Probably the Best London Restaurants?
Here at London-Unattached, we love eating out. And in 2017 we know we enjoyed superb meals at some of the best London restaurants. As our round-up shows, it’s a cosmopolitan city and one where you can enjoy every cuisine in the world.
My own favourite London restaurant is also probably the most obvious – and focuses on historic British cuisine. I was invited to join a select group of Amex Card Holders at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner. It’s a two-star Michelin restaurant and we enjoyed an iconic and perfect meal where I got to try some of his most famous dishes including the wonderful Meat Fruit and a delicious dish of Powdered Duck Breast.
I was suitably impressed with the food and beautifully matched wines. If anyone can find me a millionaire boyfriend, I’ll be back there at least once a week.
But, as I mentioned, London is a cosmopolitan city and there are plenty of restaurants which serve excellent Asian food. Adrian (otherwise known as ‘The Hedonist’) really enjoyed Park Chinois in Mayfair and I can completely understand why. You go to Park Chinois for excellent food and live music to complement the dining package. He says:
It’s a seductive combination of Shanghai 1930s style, perfect cocktails, great food and entertainment delivering an old-school package with a modern twist.
Highlights included plump, sexy little Har Gau (Shrimp dim sum), prawns in a rich curry, coconut and prawn bisque and a perfectly cooked fillet of sea bass steamed in ginger and spring onion in a marriage of Asian and classical French techniques.
Lucy, our intrepid thespian turned explorer, picked a Brazilian/Japanese fusion restaurant in Soho, Temakinho, and says:
I’m all up for new tastes and experiences and Temakinho in Soho offers exactly that with an unlikely combo of Brazilian and Japanese fusion.Temakinho is a London restaurant in the heart of Soho on Old Compton Street, juxtaposed between a sex shop and a West End Theatre and surrounded by lively bars and restaurants. It’s fun and its vibrant, with a very cool day to night feel, accessible, and not overly expensive. In my view no Brazilian evening would be complete without a Caipirinha, I loved the Limâo Clássico – made with Brazilian cachaca Mais Amor and lime, it was heavenly!
Temakinho are known for their tropically inspired colourful and unique sushi rolls, mixing sweet and sour and using a wonderful combination of fish, fruit and rice, all beautifully presented and full of flavour. They also serve a wonderful selection tasty of more warming winter dishes. A great find in London’s Soho.
Sarah is something of a posh rock chick. She decided to cheat a little and nominated an evening at an Italian supper club by Danilo Cortellini. She says:
Having been sent Danilo Cortellini’s cookery book for review, it was with huge excitement that I joined Fiona at the beautiful home of the London Foodie, at Luiz Hara’s supper club. You might remember his beautiful pasta dishes from his appearance on MasterChef: The Professionals. We were not disappointed, a veritable banquet was produced, and all cooked to perfection. No wonder that each Italian Ambassador has held onto Danilo.
If you haven’t tried a supper club yet, I’d recommend the London Foodie’s series. He cooks for some of them himself – and has guest chefs too. Apart from the fact that his home is, indeed, stunning, you’ll find the most delicious food served on a bring your own bottle basis.
She’s also been raving about Eneko at One Aldwych
Aside from my slight cheat citing our wonderful evening at the supper club, I would have to say that the outstanding meal of the year for me at one of the best restaurants in London was at Eneko. When I was single, I always knew if a date was keen to impress if he suggested cocktails or a meal at One Aldwych, and it’s remained one of my favourite place for a treat. Eneko is situated downstairs in One Aldwych, and has brought a taste of the Basque country to central London.
My dish called “Memories of Bay of Biscay” was presented dramatically with dried ice flowing over seaweed to truly evoke the joy of being by the sea. This level of attention to detail was given to every dish, and we had a truly wonderful meal.
Meanwhile, Kay, who is currently working in Austria at a Ski Resort picked a Spanish tapas restaurant in Victoria called Ibérica. It’s an old favourite for her, where she was lucky enough to be invited along to sample the new winter menu in November 2017. This time, the head chef of the Ibérica group, Nacho Manzano who runs Casa Marcial (a 2 Michelin starred restaurant in the mountains of Asturias), had flown over especially for the event – a real treat.
Ibérica Victoria is part of the Ibérica group, with seven restaurants, four of which are in London. As she points out it’s an ideal venue to meet with friends, share good food and have a relaxing evening. It’s not too expensive and the food is really good!
Deborah, our fit and healthy writer, plumped for Thai.
Because of the whole experience: setting, ambience, food, drinks and service it has to be the Thai Square, Putney Bridge. “A sensory experience with authentic Thai cuisine” it certainly was. The Putney Bridge branch is within an unusual building whose exterior looks like a ship with metal beams and tall windows with its prow looking on to the bridge has won several architectural awards.
The Whole Steamed Sea Bass with a galangal, lemongrass & kaffir lime leaf stuffing wrapped in banana leaf stuffed with a side order of coconut rice sticks in my mind. It was exquisite and my gamble on fish for the main course paid off. It was light and a sensual delight for the mouth. I wouldn’t normally even mention the rice but I can’t stop talking about how amazing the coconut rice was too.
Thai Square lived up to its mission of authentic Thai food and a sensory experience. Made by the setting it’s a classy and impressive restaurant which won’t break the bank and would be a good place to go for a night out with friends liking traditional and trendy.
Simon wavers between steak and Japanese food. This year his choice for the best London restaurant was an American Steak-House owned by three Irish men!
To say Smith and Wollensky is a Steakhouse is like saying the Titanic was just a ship
Situated in The Adelphi Building, a Grade II art Deco building on the corner of Adam Street, this is a steak restaurant that has a presence. Specializing in the best USDA and Irish steaks, they have their own ageing rooms on the lower floor, along with the kitchen, where they are happy to give you a tour, so proud are they in what they do.
They do great fish and lobster for starters, but it is the steaks that people come for. The signature 680g bone-in ribeye steak comes as a mouthwatering hunk of meat, leaving little room on the plate for extras, such as truffled mac n cheese or good old plain French fries.
The waiters know their stuff around the wine list too, so matched wines to your individual steak are the norm.
Service here is at a level rarely found outside of Michelin starred locations, and the whole experience makes for a memorable time. This is the place you could take your boss, your clients or your in-laws, and give them an experience that will be hard to beat.
Quite a cosmopolitan lot, the London-Unattached team!
In terms of other best London restaurants, there are plenty of honourable mentions that you should check out if you haven’t done so already. For excellent value British cuisine in London, how about The Wigmore – modelled on a traditional English Tavern and serving British food like ox-cheek and ale pie, buttered crumpets with cock crab and even a rather special XXL cheese toastie.
Despite being part of the rather upmarket Langham Hotel, it looks and feels like a pub – and the prices won’t bankrupt you! I’d also recommend Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express – for wonderful Indian home cooking and a level of service that belies the prices on the menu. There are plenty of London restaurants serving Indian food, but this one is special. And, for seafood, Randall and Aubin is my own personal go-to London restaurant – it never fails me, and I love the shabby chic interior.
Are your top London restaurants on our list? Where would you like to see us try in 2018 – what would you vote for if you were asked for the best London restaurants? I’m already looking forward to some of the new openings – and to going back to some of my old favourites – meanwhile why not explore our reviews of the best restaurants in London.
Looking for restaurants in Central London? why not pin this post for later!