The City dining scene is hotter than ever with new neighbours at Bloomberg Arcade and a fresh foodie hub for one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Loosen that belt a notch for the most anticipated new restaurants opening in the City of London this summer.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the City of London’s greatest claim to gastronomic fame was having the highest number of Prets per capita.
But no longer is the Square Mile serving as the West End’s second helpings thanks to a slew of high-profile restaurant openings and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them pop-ups. The City can officially declare itself a dining destination in its own right, saving us all the Uber surcharge at peak hour.
If you need proof, look no further than dining deity Hardens Restaurant Guide, which declared the EC postcode the top performer for new openings in 2017 outside of Central London.
So is there room for more? That’s like asking if we would like the dessert menu. We’ve got new neighbours at Bloomberg Arcade, City outposts for Soho favourites, and a fresh foodie hub for one of London’s most iconic landmarks, so loosen that belt a notch and get excited for the hottest new restaurants opening in the City of London this summer.
Heading up a second wave of openings in the City’s new foodie hub Bloomberg Arcade is Andrew Wong, who is looking to double down on the success of his Michelin-starred restaurant A.Wong in Victoria with a creative take on classic Chinese dishes.
Speaking with Eater, the chef said the menu of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be “premium casual” style dining not unlike the food you might find in a Hong Kong diner. “Crispy pork belly, honey-roast pork, and soya poached chicken… and they’ll be the centrepiece of the restaurant with some snacks around,” he said.
Plenty of roasting, no dim sum and no riffs or hybrids; instead it “will be true to being Chinese.” Early risers should opt for the dosa-like pancake served as a breakfast dish.
Bloomberg Arcade EC4N 8AR
‘Fire and ice’ are the cornerstones of this new Shoreditch venture from one of London’s pre-eminent restaurateur duos, Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, which was cooked up over a drunken lunch at a family farmhouse in Sussex.
The pair plan to follow on from their success at Vauxhall hotspot Brunswick House with a 70-seater restaurant and menu that ranges from fresh sashimi to meat roasted over an open log-fire – fire and ice, geddit?
You swooned over Mayfair’s upscale Indian eatery Gymkhana and drooled over Soho’s slick Sri Lankan joint Hoppers, so get set to lose your mind over JKS Restaurants’ latest addition to the London dining scene right in the heart of the Square Mile.
Brigadiers in Bloomberg Arcade is an Indian barbecue restaurant and drinking tavern inspired by a military mess hall. Tandoors, charcoal grills, rotisseries, wood ovens and classic Indian smokers will be pumping out an extensive barbecue menu, from fiery small plates, kebabs and paratha rolls right through to the dry masala rib eye steak and smoked Nepali bhutwa lamb ribs.
Brigadiers will be keeping the atmosphere casual for the City crowd with live sport in selected rooms, a pool table, private dining rooms for groups, and a dangerous-sounding whiskey vending machine.
Open: 6 June
Bloomberg Arcade EC4N 8AR
Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Harneet and Devina Baweja have well and truly conquered the dining scene in Aldgate East with Indian favourite Gunpowder, Himalayan hotspot Madame D’s, and regional Indian newbie Gul & Sepoy, and now they’re setting their sights on Tower Bridge.
Gunpowder is an evolution of their original restaurant baby in Whites Row, serving a modern take on signature home-style dishes straight from the kitchens of Harneet’s native Kolkata. A bigger kitchen will allow chef Nirmal Save to expand the menu with the likes of Chicken Lollipop Madras-style, Masala Peanut Chaat and Bengali Fish Fingers with Crisps and Kasundi (a Bengali mustard).
Patisserie fans should save room for a visit to the adjacent bakery Custard, which will be pumping out a goan pork sausage roll, butter chicken puffs, almond cherry and ghee cake and, you guessed it, soft-serve custard.
Open: late-July (Custard) and August (Gunpowder)
One Tower Bridge, 4 Crown Square SE1 2SE
After three Michelin stars, a Chef of the Year award and seven years as the head chef at Claridges, Mark Sargeant would be used to cooking up a storm in grand surroundings, but it’s safe to say the Tower of London is a step up, even for him.
Mark has teamed up with CH&Co and Historic Royal Palaces on an all-day restaurant and deli in prime position overlooking the river. As one might expect from such a landmark of British history the menu will focus on classics like smoked haddock kedgeree cake with poached egg for breakfast, and a crispy Gressingham duck leg with broccoli and mash for lunch. There’s also a terrace bar serving Prosecco on tap, frozen cocktails, and beer slushies planned just in time for summer.
Tower of London, St Katharine’s & Wapping EC3N 4AB
Any restaurant with a buzzer marked ‘Press for Champagne’ at each table was pretty much destined for an EC postcode, so it comes as no surprise the owners of Bob Bob Ricard are bringing their Soho-born operation in opulence to the Square Mile.
Bob Bob Cité will open on the eighth floor of the Leadenhall Building this spring, bringing with it a menu of French classics with Russian influences at the hands of executive chef Eric Chavot, formerly of Brasserie Chavot in Mayfair.
Menu and wine list have been kept well under wraps since it was announced late last year. However, we have had confirmation those Champagne-summoning buttons will be front and centre in each booth, so start flexing those index fingers (and saving your pennies for the privilege).
122 Leadenhall Street EC3V 4QT
This vegan fast food chain has taken the US by storm with its famous guac burger, quinoa taco salad, matcha kelp noodles and mac ’n’ cheese, and landed in Covent Garden earlier this year armed with a couple of local comfort food classics.
Executive chef Manuel Trevino has come up with vegan versions of fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, pea and ham soup exclusively for the local market, plus a sticky toffee pudding with whipped cream for dessert.
Interiors are also the stuff of Instagram feeds, from the ‘Guac Save The Queen’ neon sign to the cheese plants, monochrome striped tables and hanging chairs. By CHLOE’s second UK outpost will be arriving at the One Tower Bridge development just in time for summer and, if the US expansion is anything to go by, it won’t be the last.
One Tower Bridge, Duchess Walk SE1 2SD
The City’s new independent hotel takes its name from the City’s ancient trade guilds, but its food offering is decidedly modern.
The Vintry Kitchen is doing Asian style tapas, with a selection of wines tapped straight from the barrels lining the gantry, while terrace bar and restaurant Mercer Roof Terrace is all about contemporary seasonal British dishes with a ‘farm-to-plate’ ethos.
Things are a little more old school in the basement bar DND (Do Not Disturb), which gives off 1920s speakeasy vibes with plush drapes, banquette seating and vintage cocktails.