The best new London restaurants and bars to try in May

To help you make sense of the city’s eating-and-drinking jumble, every month we’ll spotlight the latest openings worth putting in your calendar

Those who dive into London’s restaurant-and-bar scene – from the first-time visitor with a dog-eared Time Out in their bag, to the seasoned pros chasing new-wave wine bars – will know of its overwhelming surfeit of choice, stretching across the clusters of ocakbaşi on Green Lanes down to Brixton’s independent destinations, the collection of New Malden’s South Korean eats to the jumble of bakeries and dive bars around Dalston.

With more than a lifetime of exploration on offer, there are, of course, boundless checklists of tandoori houses, steak halls and destinations of high-temple haute cuisine whose front doors most of us will never step through. To help make some sense of it all, each month we’ll spotlight the new openings that might be worth putting in your calendar, and, this year, the city sees expansions from Claude Bosi, Endo Kazutoshi, Santiago Lastra and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, smash-hit names who underscore the fact that London is a place with a fairly unsurpassed culinary spirit. For the best tables and counters to book now, read on…

Kioku by Endo

The backstory and dishes to expect: Endo Kazutoshi, as we’ve said many times, is on the Mount Rushmore of the sushisphere, a chef’s chef who commands the reverence of fish markets, peers and critics in equal measure. Adding to his stable, which already includes his flagship destination at the Rotunda and the recently opened Nijū, is Kioku by Endo, situated within The OWO. On the rooftop is a restaurant that pairs the kitchens of Japan and the Mediterranean, a nod to Kazutoshi’s terms in Spain (there’s a ‘chashu pork ramen ravioli’, for example), and on the ground floor is a 25-cover bar that zones in on world-class sake and a curation of great tracks, a nod to Japanese listening bars.

Location: Raffles London at The OWO, Whitehall, SW1A 2BX

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Paradise 2.0

Image: Eleonora Boscarelli

The backstory and dishes to expect: Since 2020, chef Dom Fernando has been modernising Sri Lankan fare from within his tropical-brutalist-style restaurant space, Paradise. Now, he’s pushing reset on the venture, overhauling the menu and interiors, and will soon offer an ambitious six-course menu that has a stronger emphasis on Sri Lankan techniques, including heritage claypot cooking and braising in coconut milk. Moreover, the design spirit will remain, but will fold in ‘a more intimate personality’ and a considered use of wood.

Location: 61 Rupert St, W1D 7PW

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The Hero

The backstory and dishes to expect: From the team behind The Pelican and The Bull, in Charlbury comes The Hero, which appears to be another upmarket boozer with great, great food. Open-fire grilling is said to be one of the focuses, as are classic cocktails, with Ed Baillieu overseeing a menu that’s reported to include lamb chops with peas and mint, and a cheese-and-onion pie.

Location: 55 Shirland Road, W9 2JD

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The Counter Soho and Under The Counter

The backstory and dishes to expect: Chef Kemal Demirasal found popular success with an array of mangal platters at his Notting Hill venue, a place that showcased the cooking of south-eastern Anatolia. His follow-up, The Counter Soho, will be a paean to the food styles of the countries that encircle the Aegean – olives, citrus fruits, seafood and nicely scented herbs are typical staples. Cold plates, for example, will include seabass crudo and citrus zest with ‘umami sauce’; meanwhile, grilled octopus with mashed fava will appear in the hot section. Underneath the restaurant will be a listening-and-cocktail bar, Under The Counter. The menu will take influence from the same locations; we’re looking forward to imbibing the Silkroad, which makes use of sesame oil Cognac, amaretto, lemon and sugar syrup, meanwhile a Michell Gyrodec turntable and Klipsch Heresy speakers will ensure the sonics are on point.

Location: 15 Kingly St, W1B 5PS

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Chez Roux

The backstory and dishes to expect: Following the somewhat shock closure of the seminal Le Gavroche earlier this year, Michel Roux Jr. has made a quick follow-up with Chez Roux, at The Langham, billed as a marriage of traditional French culinary techniques with historical British staples (grilled lobster with fries and béarnaise sauce; Welsh rarebit).

Location: The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent St, W1B 1JA

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The best openings in April

Crispin at Studio Voltaire

The backstory and dishes to expect: With chefs that have some serious pedigree (Manteca, Mountain, Petersham Nurseries), the kitchen here will focus on the type of British and European fare that makes London a leader on the continent, which is to say produce that’s firmly in season, fresh pastas, modern takes on old-school desserts, and a menu that never stays the same. As it’s done by the team that launched Crispin, Bar Crispin and Bistro Freddie, and because of its setting within a gallery, expect an extremely creative emphasis across all aspects, from the fit-out to the plating.

Location: 1a Nelsons Row, SW4 7JR

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The backstory and dishes to expect: Adding to Borough Market’s slew of splendid options is Oma, a restaurant by David Carter (Smokestak, Manteca), Nick Molyviatis (Kiln) and Jorge Paredes (Sabor), all of who look to the Greek isles, ‘the bold flavours of the Levant’ and areas ‘further afield.’ Here, they’ve amalgamated a menu that dovetails raw-bar essentials – seabass crudo with pomelo and pickled ginger – with grilled skewers and clay-pot dishes. It’s also worth diving into the extensive wine list (450+ bin), too. Downstairs is the setting for a casual sibling, Agora, which takes its cues from the street food of Athens.

Location: 2–4 Bedale St, SE1 9AL

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The backstory and dishes to expect: Launching within a Grade-II-listed pile, Cloth will set its stall out with a bistro-style feel: tables made from white marble and lit by candles, antique tableware and darkwood banquettes, the type of stuff that doesn’t veer too far away from the spirit of The Quality Chop House, which is within the same neighbourhood. The sample menu, which zones in on prime British produce, incorporates bar snacks, such as fried panisse with sumac and Roscoff onion, and mains such as Somerset hogget with grilled cos lettuce, anchovy and smoked tongue.

Location: 44 Cloth Fair, EC1A 7JQ

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Abc Kitchens at The Emory

The backstory and dishes to expect: Alongside Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of those bankable chefs synonymous with guaranteed quality across the continents. JGV, who already has a presence in The Connaught hotel, is now taking over the stoves at The Emory (part of the group in which The Connaught belongs), and has unified several elements that are found within his three New York-based Abc restaurants. Damien Hirst’s works will be pinned to the walls, and the menu is set to feature crispy-fish tacos slicked with aioli and cabbage-apple slaw, and pizza-oven-roasted whole lobster with red chilli and oregano.

Location: The Emory, Old Barrack Yard, SW1X 7NP

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The backstory and dishes to expect: One of London’s finest sandwiches – an Ibérico katsu sando – is brought south of the river, courtesy of TĀTĀ Eatery’s resurrected offshoot. Click away from this page and get in line now (walk-ins only).

Location: Upstairs at The Globe Tavern, 8 Bedale St, SE1 9AL

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El Pastor

The backstory and dishes to expect: Sam and Eddie Hart have long been a reliable duo, thanks to their wins with Barrafina, Quo Vadis, and El Pastor. The latter, one of the better Mexican offerings in a city that has a deficit of them, is due to open in Battersea Power Station, joining the likes of Bao in giving the retail destination some culinary cachet. Tacos, tostadas and mezcal will underpin the offerings, but site-specific dishes will include scrambled eggs with refried beans, and queso fundido.

Location: Battersea Power Station

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The best openings in March

Josephine Bouchon

The backstory and dishes to expect: Chef Claude Bosi is perhaps best known in London for the oyster platters and seafood plateaus he and his team serve at the Michelin House, in Chelsea. His recent venture is a paean to his late grandmother and the French fare she used to cook for him when he was younger: rabbit in mustard sauce, French onion soup, and a salad of endives, gruyère and walnuts. There will also be Lyonnaise specialities – the sausages baked in brioche with a slick of Beaujolaise sauce have been well noted. Unlike Bosi’s other recent venture, Brooklands by Claude Bosi, Josephine will be a more relaxed affair, with small bistro tables lit by candelabras.

Location: 315 Fulham Road, SW10 9QH

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Carmel, Fitzrovia

Lamb flatbread at the original Carmel

The backstory and dishes to expect: Famed among the restaurant chasers for its elegant, smokey menu influenced by the eastern Mediterranean, Carmel, in Queen’s Park, will open an outpost in Fitzrovia – it will be a larger situation, with 95 seats, and former head chef of The Palomar, Jeremy Borrow, will oversee the dishes, such as whole sea bream zipped up with lemon butter and Calabrian hot honey; monkfish crudo with tomato and sheep’s yoghurt; and a selection of flatbreads.

Location: 7 Market Place, W1W 8AG

Learn more about the original Carmel:


The interior of Le Caprice, where Arlington now stands

The backstory and dishes to expect: The big one. Legend of the industry Jeremy King – feted for The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay – makes a grand return to the scene with the opening of Arlington, on the site of what used to be Le Caprice. The first of three alleged destinations King will be launching this year, Arlington, named after the street on which it is located, will showcase comforting winners – namely salmon fish cake with sorrel sauce; risotto nero; and lobster thermidor soufflé.

Location: 20 Arlington St, SW1A 1RJ

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The backstory and dishes to expect: Endo Kazutoshi is a hero of the omakase in Britain, a singular chef celebrated for his beautiful processions of food at his namesake restaurant in White City, which is one of the hottest tables in town. At Niju, he’ll direct the culinary programme, which will comprise a custom-made sushi bar, PDR, ‘innovative dining spaces’ and a hidden cocktail spot called Nipperkin. Though not much has been mentioned about the menu details, what we do know is that the food will focus on katei ryori (home-style cooking).

Location: 20 Berkeley St, W1J 8EE

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Three Sheets, Soho

The backstory and drinks/dishes to expect: Three Sheets has been slinging out contemporary takes on classics (Palomas, French 75s, dirty martinis, et al.) to the Dalston crowd since 2016, becoming a lynchpin of London’s bar offerings as a result. The Soho outpost will be an all-dayer, with innovative cocktails (Mango ice tea made with rum, pickled mango and Lapsang teas), a considered edit of wines, and food (croquettes, oysters and salt-beef sandwiches will feature).

Location: 13 Manette St, W1D 4AW

Learn more about the original Three Sheets:

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