For decades, East London’s dining scene was (rightly) derided. Fast forward to 2013 and it’s all change. Riding on the wave of post Olympic afterglow, a slew of high profile new restaurants are due to open their doors - and help East London become known for more than merely the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. KH lets you in on the five East London restaurants, sure to be stealing the spotlight this summer
Beagle Where: 397- 400 Geffrye Street, E2 (www.beaglelondon.co.uk) When: 8 April 2013 What: Set within three beautifully renovated railway arches next to Hoxton Station, Beagle is the brainchild of brothers Danny and Kieran Clancy. Taking its name from one of the locomotives that used to operate on the old North London line overhead, Beagle - with James Fergusson (Rochelle Canteen) at the helm - will house a restaurant, bar and coffee shop focusing on seasonal, British produce. Expect pig’s head croquette with gribiche, whole wild sea bass with samphire and cucumber, and custard tart with poached rhubarb.
Bird of Smithfield Where: 26 Smithfield Street, EC1 (www.birdofsmithfield.com) When: May 2013 What: The long awaited venture from chef Alan Bird - former executive chef at The Ivy - Bird of Smithfield will serve Alan’s famous shepherd’s pie alongside other modern British dishes, in a classically styled dining room. (Think Harris Tweed and herringbone fabrics). There’ll also be a cosy lounge bar (from the people behind Purl), private dining floor, roof terrace overlooking Smithfield market, and intimate music venue - The Birdcage. Casa Negra Where: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A When: May 2013 What: La Bodega Negra in Soho is soon to have a sister. That’s right: restaurateur, Will Rickson, is heading east and turning the Great Eastern Dining Rooms (which he also owns) into Casa Negra. Get ready to feast on Mexican street food favourites such as oversizedburritos, tacos, tiger prawns and tossaditas but, this time around, in an interior inspired by “a traditional English house in which some Mexicans moved and opened a ‘pop up’ restaurant.”
Nanban London Where: Shoreditch High Street, E16 When: Late April 2013 What: Masterchef winner, Tim Anderson, will be opening Nanban London later this month, in what is arguably the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2013. The 60 seater restaurant will focus on southern Japanese food - an area where Anderson lived for two years. Ramen will be the star of the show, but you’ll also be able to poke your chopsticks at yaki-curry, chicken nanban and kake-ae (cured mackerel tossed with carrots and daikon in a tangy miso-sesame dressing). There’ll also be plenty of desserts (Okinawan black sugar soft serve ice cream, anyone?) and drinks like Shochu - aka the spirit of southern Japan.
Tom’s Kitchen Where: Units 1 & 2, Westferry Circus, E14 When: May 2013 What: City workers rejoice! The third Tom’s Kitchen is due to open in E14, early next month. Located in what was the old Reader’s Digestbuilding, the Canary Wharf outpost is less formal than the original Tom Aikens Michelin starred Chelsea restaurant and, as such, the menu will revolve around comfort food favourites. Big breakfasts of blueberry pancakes served with maple syrup, open steak sandwiches, shepherd’s pie and golden syrup sponges are sure to prove a hit, with hungry city boys and girls.