Welcome to the latest restaurant newsletter. The Lexo Club continue to remain up-to-date with the latest launches, menu changes, and popular hot spots. You can enjoy advice of where to dine to match your culinary tastes, from lively and trendy to quiet and romantic hidden gems, plus a full booking service with priority reservations at the most exclusive restaurants around the globe through our concierge.
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Aragawa is bringing proper Wagyu to London's Mayfair
Aragawa, which opened in Kobe in 1956 but is now most famous for its Tokyo steakhouse, has a laser-like focus on premium beef.
A Tokyo steakhouse will turn up the heat on any would-be Mayfair wagyu grifters by bringing genuine Kobe beef to London this May. Aragawa, first founded in Kobe in 1956, is renowned for its Tajima beef, reared in the Hyogo prefecture of which Kobe is the capital, and will open at 38 Clarges Street this May.
These vegan London restaurants will ease you into Veganuary
The Lexo Club have got you covered, from Japanese and Italian to Caribbean cuisine. So you’ve signed up to Veganuary. You’ve stocked up on tofu. You’ve googled seitan. You have a cupboard full of Oreos at the ready.
No one said it was easy going green but don’t fret: there has never been a better time to try out being vegan in London. There are plenty of eateries out there that have your back. From cosy vegan cafés to boundary-pushing veggie restaurants, in London you’ll find some of the best plant-based dishes in the world.
Eat of Eden
This Caribbean-inspired, plant-based eatery has six locations dotted across the capital, so you're never far from an Eat of Eden, no matter which side of the river you're on. Choose the crispy seaweed fritters, ackee and juicy sweet peppers, washed down with a bottle of their finest Jamaican Guinness punch.
It claims to be Europe’s first Japanese, vegan and organic restaurant, and while we can’t confirm that, we can confirm it’s damn good. The little kitchen manages to offer a vast array of dishes. Sushi, udon noodles, tempura and bento boxes are on offer, making it the perfect place to mix things up when you get stuck in a houmous and pita groove.
Black Cat Cafe
The menu is simple at this 100 percent vegan workers’ cooperative, but it’s top of the bunch for budget vegan dining. Its beef-style burger made with seitan and soya mince patties is a permanent fixture, but you’ll find changing specials too.
Purezza means purity in Italian, but try telling that to sinful dough balls oozing with a convincing cheese substitute, or the black truffle and pulled porketta sourdough pizza. This place proves that vegan comfort food isn’t just good: in some cases it’s better than its meaty equivalent.
Stem and Glory
After causing a stir in Cambridge, the plant-based pioneers at Stem and Glory came to London, opening a bright and airy new restaurant. It gets creative with the ingredients, rather than mimicking meaty flavours. Expect a changing menu of vibrant and surprising plant-based food and an excellent line up of craft beers.
Could this be London’s prettiest afternoon tea?
Even if you haven’t tried one of Peggy Porschen’s pretty pastel, floral topped cupcakes, you’ll be familiar with the baking extraordinaire, thanks to the endless Instagram shots taken outside her world-famous Belgravia bakery. The saccharine-hued facade is Instagram fodder at its finest – it’s no wonder there are over 83,000 #peggyporschen tags on the photo app alone – but is it just all style over substance? I went to try out the baker’s famous afternoon tea and she joined forces with the iconic London hotel, The Lanesborough.
Bacardí have revealed a brand new paining: Rum and Dominoes
Dominoes may not be what jumps to mind when thinking about rum, but Bacardí is set to change that, with a new limited edition Caribbean rum inspired game set.
Launched just in time for Christmas 2021, the unique dominoes set has been created in partnership with Caribbean Artist PopCaribe and promises to inject some tropical island spirit into the UK winter. Gather round with family or friends and play this timeless and simple game, while enjoying the iconic tipple.
Rick Astley to Robert De Niro: London's Celebrity-Owned Restaurants
Celebrities. They’re always trying to steal the limelight away from us mere mortals and now they’re trying to nab away the charm of opening a restaurant from us too! But, of course, we’ve rounded up our favourite eight celebrity owned restaurants because let’s face it, grabbing a pint next to Sir Ian McKellen sounds like a pretty cool story we’d love to tell the grandkids… Here’s where to head.
We’re in love with these shapes you’ve created, Ed Sheeran. Having perfecting his musical craft by busking the streets of Ipswich, Ed has since flourished into one of the world’s top rated musicians, but last year saw him turn his hand to something a little different: setting up a restaurant.
Introducing Bertie Blossoms, the new neighbourhood dining experience you need to get your mitts on. Designed to look a little like a local boozer, all that’s left to do is pull up a pew, grab yourself a pint and ponder on why Ed decided to name the resto Bertie Blossoms…
One restaurant that’s driving us crazy is Lewis Hamilton’s veggie endeavour, Neat Burger. Formula-One driver Lewis Hamilton has joined the hospitality craze and opened up his vegan burger joint last summer. Neat Burger is essentially a fast-food chain but delivers on sustainability and deliciousness!
Working in collaboration with plant-based pioneers Beyond Meat and The Eden Projects, the burgers are nourishing and tasty. Plus, for every product sold at Neat Burger, a tree is planted in response.
Who’d have thought Guy Ritchie and David Beckham would join forces and buy a 3 million-pound pub in Notting Hill? Not us, but we’re sure glad they did because it’s become a haven for the locals.
The pair, one famed for kicking a ball around, the other for making some big ballsy movies, came together to re-open the Warmer Castle, close to the former England captain’s home in Holland Park.
Danish brewery joined forces with Rick Astley to open up the first Mikkeller in the UK. The idea first came about after the success of the collaboration beer ‘Astley’s Northern Hop Lager’, and from that a friendship sparked between Astley and Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. Fast forward a couple of years and they’ve since opened up a bar in Shoreditch.
Idris Elba is keeping busy… Luther star, Idris Elba, has joined forces with David Farber, founder of Connaught Wine Cellars, to launch an exciting bar and shop, and it’s scheduled to land later this month. Porte Noire will celebrate the brand itself, offering a wide selection of international wines, cheese and charcuteries, and a brasserie-style menu.
Hosting space for up to 70 guests, the new bar and shop will be home to around 800 wine bins, as well as one of the largest fine wine tasting rooms in London. Expect rare wines, many of which will be available to purchase by the bottle too.
On the food menu, there’ll be French brasserie favourites, from Oeuf meurette – a classic Burgundian dish of poached eggs in a rich red wine sauce; and Slow cooked beef cheek with pommes purée and leek persillade.
The most successful example of celebrity restaurant owners has to be Robert De Niro, who encouraged Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (Nobu) to open the first Nobu in New York in 1994. Having put up the cash to get the restaurant off the ground it was only a matter of time until Nobu became a global empire of 29 restaurants.
Nobu London Old Park Lane is the perfect place to meet friends for a catch up over delicious Japanese cuisine and try some of their famed signature dishes.
From the limelight to Limehouse, Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen owns The Grapes, the East End boozer-cum-gastropub. The pub’s been serving pints for over 500 years and was once a favourite with Charles Dickens (who mentions it in the opening chapter of Our Mutual Friend). Nowadays the restaurant serves up dishes including Ian McKellen branded dishes like the “Sir Ian Meaty Shepherds Pie.”
The best new restaurants in London to visit right now
It is a long-established truth that London is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, with the capital’s dining scene growing exponentially over the last decade and pretty much every cuisine imaginable been accounted for. With so many restaurants to choose from though, heading out to dinner can often become somewhat of an overwhelming affair.
It is true that new restaurants open in London every day, but how do you separate the great from the good? We have done the hard work for you, with our pick of the best new restaurants London has to offer.
Bob Bob Ricard City
Following its original site in Soho, Bob Bob Ricard has arrived in City after a rocky start (it remained closed for 19 months after restrictions lifted to undergo a major refurb). Apparently, though, it was worth the wait with the French-Russian restaurant offering the same ostentatios glitz and glamour that made it so famous in the first place. As for its iconic 'press for Champagne' button, they're still very much part of the equation and you bet we gave it a test drive.
After shutting its doors in November 2020 due to the pandemic, the neon signs outside Langan's Brasserie have finally flickered back to life and - yes - it's just as glamourous as ever. Initially set up by co-founders Peter Langan and Michael Caine in the 70s, the revamped restaurant oozes retro nostalgia from every corner, from a playlist of groovy 80s tracks to its 20th-century décor and old French-style menu. We recommend the fish pie for two, the apple tarte tatin with calvados cream and a couple of glasses of Champagne to wash it all down.
The Barbary Next Door
From the team behind The Palomar and The Barbary, The Barbary Next Door is the sibling site to an already established duo. Food-wise the menu takes its cues from Moorish and North African cuisines: think Moroccan olives and candied peanuts, chicken filo pie and a ton of warm tagines. But, is it as good as The Barbary? Maybe, but you didn't hear it from us.
Mimi Mei Fair
A step beyond a really good chicken chow mein, this high-end Chinese restaurant is situated in a Georgian townhouse and is quickly gaining a reputation for its signature peking duck.
A fine dining Indian restaurant from the folks at JKS (Gymkhana and Hoppers), this cutting-edge spot delivers vibrant food using British ingredients just off London’s Oxford Street.
The West African-inspired restaurant in Fitzrovia heroes fresh fish and seafood, big, warming spices and modern techniques to create dishes that are truly unique. It's a cuisine that is still underrepresented in central London, so it’s great to see it finally getting recognition.
Fenn is the sister restaurant to Nest in Hackney, serving modern British food just off the Wandsworth Bridge Road in Fulham. The covered terrace at the front of the restaurant is adorned with trailing foliage and wooden benches, a bit like a posh potting shed, while the plates are all seasonal, well-presented and blooming delicious.
The second iteration of Asma Khan’s restaurant sees a new location and menu. You can still expect the same homey atmosphere, alongside fresh tasting menus and a daytime deli where you’ll find staples of Indian cuisine.
London certainly isn’t short of Indian restaurants, but when it comes to a really, really good one, Chourangi can be counted amongst the list. Explore a menu inspired by the food of Calcutta at this Marble Arch gem.
The Bao brand can do no wrong and its success continues with this all-day operation in King’s Cross. Head to the bakery counter for curious sweet treats including a white chocolate and red bean bao.
Looking for drinks and snacks in central London? Head to Golden Gai, a bar from the team behind Dalston’s cult Japanese-cum-Italian restaurant Angelina. Quaff unique cocktails while munching on flatbreads filled with caviar and more.
Hot Stone Fitzrovia
Serene leafy terraces in bustling Mayfair are hard to come by, so thank heavens for Cafe Biltmore from chef Jason Atherton. Expect a casual offering (for this postcode at least) full of globally inspired dishes.
Unlike anywhere else in London, KOL offers a slice of diner’s paradise - think Mexican-style dishes offering both style and substance, a stylish, lively dining room and staff who can’t do enough for you. Muy bueno.
Nusr-et Steakhouse London
Whether the London debut of Salt Bae’s celeb-magnet steak house chain will charm the city’s discerning foodies is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure - everyone will be talking about it.
Gordon Ramsay Burger
A burger restaurant might be the last thing you’d expect to find in Harrods, but these are no ordinary buns. Fronted by Gordon Ramsay, options include a Wagyu burger that clocks in at £80.
This 18-seat chef’s table restaurant had traded for less than 100 days before earning its first Michelin star. Expect a seasonally changing menu of sustainable British produce so good it will blow your socks off.
A New Japanese-Italian Fusion Restaurant Is Coming To London
Restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini and chef Ivan Simeoli will launch their debut UK restaurant in Marylebone next month called Itaku, the 60-cover restaurant will open on Great Portland Street serving a menu of Italian cuisine using Japanese flavours and techniques.
Fernandez-Versini is the founder of Cannes pop up nightclub Cosy Box, while Simeoli has worked at venues including The Royal Academy of Arts, The Wallace Collection and Massimo Bottura’s three Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Francescana, which was titled "the world's best restaurant" in 2018.
Mayfair is Getting a Spectacular New Zero-Waste Restaurant in 2022
Chantelle Nicholson is one of those chefs who’s done so much, opened so many places, and won so many awards, she has her own Wikipedia page. The one thing she doesn’t currently have is her own restaurant.
Well, that’ll all change early in 2022 with the opening of Apricity, a Mayfair restaurant which will “pioneer the principles of a circular economy”. What does that mean? Well, basically it means social & environmental responsibility.
Thank you for reading The Lexo Club' latest restaurant guide and we hope you have found this new extensive knowledge of local gastronomy useful.
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