Sample Varied Tastes At These New London Restaurants

London’s dining scene goes from strength to strength, with new openings and a wealth of variety served up on a plate. Try these new venues in the capital.

London is full of restaurants with all types of flavors. Try these diverse new restaurants with cuisine from Korea, Turkey and America.

Pizza Goes Pide

The latest project from Alan Yau—the man behind Wagamama, Hakkasan and Yauatcha, among others—is a restaurant that specialises in the pide (pronounced ‘pee-deh’), a staple Turkish dish resembling a pizza. Babaji Pide is bustling and comfortable, with a traditional Turkish feel to the décor and a choice of Turkish dishes including lamb and beef dishes on the menu. Pide comes straight from the oven; the elongated oval-shape doughy base is topped with, among others, minced lamb, seafood, chargrilled peppers, egg and feta. Other great dishes include borek (filo pastry with cheese and spinach) and chicken beyti (minced chicken, pepper, parsley and red chilli flakes). For pudding, clotted ice cream wedged between wafers with pistachio nuts sprinkled on top is a winner. Babaji is certainly a departure from Yau’s previous portfolio of restaurants, but it’s a successful one. 53 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 6LB. T: 020 7327 3888

Pide comes out of the oven at Babaji Pide, London, UK
Hot pide straight from the oven at Babji Pide (photo courtesy Babaji Pide)

More Than Just the Kimchee

If most people associate Korean food with kimchee, they’re not far wrong, it’s just that there’s so much more to this South-East Asian cuisine. We enjoyed that in Bibigo, which opened in January in the vibrant dining hub of Islington—it’s all industrial chic and floor-to-ceiling windows. It shows off not only classic dishes such as sizzling rice pots of bibimbap, but also light dishes, such as the starters of delicate japchae (glass noodles with vegetables) and succulent scallops with a delicate truffle yozu dressing. A highlight was the galbi jjim—braised short ribs in a barbecue sauce that literally fell off the bone. And the kimchee? Well, of course there were choices of this fermented cabbage, hot and tangy, on the side. A glass of Korean sweet dessert wine, with hints of plum, finished off the dinner perfectly. 407 St. John St, EC1V 4AB. T: 020-3696 4118

Food at Bibigo, London, UK
Tangy, tasty Korean cuisine at Bibigo (photo courtesy Bibigo)

Hunter Gatherer Gastronomy

Some diets are fads, but others, such as the Atkins diet, weather the test of time. A relatively new kid on the block is the Paleolithic diet; known as the ‘Paleo’ (or ‘caveman’) diet, with only unrefined, unprocessed foods, no dairy or gluten, and cutting your nutritional intake down to meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It’s said to result in health benefits from increased energy to a brighter complexion. And the diet has proved so popular that a new restaurant in Notting Hill Gate, Pure Taste, offers only paleo-friendly cuisine. At first glance the menu seems familiar, with bread that tastes like bread (made from coconut, among other things) and a charcuterie board that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. Mains include trout with tiger prawns (good but not substantial), while the dessert list features a decent banoffee pie. The result? Pure Taste makes a good effort with what limited ingredients it has, but you might leave feeling hungry. 115 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UP. T: 020-7727 5000

Pure Taste, Notting Hill restaurant, London, UK
Notting Hill goes paleo at Pure Taste (courtesy Pure Taste)

Seaside Comes to the City

Located on the West End's Goodge Street, Fraq's Lobster Shack is a little gem offering take-out or eat-in dining. The space is intimate and the décor resembles an East Coast American shack designed around a sea theme, with distressed painted wooden walls and comical lobster pictures adorning them. As you’d expect this is all about the seafood—mainly lobster—oriented, but with a casual twist. We’d recommend the calamari club roll, and the lobster salad in a brioche bun with lobster, salad and mayonnaise dressing, served with fries and served in a small wooden crate—very original. To quench your thirst, the Fraq's Old Fashioned is definitely one to try. 55 Goodge St, W1T 1TQ. T: 020-7637 9942

Fraq's restaurant for seafood, London, UK
Think Fraq's, think seafood (courtesy Fraq's)