Category: London Restaurant News
From what appears from the outside to be a members only club that only the highly connected could enter or at least a special handshake, is actually the entrance to the latest buzz amongst carnivores.
Upon visiting their Seven Dials restuarant you would be excused for missing the entrance altogether, as it is the most unassuming entrance, in a non discript side street just off Covent Garden.
But once inside you are transported to a bygone era of green tiles, brass fittings and black and white floors, it immediately feels like something special.
The starters, which are actually just an inconvenience delaying the arrival of the main, consist of an array of lobster, oyster, crab and cheese dishes. We had six oysters to share and I had Tamworth Belly Ribs. All very nice but considering we had already ordered the main, our minds were already there.
Now just imagine this, there are two choices to the way your chips are prepared, either cooked in beef drippings or TRIPLE cooked chips! Now after about 5 minutes of arguing about which to get, sharing etc., we decided to get one of each per person to settle any disputes. Now couple this with a Chateaubriand and I am in heaven. The steak was the best I have tasted outside the US, as the meat was so tender you could almost cut it with a fork.
We never did decide which was the better of the two style of chips, but we have decided that another visit is in order to make our minds up! However you can not just arrive at these restuarants and expect a table so book ahead.
The good news is that there is now three of these in the captial:
Guildhall – 10/12 Basinghall St. 0207 3978120
SEVEN DIALS – 11 Langley St. 020 7856 2154
SPITALFIELDS – 157Commerical St.0207 247 7392
Long before discrete dining became the norm, with restaurants blending into their surrounding and easy to miss due to the nondescript entrances, Hakkasan was blazing a trail in modern restaurant design. In 2001 their first restaurant opened in Hanway Place W1 and quickly got itself noticed as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Europe and within two years was awarded with a Michelin Star and is regularly ranked in the top 50 restaurants in the world according to Restaurant Magazine.
A decade after the first was established they opened a second restaurant in Mayfair in the West End which was awarded a Michelin Star within its first year of opening. Both restaurants are set inside with minimal distraction from the outside world and perfect for romantic liaisons or business lunches but they also have an edge with a cocktail bar that means business and bar tenders who know their stuff and have the accolades to prove it.
At first glance the menu can seem a little overwhelming to even the most seasoned traveller, with many items not appearing on your average chinese takeaway menu and very little detail given, but the staff there are fabulous and available for a grilling on whats what and recommendations. There is a wide selection of “small eats” or starters which could easily constitute a main course due to the size of some of them, especially their sesame prawn toast and then a wide selection of mains to suit any pallet, be it fish, meat or indeed vegetarian. Their “vegetarian chicken” may sound odd on reading it but you would have to be on your game to spot the difference between their tofu chicken creation and real chicken.
With careful planning and self-control one could enjoy a meal at Hakkasans for a fairly modest amount, but you will struggle once you see the selection on offer and starter around the £14 mark and mains averaging £22-£30 your budget could soon run away with itself. The wine menu is very well stocked and marked as one of the best in town with something to fit all budgets and tastes from around the £30 per bottle upwards.
Booking is a must with tables for the business nights being booked weeks in advance, however less popular nights and lunch times you do stand a chance of a walk in.8 Hanway Place London 020 7927 7000 Nearest tube Tottenham Court Road 17 Bruton St London, Greater London 020 7907 1888 Nearest tube Green Park http://hakkasan.com/contact/
One of London’s newest attractions is the Shard, an 87 storey skyscraper consisting of offices, restaurants and a hotel, which together form Europe’s tallest building. For £25 for adult or £19 for children you can travel to the 68th floor to experience a 360 degree view from 800ft above the city.
However there is another way to enjoy the view from the shard as part of a night out. The shard currently has three restaurants, the Oblix and Aqua shard, both modern European styles with grilled meat and fish and Hutong a top end Chinese restaurant. Tables for these can be booked in two hour slots, with tables by the windows.
Oblix and Hutong are the premium restaurants with a three course meal plus wine costing over £100 per person, while Aqua Shard is slightly cheaper coming in at around £60-£75 person inc. wine.
These restaurants are fairly new and still experiencing teething problems, but the service is outstanding and very professional. Customers are asked at every stage whether things are ok with your evening, but we were advised that Saturday nights were “hectic” and that Sunday was much calmer.
The food at Aqua was expensive for what it was and the drinks were also pricey, but it must be remembered that you are paying for the overall experience and that is hard to beat with a street level venue. Their rib eye steak was £33 without sides, but was very well cooked and a good cut, however the rest of the menu was overly fussy and he steak was the most simple dish by far. Also a lack of side options was a disappointment.
If you do want to experience the restaurant but do not fancy paying the inflated food prices you could always get there early and grab a table by the bar and share a bottle of wine or comfort one of their cocktails, which will set you back around £14 per person and being on the 32nd floor you still get some of the best views in town!
To book the restaurants:
+44(0)20 7268 6700
HUTONG AND AQUA SHARD ARE NOW OPEN
+44(0)20 7478 0540
Views from the shard viewing platform:
£24.95 for adults
£18.95 for children
From June 20th-23rd 2013, Regent’s Park will transform into a foodie wonderland for four days of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. Create your perfect taster menu from 40 of the city’s best restaurants as they serve their finest dishes for the ultimate alfresco feast. In addition, over 200 artisan producers and premium brands will provide a bounty of the best food and beverages from Britain and around the world.
Looking for the best burger in London? There can’t be much better contenders than the Byron Burger chain. Inspired by the burgers he experienced in the US, Tom Byng decided that we were missing on something so simple but yet SO satisfying, the humble burger. Established in 2007 there are now 25 in London and more nationwide and each designed to deliver that traditional look and feel.
The decor is meant to transport you to a traditional US diner and doesn’t disappoint. They keep their menus simple as well as their burgers. With a choice of 7 different styles and traditional sides you know what you are in for. Reasonably priced and convenient with stores across London.
Full a full list of locations see their site: London Locations
As of the 2012-2013 7 new London restuaratns have received their first Michelin stars. These are:
Hedone – 301-303 Chiswick High Road, London W4 4HH Tel: 020 3544 2411
Dabbous – 39 Whitfield Street, London W1T 2SF Tel: 020 7323 1544
Trishna – 15-17 Blandford Street London W1U 3DG Tel: 020 7935 5624
Medlar – 438 King’s Road, London SW10 0LJ Tel: 020 7349 1900
Launceston Place – 1a Launceston Place, London W8 5RL Tel: 020 3589 2084
Alyn Williams – The Westbury Hotel, 37 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YF Tel: 020 3641 1877
St. John – 1 Leicester Street London WC2H 7BL Tel: 020 3301 8020
While Sketch has earnt itself another to become a 2 star restuarant.
Over the past year you would be forgiven for thinking that there was some sort of invasion of Britain’s high streets as Cote Brasseries spring up left and right. On first sight they sites look like they have been there for years, as they are always in good keeping with the area surrounding them, so not to look out of place. However it soon became apparently that this was a quick moving rollout, with sites appearing all over the country.
This led us to stear clear of them, believing them to be nothing but another Cafe Rouge style restuarant, but just a different colour. Also the fact that one of our favourite Thai restuarants in the country, by London Bridge, has now become a Cote.
However on a Thursday night in Bath (Sommerset) we were faced with a never ending line of booked up restuarants, so we deciding rather than starve we would settle on Cotes. To our amazement we were almost turned away from there also, but the lovely lady at the front of house said she had a couple of no shows.
What separates Cote from the likes of Cafe Rouge is that the menu is more extensive, with a good mix of meat and fish dishes, on both the starters and mains. The wines on offer were also up to date and reasonable. The service was also outstanding, however the practice of having kitchen porter/waiters and a server was a bit awkward.
So Cote should not be seen as a last resort and has earned it’s place as a serious contender.
London locations include:
Taste a menu of over 30 different offerings, taking in the world’s most sumptuous street food and creations from London’s top restaurants (including Moro, Morito, Yum Buns and Big Apple Hot Dogs). While you savour a selection of London’s best brews and cool cocktails.
And with tunes from new breaking bands and DJs, plus exciting art inventions and installations, it caters for all the senses.
Friday 3rd August / 6 pm – 11 pm
Saturday 4th August / 12 pm – 11pm
Sunday 5th August / 12pm – 10pm
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW
Already a household name for his TV shows on alternative cooking and his success with his three Michelin Star restuarant the “Fat Duck”, Heston Blumenthal’s latest venture “Dinner” has scored it’s first Michelin star even though it has been open less than a year.
Based in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park it’s menu is inspired by historic British gastronomy, with such dishes as Savoury Porridge, Rice and Flesh, Cod in Cider and Spiced pigeon, it aims to bring back historical British dishes with a modern twist.
This is not going to be the last award for this restuarant.Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA +44(0)20 7201 3833 http://www.dinnerbyheston.com/