The very best restaurants in London: 2017's highlights
Rochelle Canteen at the ICA's definitive lemon tart; Ella Canta's painterly Mexican; Ikoyi's modern West African cuisine : some of the restaurants we loved most during 2017
Mr Lyan has done it again. Internationally known for his game-changing cocktails, this is his venture into restaurants proper and it is brilliant with party soundtrack and funky, recycled retro decor. Cub in Hoxton is a collaboration with chef Doug McMaster of Brighton’s radical zero-waste Silo, so the food is as sustainable as it is stunning. The set menu, now £55 a head, includes food and matched cocktails – incredible value.Read more ...
The first thing anyone ever says about Xu is that ‘it’s from the people behind Bao’. But Xu is an entirely kind of Taiwanese dining. A smart restaurant with a glam, vintage Taipei vibe. Think waiters in black tie and upbeat jazz.
The food is sensational. Star anise infused shou pa chicken scattered with crisp crumbs of peppery chicken skin, ginger and garlic is swoon worthy. Char siu pork is re-invented as medium-rare Ibérico collar steak glazed with hoisin, soy and sesame. And yes, they take reservations.Read more ...
Rambla makes us roar with greedy pleasure.
The fiery independent spirit of Catalan is deliciously alive in Soho and Victor Garvey's restaurant is turning out the most brilliantly ambitious and original dishes loaded with flavour and authenticity. We can't keep away.Read more ...
Glamorous culinary superstar Martha Ortiz brings authentic Mexican cuisine to a new level in London translating magical realism into a menu. Truly, it's all about eating in colour and channelling the spirit of Frida Kahlo. Don't miss the vampire ceviche: sea bass turned dramatically deeply pink with a mango and angrita sorbet with sour-sweet nuances of chilli and coriander.
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Portuguese food is becoming achingly cool and Londrino is the restaurant that will really wake us up to what it is that makes this long under discovered cuisine so thrilling.
Leo Carreira experiments with fermenting and pickling as well as incredible seafood. Don't miss the soaked brioche with sour caramel for dessert.
There's a wine bar serving amazing snacks too, beside an all Portuguese wine list full of gems.Read more ...
Food to make you smile: Rochelle Canteen offers definitive comfort food with impeccably cool credentials. Co-founder is Margot Henderson, married to St John’s Fergus Henderson, alongside Melanie Arnold, whose son Fin Spiteri runs the show. Spiteri also prepares delicious definitive classic cocktails – don’t miss the negroni!
The pheasant and trotter pie is out of this world and the lemon tart is the best we've ever tasted.
It's a serene, all white space in the beautiful John Nash ICA building. Dining culture at its best.Read more ...
Outrageously good Northern Thai cooking over charcoal from the founder of Smoking Goat, Ben Chapman. It is pure theatre and a place to experience dishes with memorably intense flavour. Kiln is probably one of the most thrilling places in London to eat, especially at the long steel counter with full action views of the kitchen. It's mesmerising.
Inspired by his experiences travelling in Northern Thailand, Chapman built the wood-fired kiln himself and devised the system of cooking with claypots, woks and grills over chestnut wood embers.
Gingery brown crab and pork belly with silky glass noodles and potent broth is one of the best combinations we've eaten this year.
West African-inspired food with British produce cooked by Jeremy Chan, a Chinese-Canadian chef who has worked at Noma, Hibiscus and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner exemplifies just how cosmopolitan London’s food scene is now. This is brilliant, thoughtful cooking and unlike anything you will have tried before.Read more ...
Asma Khan started out as a veritable tour de force on the supper club scene and wittily charted her meteoric rise to restaurant in Kingly Court on social media. Her food, embracing unusual dishes from Calcutta to the Himalayas, remains home-style, forthright and bursting with earthy flavours. It's been a deserved smash hit. Do try the biriyani Sunday lunch. We love that there's an all female cooking team and Khan supports a number of women's charities in India.Read more ...
The Game Bird restaurant combines luxury with a little dash of eccentricity. It offers an imaginative take on fine-dining, with an emphasis on game in the sumptuous surrounds of the Stafford Hotel. The chicken kiev is out of this world too as are the nostalgic steamed puddings. Exactly the food for a winter treat.
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