Following a number of sell-out events across London, Middle Eastern pop-up Bubala has opened its first permanent site on Commercial Street. This is also the debut restaurant from Marc Summers, previously GM at Berber & Q. He is joined by head chef Helen Graham, formerly of Middle Eastern hotspots The Palomar, The Barbary and The Good Egg. Bubala’s fully vegetarian menu is designed for sharing and centres around the bold flavours, herbs and spices of Tel Aviv’s modern cafes. Vegetables are given a lick of flame on an open grill and served with both traditional and more unusual flavour combinations. Highlights include fried aubergine with zhoug and date syrup; cabbage braised in pomegranate with zaatar chimichurri; and confit potato latkes served with garlicky toum. The drinks list comprises a short cocktail menu, red and white house wines on tap, and a selection of wines from Lebanon and the Middle East.
65 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6BD
Seven Dials Market, Covent Garden
Kerb has opened the doors to its first permanent home. In an old West End warehouse, Seven Dials Market is an all-day destination packed with 25 independent food businesses alongside a bar and bookshop. The market is divided into two distinct areas: Cucumber Alley, an indoor lane of specialist London producers; and Banana Warehouse, home to a selection of street-food traders and new restaurants. Vendors include cheese conveyor belt Pick & Cheese, Square Root’s Temperance Bar, vegan Club Mexicana, Monty’s Deli, seafood restaurant Claw and ramen specialist Nanban. We’re looking forward to trying Yum Bun’s ‘Bao-Wow’, a Chang Mai sausage in a soft bao bun. Diners can feast at baby-pink Italian terrazzo marble counters with orange leather stools – around an electric-pink elevator that takes centre stage.
Earlham Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LX
Haya, Notting Hill
Inspired by founder Victoria Paltina’s visits to Tel Aviv, Haya focuses on simple Mediterranean sharing plates and nutritious seasonal ingredients. The all-day restaurant opens early to serve cold-pressed juices, coffee and breakfast dishes including yoghurt with granola and honeycomb; goats’ cheese and egg-white omelette; and porridge topped with mango puree and seasonal fruit. At lunch, guests can drop in for burrata with loquat compote and citrus vinaigrette; quinoa salad, crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds; and spiced lamb cutlets served with honey yoghurt. On weekends, Haya serves up brunch dishes such as shakshuka and fried polenta cakes topped with shaved parmesan and fried quail eggs. As evening draws in, the lights are dimmed and the candles lit, highlighting the restaurant’s warm oak flooring, textured concrete walls and plant-laden green ceiling. In true Mediterranean style, seasonally changing small plates will lend themselves to sharing: dinner highlights include zaatar duck breast and freekeh risotto; crispy prawns with spicy yoghurt and harissa; and seared tuna with dukkah and homemade labneh.
184 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, W11 2ES
Mama Shelter, Shoreditch
Mama Shelter, the French hospitality group behind Club Med, has opened the doors to its first UK property. At the centre of Mama London there’s a 100-cover restaurant, a lively neighbourhood spot where guests can dine around communal tables surrounded by vintage lamps, dark wooden interiors, pops of coloured macramé and Liberty prints. The menu focuses on family-style sharing plates. Informal dishes include snacks and starters of pork belly baos with char siu sauce, pak choi and hajikami ginger; and burrata with Isle of Wight tomatoes. A ‘Mama staples’ section features French classics such as croque monsieur, and coquillettes with Mostellos jambon and a soft-boiled Burford brown egg. Elsewhere, the local area is celebrated with pie, mash and liquor plus the ‘East London Iced Platter’, which is piled high with Mersea oysters, crayfish, jellied eels, pickled cockles and Bloody Mary mayo. Downstairs, post-meal entertainment comes via Japanese-style karaoke rooms filled with pinball machines and retro video games.
437 Hackney Road, Shoreditch, E2 8PP
At the end of the month, Allegra will open its doors in east London’s The Stratford, a 42-storey skyscraper that combines a hotel and loft apartments with bars, restaurants and sky gardens. On the seventh floor and overlooking the Highline Sky Garden, the restaurant will be accessed via the lobby through a private lift, taking guests into the bar to enjoy cocktails, snacks, oysters or a selection of charcuterie from the in-house curing room. Heading up the kitchen is Patrick Powell, who trained at Dublin’s Michelin-star L’Ecrivain under Derry Clarke, Wild Honey with Anthony Demetre and Chiltern Firehouse with Nuno Mendes. His menu will include hand-dived scallops, cucumber, pickled strawberry and elderflower; suckling pig, turnip, bramley apple and mint; baked celeriac with mizuna, jalapeno and celeriac ramen broth. Back in the restaurant, retractive glass walls will open out onto the terrace. Here, herbs for the restaurant will grow alongside flora and plants reminiscent of those in Hackney marshes. Outdoor seating areas will be sheltered by the triple-height, cedar cantilevered roof and illuminated pergola. A separate terrace menu features dishes cooked from the outdoor wood-burning grill, which will act as a large fireplace during autumnal evenings.
20 International Way, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E20 1FD
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