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Gastro-immigration: why the world’s best restaurants are coming to London

Both at home and abroad London is well known for its international dining scene which teems with the flavours of the world – but it’s not just influences that we’re harvesting from overseas, it’s the restaurants and chefs themselves.

London’s list of new and upcoming restaurants currently reads like a greatest hits compilation of the world’s best eateries, including a spin-off from one of the best restaurants in Paris, a three-Michelin-starred Spanish chef and an offshoot of a leading New York celeb haunt favoured by Katy Perry.

These are London’s hottest gastronomic immigrants, with words from many of the owners on why they’ve chosen to come to London:

Le Chabanais

Arriving from: Paris
Landing: Mayfair
Due: just landed

Le Chabanais is sister to legendary Parisian restaurant Le Chateaubriand – a modern bistro in the 11th arrondissement that’s a contender for the title of most highly-acclaimed restaurant in Paris and was voted among the ten best restaurants in the world in 2011. Co-owner Varun Talreja explained the capital’s appeal: “Initially I was looking to open in the States; I grew up in New York and know the food scene there and in LA well. But I think right now London has more opportunities – it is getting to be the food capital of the world. I feel that in the last 10 years London’s restaurant scene has really come into its own, and in the last four years the world has started to notice this.”

Maverick: A dish by David Muñoz at DiverXO

Arriving from: Madrid
Landing: Mayfair
Due: late summer

David Muñoz is among Spain’s most creative and risk-taking chefs. He runs three Michelin-starred DiverXo in Madrid as well as the more casual street food-inspired StreetXo, a sister-site of which is coming to Old Burlington Street. It will serve tapas and feature a trolley which moves through the room offering one-off special dishes. David Muñoz said: “London is one of the main cities that is making global gastronomy… opening a restaurant there is like a dream come true.”

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Celeb haunt: Hotel Chantelle in New York
Hotel Chantelle

Arriving from: New York
Landing: Marylebone
Due: Late July

Lower East Side restaurant and late night venue Hotel Chantelle is frequented by names including Katy Perry, Channing Tatum and Sophia Bush. The London outpost will no doubt be hoping to compete with nearby Chiltern Firehouse for A-lister’s attentions when it opens on Orchard Street later this month. The menu will serve a blend of upscale American offerings and french-inspired dishes, with late-night dining until 3am from Thursday to Saturday and brunches and afternoon teas also available. Co-founder Kyle O’Brien said: “Londoners take their food seriously but also have a great sense of humour which matches our approach to the restaurant.”

Les 110 de Taillevent London

Arriving from: Paris
Landing: Marylebone
Due: September

Two Michelin-starred brasserie Le Taillevent is a big name in Paris, and now it’s opening an offshoot of its less formal sibling, Les 110 de Taillevent, in London. The wine bar and brasserie will arrive on Cavendish Square and live up to its name by serving no fewer than 110 different wines by the glass. Dishes will be traditionally French with a strong focus on seasonality.

The Araki

Superlative sushi: The Araki
The Araki

Arriving from: Tokyo
Landing: Mayfair
Due: landed

Legendary Japanese sushi chef Mitsuhiro Araki had three Michelin stars at his eponymous restaurant in the Ginza district of Tokyo, but he surrendered them to relocate to London. The Araki opened in late October 2014 and seats just 15 diners at a time (nine ona  counter, and one six-seat private dining room). A set sushi menu costs £300 per person, excluding drinks. Araki said: “I left Japan to seek new challenges – I am immensely proud of what we achieved in Setagaya and Ginza but I still have much to learn”.

The Palomar

Levantine hotspot: The Palomar
The Palomar

Arriving from: Jerusalem
Landing: Soho
Due: landed

A little over a year since it first opened its doors, The Palomar – a spin-off from Machneyuda in Jerusalem – is still one of London’s hottest dining spots. Its modern take on Levantine cooking, plus its energetic chefs (not impartial to drumming on the pans) and buzzing counter have made it an instant classic. MD Zoe Paskin told us: “There are few cities in the world that bring together as many exceptional cuisines and interpretations as London does. You have people from all walks of life living and passing through who are constantly yearning for the new”.

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Other arrivals

Other imminent arrivals include a branch of New York’s Fatty Crab, a new restaurant from Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata and fine-dining Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos from the States. Recent arrivals include branches of US steak restaurant Smith & Wollensky and Italian deli Pulia.


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