Lucky Cat, Mayfair
Gordon Ramsay has opened his newest London restaurant. Named Lucky Cat, the ‘Asian eating house’ on Grosvenor Square offers an expansive menu of Asian small plates and robata-grilled dishes, served by a slick team. Designed to emulate the late-night drinking clubs of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East, the decor focuses on dark bamboo walls and statement ‘paper’ lamps, and there’s no escaping the abundance of ‘lucky cats’, which add accents of gold from the bar to the loos and even onto your table, where chopsticks rest against a miniature metal feline. Each table offers a vista of the action: there are two chef’s tables, where guests can choose from a handwritten, seasonal menu and enjoy the theatre of watching the chefs at work, while the raw bar offers insight into expertly sliced sushi and sashimi. Ordering from the sushi menu is a must – we enjoyed sampling kingfish for the first time – but the crispy duck leg bao, seared scallops with sweetcorn and hot sauce and katsu monkfish cheeks across the menu are essential. Elsewhere, the bar serves a superb selection of Japanese gins and over 50 sakes. Make sure to kick things off with a ‘White Geisha’.
10 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 6JP
10 Heddon Street, Mayfair
Chris Leach – formerly of Kitty Fisher’s, Pitt Cue and Petersham Nurseries – and Smokestak’s David Carter have launched a restaurant residency at 10 Heddon Street. Focusing on hand-made pasta and in-house charcuterie, the self-titled restaurant’s menu will change daily, beginning with focaccia and a selection of house-made salumi, including mortadella, coppa di testa and fennel salami. To follow, there will be a rotating line-up of smaller dishes including gazpacho, Cornish crab, fried ciccioli with apple ketchup, pea and summer vegetable ragu with scamorza and toasted spelt, and grilled peach salad with smoked almond and ricotta salata. Mostly excitingly, a section of the menu will be dedicated to hand-rolled egg pasta – highlights include rigatoni with pumpkin seed pesto and anchovy, garganelli with spicy pig tail ragu, tonnarelli with brown crab cacio e pepe and sheep’s milk ricotta ravioli served with Calabrian chilli oil, local honey and poppy seeds. Guests will finish with cannolo filled with whipped sheep’s milk ricotta, candied orange peel and salted caramelised hazelnuts. We can’t wait to give it a try.
10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BX
Flor, Borough Market
Bao, BaozilInn, a new terrace at Bedales: foodie hotspot Borough Market has exploded with exciting openings over the last few months. This run continues with the long-awaited arrival of Flor, the new restaurant, wine bar and bakery from the team behind Michelin-starred Lyle’s in Shoreditch. Inspired by the buvettes of Paris and the pintxos bars in San Sebastián, Flor will be open all day, serving sourdough and pastries. Housed in a 19th-century building in the centre of the market, the space features floor-to-ceiling Crittall windows, which flood the room with natural light. Guests can take a seat at the relaxed counter overlooking the open kitchen, or climb the original black cast-iron spiral staircase, where the space features original brickwork walls, banquette seating and accents of marble and stone. Come evening, the kitchen dishes up simple plates including burrata, grilled bread and salted tomatoes, Cornish pollack brandade with pickled peppers, lamb ribs, yoghurt and black lime, and whole Dover sole with capers and wild marjoram. The wine list is approachable and sourced from agriculturally responsible producers. Best of all, a large selection is available by the glass.
1 Bedale Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AL
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
Hot on the heels of social media sensation Gloria Trattoria comes Circolo Popolare, a 857sqm slice of summer from Paris’s Big Mamma Group. Where Gloria takes inspiration from 1970s Capri, Circolo is inspired by the extravagance of a Sicilian wedding. Bigger in size – the wisteria-filled restaurant seats 280 across a mix of booths and 12-people feating tables, plus there’s a pretty sun-drenched terrace for 60 – the premise here is about larger sharing dishes, served family style. Antipasti is the best way to kick off the meal: we recommend ordering a mix of Sardinian empanadas filled with pork, Sicilian fennel and arrabiata sauce, plates of ham and Puglian burrata served with an oozing pesto centre. Mains offer everything from extra-large pizzas to bowls of pasta (we love the linguini with burrata and aubergine), but make sure to leave room for the ‘Dessert Island’, an extreme take on ile flottante. The slice of meringue comes in at 20cm high, before being covered with sticky popcorn and a rich crème anglaise. Like everything at Circolo, it’s OTT and, most importantly, fun.
40-41 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1HX
New Soho restaurant Heritage gives Swiss food a modern makeover through head chef Aarik Persaud’s use of luxury ingredients – think lobster fondue and raclette with wagyu bresaola. Offering a journey across The Alps, this elegant menu is designed for sharing. From rich fondues, molten raclette and crispy rösti through to chateaubriand charbonnade served on tabletop charcoal grills, this is the place to head if you like a little theatre with your meal. Away from the cheese, guests can order dry-aged steak tartare with beetroot and yoghurt dressing, lobster tart with roasted fennel, whole red mullet with red prawn, caviar and samphire fricassee and the impressive Trenchmore wagyu burger, topped with bacon and truffle jam, foie gras, sweet onion and pickles, before being finished off at the table with raclette. Heritage is a stylish spot: its palette of exposed brickwork, industrial ceiling fixtures and modern art match the menu and mood perfectly. A wine list showcases wines from the Alpine region as well as those from Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Each bottle is stored in the restaurant’s statement glass wine cellar, which spans the length of the lower-ground corridor.
18-20 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DE
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