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Guide

London’s Most Exciting New Dishes

The dishes from London’s new openings that have got us, our stomachs, and Instagram in a tizz.

Updated June 3rd, 2021

Of all the many wonderful restaurant routines, the menu reccy is a favourite. The mouth-agape, drooly scouring of the mains. The mental tennis of predicting loved ones’ orders to ensure a bite of everything you want is on the table. The excited pre-meal screenshots of the dessert menu - ‘there’s banoffee pie!!!!!’ - that anger the purists who decide there and then. This guide isn’t for them. This guide is for the fantasists. The people who look up a menu weeks before they’ve even made a reservation. The ones, who like us, get a little too excited about a new chicken kiev in town.

Want to learn about all of London’s newest restaurant openings? Check out our guide. Or if you want to know about our favourite new London restaurants, then head on over to The Hit List.


JUNE 2021

Egg Salad Sandwich

“Nobody likes to consider themselves a mug but I am more than ready to plead guilty in that department. Because when a Japanese-influenced sandwich shop opens with an aesthetic and feel that is, so plainly, iNsTa-bAit - instead of scoffing at, I just want to scoff. This sucker is all in. Because, the thing is, the sandwiches look good. Like, I know they’re meant to look good. But they do look good. Egg salad, a gooey Burford Brown, watercress, diijon, and Kewpie combined with a pastel colour scheme... what could go wrong?” -JM

Fattet Macdous

“There are some things I will attempt to cook at home, and other, more complicated, things that I don’t really trust myself with and would much rather just get served to me. One of those things is fattet macdous. A Syrian dish with minced lamb, aubergine, tahini, and cumin seeds on top of crispy flatbread - and I have a feeling that the version at Imad’s Syrian Kitchen will be pretty great.” - RS

Pork Shoulder Lecsó

“I have been lowkey obsessed with thermal baths and Hungarian food since going to Budapest a couple years ago. Sadly, new Hungarian restaurant and wine bar Turul Project on Turnpike Parade can’t offer you the chance to splash around in your own warm filth whilst drinking beer under the guise of ‘health benefits’, but they are serving a menu of tasty-sounding meat and fish dishes with big Hungarian flavours. I’m especially excited for the lecsó, a traditional ratatouille-style situation which I devoured in Budapest and swore my eternal allegiance to red pepper stews. This place also has a long list of Hungarian wines so my gameplan would be to stock up on some artisanal cheese in their deli before sampling the best glasses from the Tokaj region alongside this warming Hungarian classic.” - HLB

MAY 2021

Cowshuka

“As a child I once ate a dandelion because it was fluffy, I was bored, and sometimes you just need to know. So should you trust my sense of intrigue? Maybe? Probably not. But that being said, I bring you Chameleon’s ‘cowshuka’. If you’re not intrigued then frankly, where is your sense of wonder? Charred skirt steak on top of eggs, confit tomato, aubergine, and parsley, I’m pretty sure this is brunch in its final, most-meaty, profound form. You’ll also be hyped to hear that it comes with pita bread although be warned that you can only get it as part of this Middle Eastern restaurant’s weekend brunch menu.” - HLB

Chicken Escalope, Chips, & Mayonnaise

“Newness, I think, is in the eyes of the beholder, so although Norman’s Cafe opened around November last year - which is incidentally and hilariously, six months ago now - I still find myself regularly on their Instagram yearning for their dolled up kiddie dinners and takes on caff food. Their hand-breaded escalope is something that really caught the eye recently. Anything that cannot be contained by the plate it sits on automatically has my heart. Combined with two other shades of brown and beige in the form of chips and mayonnaise, it has my heart beating fast.” - JM

Chicken, Mushroom, and Tarragon Pie

“After what felt like a never-ending eating things in the park phase, I swore I wouldn’t do it again, unless there was an actual emergency. The chicken, mushroom, and tarragon pie from Greenaway’s Pie and Mash is an emergency in my books. For starters I love pie. Also, look at the way this new takeaway spot near Embankment puts mash, mushy peas, and gravy on top of the cute little pie. It’s something I will happily freeze on a bench beside the river for.” - RS

APRIL 2021

Seafood Scialatielli

“When I look at La Mia Mamma’s seafood scialatielli - which, incidentally, I have done repeatedly for the past 72 hours or so - I feel an almost painful yearning for both Italy and holidays and chewy scialatielli and salty mussels and, also, mums. So while a trip to the Amalfi Coast feels off the cards, this feels like my next best bet to combine two of my own great loves: pasta and my mum.” - JM

Radicchio Pizza

“The Camberwell Arms is a pub that has done what therapy, meditation, and copious amounts of Lizzo could never manage. They reversed my childhood trauma. More specifically, my traumatic relationship with brussel sprouts. Now, whilst you get the world’s smallest violin out, please just consider the fact that if a restaurant can make my childhood vegetable nemesis taste fresh, fabulous, and not at all like something I would feed my dog under the table - imagine what they could do with fresh pizza dough and a Castelli oven from Italy at their new pizzeria, Mike’s Peckham. I, for one, am 100% willing to find out. Seeing as they have a proven track record of making vegetables sexy, it’s the radicchio pizza I’ve got my eye on. Plus, it definitely doesn’t hurt that it also comes topped with gorgonzola dolce, aged malt vinegar onions, sage, and - hello crunch factor - walnuts. Get this girl to Peckham.” - HLB

Greenpea & Mature Cheddar Vada-Pao

“I’ve been re-reading the menu of this Indian spot in Chiswick since it opened in December, and picturing what it would be like to taste their tandoori tiger prawns and garlic naan while sitting at one of their bar stools. So of course I would notice that they’ve added a greenpea & mature cheddar vada-pao to their new spring menu. Everything about this vegetarian slider is calling me, from the buttermilk pao and homemade chutney, to the cute little pepper on top, these little buns are right at the top of my to-do list once Republic opens in May.”

MARCH 2021

Beef Udon

“I have a lot of food fantasies - not all of them safe to publish - but my most recent and regular is, well, a little dull. At least I think it reads that way. It involves a train station (St. Pancras to be precise) and my face head down in a bowl of udon from Kineya Mugimaru. The Japanese udon chain is in St. Pancras just waiting for its freshly made udon to be appreciated by hungry commuters and aimless wanderers alike. Currently, that can’t happen. But soon this pretty uninteresting and unattainable daydream will become reality.” -JM

Scallops with Leek, Mussel Sauce, and Reindeer

“Rudolph fans, look away now. This starter is from Pantechnicon, a new five-story shopping and dining centre that looks exactly like the kind of place I’d like to summer in once the settlement from my fourth scandalous divorce is finalised. Not only do they have a roof garden but they’ve got two of my all-time favourite cuisines covered with a Japanese café and a Nordic restaurant. It’s at Eldr, their Nordic spot, that you’ll find this scallop dish with mussel sauce, leek, and reindeer. Sure, the sauce looks creamy, but it’s the combination of salty scallops and rich reindeer meat that has really caught my attention. Basically, this is what I imagine Santa eats when he fancies some surf and turf and that’s something I absolutely need to be involved in.” -HLB

The Lobster Roll

“Do I look like the kind of woman who has time to cook a whole bloody lobster just so I can eat a delicious lobster roll for lunch? Hmm, do I? Well, arguably you can’t see me but I’m still in my pyjamas so technically I do look exactly like I’d have time for that, but instead, soon I will be eating a lobster roll from Hideaway. It’s a Mayfair café from the people behind Hide, a mind-blowing fine dining restaurant I have described as both a raging perfectionist and home to a ‘heavenly bastard’ French toast. Going by the many dishes I’ve tried at their OG restaurant, I’m guessing this lobster roll will be exceptional. Oh, and did I mention they have outdoor seating?” - HLB

Poached Soy Chicken

Mr Ji technically opened in pop-up form late last year. But because of, like, the world, it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type opening. As such I’ve been thinking about their poached soy chicken for a number of months now. Like Tom Hanks on that island, or a dog whose owners have popped to Waitrose, I sit, I think about food, and I wait. And I have a pretty good feeling this soy-bathing chicken will be worth it”. -JM

Honey Butter Toast

“Nothing gets me more excited than a pastry counter. And the one at Arôme (as I found out via shamelessly stalking their Instagram stories) is filled with things like honey butter toast, gula melaka coconut twists, and banana, chocolate and almond croissants. Count me in.” - RS

FEBRUARY 2021

Toro Futomaki

“My biggest fear about meeting Bisushima’s toro futomaki is that I am overwhelmed with heart-popping joy and cry on my sushi. It’s been a long, hot minute since this Staff Writer was in the presence of bluefin tuna, let alone some dry-aged marbled bluefin tuna wrapped in rice and nori. Every time I look at it my brain chants ‘get me to their terrace, get me to their terrace, get me to their terrace’. You’ll be glad to know I’ve made a booking for April. Toro futomaki, here I come.” - HLB

Corned Beef Hash Sando

“Corned beef feels like one of those foods that’s stuck in a previous generation, unlikely to ever grace the Instagram feeds of the #influencers. At least, that’s what I thought. And then Panadera came along with their pandesal (Filipino bread roll) corned beef hash sando. Just look at it. Woof. I can’t wait to eat my words.” -JM

Egg Masala Bowl

“It’s very hard to maintain eye contact with these onion and tomato masala soaked eggs, whilst pretending I didn’t wish I lived above Oh My Daal’s Shoreditch kitchen. I’ve spent an alarming amount of time picturing what I’d fill my bowl with, the spinach daal or the ma ki daal? Sweet potatoes or spicy? I don’t know yet, but I can’t wait to find out.” - RS

Fatty Tuna

“The thought of eating out, inside a restaurant, feels like a hazy pipe dream. The thought of eating sushi made by Master Endo, is truly otherworldly. The rock star-like chef is now delicately carving, and palming, fish and rice together at Sumi while The Rotunda is closed. And it’s open for delivery and takeaway. So that fatty tuna could become a reality.” -JM

Lobster Doughnut

“Is it warm? Does the lobster balance out the sweetness of the doughnut? How big is it? Is it acceptable to go in and just order five of these? These are just some of the questions that went through my head when I first heard of Only Food And Courses’ savoury doughnut. I need answers. And some of these to go please.” - RS

Peinirli

“Steadily I have morphed from a relatively social ’seccy fan to, well, my nan. I’m not salty about this transformation, but it has led me to purchasing a light hand-blender and regularly uttering ‘there isn’t anything you can’t put in a soup’. Given my new hot liquid hobby, I am very hyped to try peinirli, a flatbread boat-shaped situation filled with hot lemon chicken thigh stew. It’s a Greek classic served for brunch at Joan. Hello peak dipping potential.” - HLB

JANUARY 2021

Beef Curry & Rice

“I’ve been looking longingly at Hiden’s Curry Laboratory beef curry and rice for, I’d say, something like three weeks now. Though in the timescale of January 2021, it feels closer to several centuries. The idea of spooning - no, shovelling - warm and spicy Japanese curry into my face is something that, Kylie-style, I just can’t get out of my head”. - JM

Doom Bar Battered Monkfish & Tartare Sauce

“I have recently got very into relaxing ASMR recordings. Cabin Fireplace Crackling, a classic. Gentle Rain In The Garage, hello, what a banger. But sadly, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find any recordings called Person Biting Into Battered Monkfish. I want that noise, that glorious crunch, followed by the salty taste of fried fish, and the smack of freshly squeezed lemon on your tongue. I want what Norman’s has.” - HLB

Banh Mi Cheesesteak

“I dare you to read the menu from Peckham spot Bando Belly without both excitedly whispering ‘WTAF’ before your stomach two-steps in gurgly agreement. From soft shell crab with Old Bay slaw and caramel sauce to this… creation - a gochujang bavette steak banh mi with American cheese and more. I want. No, I need.” - JM

Chicken Dripping Potatoes

“You know that feeling at school, or in the playground, when everyone had something and you didn’t? For me, it was facial hair. Now that feeling is back. And it’s all down to Arrosto. On my Instagram, in my work chat, on my family WhatsApp. Arrosto Arrosto Arrosto. I want the chicken. I want the focaccia. But most of all, I want those chicken dripping potatoes.” - JM

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