25th October 2016



Here's Fork and Spoon's curated list of what to look forward to in November - and my, is it exciting! 

Cereal Killer Cafe has opened the floodgates for a wave of utterly ridiculous restaurants that dispense tarted-up supermarket-shelf products at a 3000% mark-up. HipChips is the latest racketeer to join the fray. Opening "soonish" in Soho, it's a restaurant entirely dedicated to crisps and dips. They'll be served to you on a conveyor belt, Yo style. Expect to stand in line for a long, long time. 

Aquavit is sadly not a homage to the Scandi spirit fairies. In NYC their two-star restaurant is "fine dining", here they will do "contemporary Nordic dining". Rok and Snaps & Rye have warmed up the audience for this type of fare, and I'm excited to see how they stack up. Plus, Nordic evokes all things Christmassy - icy pine cones, woolly knits, miserable instagram-stalking of skinny blonde models after overindulging on mince pies, le sigh. Aquavit opens end November and tables can be reserved from now. I've booked a table for 1st December and it can't come soon enough. I'll be instagramming it up (forkspoonuk) so follow me to get an early read on the place ahead of my formal review on the website.

Streetxo's chef has a mohawk, horns through his earlobes and a dirty mouth. His three Michelin-starred restaurant DiverXO in Madrid is described as a culinary Cirque du Soleil, and he apparently referred the Spanish monarchy to his website when they called up asking for a table. What a badass. I can't wait till his more affordable, street-food restaurant Streetxo arrives on October 31st. He's already instagrammed some creepy animal skeleton images hanging outside the restaurant front door. It's like Hirst on acid. I likey. They're quietly taking reservations already. I'm booked for 4th November - check and instagram: forkspoon uk for the verdict then.

Veneta by the great Ben Tisch and friends at Salt Yard Group is already open and you can take advantage of their soft-launch promotion - 50% off food till 30th October. This is their first foray into Northern Italian fare. For a long time, Salt Yard was my go-to restaurant in London. You could find me at the bar with a plate of cod brandade on pretty much the first Thursday of every month. The bartenders are quietly brilliant, and it's a great (and discrete) post-happy-hour spot for you and a plus one. I'll definitely be checking out Veneta in November.

On a dreary Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to London almost three years ago, my colleagues came across a write up of a then-unknown restaurant called Clove Club in Shoreditch. "It's not far from the office" I slurred (again, the flight was from Dublin). "Shall we organise a team dinner there?" The next thing we knew, this innocuous restaurant won a star, and it was impossible to get a table. Also, a bit expensive for the department budget. Alas, I have never been. But now they have a sister restaurant opening in Clerkenwell! Luca. Modern British cooking with an Italian twist. Apparently Italian is fashionable again. Even Kurt Zdesar of Chotto Matte and Black Roe fame has opened an Italian restaurant this month (Fucina), but his is a bit rubbish. Reservations for Luca open 1st November.

The Leela hotel group are opening a branch of their signature restaurant, Jamavar, in Mayfair, in mid-November. They're hired ex-Gymkhana Rohit Ghai as Head Chef. There are some formal-looking photos of him on all their marketing materials, and their instagram feed is Ghai's travel journal as he preps for this new venture. So it's basically all about the chef right now. No pressure or anything, Rohit. Let's hope they add a bit of character beyond that.

Vineet Bhatia shut down his Michelin-starred restaurant, Rasoi, and is opening a new intimate dining concept restaurant. He is serving set menus starting at £105, and will accommodate less than 40 covers. Chef Bhatia wants it to feel like a supper club. Please note, it's in Chelsea, it's expensive, and you'll have to ring the doorbell to get in. So, it's more like a private members club than a Little Yellow Door affair. It's called VBL. Hopefully some of the Gymkhana crowd will shift there and it'll be easier to get in for a plate of lamb chops come November.

Finally, here's my roundup of the interesting openings that already happened:

  • Create your own KitKat at Westfields Stratford - one week left to get your yum on.
  • Kiln - by the makers of Smoking Goat. Mmm BBQ.
  • Honey & Smoke - by the makers of acclaimed foodie hotspot Honey & Co.
  • Jikoni - Indian food with West African & British twists. Chef Ravinder Bhogal is Gordon Ramsey's darling.
  • Little Smoke - whole native and rare breed bbq in the City.
  • Dominique Ansel Bakery London - a.k.a. that NYC cronut place filling up your insta feed.