This article is written by our guest author Adam Hyman.
Novikov, Asian restaurant
The London restaurant scene has been going from strength to strength this year but this November has seen new openings sky rocket. Here are ten of the latest places to open their doors to us Londoners.
Located behind Debenham’s on Welbeck Street, this is not your most obvious location for a gaff like this but that is exactly what MEATLiqour is all about. This is the brainchild of Yianni Papoutsis who is behind the popular Meat Wagon food trailer and the hugely popular MeatEasy that did a stint in New Cross. This funky take on a Lower East side diner is all about the burger. Drinks of choice are cocktails and beers from specialist breweries. This place has already become associated with its queue but that it is half the fun for me; us Londoner’s need to chill out sometimes and just go with the flow. All the coolest places in New York have queues, don’t you know?
The fifth, yes the fifth, place in just over two years from serial restaurateurs Russell Norman and Richard Beatty. However, don’t come to Catherine Street expecting Italian small plates and bare Edison bulbs as Mishkin’s bucks the trend compared to their other gaffs. First up, you can book for both lunch and dinner at this ‘kinda’ Jewish deli. The room has glimpses of the Norman Beatty design with the former lamposts used for bar stools legs and all the staff are hipster Brooklyn cool. The food is based on a mix of New York’s Jewish delis and East End caffs with such dishes as hot salt beef, meatloaf and eggs and chips. The gin menu seems to have been formulated for austerity Britain with 25 choices, the most expensive being the Tanqueray 10 only at £4.50 and a Tesco gin for £2.00.
3. Granger & Co
Bill Granger has a serious following due to his television programmes and cookbooks. His first foray in to London has seen him open up amongst the classy boutiques of Westbourne Grove. The all-day brasserie has already become a favourite with the hedgies wifes. The menu focuses on pan Asian dishes, the sort you get in Melbourne and Sydney but the breakfast is meant to be the star of the show. Granger is famous for his special scrambled eggs with avocado. The restaurant operates a no booking policy so make sure you get there early to grab a table.
Richard Caring adds another string to his bow with his steak version of Scott’s that has opened on South Audley Street. The 100 seater room designed by Martin Brudnizki is less formal than Scott’s and has that mid-town New York feel to it with the green canopy flanking the entrance. Paul Brown, who has moved from the kitchen at Mark’s Club is serving up steaks cooked from the specially engineered grill as well as other dishes such as meatballs. Expect to see suits having power lunches over Australian Wagyu steak as well as ladies who lunch having a break from Scott’s.
5. The Delaunay
The legends that are Jeremy King and Chris Corbin have opened The Delaunay on Aldwych, a sister restaurant to The Wolseley. The room is a clear relation to it’s Piccadilly sister but the subtle racing green leather banquets and the lighting give it its own identity. The dark wood panelling an art work are very Bruce Wayne, just the sort of place he would hang out. The menu has streaks of influence from Vienna as well as such comforts as eggs benedict. Sebastian Fogg in his Moscot style specs and orange Dunhill tie, a familiar face from The Monkey bar in New York and Dean Street Townhouse, is in charge of the room and his relaxed nature rubs off on to the rest of his team. Without a doubt this place will be just the success that their grand cafe on Piccadilly has been.
6. Eat Street
Eat Street‘s tag line is ‘driving British street food forward’ and that is certainly what they are doing. Located behind Kings Cross on the newly constructed Kings Boulevard that leads to Kings Place, home to the Guardian’s offices, traders include the likes of Hot Rocks Pizza, Lucky Chip, Kimichi Cult and Yum Buns. There are usually four to six traders a day and rotate on a daily basis. I just wished I lived or worked closer to Kings Cross as they are only there Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 3pm. The perfect place to send visiting Frenchies when they arrive in London to show them how good our food scene is.
Opening this week, Novikov implies that size matters. This mammoth site on Berkeley Street opposite Nobu is from Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov and will offer a 150 seat Asian restaurant and a 150 seat Italian restaurant. In the basement is the lounge bar which looks like Mark’s Bar at Hix Soho on steroids. The never ending rows of magnums of Cristal hint that this place is aimed at the super rich that inhabit Mayfair’s restaurants. Expect the sort of crowd that go to Zuma and C London and a lot of Black American Express cards picking up the tabs.
8. Kitchen Joel Antunes
It is nearly a year to the day when legendary Michelin starred chef Joel Antunes opened up in the Westminster Park Plaza in the middle of a roundabout by Waterloo. It was immediately clear that chef Antunes was wasted here and it didn’t take long for him to up sticks and move west to Mayfair and start up home at the old Embassy site on Old Burlington Street. The ground floor restaurant has been relaunched by a consortium of investors including Mark Fuller, the founder of Embassy nightclub. Although the decor is a bit St Tropez and the sort of place you would expect to see playboys in Vilbrequins and half buttoned linen shirts lounging at the tables if we were by the beach, it is the food that does the talking. Joel Antunes cooking is simple, classic Mediterranean food and he doesn’t over complicate it. Downstairs is a private members club run by the guys from behind Le Baron in Paris.
From the guys that have given us the popular Terroirs and Brawn, Soif is their third venture that has opened up on Battersea Rise. A perfect spot to stop for the well-heeled young residents of south London to grab a plate of food prepared and to sample the vast array of natural wines on the way back home after work. There are over 150 wines to sample and expect a combination of British and French dishes prepared by ex Café Angalis chef Colin Westal.
Arjun Waney is on a roll, so to speak. Minutes after opening the Arts Club, the hottest private members club in town he has recently launched Aurelia on Cork Street on the former Mulligan’s site. Prices here are steep, echoing the price tags on the art on display in the neighbouring galleries. Like one of his other restaurants La Petite Maison the place offers fantastic quality food but here there is an emphasis on sharing plates but you need to be eating on a business expense account. The awkwardly shaped ground floor is the more casual bar and brasserie with downstairs the more formal dining room with the open kitchen on display. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A wannabee Cecconi’s.