Credit to the founders of Honest Burgers – a now 20+ outlet mini-chain in London and beyond – for being ahead of its time. Your reviewer may not be the biggest fan of burger and chips but in the interests of research, I visited the Marylebone branch of Honest with a willing colleague last week and a very specific purpose in mind – to sample the vegan burger they have recently launched. The burger was damn good and would convince many a sceptic
Visitors to the Basque region of Spain will see large adverts at the airports welcoming them to “the home of Spanish food.” This is not a bold claim, given that the city of San Sebastián has more Michelin stars per square metre than any other in the world. London may be some 1300km away from Spain’s culinary capital, but diners need not travel that far to experience some of the best food from the region. Donostia (what the locals call San Sebastián) is a 40-cover venue located in Marylebone’s restaurant quarter and provides an exceptionally good introduction to Basque cooking
Say Harry’s Bar to most foodies or well-travelled tourists and the immediate response would be ‘Venice.’ Such is its fame that the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs declared the Venetian venue a national landmark in 2001. Part of going to Venice is saying you’ve been there, but now you don’t even need to. For a pleasingly authentic experience with significantly fewer tourists and a much more reasonably priced menu, central London now has an outpost of Harry’s.
Walk two blocks north of Bond Street underground station and you will encounter one of London’s best-kept artistic secrets – the Wallace Collection. Located on Manchester Square, it houses an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts, and is free for anyone to visit. If this were not reason enough to visit, then the restaurant too is worth checking out…
First impressions count. This is a basic life lesson and one does not need to have much experience of visiting restaurants to know that there is a right way of doing things and a wrong one. The Gate did it the wrong way. It’s not a lot to ask the front of house to greet guests with a modicum of enthusiasm. It’s also not unreasonable to expect that the menus don’t have previous diners’ food stains on them. You can guess what happened to my dining comrade and I on a recent Saturday night visit. Our evening at The Gate was therefore off to a bad start and it would have taken some amazing food or vastly memorable service to have revised this negative impression. Neither was forthcoming.
What to make of Roti Chai? Identity crisis could be one answer. Now read on…. We opted for what Roti Chai calls its ‘street kitchen,’ a more informal setting based at street level. At 12.15 on arrival, it was pleasant, with a certain buzz. An hour later, it was hell…
Dining at Les 110 is an experience for grown-ups. The London sibling of the two Michelin-starred Paris original is housed in a fine yet somewhat austere Georgian building on Cavendish Square. The venue imbues a sense of expectation, but also one of reverence. Full marks for the food and its pricing; less praise for the service and overall ambience…
A trip to Peru was one of the most memorable holidays I ever undertook. On returning, I lamented for many years how there was a dearth of Peruvian dining options in London. In the last five, however, the city has gone mad for all things culinary from South America. While thoroughly enjoyable, a recent visit to Pachamama yielded nothing new in terms of discovery...
For a mid-market restaurant looking to tick all the right boxes, look no further than Delamina. Like many of the eateries of Tel Aviv from where the team behind this venture hail, the atmosphere is distinctly informal, but buzzing with life. Food-wise, the emphasis is on healthy and nutritious, combining the freshness of produce from the Mediterranean with the spiciness and cooking techniques (especially grilling and roasting) of the Middle East. If the Palomar and the Barbary led the way in this respect, then Delamina represents a natural evolution...
It’s a puzzle trying to decide how to describe the Harcourt. Maybe as a first stab, it is a traditional English pub with Scandinavian influences offering food from the region with a modern European twist. The venue’s website (un)helpfully has the catchy moniker, “old, but new.” Confused? So were my comrade and I when we dined at the Harcourt on a recent weekday evening. There was a great atmosphere, but the food was not sufficiently impressive to justify the prices charged
Do you know your hopper from your dosa; your kothu from you kari, or your chutney from your sambol? What’s the correct number of all/any of these dishes to order? And should you combine these with some ‘short eats’ or maybe a ‘rice and roast?’ By now, readers have probably got the story: Hoppers has one of the least comprehensible and potentially most unwelcoming menus in London. That said, once you do eventually get to the food, it’s pretty damn good.
In the debate about what may be the best formal Italian restaurant in London, I have consistently made the case for Locanda Locatelli. It was therefore highly pleasing to revisit it for the first time in three years (during which time the décor has received a minor makeover) and find that the very high standards for which Locanda is duly renowned are showing no signs of slipping.
The appetite for the new and the slightly different seems almost insatiable when it comes to restaurant openings. And so onto the scene comes Jikoni, which could arguably claim to be London’s first restaurant that is Swahili-influenced. Indeed, the restaurant takes its name from the local word used in the Great Lakes area of Africa for ‘kitchen.’
Three years is a long time in the London restaurant scene, but it is all credit to the team at Picture that such has been the success of their original Fitzrovia venture (which opened in 2013), now comes their second offering, located in Marylebone.
The decision of Xavier Rousset to locate his latest venture on Blandford Street is a good, if not somewhat bold one.
What London really doesn’t need is yet another generic high-end pub posing as a restaurant. The Portman, in its former incarnation as the Mason’s Arms, used to be a traditional London boozer with lovely wood panelling and a decent atmosphere.
Think of Argentine cuisine and the typical response is steak. Zoilo, a small and intimate restaurant on the northern edge of Mayfair, proves this claim wrong. The food my comrade and I sampled on a recent weekday lunchtime certainly impressed, as did the ambience, even if the service was something of a let-down.
Trishna’s website proclaims that this is “not your average curry night.” Such an assertion speaks of self-deprecation and a recent evening here saw our (high) expectations comfortably surpassed.