It's that time again, folks. Here's our pick of the best new restaurants to try this month.
The Cheese Bar
A permanent spot from street food traders The Cheese Truck will open in Stables Market in Camden. Many will be familiar with their super-oozy cheese sandwiches and will be pleased to see the classics return to the menu, along with some new creations, like the Mexican-inspired queso fundido (think very melty and fondue-like) or the breakfast poutine, with candied bacon and cheese curds. There will be a focus on using cheeses from within the M25 so you'll find products from Gringa Dairy, Peckham's Mexican dairy, and mozzarella from La Latteria in Acton. There will also be a range of craft beers and desserts, for the truly dedicated. We think this is what's known as diet food?
They're running a pre-launch charity fundraiser on 2 March, where you can bring any (still-sealed, within sell-by-date) pre-packaged sandwich and upgrade it for a toastie. The donated sandwiches will be distributed to charities across Camden.
The Cheese Bar, Camden Stables Market. Open: 4 March (hatch only) then fully on 23 March.
Monica Galetti of Masterchef fame is to open her first restaurant. The ex-Le Gavroche chef will open Mere with her sommelier husband David Galetti on Charlotte Street this March. Head chef Renee Miller will collaborate on a seasonal menu with six choices per course, changing regularly. Example dishes include scallop with black curry, basmati, lime, kumquat and puffed rice, and 'citrus and yoghurt' incorporating blood orange mousse, yoghurt sorbet and something intriguingly titled 'sparkling grapefruit'. The restaurant will seat 60 downstairs in the basement restaurant and 20 upstairs in the bar.
Mere, 74 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QH. Opens: 6 March.
Anyone who loves the chop grilling Soho restaurant Blacklock will be thrilled to learn they're opening a second branch near Monument. The menu will be expanded, so expect rib eye, aged rump cap, maple bacon chop and chicken in house sauce with Yorkshire pancakes along with a selection of new starters. The restaurant will seat 100 and there will be a big bar with an extended cocktail list. Basically, everything's bigger. Hooray!
Blacklock City, 13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 1DE. Opens: 20 March.
We loved London's 'first dedicated hotpot restaurant' Shuang Shuang, so we're delighted to see the arrival of Hot Pot, which seems much more in the traditional style. Shuang Shuang combined hot pot with counter dining and sushi conveyor belts, while Hot Pot promises tables for groups, which is, after all, much more the way hot pot is usually consumed. This way you can lay out many ingredients on the table and all dip them into the hot broth, making for a really fun way of dining. Expect five varieties of broth, including a fiery Sichuan number, a soothing chicken broth, a mushroom broth, a refreshing clear ginger broth and a Thai-inspired lemongrass infusion. We can't wait.
Hot Pot, 17 Wardour Street, W1D 6PJ. Opens: March TBC.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
The Bibendum building in South Kensington is soon to be occupied by Claude Bosi, who closed his restaurant Hibiscus last year. He'll be running the seafood restaurant on the second floor, serving classic seafood dishes like dressed crab, no doubt with a sophisticated twist. Upstairs will be a more formal experience, with a carvery trolley at weekends. We're absurdly excited by that last part and that's not all — there will also be a dessert trolley bearing eclairs and trifle. Heaven!
Claude Bosi at Bibendum, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD. Opens: March TBC.