New dining digs in London town

The London restaurant scene stands still for no one. It feels like there’s a new opening every week. Here is a list of places I’ve been to that have opened within the last year which have got my tastebuds going. All are decent, some are very good indeed. I’ll keep adding to this and updating it, so make sure to check back for the latest juice.

 VIEW MAP

MAISON BAB

Kebabs | Covent Garden | ££

Opened Sep 2018

Maison Bab is the new spot by the Le Bab stable. They’ve got a casual restaurant upstairs and are a planning a ‘fine dining’ spot in the basement, subverting the genre aesthetically by borrowing iconography from kebab shop facades – interested to see how that pans out.
Upstairs is much larger than Le Bab in Kingly Court which I always found to be a bit too tight and not that fun intimate feel you can get in some restaurants; food wise the kebabs here are meant to be a bit more rough and ready, more typical so to speak than the slightly more fancy ones on offer in Le Bab and all under a tenner. When I went to Masion Bab, I had the chicken shish which I found to be a bit dry – def make sure you get the chilli sauce that accompanies it. So whilst, I’d say the kebab was not as good as at Le Bab (though mind you I went during soft launch so sure some kinks were still being ironed out) – the space, service and price point would certainly draw me back. RR

CASA DO FRANGO

Portugese | London Bridge | ££

Opened July 2018

Casa Do Frango is in food hub London Bridge, a few mins walk from the station. I was in the area, hungry and keen to have a sit down lunch but not spend a huge amount. I ended up ordering a free range half chicken (£9.5) and some ‘African Rice’ (£5) which comes loaded with peas, plantain and crispy chicken skin (I asked for mine without chorizo) served in small dish that is deceptively filling. I really enjoyed the moist rice dish; the chicken was fine but I asked for mine to be browned a little more in the hope of getting a somewhat more crunchy exterior – ask for some peri peri sauce on the side, it makes all the difference. The space is rustic and casual with a tonne of foliage – a proper cutie. There’s a mix of benches and stand alone table as well as a bar that’s perfect for solo dinners. Lots of people have been saying that it’s lazy to just describe it as a posh Nando’s but it kind of is to be fair and they ain’t nothing wrong with that. RR

TATA

Fusion | Kensal Rise | £-££

Opened May 2018

These guys have been on the pop up circuit for a while and previously had a shop in Haggerston. When I heard they were doing a residency at Borough Wines in Kensal Rise, I decided to check it out since I frequent the neighbourhood. Oh my, am I glad I did. All the produce was so fresh and delicious. I think I would actually go out of my way to eat here even if I didn’t live / visit this neighborhood often. They describe themselves as “Two chefs, pairing European ingredients and Asian attitude” – that works for me. Really enjoyed the Cabbage with Umami Dressing. Two stand out dishes for me were the Maitake-Ghost Shrimp and Ox Cheek Quesadilla. I could have lived without the Plaice with Wild Garlic – fresh if a little bland. The service is so warm and lovely. Big fan after my first visit. I’ll be back. RR

LAHPET

Burmese | Shoreditch | £-££

Opened Apr 2018

I first heard about Lahpet through a pal when they were stationed in Hackney. However, I didn’t try them until they had their pop up in the “Kitchens” in Spitalfields. I had the coconut noodles with chicken which was quite tatsty. Then I tried them out again at their permanent spot at Shoreditch where they were offering up a x3 course lunch menu for 11 quid. Bargain. The sweetcorn fritters are nice enough. The salads are super fresh but I’m not a fan of the rehydrated broad beans which they seem to have in all of them. Overall, it’s good value for money and I’d go back for that. W&R

Image: Brummell Magazine


SCULLY

Experimental | Kensal Rise | £££

Opened March 2018

Scully’s is Ramael Scully’s first shop, having spent years working under the Ottolenghi umbrella but don’t expect direct parallels in the offering. The complimentary curried chickpeas are damn tasty. The crispy baby artichoke with black shallot aioli was good but definitely one to share as opposed to gobble up solo as the crunch could become tedious afer a while. The Octopus, Salted Baked Avocado, Black Garlic was lovely – the octopus tenderly cooked, no rubbery mess here. The Beef Shortib Pastrami, Horesradish and Pistachio was moreish. The Forbidden Rice, Vegetable XO and Turnips was a nice accompaniment dish as opposed to an exciting solo star. The desserts felt a bit flyaway, I would have appreciated more substantial, sponge based offerings. The vibe at Scully’s is relaxed yet refined and I’d definitely return. RR

Image: Evening Standard


Key

Meal + A Bevvy
[£] £25 and under
[££] £25-35
[£££] £36-45
[££££] £46-55
[£££££] £56 and over

Reservations

NR: No Reservations
RR: Reservations Recommended
W&R: Walk Ins & Reservations

Map

To find the closest ‘New Spot’ to you on my map whilst you are out and about:
+ Simply click the extend button on the top right hand corner of the map
+ This will take you into Google Maps where your location will be pinpointed
+ Click on a pin that is close to you, the name of the restaurant will appear in the bottom band
+ Then, click on the walking man icon
+ This will then show you the route to get there and approx travel time