Tom Kerridge, Albert Adrià, and Endo Kazutoshi are some of the big-name chefs to have served up somewhere new. These culinary hotspots have ’em clamouring for a table.
DIN TAI FUNG
Go for: The hottest dumplings in town.
On Saturdays, Din Tai Fung’s flagship restaurant in Taipei 101 serves upwards of 10,000 hand-folded dumplings – and, judging by the clamour for tables at its new Covent Garden outpost, its London chefs need to be pretty fast-fingered too. The plump xiao long bao, with their intricate origami twists, taste just like Shanghai’s real deal.
Go for: Inventive Indian dishes.
Not content with having three Michelin-accredited restaurants under his belt already, chef Rohit Ghai is aiming for yet more stars with his latest project – Kutir, in Chelsea. Expect authentic flavours with an international twist, such as Gressingham duck korma and jackfruit kofta dumplings. The six-course ‘expedition’ tasting menus are superb.
CAKES AND BUBBLES
Go for: Edible art.
Feast your eyes on Albert Adrià’s sweet masterpieces: flowers hand-crafted from chocolate and coconut, crispy ‘air pancakes’ filled with maple syrup butter, and the signature cheesecakes that put his Barcelona restaurant – Tickets – on the map. Adrià refined his craft at Michelin-starred El Bulli (Ferran is his brother), so expect great things from this restaurant in Soho’s Hotel Café Royal.
IMPERIAL TREASURE FINE CHINESE CUSINE
Go for: Truly decadent duck.
While we could wax lyrical about Imperial Treasure’s succulent seafood and exquisite dim sum, one dish at this Waterloo restaurant always steals the limelight: the £100 Signature Peking Duck. After a first course of tender meat and crispy trimmings, a second serving – stir fried, with a variety of sauces – makes this a feast you’ll rightly return for.
JEAN-GEORGES AT THE CONNAUGHT
Go for: A fancy breakfast.
The latest addition to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s international empire, this Mayfair restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea. Our tip? Book breakfast in the light-flooded conservatory: the menu is just as globetrotting as J-G himself, and includes spicy Indian dosas, homebaked brioche, and truffle-laced scrambled eggs.
KERRIDGE’S BAR AND GRILL
Go for: Great British bites.
It’s hard to believe that this is Tom Kerridge’s first London restaurant, but he actually made his name in the village of Bray, Berkshire – with the double Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers. Building on his reputation for fine British cuisine, Kerridge’s new project (at the Corinthia Hotel) gives old favourites such as fish and chips and cottage pie the five-star makeover they deserve.
ENDO AT THE ROTUNDA
Go for: London’s best bite?
Endo Kazutoshi’s hotly-anticipated sushi restaurant at White City House has whipped London’s top food writers into a frenzy – and already welcomed the King of Jordan. With just 15 seats, you’ll need to book months ahead, but in the words of Times restaurant critic Giles Coren: ‘It was probably the most perfect meal I have eaten in a restaurant’. High praise indeed.
Go for: A quick bite between sightseeing.
It comes as little surprise to learn that Bancone’s founder and head chef, Louis Korovilas, is Locanda Locatelli alumni. Those dishes of silky oxtail ragu pappardelle and tender cuttlefish tagliatelle wouldn’t look out of place in a Michelin-starred joint – but here they’re served in a refreshingly laid-back setting, in one of Covent Garden’s best-value restaurants.
Go for: Perfect Persian.
“With Berenjak, I wanted to evoke the style of a rustic hole-in-the-wall eatery from Tehran,” says its founder Kian Samyani, “and reinterpret signature dishes using seasonal British produce.” It’s a recipe for success: the chargrilled poussin – a juicy, spicy triumph – is one of Soho’s hottest dishes right now.
Go for: Oyster ‘happy hour’, 6-7pm.
The elegant, airy dining room of Kimpton Fitzroy London boasts an oyster bar, wood-fired grill, and one of the most exquisite seafood menus in town. Come for lunch, and you’ll want to linger on the luxurious leather banquettes – supping shellfish and swigging vintage bubbly ’til sundown.
Or revisit a classic…
During the ’60s Langan’s Brasserie in Mayfair proved a magnet for famous faces, pulling in the likes of Jagger, Brando and Ali while remaining resolutely unpretentious. It no longer hogs the limelight, but still deserves star billing.
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