Right - it's time to start planning some dining. Here's the most anticipated new restaurant openings of the year in Hackney, which gives you just enough time to grab a table on opening week. We'll keep you posted on actual launch dates and any offers the restaurants might have as they open to the public...
This is the one we're most excited about. 1) Because it's literally 100 metres from our door and 2) Oyster. Happy. Hour. The Richmond team sadly look like they're gutting the old LMNT (no more dining in a giant terracotta pot with a golden sphinx at your feet) but instead the new restaurant will feature a raw bar (heavy on the ceviche and tartare) and roasts on a Sunday. The food looks like it will be stellar, thanks to its owner, Brett Redman, from Elliot's in Borough Market. Throw in some natural wines and decent cocktails and it looks like this year's success story already.
Opens: March 19th. therichmondhackney.com
Currently at the end of a crowd-funding campaign (42 hours left, and counting), Il Cudega plans to bring a taste of Lombardy to Hackney - London Fields specifically, with the deli, wine bar and restaurant venue planned for opposite Netil House. The cuisine will focus on the slow food movement from the Italian region, with an emphasis on produce and dishes like prosciutti, formaggi, salami, focaccie and risotto. Meanwhile, co-owners Luca and Giovanni also want to create a space for the community too, with a veggie garden and bike parking in the grounds. Sounds perfect for a summer night in E8.
This will be the third restaurant from Martin Morales (Ceviche Soho and Andina) and the time is definitely right for some tiger milk-infused raw fish dishes to hit out East. There will be some new fusion food on offer, like Peruvian-Chinese and Peruvian-Japanese (which we've tried and works remarkably well) and a ceviche bar to custom make your own fish dish. Also on offer will be traditional rotisserie chicken in the 70-seater restaurant, which will be housed in the Victorian Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms on Baldwin Street.
Opens: March 2015. ceviche.com/old-street
While we love classic places like The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zedel in central, there's nowhere really in East London with a bit of European pomp going on. Which is why Blixen in Spitalfields could add a touch of class for a fancy breakfast or dinner out East when it opens. The restaurant comes from Clive Watson (the guy behind The Riding House Cafe) and the vibe is said to be "an informal, all-day brasserie and cocktail bar". Which we can totally get on board with.
Opens: End of February. blixen.co.uk