Ah, Spring. A time for rebirth: flowers bursting into bloom, longer days, gambolling lambs in grassy fields. Some new things that have also been popping up some of the hottest new restaurants in the big smoke. From Harlem to traditional British food, these are some best restaurants in London that you will be a fool to miss out on
When people mention Asian dishes: Indian, Chinese or Thai generally come to mind. Traditional Taiwanese cuisine is a melting pot, taking inspiration from Japan, Portugal and beyond. This Soho two-storey restaurant has a ‘tea bar’ near the entrance, a stylised space for guests in which to socialise and enjoy cocktails. The restaurant is panelled with rich, dark wood in the glamorous style of 1930s Taiwan – designed by Brady Williams. The upstairs dining space is a tad more formal with the unmissable focal point: a six-seater marble dining bar, framed by a beautiful hand-painted ‘Mountains of Taiwan’ mural.
The menu is bursting with street-food style plates, alongside more classic ones (all locally sourced) such as Sho Pa. Sho Pa is a speciality: a chicken stuffed with Chinese spices and herbs, served whole, with the head still on. Diners will be getting hands-on, equipped with gloves, to tear apart the succulent meat. A dedicated tea master will be on hand to serve up tea from a collection from Taiwan. Xu is an entirely family business: chef Erchen Chang and her husband Sing Tat Chung, along with his sister, Wai Ting Chung.
Open since April, Westerns Laundry’s ever-changing menu focuses predominately on seafood dishes from the best possible produce. Sourced from the British Isles, seasonally, Westerns Laundry’s also reaches out to parts of Asia and the Catalan region for influence. 200 wines are available to choose from, plus a ‘black book’ of fine wines and older vintages; a vast selection of these available by the glass. The restaurant features a pared-back aesthetic, reflecting the history of the 1950s building and hidden by a planted forecourt. The unique aspect of the restaurant is the central chalkboard showing the daily changing menu. There is a great emphasis on communal eating, reflected in lines of communal tables and electric blue velvet banquettes seating and original 1940s seating. An open kitchen provides an additional 10 counter seats. Be sure to check it out, situated in Drayton Park, North London.
Casting some light on some of Wales’s culinary delights, Tom Simmons (former MasterChef winner) is to open his first restaurant in London. Tom’s ethos for quality produce and good, honest thoughtful cooking is to be enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere. Championing the food produced by his country, the menu will include some delightful twists on traditional ingredients: cockle popcorn, laver bread mayonnaise, leek bread and a “refined” version of the lamb stew, cawl. The 52-cover restaurant interior is a blend of rustic and contemporary elements. Materials are largely natural with wood panelled walls, a slate bar and Welsh oak tables. The colour palette is comprised of earthy tones and the walls display scenes from the beautiful Welsh countryside. If you’re dying to visit, be sure to keep an eye out for Simmons, located in Tower Bridge, London.
Red Rooster London
Bringing Harlem to Shoreditch, Red Rooster is one of New York’s must-visit eateries and their new opening in London is attracting the same buzz. A homage to the neighbourhood and inspired by Harlem’s iconic diner culture, the buzzing bistro serves up global soul street food – bringing people together over delicious dishes. Founded by award-winning Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson, you can expect home-cooked comfort food from Stockholm (think gravlax, Swedish meatballs) and quintessentially Harlem dishes: mac and cheese, fried chicken and oxtail stew. The London Outpost transports you to New York, replicating the laidback, cheerful charm that has been encapsulated in the antique bric-a-brac décor. To put the cherry on top, works from local artists and live music fill the restaurant – everyone from John Legend to Alicia Keys has performed in the downstairs Ginny’s Supper Club. If this is getting your mouth watering, get down to Shoreditch during May 2017. The restaurant is connected to the Curtain Hotel and is guaranteed to be a hit.
GBR -> Great British Restaurant. Sums it up to a T. The GBR team are dedicated to perfecting and dishing up some of the finest traditional and contemporary British cuisine in a stylish and striking space. The interior design creates an elegant yet casual ambience, comprising mainly of deep blue, white, and grey tones. The signature dish to look out for is the traditional Scotch egg with a GBR twist (British charcuterie and pickled vegetables). And for dessert? Treacle sponge with custard, complete with a roasted banana. We’re excited too. If you want to check it out yourself, the restaurant is part of the Dukes Hotel in Mayfair.
Influenced by the traditional British flower (the Lupin), the laid-back dining room sees seasonal British ingredients infused with global flavours. With the ambition to break the traditional British mould expect a unique menu. One dish that’s got us excited for is the lamb with sumac and pomegranate molasses. What makes Lupins extra-special is their quirky drink list – a majority completely organic. If you’re interested in Traditional British food with a twist, then head down to South Bank for an unforgettable dining experience!
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