Exciting restaurants are cropping up around the city, so many that there aren’t enough nights in the week to visit them all! We take a look at 4 of our favourites which have been brought to us by London’s talented chefs 1st solo ventures:
It didn’t take James Lowe long to establish his first restaurant, Lyle’s as one of the best in London. Lyle’s opened in spring 2014 and it was awarded its first Michelin star this October, and later voted sixth best restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards in July. So what is the secret behind Lyle’s quick success? We’d wager it’s because of Lowe’s common sense approach to modern British cuisine, and innovative menu featuring dishes such as Lancelot Plums, Oats & Sheep’s Milk. We’re looking forward to seeing whats in store for Lyle’s and Lowe’s promising future.
Oklava has been touted as one of the most exciting restaurant openings in London, and it’s not hard to see why. Chef Selin Kiazim’s honed her skills with pop-ups at Ember Yard, Carousel London and a six-month residency at Trip Kitchen, and she finally opened her first restaurant last November. Kiazim’s menu celebrates her Turkish-Cypriot heritage, mixing influences from all over the world – which is only to be expected as she spent her formative years with fusion maestro Peter Gordon.
Native offers guests an original dining experience that celebrates the UK’s best wild food through a combination of innovative cooking and country thrift. Native is founded by chefs Ivan & Imogen, who together have scaled the mountains of street food markets & pop up restaurants to finally settle in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden.
Initially self-taught, Ivan went on to work at River Cottage HQ in Devon, further developing his passion for natural, foraged and seasonal British produce. Mixed with Imogen’s expertise in the crafts of plucking, skinning & foraging they truly have a wonderful palate for the wild food of Britain. We are regulars at Native, and we can vouch that they never disappoint.
Until 2014, James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy ran a supper club called The Secret Larder. But now they’ve headed over to Hackney and opened Pidgin. They teamed up with talented young chef Elizabeth Allen who quit a career in Architecture to pursue her passion for cooking. Allen has worked with many Michelin star restaurants and settled in Islington’s Smokehouse where she was introduced to BBQ legend Neil Rankin. There she learnt the art of smoking foods and butchering.
Pidgin’s 4-course set menu changes weekly, which pushes new and exciting ingredients to the fore – depending on their availability – and forces everyone involved in their creation (and selling), to research and learn. It means that’s there is no respite, no resting on laurels, and no churning out the same plates week-after-week. It’s safe to say, we’re excited by Pidgin and we hope more London restaurants will follow suit.