The newest and most highly anticipated of all Bloomberg Arcade’s openings has finally launched. The newest restaurant from Andrew Wong – the man behind Michelin-starred A. Wong – Kym’s is named after Wong’s grandmother and focuses on the ancient craft of Chinese roasting. Describing his menu as an “homage to the many gastronomic regions of China and the creativity and craftsmanship of London’s Chinatown,” the menu encompasses small plates, sharing dishes, skewers, fritters, sides and desserts. Of the lot, we’re most excited to try the pork and shrimp ‘Bao Bao’ with fried egg, pat chun and crispy chilli; steamed dover sole with garlic, spring onion and double-deluxe soy; and the Hong Kong pineapple bun with custard. All this is served in a glossy interior from Michaelis Boyd: the main dining area features an open kitchen and statement curved bar, while the general design fuses a palette of blush pinks and deep plums with accents of copper and turquoise. The surroundings, like the food on the plates, are a real thing of beauty. We see another hit on Wong’s hands.
19 Bloomberg Arcade, Bank, EC4N 8AR
The first solo restaurant from Michel Roux Jr’s daughter Emily Roux and her husband Diego Ferrari, Caractère is a neighbourhood spot located in Notting Hill. A 60-seat eatery, the kitchen is overseen by Ferrari, who’s spent the last few years as head chef of two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche. Roux is front of house. At Caractère, the pair aim to take a more relaxed approach, with Roux recently telling the Evening Standard: “I’m sure people will say ‘well, it’s not Gavroche’ or ‘it’s not this, that or the other’. No, it’s not. It’s us and it’s different, and people have to learn to appreciate that.” When it comes to food, expect an Italian/Franco menu: sample dishes include the likes of seared ox tail ravioli, beef consommé, bone marrow and fresh herbs; seared mackerel, confit beetroot, black cardamom and parsley condiment; and celeriac ‘Cacio e Pepe’ with extra-aged balsamic vinegar. In her interview with the Standard, Roux describes this last dish as her “death-row meal”. Based on her vast experience in the kitchen, we’re expecting it might become one of ours too.
209 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, W11 1EA
Located on Mercer Walk (just opposite Neil Rankin’s newest Temper site), Maison Bab is a new style of kebab house, complete with a picture-perfect setting, a bar that pours out CBD cocktails and hidden ten-seater fine-dining restaurant. The stylish new venture is a collaboration between the founders of Kingly Court’s Le Bab and the team’s executive chef Manu Canales Garces (previously sous chef at the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche) who will head up the kitchen at fine-dining Kebab Queen when it opens later this year. In the main dining room, the eight-strong kebab menu (all priced under £10) sits alongside a selection of starters, such as meat butter naan (a must-order), doner beignet (crispy-fried lamb balls with chilli sauce and garlic); and superlative babaganoush. There’s also a focus on vegan dishes – think celeriac shish: miso-marinated celeriac chunks, wrapped with pickled onion rings, toum and chilli sauce. New for this site is the unbeatable raclette shawarma – pork shawarma, chilli and pickles atop a crusty focaccia, all covered in molten, caramelised mature cheddar. Just what we’re craving as autumn takes hold.
4 Mercer Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9FA; be a SheerLuxe VIP here and get 30% OFF your bill.
Kricket Television Centre
They say third time’s a charm, and we’re inclined to agree in the case of Kricket. We’ve queued many a time at this modern Indian’s small spot in Soho (and its original shipping container in Brixton), so were thrilled to learn of its vast new site in Shepherd’s Bush. Part of the Television Centre redevelopment, from the outside Kricket is an expanse of glass, but within strategic yet striking décor makes this an inviting spot for dinner. This Sober October, we recommend starting with one of the team’s tasty non-alcoholic tipples, such as the ‘Tamarind Sour’. Dishes are designed for sharing: menu highlights include old favourites such as samphire pakoras with tamarind and chilli garlic; and Keralan fried chicken with curry leaf mayo and pickled mooli; together with new hits – the kid goat leg raan (complete with pomegranate, goats curd and mint raita, and pink pickled onions) is sensational. Make sure to order a wholewheat roti to mop up the sauce. Even if you’re full, be sure to order the gulab jamun with carom seed crumble and milk ice-cream for dessert. It’s one of our top puds of the year.
Wood Crescent, Shepherd's Bush, W12 7SB
Occupying a prime slice of real estate opposite Sloane Square’s Cadogan Hall, Kahani is the first solo venture from Peter Joseph, former head chef at Indian restaurant Tamarind, where he won and retained a Michelin star for ten years. Needless to say, expectations were sky-high when we descended the stairs to the opulent dining room, bypassing a private room on the way. We recommend kicking things off with a cocktail at the bar, where the team meticulously crafts the likes of a ‘Chaotic’: barrel-aged VII Hills Italian dry gin, Mancino Bianco Ambrato and Amaro Montenegro, which is smoked at the end. Dishes take an unusual turn too, but in the best way. Highlights from our meal include masala-grilled avocado, olives, caramelised onions and iceberg leaves; smoked malabar prawns with fresh turmeric, coconut and curry leaves; and Chawri bazaar savoury doughnuts with sweet yoghurt, mint and tamarind chutney. Make sure to order Joseph's signature dish, the Kahani butter chicken, along with a side of gruyere naan bread. A rare combination, but one that we’ll be sure to return for.
1 Wilbraham Place, Chelsea, SW1X 9AE