London has been buzzing with restaurant openings since restrictions eased in May, including at least three new places in Knightsbridge and Soho. Here’s a selection of some of the best recent launches in the capital, along with the highly anticipated reopening of two Michelin starred Kitchen Table.

1.The Princess of Shoreditch

Ruth Hansom, a rising star on the UK culinary scene has taken over as Head Chef at The Princess of Shoreditch where she’s introduced new and ambitious tasting menus in the first floor dining room and a menu of modern British pub classics and bar snacks in the downstairs pub. A rising star of the UK food scene, at just 25, Ruth Hansom has already had an impressive career. During her five years at the Ritz, the restaurant won its first Michelin star. While at the Ritz, Ruth became the youngest ever female chef to win the Young National Chef of the Year award and last year, she reached the finals on the BBC’s Great British Menu. Her brilliant eight-course tasting menu at the airy dining room includes a stellar range of dishes incorporating multiple flavors and textures. Highlights the night we dined included pre-dinner “snacks,” especially the shrimp tartlet with lemon verbena and cucumber, red mullet ceviche and salt aged duck with artichoke and chicory. The petit fours, yuzu icecream sandwich and raspberry chocolates finished a really special dining experience.

2.Kitchen Table, Fitzrovia

This year’s highly anticipated reopening of Kitchen Table by Chef James Knappett and Sommelier Sandia Chang (also of online champagne boutique Bubbleshop) follows extensive renovations that includes a bar and lounge for pre-dinner drinks and snacks. The thoughtful, chic refurbishment has made the two Michelin-starred experience even more fabulous. Chef Knappett’s starry culinary career includes training with Gordon Ramsay and stints with Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen and Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York. Founded in 2012, Kitchen Table seats only 18 guests around a horseshoe-shaped counter for a first hand view of the Chef and his team preparing, serving and talking diners through that evening’s tasting menu. The focus is Modern European cooking using seasonal and British ingredients, sourced from producers and suppliers around the country. A wine pairing carefully chosen by Sandia Chang completes the experience. The daily changing 20-course tasting menu is a culinary masterpiece with unusual food combinations that surprise and delight. Expect a range of extraordinary dishes like trout with foiegras, prawn with vanilla butter, summer berries, tomatoes and herbs, glazed Cornish blue lobster. For dessert guests can expect light delights like raspberries with ice cream and black pepper burnt meringue. The drinks menu is similarly inspired and includes cocktails with foraged ingredients. And the alcohol free drinks are equally well considered and surprisingly satisfying. At £250/head, this meal is a special treat but definitely one worth saving for. Forego takeaways, save your pennies, do whatever it takes to take a seat around Chef Knappett’s table.

3.Taka, Marylebone

One of last year’s hottest London openings, Taka Marylebone, launched in the space previously occupied by Peter Gordon’s Providores. Andrey and Anastasia Datsenko opened Taka in autumn 2020 but of course, thanks to the pandemic, weren’t able to open properly until this spring. The restaurant is overseen by Executive Chef Taiji Maruyama, previously of Beaverbrook in Surrey, Nobu London and one of Tokyo’s three Michelin-starred restaurants. This chic new Japanese restaurant serves a small plates-led menu following the Japanese philosophy of shun which means that food should only be eaten when it is at its best and at the height of its season. Focusing on hot and grilled dishes as well as sushi, the menu showcases the finest British produce through an entirely Japanese execution. Highlights include Loch Duart salmon tataki, Wagyu dripping rice bowl with wagyu fat and sukiyaki sauce and fried hokkaido scallop with kimchi.

4.Junsei, Marylebone

The Omakase (Japanese for “I’ll leave it up to you”) experience at the Chef’s counter at Junsei is expertly grilled and served by chef Aman Lakhani. The bespoke menu is specially created by the chefs on the night and can be accompanied by Junsei’s thoughtful range of cocktails wines, sakes and Japanese teas. This first venture from Chef Aman Lakhiani centers around Yakitori (grilled bird), with over 20 skewers available, using every part, such as shiso breast with ume, heart and neck. Each yakitori skewer takes hours of precise slicing preparation and is then coated simply in a house tare (a combination of soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar) before grilling over the Binchōtan (white charcoal from Japanese oak). Vegetarians are well catered for too with Shiitake mushrooms, soy marinated quail eggs, fried tofu with ginger and spring onion. In terms of vibe, Junsei is a brilliant combination of relaxed sophistication, ensuring an enjoyable dining experience.

5.Evelyn’s Table, Soho

Beneath a buzzy pub in Soho is an intimate ten-seater counter dining experience, led by Head Chef Luke and his two brothers, Nat and Theo Selby. From the moment you enter the pub and are led down a dark staircase to a door marked “private” you know you’re in for a really special evening. The trio serve a monthly evolving menu using British produce created with Japanese techniques and classic French training. Luke Selby’s cuisine has been greatly influenced by his extensive experience working at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and at Dabbous and Hide, where he was working when he won the Roux Scholarship in 2017. And his time working at Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo inspired Evelyn’s Table and shines through in the superb five-course tasting menu (£75). Sommelier Aidan Monk serves a brilliant accompanying drinks pairing incuding a chilled Sake, made locally in Peckham, south London. Highlights of a recent menu included wild mussels, miso and tomato served over a delicious gazpacho, courgette flower stuffed with Cornish crab and duck with sticky lemony marmalade.

6.Ino, Soho

The founders of popular Modern Greek Marylebone restaurant Opso and the Athens based two Michelin-starred restaurant Funky Gourmet have opened Ino, a lively, petite new restaurant. Inspired by the chefs’ love of cooking over charcoal as well as from the dining culture of classic tavernas across Greece, INO makes extensive use of carefully sourced ingredients, supplied from prominent farms across the UK as well as directly from Greece. Menu highlights include charred okra with tomato and feta, octopus taco with smoked tomato and souvlaki like you’ve never experienced before.

7.Wild Heart Bar and Shokudo, Soho

Hotelier Mark Fuller ‘s new restaurant with Chef Gary Hollihead is on the ground floor of the recently renovated Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel. The hotel, favored by rock ‘n roll legends, is decorated with paintings from Pretenders’ lead singer Chrissie Hynde. Open all day, Wild Heart Bar & Shokudo has a Japanese inspired menu with dishes like seared sirloin marinated in miso, prawn tempura and roast aubergine in a miso glaze. A special Sake collection includes Kokuryu Junmai and Seitoku Bessen.

8.Baccala, Bermondsey

This friendly neighbourhood Italian restaurant and wine bar specialising in seafood was founded by four friends, including Sommelier Fabio de Nicola and Chef Moreno Polverini. Signature menu dishes include an Oyster tasting menu with fresh native oysters, roasted octopus with marinated bell peppers, olives and basil and spaghetti with sea urchin & green peas. The great value “fisherman’s lunch” menu every Saturday features two courses for £29, with local fish like gurnard, languoustine, mackerel and whelks plus a beer or glass of wine. Baccala has a minimal industrial meets Mediterranean aesthetic and a lovely chilled vibe that invites diners to settle in for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

9.Bandra Bhai and Pali Hill, Fitzrovia

Bandra Bhai is the new cocktail bar serving small snacks beneath Pali Hill, its sister venue that serves regional Indian small plates. The restaurant celebrates an eclectic mix of flavors from every corner of the country so its no surprise that it’s popular and busy. The basement cocktail bar, described as “a retro Indian smugglers’ den” is filled with velvet furniture, trinkets and colorful art. It’s a tribute to India’s illicit underground bars in the 1970s and highlights of the cocktail list include boozy lassis and “the Don” a spicy, whisky based delight.

10.The NoMad Restaurant, Covent Garden

In the courtyard that was once the exercise yard for prisoners at Bow Street Magistrates Court is the vast main dining room of the new NoMad London hotel. It’s hard to imagine the space in its former incarnation because this restaurant is one of the capital’s most stunning restaurants. A glass ceiling means it’s filled with natural light and the decor is lovely. Executive Chef Ashley Abodeely’s stellar menu includes tasty, creative dishes such as suckling pig confit with wild greens, avocado soup with crab and lime granita and sea bream crudo with radishes, mint and pickled strawberries.

11.Crazy Pizza, Knightsbridge

Crazy Pizza says they serve “authentic, super crispy thin crust pizza” and they certainly deliver. The crispy pizzas, made in Italian Morello wood-burning ovens, are topped with “made on the day, eaten on the day” mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce . The Tartufo pizza with copious shavings of fresh black truffle and white truffle extra virgin oil is a highlight. The Knightsbridge location, around the corner from Harrods, is ex-Formula One boss, Flavio Briatore’s second restaurant (the first is in Marylebone) so they’re obviously doing something right.

12.Holy Carrot, Knightsbridge

Located in wellness and beauty destination, Urban Retreat, in the heart of Knightsbridge, Holy Carrot offers an excellent vegan menu with all dishes gluten-free, sugar-free, as well as being free from preservatives and additives. The super healthy dishes are really tasty too. This is not your standard vegan joint with limp tasteless vegetables. The Maki Set made from quinoa, heritage vegetables, crispy tempura and spicy mayo is divine as is “sexy tofu” glazed tofu with aubergine, red pepper and peanut sauce. And the vegan ceviche, made from Isle of Wight tomatoes, avocado, blood orange and ponzu dressing, is alone worth a visit to Holy Carrot.

13.Juliette, Knightsbridge

Juliette, London’s first Rosé bar is elegant Provençale meets the French Riviera. Based in Harrods with a pretty outdoor terrace, the wine list celebrates a breadth of acclaimed Rosé’s, with vineyards such as Mirabeau, Ultimate Provence and Rumor. Juliette is also serving Idris Elba’s famed Porte Noir and a selection of Rosé champagnes such as Dom Perignon, Ruinart & Laurent Perrier. The food menu offers delicious salads including one with poached lobster and tempting sweet treats like salted caramel éclairs, dark chocolate and raspberry bombe’s and vanilla mille-feuille.

14.Como Garden, High Street Kensington

Brothers Alberto and Arian Zandi have opened a chic new Italian restaurant featuring the country’s most popular dishes from all regions of Italy, designed with a nod to the glorious gardens of Lake Como. As with their sister restaurant Zuaya next door, Como Garden offers a tapas style menu with sharing dishes. All pastas are hand-made every day and the tagliatelle with slow cooked beef ragu rivals anything you’d find in Italy. Likewise, the lobster and tomato linguine is sheer bliss for pasta lovers.