Jo Aspin rounds up the hottest new restaurants opening in London in October including Knoops, Bar Bolivar, Smoke & Salt, Kol, and Akoko.
Chocolate pioneers Knoops announce the opening of their second site in West London’s Kensington this month, joining Knoops Clapham and the original store in Rye, East Sussex. Owner Jens discovered his love of chocolate growing up in rural Germany and since becoming a bona fide chocoholic has created a business fully centred on drinking chocolate, both hot and cold!
Guests can create bespoke drinks from a menu of 21 different % chocolates (13 of which are vegan), and five different milks. They also have a fancy range of chocolate flakes, buttons and more to buy online.
Opens 23rd October 2020
Over in East London, Havana inspired Bar Bolivar is coming to Canary Wharf. This is the first solo bar venture from co-founders Jake Kasumov and Marco Mendes, the team behind Casa do Frango. Cocktails with a Cuban twist will include The Hemingway Highball (sweet-and-sour grapefruit and cranberry juice, vermouth, white rum and 3 Cents cherry soda), and The Gin Malecon (2 types of bitters, fresh lime and pineapple juice, Orgeat and London Dry Gin).
Drinks are matched with Cuban street food from Pabellón (winners of the British Street Food Awards in 2019) - think arepas; grilled corn bread filled with cheddar cheese; and slow cooked beef brisket.
Opens 20th October
Smoke & Salt
Formerly getting rave reviews at Brixton’s Box Park, Smoke & Salt has reopened at a new site in Tooting. The restaurant’s ethos celebrates the ancient techniques of smoking, curing and preserving, combined with bold, global flavours and modern influences. Try their smoked chalkstream trout with dehydrated tomato and blackberry vinegar; roasted pheasant breast with woodland mushrooms; and the popular crispy new potatoes with chimichurri, gorgonzola and beef heart. Beers from 40FT in Dalston and Friendship Adventure in Brixton also feature and there’s an option on the menu to ‘Buy The Chef a Beer’ if you want to spread some love.
Marylebone gets a new restaurant this month with the opening of Kol. Head chef Santiago Lastra heads up this 56-cover restaurant featuring Mexican dining with an in-house mezcaleria for sipping tequilas, mescal, and other native spirits. A la carte and tasting menus will feature as well as a 20-cover private chef’s table on the lower ground floor where guests will have the chance to try new and experimental restaurant dishes before they are served in the main restaurant.
Opens 20th October
A high end West African restaurant has opened its doors in Fitzrovia. Head chef William JM Chilla (former Masterchef The Professionals finalist) joins founder British Nigerian Aji Akokomi who has taken inspiration from family recipes and his travels across West Africa.
Saharan classics like smoked goat served with jollof rice; pounded yam with native lobster egusi; and quail yassa can be found on the menu and traditional cooking techniques of smoking, curing and fermenting to maximise the flavours will be used. Interiors have been toned to mirror the earthiness of West African rural areas. Walls are covered in terracotta clay, while contemporary African art by Niyi Olagunju and bespoke ceramics line the walls.
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Chatting Food Contributor Jo Aspin
Half American / half (born and bred) Londoner, Jo Aspin is a food writer and established freelance food, drink and lifestyle PR. She’ll be reporting on all the latest restaurant openings and news from the capital. When she’s not eating her way around London, she’s planning her next trip abroad.