I thought, in this post, I'd share with you three solid restaurants in London for varying budgets that I would always take friends/family/colleagues. It can be hard for a chef (especially poor ones like us!) to eat out or be taken out, I know I am definitely fussy about the places I spend my money and I know R also most definitely is!
I have just recently moved to the vibrant area of Brixton, south of the river in London. I can honestly say that Brixton has an amazing buzz about it in terms of local eateries - both restaurant and takeaways. Although there has been recent controversy concerning the residents, the council and the local railway network (see here for more info), Brixton could not be a better place for a food lover such as myself. I have had the pleasure of sampling one or two of the places in the area so far - but with such abundance of choice in Brixton Village and Brixton's Market Row - there will be many more food adventures (and comas) to come!
1) Soho Kitchen & Bar - This restaurant/bar is part of the Soho House group and funnily enough is in Soho, next door to well-known sister restaurant Cafe Boheme. It is my favourite restaurant for a quick, cheap and easy no-frills meal in Central London. Food is of consistent quality, boasting the likes of cheeseburgers (a single cheeseburger is a double and a double is a triple!) and honey-fried chicken wings to avocado on toast and quinoa salads. Combined with some great value cocktails on tap and a good selection of beers it is really hard to beat for a lazy Sunday get together.
2) Dishoom - This restaurant is a great option for any kind of gathering! A hangover brunch with friends, a family meal out or even a quick work lunch! With a few locations now under its belt, I usually end up at the newest Kings Cross branch and it brings a grand colonial Indian feel, which puts it somewhere between a resplendent French brasserie and a top end Indian restaurant in the vein of Gymkhana. Whenever I go, I will always end up ordering at least a 'House Chai', 'Bhel' and 'Kacchi Lamb Biryani'.
3) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - I am a bit biased here as I used to work there, it's the 5th best restaurant in the world (according to this list) and it has two Michelin stars! If it is a meal for a special occasion or there is simply no budget, go all out at Dinner by Heston. This is a restaurant that it feels like The Fat Duck's more discerning and grown-up brother (or sister!). There are still touches of genius and playfulness associated with Heston, however, the most striking thing is that the food is of absolute amazing and consistent quality and when coupled with the fact 300 people can pass through its doors each day, every day - you start to truly appreciate the skill and dedication on show. There are many reviews written on Dinner that are probably more informative and have more pictures but I will reiterate must try dishes - 'Meat Fruit', 'Rice & Flesh', 'Spiced Pigeon', 'Tipsy Cake', 'Brown Bread Ice-cream' and of course the Liquid Nitrogen 'Ice-cream Trolley'. A.
R's Cheeky 4) Beagle London - A was kind enough to let me proof-read this and in doing so I thought I'd sneak in a cheeky 4th addition to the list (apologies if you feel mislead by the title!) with probably the most solid brunch-offering I've had. Beagle London is tucked under an archway right underneath Hoxton Station and couldn't be easier to find. Stepping off of the Overgound line that is directly above it you can immediately take in the delicious aromas of a delicious, grilled-bacon-fueled, brunch. This is proper bacon by the way (ie cured, smoked, pork belly) and is grilled, ready to be served with pretty much anything you might want to sink your teeth into! I've been with my better half twice now and have been impressed by their food AND beverage selections, with a varied list that features some rather interesting Bloody Mary offerings to kick-start your Sunday mornings. R.
So where are your favourites? Comment below and let us know!