the West End. Green's Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 36 Duke St., London SW1Y 6DF, no phone.
Often regarded as one of the top Italian restaurants in town, Zucca closed its doors just before Christmas. Various landlord changes have been cited as the reason. Zucca, 184 Bermondsey St., London SE1 3TQ, no phone.
Following a huge refurbishment and expansion, the 150-year-old restaurant and Champagne bar Kettner's will be relaunched as Kettner's Townhouse in 2018, after being taken over by members club Soho House. Kettner's closed its doors in its current form on January 30, 2016. Kettner's, 29 Romilly St., London W1D 5HP, 020-7734 6112.