Following on from a delightful jaunt around England’s beautiful countryside it’s now time to join in with the London-centric culinary conversation and look at the capital’s new openings as well as some of the salivating prospects expected in 2023.
Whilst we have been relatively lucky with our recent weather, it’s always hard to compete with the sunnier climates of Southern France. Luckily, new bistro Socca and it's French/Mediterranean-influenced menu is now here to help transport you to the French Riviera, even on London’s dullest days. The brilliant Claude Bosi (formerly of Hibiscus and now Bibendum - 2 Michelin Stars) has teamed up with Samyukta Nair (Jamavar) to spread a little culinary sunshine over South Audley Street. Named after the traditional chickpea pancake, Socca, found in the south of France and parts of Italy. The menu features dishes such as hand-dived Orkney Scallops with blood orange, Menton tart, slow-cooked lamb shoulder with Nicoise Sauce and of course, Socca signature pancakes with aubergine caviar. Highly recommended for your daily dose of vitamin D.
Socca is located at 41A S Audley St, London W1K 2PS.
Not strictly a new opening but more an upgrade to a chic and stylish venue befitting of all the incredible things that happen in the kitchen of Ikoyi. Serving up sub-Saharan West African cuisine, Ikoyi has a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the UK and in terms of fine dining offerings, it’s certainly one of the more unique operations too. The move in venue has generated the same level of chatter that you would expect with a new opening and it’s easy to understand why. There is essentially one set menu on offer for lunch and dinner (£300 per person with the exception of Wednesday’s & Thursday’s shorter lunch menu at £180 per person) that uses hyper-seasonal British ingredients to create inventive dishes with West African spices as the foundation. If you’ve been before this is the perfect excuse to go again and if you haven’t had the chance just yet, this is your reminder.
Ikoyi 2.0 is located at 180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA.
A rebirth rather than just a venue change for Racine, formerly of Knightsbridge. The critics have been fawning over this spot for some time now with universal praise coming in from all angles, meaning that it’s near impossible to pin down a table at the moment but if you are lucky enough to do so, it won’t disappoint. French classics fill the menu from remoulades to rillettes all to be enjoyed in a dining room reminiscent of the countless bouchons of Lyon. It’s a continuation in many ways of where Racine left off however, this feels like a more appropriate home and one where it will get the appreciation that it deserves, nestled in amongst a backdrop of similar-style venues whose names carry just as much weight in the culinary world, if not more, such as St John and Quality Chop House.
Bouchon Racine is located at Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BP.
Central to the Notting Hill restaurant revival is Dorian. A fish and meat focused restaurant with a side of superb wines and a rapidly rising star chef, Max Coen at the helm (formerly of Frantzen, Kitchen Table and Ikoyi too as it happens). In fact, you might describe the whole line up at Dorian as an all-star one with Ale Villa arriving from Core by Clare Smyth, Ben Whitfield from Brasserie Zédel, chef Kai Menneken having trained under Phil Howard and ex-River Café chef George Williams too. All star line ups don’t always make for all star restaurants but in this case it does. Recently named head chef winner of Code’s 30 under 30 awards, Max Coen presides over a menu that features Gillardeau oysters, hunks of ribeye and beautifully bright lobsters amongst other creative and colourful dishes. So far, this is the crown jewel in the resurgence of top-notch restaurants in Notting Hill which is of course, very high praise given some of the recent competition.
Dorian is located at 105 - 107 Talbot Rd, London W11 2AT.
Keep an eye out for: Noble Rot Mayfair, expected Spring 2023
The Shephard’s Market spot will be the third instalment of the growing Noble Rot empire. Initially having begun life on Lamb’s Conduit Street, the restaurant and magazine has developed a large and loyal following for its ‘Franglais’ cooking and wine expertise. The Bloomsbury and Soho spots have depth, character, are easy on both the palate and nose, so the expectation on the Mayfair opening is understandably high. Restaurant goers can expect a continuation of those warm atmospheres and award winning wine lists, in fact if the previous award years are anything to go by then the new opening may well pick up a’ Wine List of the Year’ or two, just like it’s predecessors have done since 2016.
Noble Rot Mayfair will open at 5 Trebeck St Shepherd Market, London W1J 7LT.
Keep an eye out for: Story Cellar in Covent Garden, expected March 2023
With Restaurant Story closed for refurbishment, many are licking their lips at the prospect of being able to enjoy Tom Sellers’ cooking again in 2023 and even more so at the prospect of it being rotisserie chicken and fine wines in the midst of the bustling Seven Dials neighbourhood. If you have had the pleasure of visiting Story pre-refurbishment then you will know the level of talent that Tom Sellers possesses and that this is likely not one to be missed.
Story Cellar will open at 17 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9DP.
There is of course an abundance of new openings on the horizon and many other venues where the paint is yet to dry but these are without doubt some of the best ones to get your teeth into right now and in the near future.
Monument has partnered with La Petite Conciergerie to offer Members a Restaurant Reservations service, allowing Members to redeem pre-booked restaurant bookings. This service is complimentary to Monument Members as a membership benefit.
Find the Restaurant Reservations service in the Restaurant of the Week collection within the Member Services app anytime, and explore the reservations available this week.