"Where's good to eat in London?" is a question that I would get every now and then when friends come to visit. While I always believe that taste is rather subjective and the entire dining experience is much more than just the food itself, here is my list of the top 10 restaurants in London (not in any ranking order), well at least among those that I've been.
Been to the branch at Commercial Street, loved it. Been to the one at Covent Garden Seven Dials, loved it. If anything, go for the Hawksmoor burger, which in my opinion, is easily the best burger in London.
This setup along Islington Upper Street could easily be the most popular restaurant in the area. With its innovative recipes (compiled in two popular cookbooks - Ottolenghi and Plenty) that are meant to taste best at room temperature. That means that food could be beautifully presented on the counters and yet still taste fabulous. This is one restaurant that does breakfast, lunch and dinner equally well. Definitely worth the wait if you can't get a table.
3. The Delaunay
This European grand dame proves that class can be rather affordable. If you have an entire afternoon to burn, Delaunay at Aldwych should be at the top of your list. Excellent for people watching.
This tiny tapas bar at Exmouth Market will keep you coming back for more. Excellent small bites, might cost a bit more if you are with an empty stomach though.
5. Galvin la Chapelle
This one Michelin star French restaurant at St Botolph's church hall, a listed Victorian building, is a sight to behold. Expect grandeur, excellent service and decent food. A great place to dine if you are trying to impress your date.
It may not have the traditional chinese decor (yes, I am referring to Phoenix Palace) that is sought after by dimsum purists. But it does serve one of the best dimsum in London. This is the place to go to if costs is of no concern.
Koya is the undisputed king of udon in London. Expect chewy freshly made udon. The last time I was there, a Japanese gentleman was sitting next to me, slurping noisily on his udon. The look of bliss on his face was indescribable.
8. Bistrot Bruno Loubet
You can't go wrong with this French restaurant at Clerkenwell if you are a fan of snails. Even its Sunday roasts taste good. Its service is excellent to a fault.
With its mind boggling internal decor, this darling of an Bombay Cafe at the Covent Garden's Seven Dials is a crowd puller. If you can handle your heat, go straight for its lamb biryani and down that with a chai. Alternatively, there's another branch at Shoreditch too.
10. Four Seasons
Don't go there for its service. But its roast duck (fats dripping and all) is one of the dishes that you must go for if you have but only one meal in London. Ask for your duck to be deboned if you are heading there.
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