Bipolar weather, brown leaves crunching underfoot, and mince pies with sell-by dates well before Christmas making an appearance on store shelves: these things can only mean that Autumn is officially here. To help you through the chilly transition, we’ve put together a list of the eight best new bars & restos to cut the ribbon in our capital over the last couple of months...
The Flying Pig
The newest addition to the BBQ movement, Pig prides itself on its hefty lineup of craft brews, w/ 14 daily rotating taps putting out several local barley pops from Beavertown, Kernal, Redchurch, Weird Beard & more, all of which are backed up by 100 bottles from other UK hopsmiths (Dark Star, Tempest, Wild Beer, Pin-Up...), as well as European and US hop-houses. Soaking it all up is a fire-baptized menu of 'cue goodness such as pulled pork w/ maple bacon, baby back ribs, and huge cajun-spiced calamari.
This sophomoric offering from Koya has swung its doors right next to the original, but this time with a slightly different, more inventive approach; they’ll still be serving a couple old favs (chilled udon noodles in hot broth, etc.), but in addition, they will be putting out English Breakfast (with egg, bacon, and udon), as well as a whole bunch of other newness, like venison miso, braised pork belly in cider, and even fish & chips.
Sager & Wilde
After a crazy-successful pop-up series last winter, husband & wife combo Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde have finally set up a proper brick & mortar spot out in Hackney, offering a bar full of 30-plus premium wines by the glass. The vino often comes in uber-small batches (that are thrown out of rotation once they're gone to make space for some other amazing grape-hooch), and they're also slinging a delicious lineup of cheese & meat charcuterie.
Situated in an area that was once known as "the gin capital of the world" (yes, Barbican. It seems so reserved now!), Gin Joint features -- surprise -- approximately 40 juniper juices, and even some Broker's on tap. Between 5pm-8pm, they offer a "Gin Democracy" (read: happy hour) where you can try any of the various bottles for £7.50, while in the food department, they've got you covered with a gin-influenced British menu for the likes of duck sausage w/ pickled shallots, scallop, and juniper.
After almost winning MasterChef: The Professionals, Marianne Lumb has gone and opened potentially the smallest fine-diner in London (or anywhere??) with only five tables and 14 seats. The dishes are all uber-seasonal, so right now expect rainbow chard, ricotta & Parmesan tortellini, and dressed Cornish crab.
Yet another spot from super-so-hot-right-now Chef Jason Atherton (of Little Social/ Pollen Street Social/ Social Eating House... basically anywhere social), this time, he’s teamed up with Studio 54 founder Ian Schrager in the new hotel Edition -- think ornate ceilings, random portraits everywhere, massive bronze chandeliers, leather sofas, and delicious food like Orkney scallop carpaccio, chargrilled quail, and grass-fed beef.
Hoxley and Porter
Decked out like a '20s colonial chic adventurer's train carriage (harking back to a time when, if you were a real man, you would explore the jungle, discover a tribe, predict an eclipse, and contract a horrible tropical disease), H&P are serving up signature 'tails from their rum & gin-heavy bar, including a crazy colour-changing number (that gradually moves from blue to bright purple) garnished w/ an absinthe-coated scorpion, while the solids have cider-braised pork belly and a massive pan-fried sea bream.
Surrounded by dark leather and velvet, Bo Lang backs up its crazy-sleek Chelsea atmosphere with delicious dim sum (blue swimmer crab, short rib puffs, etc.), their own house-smoked duck, and an equally slick bar-full of Oriental-inspired cocktails.
1. The Flying Pig58-60 East Dulwich Rd, East Dulwich
2. Koya Bar50 Frith St, London
3. Gin JointThe Barbican, London
4. Marianne104 Chepstow St, London
5. Berners Tavern10 Berners St, London
6. Hoxley and Porter153 Upper St, London
7. Bo Làng100 Draycott Ave, London
8. Sager & Wilde193 Hackney Rd, London
Not only does the Flying Pig have a BBQ-loaded menu, they also pour a myriad of craft beers from a variety of European and American brewers.
Located in Soho, Koya Bar serves Japanese fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is open from 830am until late at night.
Gin Joint believes in honest advertising, serving up more than 40 different varieties of gin, as well as a tasty gin-influenced British food menu.
Owned and operated by Marianne Lumb, a former contestant of MasterChef, this five-table resto may be small in size, but you can't beat if for upscale fare.
Located in the lovely Edition hotel, Berners offers ornate surroundings and fine dining with menu items such as chargrilled quail and grass-fed beef.
This restaurant and bar features a uniquely decorated 19th-century colonial interior, while featuring craft cocktails and dishes from that period like barley & mushroom risotto and a more modern chocolate crème brûlée.
This Chelsea resto specializes in dim sum, but if that isn't quite your bag, they also serve a variety of salads, grilled and steamed Chinese dishes, and Oriental-inspired cocktails.
Sager & Wilde is a sleek wine bar serving reasonably price drinks by the bottle or glass, and varying day to day. The food menu boasts a rotating set of small plates. Behind the long iron-grate bar sits staff members who clearly know what they’re talking about, so rest assured you’ll get something to your liking. Overflowing with laid-back charm, this is the perfect spot to try wines you’ve never heard of (there's an extensive by-the-glass program) and then end up ordering several bottles worth. Also, the toasted sandwich game here is ace.