The National Restaurant Awards 2024: Opening of the Year shortlist

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The National Restaurant Awards 2024: Opening of the Year shortlist

Related tags Mountain Restaurant Pêtchi The Dover The Devonshire 1 York Place Chishuru Sune FENIX Lyla

We reveal the restaurants shortlisted for this year's best new opening.

1 York Place, Bristol

Image: Tim Soar

1 York Place is the third Bristol restaurant from husband and wife team Freddy and Nessa Bird, who also run Little French and Little Shop & Pantry in the city. The 46-seater neighbourhood restaurant opened just before Christmas and takes a broadly European approach to its menu, taking inspiration from places including Spain, Italy and Portugal. The restaurant is stripped back and casual but packs a punch gastronomically with dishes such as crispy fried mussels; hot roast shellfish with tarragon butter; and morel and oyster mushroom wet rice. Freddy Bird started his career working under Phil Howard at The Square and later worked at Moro in Clerkenwell with Sam and Sam Clark cooking Spanish and Moorish food and his pedigree shows in his cooking at his new project.


Image: Harriet Langford

Adejoké Bakare opened the second iteration of her popular West African restaurant on London’s Great Titchfield Street late last year and has seen it become an instant hit with it even catching the eye of Michelin’s inspectors, who awarded it a star a mere few months later. Dubbed Chishuru 2.0, the Fitzrovia restaurant has many of the trappings of a fine dining restaurant - a multi-course set menu of sometimes intricate dishes - but Bakare and business partner Matt Paice have managed to give it a homely neighbourhood feel that is as warm and inviting as the food itself. Bakare’s cooking is inventive, bringing new flavours to central London, with dishes on the regularly changing menu that might include mutton cutlet with coffee and yaji dressing; bean cake with lamb broth-cooked tomato, shrimp shitto, and salted egg sauce; and moringa biscuit, soursop ice-cream, and burnt marshmallow.



Tattu founders brothers Adam and Drew Jones are not known for doing things by halves, as their London outpost at the Outernet building proves, but they have outdone themselves with their latest Manchester restaurant. Fenix, their ambitious Greek restaurant in Manchester’s St. John development, is headed up in the kitchen by executive head chef Ippokratis Anagnostelis, who has worked in fine dining establishments in Athens and Mykonos including the Michelin-starred Hytrain, and his long-time right hand man Zisis Giannouras. The interior can be summed up as Ancient Greece meets Star Wars, with a ground floor bar that is designed to evoke the Phoenix’s nest including a charred rockface, a hanging barley ceiling and a bar that resembles a burning cauldron and banquette seating sculpted into rendered, curved alcoves in the dining room. It’s very Manchester, but it’s also very impressive.



Edinburgh-based chef Stuart Ralston took on the space that was once home to the late Paul Kitching’s Michelin-starred 21212 late last year for his most ambitious project to date. Located on Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace, Lyla is not a fish restaurant per se but is fish focused, with the majority of the 10 or so courses on its tasting menu seafood based - there is just one meat dish - celebrating the best Scottish and UK produce. A meal at the 28-cover restaurant starts in the upstairs drawing room with a Krug champagne trolley and homemade charcuterie before moving to the chef’s table for a few snacks and then heading to the ground floor dining room where diners can watch the chefs in the open kitchen.



Spanish food meets Welsh ingredients at Tomos Parry and co’s latest London restaurant located on Soho’s Beak Street. The Anglesey-born chef has drawn on his Welsh heritage as well as a love for cooking over open fire with a menu that showcases top class ingredients. Mountain is a fine dining restaurant with a very casual feel thanks to its various spaces, that include a downstairs bar and dining room with an excellent sound system and vinyl collection and a ground floor dining room that also has a casual counter at which people can sit and either eat or drink (or both). The menu is eclectic, interesting and has been designed with great care with dishes that include beef sweetbreads and violet artichokes; grilled red peppers with razor clams; and a whole lobster caldereta - Spanish for cooking pot – that comes to the table in an earthenware pot with many cooked on Mountain’s impressive bespoke wood grill.



Housed in a grade two listed building in what was once a harbourmasters office overlooking Jersey’s Liberation Square, Pêtchi is self-taught chef Joe Baker’s modern interpretation of a wood-fire grill restaurant. Inspired by the Channel Islands but with a significant nod to the Basque country, Pêtchi has been built around an open kitchen with custom elevation grill and wood-fired oven on which Baker cooks seafood and shellfish as well as meat dishes such as an ex-dairy beef chops. The restaurant’s smart minimalist design with whitewashed walls, a wooden floor and large windows bring a breath of fresh air to Jersey’s more traditional fine dining restaurant scene.


Image: Philippa Langley

High-profile sommelier Honey Spencer and her partner Charlie Sims’ relaxed neighbourhood restaurant in Hackney’s Broadway Market serves a creative modern European menu alongside a 100-bin natural wine list. Its tight, regularly-changing menu features gastronomically ambitious food that has been pared back, such as smoked eel Caesar salad; grilled pork chop with prawn and lemongrass sauce; and a dairy beef tartare that is paired with a Rockefeller toastie. Accompanying the food is an exclusively natural wine list, many of which are very competitively priced.

The Devonshire


Few new openings have managed to create as much buzz as Oisin Rogers, Charlie Carroll, and Ashley Palmer-Watt’s Soho pub and restaurant, which quickly became one of the hottest tables in town when it launched at the end of last year. Thanks to its supreme sourcing, particularly with its meat thanks to Carroll, who founded steakhouse group Flat Iron, its butchery done in house by head butcher George Donnelly, and having perfected the dark art of cooking over embers, The Devonshire has become the place to be for people looking for hearty food cooked with dexterity. Despite such effort behind the scenes the team have kept prices incredibly competitive with a £29 set lunch for three courses of prawn and langoustine cocktail, steak and chips, and sticky toffee pudding. Downstairs at the multi-site venue gilet-clad Londoners jostle for a peerless pint of Guinness, but climb the stairs to The Devonshire’s various dining rooms and the experience is altogether more serene.

The Dover


When former Soho House group COO Martin Kuczmarski opened his New York Italian restaurant and bar located on Mayfair’s Dover Street it became one of the most talked about restaurants in the capital. Guests were beguiled by The Dover’s opulent and intimate feel, which channels the art deco movement with American walnut panelling, Murano lighting, a black and white marble chequered floor, and deep blue velvet seating and were equally bowled over by its old school hospitality and on-trend menu of Italian dishes with a New York attitude. Walking into The Dover is like stepping back to a time when going to a restaurant really felt like an event. For the full experience, start a meal with a martini at its beautiful bar, and maybe end with a nightcap there too.

The Opening of the Year award is sponsored by Open Table​. The winner will be announced at the National Restaurant Awards, being held at Magazine in London on 10 June.

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