Best London Restaurant Openings of 2011 Slideshow

Dinner by Heston

2011 started with a bang in January with Heston Blumenthals first foray into the London restaurant scene at the Mandarin Oriental with Dinner by Heston. Dinner, one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of recent years, received immediate acclaim by critics, collecting its first Michelin Star in the 2012 UK Michelin Guide later in the year. The signature "Meat Fruit" is worth a visit alone.


Quiet Chiswick High Road is not renowned as a cultural hot spot, but perhaps thats why Mikael Jonsson chose it as the location for Hedone, his first restaurant project. The Swedish ex-lawyer turned chef is not afraid to challenge peoples assumptions and since opening in July 2011, Hedone has not only challenged, but surpassed expectations. Critics and chefs alike have flocked to try some of the most unusual and triumphant dishes on the London restaurant scene, and with a three-week waiting list for tables, it's one to book ahead.

Riding House Café

The team behind the acclaimed Garrison and Village East in Bermondsey opened the Riding House Caf, an all day Brasserie offering a selection of small plates to share as well as traditional main courses in Fitzrovia. The restaurant has a great vibe and a "buzzy" bar area, too.

Pollen Street Social

Jason Atherton, formerly of Gordon Ramsays Maze, opened Pollen Street Social in Mayfair, and it has quickly risen to become one of Londons most popular restaurants, also collecting its first Michelin star towards the end of the year. The restaurant is a modern, relaxed take on a fine dining restaurant.


Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar is a Mediterranean restaurant specializing in seafood, in The Corinthia Hotel, located between Trafalgar Square and Embankment. The head chef, Massimo Riccioli, comes from the celebrated La Rosetta in Rome. The main dining room, designed by David Collins, is truly stunning. The restaurant also features an oyster and crustacean bar and The Chef’s Table caters to up to 18 diners with its own dedicated kitchen where Massimo Riccioli cooks for guests.

Hawksmoor Guildhall

The team behind Hawksmoor opened their third steak restaurant and cocktail bar, Hawksmoor Guildhall, in the City in October. With impeccably cooked steaks and a cool cocktail bar, this is already a huge hit in the city.

CUT at 45 Park Lane

Continuing with London’s interest in steak restaurants, Cut opened in the new 45 Park Lane hotel, the latest hotel from The Dorchester Collection. Cut is a restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, the celebrated U.S. chef, who opened the original Cut at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills in 2006. The London outpost serves excellent steaks in a suitably glamorous dining room.

Opera Tavern

London has seen the addition of some great Spanish restaurants, starting the year with the Opera Tavern, a restaurant and tapas bar in Covent Garden from the team behind Salt Yard and Dehesa. Located in a renovated pub, the restaurant retains some of the buildings original features, and the exposed bricks and low lighting create a relaxed, intimate feel.


The Ignite Group opened Senkai, a modern Japanese restaurant on the former Cocoon site in the West End. The restaurant features a signature raw bar, which seats 20 people and offers seafood platters, tiradito and tataki dishes, and ceviche, as well as dishes from a robata grill. There is also a relaxed cocktail lounge, which has a feature wall of Japanese prints, seating up to 50 people with a drinks menu of contemporary and classic cocktails and bar food.


Spuntino was one of three new ventures in 2011 from the team behind Polpo and Polpetto, the successful Venetian "bacaros" in Soho. Spuntino also features sharing plates, but inspired by New York instead of Italy, with its various sliders and mac and cheese being stand-out dishes. Like its sister restaurants, Spuntino has a no reservation policy, so expect to queue as this place is still very popular.