8 New London Restaurants & Bars To Know About

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From late-night bars and restaurants to a cool new dinner spot on a boat, there are plenty of exciting new openings around the capital. We’ve rounded up the best to book now…
Photography CAITLIN ISOLA

Lisboeta, Fitzrovia

Chiltern Firehouse’s Nuno Mendes has returned to London, bringing with him his top discoveries and secrets from Lisbon’s food and wine scene. The menu begins with a selection of snacks, such as morcela sausage, scarlet prawn toast and spiced prawn rissois, a traditional Portuguese turnover and a dish Nuno fondly remembers making with his grandmother. There’s an array of small plates to follow, including grilled cuttlefish with braised pig trotters and coriander coentrada sauce. In the afternoon, a dedicated snack menu will feature sweet and savoury dishes that honour Lisbon’s café culture, including Lisboeta’s take on the traditional pastel de nata and a ‘bifana’, an acorn-fed black pork sandwich. Opening in April, the lower ground floor of the restaurant will house the Adega wine cellar. The space will play host to an intimate, elevated dining experience focused on exceptional produce with creative takes on Portugal’s gastronomic heritage.

Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, WC1B 4AF

Visit Lisboeta.co.uk

Caravel, Regent’s Canal

This month saw the launch of Caravel, a restaurant and bar from Fin and Lorcan – the sons of The French House and Sessions Art Club's Jon Spiteri. On the banks of the Regent’s Canal, the brothers have restored an old working barge with the help of Holborn Studios. The result is a stylish 40-seater dining room with an open kitchen. Lorcan’s menu is inspired by his time at Quo Vadis, Oldroyd and Studio Kitchen. Expect starters such as sesame prawn toast with spiced tartare; confit duck rissoles; and violet artichoke with kohlrabi. Main dishes span British, Italian and French classics, with white crab tagliatelle with fennel and garlic joined by hearty plates such as crispy pork belly with green beans and anchoïde, and roasted hake with confit potatoes and curry sauce. Desserts nod to Lorcan’s childhood favourites – look out for blood orange jelly with honeycomb, joined by almond cake with salted caramel ice-cream. 

Shepherdess Walk, Islington, N1 7JL

Visit TheStudioKitchen.co.uk

CAITLIN ISOLA

Seed Library, Shoreditch

Ryan Chetiyawardana is Mr Lyan, the ground-breaking bartender behind hot spots like White Lyan, Dandelyan, Cub and Lyaness. All-conquering yet unassuming, he was working the floor on the night we checked out his new place Seed Library. In the low-slung and loungey 70s-styled basement of the One Hundred Shoreditch hotel, his team takes a ‘lo-fi, analogue’ approach to cocktail making – and we’ll vouch for the results. Especially the sancho leaf martini and coriander gimlet. You’ll also find low-intervention wines and craft beers here, as well as easy going DJs like the Mighty Zaf from local record store Love Vinyl. This is the late-night destination to know right now.

Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JQ

Visit OneHundredShoreditch.com

Walter’s, Dulwich

The duo behind Covent Garden seafood bar The Oystermen have opened Walter’s, a neighbourhood restaurant and bar in West Dulwich. Head chef Khalid Hassan (formerly of Social Eating House, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Murano) has devised a menu of hearty dishes made with British produce. After snacks – such as cod roe, trout skin, espelette and truffle arancini – diners can choose from small plates including peanut-glazed chicken salad, tempura cauliflower with curry sauce, lime yoghurt and dill-pickled cucumber; or crab salad with bloody mary jelly, kalamansi dressing and pickled cucumber. Sundays will be a relaxed affair, with seasonal sharing dishes joining the menu. This month sees the likes of ox cheek and mushroom pie or whole sea bass served at the table. A huge antique bar will be fully stocked with world whiskies which will star in a diverse cocktail list. Guests can also check out the wine cellar – every bottle in the collection is for sale – which is used for approachable wine tastings held around a striking long farmhouse dining table and led by founders Rob and Matt.

Park Hall Road, Dulwich, SE21 8BW

Visit WaltersDulwich.co.uk

Facing Heaven, Hackney

Julian Denis’s food journey has been eventful: from discovering vegan cooking through the LA punk rock scene to learning the traditions and techniques of Chinese cooking on the Lower East Side of New York. He launched on the London food scene in 2017 with Mao Chow. Starting as a pop-up, his Sichuanese concept found a permanent home in a tiny former coffee shop in Hackney in 2019 and since then has attracted a cult following to its simple dishes, loud flavours and bold delivery. Now, Julian’s taken the next step. Just round the corner from Mao Chow, Facing Heaven is named after a potent Sichuanese chilli. This 28-seater offers an inventive take on regional Chinese food, inspired by Julian’s American upbringing. You’ll also find natural wines, craft beer and baijiu cocktails. Retaining the Mao Chow ethos, everything will be vegan, celebrating bold, spicy and fragrant flavours.

Bayford Street, Hackney, E8 3SE

Visit Facing-Heaven.co.uk

The Connaught Grill, Mayfair

The Connaught Grill has reopened with a fresh look. A discreet rosewood-clad hallway leads guests down to the restaurant – cabinets lining the corridor walls display one-of-a-kind vintages of wines and champagnes alongside works by design masters Louise Bourgeois, Idris Khan and Le Corbusier. Against the original ceiling with its ornate mouldings and arches, John Heah has created a subtle backdrop in which to showcase the artistry of George Nakashima Woodworkers. Handcrafted American black walnut runs throughout the space – from the structured dining booths to the restaurant’s signature Conoid chairs and solid panels that line the room. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has returned with his own twist on classic dishes. A pie of the day menu celebrates traditional favourites such as venison, chicken, seabass en croute and shepherd’s pie, while a show-stopping Sunday roast is presented and carved on the restored silver trolley from the original Connaught Grill.

Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL

Visit The-Connaught.com

LIAM BUNDY

Umbrella Workshop, Shoreditch

The Umbrella Project is run by the team behind famed east London bars The Sun Tavern and Discount Suit Company. It was launched under lockdown, when the world needed next-level bottled cocktails, cocktail kits, low-intervention and natural wines, small producer spirits and Irish whiskey delivered to its doorstep. Now, the project has its own bar: in a 19th-century atelier on a cobbled alley, this 12-capacity micro venue is a testing ground for cutting-edge cocktails that may or may not go forward to be served at its bigger sisters. The space can host tastings and workshops, with everything on the menu available to buy and take home. It’s also very handily located for an alternative aperitivo before dinner at the likes of Brat, St John Bread & Wine or Rochelle Canteen. 

Cleeve Workshops, Boundary Street, E2 7JD

Visit TheUmbrellaProject.co.uk

The Lowback, Canary Wharf

This is Hawksmoor’s first London launch for four years. Occupying an eco-friendly floating pavilion in Wood Wharf, The Lowback seats 120 guests and has space for another 60 across two waterside terraces – exactly where we’ll be when spring fully arrives. The venue takes inspiration from the group’s recent New York launch and the ‘golden age of travel’, with a little high-end ocean liner mixed in: picture a 9m-long bar, dark green marble floor, polished timber ceiling and velvet booths. Once you’re in, look out for an all-new cocktail list, the result of almost two years’ work by head of drinks Liam Davy and New York bar manager Adam Montgomerie. We love the sound of the Cary Grant-inspired ‘Pine Americano’, made with Amaro Montenegro, Campari and Idyll pine soda.

Water Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5GX

Visit TheHawksmoor.com

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