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New London restaurants to try in September 2023

New London restaurants to try in September 2023
Written by Travel Adventures

Address: Empire Empire, 16 All Saints Road, London W11 1HH
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Dovetale, Mayfair

Dovetale

Tom Sellers is on a roll. It’s only a few months since the Nottingham-born chef, who found fame and Michelin stars at Bermondsey’s Restaurant Story, opened Story Cellar – a bistro-style offshoot specialising in rotisserie chicken. Now, he’s overseeing the open kitchen at Dovetale, in a corner of the 1Hotel Mayfair – the summer’s most hyped London opening, with its biophilic living walls, oak tree reception and doormen in flat caps. Dovetale occupies a large space, all tactile Scandi-luxe neutrals and flickering fires spilling out onto a terrace enfolded by greenery. It feels about the right setting for Sellers at his most grown-up yet, with a provenance-driven European menu that elevates the classics rather than overly tinkering; and a lengthy wine list that skews organic and natural but has room for iconic French vintages, overseen by the charming, quick-talking Connecticuter Tara Ozols, who won Michelin’s prestigious Sommelier Award earlier this year. There’s a summery freshness to the fragrant Isle of Wight tomato tart and a sashimi-style Cornish wild seabass, its quivering loveliness offset by clean fennel, almonds and preserved mandarin slices. More decadent is a wagyu carpaccio inspired by the mustard-y Harry’s Bar version a few streets north, which the lovely waiter Carmen recommends we wrap around perfectly rectangular beef fat chips. Every technique feels on-point: in the rich cylindrical Dover sole in the Veronique style invented by Auguste Escoffier; in a Ratatouille Byaldi – the one from the Pixar film, probably learned under Thomas Keller – that’s a sublime swirl of delicately sliced ingredients. So goes the grain-fed Black Angus beef rib, its textural perfection offset by a trace of the countryside on the nose. Lest it all get a bit serious (the £660 N25 Oscietra caviar or the £10,500 2015 Domaine Coche-Dury seem aimed at a certain clientele), a retro trolley by the bar serves Knickerbocker Glories alongside decadent classics like a Grand Marnier souffle. We opt for a Boozy Bocker – a Hail Mary order that turns out to be a sophisticated, surprisingly clean ensemble of coconut and rum ice cream with roasted pineapple, coconut shavings and the fluffiest whipped cream. Of course it is. When it comes to food, Dovetale really isn’t messing around. Toby Skinner

Address: 1 Dover Yard, London W1J 8NE
Price: £££
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Best new London restaurants in July 2023

Mountain, SohoBenjamin McMahon

Mountain, Soho

The chalk sign outside reels in the punters: “Vermouth, spider crab, tripe, ensaimade, +500 wines…” reads the line-up. You had me at ensaimade. Anglesey-born Tomos Parry certainly knows how to pick a location. Brat, his first restaurant, opened in 2018 in a former pole-dancing bar in Shoreditch. This sequel occupies the same space as the fabulous and far more salubrious Murray’s Cabaret Club, where dancers tangoed in elaborately stitched costumes, Henry Kissinger, Princess Margaret, and Paul Getty rubbed shoulders, Ruth Ellis danced before killing her husband – and Christine Keeler met Stephen Ward before embarking on the Profumo Affair. Quite an act to follow, then, but Parry – fully clothed, youthful Dicaprio looks ablaze at the pass – has the chops. And the beef ribs and the langoustines. Mountain takes British ingredients and barbecues them Spanish-style, wafting shimmies of woodsmoke around this corner of Soho; but here he’s added a bakery – loaves are wood-fired using six different flours – and makes more fresh cheese. A headline act is the Balearic lobster caldereta (braised and grilled with a thick sauce). The supporting small plates were entertaining: pillowy bread like a puffer fish; a delicate ceviche of red mullet and scallops; fluffy spider-crab omelette with a smattering of seaweed, Menai Straits oysters wearing tiny carnations of fermented red gooseberry, and slow, slow-cooked beef sweetbreads. As for that ensaimade, it’s a Mallorcan pastry, similar to filo and filled with pork fat and almonds, then fire-cooked; but our favourite pudding – ‘almost criminal’, our waiter tells us (all the staff are top of their game, menu fluent and fun) – is the torrija, a rich, French toasty slab of brioche, blow-torched and accompanied by grilled strawberries. Downstairs is an equally atmospheric basement space for a pre-dinner Negroni while imagining life here in the Sixties (oh, if the walls could talk). It’s an obvious punchline to end with, but Mountain is smokin’ – this is Tomos Parry at the peak of his powers. Rick Jordan


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