Acclaimed British chef Tom Aikens has opened his newest restaurant, Muse. A converted Georgian townhouse in Belgravia houses the 25-cover fine-dining restaurant, with open kitchens on both floors of the mews building. Six and ten-course menus are high concept and have been inspired by pivotal moments and key people from Tom’s life. ‘Conquering the Beech Tree’ is inspired by childhood fearlessness and marries langoustine, pork fat and burnt apple, while ‘The Love Affair Continues’ is an ode to Tom’s French mentors Joël Robuchon and Pierre Koffmann, honouring Robuchon’s signature mashed potato and Koffmann’s method of cooking fish in goose fat. A bespoke cocktail list, which complements many of the dishes, has been created by the celebrated bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana of Mr Lyan and Lyanness. These can be sampled in the ground floor cocktail lounge, which also has five counter seats overlooking the downstairs kitchen. Upstairs, you’ll find a handful of tables as well as kitchen counter seating for a further six.
38 Groom Place, Belgravia, SW1X 7BA
Peckham Cellars, Peckham
Peckham Cellars is a new neighbourhood wine bar, shop and restaurant featuring a seasonal and regularly changing menu and wine list. The bar menu includes rosemary and garlic salami; potato dauphines with Cornish gouda; and the team’s ‘dirty onion’ tortilla. In the restaurant, diners can order small and large plates made with produce sourced from nearby suppliers Flock and Herd and London Smoke & Cure. Dishes include eel, ‘nduja and pickled green tomatoes; carrot and feta borek with red onion salsa; and Ironbark pumpkin with Roscoff onions and hazelnuts. Every Sunday the team serves its spin on a Sunday lunch, a family-style set menu with sides and optional desserts such as sticky toffee pudding or babka with crème fraiche. The venue’s 80-strong wine list has been curated by sommelier and co-founder Ben, who has built an eclectic yet accessible line-up with a focus on affordable wines. On any given night, guests will be treated to soundtrack of soul, disco, R’n’B, jazz and hip-hop, with the music turned up a notch on weekend evenings when the bar is open until 1am.
125 Queens Road, Peckham, SE15 2ND
Apple Butter Café, Seven Dials
Apple Butter Café is neatly tucked away on Monmouth Street in Seven Dials. With deep red brick-lined walls, parquet flooring and suspended pendant lighting, the café offers a subtle twist on art-deco style – plus an apple tree, planted centre stage. Open throughout the week, the 65-cover venue serves a wide range of specialty coffee alongside sandwiches and salads, plus Insta-friendly, indulgent Middle Eastern-inspired desserts, cakes and pastries. We like the sound of goat labneh salad; chicken yakitori; and its signature lotus flower dessert, filled with chocolate ganache and chocolate chips and topped with ice cream and caramel sauce. Those after a midday pick-me-up should opt for one of the team’s cold brew coffees, which is brewed in room temperature for 8-12 hours.
32-34 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9HB
Oklava Bakery + Wine, Fitzrovia
A rising star in the London food scene, Great British Menu chef Selin Kiazim studied at Westminster Kingsway culinary school, before working under the guidance of Peter Gordon at his London restaurants The Providores and Kopapa. Following the success of Oklava and Kyseri, Selin is celebrating her Turkish-Cypriot roots with the launch of her new Fitzrovia restaurant, Oklava Bakery + Wine. Taking over from Kyseri, where Anatolian cuisine was reinterpreted by Selin, along with Black Sea region wines sourced by Laura Christie, the restaurant is an evolution of the pair’s three existing concepts. The menu features many of the recipes passed down from her grandmother, plus a daily changing pasta dish, including manti (Turkish pasta) with beef and sour cherry, and pide filled with Black Sea cheese and butter. A delicious breakfast menu includes a hellim and medjool date butter toastie, plus whipped feta on toast; and broken eggs and house-cured pastirma; while evening plates include the likes of tepsi Kebab – a combination of spiced beef and lamb baked kofte, yogurt and brown butter, with house bread and chopped salad.
64 Grafton Way, Fitzrovia, W1T 5PD
Chef Hus Vedat and the team behind Yosma and Hovarda have launched a new restaurant in east London. Barboun, which means red mullet in Turkish, is a 100-seat restaurant with a menu inspired by the flavours of Levantine coastal towns. Snacks and dips include taramasalata with bottarga; and smoked aubergine with burnt tomato and almond, while small plates comprise beetroot fritters with whipped garlic feta; sundried aubergine dolma stuffed with sour cherry, bulgar and garlic yoghurt; and London halloumi with apricots and walnut. Sharing plates take centre stage – we like the sound of hay-smoked short rib with pickles and lavash; plus, long-bone tomahawk steak marinated in Anatolian spices, designed for the whole table to share. Barboun’s modern interiors – which include design details such as high, blonde wood ceilings, oxblood leather accents, pewter tables and subtle leather details – nod to the site’s history as a woodworking and cabinet factory.
61-67 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HU