The best new restaurants and bars opening in London in July 2021, from Big Mamma’s ‘Church version 2.0’, Ave Mario, to an LA pop-up on the Dorchester Rooftop and a City stop-off dedicated to all things eggs…
Lead image: Ave Mario (photo: Jérôme Galland)
1 Ave Mario, Covent Garden
Big Mamma’s newest restaurant, Ave Mario – a cheeky interpretation of the Church – opens on Friday 2 July. Bold in both, design, flavours and personality, all Big Mamma restaurants, Ave Mario offers a 360-dining experience in terms of great food and great theatrics (grand in size too, at 7,000sq ft with three different ambiences: a vast, bold dining room, a cosy indoor courtyard with outdoor terrace, and the rather trippy 70s-style luxe mirrored basement). Head Chef Andrea has created an entirely new menu to transport you to Italy, with indulgent dishes such as one giant carbonara ravioli filled with pecorino cream, egg yolk and crispy guanciale flakes; Cotoletta Milanese made with high-welfare rose veal; and truffle pizza, made using the novel ‘Biga’ technique (widely acknowledged to create the fluffiest pizzas). For dessert, the tiramisu is a knockout, and, in true Big Mamma style, there’s also be a 60cm tall stracciatella cake on offer.
15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden WC2E 8QG; bigmammagroup.com
2 The Ivy Asia, Chelsea
The Ivy Asia, Chelsea, is opening its doors on the King’s Road on Friday 30 July. Open seven days a week, The Ivy Asia, Chelsea will offer everything from lunch and dinner to weekend brunch, with a sushi bar seating just four guests as well as the main restaurant and bar. The kitchen is overseen by Head Chef Paolo Bianchi, Executive Chef Simon Gregory and Sushi Chef Shie Noh, with dishes inspired by pan-Asian cuisines. Highlights include salmon sashimi with spiced yuzu and avocado salsa, roasted half aromatic crispy duck, and Hunan-spiced pork ribs with sesame and coriander. The decor is nothing short of opulent, with luminous green onyx flooring, striking artworks, luxurious Asian fabrics, colourful wallpapers and antiques throughout the space. A delicious selection of cocktails, sakes, wines, Champagnes and Jing specialty Asian teas are also available.
201-203 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5ED; theivyasiachelsea.com
3 Louis Roederer Pop-Up Boutique at The Savoy
The iconic Savoy hotel has started reopening its renowned bars and restaurants with an innovative addition – a chic pop-up with the historic Louis Roederer champagne house. The collaboration with Louis Roederer takes the form of a unique and stylish pop-up boutique, open from 1 July, with a range of champagnes available, including rare vintages such as Cristal Vinotheque 1999, Cristal late release 2002, highly acclaimed latest vintage Cristal 2013 and the newly launched and extremely limited Coteaux Champenois ‘Hommage à Camille’. Open Weds-Sun, 1pm-7pm, from 1 July-31 August. The Savoy has also created an indulgent overnight offering – the Suite Dining Experience, where you can stay in one of the hotel’s beautiful suites with views over the Thames and enjoy a three-course private dinner paired with Louis Roederer champagnes (available from 1 July-31 August for £3,000 per couple per night).
Strand WC2R 0EZ; thesavoylondon.com
4 The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
The Cadogan Arms, a Chelsea institution, is set to reopen on 21 July following an ambitious renovation to bring the 200 year-old pub back to its former glory. Lost early Georgian architectural details and ornate timber panelling have been restored to offer up an opulent dining room, where walls are adorned with art and photography celebrating the King’s Road, a ground floor bar with warm velvets and floral-patterned fabrics surrounding the Yorkshire sandstone fireplaces, and a downstairs room where four ‘hidden art’ screens will stream sporting fixtures and live events. Formerly of The Ledbury and The Harwood Arms, Executive Chef Alex Harper will work alongside Culinary Director James Knappett of two Michelin-star Kitchen Table in Fitzrovia. Bar snacks such as Boneless Crispy Lamb Ribs with Anchovy and Sorrel Yoghurt will be served alongside ‘pub classics’ while, in the dining room, the focus is on simply prepared British produce, with dishes like Brown Crab Quiche and Black Garlic Chicken Kiev.
298 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UG; thecadoganarms.london
5 The Polo Lounge at The Dorchester Rooftop
If you can’t make it to LA this summer, fear not – LA is coming to you… From 1 July, famed LA restaurant The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel is popping up at The Dorchester Rooftop – the first time ever that The Polo Lounge has held a pop-up. Bringing a taste of California to London, The Dorchester Rooftop will be transformed with the trademark candy-stripes and pink bougainvillea flowers of the iconic Polo Lounge. Running throughout July and August, the alfresco restaurant and lounge will be open daily for lunch and dinner for guests to sample the LA hotspot’s classic dishes, including the legendary McCarthy Salad and those chocolate soufflés. The experience will be enhanced with music courtesy of a live band and DJ in partnership with Yamaha Music London & Molto Music Group. In place until 21 August.
Park Lane W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com
6 Sessions Arts Club, Farringdon
Sessions Arts Club, housed in Clerkenwell’s beautifully restored Old Sessions House, launches on 28 July to bring together the best of art, design and food. Created by Cabin Studios & Sätila Studios, the creative studio houses a restaurant, wine bar and art gallery space. Florence Knight will be heading up the kitchen, offering a refined, seasonally led menu inspired by British, French and Italian cooking and her preference for simple food with carefully sourced ingredients. Menu highlights include potato and chard croquettes with lemon aioli; clams and turnip top orecchiette; pork belly with fennel & orange; and lamb sweetbreads with lettuce and lovage. The 60-seater dining room has magnificent arched windows looking out onto the 20-seat roof terrace, which boasts a marble bar and infinity rooftop pool. Events and experiences will also play a vital role, with influential guests from the worlds of art, fashion, music, wellness and theatre hosting evenings and exhibitions.
The Old Sessions House, 24 Clerkenwell Green, Farringdon EC1R 0NA; sessionsartsclub.com
7 Ling Ling’s at TOLA Peckham
TOLA Peckham has launched a rooftop Asian-inspired food concept called Ling Ling’s, offering an ever-changing small plates menu. No two visits will be the same, with current dishes like mushroom and waffle with chive & ginger mayo, miso gingery noods, Taiwanese fried chicken, and spring rolls with house tonkatsu. The relaxed dining experience – choose from the intimate rooftop or cosy ground-floor lounge bar – includes experiences such as Sunday bottomless lunch for just £35 with unlimited chicken or cauliflower wings and beer or prosecco, and collaborative supperclub Wednesdays with partner chefs. Ling Ling’s creator Jenny Phung uses food to explore her heritage and reconnect with her Cantonese heritage. Born and raised in Manchester, she spent much of her childhood helping her parents with their Chinese restaurants. Open now.
56 Peckham High Street SE15 5DP; tolapeckham.com
8 Jiji, Islington
The finest Japanese and Middle Eastern dishes and ingredients meet on the menu of Jiji. It may seem like an unusual pairing, but creator Janina Wolkow – restaurateur and founder of multi-award-winning contemporary Japanese restaurant Sumosan – aims to demonstrate how her two favourite cuisines can complement each other perfectly. Highlights from the menu include roast cauliflower with jalapeno sauce, ‘perfect egg’ with truffle polenta, flamed aubergine with tahini jalapeno and a selection of freshly prepared sushi dishes such as blow-torched scallop nigiri with crème fraîche and ikura, plus a sweet prawn and crispy quinoa sushi roll. The restaurant also has a corner selling homemade sauces, selected condiments and books. Opening soon.
6G Esther Anne Place, Islington N1 1WL; jijirestaurants.com
9 Marugame Udon, Liverpool Street
Japanese restaurant group Marugame Udon, famous throughout Japan and Asia for its traditional Sanuki udon recipe, will be serving up bowls of authentic udon noodles and freshly fried tempura from July. Udon noodles are made in-house throughout the day in the open-style kitchen using the Sanuki Udon tradition, which creates a chewier texture. Menu highlights include Kama Age, the most traditional and purest way to eat udon, Beef Nikutama with sweet short-rib beef and a soft poached ‘onsen’ egg on in broth, Two Pork Tonkotsu with chashu and spicy miso pork, and Chicken Katsu Curry Udon. Pick your udon over the counter and choose tempura and musubi sides before hitting the ‘build your own’ condiment station. The restaurant, just like its counterparts in Asia and the US, features a traditional Japanese roof tile design and irregular wavy floorboards, reinforcing the philosophy of Wabi Sabi – finding beauty and acceptance in the imperfect. Opening soon.
1-3 Widegate Street, Spitalfields E1 7ES; marugame.co.uk
10 Hector’s Wine Bar, Hackney
Hector’s bottle shop and wine bar is inspired by the cave à mangers of Paris and drinking holes of San Sebastian. Launched by Jimmy Stephenson, former GM and partner at Hill & Szrok Butchers and Cookshop, Hector’s in De Beauvoir Town will open as a bottle shop Tuesday through Sunday, where you can pick up a bottles from a broad range of new school natural wines, classic appellations and rare gems (open now). Then, from 22 July, the venue will morph into a wine bar come evenings and weekend afternoons. Weekdays feature espressos, baked goods and bocadillos, while evenings will offer a short, regularly changing selection of wines by the glass and a selection of small plates like anchovies soaked in olive oil with rose petals, courgette carpaccio with fresh cheese and sardines on toast.
49a Ardleigh Road, De Beauvoir Town, Hackney N1 4HS; hectorslondon.co.uk
11 EggRun, Monument
A cult casual eatery dedicated to the humble egg (Clarence Court Burford Browns, no less) has opened in Monument, complete with a myriad of vegan options. These protein-packed oval delights are prepped for consumption throughout the day, from the namesake EggRun (scrambled eggs, caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, chives and secret sauce on a warm brioche bun) to Cup on The Run (scrambled eggs, avocado and feta cream) and the VeganRun (vegan scrambled ‘eggs’, caramelised onions, vegan cheddar cheese, chives, chilli and secret sauce on a warm vegan brioche bun). Burgers come three-ways including a truffle version and a vegan Beyond ‘meat’ patty. Egg-lovers can also enjoy a selection of salads and healthy and carb-free dishes like the TacoRun with scrambled eggs, feta cream cheese, secret sauce, caramelised onions and chives on a bed of romaine lettuce. Plus, all packaging is biodegradable, compostable or recyclable.
46 Fish Street Hill Bridge, Monument EC3R 6BR; theeggrun.com