Summer dining is all about ease, and preferably a sun-drenched terrace or two. Thankfully, this month’s crowd of new restaurants includes more than enough European-style bistros and wine bars to shake your sunhat at. Laid-back pescatarian cuisine takes centre stage at Portland’s new bistro Old Pal, and London’s Parisian-inspired Bottle & Rye fits the bill for all-day eating (and sipping on a few natural wines).
Sun-drenching might not be going on Down Under right now, but Melbourne’s newest boutique ice-cream parlour is acting like it is, serving scoops inspired by Japanese flavours – both classic and reinvented. Sweet things come into focus Stateside, too, at Dench, which is making waves with a dessert-only tasting menu and a bijou setting, equating to an intimate chef-ogling experience.
If you’re a fan of Eastern drinks, impressive collections of sake and baijiu are pulls at Hong Kong’s Jing and Sydney’s Jinja respectively, with the former pulling out all the stops with its multi-sensory menu inspired by the legends of ancient China, and Jinja going more contemporary with modern takes on classic dim sum dishes.
So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next destination dining trip, take a browse of our carefully curated list of the most exciting restaurants open to visit this August.
New restaurants around the world to visit in August 2022
Bottle & Rye
This year has seen a boom in European-style bistros and wine bars, and why not? There’s hardly anything better than sipping great wine and snacking on small plates in a stylish setting in the sunshine. The latest venue to join the ranks is Bottle & Rye, a venture from chef Robin Gill and his wife Sarah of Bermondsey Larder and the much-missed The Dairy. The Parisian-inspired wine bar takes over a unit in Brixton’s Market Row, and boasts an all-day menu with plays on French classics like Ogleshield gougères (choux pastry cheese puffs) with pickled walnut and vichyssoise oyster tartare. Wines are from Europe too, and err on the natural side, and cocktails are cheekily named (Ma Chérie: rum, rye whiskey, vermouth and cherry) riffs on classics.
If you like the idea of open fire cooking but haven’t quite mastered your own barbecue, take a trip down to Caia, London’s latest addition to the ‘food on flames’ gang. Heading up the open kitchen is ex-The Pem and Dinner by Heston’s Jessica Donovan, whose team will be grilling monkfish with ancho chilli and beetroot, pork belly with lavender molasses, and a smoked cheesecake with strawberries. Caia’s small plates are designed to be ‘wine friendly’ and co-exist happily alongside an Old-World wine list put together by Beth Brickenden (who features in The Three Drinkers TV series). Downstairs from the main dining room you can sip on a classic digestive in a 70s-style basement bar, listen to some vinyl or enjoy a live guest DJ or acoustic set.
Dench at Tribune
San Francisco, USA
Haven’t you heard? Savoury is out, and fun desserts are in. In San Francisco, pastry chef Jimmy Wong made headlines five years ago for his seven-course tasting menu served from his studio flat while studying food science. Now, he’s back in the news, but this time for his dessert-only multicourse tasting menu. And instead of his home, it’s taking up residence in the Tribune Tower. Wong’s desserts take inspiration from the flavours he grew up with in Japan alongside local ingredients: think sake kasu (the by-product from sake fermentation) and melon, or a sesame truffle filled with sesame ganache and raspberry pâté at its centre. Wong plates his desserts at the bar and invites guests to watch and take pictures in a collaborative experience, and yes – the pop-up is named after actress Dame Judi Dench, who Wong says gives her seal of approval.
Internationally renowned chef Mauro Colagreco is no stranger to the luxury restaurant experience, but his latest opening is doing away with white tablecloths and instead embracing homely traditions, with wood fire ovens, rustic tables and hearty fare. Located inside beachside resort Capella, Fiamma (translating to ‘flame’ in Italian) will serve farmhouse-style Italian food inspired by Colagreco’s grandparents’ cooking. Guests can nestle in ‘the den’ for grilled pork ribs with spinach, pine nuts, candied lemon, Barolo vinegar and potato mousseline or take a seat in the ‘kitchen chamber’ for a glass of Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore and a tomato and peach carpaccio with pistachios, chives and a ginger vinaigrette.
Exclusivity is the name of the game at Hong Kong’s newly opened Jǐng: the restaurant, located inside the swanky Pacific Place only seats 10 guests per night. The lucky few will be treated to a multi-sensory experience, featuring 360-degree video walls that change the scenery as each new dish arrives. The concept is inspired by ancient China, with muses ranging from Tang dynasty poetry and the legendary Silk Road to Chinese poet Li Bai. The menu is pure luxury, with ‘Yang Guifei Lychee Lobster’ and ‘Duck Pear Symphony at the Li Yuen Opera’ on offer, as well as an optional six-sake pairing. Die-hard sake fans might also be interested to know that Jǐng has 200 bottles of one of the world’s most sought-after sakes, Tanaka 1789 x Chartier Blend 001 Tokubetsu Junmai, of which there are only 600 bottles in circulation.
Jinja’s dimly-lit velvet booths, low lounges and private wine cellars invite pure indulgence, and luckily, the new contemporary Cantonese restaurant has a menu that fits the bill. There are more than 20 dim sum dishes to choose from: guests can nibble on lobster and truffle spring rolls and sesame prawn brioche before moving on to lobster san choy bau (lettuce wraps), Szechuan mapo tofu or Jinja’s signature barbecued smoked pork ribs, finishing off with a ‘secret’ deep-fried ice-cream pudding. Drinks come in the form of a ceremonial-style tea dispensary made up of 100 canisters of vintage Chinese tea, Australia’s largest collection of baijiu, and cocktails inspired by The Eight Immortals, a group of legendary xian in Chinese mythology.
Kori Ice Cream
It might be winter in Melbourne, but that hasn’t stopped Bernard Chu and Joane Yeoh from opening their trendy boutique ice cream shop this month. The dessert specialist and trailblazing Melbourne chef have come together to create an ice cream menu inspired by the flavours of Japan, focusing less on creating sugary treats and more on pure expressions of flavour. Visitors can order matcha pistachio, strawberry shortcake or hojicha (roasted green tea) and hazelnut in a classic waffle cone, or they can select a cone with the decadent addition of dark chocolate ‘coco pops’. Plant-based ice cream fans can rejoice too, as the pair have created dairy-free flavours like vanilla tofu and Fuji apple.
When Ukrainian celebrity chef Yurii Kovryzhenko and his partner Olga Tsybytovska came to London in February 2022 to host an embassy dinner, they didn’t know they’d still be in the UK capital, unable to return to their native country six months later. The pair have raised thousands of pounds to support Ukrainian citizens during the current conflict through events with chefs like Tom Kitchin and Jason Atherton, and now the pair are opening a London restaurant serving contemporary Ukrainian dishes. The restaurant will act as a ‘cultural embassy’, according to Kovryzhenko, and will serve dishes like borscht with duck and pampushky (garlic buns) and golubtsi (cabbage rolls) made from courgette flowers, as well as Ukrainian wine and infused vodkas. The space will also house a fermentation room and exhibition space for Ukrainian art.
Oregon’s latest addition to the laid-back wine bistro scene is Old Pal, a restaurant committed to serving Pescatarian dishes, with a focus on sustainable seafood and plant-based dishes. The vibe is laidback, and the menu is simple and heavy on tinned, ‘small’ fish and Pacific Northwest oysters, with dishes like pole beans, tinned fish and salt and malt vinegar potatoes or Narragansett burrata on lacto-fermented rhubarb – washed down with a glass of one of the bar’s natural wines. Old-world cocktails are on the list too, with the restaurant’s namesake Old Pal (rye, vermouth, and Campari) a firm favourite.
New York, USA
It’s not only the menu that’s steeped in American culinary history at Smyth Tavern. The 100-seat restaurant has been opened by John McDonald, an established hospitality personality who has been running restaurants in New York since the 1990s. His latest opening is as much about the art as it is the food, and the space houses a rotating roster of pieces from galleries and private collections, including striking photographs from artists including Peter Schlesinger and Anne Collier. While admiring the artwork, guests can tuck into classic American tavern fare, from broiled oysters stuffed with breadcrumbs and garlic to watermelon and tomato salad with serrano peppers, Champagne vinegar and mint. Or they can go all-American with The Smyth Burger dressed in cheese, special sauce and bacon onion jam.