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The Best Food and Drink Openings in November

6 November 2018 Billie Manning

The weather is turning colder, but London’s food scene shows an obsession with transporting us to warmer climes, with a wealth of both new and familiar Spanish and Latin influenced restaurants opening their doors. The opening of Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross in particular brings us plenty of new places to play inside and out, and there are great new places to drink wine, cocktails and more.

Levan via FacebookStarting us off in Peckham, Levan is an all-day bar and eatery inspired by trendy contemporary European bistros in such far-flung capitals of Barcelona, Paris and elsewhere. Food will be served all day, moving from tartines and pastries to classic bistro dinners in the evenings. The restaurant will also have a low-waste ethos, hoping to reuse at least 90% of leftover ingredients in a creative manner.
 
Barrafina via FacebookThere’s a veritable bounty of openings at shiny new shopping district Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross, including reliably delicious Spanish tapas restaurant Barrafina; Mexican taqueria Casa Pastor; and new modern British wine bar and restaurant The Drop. The first instalment of Barrafina now has a Michelin star, so we can be sure that this fourth site will bring small-plate delight. The restaurant will have more covers outside than inside, as befitting a Spanish tapas restaurant, though perhaps not befitting the London weather – but if it’s really raining you can consider taking up a place in their private dining room, with enough space for 20.
 
Hicce via FacebookCasa Pastor will be establishing itself as a ‘big sister’ to Borough Market’s El Pastor (little sister Torterilla Pastor is due any day now in Bermondsey). Of course, being named after the al pastor taco, the casa will offer Mexican-inspired fare. The Drop – establishing itself by name as the place to be in the Yard – is a wine bar established by the Barrafina team with largely, but not strictly, modern British plates, and an oyster cart outside if you're feeling fancy. Also coming to Kings Cross, with an unexpected fusion of Norwegian, Japanese and British food in the unexpected location of clothing store Wolf and Badger, Hicce opens 12 November, helmed by Great British Menu 2017 winner Pip Lacey.
 
Brindisa via FacebookExemplifying the health of the industry are the pool of second, third and even fourth locations opening this month. Not only is Battersea Power Station lucking out with a new branch of Brindisa but it’s lucking out with the first branch of Brindisa dedicated cheese and charcuterie bar featuring fresh-carved Iberico Bellota and cheeses aged in Brindisa’s own cheese rooms.
 
Over in Shoreditch, Pachamama will finally get a sibling in Pachamama East, though not a twin: the restaurant will have its own unique menu, bringing in Peru’s widespread but relatively unknown Japanese influences. The menu will be neatly carved up into 'soil', ‘land’, and ’sea’ sections, with an open kitchen featuring an open coal fire, so you’ll be able to see the journey the food takes to your plate, whichever category you choose from. Of course, there will be a whole lot of pisco around, as well as bubble tea cocktails – a drinks combination we never knew we needed.
 
Sushisamba Covent Garden via FacebookAnd then there’s the restaurant that proved to us all how much we love Latin-Asian fusion in the first place: after many years of thrilling diners at the top of Heron Tower in Liverpool Street, this week Sushisamba finally opens their second London location. The new restaurant will be in the heart of Covent Garden, in a spot vacated by Brasserie Blanc which has been renovated to fit the restaurant’s sleek, modern style. Visitors can expect more of the same delicious fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food, with lots of new dishes including vegan options and an extensive cocktail menu.
 
Finally, if it’s a little Jekyll and Hyde adventure you want from London this month, Heads + Tails is an innovative new late-night cocktail bar in West Hampstead split into two different bars across its two floors. Heads will be the light side to the coin with a bright airy bar serving gins, wines and aperitivo, whereas Tails will be set up in the devilish dark downstairs as an atmospheric basement bar specialising in whiskies and rums.
 

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