There are a multitude of new restaurants popping up in London. These are a couple you should not miss.
This is as hot as it gets right now in London, and is the type of party palace you would expect to see in Soho, but the fact it is actually in Mayfair just makes it even better. It’s a bar, meets restaurant meets club all in one. The ground floor has an intimate bar, but downstairs is where the real action happens. The ethos is “eat, drink, play, and what’s not to like about that.
Super sexy interiors make this a sensational place to simply hang out with a good friend and chill, and the cocktails are currently some of the best in London. Even the toilets are next level in terms of interiors.
There is a secret entrance for famous types who are regular diners, and lots of cosy dining tables of all sizes depending on your mood. There’s a stunning DJ in residence from New Zealand, who creates just the right ambience for relaxation, but gently takes it up a few notches as the night goes on, carefully reading the mood.
If you want to impress a date, this is where to go.
The food is Latin-American, and the night I went, bar snacks were enough for dinner. A fresh take on guacomale was brilliant, and went well with the Pisco Sour cocktails we had, a welcome salute to the very vest of Latin American mixology. Crunchy baked corn was a welcome addition sprinkled on the snacks, and small pita breads filled with chicken (chicken pibil) and a myriad of flavours was brilliant and very filling.
My favourite was crunchy seemingly fried pitas with a mix of bacon, onion, corn and salsa which was a taste sensation – and plastic monkeys abounded amongst the dishes which made us laugh.
The gorgeous barman Lewis simply asked what sort of drinks we liked and mixed away. The presentation was gorgeously feminine, and the cocktails were not loaded with sugar, but a careful blend of taste sensations.
Bottom line: I can’t wait to go back to try the full menu. Absolutely brilliant for a group or sexy date. London restaurants at their very best.
This upmarket Spanish restaurant in London is discreetly hidden in the basement of Number One Aldwych and even has its own entrance.
Three Michelin Star Basque chef Eneko Atxa is in residence here, and make no mistake, he is one of the most lauded Basque chefs in the world, with a reputation for sustainable food, so eating here is nothing short of amazing, and you know ingredients will be as hand picked or local and fresh as possible.
There is a bar on the first level, with wooden floor boards, and sharp seats the perfect place to start an upmarket evening out with a cocktail or glass of champagne.
Dinner is served in the restaurant down another flight of stairs, in a completely refurbished basement area with a circle of tables sitting beneath and around the glamorous copper staircase It’s a masculine setting, wood, steel, stone leather, unusual for London.
The Spanish menu is simple but varied and you can mix and match small and large dishes and share. Dishes are simple but stunning, and super fresh. There were several Michelin star moments of amazing taste explosions which were a thrill.
Several dishes are trios, such as “Memories of the Bay of Biscay”, which is a trio of shells including a large rock oyster, spider crab, and a porcelain sea urchin filled with prawn tartare and primped with caviar and a swirl of dry ice for dramatic effect. There’s cauliflower served four ways (sounds boring but is a (healthy) taste sensation and pork shoulder slow cooked with bacon sauce. Very rich, but fabulous.
Presentation is perfect, with lots of food-meets-art moments. I can never resist duck on a menu, and served with king oyster mushrooms was delicious. For me it was the overall experience I enjoyed here. Great service, excellent food – and the wines were amazing and not too expensive.
Bottom line: Great food and service in a cool, masculine setting. More of a professional vibe, so great for a work lunch.
This classically English restaurant setting is fast becoming one of THE places to be seen in London. About 18 months ago, the restaurant was created on the ground floor of the gorgeous Bloomsbury Hotel, and is hugely popular with instagrammers as it is so leafy and bright to photograph.
In winter it is transformed into a magical secret garden setting with beautiful furs to sit on, and romantic towering feather and plant filled back-drops and candles. In summer it is green, sun-filled with a terrace that’s full every night with the trendy local music, arty, creative after work crowd.
The signature Mrs Dalloway cocktail is a must, and is made with champagne, cognac, sugar and bitters. Divine. I had to have a second.
The menu is varied and large, which I liked. We had some small plates to share to start including calamari, lobster tacos and deep fried crab. All were very tasty and matched well with the well heeled cocktails.
The seafood was fresh, and the dishes were creative.
The venison was my pick for main and was well presented when it arrived, served with a baby beetroot sauce, organic lentils and basil. It was the perfect sized dish, as it was not too big and venison cooked perfectly rare.
My friend had the truffle risotto with truffle which was the highlight of the meal – delicious. Perfectly cooked, the fragrance of the truffle filled the restaurant, and the taste was heavenly.
The serving size of the risotto was huge so we shared it. A salad and root vegetable dish topped it off, and helped balance the meal.
We couldn’t resist the dessert menu as there were so many fabulous choices. The waitress recommended the valrhona chocolate and caramel slice with salted caramel ice-cream. The ice-cream was to die for. Unbelievable. The slice was sweet and delicious – perfect to share.
The staff were great, and overall this was a gorgeous British experience. Can’t wait to go again soon, especially in summer when the outdoor terrace is apparently divine.
Bottom Line: The setting at this new London restaurant is the showstopper with good food and excellent cocktails. The perfect venue for a girls night out or a date.