Hot plates: Our reviews of London's best new restaurants

Words by
Sphere Life

7th September 2018

From mouth-watering menus to enormous seafood platters, we've reviewed a selection of London's freshest restaurants to give you a taste of what's on offer

Neptune

One of the most eagerly anticipated launches of the year, Neptune brings a new destination eatery to Russell Square. Located within the snazzy surroundings of recently opened The Principal London hotel, Neptune is the second restaurant from duo Brett Redman and Margaret Crow, and, with a gorgeous design by Russell Sage Studio, marks a chi chi step-up from their cult Hackney hangout The Richmond. Don’t be fooled by the glamorous surroundings, however — this restaurant is agreeably relaxed. As the name suggests, Neptune is heavily fish focused, a theme that leaves its mark on everything from a gleaming central oyster bar to cocktails specially designed to drink with shellfish. Kick off proceedings with Exmoor caviar, an absolute revelation with warm, soft waffles and cultured jersey cream, along with a platter of oysters on ice — ideally paired with a crisp Neptune martini. Be warned: enormous seafood platters cause quite a stir when brought to the table.

CUB

Sustainable restaurants are au courant at the moment, and add in a prime Hoxton location and award-winning cocktails and it is no surprise this place is heaving with bearded hipsters and suave media types kicking their night off with chic vegetable-based plates and glasses of Krug. The brainchild of famed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana and zero waste pioneer Doug McMaster, the restaurant makes tubers, brassicas and alliums sing with spectacular results. Try the beetroot roasted with molasses and lemon thyme, or the smoky mushrooms with smoked artichoke and kelp, both meaty and glorious — and surprisingly filling. The tasting menu adds in a range of excellent cocktails, such as a meddle of conference pear, Belvedere vodka and gooseberry shrub. Even the sake is from Peckham, making it possibly the trendiest restaurant in the capital right now.

The Coach

When Henry Harris closed Racine in South Kensington, many missed his Gallic cooking and ready charm. Thankfully, he has re-emerged as co-director at three new venues across the capital: The Hero of Maida in Maida Vale, The Three Cranes near Mansion House and The Coach in Clerkenwell. The latter offers an upstairs dining room, try the robust duck confit and a waist-straining croziflette — a tartiflette with pasta instead of potatoes. The convivial buzz and thoughtful wine list make this one of the most agreeable spots in EC1.

St Leonards
St Leonards

St Leonards

St Leonards

Introducing a new hot-ticket eatery to Shoreditch, chefs Jackson Boxer  and Andrew Clarkeon have joined forces 
for  a second venture. Specialising in so-called “humble cooking” — although the hearty, rustic dishes on offer are anything but ordinary  — its large open space contains both an ice bar and log-fire hearth. The idea is to start off with raw fish and seafood before moving on to meat and veg roasted over the flames. The wood grilled monkfish with buckthorn molasses is a delight, as is the smoked eel with foie gras chawanmushi. Given the popularity of the duo’s first project, Brunswick House, St Leonards is set to be a big hit, too.

INKO NITO

Following a successful debut in Los Angeles’ Art District, Reiner Becker’s quirky Japanese robatayaki concept Inko Nito has now found a home on Broadwick Street. This street food-inspired space is decidedly casual, but all the more fun for it. Turn up with friends — try to get a seat around the open robata grill for added theatre — and order a selection of sharing dishes. Expect unconventional takes on familiar fare, from Portland crab tartare with wasabi mayo to sticky pork belly with a Japanese whisky glaze. The panko-fried chicken is an instant favourite, crispy and hot with chilli garlic yoghurt, as is the deliciously fatty bone marrow. Cocktails fuse east and west without being gimmicky.

STEM

The third London eatery from Mark Jarvis — the chef patron behind Anglo and Neo Bistro — Stem continues his thoughtful preoccupation with modern British cuisine. Located on Mayfair’s Princes Street, the 35-seat restaurant is spread over two floors in a handsome townhouse. À la carte dishes are subtly experimental, from pigeon with beetroot, grilled onion, peanut and cherry to a this-shouldn’t-work-but-does basil panna cotta. There is also a six-seat private chef’s table with bespoke menus.