The Best New Restaurants in London for 2015
Specialising in chops, Blacklock has become one of our favourite Soho restaurants since it opened in early 2015. The founders of Blacklock used to work for the Hawksmoor steakhouse group so the quality of the meat is top-notch.
There are a number of chop options to choose from, but the best way to go is ‘all in’ – a mix of lamb, pork and beef chops served on a char-grilled flat bread that soaks up all the juices – fabulous!
A small selection of sides – ash-roasted sweet potato, barbecued baby gem lettuce, a carrot and fennel radish and arguably the best chips in town – are available to accompany the meat.
In October, Caprice Holdings launched what has quickly become London’s latest dining hotspot, Sexy Fish, on Berkeley Square. Sexy Fish offers pan-Asian cuisine, specializing in Fish and Seafood in lavish surroundings that feature works of art from the most celebrated contemporary artists in the world.
Frank Gehry fish lamps hover over the bar; Damien Hirst designed bronze-cast mermaids with blue patina sit on either corner of the bar; and a Frank Gehry designed 13ft crocodile dominates the back wall of the restaurant.
Highlights from our visit included the seared yellowfin tuna; a fabulous miso glazed Chilean sea bass; tartare of tuna belly; and smoked eel with shavings of frozen foie gras that was absolutely delicious.
Bernardi’s is a new modern Italian restaurant from brothers Gabriel and Marcello Bernardi with the fabulous Zoe Charlton-Brown running the front of house.
The 120-cover all-day restaurant and bar sits on the corner of Seymour Street and Seymour Place, an area of London that, with the arrival of Basque newcomer Lurra and sister restaurant Donostia, Vinoteca and The Lockhart, is fast becoming a destination for food lovers.
In the kitchen Head Chef Sabrina Gidda has created a simple and seasonal, modern Italian menu.
Highlights from our visit included the rich but delicately flavoured Jerusalem artichoke risotto, the pumpkin and gorgonzola arancini and the slow cooked pork collar, clams and fregola.
A relaxed, casual but sleek restaurant serving beautiful Italian food made from the finest produce, it is somewhere you will want to go back to time and time again.
(Click to read our guide to London’s best Italian restaurants).
The Sethi siblings – Karam, Jyotin and Sunaina – that are behind the acclaimed Indian restaurants Gymkhana and Trishna, launched their latest restaurant, Hoppers, late in 2015.
The restaurant, one of their smallest (seating around 40), is said to be inspired by the roadside shacks of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka that serve hoppers and dosas.
Hoppers are thin, bowl shaped pancakes made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. These South Asian staples are dished up with a choice of meat, seafood or vegetable kari and a selection of sambols and chutneys made with freshly ground coconut.
Perhaps best known as the former Chef Director for the Polpo group, Tom Oldroyd opened his first solo restaurant, Oldroyd, on Upper Street in Islington.
The 40-cover restaurant is split over two floors with a café-style ground floor and first floor restaurant.
We loved the food when we visited and would go so far as to say it was some of the best food we ate in 2015. The menu is designed for sharing, although you’ll fight over sharing some of the dishes, especially the ‘snacks’.
Smoked cod’s roe with radishes and celery salt was exquisite and a surprisingly large portion for £4; and the smoked pork belly and pea croquettas packed a punch and held its own without the accompanying truffle mayonnaise.
Other favourite dishes included the deliciously smoky cured Welsh veal tonnato with anchovies and the crab tagliarini Provencal, which was a huge portion and excellent value at £9.
The space is cute: intimate, chic and relaxed with wooden tables, cream banquettes and a warming blue wall colour. We will be returning time and time again to this perfect neighbourhood restaurant in 2016.
A stalwart of the London restaurant scene, the Ivy was closed for a period in 2015 for refurbishment, but reopened in June with a gorgeous new design and restaurant layout that lost none of the restaurant’s original charm.
In the kitchen, Executive Chef Gary Lee has remained at the helm, and has created a new menu that comprises recognisable Ivy staples alongside modern dishes with international influences, with a particular nod to Southern Europe and Asia.
Click to read our guide to the best restaurants in Covent Garden.
The team behind Noble Rot magazine opened a restaurant and wine bar on Lamb’s Conduit Street this year.
The menu includes superb homemade soda bread, focaccia and sourdough served with home-churned butter, slip fish served with smoked butter, Brandade of salt cod and olive oil, and mallard with roasted pumpkin and hispi cabbage.
Noble Rot is a fabulous place for anyone who loves wine and for those looking for excellent food to accompany their wine in a candle-lit and atmospheric setting.
Taberno do Mercado
Nuno Mendes, of Chiltern Firehouse fame, set up his own restaurant at Old Spitalfields Market. Far from opening a copy of the Chiltern Firehouse, Mendes has gone back to his roots with a modest-looking Portuguese restaurant that takes classic dishes and gives them a modern twist.
Simple, exciting cooking, there is so much to enjoy at Taberna do Mercado.
Corbin and King’s most recent venture after the success of The Beaumont hotel and the Colony Grill Room is Bellanger, which opened in Angel in early-December, just sneaking into our best of the year!
Inspired by the original Alsatian brasseries of Paris, Bellanger is an all-day grand café and restaurant, open seven days a week, mid-morning until late.
In a neighbourhood that is dominated by restaurant chains, Bellanger is a welcome addition to the scene, offering a bit of luxury and glamour.
The Bon Vivant Journal
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If you enjoyed our guide to the best new restaurants in London for 2015, read some of our best new content of the year including the best wine bars in London, the best restaurants in Soho and the best Japanese restaurants in London.
Note: None of the restaurants have paid to be featured in this article. In a year of several excellent new restaurants in London, these are just some of our favourites.