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Eating out is back on the table

With a lucky few already fully booked up for their relaunch nights, Tom Moggach reveals some of his favourite restaurants welcoming customers back this weekend

02 July, 2020 — By Tom Moggach

The sharing menu at Shack-Fuyu. Photo: Shack-Fuyu

CHEFS are sharpening their knives in preparation for July 4, but not all restaurants will reopen.

Some owners are biding their time, hoping to learn lessons from this intrepid first wave. Others have decided to shut down for good.

It was tough turning a profit in the good times; impossible in this new era of socially distanced dining. If you enjoy eating out, this is the time to show your support and splash some cash.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favourite restaurants that will open this weekend. A lucky few are already fully booked up for their launch nights.

King’s Cross is a good bet – especially in and around Coal Drops Yard. This new space has been eerily quiet during lockdown, but many businesses are now flinging open their doors.

For a taste of Spain, Barrafina, El Pastor and Casa Pastor are all taking reservations for the very first time.
Parillan, with their swanky outdoor terrace, is a clever choice if the sun is shining. You can even toss a prawn on their individual charcoal grills.

Caravan, with their Antipodean take on global flavours, is also back while Happy Face is firing up their ovens for crispy pizza and shaking fiery cocktails.

In the West End, there’s been a bun fight to nab the first tables at Brasserie Zedel – the super-stylish French restaurant from industry legends Corbin and King.

If you crave something spicy, I would recommend a foray in Chinatown or checking out Bone Daddies, Shack-Fuyu and Flesh & Buns.

Coya, one of the Peruvian pioneers in the capital, has used lockdown as an opportunity for a lavish refurb – book now to be among the first to see the gleaming results.

For kitsch glitz, you can’t go wrong with Circolo Populare in Fitzrovia, a popular party spot where 20,000 bottles of spirits line the walls.

A short walk away, there’s also Rovi – the brilliant but pricey flagship restaurant from chef Yotam Ottolenghi.

In Islington, you’re never stuck for choice in Upper Street.

I’m a big fan of Radici for Italian and the bowls of steaming ramen at Kanada-Ya. (The latter will open a few days later on July 6).

Trullo, the classy Italian just off Highbury Corner, will also be top of many wish lists. At time of writing, tables for dinner are already hard to find.

Of course, there are many other restaurants that I sadly cannot squeeze onto this list.

This summer will be make or break for many of these businesses, after months of lockdown.

Call family or friends and book a table: this is your chance to make a difference.


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