Top Table: The Latest Restaurants To Be On Your List

With an abundance of fabulous new eateries to open in the thriving capital, we’ve shortlisted our picks of the best London restaurants to be on your radar.

CLAP London

Beirut hotspot CLAP has opened an outpost in London, following its successful stints in Riyadh and Dubai, ahead of its hotly anticipated summer opening in Ibiza.

Located just off the glitzy Sloane Street, the Japanese restaurant, bar and lounge occupies three floors of a former tube station and sees CLAP’s signature party vibes and modern cuisine come together to form Knightsbridge’s latest ‘it’ restaurant.

Taking its inspiration from Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife and culture, CLAP’s immersive décor channels the buzzing city’s charm and transports guests on a journey through its music-led programmes, which set the scene along with its enviable rooftop views atop the 7th floor and recognisable doll-clad ceiling (borrowed from its Dubai counterpart).

The menu is easily navigated and split into the restaurant’s Omakase and premium Omakase offerings, alongside light bites, starters, mains and sushi with a dedicated vegetarian menu also available.

Hero dishes include Clap’s moreish wagyu beef and mushroom gyoza with truffle teriyaki, its delectable toro done the Clap way, and its Instagrammable take on lobster thermidor, which comes in a yuzu emulsion.

Clap London is open daily for lunch and dinner and operates a smart dress code. Walk-ins are taken first come, first served, though reservations are recommended, given how popular it gets.

www.claprestaurant.com/london

UBA

 

Bringing the thriving Asian food scene normally found across Mayfair and Knightsbridge to East London, UBA is a stylish pan-Asian restaurant in the heart of Shoreditch on the ever-trendy Great Eastern Street, situated within the Hart Shoreditch Hotel.

Sleekly designed, UBA’s unapologetically opulent interiors are awash with prosperous hues of red and gold, and the open-plan floor is overlooked by a marble bar for counter dining, which seats up to 14.

A culinary exploration of South Asian cuisine, Chef Paul Greening, (who has notably worked across the likes of Aqua and Novikov) has devised a menu celebrating traditionally influenced dishes but with a contemporary, theatrical edge.

Highlights on the menu include Korean crispy fried chicken which is packed full of flavour and UBA’s delicious take on miso black cod which is served with a zesty chilli lime yuzu sauce. Be sure to also try some of the tacos, cleverly devised, the salmon ceviche with avocado and masago is a hit.

UBA is open daily, with lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. At weekends, the restaurant is open for all-day dining from 12 p.m. until close.

www.ubarestaurant.com

Mistress of Mayfair

A stone’s throw from The Ritz and accessed by a discreetly hidden staircase off Piccadilly, Mistress of Mayfair is a decadent restaurant and bar inspired by the high flyers of 1920s London.

As lavish as the era it pays homage to, the restaurant takes Parisian influence through a menu of French haute cuisine complemented by the bougie interior of seductive reds and crystal chandeliers.

Plush bunket seating dressed in red velvet and a mirror-come-ceiling make the perfect backdrop for enjoying the delicacies on offer. Paired with meticulously crafted cocktails (the Reverie Fizz is a must-try), it makes for a fabulous evening of old-school glamour.

A menu devised of French classics has been given the Mistress touch with a sprinkling of truffle, an ingredient consistently celebrated throughout. Cooked to perfection, the smoked duck breast is a standout dish, served with blood orange and duck jus.

For starters, you can’t go wrong with the octopus carpaccio, which comes with octopus aioli, and the grilled jumbo prawns, which are delicious.

Very much an evening soiree venue, Mistress of Mayfair is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, with tables available from 7 p.m.

www.mistressofmayfair.com

Amazonico

Though no newcomer to the Mayfair dining scene, Madrid’s much-loved Amazonico has launched the perfect pick-me-up lunch offering at its Berkeley Square outpost.

Befittingly called Japozonico, the lunch menu features the restaurant’s signature Latin American and Asian flavours. Three courses are served within 45 minutes, making it the ideal stop-off for a lunch break amongst the luscious backdrop of its forest-inspired restaurant floor.

The express lunch menu, Served Nikkei style, offers a choice of nigiri and maki to start, followed by Amazonico’s take on a poke bowl, Pokezonico.

The servings are pretty generous, with 8 pieces included in the Maki portion per person, so it’s best to go as a small group and order one of each of the four available choices (though the Hamachi Maki with that beautifully textured yellowtail is top of the list).

Made to order, the Pokezonico bowls have a choice of two main ingredients across salmon, red bream, bluefin tuna and yellowtail; each is then served with koshikakari rice, cashew nuts, avocado and a punchy citrus-spicy sauce.

The lunch menu is priced at £38 and served Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made in advance.

www.amazonicorestaurant.com/london

Metropolis

Not a restaurant per se but a noteworthy addition to London’s dining scene, Metropolis is a newly opened market hall and entertainment hub centrally located amidst the Albert Embankment Railway Arches of Vauxhall.

Eleven food vendors have opened shop in the vibrant space and with such variety on offer, there’s something (or several things in our case) for everyone. An endless array of street food options will leave you spoilt for choice and vendors range from Mexican flavours to Ramen, Sri Lankan food and even ice cream.

Particularly noteworthy is the opening of award-winning Sexy Buns, which serves its coveted sandwiches. Catering to different flavours of the world, Lorenzo Kusina has brought the bold flavours of Filipino dining to Metropolis, and OshPaz is championing the unique tastes of Uzbekistan.

The hub is also home to a jam-packed programme of events over the coming month from comedy shows and cabaret to masterclasses and cooking demonstrations, plus the space is well-equipped with screens showing all of the major sporting events so you’ll have no reason to leave.

Metropolis is open daily from 11am.

www.metropolislondon.co.uk

Mad Beaver: A Celebration of Urban Ambition

Emerging from the dynamic heart of the urban jungle, Mad Beaver is a streetwear brand that embodies the relentless energy and creative spirit of city life.

Born where dreams take flight amidst skyscrapers, Mad Beaver celebrates the boundless opportunities for success that urban environments offer. The brand’s essence captures the unstoppable drive of places like New York City, where the impossible becomes possible for those with the courage and determination to pursue their ambitions.

Mad Beaver’s identity is deeply intertwined with the symbolism of the beaver—an emblem of hard work and tenacity. Just as the beaver builds its habitat with relentless effort, Mad Beaver’s clothing is designed for those who aspire to better their lives through sheer will and perseverance. Each piece serves as a testament to the wearer’s commitment to their goals and belief in their potential.

Wearing Mad Beaver is more than a fashion choice; it’s a statement of belonging to an urban culture that values creativity, resilience, and hard work. The brand’s mission is to empower the next generation of dreamers and doers with apparel that reflects the hustle and heart of the city. Every item in the collection is crafted to inspire confidence and style, encouraging young minds to chase their dreams with unwavering determination.

Mad Beaver’s vision is to become an iconic brand for a generation of ambitious individuals, recognised for its premium urban apparel and the spirit of hustle and ambition it represents. The brand’s core values—power, determination, creativity, authenticity, and resilience—are a rallying cry for those who dare to dream big and work hard to make those dreams a reality.

Join the Mad Beaver movement and wear your ambition with pride. Embrace the ethos of “Dream It, Build It,” and become part of a community that celebrates the journey as much as the destination.

Mad Beaver is more than just a brand; it’s a declaration of urban individuality and a commitment to the power of dreams.

www.themadbeaver.com

Hortman Clinics Ushers in a New Era of Skin Rejuvenation with Revolutionary Sofwave Technology

 

As the world of cosmetic medicine continuously evolves, the quest for age-defying treatments, Hortman Clinics promise minimal downtime and maximal results becomes more pronounced.

In this high-paced industry, Hortman Clinics has once again positioned itself at the forefront of innovation. The recent introduction of Sofwave technology at their facilities in Dubai marks a significant leap forward in non-invasive skin treatments.

Located in one of the key districts of Dubai, Hortman Clinics has been a pillar of excellence in the realm of beauty and wellness. Their latest move, integrating Sofwave technology, underscores a commitment to providing treatments that are not only effective but also align with the luxurious standards expected by their elite clientele.

The Innovation Behind Sofwave

Sofwave utilizes Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam Technology SUPERBTM, a groundbreaking approach that targets the mid-dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin production—key components in maintaining youthful, elastic skin. Unlike more invasive procedures, Sofwave offers a pain-free solution to combat signs of aging, such as fine lines and sagging skin, with no downtime required. This aligns perfectly with the today’s busy high-end demographic, who seek quick yet effective cosmetic enhancements, that reflect a zero down-time solution.

A Testament to Quality and Client Satisfaction

“Sofwave technology represents a unique solution in non-invasive skin rejuvenation, offering our patients a unique service that combines both effectiveness and convenience. This new technology aims to stimulate the deep collagen and elastin production within the skin, delivering a reduction of wrinkles and early signs of ageing without the need for surgery. It is an ideal mix for those who want to see noticeable improvements in skin tightness and elasticity, but are looking for a procedure that fits seamlessly into their busy lifestyles with minimal downtime.”

[Rebecca Treston, Advanced Laser Specialist]

The Experience at Hortman Clinics

Visiting Hortman Clinics is an experience in itself. From the moment clients step through the door, they are enveloped in an atmosphere of exclusivity and personalized care. The clinic’s use of Sofwave is a testament to their dedication to adopting technologies that enhance client satisfaction and outcome. ‘We are known in the region for our trailblazing innovations that focus on non-invasive solutions. By bringing the Sofwave technology on board we want to reinforce our positioning in the market as a business, but also our promise to our current and future customers who are looking for the latest and most innovative non-invasive treatments the world of cosmetic medicine has to offer.” [Rebecca Treston, Advanced Laser Specialist].

Looking Forward

As Hortman Clinics continues to push the boundaries of cosmetic medicine, their adoption of Sofwave is just the latest in a series of innovations aimed at refining and enhancing the aesthetic industry. It is a beacon for those seeking non-invasive alternatives that do not compromise on results or luxury.

The integration of advanced technologies like Sofwave into Hortman Clinics’ repertoire is not merely about keeping up with trends but setting them, providing a glimpse into the future of cosmetic treatments that blend science with luxury seamlessly.

www.hortmanclinics.com

Korean Flavours in Paris at Mojju

 

Known for his innovative take on gastronomy and convivial flavours, Thibault Sombardier transports diners to South Korea with his latest venture, Mojju . This restaurant combines Korean cuisine with the flair of a French palate.

Having already made a name for himself with his popular Parisian jaunts Mensae and Sellae, Thibaut’s new dining experience is centrally located in the 7th district and fuses Korean barbecue with the elegance of a modern-day Parisian bistro.

Mojju was a concept born following a trip in which Thibaut discovered the unique world of Korean culture and food as he explored South Korea.

Food has always been deeply rooted in the origins of Korean tradition. Through his new concept, Thibaut aims to evoke parallel contrasts between the Eastern and Western worlds. With his signature style of fusing different flavours, he has created a restaurant that does just that.

Mojju is more than a dining hotspot; it’s an immersive journey through Korean living, and Dorenavant Studio’s direction has captured this sensorial ambience through the décor. A warm, inviting space, unpretentious yet sleek and sophisticated, sets the tone. Splashes of soft green adorn the walls, and Asian artworks elevate the space.

As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by the softly lit bar, which is a focal point of the main dining space. There is a welcome feeling of cosiness and a calming atmosphere that complements the food.

Borrowing its name from Moju, a drink originating from Jeonju that is a healthier take on an alcoholic drink, the cuisine pays homage to Korean flavours. Chef Hosub Im is at the helm of the menu, using local produce, meat, and fish.

Bringing Thibaut’s vision of Korean-French fusion, Hosub has devised a menu that champions Korean barbecue while reworking it to suit French tastes. Deliciously prepared meats are a highlight of the menu. Wagyu is cooked on a charcoal grill, and sirloin sourced from Normandy is served with a Korean sauce to enhance its flavour and showcase a new way of cooking it.

The hero dish, Ssam, is a Korean favourite that consists of wrapping meat (or fish) in lettuce and seasoning it with ssamjang sauce. The restaurant’s signature is a key dish on the tasting menu.

An invitation to a journey of Korean bistronomy in the familiar surroundings of a Parisian restaurant – Mojju is a unique experience you won’t forget.

www.mojju-restaurant.com

Text by Jaz Grewal

Rolls-Royce Celebrates London Craft Week

As the capital prepares for the creativity and innovation showcased by both British artisans and international designers during Rolls-Royce London Craft Week which celebrates its decennial anniversary, Rolls-Royce has once again taken the opportunity to demonstrate its mastery of craft by curating three bespoke pieces to be exhibited in the marque’s flagship Mayfair showroom.

The works pay homage to the iconic landmarks of London, a city that lies at the heart of the carmaker’s origins. They embody the contrasting codes of contemporary style and traditional architecture that have become synonymous with the capital over the years.

Widely considered a global luxury hub, London is not only home to many a Rolls-Royce connoisseur but also the former residence of Charles Stewart Rolls, who himself was born in Mayfair. Thus, it seems the ideal choice to inspire the pieces that will be shown for the duration of Craft Week from the 13th to the 19th of May.

Discover the objets d’art below:

London Bonnet

A matrimony of two icons, Rolls-Royce’s Exterior Surface Centre have adorned a map of London on the bonnet of a Phantom.

Amongst the marque’s most recognisable models, Phantom’s commanding presence as a luxury automobile has seen it act as an iconic emblem for the carmaker since its inauguration back in the 1920’s to its current generation unveiled back in 2017.

An ode to the meticulous detail in the production of the marque’s vehicles, the bonnet took over 100 hours to complete, some 20 coats of paint, and the sketching of a single artist.

Reminiscent of Rolls-Royce’s bespoke programs, the bonnet was painted in a base coat of Andalusian White, coated in a crystal clearcoat and then the outline of London was sketched by a single artist.

A colour gradient technique was used to airbrush the piece and allude to a focus on Mayfair, creating a mural-like impression of London’s most treasured landmarks. Finishing touches included the application of gold leaf and a ‘London’ motif.

 

Picnic Table:

If picnic tables were a work of art, they would take the form of the magnificent example produced by Goodwood’s own Interior Surface Centre, one artisan who spent a painstaking 50 hours cutting, assembling and pressing the tessellated pieces that comprise the table.

A marvel of intricacy, the yellow lacquered piece continues the theme of London landmarks, which are subtly depicted with a clock reminiscent of Big Ben.

 

London Icons Door Card:

The Interior Trim Centre imagined the third work of art created for Craft Week which sees a Rolls-Royce door card undergo a bespoke transformation to create a contemporary adaptation of London’s architecture.

Exemplifying the marque’s use of fine materials, the door card is dressed in the most exquisite leather with a vibrant Turchese as the base colour on one side of the door and a layer of Scivaro Grey over the top. Cleverly composed, the perforations on the grey create the illusion of the River Thames as the Turchese peers through.

7,700 perforations are featured across the door card, and a focal point is a splash of Lime Green revealed by the grey perforations, in a nod to the Capital’s skyline.

Cocktails & Mezcal at KOL Mezcaleria

 

Discreetly hidden beneath the restaurant of the moment KOL, KOL Mezcaleria transports its guests through a journey of Mexico’s most accomplished flavours, exploring innovative cocktails, rarefied mezcals, and small dishes.

Taking its inspiration from the celebrated mezcalerias at the heart of Mexican drinking culture, the space, which has been thoughtfully imagined by A-NRD Studios, infuses influence from Oaxaca, Guadalajara and Mexico City and nods to the environment echoed in the design, giving an earthy aesthetic to the bar.

The room is warmly lit and seats up to 56 covers, giving it an intimate feel. There’s a sense of a Mexican take on a speakeasy, the music is vibrant and adds to the vibe, and the main bar acts as a focal point to the space.

Rattan lamps and dark tones of wood contrast against the neutral backdrop of the walls, and folk art Alberijes sculptures are subtly dotted around the room. Colourful masks adorn the walls, adding to the character of this accomplished space.

The brainchild of Chef Santiago Lastra, KOL Mezcaleria is built on an ethos of championing small-scale producers from across Mexico. Together with Bar Manager Matthias Engelmann, they have curated amongst the most coveted collections of mezcals, tequilas, and spirits in London.

With Matthias at the helm of the inventive mixology showcased at both KOL and the mezcaleria, it comes as no surprise the restaurant won Cocktail List of the Year back in the 2022 National Restaurant Awards.

With a number of stints under his belt across Germany, where he grew up, to Paris before moving to London in 2017, where he took residency at Dalston’s Untitled, Matthias set out to create a cocktail menu for KOL that draws on Mexican heritage and seasonal British ingredients.

Highlights include Hot & Cold, a desert-come-cocktail blend of Don Café mezcal, white chocolate cream, cacao and woodruff, and KOL’s take on a Martini which sees Barsol pisco mixed with rum, dry vermouth and hints of rose.

Accompanying the drinks on offer, Chef Santiago has devised a menu of small plates, namely Antojitos, translating as ‘little cravings’. Giving a flavour of Mexican street food and the tastes of KOL’s cuisine, these devilishly delicious plates are moreish to say the least.

Cleverly complementary to the cocktails served, savoury dishes evoke the delicacies of Mexico’s most prominent flavours and hero dishes include Empandas with Beef shortrib and red onion xnipec and their delicious Quesadillas filled with Kentish Oaxacan cheese, truffle and crème fraiche.

Open from Tuesday dinner to Sunday lunch, KOL Mezcaleria is open for lunch 12pm – 2pm and dinner 6pm – 12:00 am.

www.kolrestaurant.com

Text by Jaz Grewal.

The Best Wellness Treatments

With wellness being the buzzword of the moment, our team has shortlisted the best in wellness, from the newly opened clinics to add to your black book to the most in-demand practitioners.

Montrose London

Having opened back in September 2023, Montrose London looks like a plush private members club with its decadent façade, lavish interiors and period features. Inside, a team of world-renowned plastic surgeons, practitioners and dermatologists have set up a one-stop-shop for all things aesthetic artistry.

Specialising in injectables, laser treatments, facials, body sculpting and plastic surgery, the clinic is discreetly tucked away on a Mews a stone’s throw from Eaton Square and Co-Founders Dr Shaimaa Jamshidi, Dr Georgina Williams and Dr Jonathan Dunne take centre stage with their coveted precision in enhancing one’s features.

Amongst the high-tech treatments championed at the clinic, Montrose offers the very coveted Morpheus8, the game-changing non-surgical device with groundbreaking results in tightening and rejuvenating skin.

Morpheus is ideal for clients looking to shift loose skin or unsightly stretch marks by using radiofrequency and micro-needling technology. Capable of improving the texture and quality of the skin surface, the treatment suitable for both face and body uses FDA-approved methods to remodel subdermal fat giving long-term results of tighter and firmer skin.

https://montroseclinics.com/ 

 

Dr Lizzie Tuckey at The Prager Clinic

Having mastered aesthetic artistry, Dr Lizzie Tuckey is widely considered a magician when it comes to enhancing one’s features. She has become the go-to amongst her coveted black book of clients who go to her for her subtle yet highly effective results.

Taking a cautious approach to her work, Dr Lizzie puts her clients through a series of wellbeing tests before embarking on a tailored journey of cleverly plotted tweakments covering a broad spectrum of everything from baby Botox and lip fillers to her targeted skin rejuvenation programmes.

Based at the prestigious Prager Clinic on Beauchamp Place, Dr Lizzie’s latest innovation for her well-heeled clients is an Exosome therapy treatment. Exosomes are applied to the surface of the skin, accelerating the production of collagen and elastin to boost skin repair and rejuvenation.

www.drmichaelprager.com

The HVN

Primely located a stone’s throw away from Harrods, The HVN is an urban sanctuary with an elevated take on ‘conscious wellbeing’ and an expert-led team of therapists and medical practitioners.

Taking a 360-degree approach, the space focuses on top-to-toe wellness, combining pioneering research with ancient-inspired holistic rituals. Personalised programs encompass everything from healing to gut health and osteopathy, making sure each client is at their absolute best.

The space, which features its own hyperbaric chamber and an area dedicated to giving educational talks and workshops, is also home to the UK’s only Hydro Bed.

The Cocoon Room within the HVN uses the Hydro Bed as part of one of the concept’s signature treatments to instantly relieve aching muscles and tension, creating a uniquely relaxing and reviving experience.

As you sit on the water-filled mattress of the bed, it reaches a soothing temperature of 38 degrees as a therapist whisks you away on an experiential journey of Ayurvedic massage, a mud exfoliation, steam (cleverly generated by the Hydro Bed) and a Vichy rain shower all without moving an inch off the bed.

The result – polished skin and an undeniable sense of restorative relaxation, bliss.

https://www.the-hvn.com/

The Light Salon

As the pioneers of LED facials and creators of the UK’s first LED facial bar, The Light Salon is very much the go-to for their cult treatments loved by beauty aficionados and celebrities alike.

With London branches instore at both Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, as well as an ongoing partnership with Soho House’s Cowshed Spa and treatments offered across ESPA spas, The Light Salon’s power-packed facials are easily available and offer minimal downtime – perfect as a pit-stop when shopping or for a lunchtime pick-me-up.

The salon’s hero treatment sees power-packed enzymes combined with nano-dermabrasion to exfoliate and polish the skin before you go under a targeted LED-light to encourage the skin to renew at cellular level.

Light-lovers can also rejoice with The Light Salon’s new membership offering, a monthly subscription with treatments valued at £245, including a monthly Signature treatment, 2 Brightening Collagen Boost facials and other perks all for £120 a month.

Time to get your glow on.

https://www.thelight-salon.com/

The Skin Culturist

Taking a privileged location in leafy Maida Vale, The Skin Culturist brings together holistic treatments, aesthetics and traditional facials in an inviting state-of-the-art clinic.

Using a 360-degree approach, the team here tailor skin health to each individual client with each journey starting with a full skin analysis and incorporating hands-on techniques to encourage drainage and a healthier complexion.

Gut health is considered key to unlocking glowing skin at the clinic, and specialist Alicia Falero uses an ancient practice of abdominal massage focusing on the colon to relieve tension and encourage digestion.

Alleviating such chronic problems as bloating through her Chi Nei Tsang massage techniques, Alicia’s method of detoxifying the gut directly impacts the skin by improving its radiance and clarity.

www.theskinculturist.com

BCO London

Founded by hair maestro to the stars Bernardo Vasconcelos, BCO London is a one-stop shop for luscious locks.

Primely positioned within the ever-fashionable Marylebone, Bernardo brings his 14 years of experience, having worked as one of Brazil’s most in-demand hairstylists, to his namesake salon, which channels the blow-dry techniques Brazilians are so well-renowned for with European styling.

Having bought his learnings from his time in the US, the now brand ambassador of celeb-favourite product line Living Proof has trained his talented team of artisans in his innovative techniques and colouring excellence.

When he isn’t travelling to the likes of Miami and Dubai, where he holds salon residencies, Bernardo can be found at BCO London showcasing his talents in cutting and contouring hair through Balayage, a technique of which he was one of the first adopters.

www.bcosalon.co.uk

 

Text By Jaz Grewal

Inside the Glamorous Gala One Saint Barth

Closing 2023 in style, Gala One took place on 29th December at the iconic Eden Rock St Barths resort and saw 200 guests in attendance or a glamourous evening of cocktails, a grand dinner and world-class musical performances.

Berkeley Travel was proud to support the event with a donation for the charity auction, which benefitted several charities dedicated to protecting children, biodiversity, and the waters and lands of the Caribbean by donating 5 nights of exclusive occupancy of the entire Private Island of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi raising €100,000, the winner of the lot was jeweller to the stars, Jacob Arabo.

The Gala, which raised more than €2million saw performances by legendary singers Bebe Rexha and Saweetie and was attended by guests including boxer Mike Tyson, supermodels Anna Andres, Bianca Balti, Jordan Barrett and Victoria Silvstedt, artist Alec Monopoly, Chopard’s president Caroline Scheufele and TV personality Scott Disick.

Significant funds were raised for four charitable organisations on the cutting edge of innovation in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, and humanitarian aid: Parley for the Oceans, Rainforest Trust, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM) and Amend.

The auction also included a specially curated collaborative artwork by Pierce and Paris Brosnan; artworks by Keiichi Tanaami, Nicole Wittenberg, Michael Kagan, and more; dazzling Chopard Haute Joaillerie earrings (presented by Bianca Balti);  a walk-on role in the upcoming film project “Maserati, A Racing Life,” and a customised Pro Hunter Daytona Rolex created especially for Gala One Saint Barth.

Stylish Mexican Dining in Chelsea at Ixchel

Reviving the somewhat tired dining scene of Chelsea’s Kings Road, Ixchel, the long-awaited Mexican restaurant and Tequila bar has opened its doors with the promise of transporting guests to the hedonistic oasis of Tulum and is set to be amongst the best dining establishments to have opened this year.

Launched under Fraser Carruthers’ Fairbairn Capital, which notably has Chelsea favourites Albert’s and Raffles under its portfolio, the fashionable hotspot oozes the bohemian vibes of the beach clubs that have put the Yucatan peninsula on the map and spans two floors.

Borrowing its name from the Mayan goddess of the moon and textiles, Ixchel is a sensory delight; from the bustle of the busy streets that neighbour the restaurant, you are immersed in the free-spirited vibe of this place with no detail spared in its interior.

Showcasing Mexican art to its fullest extent, one enters to be welcomed by a mural by Rafael Uriegas, which nods to ancient mythology and sets the scene for the dining floor, which opens onto the Moon Bar, acting as a focal point.

Designed by female-led Behind The Door Designs, the inviting décor is enlivened by Mexican influence, floor-to-ceiling windows allow the natural light to linger on the ground floor, and carefully curated art and contemporary sculpture adorn the space.

In perfect matrimony to the vibrant style Ixchel exudes, the menu devised by Head Chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez celebrates the exotic tastes synonymous with Mexican cuisine.

Known for his flair in creating traditional dishes but with a modern twist, Gonzalez brings his years of working across the likes of Shoreditch’s famed Brat and Mayfair’s Ella Canta to the helm of the kitchen at Ixchel and has created an easily navigated menu of small and large plates, salads, tacos and quesadillas.

The concept here is very much a sharing one, so you are fine to go either as a couple or a larger group (or even alone) as you so fancy; there are plenty of tantalising dishes to try and with the varied size of the dishes you can probably comfortably order around 4-5 dishes per person.

Start with a few of the Para Picar (small plates); the Bluefin tuna sashimi is a signature and is served with a ponzu toreada sauce which gives a nice kick. The Crab macha tostada is also to die for, a delicious filling of crab, ginger and garlic chips give it a crisp with the freshness and zest of the crab nicely complemented by the other ingredients.

The Pork belly taco is also particularly noteworthy, served with salsa verde and refried beans it has texture and makes for a good second dish before going on to the main course.

Of the mains, the Charcoal crispy chicken thigh is a particular standout dish; it’s simple yet locally sourced produce shines through with the tenderness of the meat from the cooking techniques used, and it comes with a red chilli sauce, which really elevates the fusion of flavours.

A variety of different salsas, which range in spice levels, are also a highlight of the menu, and it’s worth trying one to give the food a little extra panache.

Something else Ixchel has mastered is its cocktails. Chosen by Nar Manager Manuel Lema, the selection is perfectly paired with the sofas that line the entrance for a more laid-back experience with some dishes and a catch-up with friends as you enjoy the upbeat vibes of the DJ all through the fancy Bang & Olufsen sound system.

There’s a choice of tipple for all tastes, which includes an alcohol-free selection. Margaritas take centre stage, with the Spicy being particularly popular and consisting of Patron silver with fresh jalapeño and a splash of organic agave. Do be warned, though, it does have quite the kick.

Of the House Cocktails, we’d recommend the Ixchel Negroni, worthy of being the restaurant’s eponymous drink; it’s a blend of honey-infused Campari, martini rubino and Patron silver – it’s the perfect Negroni, not too bitter, sour enough and with a nice fruitiness.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, Ixchel opens Monday to Wednesday, 12pm – midnight, with a later opening until 1am, Thursday to Saturday and on Sundays closes at 11pm.

Text by Jaz Grewal.

https://ixchellondon.com/

 

Pasture to Plate Dining at Origin City

Bringing the authentic taste of British cuisine with a flair for Scottish flavours to the heart of The City, Origin City is a modern restaurant rooted in traditional values from the Landsberg family, notably behind Farringdon’s favourite 56 West Smithfield.

Located just a stone’s throw from its counterpart on the other side of West Smithfield, Origin City is built on a nose-to-tail concept, a bold statement that carries it with an ethos of uncompromising quality, and on that, it certainly does deliver.

The laid-back yet refined décor sets the tone; a rustic colour palette of neutrals echoes the British heritage at the pinnacle of the restaurant’s concept, but there is an underlying sense of sophistication that reinforces its compatibility as either a lunch spot or an evening occasion.

The chairs are green and red, there are earthy shades of textured wood, and a mural adorns the wall depicting animals, a theme echoed through the artwork that hangs from the walls showing cattle with the centrepiece of the restaurant floor being the open kitchen, positioned to overlook diners.

Using meat from the family’s organic farm back in Scotland and seafood from their aquafarm, Executive Chef Graham Chatham, who counts some 35 years under his belt with stints at The Langham and Rules, to name a few, has created a menu centred around the rarefied produce of the family farm, well executed and sure to serve a treat.

With meat playing the lead role throughout the fare on offer, you’d be forgiven for steering clear if you weren’t a meat lover per se, but rest assured the small choice on offer (one starter and one main, to be precise) are enough of a plate pleaser to make the trip, the Roasted Pumpkin, Beauvale and Pickled Pear is cleverly devised and brings a fusion of flavour, the Grilled Hispi Cabbage equally delights.

For those that can devour game and meat organically sourced from the Landsberg family farm, which sees Heritage Breeds of grass-fed Black Angus and Tamworth as part of its livestock, be sure to arrive hungry as one can feel a little spoilt for choice with so many tempting dishes to choose from.

You’ll want to start with the charcuterie board; like everything else, it is made in-house and comes with a toasted sourdough baguette, they say it serves two, but with such a generous portion, it could easily stretch further.  Prime cuts of ham and pork are accompanied by a helping of pickles. If space allows, do try the potato and thyme sourdough, even if just for the delicious Nduja butter it comes served with.

For the actual starters, Black Angus Tartare is a must-try; the texture and quality of the meat are second to none. The Patridge also makes for a hearty starter, served with a dollop of Foie Gras. It is cooked to perfection and comes with a nice berry jus, which adds a level of consistency to the dish.

Mains wise, it’s a tough shout to decide whether you’ll do one of the dishes for two share, the Stout-braised beef is difficult for anyone to pass on, or to order a la one; either way the true pasture-to-plate concept is showcased along with Chatham’s culinary mastery.

If you do decide to order separately, then the Black pig cut of the day, butchered within the restaurant, is a must. It really hits the spot and comes served with fennel sausage and a  purée of celeriac.

The Black Angus cut of the day is also a standout dish on the menu, as one might expect, deliciously cooked and done to your preference, its 300g of meat dry-aged for some 40 days and for any lover of fine steak, it doesn’t disappoint, and the black garlic ketchup complements it well for just a little more flavour.

Desserts are kept quite unpretentious and very British, Sticky toffee pudding and Vanilla crème brûlée feature alongside a curation of cheeses (undoubtedly British) by twice Affineur of the Year, Perry James Wakeman.

For a newcomer on the scene, having opened only earlier this year, Origin City certainly leaves its mark; you quickly feel as though you’ve journeyed on a culinary voyage to the family farm and back through the perfectly prepared dishes and exquisite produce that take centre stage in this exceptional eatery.

 

https://www.origincity.co.uk/

Text By Jaz Grewal