Where to Eat

I

‘ve always been perhaps pretentiously reluctant to dine out too much. Most of the time you can ‘cook dinner better yourself at home’ for less of your hard earned pennies and in a more relaxed and less aggravating ambience. However after moving to London I cannot resist the foodie delights and variety that is on offer. I’ve never been so tempted. I use dinners out more for inspiration than for economical or satiety reasons. I try to eat at restaurants, or at least choose dishes, I would not normally cook for myself. Those with that little added effort, technique or ingredient to inspire my recipes. However, admittedly, sometime you do just need your local…

Cheapest £ –>Expensive £££££

London

  • Mildreds – Soho. Cute, exciting, charming and cosy vegetarian restaurant where you won’t even notice the lack of meat. £
  • Andrew Edmonds – Soho. Romantic. Perfect for any loved up couple with an adoration for traditional French food and paper table cloths.£££
  • The Modern Pantry – Farringdon. Quirky, interesting food and a wonderful setting to celebrate a special occasion or an elegant catch up with a friend. Alternatively, enjoy brunch in their cafe. £££
  • Smoking Goat – Soho. Brave statement but I think my favourite eatery in London. Authentic Thai BBQ dishes for sharing. Indescribable flavours accompany a cosy, dark, smoky and enticing atmosphere. A simple menu with daily specials, this review can’t do it justice. I’d advise you just go and try this one. Slow cooked shoulder of goat for two is an absolute necessity in your life. ££
  • Prince of Wales – East Putney. My local gastro pub. A real foodie find in the area especially for a pub. Perfect for any occasion. Casual dinner, celebration meal or gourmet burger craving. ££
  • Nama – Nottinghill. Raw, fresh, current cafe where you will leave feeling virtuous. £££
  • Vinoteca – Soho. For the wine lover who caves to their appetite. £££
  • Jar Kitchen – Covent Garden. Cute, tasty, humble cafe serving delicious honest and excitingly modern dishes. ££
  • The Lockhart – Seymour Place. American food with glamour and style. Perfect for a romantic meal. £££
  • Dock Kitchen – Ladbroke Grove. Exciting, modern and gourmet middle Eastern food. For a meal with a bit more meaning and occasion £££
  • The Parlour – Kensal Rise. Gourmet gastro style pub-come-bar food. A hidden gem for any occasion. ££
  • Boa – Soho. For all your authentic Taiwanese steamed bun needs. Quick meals in a seated street food style. £
  • Kopapa – Covent Garden. Delicious New Zealand inspired modern dishes to please the eye. £££
  • Dishoom – Covent Garden. Gourmet Indian cuisine. Perfect for a big loud dinner with friends but more so for a bacon naan roll filled brunch complete with cupfuls of soothing House Chai. ££
  • Hakkasan – Mayfair. Indulgent Cantonese cuisine for those who like to ‘be seen’ while they eat in style. But eat in style you will. ££££
  • Coya – Green Park. Swanky Peruvian dishes. Perfect for a group or a couple to share the delights. ££££
  • The Big Easy – King’s Road. Big, bold American feast. Sticky BBQ ribs and giant battered prawns washed down with frozen margaritas. Perfect for carb-laoding your army friends. ££
  • Claude’s Kitchen – Parsons Green. I’m not easily impressed when eating out with the view I could have cooked it better myself. I was impressed. Cosy, small and delicious. For groups or couples alike. £££
  • Tendido Cuatro – New Kings Road. Humble authentic tapas. Date night where you won’t be disturbed. ££
  • Arabica – Borough Market. Buzzing, tasty, tapas style sharing Middle Eastern dishes perfect for a ‘let your hair down’ Friday evening. ££
  • House of Ho – Soho. Not to be mistaken for a strip club with neon lights. Memorable, stylish elegant and devine Vietnamese food. Delicate beautiful dishes full of flavour. Beautiful modern decor, perfect for a girls night or a romantic date. ££
  • Smokehouse – Chiswick/Islington. Slow cooked melting indulgent meats to sooth the soul and satisfy the stomach. Vegetarian would be intimidated here (Stick to Mildreds). Antlers, animal skins, fine polished wood and leather armchairs make this place a home away from home to kick back in with a warm glass of red. ££
  • Bonnie Gull – Fish. Sourced from reliable and thoughtful locations, expect a menu of seafood. Cooked simply, beautifully and deliciously. Its like being whisked to the Cornish coast….sadly you are even likely to leave smelling of fish….cooked that is. ££
  • Blanchette – Soho. A charming Parisian bistro focusing on ‘tapas’ style French dishes. Tucked away from the mayhem of Oxford Street ready to warmingly accept any passer by – solo, old friends catching up or a kinky date. Perfect for a few delicious dishes and a glass of vino. ££
  • The Grazing Goat – Marlyebone. Gastro pub for any affair. Some surprisingly cracking salads! ££
  • Fu Manchu – Clapham. Dim Sum hideaway in a charming brick clad railway arch. Serving excellent Chinese dishes and swanky cocktails. Great for a social gathering with friends as it even doubles as a live music and night club venue for those looking to continue their evening in style. ££
  • Souk Medina – Covent Garden. A Moroccan feast in a solely authentic setting. The little rough around the edges but sweetly charming interior is a labyrinth of rooms offering a perfect (romantic) escape from blustering Covent Garden. ££
  • Naughty Piglets – Brixton. Bigger than normal sharing dishes using thoughtful seasonal ingredients. Small cosy atmosphere for a civilised bite. ££
  • Chez Bruce – Wandsworth. For a special occasion. Expect wholeheartedly traditional but beautifully cooked French cuisine. Perfectly matching wines and attentive charming service tops off this fine dining establishment. ££££
  • Odette’s – Primrose Hill. Iconic long standing venue in the charming streets of Primrose Hill. Offering rich, robust dishes its one to have on the bucket list. ££££
  • Tayyabs – Aldgate East. Indian tradition. Amazing dishes packed full of flavour and spice in an extremely buzzing atmosphere. Their traditional lamb chops are legendary. Order yourself the ‘dry meat’ curry and roti you’ll be on your way to heaven. And as its free corkage BYO you can bring your perfect bottle of Riesling or Gewurtz to dine in style. Extremely good value for the quality. Booking essential! ££
  • Sukho – Fulham. Fine Dining Thai. Thai food at its authentic local best. £
  • Grain Store – King’s Cross. Carnivores don’t be put off! This is by no means a vegetarian eatery.  A menu of hearty and generous dishes brimming with flavour and cooked with love with a heavy focus on vegetables paired deliciously with beautiful meats and fish. I’m a really really big fan. ££
  • Caravan – Kings Cross. Rustic fusion in a cool, casual and modern environment. Small and large plates that intrigue and delight! Great for a catch up with friends in a vibrant buzzy atmosphere. ££
  • Kenza – Liverpool Street. If you fancy a trip to Morocco for the evening in central London then heres you place! Once you cross the African threshold a cascade spiral staircase of glitter and temptation lead you into a basement of charm. You really will feel like you’ve escaped. With a sweet cocktail menu and a list of delicious feasts this place is a must for a night with a twist. The perfect stop for a girly night out, secret hidden romantic date or a party. And with a special surprise at 7.30 and 9.30 each evening (which I won’t spoil) you’re in for a treat. ££
  • Franco Manca – Various. Hands down the best quality pizza in London. Sourdough base, quality toppings and ingredients. Simple short menu of pizza and beer makes choice easy. Best meal I’ve had for a tenner in a long while. £
  • Berber & Q (Shawarma Bar) – Exmouth market. Middle eastern food lovers dream. Big punchy dishes perfect for sharing. Excellent portions size and flavours. Some great authentic beer choices and unlimited fluffy pita. A game contender on the Exmouth Market scene. ££
  • Viet Grill – Shoreditch. Tasty, authentic  and hearty Vietnamese food. The venue has an airy and vibrant atmosphere with a coriander, lime and ginger infused buzz! Attentive quick service and delicious satisfying dishes. The best coconut ice cream I’ve had in London thus far…..and if you know me well, you know my coconut ice cream standards! ££
  • ON THE BAB – Covent Garden (And various). A Korean fried chicken haven. Let me reiterate…haven. Bowls of various sized crunchy, Korean flavoured fried chicken, soft pillowy overfilled bao buns and lava lamps of beer (I won’t spoil the surprise). This place is worth waiting in the rain for. ££
  • Som Saa – Spitalfields. Chic converted warehouse serving delicious Thai dishes and refreshing cocktails. A drool-worthy smell hits you on crossing the threshold and the copious bowls of limes, chills and Thai ingredients set you up for a great evening for any occasion. Great seated sharing tables and cosy private booths. Service was surprisingly and welcomingly attentive and friendly (for London). Order the deep fried sea bass. If you’re chilli adverse, have a pint of milk in your bag in case as you won’t want to miss out! £££
  • Kiln – Soho. Sister restaurant to my favourite ‘Smoking Goat’ (above) this place offers smaller, more tapas-style dishes that rival Smoking Goat. A pleasing and enticing open air kitchen with mini kilns for cooking offer a unique and entertaining evening. ££
  • Tandoor Chop House – Covent Garden. Fantastic small boutique Indian restaurant that fills your nose with amazing smells as soon as you walk through the door. Small and perfectly formed, great relaxed dining atmosphere and lovely dining booths for any occasion. A great short but varied menu to reduce choice but importantly a crowd pleasing ‘Black dalh’ to rival Dishoom. (It was agreed that it actually bettered Dishoom – both for quality and taste of food and ease of dining. You can book!) ££

Brunch Specific

  • M1LK – Balham. Epic brunch. A fantastic, humble, rustic, edgy, trendy and bright sunny cafe in Balham. An ultimate original brunch menu. You may have to queue down the road to get in at the weekend but once in the big glass windows are ideal for people watching on a Saturday morning. My new found top brunch spot.
  • Ozone – Old Street. A hipster and Shoreditch lovers bare-brick-walled haven. Enter with caution is you are not with bearded inked friends. Indulgent brunch dishes, excellent coffees and a buzzing atmosphere. Central open air kitchen.
  • Dishoom – Various. The best bacon sandwich in town. Indian style…
  • Bistrotheque – Bethnal Green. High airy ceilings, white brick paintwork, and an array of elegantly laid tables nested round an open kitchen makes this converted warehouse cafe – come – restaurant a refreshing venue. Beautiful, simple and elegant, the simple but ever so pleasing menu has a perfect array of brunch treats and the best brunch cocktail list in London! And with a weekly pianist every brunch, its certainly the place to sit and while away the Sunday hours. Best cornbread I’ve ever eaten.
  • Brother Marcus – Balam. My new favourite brunch spot. Humble and unassuming from the outside but delicious brunch treats using amazing produce (suppliers listed helpfully on their menu). A cool and welcoming environment with great friendly staff and reasonable prices. Offering all your favourite millennial brunch classics (avo, eggs, sourdough etc) but cooked with a slight twist make these noticeably more delicious and worth returning to. If you’re nursing a hangover, I recommend the salt beef bagel and eggs. They also host a range of evening supper clubs from prestigious chefs.