Jeremy King Restaurants
Highly respected restaurateur Jeremy King is set to make a triumphant return to London’s restaurant scene this year with not one, not two, but three new openings in the city, which will all operate under the former Corbin & King CEO’s new business group – Jeremy King Restaurants. First up is Arlington, which is set to launch on the old Le Caprice site in Mayfair early this year. Marking something of a full circle moment of King – he previously ran and then owned Le Caprice through the 1980s and 1990s with his then business partner Chris Corbin – Arlington will adapt ‘old favourites’ from the Le Caprice menu for 21st Century tastes. King is currently in the process of revamping the monochrome art deco interior, including reinstating the mirrors behind the bar so diners seated there can watch the main restaurant behind without turning their heads.
Arlington will be followed later in the spring by The Park, which will be housed within the new Park Modern building near London’s Kensington Palace Gardens. King describes The Park as being in the grand cafés and brasseries mould that The Wolseley co-founder is known for, but insists it will be ‘very much of the early 21st Century rather than 20th’.
Finally, in the tail end of the year King will relaunch historic London dining destination Simpson's in the Strand. Describing it as 'the apotheosis' of his career, King will run the restaurant, which is part of the Savoy Buildings and first opened as a chess club and coffee house back in 1828, in partnership with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, owner of both Simpson's and The Savoy hotel. He says he plans to restore Simpson’s, which has remained closed since the onset of the first Covid-19 lockdown back in March 2020 and recently auctioned many of its assets including furniture and crockery, to its former glory. It is understood the restaurant will feature both a downstairs and upstairs dining room, alongside a basement bar and a private dining room.
Endo at The OWO
Creative Restaurant Group has bagged a prime spot on the roof of The OWO for its latest restaurant from Japanese sushi master Endo Kazutoshi. The company is keeping tight-lipped over exactly what the Japanese restaurant will be but what we do know is that it will have a 60-cover dining room as well as an eight-top chefs table and a PDR. The OWO also has four turrets that feature at the end of the Bond movie Skyfall when Daniel Craig looks out at the London skyline (James Bond author Ian Flemming used to work in the building) one of which is within the restaurant’s space, and which affords a 360-degree view of the capital. The group will also open a sake bar on the ground floor of The OWO this year.
Sandy Jarvis, former head chef at The Culpeper and his husband Clément Cousin will open Bavette in Leeds. The seasonally-led bistro menu will feature classically-inspired dishes such as pork belly rillons, frisée salad and ravigote sauce; halibut, vin jaune sauce and buttered leeks; and Paris-Brest inspired by Jarvis’ time spent in kitchens including Racine and Terroirs. The wine list will feature wines from Cousin’s family’s vineyard, as well as other low intervention bottles from across Europe. Bavette is described as being ‘a true representation of the couple’s professional journeys and personal experiences, paying homage to the pair’s favourite bistros, many of which they have had the joy of working in’.
Chef Ruth Hansom will finally realise her long harboured ambition to open a British-focused fine dining restaurant this year with the launch of Hansom restaurant and wine bar in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Hansom who became the first ever female winner of Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) back in 2017, describes the restaurant, which she is launching in partnership with her husband, Mark Hansom-Rigby, as offering ‘an Epicurean adventure of luxury and provenance’. It will serve a ‘contemporary tasting menu’, although dish details are yet to be confirmed.
It’s out with the old, in with the new for Michael O’Hare and his Michelin-starred eye-catching restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain, which relaunches as Psycho Sandbar. Created to be a more accessible offer, Psycho Sandbar will have a surf shack feel with a brutalist design and serve a fish-heavy menu designed to give diners more flexibility. Details of the menu are still under wraps but beautifully grilled fish, pitta bread with plankton, and whole roast duck may feature in some form.
Akira Back and Dosa
Korean-born, American raised snowboarder-turned-international chef Akira Back will make his UK debut in early 2024 with two restaurants within the new Mandarin Oriental Mayfair in London’s Hanover Square. Akira Back will be a 148-seat Japanese restaurant that will showcase Back’s signature dishes ‘AB tuna pizza’; and sea bream with tobiko and chojang; as well as dishes exclusive to London, such as wagyu tempura wellington that is a take on the classic English dish but served in tempura rather than pastry. Dosa, meanwhile, will be a more intimate 14-seater counter-style chef’s table and will serve contemporary Korean seasonal dishes. Back currently operates 25 restaurants in cities such as Paris, Las Vegas, Dubai, San Diego, Doha, Toronto, Singapore, and Seoul.
Los Mochis London City
Having made its UK debut in Notting Hill in 2020, ‘Tokyo meets Tulum’ restaurant Los Mochis will double up this year with a huge new restaurant in the City. Due to open in the spring, the 14,000sq ft restaurant will occupy the 9th floor rooftop of 100 Liverpool Street’s Broadgate, and will have a restaurant, two private dining rooms, a 3,000sq ft outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the city, and a bar with one of the largest selections of fine and rare tequilas and mezcals in Europe. The menu will feature Mexican-Japanese cuisine overseen by executive chef Leonard Tanyag.
The Garden Cobham
Having recently returned to the industry as co-founder of The Devonshire pub and restaurant in Soho, former The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal chef Ashley Palmer-Watts is gearing up to launch a multi-venue restaurant project in Surrey later this year. Billed as a ‘unique collection of openings’, The Garden Cobham will incorporate a 35-seat high-end restaurant with additional seating on a garden terrace, a 52-seat wine bar, a café, and a bakery, all set around a courtyard. The first phase of the project - which is described as new culinary and lifestyle hotspot in Surrey - is expected to launch in the spring with luxury guest accommodation set to be added to the offering soon after. Work is already on the way, with the outside space currently being restored to create an extensive kitchen garden, all set within an historic, two-acre landscaped walled garden.
Milanese seafood restaurant Langosteria is join the already extensive line-up at high-profile Whitehall venue The OWO. The London restaurant will feaure many of the original dishes and features as the original Langosteria, so expect dishes such as red tuna carpaccio; langoustine and foie gras tartare; charcoal grilled king crab; and sharing dish paccheri with seabass as part of its range of raw fish, robata grill, and pasta dishes.
When the much-loved Holland Park restaurant closed its doors in January last year it drew the curtain on an impressive 53 years in business. But that wasn’t to be the end of Julie’s. Now under the new ownership of Tara MacBain the modern French brasserie will reopen in the spring with 160 covers split across ground floor dining room and bar, basement dining area and alfresco terrace. What’s more, former Brawn and The Pelican chef Owen Kenworthy has been named as chef-patron, so we expect great things from the food.
The former Whiteleys shopping mall in Bayswater is being transformed into a dining and leisure space with Aegean restaurant Effie named as one of the anchor tenants. From the team behind London restaurants Pachamama, Chicama, and Zēphyr, Effie will occupy a 5,000sq ft space across two floors within the building, which is now called The Whiteley and will serve a menu inspired by the Aegean coast with a focus on traditional cooking techniques and a menu of char-grilled meats and fish.
Former Simon Rogan lieutenant Tom Barnes will open his debut solo restaurant in the spring. Skof looks set to be one of - if not the most - ambitious restaurant in Manchester and is a shoe-in for Michelin recognition given that Barnes was heading up L’Enclume as executive chef when it received its third star (he also bagged a star for Rogan’s more casual Rogan & Co). Barnes - whose CV also includes The Square and Denmark’s Germanium - says that while he wants Skof to be ‘world class’ the vibe will be ‘light and fun’. In the city’s NOMA district in an old drapery warehouse, Skof will be owned and operated by Barnes but will form ‘part of the next iteration’ of Rogan’s Umbel Restaurants, where the group will ‘support talented individuals in opening their own restaurants and businesses’.
Chotto Matte Manchester
Chotto Matte Manchester could well take the prize for 2024’s most ballsy opening. At 20,000sq ft, it will be one of the biggest restaurants in the city seating well over 250 covers. Founder Kurt Zdesar - who operates two Chotto Mattes in London and several more overseas - has his work cut out. Slated for a summer launch, Chotto Matte Manchester will be going head-to-head with a number of other premium casual Asian restaurant brands including Tattu, Ivy Asia and the more recently launched Sexy Fish and Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat. Atop the 191-bedroom ‘five-star’ hotel that is the centrepiece of Gary Neville’s £200m St Michael’s development, the site will have an enormous roof terrace and will offer Zdesar’s take on Nikkei cuisine.
David Carter’s Borough Market restaurant
David Carter of SMOKESTAK and Manteca fame is understood to be opening a Greek restaurant on the former site of Rabot 1745 in London’s Borough Market. Little is known about the Bedale Street restaurant but if his last two places - which are both in Shoreditch - are anything to go by it’s going to be a cracker. It’s also likely to be a welcome counterpoint to the excessively-spendy Milos, Gaia and Bacchanalia.
Ben Marks and Matt Emmerson’s much-loved Newington Green restaurant Perilla is finally doubling up with a much more central site just off Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market. Set to open within the former La Porchetta site, Morchella is being billed as a restaurant and wine bar that will offer dishes made using a mixture of UK and Mediterranean-sourced produce. Example dishes include octopus Luciana; salt baked poussin; and hake with sobrassada sauce. The restaurant has previously featured on the National Restaurant Awards top 100 list, recognised for its ‘intelligently offbeat seasonal cooking and great wine served in beautiful surrounds’.
Tom Sellers’ two-Michelin starred Story restaurant starts its next chapter in very early January having been closed for nearly 12 months. A new level has been added to the top of the restaurant - which is located in a former toilet bock in Bermondsey - to create Story 3.0 (there has already been a Story 2.0). The new second floor will comprise an intimate lounge area, seating six to eight guests for an aperitif or nightcap, alongside a new open kitchen, Restaurant Story’s take on a chef’s table experience. Overlooking the kitchen will be the largest table in the restaurant, seating 14 guests. This table will be available for public and private use. The second floor will also offer stunning views of The Shard, and will facilitate the ‘vast’ expansion of the restaurant’s wine programme.
Ash and Erin Valenzuela-Heeger will open an ambitious restaurant in Birmingham this January that will explore the former's South African roots. Originally created by Ash and her sister Mandy in Cape Town, Riverine Rabbit operated as a pop-up last summer. The name is inspired by the Karoo Desert where the elusive riverine rabbit lives with a nod to Ash and Erin’s ongoing endeavour to support sustainable farming practices. Located in the suburb of Stirchley in the south-west of the Midlands city, Riverine Rabbit will combine strong South African influences with seasonal British produce. The restaurant will offer a menu made up of 16 small plates. There will be a focus on wild game and seafood alongside a substantial plant-based offering. Guests can order as many or as few dishes as they prefer. On Mondays, an affordable Prix Fixe menu of four courses for £30 (with optional add-ons) will be available.
Black Sheep Restaurants
Founded in 2012 by Syed Asim Hussain, Black Sheep Restaurants operates around 35 different concepts in Hong Kong and is set to make its UK debut next year. It is understood that a central London site has been secured for a Q1 or Q2 opening, but the group is being coy about which of its concepts it will export to these shores following a trial of two of its key brands at Carousel earlier this summer. First up was Indian concept New Punjab Club, which is led by Cinnamon Club and Gymkhana-alumnus Palash Mitra. This was followed by the brilliantly-named Ho Lee Fook (it means good fortune for your mouth, apparently), which offers a contemporary spin on Cantonese cooking in a fun and irreverent setting. Given the intense competition in London’s top-end Indian space, we think it will probably be the latter.
Jean-François Piège is bringing his French Riviera-inspired Paris restaurant Mimosa to The Langham, London hotel. Occupying the space that was once home to Michel Roux Jr.’s Roux at The Landau, the restaurant is being brought to the UK by way of a partnership with the chef and Moma Group, which is also behind a number of international restaurants brands including Andia and works with other high-profile chefs including Eyal Shani and Marc Veyrat. Mimosa London will be the first international outpost for the Mimosa brand and is described as ‘an ode to the produce and heritage of France’ with menus that take their cues from Mediterranean cuisine, while the dining room design will feature ‘whimsical interiors’.
abc kitchen at The Emory
The new Knightsbridge hotel will be home to international chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abc brand to the UK for the very first time. Designed by Rémi Tessier and featuring artworks by Damien Hirst, the restaurant will be open from breakfast and serve an all-day menu that will bring together elements from a trio of Vongerichten’s New York locations — abc kitchen, abcV and abc cocina and is described as being ‘vibrant, approachable and contemporary’.
Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson is set to move his Somerset restaurant Osip to a larger, more rural location this year following a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised in excess of £125,000. Osip 2.0 is billed as ‘a more ambitious evolution’ of the original Osip concept, which launched in the upmarket town of Bruton in 2019. Labron-Johnson has already secured a new site for the opening, which is planned for later this year and will take the form of a country auberge with a garden, living space and bedrooms. Explaining the concept to Restaurant earlier this year, Labron-Johnson said: “We will welcome guests to explore the gardens, tour the kitchen, relax by the fire for a post-dinner drink, and stay overnight. The intention is that this will be an extension of my home, and showcase from start to finish of the craft, design and delicious food that I have fallen in love with of late.”
Claude Bosi and his wife Lucy will launch their first joint venture early this year – a new neighbourhood style French bistro in London’s Fulham. Named after Claude’s late grandmother, Josephine is described as being ‘reminiscent of the traditional bouchons’ found in the chef’s hometown of Lyon. Taking over the former Colette site on the corner of Callow Street and Fulham Road, the restaurant’s menu will feature French bistro classics and regional Lyonnaise specialities. The wine offering will tie in with the classical French style, offering Bouchon-inspired metre wine that allows guests to only pay for what they drink and thus encourage them to try something new. Holding 76 covers, the dining room has been designed by Fabled Studio and will draw inspiration from Lyon’s historic bouchons and the city’s cultural heritage.
London-based restaurateur Ellen Chew will launch the first permanent site under her Singaporean-focused Singapulah concept in February on Shaftesbury Avenue. Spread across four floors and holding 100-cover site, Singapulah will ‘pay homage’ to the diverse culinary landscape of Singapore, and will showcase a rotating roster of Singaporean food manufacturers and partner brands through its menu and via a retail channel. The restaurant’s launch is supported by Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development, and the Singapore Brand Office, with promotional support from Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Global Network.
Ducksoup and Little Duck founders Clare Lattin and Tom Hill will open a provincial French-inspired restaurant in London in February. Located on Stoney Street on the site that was previously sandwich shop Sons + Daughters, Camille is described as being ‘a reflective imagining of the duo’s travels across France’. It will take a rustic approach to provenance-led cooking that has been characteristic of their restaurants, which also includes their latest venture Emilia, an Italian osteria in Ashburton, Devon. The menu will feature the best produce from British growers, many of which will be sourced locally from suppliers within Borough Market, with the wine list to feature low-intervention and biodynamic bottles, focusing on small French producers and vineyards. The pair have been joined by long-term friend and Brindisa co-founder Ratnesh Bagdai for the opening of Camille with the kitchen to be headed up by ex-St John chef Elliot Hashtroudi, currently resident chef at Clapton’s 107 wine bar.