Exclusive Resturants In London
40 Maltby Street
On a rainy Friday night in August 2015 the friend and I were in south London looking for a bite and possibly a bottle of wine. After walking down several dark, industrial streets I eventually found 40 Maltby Street with a flickering blue neon sign. The small bar and restaurant is located under a railway arch (as many of the trendy bars seem to be on this part of Bermondsey Street). On the edge of Bermondsey’s Maltby Street food market, 40 Maltby Street is a new low-key hang out with a short list of natural wines and a small menu of well-made content.
The kitchen is managed by Tom Harris, head chef of the Michelin-starred Texture Restaurant in Hackney, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). He knows his way around meat and vegetables. It’s quite a challenge being a food blogger in London. There are always new restaurants and cafes opening up with new menu items. Some things grab my attention and others don’t. Things that do, I feel the need to share whether it be my observation or things I have tried. Forty Maltby Street is a rustic bar and restaurant located in Bermondsey, London.
It’s taken two and a half years for the new venture to open, but in that time, JKS has earned a reputation as one of London’s most exciting restaurant groups, thanks to their restaurants Bao (Chinese), Gymkhana (Indian) and Xu (Sichuanese). And while none of these cuisines are exactly similar to Persian food, they tell the same story – that of young Asian restaurateurs, who grew up on the food at their parents’ restaurants and then decided to introduce it to a new audience.
If we could eat out in one of Berenjak’s interiors every night, we would. The dazzling white-on-white-on-white colour scheme and warm dusky lighting of the chain’s original Berners Street haunt is replicated here. A glass panel between the dining room and kitchen also allows diners an up-close view of their food being prepared on a pita rotisserie, a charmingly old-school contraption that looks as though it should be emitting puffs of smoke (it doesn’t). Soho kebab shop Berenjak, which opens in early August, will be a sister project to the family's Bao (falafel), Gymkhana (meat skewers) and Xu (rice and noodles) restaurants.
Mehek Gemal, the front-of-house manager from Bao who will run Berenjak, said: 'The building work has been going on for months a lot longer than we thought! It was supposed to be May, but because of problems with the lights it has been put off until August. The amount of kebab shops in Soho is quite impressive, with the likes of Dish Dash, St. Kebab and Kebabalicious offering a varying range of delicious, hardy traditional Turkish food and options for a quick takeaway lunch.
Since opening in early 2017, Berenjak has joined the ranks of this group, bringing modern Iranian food filled to the brim with herbs and spices – an exciting addition to the neighbourhood. We got there just before 5 when they opened and everything was pretty quiet – we were the first people to arrive. The menu is small (you’d assume an kebab shop would have a bigger menu) and everything looked good, we opted for some lamb and chicken shish.
Black Axe Mangal
Tiernan’s craftsmanship is evident with sharwama-like pork ribs, brisket and rib tips. The tea-smoked chicken nuggets are a hit, and so is the fatty beef heart tartare. The last time I ate here was with Canadian tattoo artist Ed Hardy, who has a mural painted on the restaurant wall. I couldn’t quite take him seriously after he told me he recently ate here seven times in one month. Lee Tiernan is a jolly good chappie who obviously has a lot of passion for what he does.
Following a stint on Masterchef, where his unique take on cooking impressed the judges, Lee was way ahead of the curve when it came to his passion for pork. And this seemed to be a natural breeding ground for his rebellious streak and love-based business plan. Lee Tiernan, the man behind popular BBQ joint Black Axe Mangal in N1, runs one of London’s most-talked about restaurant kitchens. The food packs a liberal and some say, extreme punch of flavour, featuring heavy metal music, wild theatrics and even firebending with napalm flambé.
What’s better than a BBQ restaurant? A BBQ restaurant in Islington! Lee started his love of BBQ in Texas. But it’s now everything from the music played to the room design to the bao buns you must keep an eye out for. Forty Maltby Street is cool yet homely, especially in the colder months where they put a fire on. With a small selection of wine, beer and cocktails BV. Here are some of best panoramic restaurants in London that are renowned for their scenery and food.
Can I order a gin and tonic?" This is my opening gambit on entering Brawn, the restaurant at Columbia Road Flower Market. "Ah, you want the menu then? The drinks are on it. " A slip of paper with a short list of cocktails (mostly based on sloe gin) is thrust at me, and I'm given my complimentary amuse-bouche — a puddle in a walnut shell with an anchovy lying in it. The starter's a charmingly floppy crab bisque puff, followed by calf's liver crusted in white breadcrumbs, which doesn't quite hit its full potential.
It needs more acidity. Brawn is a grill restaurant in Columbia Road, Tower Hamlets, London E2. I was lucky enough to go to this restaurant with my folks last month. My dad had been a fan for a long time but this was my first visit and we were all very impressed. The venue is beautiful, wooden beams and bricks and dim light were just the right settings for this meal. We loved it so much; we wanted to give back.
Clipstone, Portland And Emilia
Clipstone, Portland and Emilia have all opened within five years of each other in the same neighbourhood of Clerkenwell which has a been a bit of a foodie hotspot for London. All three restaurants have also had enormous acclaim with The Good Food Guide, Michelin stars and countless awards to its name. This means that more often than not you will need to book at least a month in advance to ensure you can get a table.
It is also worth noting that all three restaurants offer weekend brunches (check out my blog entry on where to brunch in London ) which makes them perfect for date nights in the city, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). One of the best things about living in this area is the choice of restaurants. There are so many different cuisines, types of food and places to eat out. It can be difficult to pick even just one restaurant for a night out.
So imagine choosing three restaurants, how do you decide? This is what we had to do, so we picked three top notch restaurants in our area and decided to share them with you. I was told by a couple of people to go to Clipstone when I came to the Grange. I am not sure why they did not include it in their list of recommendations as it is a tremendous place hidden off London Road and on the corner of Quarry Hill Street.
It is literally a warehouse conversion into a restaurant, there are no embellishments just simple well-designed spaces. As you walk through the doors of the modern, industrial building which houses all three restaurants in East Manchester they have a real sense of space and light. The restaurant has an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work, creating delicious dishes. It is impossible to pick between the three because they are different but equally impressive.
Clipstone is situated right in the heart of Summer Row, a new development full of independent artisan shops and restaurants that has only been open for a few months. With an ever changing menu and some really exciting ingredients which you might not get to buy yourself every day, it makes for the perfect place for a date or celebration. Don't miss the open kitchen and dim lighting of this intimate dining space! LBB.
To describe Darjeeling Express as a casual dining restaurant is a bit misleading. The candlelit Sufi singer who turns up at around 9pm to serenade diners would suggest the setting is more elegant than your usual weekday quick bite — though the food still retains the pristine simplicity of Khan’s original Darjeeling Express stall in Hill Street Night Market a few doors down, with prices to match: think scallion-flecked paneer cutlets, cumin-spiced platters of labneh and okra, and tart chaat with minced chicken.
One of the most eagerly anticipated restaurants to have opened in the past few years is Darjeeling Express, Asma Khan’s homage to her family’s recipes. The restaurant is named after a train that runs through the mountains of northern India, similar to the rural area of the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Khan was raised. It took six months to open this British outpost of ‘nostalgic regional Indian food where ingredients and knowledge are passed down orally’ and it has been full since day one.
So, grab a tray and order from the blackboard, starting with her signature tea-smoked chicken wings ($11), fragrant with lemongrass and ginger. They’re accompanied by the sort of fat naan-style roti some restaurants use as a blank canvas for uninspired aloo gobi or butter chicken. Asma’s uses them to showcase her own dishes, including garlicky okra masala ($10) and the fiery green chilli chicken curry ($10). Chef Asma Khan opened Darjeeling Express just two months ago, and it’s full every night.
Even before she appeared on Netflix’s excellent docuseries Chefs Table, it has been nigh on impossible to get a seat at her fast-casual homage to the food she grew up eating. She has already become one of Britain’s most exciting chefs. What happens when you try to show off the sexier side of your business while keeping in mind the cultural sensitivities involved. Prachi Waraich speaks to Nabila Mansoor, Founder of Darjeeling Express, the only Indian restaurant to have made it to Netflix's Chef's table.
Decimo, tucked into the top of The Standard, London’s tallest hotel, is a unique and vibrant restaurant as passionate about great service and contemporary ingredients as the team of people that work there. Within its walls Marco Pierre White has created an opulent but relaxed space that has achieved one of London’s most coveted awards; The AA Restaurant of the Year Award 2017 – a feat only matched by Chez Bruce. Decimo, with its reputation for well-rehearsed service across food, wine, and beverage has maintained four stars in the Michelin Guide since opening.
Decimo, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). On the 10th floor of The Standard hotel, with Kings Cross glittering beneath you, Decimo is resplendent in red leather, tactile furnishings, polished wood, glazed tiles, macram and greenery, creating a cocooning atmosphere that makes you feel part of a vibrant club. Designed by David Collins Studio – who were recently awarded Designer of the Year by the Design Museum on London’s prestigious River Thames – Decimo is the new addition to The Standard hotel’s lineup of bars and eateries.
Outside, it is a warm spring evening: perfect for the mildly frantic activity of last minute dining. Elystan Street’s glass frontage illuminates the oak-panelled corridor leading to the lobby bar. The maitre d’ checks our coats as we pass – something that neither of us has worn since dinner at The Square in Mayfair in 2010 – and then escorts us to a private dining room, seemingly hastily constructed behind the main dining room; an afterthought somehow swallowed up by this vast space.
We are met with familiar, now-familiar faces: the sommelier of The Square; a chef de partie from Tredwell Shoreditch; waiters moved on from Langham and Rose, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Elystan Street was founded somewhat defiantly by Howard, and its head chef Jamie McFarlane. It is determined to do things a little differently from the beginning of lunch (it opened as a restaurant in January 2016) to the very end. The main menu is just three courses long, with two choices for each part of the meal.
Service is individually paced and a little daring in its aim to be simultaneously more formal and more relaxed. Elystan Street is a breath of fresh air in the crowded London dining scene. Aside from the accolades listed above, Howard’s restaurant is also an excellent value proposition with a ten course tasting menu at £95, only £5 more than fellow two-Michelin-starred standard bearer Restaurant Story in Mayfair. I could happily eat my way around the Elystan Street menu.
Flor is the second restaurant from James Lowe, the star of Lyles Restaurant. His first venture sits within a railroad shed and offers an unrivalled dining experience: high-quality Cambridge produce served in a beautiful yet rustic space by staff who are true professionals. Flor, on the other hand, offers a more informal style of eating. This compact two-storey wine bar-restaurant-bakery sits on the edge of busy Borough Market. Small sharing plates like the mussel flatbread with Spenwood cheese and garlic have had customers flocking since its opening in 2019.
Lowe has worked with a motley collection of convicted criminals and the residents of poor neighbourhoods in north London, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). His latest project is Flor, the second restaurant from his own company Lyle’s, in the old Depot Arts Centre at Borough Market. The four-month renovation took place while it was still a functioning arts venue, which offers a degree of comfort to the open kitchen. The second restaurant from Lyles chef-patron James Lowe, Flor, offers a more informal style of eating.
This compact two-storey wine bar-restaurant-bakery sits on the edge of busy Borough market. Small sharing plates like the mussel flatbread with Spenwood cheese and garlic have had customers flocking since its opening in 2019. If you have visited Lyles in Borough Market, then you won’t be surprised to learn that it has received a Michelin star. The restaurant there focuses on vegetables and Lowe and his team work incredibly hard to source the best seasonal produce, which ensures a flavour-packed menu.
Lowe trained at the Savoy hotel and cooked at Fifteen, before setting up Lyles in Bermondsey with Charlotte Ellis, which was named London’s best newcomer in 2018. When Flor opened it had a distinct casual feel as diners chose to sit on its floral pouffes rather than at a table. There are numerous canals in London, though Regents Canal is one of the few that has stayed in tact since it was built. There are also many festivals and events that take place here, making it the perfect place for a sunny day out with friends and family.
Now, like a lot of other folk, I'm not really one for going out in the evening. And it has nothing to do with me being past my prime, or previously having worked in London's Shoreditch (before it became a gluttonous hell-hole � not that I was ever there at the time) or what-have-you. No, the fact of the matter is that I just don't particularly enjoy late night restaurant dining all that much; though when an invitation came through from Frenchie HQ to check out their revamped and revamped menu, my intrigue outweighed any sense of staying in on a Wednesday evening to deal with some logistical breadcrumb trail at the end of my current project.
Frenchie offers the kind of dining experience that justifies why people visit London. It is a fine-dining restaurant that could easily work in New York or Paris, but in London it appears to have a special quality, as though it is a place the capital city of haute cuisine – and is therefore better than anywhere else. Whether this is true or not – and Frenchie will test your faith in it – the food certainly doesn’t look out of place on a menu alongside John Torode’s signature dishes at Steakhouse, or Marcus Wareing’s creations at Marcus at the Berkeley.
When it comes to formal, upmarket dining in London, it’s hard to argue with Gordon Ramsey and his posse of similarly sky-high priced restaurants. Of course, if only a special occasion warrants a serious splurge, then it’s hard to better some of the more coveted spots in town. In this review of Jamie Oliver’s Frenchie restaurant, our reviewer takes a look at this very posh addition to an increasingly packed Covent Garden and rates it accordingly.
There's a sense of calm in the leafy environs of Hereford Road. It's not too dressy, but it has the kind of comfort which is only ever present if there is a confident hand in charge. And that confidence comes from head chef Tom Pemberton, who once headed Fergus Henderson's kitchen. There are few obvious signs of the old Devil's Acre team here, barring a short Devon black pudding (from The Deli, Camden Market) and the odd ethical touch like hare terrine.
But Pemberton has his own style and vision: light and delicate vegetarian dishes, fish cooked with restraint but no hint of rusticity, game in season, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). The menu changes with the seasons but one thing that. Eating out in London can be a nightmare experience of over-priced, mediocre food. Not so at Hereford Road. The influence of St John resonates at this no-frills local restaurant in Bayswater. Tom Pemberton (former head chef in Fergus Hendersons kitchen) creates confident, pared-back dishes using British ingredients and youre likely to find plenty of game in season.
An open kitchen is faced by intimate banquette seating leading through to a light, contemporary dining room. This is a seriously good spot for a laid-back dinner with friends or family away from the hustle and bustle of central London where youll feel relaxed rather than stressed. Hereford Road is located on one of the poshest areas in Bayswater, West London. It is an excellent and unobtrusive address that opens its doors to people from all walks of life.
The cooking seems to be done by a man at ease with himself, who believes in his ingredients and handles them well. There are many pleasing dishes on a menu that can seem to be short of variety at first sight. This is a pub restaurant with an identity of its own, where youre quite likely to find as much desire for good food on the side of the staff as you are on that of the kitchen.
A lack of fuss is exactly what you get at Tom Pembertons Hereford Road in Bayswater. Located among a row of shops and cafés, Tom wanted to make a statement with the sort of restaurant that would suit this area and be the sort of place he would want to eat at regularly. 'I’ve been coming to this area for years; I used to manage a pub in Queensway and have seen it change over time.
Our building used to be a taxi office actually my grandfather had one next door. We’ve kept the same facade as the rest so it’s not entirely obvious from the road. The influence of St John resonates at this no-frills local restaurant in Bayswater. Tom Pemberton (former head chef in Fergus Hendersons kitchen) creates confident, pared-back dishes using British ingredients, and youre likely to find plenty of game in season. An open kitchen is faced by intimate banquette seating leading through to a light, contemporary dining room.
Posh is probably not a word I would normally associate with the Roux, but I could not help myself when I entered Le Gavroche. The dining area was dimly lit and opulent in its furnishings. We were offered a table by the window which had a nice view of London, not that you would want to pay attention to that when eating. The décor feels like it has been lifted directly from the set of an Oscar Wilde play, in the same way Claridge’s does.
This may sound like it is going to be too grand, but it actually works really well and makes for an interesting backdrop for all the beautifully plated food (and yes, it is VERY nicely plated). If you're a fan of Masterchef then you'll love to know that Michel has been a judge on the show. You might recognise his voice too, as he's also taken part in Great British Menu. But what you might not know is that Le Gavroche has been awarded three Michelin stars within its 41-year history.
If you’re expecting a French restaurant in London that focuses on a lighter menu, well this is not the place for you. Le Gavroche has been a staple of fine dining ever since opening its doors in 1967 and has become the gold standard for French cuisine in England. I first visited Mayfair’s Le Gavroche when I was 20 years old, and it was one of the first fine dining restaurants I ever dined in.
Located on a quiet street in Hoxton, Leroy manages to command an understated presence. Walking along the pavement, no shouts or balloons implore you to step over the threshold. It’s easy to pass by without any second glances. This is what makes Leroy’s arrival so surprising; it may not look like much from the outside, but the restaurant puts on one hell of a show inside. The dining space is draped in light, with a monochromatic colour palette that is interrupted by flashes of red in the dishes, border and paintwork.
Food fans across London have been mourning the loss of Ellory, the establishment that brought Burgundy-style coq au vin to Hackney. Sadly, a lack of rent increases forced the original owners to close up shop in 2018. Luckily, owners Jack Lewens and Ed Thaw have since revealed that they are opening Leroy in Shoreditch their second project, which drops an umami bomb onto every plate. Though Leroy’s menu is decked out with Asian-inspired dishes and ingredients, the kitchen isn’t afraid to get pretty creative – the white corn soup could be a starter, but has all the heft of a main and packs an umami punch.
There’s plenty of seafood on the menu too, including the delicately crafted fish ceviche and the lip-smacking whole baked gurnard. When Ellory closed its doors in 2018, food fans across London wept in despair. That is, until former owners Jack Lewens and Ed Thaw announced that they were opening Leroy in Shoreditch. In their second iteration, the team is dishing up complex but comforting food that drops an umami bomb onto every plate. At the time I was not a very keen foodie, but a friend took me along to the restaurant before an opera at Sadler’s Wells.
Lorne is well known for being one of the best restaurants in the area, so I’ve been lucky to enjoy Lorne’s food on many occasions. Being an independent restaurant, I love supporting independents like Lorne. The food is always delicious — I love its simplicity. It also has this casual vibe that makes you feel at home (even if you’re far from home). Since my husband loves meat, he gets the dinner every time and enjoys it thoroughly — I can hear him mumbling (through a mouthful of food) about how the steak was cooked to perfection.
The deserts are also great, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). and the waiters are nice (very friendly). I have dined at Lorne a handful of times, and each visit was wonderful. It’s like eating with a friend — a very well-dressed friend who enjoys your company and cooking. We’ve had bacon and lettuce quiche (so good), butternut squash risotto (the best I’ve ever had), parsnip soup with goat cheese crouton(so fancy!) and berry tartlet for dessert (flawless!). Each time we go, the food has been amazing; it is clear that every meal is cooked to order.
Along with the great food, they have very knowledgable staff who make sure your experience is perfect. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who is. With an award-winning chef at the helm, Lorne's menu of snacks, mains and sharing plates lead diners on a journey of experience. Each dish is nuanced and layered – poklonna (sourdough with curds, buttermilk, whipped butter and chives) for instance, is an ideal pre-starter; quail eggs wrapped in bacon and fried with a simple yet delicious tartar sauce; or hay-baked King Edwards are just some of his signature dishes that have guests returning with ever-increasing frequency.
Lorne is the kind of restaurant everyone wishes was their local. It’s friendly, inviting and serves seasonal European and British fare that far exceeds expectation. By focusing on quality ingredients, treated with respect and paired in winning combinations, it has garnered a loyal following for its unfussy and utterly moreish food. Lorne has been serving food in Stoke Newington for the last nine years, and it's always been consistently solid. The menu changes regularly, but there are a few staples which you can rely on.
Moro is located at the top of the Old Street roundabout in London. It’s easily recognizable by its oxidized copper framed windows, and buzzing atmosphere. The restaurant is split into two floors: the bottom floor consists of a lounge and bar area, whilst the upper level is the main dining area. The whole building has been done up in a traditional Mediterranean style, featuring exposed wooden beams and brickwork throughout. The award-winning Moro restaurant has quickly established itself as one of the finest Spanish restaurants in London, as well as being one of the hottest tickets in town.
It is renowned for presenting high-quality Spanish food and cooking techniques to an international audience, making it a perfect choice for anyone wishing to experience the true taste of Spain in their capital, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Moro serves exceptional food in a space that blends the heritage of the traditional British Pub with warmth and quality. Here at Moro you can enjoy freshly made bread roasted over wood burning fires from our kitchen in the heart of London, alongside fine wines and cask ales with an authentic Spanish flavour.
Noble Rot should really have a Michelin star, but until they get one I guess the next best thing would be for you to go and eat there. But seriously, this place is amazing. A few of my friends and I went here the other weekend and we ended up spending like £45 each on one meal and a bottle of wine between us. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but for a group of 6 guys it was more than enough food.
The atmosphere is jovial yet romantic, with candlelight lighting up empty wine bottles on every table. This place is very similar to what the Left Bank used to be (if you remember this place) somewhere that's all about great food and wine. If you're. Noble Rot is one of those restaurants that makes you think, “How can this place be amazing?” Yet it is. One of my favourite restaurants in the world, I could eat there every day and not get bored.
The micro-pig dishes are exquisite (just try the trotters). The wine list is massive and the team know their stuff (full disclosure: I hosted a wine masterclass here once!). The decor is art deco meets the 70s with bold colour statements everywhere you look. The atmosphere is classy yet casual and if you get a chance to sit in one of the four booths, you will be treated to vintage Champagne. Noble Rot. A Bloomsbury institution on Lambs Conduit Street, Noble Rot leads with wine and follows with food.
The sommeliers list of bottles is endless and the teams knowledge is unimpeachable. Start with oysters and a glass of muscadet before exploring the continental fare on offer, making sure you match your dishes to your wine choice. I’ve always been drawn more to restaurants serving a European inspired food than a conventional take on expensive (and often dull) steak and chips. Noble Rot is just such a place – it’s wonderfully cozy with lashings of character, and serves up some of the best French style bistro cooking in London.
Noble Rot is a prime example of an Bloomsbury institution. It’s a small place located on Lambs Conduit Street, just off Tottenham Court Road with an exceedingly narrow entrance to be honest. Seating of about 12 people make it that much more intimate and adds to the warm ambience when you walk in. Noble Rot is one of Bloomsbury’s finest wine bars and bistros. The food, wine, service and views are all highly commendable. Noble Rot has all the qualities of a top London restaurant – read our guide for more information on how to book.
Over the past couple of years, Paradise has been making waves first as a great option for those watching their wallets (and with a bar menu that sees burgers and homemade cake arriving alongside mains), then as a venue to gather with a group. Before long, there's also a separate lounge room, and a garden-slathered terrace space both of which make it feel as if you're in the deepest heart of Surry Hills.
Pastaio has had a good few months and they recently celebrated their birthday, so I thought it was only right that I write about them. They've always been one of my favourite places to eat in London and have a really lovely atmosphere. Every time I go back, the space is filled with new people, which I find really exciting. In the 1990s, Moro was awarded The Times Food and Drink Award for "Outstanding Achievement".
In the mid-1980s, a chef named Antonio Carluccio made his debut in the London restaurant scene with a modest restaurant in a Soho alley called Neal Street. He started running pop-up events throughout London, including memorable meals out at people’s homes (such as Mary Berry). His first real restaurant came about in 1991, when he opened Carluccio’s in Covent Garden Plaza. It was an instant hit as the recipes and traditions of Italian cuisine and hospitality expanded to include a more modern approach to dining.
There's no denying the River Cafe is a London institution, and rightly so, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). It was one of the first UK restaurants to embrace the growing interest in all things Italian and has been responsible for introducing most of us to cicchetti well, that and washing up liquid. Having lost none of its lustre since it opened in 1984, River remains one of south London’s finest dining spots thanks to its emphasis on freshness, a stark industrial design and high-end service.
Members of the staff visit local markets twice a week to stock up on ingredients and guests can dine in the original grade II listed dining room or outside on the terrace, which has a spectacular view over the River Thames. These factors and the almost complete lack of any other restaurants in the area are likely to make River Cafe one of the hardest tables to get this year. A-listers have flocked to this Thameside location in Hammersmith location for (the late) Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers inspired Italian cooking.
The daily changing menu and superior sourcing keep the chefs perfectly in line with the seasons, and dishes such as ravioli with buffalo ricotta and garden herbs or oven-roasted turbot keep the customers coming. River Cafe is considered by many to be London’s most iconic restaurant. They are consistent, have a great reputation, and you will feel excited just eating there. While the prices are not the lowest, they still remain reasonable considering what you receive.
Rochelle Canteen (And Ica)
Rochelle Canteen is part of a network of cafes founded in 1999 by Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold (wife of St Johns, Fergus Henderson). In a building designed by Alan Stanton, this small modern canteen sits within the courtyard of the ICA. The Spanish blue-painted dining room is filled with local business people, artists, students and tourists. It is a very popular lunch venue serving good quality affordable food to a wide range of people.
Rochelle Canteen in Bermondsey is definitely a place to try out. It’s set in an old pie shop and roast meats are still an important part of the menu (but it’s not all about that!). They don’t take bookings so it can get really busy as it’s small with only 2 waitress serving the tables. Last time we went, we had to wait awhile for a table, but it was worth it. Prices are not too steep given the area, but expect to spend around 20£ per person.
Moving from a shipping container on the beach to a house by the waterways of east London, it makes a change for McMasters to have running water, kitchen and cooking facilities. Half a dozen chefs work here to sustainably prepare ingredients. These are served on uniquely designed plates made from non biodegradable waste: unrecyclable plastic bags (upcycled and cleaned) are sliced into ribbons to decorate scallops, placed under ash in squid ink, and cut into squares and feed through a pasta machine and this produces the thin strips of black plastic that top mackerel tartare.
We're having this course with Bill Fuller, an artist who has collaborated with McMasters for years – he's been known to serve cuts of ven, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Doug McMasters’s “catch and release” cooking is a radical departure from the modern culinary establishment's gastronomic orthodoxy. His version of “grilled fish with spinach and orange and fennel salad with white chocolate, walnut, honey, avocado purée and grapefruit dressing” is a sous-vided tuna loin wrapped in an orange-and-fennel-leaf sheet akin to a fish waffle.
“Cheese platter” bears little resemblance to what you would expect: it’s a moulded cylinder of cubed cheese and fermented lemon wrapped in silicone skin dotted with seasoning and edible flowers. Sitting at the chef’s table in front of a roaring wood fire, surrounded by unbleached cotton tablecloths and handmade crockery fashioned from compostable corn starch, I ate the most delicious thing I’d eaten in ages: a beetroot-and-beef-heart tartare that had been fermented with salt, then “cooked” in meat juices.
The recent opening of the site this week (during which customers are asked to bring their own plates and cutlery), plus a new book about the restaurant, A Year at Silo, has brought new attention to his radical manifesto. Sitting at a picnic bench with views over the Regent’s canal, I mentally ticked off the sustainable credentials of each course. Each is either sourced in a local allotment, grown in one of Silo’s 10 wormeries, or collected from the side of the road (preferably after it has been run over a couple of times).
As McMasters says: “I’ve always been interested in ways of using things that are wasted, turning them into valuable resources. There is no food waste here at all – no waste bins. ”. Now Silo is doubling the size of its operation to cope with demand, and if a new Kickstarter campaign succeeds, it will open in Dalston. But it’s not the size that has changed, it’s the menu. Offal and chips (foraged English nettles and ash-baked potatoes) has been replaced by his sustainable-tasting menu of sushi, cured meats, soups made from foraged vegetables…plus there are still plenty of bowls in which you eat with your hands.
Doug McMasters’s restaurant Silo is the absolute antithesis of most in this city: his tables are made from recycled skateboards, his cutlery from sugarcane and all glass bottles used for drinking are washed and reused. Far from being an oil-free, plastic-free arthouse project, this unassuming place close to Hackney Wick station is a collaboration with chefs who have worked in some of the world’s best restaurants. Here are the best places to shop in London.
Six Portland Road
Six Portland Road is a beautiful restaurant in Holland Park. It is a small restaurant and I was lucky enough to get a table on the first day that I tried to get in. Whether you go on a weekend or a week night, it gets very busy! I absolutely loved everything that we had for dinner. My favourite dishes were the calamaris, the beef cheeks, and the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. Also, it is really nice that they make everything fresh there so no risk of getting food poisoning like in other restaurants.
It makes it taste so much better as well, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Chic, French-influenced restaurants are a hard nut to crack in London. And if you want to do it right, to trade on your location just off Holland Park or Primrose Hill and make a good splash, then the cost of doing so is considerable. But Six Portland Road does things differently. The secluded location does not require a wad of cash for an interior or sweeping views (though there's both).
Instead, this cool restaurant sustains itself on its consistently high level of quality and consistency in food and drink. Six Portland Road, which opened in 2013, is a small, discreet spot located on the ground floor of an unassuming redbrick terrace. Inside, it’s warm but not trendy, with frames and candles on tables and wallpaper that peels away to expose bare brick in parts. Wine bottles are stacked like dominoes along one wall; fresh herbs hang from the ceiling in woven baskets; there’s a marble-topped bar with a scattering of ferns behind it.
The main green room is dominated by a huge table made from a chestnut tree found on the banks of an Italian river. Skye told me she wanted to make a dining space that encouraged conviviality and sociability, with plenty of elbow room for partners to talk away from the table. Her private kitchen is broad and welcoming, with vintage storage boxes, stacks of bespoke crockery, pig-shaped pork pâtés, cheeses and breads all carefully stored in padded shelves layered into a wall behind a glass-topped counter.
Skyes cooking relies on an intelligent use of ingredients, allowing them to speak for themselves, with a minimum of fuss and lots of flavour, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Her food is uncomplicated, fresh and beautiful: asparagus, tiny peas and a broad bean purée; scallops with green apple; warm crab 'bisque'followed by fillet of 'lake trout', Herefordshire goat's curd and baby carrots. Spring will be split into two parts, with an all-day brasserie in the atrium, and a small indoor dining room with 40 covers downstairs.
The brasserie will serve Skyes version of brasserie food, using seasonal British produce, and will cost £17 for three courses (including coffee). The dining room downstairs will cost £49 for a six-course tasting menu. Gyngells food is modern and imaginative, but also fragrant and often floral. The room itself is warm and bright. It is open to the elements in a similar way to Galvin at Windows, overlooking the park. There are two rooms: a dining-cum-lounge area and a more formal, full-height space with views of the courtyard.
St John is a prominent restaurant in the Smithfield area of London. It was set up by Fergus Henderson and opened in 1994. St John has been praised for its signature 'nose-to-tail'style of cooking, where the less attractive cuts of meat are prepared as respected delicacies. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2002 and retained this accolade until December 2010 when it lost its status due to the chef moving on to another project.
However, it never gained three stars because inspectors at the time were unwilling to award equally to a restaurant which did not have a separate wine list However, St John gained more popularity after being featured in many publications such as The Guardian and The New York Times. St. John arrived to much fanfare as the leader of restaurant London’s nose-to-tail culinary revolution. It was the kind of place that drew massive crowds of food obsessives even at its most obscure location – first a few steps down from street level at Spitalfields, later in an unmarked basement at Great Queen Street, just off Covent Garden.
Now it takes up prime real estate for the best kind of business anywhere: people paying lots of money to eat well. St John has defied all the rules of modern eating. After opening in a bare white room in St Johns Church in Smithfields back in 1996, with no building work and almost no money, Fergus Henderson, who was then working at the Wolseley, was instantly a star. He was taking on British food's holy trinity roast beef, fish and chips and the Sunday roast and winning; sometimes he took the ideas (nose-to-tail cooking) but mostly tried to better them.
Since opening in 2002, St John has thrived and survived the boom and bust of the dining scene, thanks to its appeal as both a destination restaurant and a gateway to London for food tourists. Served by a brilliant staff, who like Fergus are trained to take customer service seriously, bringing an air of wit to their work without ever becoming too familiar, it is proper eating that comes cheap. Before St John opened in the early noughties, most restaurants had a printed menu.
Dinner was fixed-price. Service was polished and occasionally overbearing. Now, plates are brought to tables still steaming from the kitchen and chefs are encouraged to get the best out of their ingredients. This is a new kind of restaurant, and St John led it here. St John (a. k. a. St John Bar & Kitchen, St John Bread & Wine) was a game changer when it first opened in London back in 2003. Since then, and with the help of the now famous cookbook, Fergus Henderson’s nose-to-tail cooking has spawned many imitators.
Sushi Tetsu is the best sushi bar in London, serving some of the most authentically fresh sushi I’ve ever tried. Sushi Tetsu has a menu that is small and simple, but boasts a variety of traditional Japanese dishes. The menu itself is only four A4 pages with only one choice each. This, combined with the extremely limited availability in terms of seating, means that Sushi Tetsu can be quite tricky to book. However, once I was able to get myself a table there I found it well worth the difficulty in getting in.
Toru used to train chefs at grand-scale sushi restaurants, and so is able to impart a high level of understanding, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). He preps his fish with the kind of clinical precision usually reserved for neuroscience: though startlingly quick, he never loses control of any blade. It sometimes seems as if there are two people; the one who does so much more than any one person could, and then the other, a simple man in a white T-shirt dicing cucumber.
I’ve been eating at Sushi Tetsu for as long as the restaurant has been open, which suggests I might know a thing or two about their cuisine. I do not claim to be a Japanese sushi expert by any means, but I do pride myself on having visited most of London’s top-class sushi temples. And I must say that every time I have eaten here, I have always been beyond satisfied with my meal. Sushi Tetsu.
This seven-seater on a Clerkenwell side street arguably serves the best sushi in town. Run by husband-and-wife team Harumi and Toru Takahashi, it is almost impossible to book. But when guests arrive at this shrine to sushi, they will find Toru expertly slivering and slicing smackingly fresh fish, visible from a counter-style bar. The restaurant seems bigger on the inside than seven people would suggest. The white walls, stark concrete counter and wooden shelves stocked with canned wasabi lend it a science lab feel.
"You won't even see a microwave," says Takahashi, 39, as he eases plates of miso soup from beneath a glass counter. Downstairs is more intimate, with a Japanese-style low table and tatami floor. The food is good, but the meticulous cutting of fish fillets looks like a tea ceremony – plaice with the blood line left in is carved into roses; turbot sliced so thin you can read the Financial Times through it. It runs from January 16 until May 7, 2016.
Following on from the amazing success of Delaunay Bar & Dining, Corbin & King was commissioned to design another spectacular venue, this time for a sophisticated New York hotel. This stunning restaurant is decorated in cool blues and elegant neutrals, with an emphasis on French and Hungarian influences. Subtly referencing the city's position as a travel hub, The Delaunay has also been decorated with various fun pieces of travel ephemera which bring the room to life and give it a real sense of New York atmosphere.
It’s no secret that steak is my favorite meal, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Rarely do I get to enjoy it on a weekday, but every now and then, I make time. With back-to-back meetings throughout the day, I sometimes don’t have a chance to sit down and savor it. That’s what makes it even better when I can pull off a great steak at home — low on maintenance, big in results. A few months ago, the chefs over at Corbin & King NYC helped me create this steak recipe that was inspired by a story we were working on for Bon Appetit magazine.
Featuring lovely pearl-gray marble setts, the Delaunay is a true Corbin & King classic. The combo of Art Deco and Parisian styling (note the red velvet banquettes, brass lamps and the delicate Art Nouveau flourishes in the decorative mouldings) makes for a perfect stage for what is arguably the most popular restaurant in New York. The client for this venue was Corbin & King. The architects were Lindy McHenry and David Rockwell (of StudioSogely). The Delaunay.
The French House
The French House is located in Soho, London, UK. It’s a traditional English pub that is over 300 years old. This pub has been a location of many famous films, songs and TV programs in the past 20 years. A lot of celebrities have graced this pub with their presence over the years — it gives you a really cool feeling when you walk around their upstairs section while enjoying cocktails and meals. The menu at "The French House" changes daily.
Neil Borthwick is the chef who took over this spot early 2011. He runs the kitchen here with Yves Potvin (executive chef) and his brother Josselin Borthwick as head chef de partie (tasting menu only). The French House is a great pub in heart of Soho that happens to have a decent selection of beers. It was a lovely place to kick back for a couple of hours and have proper conversation in the early evening.
What’s also nice about this place is that they have a menu you can actually read, which is another rare aspect of London pubs. I went for the Escargots en Carapace – snails baked in their shells with parsley butter and garlic mayo – which were quite tasty but could’ve done with being served hotter (as could my side salad). For mains, I had the Tete de veau et Sauterelles – Osso Bucco style calf’s head.
The French House is an institution. Its almost unrivaled status as a music venue, and 50 years of history, has given the upstairs dining room a warm, bohemian vibe. Neil Borthwick takes this legacy on with his own style of cooking. His love of the French classics gives him the freedom to experiment with seasonal elements. He has created a menu that is short, but devastatingly good. The food is not opulent just French through and through.
Stepping inside The French House provides a welcome break from Soho’s bustle as it is the definition of a traditional French bistro. The walls are decorated with sepia shots of France, and the tables have their own family style seating – closer to each other than usual. It gives the impression that you are visiting friends at their home. Neil Borthwick's cooking is an excellent fit for the French House: dumplings à la Parisienne with buttery bone marrow, those flaky borders of puff pastry he loves so much, pike quenelles dressed in crayfish tails and a glorious whole pig's trotter with lentils.
What do we love about the Ivy? In addition to its unforgettable location (in the heart of London’s world-famous West End next to theatreland, and only moments from famous shopping destinations), we love that its menu maintains an air of consistency, and their chefs refuse to sacrifice quality ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a steak dinner or a decadent dessert with friends or family, The Ivy serves up an impressive experience at every turn. The Ivy has always been one of those restaurants that I really wanted to visit.
I’ve dined at many celebrity hotspots in London, but never yet at a restaurant that was referred to as “London’s oldest and most prestigious restaurant. Guests over the years have included the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, The Beatles and Gwyneth Paltrow, not to mention every British Prime Minister since Churchill. ”. Behind a discreet entrance on the edge of Regents Park lies the Ivy. The restaurant has been serving up classic English fare for over 80 years, a feat in itself from its humble beginnings helping to feed the troops during WW2.
The new dining room is a fitting companion to the original, the grand curved staircase and private booths remain, but everything is dressed up in a sleek modern outfit. The Ivy in London is one of the most prized and coveted restaurants in the world, and it’s not hard to see why: if you can get a table (or bar seat), it’s almost impossible to walk out of this stunning space without feeling at least a little bit like a celebrity yourself.
The Wolseley has always attracted those that are in the know since it first opened its doors as a bistro in 1911. It began life as a bric-a-brac shop and then later became an ice cream parlour before it finally took on its current guise. Since then, The Wolseley has become a London institution and some say London’s most fashionable restaurant. For decades the Wolseley attracted a chic crowd including Lucian Freud and George Orwell, although these days it attracts a slightly different kind of customer – politicians, models and the like.
Fashion conscious Londoners love coming to The Wolseley for a fitting or lunch in the Roast Grill. It is easily discernible from the exterior, with its black and white exterior and stately looking columns. Aside from hosting events and serving food, The Wolseley is also a London institution in terms of literature. Dickens wrote parts of Great Expectations here, Rudyard Kipling penned several stories at a booth near the door and Graham Greene’s spy novel The Quiet American was written here.
The location of the Wolseley in London is in a brilliant spot. It’s situated right next to The Ritz, which is a beautiful hotel that very much resembles the Ace in Grand Theft Auto V you can’t miss it. I love The Ritz, mainly because when I drive to Hyde Park, it’s out of my way if I take Piccadilly, so it gives me an excuse to go through Mayfair and drink in all its sights.
The Wolseley is a The Ritz hotel restaurant in the heart of London. The art-deco building houses a brasserie style restaurant with an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu as well as a champagne bar. It has a particularly nice outdoor space on the corner of two busy streets, which is great for people watching while you eat. The brief for the design of The Delaunay was Where would a 1940s woman carrying a hat box and leaving New York by train eat beforehand? The elegant interior features white tablecloths and dark-wood accents to highlight the mittel-European food at this Corbin & King classic.
Trullo’s menu is creatively led by Frieda who has worked under illustrious chefs such as Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche and launched his own pop-up dining company, Noisy Eater. The duo have encountered some challenges in the three months Trullo has been open but have overcome them with admirable ambition. For example, they are working hard to build relationships with farmers to demand higher welfare for animals, and have engaged a master cheesemonger to create a cheese list that understands what flavour and texture go perfectly with their dishes.
They serve up to seven different types of bread a day from sourdoughs to semolina loaves — it’s rare you encounter so much choice on one table but you, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). On the borders of N1, squatting in a building that was once a fish shop, Trullo has both the intimacy of a neighbourhood restaurant and the buzz of an Islington hot spot. It’s all thanks to its owner Jordan Frieda – who, with his business partner Tim Siadatan, has created this gem on Holloway Road.
Tucked in behind Angel tube station, you couldn’t find a more central location for this little dining-room-cum-Italian deli than . This is the second time I’ve visited Trullo and my most recent visit was with a larger group so we had two sittings. This allowed me to try a few more dishes and views of the restaurant as a whole. The service was quick and efficient and our waitress was very helpful and friendly which made the evening much more enjoyable.
The internal, open-plan kitchen can be viewed from the dining room and the area tends to buzz with hungry chatter waiting for a table or on their way out. Trullo felt no larger than 70-seats when I visited, including the upstairs terrace. Kensington 10k attracts over 40,000 runners every year. One of the London marathon’s feeder races, the course is a flattish jaunt around Kensington. The traditional field is made up of clients and supporters from the large business district in the area, and a mini 10 mile race is run alongside the adults.
Entering this Taiwanese teahouse and restaurant from owners of popular Korean bun restaurant Bao, is like stepping into 1930s Taipei. Warm lacquered wood, pale leather banquettes, ceiling fans and palms decorate the first floor Soho dining room, where guests feast on innovative Taiwanese and Chinese-inspired dishes. This is a place where local ingredients are artfully combined and served with a modern sensibility. Impeccable service with a small menu of traditional Taiwanese teahouse snacks. It might be an overused adjective, but it applies perfectly here: Xu is charming.