Ah 2022, the year with such high goals for the hospitality industry. Fresh off the back of pandemic closures and disruption, the list of new openings seemed to multiply by the day. Restaurants may have been on their knees for two years, but that didn’t seem to stop the relentless tide of the new and shiny. And yet, when it came down to it, many failed to break through the noise. Whether that was down to rising prices, staff shortages or simply a lack of inspiration remains to be seen, but what we do know is that 2023 is offering up some exciting new prospects of places to eat in this wonderful city.

From the latest high-octane outpost from the Big Mamma Group, to the rebirth of an enduring favourite, here are the London restaurant openings we have our eyes on for the year to come.


94 Kensington High Street, W8 4SH

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Big Mamma is back at it again, with the launch of Jacuzzi in Kensington this January. Bringing some necessary fun to an area in desperate need of something fresh, Jacuzzi will no doubt dial up all things whacky. Described as a “four story pleasure palace” the restaurant will feature disco ball toilets and a “Sicilian mezzanine” with a retractable roof because… London weather. Expect supersized plates of pasta, truffles galore and more Instagrammers than you can shake a stick at.


Darjeeling Express

Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW

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Returning to what she call its “spiritual home”, Asma Khan’s inimitable (and Paul Rudd-approved) Darjeeling Express will reopen at Kingly Court at the end of January. A firm favourite amongst Londoners and visitors alike, the restaurant is famously difficult to get a reservation at, with Khan’s all-female kitchen team winning over legions of fans. There is no doubt this homecoming will only foster more incredible food in warm and welcoming environs.



15th Floor, 1 Electric Boulevard, Nine Elms, SW11 8BJ

London has something of a love affair with all things Portuguese. One of the capital’s most celebrated chefs, Nuno Mendes, hails from the country, with his most recent opening paying homage to Lisbon, while peri peri chicken purveyor Casa do Frango has recently opened another location in central London. It seems like success is written in the stars, then for Joia, the first London restaurant from famed Portuguese chef Henrique Sá Pessoa. Sitting on the 15th floor of the newly opened art’otel in Battersea, the restaurant will have sweeping views over Battersea Power Station and the city beyond.



27 Uxbridge Street, W8 7TQ

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We were lucky enough to test drive Akub at the end of 2022 and trust us when we say this is going to become a firm favourite. The first London opening from acclaimed Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan, it’s a petite restaurant set over a renovated townhouse in Notting Hill that brings the outside in, filled with earthy tones and greenery. The menu celebrates the rich culinary history of Palestine, with highlights from our meal including labneh balls rolled in sumac and za’atar and vine leaves stuffed with skate.



1F Mentmore Terrace, E8 3PN

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Launching as a delivery service during lockdown before popping up in pub kitchens around the city, Hot 4 U has made quite a name for itself despite never having a permanent home. Luckily for Londoners, this roaming kitchen has decided to settle down, taking over a spice on Mentmore Terrace. Partnering up with Charlie Carr of Wingnut Wines, Papi will see Matthew Scott’s vaguely deranged bold flavour combinations and culinary ingenuity paired with some of the most exciting natural wines around. The menu looks and sounds delightful and – crucially – exceedingly exciting.




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Not much is known about Chishuru 2.0, but what we do know is that Adejoké Bakare’s new home for her famed West African restaurant is supposed to be bigger and better than her initial Brixton location with the new iteration offering the space to grow and expand on her already wonderful menu.


Taqueria Sonora

Stoke Newington High Street, N16

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If you frequented the London Fields area anytime in the last couple of years you may have encountered sweeping queues down Westgate Street and wondered what on earth they were for. It’s likely the answer was Sonora, a small taqueria with a big following that served up some of London’s best tacos. It sadly closed its doors in late 2022, but the sad news was quickly followed by good: the closure would be temporary, and its new opening would be a more permanent site where you could dine in – huzzah. Opening early this year, it’s no doubt going to become a firm favourite.


Midland Grand Dining Room

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR

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Patrick Powell, the Irish chef behind Stratford’s Allegra restaurant, is being brought on by developer Harry Handelsman to revamp the Midland Grand Dining Room. Having already worked with Handelsman across multiple venues, including Allegra and the Renaissance Hotel’s Booking Office 1869, Powell’s Midland Grand Dining Room will be a realisation of a long-term discussion around this ‘pan-French brasserie’. Hallowed general manager Emma Underwood will join the team in a move that seals this as one of London’s most exciting openings of the year.



6a, 8a Lonsdale Road, NW6 6RD

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Trading in its Smithfield home for Queen’s Park, Lino will sit across two floors in a newly renovated mews space on Lonsdale Road. Joining Cartmel and Milk Beach along this quiet street, the restaurant will serve up modern British, Mediterranean-influenced dishes and, if the Instagram is anything to go off, a fair few negronis to boot.



TBC, Fitzrovia

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Husband-and-wife-duo John and Desiree Chantarasak have been piquing interest in the city for a few years now, with their regular and exciting Thai pop ups. Celebrating John’s dual British-Thai heritage, the menu utilises local ingredients with Thai flavours and pairs it all with a Desiree’s thoughtfully-curated selection of wines.



10 Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AD

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A concept that she describes as a “diasporan dream”, Rambutan is Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s new restaurant opening in Borough Market this year (and also the name of her debut cookbook). Highlighting the food of Sri Lanka, through a distinctly British lens, the restaurant will explore the flavours of the island nation alongside showcasing how they have developed and evolved within Britain.