Restaurant Radar: Openings April 2017

Openings April 2017 Restaurant Radar

From new tapas bar Little José, burger bars aplenty, and the much-awaited Lympstone Manor from Michael Caines, there's loads to look out for this April

Xu - Soho, London

From the family team behind street-food inspired Bao, Xu is set to open with 68 covers, spread across two floors. While Bao serves buns for up to £5 each, the average spend at Xu is expected to be at £55 per person excluding drinks, with menu options such as whole herbed spiced chicken, Taiwanese sausage, and pancakes filled with shortrib, marrow, and pickles. A 24-cover downstairs tea bar will serve Taiwanese hot or cold tea, also available to take home.

Radici – Islington, London

The new restaurant from Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, Radici is by D&D London – also of Mazzei’s Mayfair site Sartoria ‒ on the site of the former Almeida. It will serve dishes inspired by the chef’s home region of Calabria, plus the regions of Puglia, Sicily, and Campania – including umido di baccala (salt cod with potatoes, tomato sauce, onions, capers and black olives), and involtini di fegato (calf liver stuffed with pancetta, garlic and sage, plus smoked potato mash). Mazzei will remain at Sartoria too, so Radici’s kitchen will be run day-to-day by Antonio Mazzone, Mazzei’s longtime colleague.

Little José – Canary Wharf, London

The fourth site in the Pizarro restaurant family – from the Spanish chef of the same name ‒ Little José is to be a “tiny tapas bar” as part of the new Street Feast development in London’s Canary Wharf. With a wrap-around terrace, it will join street food traders steamed bun specialists Yum Bun, shellfish street van B.O.B.’s Lobster, and chicken, hotdog and cocktail group Thunderbird, and champion traditional tapas dishes in Pizarro’s usual style, including an Ibérico pork meatball sub with manchego; crispy fried squid ‘boca’ with aioli; spicy prawn fritters with lime mayo; patatas bravas with padrón peppers; and a daily­changing tortilla. Drinks will include cava, wines, Spanish sherries, and gin and tonic “gintonicas”

Lympstone Manor – Lympstone Village, Devon

The Devon country house hotel and restaurant from chef Michael Caines is to open in early April. The Grade II-­listed site, which was formerly a private home, will relaunch with 21 luxury guestrooms and a 60­cover fine-dining restaurant. Rooms will start from £245 a night, including breakfast, while the restaurant will be split in to three dining rooms overlooking the Exe Estuary. Though menu details are yet to be confirmed, Caines, who is originally from Exeter, will make use of local Devon wines and produce. There are also plans to plant a vineyard at the hotel.

Comptoir Café & Wine – Mayfair, London

Master sommelier and restaurateur Xavier Rousset is to open this cafe, restaurant and wine bar on Weighhouse Street, just south of Oxford Street. With a wine shop on the lower ground floor, it will serve small plates of wine-­friendly French food such as charcuterie, with the menu overseen by head chef Ben Mellor, who was responsible for the food at Blandford Comptoir. It will be the second ‘Comptoir’ in Rousset’s portfolio, after the Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar Blandford Comptoir, which opened on Blandford Street in Marylebone in 2016.

Patty & Bun ‒ Notting Hill, London

Patty & Bun is heading west after securing a 60­cover site with counter dining space for eight, close to Notting Hill Gate tube station. The menu will feature all the group's classic burgers, alongside new dish ‘The Chicken Feast’ ‒ a medley of fried chicken served with sauces and pickles on the side. Drinks will include beers, cocktails and milkshakes, with flavours such as peanut butter malt; lemon cheesecake and triple chocolate. It will be the eighth opening for Patty & Bun, which runs six restaurants across London and has a permanent residence at crazy golf bar Swingers LDN.

Lupins – London Bridge, London

Lucy Pedder and Natasha Cooke ‒ two former chefs from Medlar in London’s Chelsea, and founders of catering and events company The Cooking Collective ‒ are to open this new restaurant in Flat Iron Square, under seven London Bridge railway arches. With a name coming from the English garden flower, the Lupin, it will focus on seasonal British ingredients with a “sunshine food” twist. Separated into snacks, small plates, cheese, and desserts, menu options will include sumac lamb “scrumpets” and pomegranate molasses; cornmeal fried spring onions with smoked chilli aioli, chipotle roast pigeon with charred baby gem and carrot; and spiced beef short rib with purple sprouting broccoli.

Monty’s Deli – Hoxton, London

The Jewish­American­style deli, which was started as a market stall by founders Mark Ogus and Owen Barratt,, is to open a permanent London site after exceeding its £50,000 crowdfunding target in October, eventually managing £52,086 from 789 backers. The 65­cover venue will now open at 227­229 Hoxton Street, east of the city, on the site of a former family­run bakery, and offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch with prosecco and Bloody Marys at weekends. It will have a meat slicing bar with seats, and a baked goods display showing pastries, plus the bagel of the week, filled sandwiches, cold cuts with pickles, and Seinfeld-influenced ‘big salads’.

Andi’s – Stoke Newington, London

From chef and BBC Great British Menu judge Andi Oliver, this debut restaurant is a partnership between Oliver and long-­term business partner Kelly Miles next month. It will serve brunches throughout the day and take on a brasserie-­style format in the evening with dishes including French toast bacon sandwich with maple syrup; Reuben sandwiches (plus a vegan option) and variations on baked eggs. “Our food will uplift the spirit and calm the heart,” says Oliver. “It’s a little bit of love in your tummy.” Oliver and Miles have run Sugar Shack residency at the Jackdaw & Star in Homerton for the past two and a half years and have also held events at The Birdcage in East London.

The Ned – City of London, London

A hotel, club and restaurant project from Soho House and the New York-­based Sydell Group, The Ned will open in the Grade-II listed, former Midland Bank building in the City of London, and include nine restaurants, a 252­-bedroom hotel, and a private members’ club. With 800 staff, the mammoth operation will be headed up by former St Pancras Renaissance general manager Gareth Banner, while Carole Walker, formerly chief financial officer of the Maybourne Hotel Group, is financial director. Niels Kristensen, previously of D&D London, has been appointed director of food and beverage.

MEATliquor King’s Cross – King’s Cross, London

The burger group – whose sites now spread from Leeds and Croydon to Brixton and Brighton – is returning to its original stomping ground of London to open its newest site, at Chad Place in King’s Cross. The usual fare will be on the menu, including the infamously-named Dead Hippie burger, the Chili Dog, the Dirty Chicken Cheeseburger, the Tower Block Burger, and the familiar Cajun, Hippie, and Chili Cheese Fries. Sides include deep-fried mac n cheese, and fried pickles with blue cheese dip. There will also be a wide selection of cocktails, wine, and house-made hard shakes.

Dirty Bones Soho – Soho, London

The fourth site from 'New York­inspired' group Dirty Bones, this new restaurant – on the site of the former Clockjack ‒ will feature a design based on a New York loft apartment, and will serve a similar comfort food menu to its existing sites, including US-inspired dishes such as the 'Mac Daddy' burger topped with macaroni and cheese; and fried chicken and waffles. The group currently runs three London sites in Shoreditch, Carnaby Street and South Kensington and is set to open its first restaurant outside London in Oxford later this year.

Machiya – Piccadilly Circus, London

From the team behind ramen group Kanada-Ya – including Tony Lam and Aaron Burgess­Smith ‒comes this new concept focusing on traditional Japanese home cooking. The 23-seat Machiya is named for a style of wooden Japanese townhouse and will launch two doors down from Kanada­Ya’s Piccadilly Circus restaurant. The menu is set to focus on three elements, including gyudon, thinly-sliced marinated beef served with Japanese rice; thick deep-fried pork cutlets with tonkotsu sauce, rice and cabbage; and a ‘next level’ Japanese curry. Desserts will include matcha roll cake, while a 20­cover downstairs bar will serve six house cocktails with a ‘Japanese twist’.

Westerns Laundry – Lower Holloway, London

A seafood-focused restaurant from the team behind North London site Primeur, with dishes inspired by predominantly British cooking, but with influences from the Catalan region and Asia. Founders chef David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto­-Lingenheim met while working at the Wright Brothers restaurant group. Housed within a disused 1950’s building in Lower Holloway, the site will serve a daily-changing menu sourced from day boat produce from Devon and Cornwall, as well as several North Yorkshire farms. Dishes will include sea bass and seaweed tartare; chargrilled mackerel served with miso and chilli; and beef rump with roast garlic butter and croutons. Diners will eat at communal tables, and there will also be a 10-­cover counter bar and 14-­cover private dining room.

Norse - Harrogate, Yorkshire

Critically acclaimed restaurant Norse - which first opened in 2014 - is moving in to its first permanent home in Harrogate following a £20k crowdfunding campaign on website Kickstarter. Expect a choice of Nordic-inspired dishes accompanied by a folky soundtrack when it launches on 8 April. The new 40-cover site means the restaurant can also open for lunch for the first time, thanks to its larger kitchen. Owned by Paul Rawlinson, the group will open with Simon Jewitt as head chef and partner. Dishes are set to include the simply-named scallop, apple, mushroom and bergamot; lamb with parsley root and seaweed; and clementine with chocolate and pine. 

Stoke House - Victoria, London

London restaurateur Will Ricker is aiming to reinvent the carvery for this latest addition to Victoria’s Nova development. Described as a ‘pocket friendly’ restaurant, the 100-cover Stoke House will see diners choose from a selection of beef, lamb, pork and chicken and pay according to its weight. Pete Denhart, former head chef at The Newman Arms in Fitzrovia, will head up the kitchen team with a focus on sourcing top quality British produce. All meat will be cooked in a wood fire smoker, with dishes including middlewhite pork collar brioche with fennel apple slaw; and rare cornish barrel rump, seared and seasoned with Cornish sea salt.

Dandy - Newington Green, London

Dandy Café, which has been popping-up in a shipping container in London Fields since 2015, is to open its first bricks and mortar site in Newington Green on 5 April. The newly rechristened Dandy will serve sharing plates (from £6) including shawarma-spiced lamb belly, baba ganoush and cauliflower; and radicchio with blood orange and miso; alongside coffee, beers and natural wines.

Tratra - Boundary Hotel, Shoreditch, London

**[EDIT, 4 APRIL: Tratra is now set to open on 10 May, not April. Look out for it in the May 2017 edition of Restaurant Radar].**

Tratra will be French chef Stephane Reynaud’s first restaurant outside Paris when it launches at the Boundary Hotel in Shoreditch this month. Though dish details are yet to be confirmed, Reynaud grew up in a family of butchers in the Ardeche region and emphasises meat and charcuterie on his menus.

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