It's September already, and there are some pretty major openings this month. Here's the best of the bunch.
Sagardi: Serious steak
Specialising in Basque food and drink, Sagardi already has restaurants in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Porto, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Phew. Don’t let the fact that it's a chain put you off, though, as these guys are serious about ingredients. Sourcing the best produce from Basque farms, they will serve Pintxos in the bar and steak and other dishes in the grill restaurant. There will also be a street-facing butchers' shop, where cuts of Galician beef will be available to buy — it's some of the most sought-after beef in the world.
Sagardi, 95 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS. Opens: 5 September.
Elystan Street: New restaurant from Phil Howard
Phil Howard ran two Michelin-starred The Square for 25 years but sold it earlier in 2016. Soon, he will open Elystan Street with Rebecca Mascarenhas. We know very little considering the restaurant is opening this month but apparently, the style will be modern British, with dishes designed in Phil's signature, ingredient-led style. The 64-seater restaurant will occupy the old Tom Aikens site.
Elystan Street, 43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT. Opens: September, date TBC.
Kiln: New Thai BBQ restaurant
Ben Chapman, founder of the hit Thai BBQ restaurant, Smoking Goat is to open a new restaurant. It will be a ‘side-of-the-road type restaurant’ which we assume means something like street or night market food, and will feature a short grill menu plus a daily noodle special.
The food will be “inspired by the rural simplicity of the Thai borderlands where dishes combining Burmese and Yunnanese spicing and flavours... cooked over open fire.” Promised dishes include “lamb skewers, Gaeh Ping, grilled over the kiln’s wood embers and served simply with chilli, cumin and fresh Szechuan pepper grown in Cornwall”. There will be cumin and offal-heavy larbs, Yunnan roasted sausage, roast suckling pig, curried cockles, roast goose and grilled, aged sirloin.
We're pretty darn excited about this one.
Kiln, 58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL. Opening: 30 September.
Chick 'n Sours: Fried chicken for Seven Dials
A new branch of the hugely popular fried chicken restaurant Chick 'n Sours is opening in Seven Dials. We love their chicken so much we put it on our list of the best fried chicken in London, and all their side dishes are brilliant, too.
New dishes at Seven Dials will include Hot and Numbing Disco Wings and XO Pineapple, which is cubes of pineapple in XO sauce, toban-fermented chilli, Korean ssamjang, lime and peanuts. There will also be a new chicken sandwich, brand new sides and sours.
Chick 'n Sours, 1 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL. Opens: 20 September.
Jikoni: Pop-up goes permanent
Food writer and cook Ravinder Bhogal will open a restaurant in partnership with restaurateur Ratnesh Bagdai. Jikoni, meaning ‘kitchen’ in Swahili, will draw culinary inspiration from Britain, East Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Focusing on the kind of food Ravinder likes to eat at home, the menu will consist of snacks, ‘small plates’, ‘big plates’ and desserts.
Dishes will include her signature scotch eggs (with a prawn toast variation on the classic recipe), an Indian take on the American Sloppy Joe sandwich made with mutton keema, pickled onions and mint chutney, and spiced shepherd’s pie.
Jikoni, 19-21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH. Opens: 20 September.
Abel & Cole: Organic pop-up on Brick Lane
You’ll likely know Able & Cole for its veg box scheme, but this September it is turning its attention to cooking. Head chef Leon Aarts cooked at restaurants in The Netherlands, France and here in the UK before setting up charity, The Extraordinary Ones Foundation, which aims to help tackle child hunger.
The menu will change weekly but example dishes include Panzanella; roast aubergine, hummus and pickled veg sandwich; mushroom gnocchi with garlic confit and whole roasted spicy cauliflower with cous cous.
Abel & Cole’s pop-up will open at The Truman Building, Brick Lane. Open: 9 September-1 October.
Dominique Ansel: The inventor of the cronut is due to open a London outpost this month. We don’t have a definite date just yet but will let you know you when we do.
MEATLiquor East Dulwich update: we reported back in July that the newest branch was about to open, but due to some serious bad luck they ended up without any power until… now. The branch is due to open on 9 September, and there’s also one coming to Boxpark in Croydon. Green chilli cheeseburgers all round!