London’s Best New Restaurants 2018

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to trust the hype on social media when it comes to which new restaurants in London are worth trying. Here are a few tried and tested favourites which have opened in the capital in the last few months, and are, in my opinion, deserving of your time and money.

Roganic

Roganic

The closure of Simon Rogan’s original Roganic pop-up was lamented by many… so it’s hardly a surprise that the new (permanent) Roganic in Marylebone is already a hit. The team features many of the original Roganic line-up, and the menu is blissfully fresh, seasonal and imaginative. Go for the £40 / five course weekday set lunch menu.

Llewelyns

Llewelyn’s 

There is a new reason to visit Herne Hill. Llewelyn’s is the perfect neighbourhood eatery with a stellar team. Ex-general manager from Rochelle Canteen, Alcides Gauto runs the floor whilst pastry chef Ravinder Gill (St John) and head chef Warren Fleet (Anchor & Hope) work wonders in the small kitchen. The light contemporary dining room is a lovely place to enjoy a leisurely lunch, and Llewleyn’s evolving seasonal menu always delights.

Duddells

Duddell’s

This Hong Kong export arrived in London just before Christmas, finding a home in a spectacular restored and transformed church in London Bridge. The Cantonese menu is the creation of head chef Daren Liew… the dim sum is delicate and delicious but it was the succulent and decadent Peking Duck which won my heart.

Good Egg

The Good Egg Soho

Stoke Newington’s favourite Middle Eastern brunch spot has found a new home in Soho. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner this friendly all-day dining spot has a range of tasty Jewish-inspired dishes. I love the tapas-style Jerusalem breakfast and the indulgent chocolate babka.

Core

Core by Clare Smyth

After nearly a decade at Gordon Ramsay’s three star flagship eatery on Royal Hospital Road it was time for Clare Smyth to open her own establishment, a platform to showcase her ideas and culinary skill. Unsurprisingly her solo restaurant, Core in Notting Hill is a hit served refined plates of irresistibly tasty food. It is expensive, but with food and service of this calibre it is worth the price-tag.

nuala

Nuala

Joining the Old Street restaurants is Nuala, a modern British restaurant with a Gaelic twist from chef Niall Davidson. The spacious concrete dining room has an impressive central firepit and a cosy bar space downstairs. We chose a range of smaller flavour-filled dishes, but I was also rather jealous of the next door tables’ ‘Suckling Pig to Share’.

Kudu

Kudu

I was delighted when Kudu arrived in my neighbourhood in South East London. The kitchen and floor is run by a couple team (Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams) who have plenty of experience of London’s restaurant scene despite their young years. The menu draws on Patrick’s South African roots with a range of a seasonal dishes, featuring locally sourced and foraged food. We loved the brunch offering and need to return soon for dinner.

Rochelle Canteen ICA

Rochelle Canteen at ICA

The newest outpost of Rochelle Canteen (in the more centrally located) Pall Mall, is just as good as the original. Expect hearty British classics, using the finest ingredients and served with a smile. After lunch here I left feeling full and very content.

Nest

Nest

This cute eatery opened up just before Christmas on Morning Lane in East London. It is the first restaurant from three lifelong friends, Johnnie, Luke and Toby, who all have a passion for showcasing the best British produce. We tried a selection of dishes to share, but I recommend visiting with an appetite and opting for the 7 course set menu, which at £28 is an absolute bargain.

Ella Canta

Ella Canta

A Mexican restaurant unlike any other. Located within the Park Lane Intercontinental this quirky and colourful restaurants showcases the signature dishes crafted by renowned Mexican Chef Martha Ortiz. A rare opportunity to taste authentic Mexican cuisine in London.

Pastaio

Pastaio

Stevie Parle’s cheap and cheerful pasta join Pastaio is Soho’s answer to Padella. Stop by for a satisfying bowl of homemade pasta in their colourful dining room. Queues may vary.

Sorella

Sorella

The Manor is Clapham has recently reopened as Sorella, a modern Italian eatery. Chef Robin Gill spent a considerable amount of time on the Amalfi coast, and the food here reflects the climate and character of this beautiful Italian regions. Start with the truffle arancini before relishing a bowl of comforting homemade pasta.

See more of my London foodie top tips on my Instagram page – @millykr.

Spuntino, Soho

Many people walk straight past Spuntino, the little American diner from Russell Norman’s Polpo team on Rupert Street. This prohibition style eatery is found in a beautiful yet grungy room, the original tiles on the wall indicate its history… the waitress told us it was once a butcher. There are 27 bar stools and a couple of booths for cosy group dining, we squeezed into the two places nearest the window.

SpuntinoSpuntino

Despite only just turning noon, cocktails seemed like a good idea… the menu of classic drinks were just too tempting. I tried the Spuntino old fashioned, flavoured with a hint of cherry. As we sipped our cocktails and nibbled on spicy popcorn I noticed how many regulars there were coming in and filling up the seats around us. For those in the know, Spuntino is a local favourite.

SpuntinoSpuntino

I’m not sure the menu has changed much since Spuntino opened in 2011. There are a range of decadent American treats, from sliders and sandwiches, salads and sharing plates. We let our waitress choose the best bits, and added on a few extras.

Highlights included: Eggplant chips (soft and gooey inside with a crisp crunchy outer edge and served with fragrant fennel yoghurt), the Classic Hamburger (thick well-seasoned ground beef patty topped with melted cheese and the sweet and spicy house ketchup) and the Spinach and Ricotta and Chickpea slider (the perfect textured vegetarian option with a hint of garlic and spice).

The only real disappointment was the Butternut and rainbow chard salad which was so oily that it was heavy and unpleasant to eat.

Spuntino

For dessert we shared the Brooklyn Toast. It was divine, a kind of caramelised crunchy French toast with homemade Nutella ice-cream sandwiched in between. A nice mix of salty and sweet flavours and a satisfying contrast of textures. Yum.

The Spuntino team recently opened a second site in Bristol. You can find the restaurant inside a converted shipping container at Wapping Wharf, the newest foodie area of town.

More information about Spuntino here.

Bohemia Restaurant, Jersey

Bohemia restaurant has a reputation which extends much further than the Channel Islands. This prestigious eatery has been awarded a Michelin star for 13 consecutive years, holds 5 AA Rosettes and has been ranked as the 11th best restaurant in the UK by the Good Food Guide 2018. Needless to say, it is the first stop for foodies when they arrive on the island of Jersey.

BohemiaBohemia

Found within the Club Hotel and Spa, I was initially quite confused by this restaurant’s setting. Tucked away in the corner of the ground floor, food of this calibre would shine more in a stand-alone environment. Nevertheless, we quickly settled into a table and started perusing the different set menu choices. Chef Steven Smith and his team focus on provenance of ingredients, and aim to create imaginative dishes with Jersey’s abundant fresh produce.

Warm bread from the oven and seaweed butter soon arrived, smelling and tasting wonderful. We both chose a glass of wine from the prestigious list, a glass of crisp Pouilly-Fumé, Marielle Michot 2016 and a rich structured red, Château Le Pey, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc 2014.

BohemiaBohemia

There are a variety of tasting menus on offer to suit every occasion. If you’ve got the time, opt for the prestige menu to try a range of the kitchen’s finest creations. We visited at lunchtime and chose three courses each. To start we had the Slow Cooked Bantham Egg, Celery & Celeriac, Ham & Truffle and Jerusalem Artichoke with Coffee & Apple. The Egg was comforting and indulgent, a small bowl of gooey egg topped with rich celeriac velouté. An accompanying bite-sized ham hock on toast added texture and saltiness to the dish. My vegetarian plate of food showcased the humble Jerusalem artichoke, which had a lovely caramelised taste and was paired with sharp apple and buttery kale.

BohemiaBohemia

Main courses at Bohemia are big in size and bold in taste. Venison Loin & Ragout, Beetroot & Blackberry, Grand Veneur had a wintery flavour, but though the meat was beautifully cooked the combination of beetroot and blackberry with the strong gamey Grand Veneur sauce was slightly overpowering. The Lamb Loin & Braised, Cevennes Onion, Vacherin & Rosemary was a glorious homage to lamb, cooked in a variety of ways, every mouthful was divine, and I loved the addition of herbaceous rosemary and rich vacherin cheese.

BohemiaBohemia

The simple dessert descriptions gave little away… Pop Corn Parfait, Caramel, Lime and Spiced Apple & Blackberry. The popcorn pudding was fun and inventive, with different elements each giving different flavours and textures. The acidic lime sorbet counteracted the saccarine sweet parfait and crystallised popcorn pieces. The apple and blackberry was an elegant depiction of this classic British flavour pairing. Delicate and subtle it was a lovely palate cleanser to end our meal at Bohemia.

Though the atmosphere was lacking at this famous Jersey restaurant, the food more than lived up to expectation, and I can imagine it is a very popular place for special meals on the island.

More information and book a table at Bohemia here.