The Best New Restaurants To Book This December

From a pasta palace in King’s Cross to a zero-waste fine-dining spot in east London, here are five great new restaurants to know about this month…

Manteca, Soho

Kitty Fisher’s Chris Leach and Smokestak’s David Carter opened one of the year’s hottest restaurant residencies earlier this summer. Hot on the heels of their success at 10 Heddon Street, the pair have launched a permanent site on Great Marlborough Street. Like the pop-up, Manteca has menus that revolve around nose-to-tail cooking, hand-rolled pastas and fire-cooked cuts to share. To a playlist of afrobeat, hip hop and soul, guests can begin with the likes of fried parmigiano rinds or a plate of homemade mortadella. Next, there are unusual small plates such as duck sausage, prunes and armagnac; white bean crostini with salmoriglio and Calabrian chilli; or pig head fritti. Pasta dishes might include brown crab cacio e pepe; or agnolotti dal plin with pork and hazelnuts. To finish, expect simple desserts like burnt orange and whipped custard; and fried caramelle with apple and cinnamon. The wine list features a selection from independent suppliers predominantly based in Italy, Europe and North America. A lovely spot.

58-59 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, W1F 7JY


Lina Stores, King’s Cross

Much-loved pasta joint Lina Stores has opened a second site in King’s Cross. Within a Victorian transit shed behind Granary Square, the new location is bedecked in the deli’s signature green and white stripes, and stocked with the very best Italian pantry essentials: salumi, cheeses, antipasti and fresh pasta are all available to eat in or take away. Diners can enjoy the theatre of the open kitchen while they wait for dishes – such as crab, scallop and prawn rondini (a must-order) and pappardelle with ox-tail ragu and provolone piccante – to arrive. A pared-back selection of secondi includes whole roasted branzino with lemon, capers and olive dressing and overnight beef cheeks in Barolo, ceps and polenta. The wine list features organic and biodynamic bottles alongside orange wines and sparkling wines such as franciacorta, but be sure to try an aperitivo, which are made with classic Italian vermouths and amaro. We loved the ‘Sognando il Mediterraneo’ – gin, Cocchi Rosa and olive and rosemary tonic.

21 Stable Street, King’s Cross, N1C 4DR


Silo, Hackney Wick

The UK’s first zero-waste restaurant has joined Crate Brewery at Hackney Wick. Award-winning chef Douglas McMaster’s sustainable approach covers everything from trading directly with farmers to composting leftovers and creating the open-plan space with pioneering, high-quality materials such as cork, mycelium and upcycled plastic and leather. Originally a Brighton hotspot, Silo offers a continually changing menu of up to 15 dishes. Current highlights include grilled fantail squid, white kimchi and Douglas fir; Jerusalem artichokes cooked on fire and served with Cashel Blue and ruby kraut; and blue potatoes, barbecued sea kale and caramelised whey. For something sweet, try the golden linseed ice cream with fig leaf oil; or sea buckthorn with fresh cheese, grand fir and fermented caramel. A smart cocktail list has been drawn up by award-winning bartender Mr Lyan, and Empirical Spirits, the Copenhagen-based grain-to-bottle distillery. 

Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN


Daffodil Mulligan, Shoreditch

Richard Corrigan has opened his third London restaurant with a little help from John Nugent (Green & Fortune) and Tony Gibney (Gibney’s of Malahide). The Irish trio have launched 50-cover Daffodil Mulligan in Shoreditch, where a frequently changing menu draws on produce from Corrigan’s Virginia Park Lodge estate in Ireland. Dishes include the likes of braised kale with ham knuckle on toast; Tipperary Hereford prime sirloin with a parsley, anchovy and caper dressing; grilled lamb chops with pickled cucumber; and baked back of sole with Jerusalem artichoke, ceps and hazelnuts. A concise cocktail menu offers twisted classics such as the ‘Shoreditch Sour' (Black Bush whisky with a lemon and malbec float) and ‘Long Way Home’ (Jameson Black Barrel, orange bitters and ginger beer). These inventive sips are served in the basement saloon bar, which features an eight-seat oyster bar and crustacean display, and hosts a series of live music nights.

70-74 City Road, Shoreditch, EC1Y 2BJ


SW7, South Kensington

Claridge’s and The Frog alumnus Javier Rodrigo Alviz is heading up the kitchen at SW7, a new bar and brasserie in South Kensington. Interiors draw inspiration from William Morris’s wallpaper designs, which can be seen around the corner at the V&A. The bar serves a range of cocktails also inspired by Morris’s floral designs, including the ‘Kensington Gardens’ with Hendrick’s gin, elderflower liqueur and apple juice; and the ‘Honeysuckle’, which mixes bourbon, maple syrup and cinnamon. Turning to food, starters include rainbow beetroot carpaccio; poached and smoked salmon with horseradish foam and caper berry; and langoustines with olives and spring onion. Main courses offer a crowd-pleasing mix of fish and chips; grilled chicken paillard with aged parmesan, truffles and shiitake mushrooms; and herb and pine nut lamb rack with dauphinoise potatoes. The dessert selection is similarly pan-European with crème brûlée sitting alongside eton mess and banoffee pie. A great place for lunch before a museum visit.

61 Gloucester Road, South Kensington, SW7 4PE

Visit @SW7Restaurant

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