As we enter the new year, we have shortlisted the Best New Restaurant Openings across London and Manchester for your reading pleasure.
Taking a prime position within one of Mayfair’s most-loved hotels, Café Biltmore is the flagship restaurant of The Biltmore and stands proudly as Grosvenor Square’s favourite spot for fine dining.
Having recently appointed Executive Head Chef Luis Campos who counts an impressive twenty-eight years of experience under his belt, the all-day dining concept offers modern cuisine with a Mediterranean twist in a sophisticated setting.
Situated adjacent to the Hotel’s lobby, Café Biltmore evokes contemporary lavishness with its high ceilings, large round tables and majestic colour palette of rich hues and golds which all elevate the scenery in this Mayfair hotspot.
Having trained under the likes of Richard Corrigan and Tom Aikens, Campos has worked at Fortnum & Mason, the Interconential Park Lane and Conrad London St. James, to name a few and has bought his wealth of culinary knowledge to create a delicious Winter menu for the Biltmore.
The Café’s champion dish is undoubtedly its Linguine with Lobster, somewhat of a signature dish it comes richly served in a tasty lobster sauce with garlic and basil.
For the rest of the menu, the Mediterranean theme is echoed through the different meat and fish dishes, with favourites including the Roasted Quail to start and the Baby Monkfish Tail as a main.
There is also the choice to have one of the steaks from the menu, with options including Hereford beef and New England grass fee Wagyu, each served with a choice of sauce and triple-cooked oven chips.
Café Biltmore is open for both dinner and lunch daily, with lunch offering both a set menu or the option to dine à la carte.
Be sure to also make a pit-stop to The Pine bar for either pre or post (or even both) dinner drinks and check out the newly launched Wanderlust collection of cocktails curated by master mixologists Nerijus Zakarevicius, Giorgio Trimboli and Alessandro Vescovi.
The long-awaited Studio Frantzén has finally opened at Harrods in a first for the department store offering the heralded flavours of world-renowned and six Michelin-starred Chef Björn Frantzén in a neo-Nordic restaurant, bar and outdoor rooftop terrace.
Joining the Frantzén Group’s already celebrated restaurants across Stockholm, Bangkok and Singapore (with more openings tipped for Dubai and Shanghai in 2023) Frantzén joins an array of celebrity chefs already hosted at Harrods with Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge, to name a few.
An open kitchen overlooks the innovative space, seating 112-covers, and Frantzén has crafted a menu of his signature Nordic cuisine fused with Asian influence and distinct seasonality synonymous with his dishes.
Showcasing mostly Swedish and Japanese flavours, the menu also plays on typically British dishes but with Frantzén’s flair and technical cooking technique giving a twist that complements the overall experience of innovative yet unfussy dining.
An open fire emphasises the Nordic way of preserving and smoking food. This is a continued theme throughout the menu with particular focus on a section of mains, namely ‘From The Fireplace’ with much of the grilled dishes prepared in this way.
Some of Frantzén’s hallmark flavours are featured, notably his signature Tartare of Tuna & Red Deer, which remains a standout dish on the menu, along with the Roasted Orkney Scallops, which are served with simple-yet-delectable Scrambled Duck Eggs and Black Truffle.
For the mains, you can’t really go wrong with Frantzén’s Sweden vs Japan, braised beef brisket grilled Japanese Wagyu with lemongrass jus and a drizzle of Japanese mustard, it’s the perfect embodiment of his typical East meets West influence. For something a little less hearty, try the Salad ‘bonito Caesar’, a Japanese take on a caesar salad with grilled guinea fowl, soy-braised pork belly and flavoursome black-garlic croutons.
Open daily, Studio Frantzén is also open late evenings outside of Harrods’ traditional opening hours, staying open until 11.30pm, with an earlier close on Sundays and the roof terrace closing earlier at 8.30pm and 6pm on Sundays.
Housed within the hotly anticipated (and finally open) art’otel London Battersea Power Station, TOZI Grand Cafe is the third opening from the TOZI group joining its counterparts in Amsterdam and London Victoria.
Strikingly design-led in keeping with the hotel it resides in, TOZI Grand Café is a sophisticated spot inspired by the iconic Grand Cafés and serves a delicious array of all-day-dining dishes from breakfast through lunch and dinner.
Designed by artist and designer Jaime Hayon, the cafe nods to European culture and architecture, which is elevated by its double-height ceiling and sculptural lighting, complemented by Hayon’s tapestries artfully positioned around the space.
Led by Executive Head Chef Lee Streeton, the menu has been devised in collaboration with TOZI Victoria’s Head Chef Maurilio Molteni and is rooted in the flavours of Northern Italy, with Venetian cooking traditions at the core of the menu’s offering.
Split into antipasti, Cicchetti, pasta, secondi and dolci, the dishes here are best shared, though the cafe also has set afternoon tea and pre-theatre menus available daily. With so many tempting dishes on one menu, it’s easy to get carried away and order a little bit of everything and don’t let us stop you from doing so.
Start with having a few antipasti and Cicchetti dishes for the table, along with one of the expertly paired aperitivi (the Bellini is a personal favourite of ours). The selection of cured meats is a nice platter for two, and the cheeses accompany the board well, too, so it’s a good idea to have both.
Make sure to also indulge in the Baked scallop and nduja, an example of the fine ingredients used at TOZI, the fusion of the freshness of the scallop and spice of the sausage, pairs perfectly as a taster dish, along with the Sicilian red prawns which are also a must-taste.
For the pasta course, the Lobster Linguine comes highly commended, though we recommend the Trofle with mushrooms and cavolo nero for a real authentic taste of Italy.
As you make it to the mains, it’s worth trying the Sugar Pit bacon chop for something a little different; think candied bacon and, of course, using only the best meat sourced from Peter Hannon’s Estate over in Ireland.
Leave room for dessert (you’ll thank us later), as the Pistachio tiramisu is second to none and pairs perfectly with the Digestivi of choice, an Espresso Martini. With such an abundance of flavour and all in a very charming setting, it’s no wonder this café-come-restaurant is already BPS’s go-to……
Open daily, TOZI Grand Cafe also serves a special weekend brunch menu with favourites, including Lobster Benedict and Culatello with fried eggs, book in advance as it does get busy.
A unique offering to Manchester’s thriving dining scene, MUSU oozes the trendy vibes synonymous with some of London’s favourite Japanese haunts and has brought them to the buzzing Bridge Street in the city’s heart.
Four years in the making, this uber-luxe restaurant and bar is the brainchild of hospitality gurus Vincent Braine and Maris Kamara, and with Chef Patron Michael Shaw at the helm, it’s clear to see how this exceptional newcomer has already established itself as the go-to destination for undeniably exquisite food, chic interiors and a curated selection of cocktails.
Bespoke Italian furniture and subtle lighting set the tone for MUSU, and Geisha artworks adorn the walls, with the centrepiece being a visual board that spans the length of the bar. It is rumoured some £3-Million has been spent on making the restaurant the pinnacle of fine dining, and the immersive aura of the space evidently shows no expense has been spared.
Foodwise, Shaw has devised a number of tasting menus using the finest Japanese and locally sourced ingredients fusing old-age Asian cooking techniques with a modern European flair.
Simple to navigate, diners can choose to either have a Kaiseki 7 or 11-course set menu which changes on a seasonal basis, a classic Omakase menu served at the sushi counter with a dedicated chef, or to dine slightly more a la carte by choosing the Sentaku menu.
Hero dishes include MUSU’s must-try Red Prawn Tartare served with a generous helping of Kaluga Caviar, Monkfish with Black Truffle, and of course, the A5 Japanese Wagyu cooked to perfection.
MUSU is open for both lunch and dinner (serving an express Subayai menu for lunch); drop in to its flagship Nijikai party on Fridays and Saturdays to dance away until the early hours and enjoy late-night dining from a curated Izayaka menu.
Located a few yards away from the bustling Borough Market on Stoney Street, Pulia is somewhat of a hidden gem showcasing spectacular Italian cuisine in a modern-yet-comfortable setting with a focus on the authentic flavours of Pulia.
Bringing the vibrancy of Southern Italy, the inviting décor and colour palette of dusky reds and neutrals are the perfect accompaniment for the Apulian menu served and the restaurant seating 60-covers is overlooked by a sophisticated bar which makes for a nice glass of Italian wine (or indeed Pulia’s ever-popular Aperol Spritz) before your meal.
Very much the flagship restaurant of the Pulia brand with its retail products dating back to 2012, Pulia London is sister to its Brindisi outpost and has quickly become Borough Market’s worst-kept secret for quality Apulian dishes prepared using the freshest ingredients and an exceptional dining experience.
Serving an all-day menu, the dishes vary in size, so if your more looking for a light bite over lunch, the sharing platters are a good call with a primi pasta. For hungrier diners, the menu is devised into antipasti, primi and secondi dishes with pizzas, salads and soups.
Try the Insalata di Polpo (Grilled Octopus) to start, it comes served with potatoes and a vegetable salad which really hits the spot; the Beef Carpaccio is also a popular choice, a classic dish but very well prepared and nicely topped with parmesan shavings.
The Primi (pasta) is all served al dente, so it’s as typically Apulian as it gets, the Troccoli pasta with clams, garlic and parsley is a standout dish, and the Lasagne al Pesto is again a classic dish beautifully executed.
For mains, the meat dishes are centred around the Podolica, a cattle breed from Southern Italy bred mostly for the high quality of their meat.
To savour the exceptional quality of the Podolic beef, try the meatballs or the simple sliced cutlet of Podolic calf; both are sure to delight even the fussiest of eaters. For a vegetarian option, the Melanzane alla Parmigiana is a failsafe choice and is made up of layers of fried aubergine with a generous helping of mozzarella cheese.
Text by Jaz Grewal.