One of the many reasons that I love living in London is the number of good restaurants in London. New restaurants open frequently and there is always something exciting and different and tasty to try. The only challenge is keeping up with all of London’s best new restaurants! I have a few sources for keeping up – my absolute favourite for good restaurants in London the fantastic enewsletter Hot Dinners. Hot Dinners covers everything from pop-ups to prestige and they don’t miss a thing. One of my favourite things about their reviews is that they always put in a bar nearby for a pre-dinner drink. I also use Time Out and the Evening Standard magazine. Here are the new interesting restaurants London Spring 2017:
Temper has been one of the hottest openings in London this year and it has been super hard to get a table at a decent time. We managed to get a bar seat at 9pm on a Wednesday night. The place was buzzing and more upmarket than I had expected.
We kicked off with two types of tacos – beef and aubergine and miso. Whilst they were both very tasty I was surprised that they came cold. I would have much preferred them heated up exactly the same. But hey they were still tasty.
We then moved on to the main section of the menu. You choose your meat and it comes on flatbread. You can then choose sauces and toppings. We initially didn’t think we needed sauces but the waiter convinced us and he was right. We had the beef and the pork with the green sauce and it was absolutely delicious! And also fantastic value for money.
The sides menu looked very tasty so we got the Burrata, lime and jalapeno which was amazing, the corn which was a super tasty mix of kernels and popped and delicious potatoes and cheese.
I was delighted to find that they served my favourite Australian sparkling Jansz by the glass as well. And all of this for 80 pounds – great value!
25 Broadwick St.
London W1F 0DF
Bala Baya is a relatively new Israeli restaurant that has opened near Southwark station. It is about a 3-minute walk from the station and down a super cute little mews street – the Old Union Yard Arches. It operates as a bakery during the day, does a bottomless brunch and then has lunch and dinner. The restaurant is over two levels and there are also a couple of outdoor eating tables.
So let’s start with the bread. Oh my goodness. The pitta bread is AMAZING! Soft and fluffy but with some pull – little pockets of joy. The bread is so good that now whenever I am near Southwark I pop in and buy 10 and freeze them. They are perfect for breakfast with eggs, with something else for lunch and quite frankly with pretty much everything!
Then on to the main menu. This is, of course, small plates as so many great restaurants in London are these days and are best shared. I personally am a big fan of this trend as I like to try as many things as possible. There are a few offerings in main sized as well as a tasting menu. We naively thought the tasting menu would be too much food – we couldn’t stop eating and would have been fine to have it!!!
We kicked off with crispy, sticky, crunchy – lite and fluffy fried chicken with a fantastic orange edge. Then to the lamb and dumplings which were my favourite – the lamb neck was so tender and flavoursome. We had the pork cheeks which were excellent and then another highlight for me – Aubergine tea with milk. And we had the cauliflower which was also brilliant.
We thought we didn’t have room for dessert but I couldn’t not try the chocolate babka! Does anyone else remember that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine went to extraordinary lengths to get the chocolate babka? Anyway, it was amazing – pastry, chocolate, pistachios, plums – heaven.
I have actually been back to Bala Baya again for lunch – fantastic – and have done a takeaway order of chocolate babka to take to lunch. This is one of my favourite good restaurants in London and I highly recommend it.
Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches
229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR
Veneta is part of the new St James Market development about a 2-minute walk from Picadilly Circus. This little area has gone from having little to offer to several of London’s hottest restaurants – including Veneta. Veneta is part of the Saltyard group that also owns the fabulous Opera Tavern in Covent Garden and other London hotspots.
The restaurant is stunning – very European in feel – a bit like the Wolseley. We began with the mixed charcuterie board and homemade foccacia which were both excellent. Veneta then offers small plates so we had a few to share. First up was the Burrata and sheep’s ricotta ravioli, porcini sauce, mushrooms and hazelnuts.
Next up was the Grilled Chicken with potato and garlic puree and then the highlight of the meal – the delicious and tender lamb. We ended with two fantastic desserts – the bitter chocolate and meringue gelato and the chocolate grenache – both of which were delicious.
There was a great selection of wines by the glass and we managed to try a few. Service was fast and friendly. We booked – and even though it was a Tuesday night it was quite busy.
3 Norris Street
SW1 Y 4RJ
Mexican is all the range in London these days which is fantastic news! This is a very cute little diner style place in Soho with oh so friendly staff. We hit Corazon for lunch and could have ordered the entire menu. We started with the tostadas with tuna – loved the combination of the corn tortilla and the raw tuna.
Then we moved on to the tacos. The pork was good but the chicken was the star – so full of flavour! Oh and I nearly forgot to say we had great guacamole and proper corn chips to start. It isn’t super cheap as the portions aren’t massive but the taste more than delivers!
29 Poland Street
It is tough competition when it comes to being London’s best new restaurants! I love Jason Atherton’s restaurants. If the word Social is in the title I am there! Although his latest offering at the Nova development near Victoria station does sadly lack the word Social in its title I was willing to give it a go and I was not disappointed!
There is a great bar called the Drunken Oyster upstairs that would be fab on its own let alone with a brilliant restaurant downstairs. Hai Cenato is an Italian theme and a bit more casual than your average Atherton restaurant but no less delicious.
First and I think best was the mint and walnut ravioli – a taste sensation! Then the octopus and squid and lentils. Then to the highlight – the amazing pizzas! A perfect base – light and fluffy yet crisp and firm – generally perfect. We had one rossa and one bianca – a rossa meat extravaganza and then bianca with taleggio and chanterelles. A sensational and quite reasonably priced meal.
2 Sir Simon Milton Square
London SW1E 5DJ
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