Harden's 2015 guide notes record London growth

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd December 2014
The highest ever rate of net new restaurant openings has been recorded in Harden's 2015 London Restaurants guide, now in its 24th year.  harden's logoThe new edition records 148 new openings, very high by historical standards while the figure for closings, 47, was the lowest since 2000. The guide's co-founder, Peter Harden, said: "This exceptional level of growth is a fabulous achievement for the capital, but raises questions about its sustainability. It underlines London's continued emergence as the greatest restaurant city on the planet, but, in the 24 years in which we have tracked openings, such high-points have also often heralded more competitive times ahead.” The guide's introduction notes the continued emergence of East London as a major dining out destination. Chez Bruce was, for the 10th year running, voted London's Favourite Restaurant. It marks an incredible double for restaurateur Nigel Platts-Marin who is also the backer of The Ledbury.  UntitledSimon Rogan has put Claridge's back on the culinary map. Fera at Claridge's has been rated as the highest newcomer of the year and going straight in at number four in the overall rankings. The chef's first major foray into London has won high praise for its “phenomenal” meals and “gloriously attentive” service. It continues to be a great year for Gymkhana as Harden's reporters heap more praise on the lauded nouvelle Indian restaurant, already London's 12th most talked about dining venue. Jason Atherton continues to be the surest bet when it comes to finding a quality meal at a celebrity chef's sprawling restaurant empire. While others have felt the strain of expansion, Atherton continues to knock out hit after hit, notably opening City Social and backing Lee Westcott at The Typing Room this year. In contrast, appearing on the Most Disappointing Cooking list for the first time is Ollie Dabbous's eponymous flagship, Dabbous. It appears alongside Marcus Wareing's relaunched Marcus at the Berkeley and Heston Blumenthal's hotel dining room, Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. vb3290_RoyalHospitalRoad_portrait_01After his disappearance from the Top 10 gastronomic experience list last year, Gordon Ramsay mounted something of a comeback. His flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant, with Clare Smyth at the helm, has returned to the list at number 7. Once again Oxo Tower retains its unenviable status as the home of London's Most Disappointing Cooking, but for the first time in 15 years it has escaped a Double. The River Café has the dubious honour of taking over the Most Overpriced Restaurant mantle. Below is a list of the top 10 most notable newcomers according to the Harden's Guide editor: Chiltern Firehouse City Social Fera at Claridge's Kurobuta Lyle's Merchants Tavern The New Angel The Palomar The Typing Room Uni For more information and for the full survey results click here. Also read our interview with editor and co-founder Richard Harden here. By Tom Evans @tevans43

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd December 2014

Harden's 2015 guide notes record London growth