The Beast from the East might be bringing snow across the country but spring is definitely coming.
If you haven’t already spotted it thanks to the longer days – it’s actually light outside when you leave work – then let the number of new restaurant openings in March be a signal.
The coming month is bringing with it a whole host of flavours from afavr, including the Middle East, Asia and the US.
And you have a fine picking of comfort food and neighbourhood eateries too.
With that in mind, here are some of the places to check out this month.
Lebanese restaurant group Ghia Holdings is opening its first branch of Abd el Wahab in London this March, which also happens to be its first branch outside of the Middle East.
Like the original restaurant in Lebanon, the menu at the Belgravia venue is made up of a mixture of mezzes featuring salads as well as grilled items.
And of course, there are plenty of Lebanese wines on the list to accompany the food.
Delamina comes from husband and wife team Limor and Amir Chen, the people behind Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch.
The new opening will be focused on food from the eastern Mediterranean, with dishes such as chermoula-glazed cod and halva parfait.
To compliment, there will also be wines from Israel and Lebanon.
Yard Sale Pizza are opening their fourth restaurant in London – this time in Leytonstone.
All the usual menu options are available, as are delivery and take away.
And if you’re already a fan, there’s 50% off pizzas for the first week, for eat in and takeaway, until March 18.
Osh – March 15
A new Central Asian restaurant is coming to Knightsbridge in the shape of Osh.
The food is a mix of Uzbek grilled dishes and some of the more well-known Central Asian offerings such as lamb plov, charred shashlik, and Uzbek lagman soup.
And just to make it really authentic, they are importing organic fruits and vegetables in from Uzbekistan twice a week.
Brat – March 17
Tomos Parry, formerly at Kitty Fisher’s, is opening his first solo venture in Shoreditch.
The menu is centred around food that’s cooked on an open fire wood grill, inspired by the traditional barbecues found in the Basque Country.
Plenty of British ingredients feature, like Carmarthen ham, which is a nod to Parry’s Welsh heritage.
Ramen bar Kanada-Ya are opening their third site, in Islington, which is fortunate because they always seem to have a long queue outside their branches.
Obviously it’s still about the noodles, but gyoza and a bigger collection of drinks will also make it onto the menu this time.
And while the official opening date is March 22, they are running soft-launch offers from March 17 to 21.
Vivek Singh is bringing his Cinnamon Kitchen south of the river for the first time with a new opening at Battersea Power Station.
On the menu will be dishes such as chargrilled seabass in a banana leaf parcel and vegan bitter melon with buckwheat.
There’s also a cocktail menu from Tony Conigliaro, which is inspired by Indian spices.
Venezuelan restaurant Arepa & Co are opening their second branch in east London, this time in Bethnal Green.
As the name suggests, the food is centred around arepas, a Venezuelan cornbread that’s completely gluten-free.
New for the menu are fillings such as fried chicken, and soft shell crab with chilli mayo.
The Covent Garden restaurant is the first for the vegan chain on this side of the Atlantic, with another site planned for Tower Bridge later in the year.
As well as the classics from the US menu, the London version also has a dedicated London By Chloe section, which features dishes like fish n’ chips, shepherd’s pie, and pea n’ ham soup – all vegan, of course.
Popina, which has a whole host of stalls at markets across London, is opening its first day-time eatery in the heart of Mayfair.
Stews and curries as well as salads will feature on the menu. But given its founder, Isidora Popovic, is famed for her baked goods, you can bet there will be a lot of those too.
If you visit between February 28 and March 2, there’s also 50% off the food bill as part of their soft-launch offer.
The Blue Posts in Soho has been slowly transformed into three separate venues since last year and the latest concept to open within its confines is Evelyn’s Table.
The kitchen bar is situated in what had once been the beer cellar of the pub.
Today, however, it’s serving up a mixture of small and large plates such as cuttlefish ragout with Romesco and tapioca crisps and smoked eel with potato blini and beetroot.
If you fancied some posh fish and chips, United Chip has now opened in Clerkenwell.
Beer battered fish – line caught haddock, cod or pollock – is served with either chips or frites from brunch to dinner.
Alongside the more traditional offerings, you can also order fancy sides like calamari or go for a soft shell crab burger with Bangkok mayonnaise.
Cafe Hampstead is the new neighbourhood bar and restaurant to open in, well, Hampstead.
It’s inspired the cafes of Tel Aviv, with dishes like lamb arayes from the Middle East.
However, you will find pizzas topped with Middle Eastern ingredients, too.
Another neighbourhood eatery coming to Hampstead is Ham, a casual restaurant whose name actually means home in old English.
The focus is of course on British food, especially seasonal produce from small suppliers.
Given that the chef, Matt Osborne, has worked at the likes of The Ledbury, Terroirs, The Other Naughty Piglets, you can expect the offering to be pretty good.