Maison François, St James’s
Originally scheduled to open this spring, St James’s brasserie and wine bar Maison François will open its doors on 14th September. The restaurant will pay homage to the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace – decorated with mirror-filled arches, art-deco chandeliers hung from the 20ft ceilings and curved banquettes – while incorporating wider influences across its menus. Open all day, Maison François aims to focus on simplicity and seasonality, starting with breads and fresh patisserie made in the in-house bakery. Throughout the day, guests can watch the chefs at work around the floating pass in the open kitchen. From the pass, guests will be able to order brasserie classics such as reblochon gougères and jambon noir, alongside handmade pasta dishes like ravioli dauphine with comté and black pepper, while whole fish and cuts of meat will be cooked over a wood-fired grill and served with frites. When it’s time for dessert, a dessert trolley will wind its way through the tables, filled with French classics such as layered gâteaux, praline paris-brests and a selection of seasonal fruit tarts. Before or after a meal, guests can head downstairs to Frank’s, a Manhattan-style wine bar which offers a 250-bottle wine list and cocktails until late.
34 Duke Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6DF; 14th September
Rondo is a new restaurant and wine bar at The Hoxton, Holborn. The space has been created in collaboration with William Lander, co-owner of meat-focused hotspots Quality Chop House, Portland and Clipstone, who has helped oversee the concept and put together an exciting wine list. Heading up the kitchen is Chris Gillard – previously of St John – whose menus make the most of seasonal produce in pared-back, punchy dishes. Among the snacks are duck rillettes, crisp aubergine tempura with a harissa dipping sauce and a bone marrow toastie, while starters include smoked mackerel with beetroot and horseradish; brown shrimp, cucumber, fennel, and cucumber; and crispy pig’s cheek salad with roast shallots and watercress. Working closely with independent suppliers such as Ben’s Fish in Mersea Island and Swaledale Foods in Yorkshire, Chris’s dishes will change depending on season and availability and will focus on lesser-used ingredients, such as grey mullet, which is the star of one of Rondo’s main courses, simply cooked on the charcoal grill and served with tomato, fennel and aioli. For dessert, expect apricot and almond tart; Pump Street chocolate mousse cake with fresh cherries; and British cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy.
199-206 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7BD
Later this month, Japanese restaurant Taka will open on Marylebone High Street. The menu has been created by former Nobu chef Taiji Maruyama and head chef Jonathan Dowling, who both previously worked together at the acclaimed Beaverbrook hotel in Surrey. The pair have designed a small plate-led menu, focusing on hot and grilled dishes as well as sushi, which will showcase the finest British produce through an entirely Japanese execution. Dishes designed to be shared include a yakitori omakase, which will comprise a whole Botterills chicken broken down into its different components and then grilled over hot coals to create a complete nose-to-tail eating experience, and a selection of sushi, which will focus on quirky adaptations of long-standing favourites, such as kagoshima A5 wagyu sukiyaki with onsen eggs and popcorn shrimp with daikon salad. Weekends will see Taka serve brunch, offering the likes of waffles and pancakes with a Japanese twist. The dining area will be set across two floors, incorporating a design which blends contemporary Japanese and European style with simple yet bold materials including oak, timber and tan leather. Don’t forget to order one of the bar’s well-chosen sakes to accompany your meal.
109 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, W1U 4RX; 24th September
Beam, Notting Hill
Award-winning, family run neighbourhood café Beam has opened its third site. Following popular launches in Crouch End and Highbury, the newest location is on Westbourne Grove, and features mid-century modern interiors which provide a cosy spot for relaxed brunch or lunch. The kitchen serves up a wide range of homecooked breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes inspired by Mediterranean and British cuisine, all made with locally sourced ingredients. Hits from the menu include goats’ cheese and beetroot benedict with hazelnut dukkah and homemade hollandaise sauce, served on a toasted muffin; and Turkish eggs with garlic yoghurt, medium poached organic eggs, browned butter with chilli flakes, diced spicy beef sausage and rosemary focaccia. The menu also features plenty of vegan and vegetarian options such as crushed avocado with vegan sausage, portobello mushroom, hash brown, grilled heritage tomatoes, bean salsa, dukkah, artisan multigrain bread and tomato salsa.
103 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 4UW
Tandoor Chop House, Notting Hill
Tandoor Chop House has opened the doors to its new Notting Hill home. Inspired by the communal eateries of Northern India and the classic British chop house, the restaurant first launched in Covent Garden in 2017 and has gone on to be named in Time Out’s ‘Top 10 Restaurants in London’ for two years running. The menu kicks off with bhaji onion rings with smoked aubergine raita; chickpea chaat with tamarind, pomegranate and green chilli; and seekh kebab rolls with green chutney. From the tandoor, must-orders include the kitchen’s signature house tandoor chicken, as well as black pepper chicken tikka, roasted cauliflower, and crispy lamb chops. A selection of house made naans – from green chilli, garlic and mature cheddar to tandoor roti, and sides including black dahl and nimbu masala fries – are also be available. For those looking to try a bit of everything, the showstopper ‘Mighty Thali’ gives groups of 2-3 the chance to share all the best bits of the menu. The newest addition to the Tandoor Chop House family – Tandoor Tacos – will also be available to eat in, offering flaky paratha breads packed with a combination of Indian and Mexican flavours, spices and pickles.
30 Uxbridge Street, Notting Hill, W8 7TA
Club Mexicana, Kingly Court
Club Mexicana, the cult vegan Mexican/Californian-inspired street food spot, has opened its very first restaurant. Inspired by the lively roadside stalls of Los Angeles and Mexico City, the fresh Kingly Court site serves tacos and burritos designed to be enjoyed with a margarita or two. Guests will be able to watch the kitchen team hard at work, as they slice into the star of the show – a sizzling al pastor spit, a shawarma-style seitan smothered in founder Meriel’s secret marinade. Taco fans can expect to tuck into hits such as the baja tofish taco – reimagined with a panko crust – and the BBQ short ‘rib’ tacos, with hickory smoked BBQ sauce, pickled cucumber, slaw and garlic mayo. Newcomers on the menu include the ‘Chick’n & Avocado’ taco with vegan fried ‘chick’n’, corn salsa, pink onions and hot sauce. On the side, expect shoestring fries seasoned with chilli lime salt and Mexican-style street food snack elote – a corn and black bean salad with a tangy lime-jalapeno dressing. For something sweet, guests can choose from raspberry sorbet frozen margaritas and dark chocolate mousse topped with salted caramel popcorn. Cocktails on tap from Black Lines include as smokey Palomas with mezcal and pink grapefruit.
Kingly Court, Covent Garden, W1B 5PW