I love London: it’s fast, cosmopolitan and hip, so it’s no surprise really to find that it’s also home to a selection of very cool eating establishments.
The challenge is my friends, finding them!
As many of London’s best restaurants are hidden away in quirky site streets, or could pass you by as part of a smart hotel, or are even found in parts of town you might not visit otherwise.
So, to help you navigate deftly into a great spot in one of London’s gems I’ve put together this list just for you…
Plum & Spilt Milk, Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross St Pancras Station
Both modern and chic this hot new London restaurant is an excellent introduction to the city for travelers arriving at Kings Cross St Pancras Station or even the Eurostar Terminal. Hidden away on the first floor of the newly renovated Great Northern Hotel, Plum & Spilt Milk serves up top class modern British cuisine to all who enter. The twice baked Smoked Haddock soufflé melts on the tongue and the Jacobs Ladder (short rib beef) follows it up beautifully. I recommend a visit to the GNH Bar afterwards, where you can sip on expertly made but reasonably priced cocktails and enjoy watching London pass you by. If you are tempted to stay for ‘just one more’ you’ll be ok too- as you slink off into the London night, getting either a cab, a tube or a train home couldn’t be easier.
Burger & Lobster, 40 St John St, Smithfield
The simplicity of this restaurant’s offerings makes it great fun and a thoroughly of the moment choice. Yes that’s right the menu is very simple: it’s either a burger or a lobster. Both are generously sized, cooked to perfection, very tasty and at £20 per head a real steal! For ultimate value though, we say choose the lobster and get it grilled, rather than steamed, for a delicious smoky taste. It’s much easier to get a table here than at neighbouring St John and therefore I say, much cooler.
The Modern Pantry, 47-48 St Johns Square
If you enjoy a truly global mix of cuisine then the Modern Pantry is the place to indulge your taste buds. In its clean and airy restaurant you can enjoy dishes from all over the world, expertly put together by Chef Anna Hansen. I ate Pan fried Cornish Pollock with parsnip puree, chamomile braised fennel, tomatillo and yuzu tobiko salsa, followed by a rather scrumptious tobado chocolate mousse cake, with white chocolate sorbet, black garlic & Urfa chilli caramel with gooseberries. Need we say anymore? The dishes may sound like a complete mouthful but we can assure you all the food is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Polpo, 41 Beak St, Soho
With bare brick walls, a bashed metal ceiling and candlelight galore, Polpo is the Venetian-style café of the moment. It is every bit as trendy as the kind of eatery you find in New York’s Soho and London is loving it. I couldn't get enough of the Fritto Misto of squid, anchovies and prawns, and the strips of cuttlefish in its own ink is rather tasty too. Dishes are inexpensive so it’s safe to experiment; I tried the pork belly with hazelnuts, pumpkin risotto and the chopped liver crostini and I wasn't disappointed
The Mall Tavern, 71 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill
Ok, so the Mall Tavern is more of a gastro pub than a restaurant but it is very cool and ALL of the food is cooked onsite - so it rightfully earns a place on the list!! What’s more this fabulous Regency pub has a Private Dining Room, which is available for hire, plus the chance to eat at the Kitchen Table – yep, actually in the kitchen. It’s a thrilling experience as you are plied with food and tasty morsels, as you watch steam rise from the busy chefs. Pudding is something which simply has to been seen to be experienced. You’ll know what I mean when you go.
Where have you eaten in London recently that has really tickled your taste buds?
Or are you planning a trip soon? Where will you go? I’d love to know so I can add it to my ever expanding list!