The best chefs' tables, London restaurants
Chat with a chef and get up close and personal with your food while its made with one of the best chef's table experiences in London
Yes, but it's also the name of a room reserved in many top quality restaurants especially for guests of the chef. But you can take a seat for just a little cashish.
For this, you will be lavished with special attention and see just how clean a real working kitchen is (there's no spitting in the soup, no roaches, no culinary genius of a rat secretly puppeteering the chef...)
But in all seriousness, a restaurant chef's table is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with some of the best chefs in London, and to educate yourselves about exceptional food. What's more, a chef's table dining experience transforms dinner into a culinary adventure as entertaining as any West End show.
But where? And how?
Marcus Wareing's Chef's Table, Knightsbridge
Marcus Wareing is the inimitable Masterchef judge and the Chef Patron behind the two Michelin star dining at The Berkeley Hotel (as well as manager of The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and the more approachable Tredwell's. This is your chance to meet the the man himself.
Splash a bit of cash for a bespoke five-course lunch menu in the private space from £105 per person, or go large with eight courses and a cheese box for £150, and top up with a canapé reception if you fancy for an extra £20.
The Executive Sommelier is always on hand to create a bespoke wine pairing selection to any meal.
When: Lunch and Dinner, Monday – Saturday
How many: Up to 10
How much: Minimum charge from £1000 to £2500 dependent upon date (excluding a discretionary service charge of 15%). There is no room hire fee.
TOP TIP: Marcus is a busy man, and can't always be there. Phone ahead to find out when he's around.
Chef's Table at Parlour, Kensal Green
With rustic interiors and a menu that boasts modern twists on classic comfort food, Parlour in Kensal Rise is an exemplary gastropub. But it also hosts the best kept foodie secret in North West London.
This is more than just a feast. A generous stream of dishes (you'll quickly lose count) are prepared and served with panache by former Mall Tavern chef Jesse Dunford Wood. With no menu, there are surprises aplenty as Wood guides you through the subtleties and backstory of each dish.
Once diners are well and truly sated with savoury offerings, Chef Jesse Dunford Wood presents his rapt audiences with headphones. We don't want to ruin the surprise, but what follows is a Willy Wonka-worthy extravaganza of culinary creativity and performance. Think music, smoke, fire and flourish as the entire tabletop is transformed into an incredible, edible world of pure imagination.
When: Lunch and Dinner, Monday - Sunday
How many: Up to 8
How much: £70 a head at dinner or £50 at lunch, including a welcome cocktail, plus drinks and service
TOP TIP: Be warned it is an exceptionally requested table.
Kisetsu at Sosharu, Clerkenwell
Kisetsu opened this summer as a 10-seater chef's table at prolific restaurateur Jason Atherton's Sosharu, where the chef is the star. Kisetsu, meaning season, serves a beautifully crafted and authentic Kappo-style tasting menu dedicated to the different Japanese specialities – Kappo just means a succession of Japanese small plates, using ingredients inspired by the turning seasons.
Sosharu's head chef Alex Craciun's daily changing menu showcases the finest in seasonal British and Japanese ingredients. His extensive Kyoto training is apparent in dishes such as duck sukiyaki, cold kudzu starch noodles with shrimp and cucumber and cucumber and melon ice.
Placing the chef at the centre of a fully interactive dining experience, a beautifully crafted communal wooden counter has been built around the kitchen pass and is the focal point of Kisetsu.
When: Lunch and dinner Monday to Friday
How many: Up to 10
How much: Varies
TOP TIP: A cancellation fee of £40 per person for lunch and £60 per person for dinner will be charged if the cancellation is less than 72 hours prior to the booking date.