Miserable January is behind us and the restaurant scene is awash with colour and new life. Peruse the raft of key new openings across London this month, rounded up by gourmands Paloma Lacy and Jo Aspin.
An underground cocktail bar with a hidden outside terrace will open in Rathbone Place, London W1 this month. Lucy Wong is a tribute to the 1957 novel ‘The World of Suzie Wong’ by Richard Mason, and just like the book, revellers can expect to be transported back to the time capsule of Hong Kong in the late 1950s. Guests will enter the world of Lucy Wong as if arriving at one of her infamous parties. Expect decadent glamour, retro Chinese design, Dim Sum and roasted meats, all to play to a backdrop of the Asian-inspired cocktail menu designed by globally renowned mixologist Dré Masso. JA.
Opens Thursday 23rd February, with a limited 50% off food offer for everyone who has signed up here.
The latest offering from Big Mamma Group of restaurants is likely to leave you, as the name suggests, feeling warm and bubbly inside. This is Jacuzzi and for those who’ve visited their other outposts – Gloria, Cicolo Popolare and Ave Mario, will know that design is considered a work of art by this lot and this newest spot is no exception. Floor-to-ceiling trees adorn the interior, creating a fresh atmosphere, only to be matched by the bling of chandeliers, too many for the naked eye to count. There are tables for large groups and for those who like to be seen or at least be in a position to be nosy about other diners. It seems the kind of space that attracts celebs. For those looking for a little privacy, the tables beyond the archway offer just that and perhaps creating a romantic ambience. The menu nods at the classier Italian classics, lobster linguine, seafood risotto, truffled spaghetti and of course caviar. PL.
The doors of Hawthorn have opened for the first time in the heart of Kew Village. Joshua Hunter runs the kitchen, with solid Michelin-starred experience at restaurants such as Kitchen W8, Murano by Angela Hartnett and La Trompette. He’s also worked as private chef for the Beckham family and Tom Cruise. Front of house, Patra Panas will make sure everything goes like clockwork. The restaurant is focused on modern European dining, working with the best UK suppliers to provide high-quality meat and fish. The menu is still yet to be revealed. PL.
Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers
The latest instalment of the Mr Fogg's bars opens in Soho this month. Welcome Mr Fogg's Pawnbrokers in Soho. Taking over the former Venise L’Entrecote site at 50 Dean Street, the 140-capacity venue will be separated into three areas; The Pawnbrokers Counter, The Strong Room and The Textiles Store. The frontage will be masked as a Pawnshop and inside adorned with keepsakes, curious Victorian erotica and paraphernalia from Mr Fogg’s travels. Menus will be printed in minuscule font and accompanied by jewellers loupes for guests to live out the valuation techniques used by pawnbrokers. On board with the theme, cocktails will come in vessels ranging from ‘Ming’ vases to jewellery boxes. Sounds like a hoot! JA.
Opens 22nd February
From a stall in Borough Market to a well-established restaurant, Applebee's Fish is in an expansive mood. Owner brothers, Jack and Matthew Applebee are set to open a Spanish tapas restaurant, La Gamba in the Southbank Centre. This is tapas by the Thames. Focusing on north-western Galician regional cuisine, seafood continues to loom large in a rather attractive menu including dishes that grab the diner from first reading. St Austell Mussels cooked in albariño and chorizo sauce, and Cornish crab and fennel tostada certainly appeal. As do, Iberico pork cheek empanadas, and Galician picanha steak with truffle and San Simón cheese. For a sweet finish, indulge in Basque cheesecake and torrijas. Located directly in front of Royal Festival Hall, facing the River Thames, the move is long awaited for those looking for something above beyond the chain offerings on this touristy spot. PL.
Two New Bars Open at The Dorchester
We can’t be the only ones beyond excited that The Dorchester has recently opened not only one but two new bars. An up close and personal inspection is needed very soon but from what we’ve heard, it’ll be difficult to choose between the two. Vesper Bar has clearly been influenced by James Bond, which seems fitting, considering that the character’s writer, Ian Fleming was a regular visitor to the hotel. 1930s inspired, there’s a new entrance for the bar on Park Lane.
Putting a capital ‘B’ on bling, the other newbie is The Artists’ Bar, which has Liberace’s piano on display, alongside a heck of a lot of crystal-embellished interiors. Cocktails are served by trolley, very much in that art deco period style. I intend to sip on a champagne cocktail – Masterpiece – tequila, saffron, chamomile, and lime. PL.
Vesper Bar and The Artists' Bar are now open at The Dorchester