8 Restaurants You Need To Book This April

Spring is here, and with it an abundance of fresh new restaurants across town. From a new eatery in Harrods, to authentic Ghanaian cuisine in east London, we’ve rounded up the very best new restaurants to make a reservation at this month.

Chucs Harrods, Knightsbridge

Tucked away behind the fine watches section on the lower ground floor of Harrods, Chucs is a diminutive Italian restaurant that’s open for all-day dining. At only 55 seats, this is a tiny spot in comparison to the department store’s huge food hall or its traditional Georgian restaurant, but the truffle-heavy menu packs a real punch. Lobster and avocado chopped salad will keep those after a mid-shop quick bite happy, while more substantial dishes, such as maccheroni alla bolognese and chicken milanese with truffle and tomato, will satisfy evening appetites. A solid wine list and impressive selection of gelato makes this a great all-rounder.

87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL; open now

Visit Harrods.com

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Hackney

We first sampled the delights of Zoe’s kitchen at last year’s Bestival. As the rain poured and the main stage was shut down, we took shelter in one of the food tents. Within, it was Zoe’s ‘Box of Everything’ that caught our attention and the mound of fried chicken, spicy Jollof stew and okra fries warmed us right up. Now she’s taken over the kitchen at the Institute of Light, a bar-cum-cinema in Hackney Fields. An extensive menu covers kelewele (spiced and caramelised plantain), whole fried tilapia – a highlight – grilled sardines and that must-order moreish fried chicken. If you still have space for pudding (our server suggested three-four dishes per person – we ordered eight between two and felt stuffed), we recommend opting for the scotch bonnet ice cream.

The Institute of Light, Arch 376, 10 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB; open now

Visit The-Institute-Of-Light.com

Freakscene, Soho

We’ve been massive fans of Scott Hallsworth since he headed up Nobu in Park Lane. Then, when he went on to launch his Asian fusion-focused Kurobuta in Chelsea, we even attempted to rustle up some of the easier dishes from his Junk Food Japan cookbook. But now we’re ready to let him take the reins once more. Scott describes his newest place, Freakscene in Soho, as a place for ‘curious Asian plates’. Highlights from the menu include seared beef salad with pomegranate, onion-peanut ponzu and garlic chips, and Loch Duart salmon sashimi pizza, topped with truffle ponzu, jalapeno and wasabi. We’ve had salmon on pizza before and weren’t convinced. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Scott.

54 Frith St, W1D 4SL; open now

Visit FreakScene.london

Sapling, Dalston

Dalston has gained yet another neighbourhood restaurant (no bad thing) – and this one focuses on wine. The restaurant features a weekly changing list of 36 wines, all available by the glass, while a 100-strong wine list will allow diners to choose a bottle, or glass via Coravin. In a role reversal, Head Chef Jon Beeharry (formerly of Bistroteque and Rita’s) has designed a selection of seasonal dishes to complement the drinks – expect to see the likes of Scottish langoustines with lardo; hake and monk’s beard with cockle and potato sauce; and Yorkshire rhubarb with set cream, blood orange and thyme. We’ll raise a glass to that.

378 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AA; open now

Visit Sapling-Dalston.com

Tortilleria El Pastor, Bermondsey

The Hart brothers’ empire continues to expand. Not only have they announced a new Kings Cross site, but they’re about to open a second El Pastor, this time in Bermondsey. As per the Borough Market location, this taco factory will focus on homemade tortillas, made using heirloom corn from Mexico. The restaurant’s utilitarian look and feel will comprise 26 seats at the taco bar, 20 in the main restaurant and six at high stools – the best spot to watch those tacos being rolled. For the first time, the restaurant will serve the team’s very own mezcal and fans of the original can rest assured that its sweet Bounty Bar taco remains on the menu.

106 Druid St, SE1 2HH; opens 13th April, with a soft-launch on 7th and 8th April

Visit TacosElPastor.co.uk

Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea

Tom Aikens’ very first restaurant has undergone a refurb for the first time since it opened 12 years ago. A three-floor townhouse, the flagship’s main dining spaces have been reconfigured to allow a more informal dining experience – think bar-top dining and bar service at a window seat. The food offering has been given a spruce up too. Menus remain committed to Aikens’ seasonal British dishes, but now lean towards small plates designed for sharing – expect the likes of scallops with black pudding and peas and spatchcock Norfolk quail served with peanut sauce and pickled sweet cucumber relish.

27 Cale St, SW3 3QP; open now

Visit TomsKitchen.co.uk

Pi, Battersea

A hot favourite in Winchester, Pi chose Battersea Rise as the spot for its first London outpost. And we’re very glad they did – we were massive fans of its ginormous sharing-style pizzas, on top of which you can choose up to three combinations of bases and toppings: perfect for the indecisive, or for those plotting a party at this modern pizzeria. For a place that serves cheap eats, we loved the aesthetic: think yellow suede banquette seating, plenty of plants and a ceiling decorated with twinkling lights and flowers. Pizza lovers, add this one to your list.

4-6a Battersea Rise, SW11 1ED; open now

Visit Battersea.Pi-Pizza.co.uk

Bryn Williams at Somerset House, Strand

Best-loved for his Primrose Hill neighbourhood restaurant Odette and his beachfront eatery in Porth Eirias, celebrated Welsh chef Bryn Williams has opened his first London restaurant in over a decade, at cultural hotspot Somerset House. Your humble five-a-day take centre stage on the British-focused, seasonal menu, and although the restaurant isn’t strictly vegetarian, it’s refreshing to see the focus taken away from fish and meat. Saying that – the grilled hispi cabbage, apple and pork chop was just as delicious as the red cabbage, beetroot chutney and British burrata salad – order both to share. The menu is reflected in the stunning interiors too, as fine art photographer Allan Jenkins is currently showcasing his modern still life collection, Studio Allotment and Root to Fruit on the restaurant walls. Pop in post exhibition next time you’re at Somerset House – you won’t be disappointed. 

Somerset House, Strand WC2R; open now

Visit SomersetHouse.org.uk 

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