London: the best restaurants in the city right now
London has been majorly transforming in the last 5 years or so, and even if you're a foodie you can't seem to keep up with all the restaurants keep on popping up. First it was Shoreditch, then it was Notting Hill (extended) and now it's Soho and Mayfair (again). Despite the usual classics, there are some (relatively) new entries that are kind of hot right now.
Famous for classic food establishments such as the minimalist noodle canteen chain Wagamama and our all-time favourite Hakkasan, Alan Yau returned to London's headlines with a charming proposition last Christmas. Located on the happening Berkeley street and spanning across two floors, Park Chinois offers Chinese-inspired dishes with a European twist. Makes the perfect combination of a tasty fine dinner and an elegant night out!
Lurra is the second brainchild of the Donostia restaurant owners that has recently attracted some attention. Nemanja Borjanovic and Melody Adams opted for a larger venture than Donostia just across the street offering some delicate artful Basque dishes, including squid stuffed with prawns and chorizo. When we first visited this year, we came out wanting more, as dishes are kind of small and expensive... but their delicate taste still lingers!
If you're looking for a casual night out where pasta is more important than anything else, then you've got to get down to Bermondsey and try Flour & Grape! More like your local pub, Flour & Grape serves handmade fresh pasta at a budget price. Need say more?
Flour & Grape only serves a handful of pasta, each of which are delicious: Caserecce with olives, capers and tomatoes, Papardelle with beef ragu, Tagliolini with butter emulsion, preserved truffle and cured egg yolk... and our very best Tortelloni with roasted pork shoulder and sage butter! Yeah, we get it, full cholesterol addicts but still... when you want to go big for pasta , you now know where to go!
Southam street just off Golborne Road north of Nottting Hill is one of the best recent additions on our map! 108 Garage in Notting Hill has proven to be a pretty big hit, installed in a converted garage space. Now the same duo, Luca Longobardi (the investor) and Chris Denney (the foodie), have sticked to what they know best (West London's fancy dinner scene) and have recently opened Southam Street.
The menu on the ground floor appeals to all tastes and palates but if you wanna stay on the safe side then you'd need to go for the baby back ribs, glazed to perfection with just about the right balance between softness and crispness! The beef picanha with chilli ponzu was also cooked nicely but came in third (or fourth) but the Korean fried chicken bao buns dish is probably what wins them all! Delicious, delicious, delicious - you'll literarily want to have the extras coming, on and on!
Review coming soon
Borough market has always been a favourite foodie destination but with Padella recently in the mix we can't seem to be getting enough of it. With a laidback atmosphere and very reasonable prices, Padella is perfect for pasta offering eight handmade, fresh pasta dishes, inspired by the greatest hits that have made Padella’s sister restaurant Trullo in Highbury one of the most interesting neighbourhood restaurants to visit in London.
Review coming soon
Cover Image for Duddell's: Olive Magazine
If you only have a few hours on your trip in London, then investing them wisely can go a long way. Please budget a good half hour (queue waiting excluded) to visit Flat Iron in Covent Garden, especially if you're a meat lover like we are.
Serving a dead simple menu of steaks, burger and fries, Flat Iron launched in 2015 and has ever since been driving hungry patrons in hordes! Sourcing meat from the Flat Iron farm in Yorkshire, this meat joint offers a fast impeccable service and insanely tasty meat.
Review coming soon
One of the best tapas restaurants in London. Barrafina is tiny so it won’t accommodate a large group. Try the stuffed courgette flower, arroz negro, pork belly and cured meats. But you must queue up for at least 30mins before you get seated... so budget accordingly.
There's still a lot of buzz around for both Palomar and Evelyn's table right nextdoor to each other in the busy streets of Soho, as well as for what else Bermondesey will be bringing. After Flour & Grape and Londrino, also great pasta, the area has been getting more and more attention by us foodies.
And given the latest hotel and private club development frenzy, we have indeed taken note of the best places in the city to get a drink and mingle with the socialites of the British capital.
Chiltern Firehouse has been somewhat of a religion amongst the inner circles of those who can afford a membership (or those that sneak in during the early hours of the evening) although The Ned has been trying to get on the map lately more and more. Despite its generic feel across all of the restaurants and dinner rooms inside the vast ground floor its City establishment, it's worth touring around for a drink - but please go early, in order to avoid all the bankers and that sleezy feeling. Moving westbound, Dean Street Townhouse is the cosiest Soho House of them all and Kettners Townhouse the latest addition to the group's presence in the city with its Victorian look and feel (more on that on our next review).
If you want to get more classy, then head over to Scarfes Bar or The Gin Bar right in the heart of Holborn. Great live jazz tunes on Saturdays and a handful of signature cocktails prepared by the white-dressed bar staff in the lounge of the Rosewood London hotel. Otherwise, head over to Notting Hill and get more alternative on the upper floors of Southam street restaurant. Funky beats and a certainly cool crowd turns up after 10pm on weekends.