'Tis the season for overeating. Do it in style at these new openings.
Seafood in Soho
Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack is to open a second site in Soho. The Fitzrovia branch has thrived since 2012 serving British seafood in unstuffy surroundings; this second site will retain the same focus on sustainably sourced produce but the majority of the seating will be bar-style around an open kitchen, with just a few tables in the rear of the restaurant. The kitchen features a charcoal grill and example dishes include squid toast with ink aioli, Wild Hayle mussels cooked over embers with parsley hollandaise, and wood-grilled whole John Dory with smoked anchovy butter.
Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, 22 Bateman Street, W1D 3AN. Opens: 12 December
Cider and meatballs in Hackney
Scandinavian restaurant Oslo hosts a meatball and cider festival from 5-11 December, with all the profits going to Orchid, a male cancer charity. The menu will feature different meatball and cider pairings. Enjoy traditional meatballs with gravy and lingonberry sauce or more experimental flavours paired with ciders such as Brannland Iscider, an ice wine made using apples instead of grapes.
Oslo, 1A Amhurst Road, E8 1LL. The festival runs from 5-11 December
Cured meat and booze in Camberwell
Cannon and Cannon will open Nape, a cured meat bar, bottle shop and deli in Camberwell. The shop will offer a meaty menu featuring Hackney-made fennel and cubeb pepper salami; port and juniper cured, air-dried and smoked mutton with pickled walnuts; British 'nduja and London honey on toast among others. There'll also be selection of toasted sandwiches including Welsh sobrasada, cow's curd and pickled fennel. Oh, and bread ahead doughnuts — hurrah! Drinks will include a selection of wines on tap from OW Loeb, plus a variety of low intervention wines and constantly changing list of specials alongside a selection of beers, many brewed in London.
Nape, 21 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR. Opens 8-24 December as a pop-up, permanently in February 2017
Veggie food out west
A new branch of The Gate will open on Seymour Place in the site formerly occupied by The Lockhart. They'll be serving a breakfast menu including scrambled tofu with smoky shiitake mushrooms and lunch dishes like aubergine teriyaki with crispy noodles. There will also be a range of juices and cocktails including their signature jalapeno margarita.
The Gate, 22-24 Seymour Place, W1H 7NL. Open: 1 December
The Mexican food scene is slowly improving in London and we predict that El Pastor, the latest restaurant from the Hart Brothers (the duo behind tapas restaurants Barrafina), will be a major player. There will be a signature al pastor dish, which is traditionally pork marinated in chillies, dried spices and pineapple and cooked on an upright spit — the cooking method is thought to have been introduced to Mexico by the Lebanese, who brought shawarma. There will be lots of tacos to try too, along with a mescal, beer and margarita selection.
El Pastor, 7a Stoney Street, SE1 9AA. Opens: 12 December
Even more Mexican
Breddos tacos open their first permanent taqueria this December after four years on the street food scene. The menu will focus on regional Mexican and Pocho (that's Mexican-American) cuisine, using the best of British produce. Open all day, they'll be serving dishes like blueberry churro French toast at breakfast, tacos, tostadas and tlayudas (Mexican pizzas) at lunch and an expanded dinner menu, featuring dishes cooked on a wood grill. These will include spit roast iberico pork al pastor with roasted pineapple, and larger sharing dishes from the regions of Sonora and Guadalajara, including mutton barbacoa and beef rib birria (a spicy stew). All the tortillas will be made from scratch using a volcanic stone mill and tortilla machine imported from Mexico.
Breddos Tacos, Goswell Road, Clerkenwell. Open: 19 December