1. COYA – 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NW
Brunch is the place to be on weekends: Swap pancakes for Peruvian delicacies and enjoy a bottomless brunch at Latin American hotspot, COYA. Begin your experience in the Pisco Bar and Lounge with bottomless sours and other cocktails, as well as canapés in the form of a selection of tacos, anticuchos and baos. The main restaurant serves the brunch, including an impressive display of ceviches, tiraditos and salads, in addition to the main courses from the grill. The menu embodies Nikkei – a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food – as is evident from the dishes available at the brunch. The yellowfin tuna ceviche is contrasted in texture with sesame seeds and shrimp cracker, whilst the salmon ceviche has a tangy taste with its celery juice, ginger and wasabi tobiko.
2. Onima – 1-3 Avery Row, Mayfair, W1K 4AJ
The new eatery in Mayfair: Asia meets Mykonos in Mayfair with the launch of new restaurant, Omina, where there’s not a thing on the seafood-slanted menu not to lust after. I’d recommend the Sicilian red prawns with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing and yellowtail carpaccio with a punchy tapenade to start, even if the prawns are a little smaller than you’d expect. Neither hold a candle to the chargrilled octopus, though. The Scottish lobster tagliolini is delicious but completely sidelined by the roasted Greek seabass for two. With a side of green beans and the truffle pomme puree, I’m still thinking about it now. Try the chocolate cookies semifreddo – it’s one of my most highly-praised desserts in London.
3. ULI – 5 Ladbroke Rd, W11 3PA
ULI is the restaurant in Notting Hill that’s raising the steaks in their culinary game, as they’ve added robatayaki to their menu. There’s a selection of meat, seafood and veg cooked on the coals, marinated with Asian sauces and flavours. Try the seafood grill with scallops, jumbo prawns and salmon, and the crispy lamb lettuce wraps and the black bean and ginger asparagus.
4. The Alchemist – 63-66 St Martins Lane, WC2N 4JS
St Martins Lane is the latest venue for The Alchemist, after the first branch in East London was so successful. Whether you’re up for a quick drink before the theatre, or plan to make the bar your after-work local, The Alchemist is in a prime spot in Covent Garden. Theatre and immersive experiences are at the heart of The Alchemist’s core, so it’s definitely worth checking out their new location.
5. Gazelle Mayfair – 48 Albemarle St, Mayfair W1S 4DH
Stop by this elegant cocktail bar and restaurant for some light bites and drinks. Nestled on Mayfair’s up-and-coming road, Albermarle Street, Gazelle Mayfair is the new bar on the block from bartender, Tony Conigliaro and chef, Rob Roy Cameron. Signature dishes include yellowtail carpaccio and strawberry oysters, whilst the L’Orbe caviar vodka-based cocktails match the luxury of the venue.
6. Zuma – 5 Raphael St, Knightsbridge SW7 1DL
New bar menu at Zuma: Sushi and robata grill favourite, Zuma London, has launched its Izakaya bar menu, to emulate the informal Japanese bar environment for afterwork drinks and nibbles. Featuring popular favourites such as grilled red Mazara prawns and lobster and crayfish okonomiyaki skewers, it’s hard not to order the whole menu alongside your glass of Umeshu. Vegetarian dishes such as shiitake mushroom tempura and classic edamame beans are also thoroughly enjoyable.
7. Bagatelle – 34 Dover St, Mayfair W1S 4NG
Boozy brunch veteran, Bagatelle, opens in Mayfair: Expect sparklers, copious amounts of food and drink and dancing on the sofas. Don’t worry, the upholstery is stiletto-proof. Bagatelle has finally come to London and it’s seriously exciting news. Still a contemporary French restaurant, Dale Osborne’s dishes such as the famous truffle chicken and the fantastic tuna tartar are amongst firm food favourites come lunch or dinner time. The Champagne will be flowing for those who prefer to get merry at either of the two sittings for brunch on the weekend. This is what London’s truly been missing.
8. Frenchie – 16 Henrietta St WC2E 8QH
Warm up this winter with Frenchie’s new cocktail menu: a tour of three cities that played an inspirational party in founder Greg Marchand’s career. Start with the ‘Fall in Manhattan’, an Autumnal twist on the traditional drink to see you through New York, whilst London’s offering is ‘M’s London’, a martini-style cocktail. Finally, indulge in Paris with the ‘Late Harvest’, a rum-based drink mixed with Sauternes and Boudier rhubarb liqueur; www.frenchiecoventgarden.com
9. StreetXO – 15 Old Burlington St, Mayfair W1S 2JR
StreetXO adds new dishes to their menu: This Asian-European food-stop is known for its flamboyant surroundings and imaginative dishes. You might have immersed yourself in Madrid’s Michelin-starred street food restaurant when it first launched in London, but you’ll have to head back to try the new eats on the menu. The ramen of foie gras and BBQ’d quinoa fowl and the Korean lasagne XO style are our favourites; www.streetxo.com
10. South Place Hotel – 3 South Pl EC2M 2AF
It may be getting colder but if you’re craving a bit of tropical paradise, head to the Secret Garden in the South Place Hotel. Here you can escape London’s hustle and bustle, whilst reclining with a Champagne cocktail. Ultimate bliss. Indulge in one of London’s five-star boutique hotels’ bars on the border of the city and the East End.
11. Burger & Beyond – 147 Shoreditch High St E1 6JE
One of London’s best burgers, Burger and Beyond, is opening its first permanent restaurant on Shoreditch High Street – and all’s finally right with the world. Having come a long way since selling at street food markets, the permanent digs will offer the classic burgers, as well as new additions: think fried hot fish and mushroom Raclette. Snacks and sides also sound enticing, with chicken skin, deep-fried lamb nuggets, lardo on toast and poutine all making appearances on the menu.