London restaurants opening in December, from Chet’s to Shiro

Hot sausage: Chet’s version of the bodega sandwich swaps the traditional bacon for spicy Thai sausage (Anton Rodriguez)
Hot sausage: Chet’s version of the bodega sandwich swaps the traditional bacon for spicy Thai sausage (Anton Rodriguez)

Eating in the run-up-to-Christmas might mean turkey and mince pies for many, but for the gastro-curious, the end of the year sees no let-up in restaurant openings across the capital.

Two big Japanese launches offer a clean-tasting antidote to any festive over-indulgence, while imports from Los Angeles and Greece promise to inject some much-needed sunshine to grey winter streets. The big news, though, is the relocation of two-Michelin-starred West African innovator Ikoyi to a new site on the Strand —if you’ve never tried chef Jeremy Chan’s ground-breaking cooking, consider this as all the excuse you need.

If you really do crave some seasonal cheer, we’d recommend Akub in Notting Hill. The Standard reported on the opening of the modern Palestinian restaurant last month, but the launch has been delayed until December 8. Bethlehem-born Fadi Kattan has a restaurant in his hometown and pioneered food tours of the Holy Land. The chef’s arrival in London is exactly the sort of Christmas story we can get behind: follow that star!


 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Hong Kong’s Aqua Restaurant Group is no stranger to high-end Asian in London (it operates Hutong in the Shard and Aqua Kyoto on Regent Street) and is opening its fifth London outpost, at Broadgate. Star billing goes to crystal sushi — layers of jelly infused with mirin, saké and soy atop scallop or salmon, designed to be eaten in one bite — as well as edomae sushi, involving fish cut in a longer piece draped over the rice. Elsewhere are spicy tuna maki, hand-dived scallop sushi, seafood ramen and chicken yakitori, set-lunch menus to give City workers an excuse to leave their desk for an hour, plus a first-floor bar serving saké-based cocktails and Japanese beers.

Opens: December 5

Broadgate Circle,100 Liverpool Street, EC2M 2AU,


 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Hot on the heels of Taku and Roji comes another high-end Japanese serving multi-course omakase meals. Mayha comes to Marylebone by way of Lebanon where its parent company, Nothing But Love, operates 10 restaurants. A ground-floor stone counter for 11 guests allows for interaction with chefs Jurek Wasio and Yuichi Nakaya as they prepare each day’s no-choice tasting menu (”omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese), washed down with wine and saké pairings as well as Japanese beers and spirits. There’s a raw bar in the basement for something speedier.

Opens: December 8

43 Chiltern Street, W1U 6LS,


Gig-goers with long memories will remember this Covent Garden site as Nineties hotspot Roadhouse; now it is opening as Stereo under the aegis of the Experimental Group, which runs the nearby Henrietta Hotel and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels as well as Experimental Cocktail Club in Chinatown. Late-night drinking, dining and live music will do justice to the location’s legacy. Consultant chef duties fall to Andrew Clarke of Acme Fire Cult, while to drink there will be beers from Bermondsey microbrewery Partizan and bespoke vodka and gin from Thames Distillers — though all eyes (and ears) will likely be on the house band, DJs and live performances.

Opens: December 9

35 The Piazza, WC2E 8BE,


 (Anton Rodriguez)
(Anton Rodriguez)

Any half-decent restaurant that opened in W12 would immediately become the best place to eat in Shepherd’s Bush, but Chet’s should easily exceed the area’s low culinary expectations. For a start it’s in a new Hoxton hotel, which has a track record of delivering cool destination dining (Maya, Seabird). Then there’s an all-day menu courtesy of Kris Yenbamroong, the chef behind LA and Vegas’s natural wine and Thai food hangouts, Night + Market. Expect classic American cooking filtered through a fiery South-East Asian lens: a whole fried onion coated in five spice, or skillet steak served with Thai chimichurri and French fries.

Opens: December 12

65 Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8QE,


 (John Carey)
(John Carey)

Not a new restaurant as such, the re-location of Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale’s Ikoyi will see the West African hit move from St James’s to larger digs within the creative hub of 180 Strand where, crucially, Chan will have a bigger kitchen for his marriage of ultra-seasonal British ingredients with spice and heat. Prices reflect the restaurant’s two-Michelin-starred status: £300 for the tasting menu, or £180 for a shorter lunch menu on Wednesdays and Thursdays. An expanded wine collection can be mixed and matched to a booze-free tea pairing while simple interiors, including a private room for six, are the first UK commission for famed Danish architect David Thulstrup.

Opens: December 12

180 Strand, WC2R 1EA,

Also opening:

Humble Grape Crouch End

The neighbourhood wine bar opens its sixth branch. This one is boasting bottomless Saturday lunch, Sunday roast and 400 sustainable wines supplied by small-scale producers.

Opens: December 1

4 Topsfield Parade, N8 8PR,


Billed as “an immersive dining experience”, this Covent Garden hotel restaurant promises Israeli-Spanish fusion food (Israeli-style paella), music and dancing to DJs — sounds tailor-made for Christmas parties.

Opens: December 1

Hotel Amano, Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, WC2B 5HA,

Morty and Bob’s Kensal Rise

A third (and first for north-west London) outpost for the cheese-toastie specialists which began life as a stall in Netil Market, with full-size dishes of steak and salmon alongside the famous sandwiches.

Opens: December 6

118 College Road, NW10 5HD,


Fingers crossed this huge open-plan restaurant and rooftop seafood terrace, which follows outposts in Greece and Spain, brings some Mediterranean sunshine to the Anywheresville redevelopment around Tottenham Court Road tube.

Opens: December 10

The Now Building, Outernet, Denmark Street, WC2H 0LA,

Tozi Grand Café

One of the better places to eat near Victoria Station is now opening opposite Battersea Power Station, offering the same style of crowd-pleasing Italian food and sharing plates of cicchetti.

Opens: December 12

Art’otel London Battersea Power Station, 3a Electric Boulevard, SW11 8BJ,