London’s Soft Launches
As the old restaurateurs’ motto goes,
“Softly softly, openee restaurant“.
Advice taken so strongly to heart by some, that you wouldn’t even know they were opening at all…
Well luckily we’ve got our ears to the ground, as well as some more immediately useful ones on the London restaurant scene – so between them we’ve got a pretty solid run-down of the week’s best soft openings and deals.
We update the list every Monday, so keep your eyes peeled:
Matsuri relaunches as Onodera
Apparently, 23 is old enough to warrant a full facelift these days – and longstanding teppanyaki restaurant Matsuri has had a pretty bold one. Relaunching this week as the slick monochrome Onodera, they’ll be serving up traditional Japanese cuisine, with fresh sushi and sashimi alongside robata-grilled seafood and Kobe beef.
Details: 50% off food, mention soft launch when booking on 020 7839 1101, or email firstname.lastname@example.org | 17th-21st March | 15 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AL
50% off at Bubblewrap
Originating from Hong Kong’s street markets, bubble wraps are like the delicious crispy lovechild of giant bubble wrap and pancakes, and come filled with fruit and cream, nuts and caramel, or even mochi rice dumplings with red bean. A stalwart of the Berwick Street market, they’ve just opened their first permanent spot round the corner – which, sadly, is also where you’ll be queueing.
Details: 50% off until 22nd March | 24 Wardour Street, W1D 6QJ
The Cheese Bar
If you’re not already on board, then you probably never will be. But the fact that these sloppy melty toasties are half price right now might just sway you…
Details: 50% off till the 30th | Camden Stable Market, NW1 8AH
The Refinery at New Street Square
Hot on the heels of their City Point opening, Drake & Morgan’s next Refinery bar launches in New Street Square, with an al fresco cocktail terrace and all day dining. And with half price food this week, there’s every excuse to take the all-day dining part very literally.
Details: 50% off food until 24th March, book by email at email@example.com or call 020 7842 0750 and quote soft launch | 12 New Street Square, EC4A 3BF
It’s the hyped opening from a culinary couple who met in the kitchens of St. John…which sounds romantic, but probably in reality involved a lot more offal than you’re imagining. Their first restaurant will be serving up seasonal dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world, in a maverick move to just cook whatever tastes good… And a little bird tells us it’s half price this week.
Details: 50% off food until 26th March (unless you’re a Nudge Member) | Book via firstname.lastname@example.org | 2 Rennell Street, SE13 7HD
A new Jamaican joint is landing in Notting Hill, serving up punchy beef burgers, jerk chicken with fried plantain, sticky jerk wings and fried fish of the day – and this week, it’s all half price. Boom.
Details: 50% off food until 26th March | 272 Portobello Road, W10 5TY
Back by popular demand, McQueen’s brunch re-launches this weekend, with baba ghanoush on sourdough, American pancakes topped with maple bacon, and a full English fit for a McKing.
Details: 50% off brunch every weekend until end of March | 55 – 61 Tabernacle Street, EC2A 4AA
Having earnt its chops with the former-strip-club-basement-flagship in Soho, Blacklock is expanding into the City and it’s taking reservations for lunch and dinner – meaning there is now a marginally larger chance that you’ll actually be able to get in and sample some of their unbelievable chops. And roasts. And £5 cocktails.
Details: 50% off food, 27th-31st March | 13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 1DE
This burger looks pretty good. But you know what would look even better? Another burger, next to it, completely free. Just for you. Or a friend. Whatever. The point is, thanks to riverside Hackney bar Number 90, it’s now a reality, every Thursday.
Details: Buy a burger, get one free | Every Thursday, forever | 90 Wallis Road, E9 5LN
Judge not, lest ye be judged …unless ye want to run a cooking talent competition. Like The Great British Menu. Then a judge is more or less essential. And yes, that judge is certainly opening themselves up to considerable critical scrutiny by opening up a restaurant of their own, but something tells us that Andi Oliver will be just fine.
Details: 50% off dinner (book HERE) and brunch 10am-5pm (walk-ins only) | 1st-2nd April | 176 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0JL
The bad news: Imli Street Kitchen has closed. The good news: it’s getting reincarnated as a more relaxed version of its Michelin-starred older sibling, Tamarind Mayfair. And while you share plates bearing tandoor-cooked fish, meat and game, kofta, and curries, you can also share the bill with the restaurant.
Details: 50% off food, book HERE | 4-6th April | 167-169 Wardour Street, W1F 8WR
Main Image: Blacklock
Like being in the loop about London’s newest bar and restaurant openings? Check out our excellent guide to new bars in London and new restaurants in London.