Restaurant radar: March 2023

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Key restaurant openings March 2023

Related tags Nessa Story Cellar The Parakeet Papi Four Freak Scene Archway London Shell Co.

This month's key openings include Tom Cenci's long-awaited Soho restaurant Nessa, Tom Sellers Covent Garden rotisserie restaurant Story Cellar and chef Daniel Heffy's high-profile Liverpool restaurant NORD.

The Parakeet

Former Brat chefs Ben Allen and Ed Jennings (pictured above) will launch their new ‘culinary-led’ pub and dining room in London’s Kentish Town later this month. The Parakeet will occupy the space that was previously home to The Oxford Tavern and is the latest project from Steve Ball and Riz Shaikh, who also own the London-based The Columbo Group, which operates a number of music and nightlife venues including The Blues Kitchen. Allen and Jennings will lead the kitchen as head chef and sous-chef, respectively, and serve a selection of seasonal dishes cooked over flames on a custom-made grill. Signature dishes on the European-influenced menu will include poached oyster with pickled elderflower; braised leeks with pecorino and smoked mushrooms; and wood-roasted rabbit with kohlrabi and curry leaf. The menu will also feature a number of sharing dishes built around locally-sourced ox-cheek and sea bream.

256 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2EN



Aizle chef Stuart Ralston is going into partnership with his group operations director Jade Johnston to launch a third Edinburgh restaurant. Named after the finest grade of flour in Italy that’s typically the preferred choice for pasta, Tipo is set for a March launch and will serve small plates with a focus on pasta, charcuterie, cocktails and wines sourced from ‘small, artisanal family-owned wineries’. Designed together with the Edinburgh-based Splintr, the Hanover Street single-level site will seat 50 including six seats for solo dining and will make use of natural woods for an ‘inviting, cosy vibe’. Ralston launched Aizle in 2014 on Edinburgh’s St. Leonard’s Street but moved it to the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in 2020. In 2019 Ralston launched the more casual Noto on Thistle Street, which offers a menu with strong Asian influences.

110 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DR

Story Cellar

Tom Sellers Parisian-inspired rotisserie restaurant will have counter-style seating at street-level, while downstairs will have a handful of tables set beside the walk-in wine cellars that can be booked for private dining. Located in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials area, Story Cellar will focus on rotisserie chicken served alongside a concise menu of house-cured charcuterie and classic dishes, interpreted by the Restaurant Story chef. Story Cellar will also have a ‘sophisticated’ wine programme supported by a Coravin system, while an expansive walk-in cellar will allow guests to store their own personal collections at the restaurant. Stephen Naylor will run the kitchen as head chef, having worked as sous chef at Sellers’ London Bridge flagship for the past four years.

17 Neals Yard, London WC2H 9DP



A joint project between Manchester and Liverpool-based operator GSG Hospitality and chef Daniel Heffy, NORD is set to launch at the Plaza, a ‘landmark’ 18-storey venue in Liverpool. The restaurant will offer relaxed dining with a focus on ingredients from regional producers and ‘celebrate its Northern heritage’. Influenced by Heffy’s time cooking in Scandinavia for chefs including Bjorn Frantzén , the NORD menu highlights locally sourced ingredients prepared in a contemporary way. Dishes include will include Cornish white crab, sour cream, pickled silver onion and fennel on butter fried toast, burrata with roasted butternut, kale salad and sage and hazelnut dressing; and chargrilled pork belly with baby gem and coriander salad. 

100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9QJ


Billed as a vibrant and informal ‘modern bistro’, chef Tom Cenci’s latest restaurant project will offer ‘elegant yet playful, inventive, British cuisine’. Originally set for October, Nessa will trade from the corner of Soho’s Brewer Street and Warwick Street and is the third project from Guy Ivesha’s Maslow’s group, which also runs Mortimer House and Mortimer House Kitchen in Fitzrovia. The 98-cover site will incorporate two spaces: a ‘sophisticated yet unpretentious bar’ and ‘inviting’ dining area. Cenci’s early career saw him cook at London’s Noble Rot and Michelin-starred Restaurant Laurent in Paris, before joining Duck & Waffle as senior sous chef ahead of the skyscraper-based restaurant’s opening in 2012. He later progressed to executive chef. Cenci left his role overseeing the food at Borough Market restaurant Stoney Street and 26 Grains in Covent Garden earlier this year. Cenci previously headed up Loyal Tavern in London’s Bermondsey, which closed in early 2020 due to the impact of the Covid pandemic. 

86 Brewer Street, London W1F 9UB


The former head chef of London’s Smoking Goat will launch a tasting menu only restaurant within his own home towards the end of the month. Aaron Dalton – whose top-flight cooking CV also includes Simon Rogan’s Fera, Chez Bruce and Dabbous – is already well-known in Sussex having run a series of successful pop-ups in Brighton and Hove under the Four name since 2016. Also called Four, the 20-cover restaurant will initially only be open sporadically at Dalton’s Worthing home, but the chef hopes to extend its opening times as the project beds in. The cooking will be ambitious with the chef set to maintain ‘as higher standard’ as he can with the ticketed menu expected to have a comparable number of courses and price tag to top restaurants in nearby Brighton and Hove.



Matthew Scott, founder of nomadic kitchen concept Hot 4 U, will launch his first permanent restaurant venture later this month in Hackney. Called Papi, the restaurant will be located on Mentmore Terrace by London Fields and will be a partnership between Scott and Charlie Carr of natural wine bar Wingnut Wines; the pair having previously collaborated on a number of pop-ups this year. Split across two floors, it will feature a ground floor dining room seating around 28, and a cocktail bar beneath with room for 14 more. The food menu will reflect Scott’s passion zero-waste cooking with a focus on regeneratively-reared meat and sustainable seafood, and take cues from both Hot 4 U and his time cooking at Cub in Hoxton. As with his bar at Netil Market, Carr will champion small, under-represented producers through the wine list at Papi and feature a daily-rotating selection available by the glass, as well as a scratch list of rare, one-off bottles.

1F, 373 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3DQ

Freak Scene

Scott Hallsworth is reviving his Freak Scene pop-up restaurant for its first permanent iteration. The Australian chef is teaming up with fellow Australian and comedian Adam Hills for the new 46-cover restaurant, which is due to open in London’s Parson’s Green.  The pan Asian concept has previously operated out of spaces in Soho and Farringdon, which opened in 2017, and will be totally rebranded for its revival, offering a more comprehensive menu and refreshed interior design. Seating will be split between a bar/counter and traditional restaurant places with the restaurant described as being ‘an informal and endearingly hectic setting’. The menu will comprise ‘creative’ small plates that will include Freak Scene favourites that have been given an ‘elevated twist’, alongside sushi and sashimi, as well as seasonal fish dishes based on what is caught that day. 

28 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4HS

London Shell Co. Fishmonger & Seafood Bar


London Shell Co. will launch its first permanent land-based restaurant in March on Swain’s Lane near Hampstead Heath. London Shell Co. Fishmonger & Seafood Bar will operate alongside the group’s two floating barge restaurants, The Grand Duchess and The Prince Regent, which are both docked on the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Central. The multipurpose site will seat about 30 covers and also operate as an off-trade wine shop alongside being a restaurant and fishmonger. Grace Bryson, currently sous chef on The Grand Duchess, will head up the kitchen at the new restaurant. Details of the full menu are yet to be announced, but guests can expect whole Cornish crab to share; house-cured anchovies; and trout sausages and mash. The decision to house a fishmonger onsite reflects an evolution of the London Shell Co.’s pivot to becoming a wet fish retailer during the pandemic.

Swain’s Lane, London NW5 1QX

Banca di Roma


Helmed by a trio of Italian chefs that all worked for Francesco Mazzei, Banca di Roma will offer a menu inspired by Antonio, Pasquale and Simone Cozzolino’s upbringing on a three-generation family-run tomato farm in Vesuvio, Naples. Located within one of Glasgow’s Royal Exchange building’s former banking halls, the new restaurant will offer the likes of la nostra foccia ripena (baked baba stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and nduja sausage); and il classico spaghetto a pomodoro (Vesuvian tomato and basil with fresh homemade spaghetti). There will also be signature gold bar dessert which pays tribute to the building’s banking history. The front of house team will be led by general manager Rocco Morabito previously of Mayfair’s Novikov and his deputy Filomena Visaggi, who joins from Hakkasan.

31 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AJ


Hitherto private events-focused hospitality company Spook London is set to make its bricks-and-mortar debut next month with a site under an old railway arch in Battersea. Within the space that was once home to private dining venue Arch 65, Archway will be headed by chef Alex Owens, whose CV includes famed Hammersmith restaurant The River Café. Her launch menu will include the likes of pappardelle with radicchio and scamorza; wood-roast scarlet prawns with n’duja; deep-fried quail with celery, capers and aioli; and chocolate mousse with malted milk ice cream. Archway’s wine list will offer an ‘ever-changing’ selection of ‘high-quality’ wines from both the Old and New World. The 45-cover site is being pitched as a neighbourhood style restaurant and will have ‘an intimate and contemporary feel’.

65 Queen’s Circus, Nine Elms, London SW8 4NE

Pearly Cow

The first of a series of restaurants from the owners of expanding boutique hotel group GuestHouse, Pearly Cow will serve a menu of fish, seafood and vegetables cooked over a wood. Pearly Cow York will have 58-covers and will offer dishes including 45-day aged Hereford beef tartare and oyster cream with salted cucumber and Exmoor caviar; charcoal roasted aubergine, sweet and sour peppers, kale pesto and rose harissa; and blackberry and lemon baked Alaska for two. GuestHouse was launched in 2021 by brothers Tristan, James and Tom Guest and currently operates hotels in Bath and York with Margate set to launch in spring this year and Brighton set to launch in 2024. Front of house legend Diego Masciaga is working with the trio as a consultant.

1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA

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