From stylish cocktail bars in up-and-coming parts of London to Michelin starred Argentinian food in Birmingham and fresh seafood on the Dorset coast, Britain’s thriving food and drink scene shows no sign of slowing. In fact, the buzz of brand-new eateries, coffee shops and bars can be felt across the UK, as this new wave of fresh restaurants and bars demonstrates.
Following success in Liverpool and Manchester, Global music distributor Ditto Music has opened their third coffee shop, Ditto Coffee, in Shoreditch. Serving a menu inspired by Australia’s flavour-first café culture with a side of independent music, here local artists can be championed through direct album sales and live in-house sessions. Having previously worked with the likes of Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper, this is another exciting space offering guests the chance to kick back with a Flat White and discover the talent of local musicians.
Rising stars of London’s foodie scene, chef Selin Kiazim and sommelier Laura Christie have launched Oklava Bakery + Wine in the heart of Fitzrovia, replacing Kyseri, their once Turkish pasta restaurant. This latest venture offers delicious Turkish-Cypriot breads and pastries alongside rich dinner dishes and a rare selection of fine wines. Inspired by Kiazim’s Turkish heritage, guests can expect a menu bursting with flavour, served in a relaxed yet opulent interior. A Saturday brunch menu includes the unforgetable tastes of Turkish eggs menemen and Cyprus potato hash, while tempting highlights from the lunch and dinner menu include tepsi kebab, a kumru-style grilled cheese sandwich and wild mushroom kaygana. Just as intriguing as the food is the wine list, with co-owner and wine expert Christie bringing the taste of small vineyards from Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon and Georgia to the tables of the new eatery, paired to perfection to bring out the flavour of Kiazim’s culinary creations.
Visitors looking to taste a British classic need look no further than Rockfish, now open in Poole Quay, Dorset. The bright and airy quay-side eatery can seat more than 100 guests and includes an outside space for those wanting to dine al fresco. Proudly sourcing its fish from their very own Rockfish boat, as well as daily trips to Brixham and other local markets, fans of fresh seafood can tuck in to award-winning fish and chips or try their impressive menu of local catches, including hake and Devon lobster. Those wanting to splash out should not miss the selection of oysters or queen scallops.
Opening in March
Paving the way for vegan Mexican food, Club Mexicana will add to its successful trio of London residencies with a new spot in Soho’s vibrant Kingly Court this March. Featuring a finger-licking plant based street food menu, guests can enjoy a cheezburger burrito, smoked tofu taco, shwarma style ‘pork’, loaded nachos and special Mexican fried faux chicken burritos. Those with a sweet tooth should look out for the deep-fried ice cream and refreshing frozen margaritas.
Opening in March
Smokey Kudu, a luxurious South African-inspired cocktail bar in Peckham, opened its doors in early 2020. Alongside its sister restaurant, Kudu, the bar is now set to be joined by Little Kudu, an intimate tapas and wine bar located next door that’s the latest venture in the Kudu Collective. Smokey Kudu has a select menu of twelve cocktails, including a saffa-rita, made with chilli tequila, van der hum, lime and chakalaka salt, and a Zulu espresso, made with espresso, vodka amarula and nutmeg, all served in a romantic, dimly lit interior, complete with a show-stopping glass chandelier. After enjoying an opulent cocktail peckish guests will soon be able to head next door and enjoy the many flavours of Little Kudu, which offers a delightful selection of delectable tapas dishes.
Opening in April
Masterchef: The Professionals finalist William JM Chilila is set to bring the spices, ancient cooking techniques and art of West Africa to Fitzrovia this April, with his new culinary project, Akoko. Guests will be welcomed into a calming, elegant space, with clay-clad walls adorned with stunning African art, including contemporary pieces from artist Niyi Olagunju. Flavour fans can tuck into refined dishes such as jollof rice, 28-day-aged beef suya, barbecued aubergine maafe and smoked goat consommé.
Opening this spring
Spring 2020 will see an exciting new location for Indian food gurus Dishoom, as they welcome guests to their latest restaurant in the heart of Birmingham. Within an elegant interior inspired by the old Irani cafes once seen in Bombay, chef Naved Nasir will create an irresistible menu of Bombay comfort food, combining elements of Hindu, Muslim, Irani and Parsi dishes. The Permit Room bar will also serve a selection of Dishoom’s award-winning cocktails, coolers, chais and alcohol-free delights.
Opening in March
Another buzz surrounding Birmingham’s foodie scene comes from Pulperia, an Argentina-inspired eatery opening this March. Created by Michelin-starred chef Aktar Islam, winner of television’s the F-word and Great British Menu, diners can expect flavoursome seasonal dishes with seriously tender cuts of beef. From fillet to sharing steak, Patagonian beef stew to salt-baked celeriac and wild mushroom tagliatelle, the menu caters for even the most discerning palettes.
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