Will Noma retain its crown as the world’s best restaurant? / Image: Noma / Mikkel Heriba
Here at TRULY, our resident tastemakers are always keeping abreast of the latest trends on the restaurant scene. We thought it would be a shame not to share some of our insider secrets, so here comes an overview of the restaurants to watch in 2015. Maybe they’re tipped for Michelin star success, perhaps they’re just about to open and make tsunami-like waves, or it might just be because they’re really rather good and you ought to know about them.
You’d be hard pressed finding a more pleasantly airy and elegantly white dining room than that of Lyle’s. Co-owner and head chef, James Lowe, ran St John’s kitchen for some time, and there are more than a couple of clues pointing towards that here. Except the menu here is just that little bit more inventive – and well worth a trip to Shoreditch.
Inaki Aizpitarte is the genius behind Le Chateaubriand, the Parisian bistro acknowledged to be among the world’s best restaurants. He’s taking his ‘bistronomy’ to London this year, with the opening of Le Chabanais in February or March. “I love London,” Aizpitarte told Bloomberg, “The UK has some of the best produce and the food scene is changing and it’s real. Before, no one was talking about English food.”
More about Le Chabanais >>
If you ever try booking a place here, you probably wouldn’t imagine it could be anything like under the radar. But that’s also got something to do with the fact it only has seven spaces. Husband-and-wife team Toru and Harumi Tahakashi run the joint, serving straight up sushi and sashimi that’s incredibly good. All the food is prepared by Tahakashi – nobody else – in plain view. Jay Rayner called it London’s best sushi location, and we’d be at pains to disagree.
Sushi Tetsu >>
The Young British Foodie Chef of the Year 2014 – a mouthful perhaps, but no less an accolade because of it – was Tomos Parry. He’s joined at Kitty Fisher’s wood-fired grill by Chris Leach, formerly of Pitt Cue Co. Kitty Fisher was, of course, the flamboyant courtesan who found Lucy Locket’s pocket. She is an emblem of the ‘louche dining’ favoured here – buttoned banquettes are lit by candles burning in the old bread ovens.
Kitty Fisher’s >>
David Muñoz will be joining Aizpitarte in opening a London version of a highly acclaimed restaurant overseas. DiverXO, three stars to the good, really does create works of art. Food is served on ‘canvasses’, while sauces genuinely are painted onto the plate. Spanish and oriental flavours WILL combine – Muñoz is an alumni of both Hakkasan and Nobu.
About StreetXO >>
There must be something alluring about London for Mitsuhiro Araki. He shut up shop in Tokyo, losing three Michelin stars in the process, to take the concept to Piccadilly. Much like Sushi Tetsu, spaces here are at a premium. The counter contains nine seats, with two dinner sittings per night. Araki is having the fish sourced from around Europe, rather than importing from Japan, and the menu comes in at an eye-watering £300 per head.
The Araki >>
Robin and Sarah Gill, it’d be fair to say, very much earned their chops with The Dairy, of Clapham, turning British cuisine into a series of thrills. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise – Robin Gill being formerly of Noma and Le Manoir. Now the pair have taken their gloriously informal setup to a second location – The Manor – headed up by one of Gill’s proteges from The Dairy, Dean Parker. Also being situated in Clapham, it looks like there’re now at least two reasons to go there.
The Manor >>
Pollen Street Social
You’ve either been living under a rock, or just paying little heed to TRULY Moments, if you’ve not heard of Pollen Street Social. We’ve highlighted it here as a potential for gaining its second Michelin star this year. Part of the Jason Atherton empire – surely one of the chefs of this decade so far – both the cuisine and wine list just seem to keep getting better.
Pollen Street Social >>
Another tip for a second star, The Sportsman sticks two fingers up at stuffy, white tablecloth dining. It’s all about the food here and, boy, does that cuisine deliver. Ingredients are all sourced locally – many from the vegetable garden at the back. Don’t be put off by the location – a ramshackle local boozer – for inside the cozy decor chimes with the superb grub.
The Sportsman >>
Restaurant Sat Bains
Now for a restaurant that might well be thinking about its third star. By now, almost everyone knows the story of Restaurant Sat Bains: located on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Nottingham, they serve up a dazzling symphony of flavours that has received critical acclaim just about across the board. We reckon this year could be the one where they become Britain’s fourth three-star destination.
Restaurant Sat Bains >>
And now for a restaurant that’s even more of a household name than, well, any other on the planet. We’ve got an eye on Noma to see whether it will retain San Pellegrino’s ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ accolade. Having lost top spot in 2013, it roared back to the top last year. Currently in the midst of a Tokyo popup, they’ll be hoping for another year on top of the world.