Chef’s top tables: Timothy Newton

Timothy Newton is the man behind the eatery that kick-started Dubai’s love affair with French food. Now at the helm of chic Parisian-style café Bagatelle, he details some of the restaurants around the globe that live up to his supremely high standards

 

The Wolseley, London

Definitely a bucket-list restaurant, this space is amazing, with grand columns and truly first-class food in a fusion of European sophistication and London heritage. Delight in the buzz of conversation, the chink of crockery and the eclectic menu, which is always bang-on. With up to 1,000 diners a day, they’re definitely doing something right here. No matter what time of day you visit, there’s always something delicious on offer; non-meateaters will love the additional vegetarian menu. Breathtakingly grand but never intimidating, it’s a must-visit.

Favourite dish: The roast loin of venison with parsnip purée and redcurrant jus

Tommy’s Joynt, San Francisco

An institution in San Fran, this family-owned place has been feeding hungry folks for over 70 years. One of the most distinctive eateries in the city, the exterior and rooftop are covered in colourful murals, neon signs and flags. Inside, the walls are chock-full of American memorabilia, road signs, stuffed animal heads, coasters, photographs and autographs of famous patrons. One of the best buffets for hot sandwiches that I’ve ever tasted, they roast all their meat on site every day. A cosy neighbourhood atmosphere with great eats: what’s not to love?

Favourite dish: The pastrami sandwich

Hakkasan, London

There are now Hakkasans all over the world, but this one on Hanway Place is the original. Expect classy Cantonese food, superb service and a beautifully designed dining room – the work of French interiors maestro Christian Liagrie. The sleek décor and cool lighting make this a great place to both eat and socialise, and the menu is full of exciting fusions of Chinese fare tapered to suit Western tastes. Under the watch of head chef Tong Chee Hwee, who has been with the brand since its inception, the open-plan kitchen adds a touch of theatrical drama as diners can survey the creative energy of the chefs at work

Favourite dish: The legendary dim-sum selection

Animal, Los Angeles

Known for its meaty offerings, this somewhat aptly named restaurant on the coolest street in LA is a dream come true for the carnivorous-minded. Fairfax is to LA what the Lower East Side is to Manhattan, just with added palm trees, and Animal’s sparsely decorated room in the heart of it certainly pulls in the coolest customers. Headed up by celebrity chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, the menu is creative, the portions decadent, and the staff suitably informed. Serving up consistently near-perfect dishes, if you want to get in on the action here be sure to book ahead..

Favourite dish: The foie-gras biscuit, smothered in gravy

Tour DArgent, Paris

As well as being the oldest restaurant in Paris, this spot has a special place in my heart, as it’s where I had my first real restaurant experience as a youngster. Nestled between the River Seine and the Bernardins Monastery, it was built in Renaissance style and first opened back in 1582. For over 60 years now, the restaurant has brought in exclusively reared ducks from the marshlands of the Vendee region in a tradition that dates back to the reign of Philip IV of Spain in 1650. Its classically timeless design pairs beautifully with fantastic views of the city, but it’s the food that ensures this place is wholly deserving of its outstanding reputation.

Favourite dish The pressed duck with rich cherry sauce