From Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens comes a culinary autobiography of sorts. The emphasis at Muse is experience-led, discerning dining set in a cozy, converted Georgian townhouse in Belgravia. Populating its tasting menus are dishes inspired by a nostalgic reminiscence of the chef’s personal life and career – from pivotal moments to notable figures and influences. ‘Conquering the Beech Tree’, for instance, embodies the childhood fearlessness he takes into his cooking, through the unconventional matching of langoustine, pork fat and burnt apple.
A thrilling addition to Dalston Junction comes in the form of new east London eatery Attawa, which celebrates the cuisine of the Punjab region of northern India. The menu has been created by Arbinder Dugal, serving his modern interpretation of the comforting Punjabi home cooking he grew up with. Named after the small village that the founder’s family comes from, many of Attawa’s recipes have been passed down for generations. Don’t miss the palak papdi chaat, a delicious concoction of potatoes, chickpeas and crispy spinach.
Jolene became an instantaneous hit when it opened in 2018 in Newington Green, winning customers with its delectable pastries, breads and plates of pasta. Now its big-sister site, affectionately called Big Jo, is set to carry on the family mantle on Holloway’s Hornsey Road. A super-sized bakery and 60-seater restaurant, Big Jo is – as its name suggests – much larger than the original, but keeps to the ethos of regenerative farming, grain economy, healthy-growing food systems and embracing the community.
Mayfair’s newest opening is an all-day brasserie and wine bar on St James’s Duke Street, courtesy of François O’Neill with a former MasterChef: The Professionals finalist taking the culinary helm. The chic-smart interiors of Maison François are in keeping with the grandeur of this eatery’s postcode, while the French fare spans traditional and twists (think moules-marinière-soaked flatbreads). And the pastry-filled pièce de résistance? The dessert trolley wheeled out for the finale, stocked with an exquisite variety of handmade pralines, gâteaux, tarts and bronze-glazed éclairs.
Akoko is a long-awaited addition to the West End, serving a menu of classic dishes from West Africa rooted in the cuisines of Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. Headed up by former MasterChef: The Professionals finalist William JM Chilila, its focus is on fine dining and high-quality produce. Expect a tantalizing tasting menu boasting the likes of smoked goat, jollof rice and goat-milk ice cream – with a vegan alternative available.
Tavolino Bar & Kitchen
New neighborhood Italian Tavolino enjoys the picturesque riverside vista of London Bridge – a perfect spot to enjoy bombolini at the Bar Aperitivo while soaking up the London skyline. Peruse the extensive wine list, too, for a taste of Italy’s lesser-known vineyards and a cocktail menu spanning both the classics and the inventive. As for the culinary front, the emphasis is on simple, seasonal dishes – handmade pasta, pizzas and gelatos.
Bringing Mexican soul to the heart of Marylebone, Kol champions wild, seasonally sourced and bright, flavorsome food. Combining British produce with traditional techniques and vibrant tastes from Mexico, it is helmed by Santiago Lastra, the former Noma Mexico chef. Highlights on the menu include tostadas with lamb leg and guajillo mayonnaise, and langoustine tacos with smoked chilli and sea buckthorn.
A pairing between Guillaume Glipa – the restaurant and club manager behind Chiltern Firehouse and Annabel’s – and Parisian restaurant group Paris Society (of Loulou and Perruche) brings a new hotspot to the city. Named after Louis Armstrong and the Sun King Louis XIV (despite the different spelling), its menu takes inspiration from French-Creole cuisine. In addition to a glittering two-storey restaurant, Louie has an impressive bar area and rooftop, sure to become a favorite for those in the know.