Slow Burn

“More vegetables, more nutrition, less waste”.  So the moto goes of Slow Burn, a vegetable-focused pop-up in Walthamstow.  Founded by Head Chef Chavdar Todorov, their goal is to champion vegetables, moving meat to the side.  With sustainability at the core of their kitchen philosophy, most dishes are veggie and vegan friendly, using fresh and seasonal … Continue reading Slow Burn

Fatt Pundit

Securing a reservation at Fatt Pundit seems to be a close to impossible task.  The original Soho location of this Indo-Chinese restaurant has an almost cult-like following.  Serving a distinct cuisine that can only be found in a clutch of London restaurants, the restaurant champions “Indo-Chinese” cuisines that celebrate the melting pot of cultures within … Continue reading Fatt Pundit

Madera at The Treehouse

Located on the top floor of the iconic Treehouse Hotel on Langham Place, Madera pairs bold flavours with organic ingredients against the backdrop of 360-degrees skyline views.  The little sister to LA-based Toca Madera, concept here remains pretty much the same: to provide ‘an elevated, modern, and organic take on traditional Mexican cuisine‘.  Except this … Continue reading Madera at The Treehouse

Tendrill

Though I’m not usually one to choose a vegan restaurant, Tendrill doesn’t qualify as that exactly – it self-describes as a “(mostly) vegan kitchen”.  I’m also not one to choose a restaurant that charges £80 for an cancelled reservation.  But the only compensation offered on my follow-up plea to founder and chef, Rishim Sachdeva, was … Continue reading Tendrill

Taka

Marylebone High Street’s Taka is the second London opening by brother and sister team Andrey and Anastasia Datsenko, who were born and grew up in Tokyo.  Taka Mayfair (now closed) opened in 2017 and this larger site in Marylebone takes over the spot of the popular Providores.  Marylebone High Street has become something of a … Continue reading Taka

Unwined (Waterloo)

As the name betells, Unwined is a little wine bar in Waterloo that has the kind of by-the-glass wine list that you should treat as a Friday night to-do list.  Located on Lower Marsh Street, a cute parade packed with bookshops and cafés just behind Waterloo station, it’s casual yet cosy.  Rather frustratingly, Unwined is … Continue reading Unwined (Waterloo)

Miznon

Capturing the souls of cities across the world (Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Singapore, Boston), cult-classic Miznon has landed on Soho’s buzzy Broadwick Street.  Founded by celebrity chef Eyal Shani and renowned for its fresh, vibrant Israeli bites – notably fluffy pitta – this smash-hit restaurant celebrates the flavours of the Mediterranean.  And it … Continue reading Miznon

Gold

Gold is an uber-cool Notting Hill restaurant sitting beneath a pavement-to-roof moody mural of two painted eyes watching out onto Portobello Road’s pretty parade of shops.  The mural is the work of Portuguese street artist Vhils, and it’s literally called ‘Eye Contact’.  And it seems Gold is a spot worth having your eyes wide open.  … Continue reading Gold

Ducksoup

Ducksoup is one of those properly romantic “low-key” Soho restaurant / wine bar hybrids.  With just a few small tables along the wall and a tightly knit bar that acts as a dining counter, it’s difficult to get a reservation but worth the wait.  Despite being in buzzy Soho, Ducksoup feels relaxed and intimate, lit … Continue reading Ducksoup

The Barbary Next Door

From the talented team behind the acclaimed Barbary (part of the esteemed Palomar group) comes the The Barbary Next Door, which – as its name gives away – sits besides The Barbary in Covent Garden’s tucked away treasure Neal’s Yard.  Like it’s sister, The Barbary Next Door has proven to be a triumphant addition to … Continue reading The Barbary Next Door

Yauatcha City

Yauatcha City – which opened back in May 2015 – is a fancy standout amongst the eating holes in the City’s popular (for the suits) Broadgate Circle, EC2’s shiny office/retail/eating/drinking district.  Though more corporate, the City version of Yauatcha isn’t too far removed from the Soho original – think upmarket, pretty Cantonese dishes, served in … Continue reading Yauatcha City

Italo

Tucked away within a hidden square of Vauxhall, Italo had been on My List for years, having remotely lusted over its daily-changing menu on Instagram for months, yet somehow failing to plan a visit despite not living far from the area.  This stylish coffee shop and deli sits on the corner of Bonnington Square and … Continue reading Italo

Carmel

A new-ish Levantine spot from the team behind Berber & Q comes Carmel in Queen’s Park, an unlikely neighbourhood somewhere in-between Maida Vale and Kilburn.  Tucked around the corner from Queen’s Park station, Lonsdale Road is one of those alluring, soulful little discoveries that London can somehow still keep under wraps: a wide cobbled mews, … Continue reading Carmel

Toklas

For understated seasonal food in an 80s art-focused setting, head to Toklas, the newish restaurant from founders of the Frieze festival, Amanda Sharp and Mathew Slotover.  Toklas takes its name from Alice Toklas, the name behind the famous 1954 cookbook, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, famed for including the first modern recipe for cannabis brownies.  … Continue reading Toklas

Tofu Vegan

Vegan, or “plant-based”, restaurants have been hitting the next level of late.  No longer simply branded as a vegan restaurant per se, they're becoming focused on and known for the style of the food first.  Borough Market’s Mallow is receiving applause, as is Islington’s Tofu Vegan.  From the people behind the much-admired (and non-vegan) Xi’an … Continue reading Tofu Vegan

Taqueria

Mexicans in London have proudly declared Taqueria to be the best Mexican restaurant in the capital.  Though I’m yet to visit Mexico (a WIP), I’m not surprised.  This bustling Notting Hill (or really, Westbourne Grove) establishment offers excellent comida corrida, which isn't easy to find in London.   Taquería started life as the Cool Chile … Continue reading Taqueria

Chicama

An offshoot to Marylebone’s Pachamama, on which see my review here, Chicama brings Peruvian food to an unassuming corner of Chelsea.  Though perched on an unexciting corner of the Kings Road (the Imperial Wharf end), it’s a spot worth seeking out. Peruvian food has rightly enjoyed an explosion in popularity in London of late, with … Continue reading Chicama

Pizzeria Mozza

Italian food, American style – or more specifically, LA-style.  Though I’m one usually drawn to “authentic” (whatever that means) Italian Italian, the pioneer behind Pizzeria Mozza is the acclaimed (Chef’s Table featuring) Nancy Silverton.  She’s a big deal.  It was her pioneering bakery (La Brea Bakery in LA) that popularised sourdough back in the 1990s.  … Continue reading Pizzeria Mozza

Lina Stores

Lina Stores have recently nabbed a spot convenient to any City worker in the ever-so-cool Bloomberg Arcade.  Filling the site of what was previously Andrew Wong’s excellent Kym’s, a pandemic casualty, Lina had big shoes to fill.  Though given their legendary name, their choice as second act was always a solid one.  In case you … Continue reading Lina Stores

Tacos Padre

Finally, London seems to have got some solid options for tacos, where all that had existed before were one or two standouts or sub-optimal restaurant chains.  While LA, or even New York, still has nothing to fear by way of competition, London’s newcomers have brought a nuanced look at what Mexican food means today and … Continue reading Tacos Padre

Rondo La Cave

Peruvian restaurant, natural wine bar, pop-up – all tucked away in a moody basement. Very Hoxton Hotel – specifically the Holborn branch.  Rondo La Cave is a new a wine bar and testing ground (or to use the Hotel's words, “incubator”) for up-and-coming chefs to experiment with their ideas.  The first and current impressive residency … Continue reading Rondo La Cave

Alter

From the team behind Counter Culture (next to the Dairy) in Clapham, comes Alter, a pan-Asian vegan restaurant that’s taken residency in Aldgate's stylish Leman Locke “aparthotel”.  Housing self-contained studios and apartments in a boutique hotel-like setting, Leman Locke is from the same company as Bermonds Locke where The Dairy is - so it seems … Continue reading Alter

Paradise

Sri Lankan food seems to be enjoying a resurgence in London at the moment.  Following the launch of Hoppers and Kolamba (on which see my reviews here and here), the most recent addition to this eclectic party is contemporary Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise.  I say eclectic as all look to celebrate the country’s truly vibrant … Continue reading Paradise

Cinder

Long-on my List has been Mediterranean Cinder.  This Belsize Park restaurant had largely drawn me in thanks to its Josper cooking.  As their website exclaims, they’re “passionate about cooking over fire”, with “best quality ingredient…kissed by flames”.  Heavy romance.  As a lover of smokey flavours, I had cloud-high expectations – think unadulterated, bold and barbecued … Continue reading Cinder

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

The best restaurants have a story behind them and Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is all about the narrative.  And a gripping one it is.  Imad Alarnab was once (and continues to be!) a successful chef and restaurateur but in Damascus, where he ran three restaurants alongside cafés and juice bars.  All that was destroyed in just … Continue reading Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

Stoney Street

As an admirer of the beautiful 26 Grains, owner Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s Borough venture, Stoney Street – eponymous with its location – had long been on my List.  Though both are famed for haute (or oat – pun intended) porridge, bircher bowls, pastries and foccacias, by night – on Wednesdays through to Saturdays – Stoney Street … Continue reading Stoney Street

Mike’s

From the team behind Camberwell Arms and Frank’s Café arrives Mike’s, bringing Roman- (or London- – more on that later) -style pizza to Peckham, specifically Copeland Park.  Found in a former grain storage space, like previous tenants Forza Win they’ve kept things totally stripped-down and simple inside. Covid-proof, seating is available both inside, if you’re … Continue reading Mike’s

Garden Museum Café

Enjoying lunch in a museum café – what’s more, on a weekday – feels like a double treat post-lockdown.  As the last year has shown, what seem like standard activities for a London staycation should no longer be taken for granted.  The Garden Museum – a somewhat under-the-radar yet iconic spot in Lambeth – feels … Continue reading Garden Museum Café

Maya

A rooftop dinner seems absolutely called for at the moment to welcome in the easing of lockdown, post-Covid life and to support the hospitality industry.  Queue Maya: a Mexican restaurant on the 7th-floor rooftop space of the Hoxton Hotel’s Shoreditch outpost.  Recently opened in collaboration with Soho House, the restaurant is a travelling story: it … Continue reading Maya

Scully’s

Scully’s, chef Ramuel Scully’s debut restaurant, is tucked behind Piccadilly in St James’s Market, in one of those glossy new developments.  But don’t let its corporate-looking exterior put you off.  Scully himself is a chef who is a citizen of everywhere.  Born in Malaysia to a mother of Chinese and Indian heritage and an Irish-Balinese … Continue reading Scully’s

Elliot’s

You might discount Elliot’s given its location on the fringes of the (pre-Covid) touristy Borough Market.  But this seasonal and small-plates led restaurant has been one of the best in the market for a while now, not least over the last few months when it seems to have had a renaissance and a surge of … Continue reading Elliot’s

Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen comes with a stellar reputation.  Described as a “hidden sanctuary” and “magic” inside a “walled kingdom” – you do have to be buzzed in to be able to enter – it now has a cult following.  Post-lockdown, even securing a booking is a challenge, with a month-long lead time.  Set up by St … Continue reading Rochelle Canteen

Good Neighbour

Following the Camberwell original and its Tooting sibling, wine bar/restaurant Good Neighbour have opened a third site on what has become a foodie hotspot, Peckham Rye.  Taking the site of what was formerly the lovely Pedler who are relocating eastwards, it has big boots to fill.  But from my visit on its opening evening, Good … Continue reading Good Neighbour

123V

For my first indoor dining treat post-lockdown, back to Mayfair but this time just off Bond Street.  Department store Fenwick has launched a new “wellness” concept space in their basement – the buzzword of the day (or the past year or so it seems) – featuring a sustainable food market, beauty and of course activewear … Continue reading 123V

Fallow

Dinner in Mayfair feels like an aptly luxurious postcode to welcome in the gradual easing out of lockdown and the arrival of Spring/Summer 2021.  Though securing an al fresco booking in London right now is close to impossible – think a month-long lead in time, on top of limited choice and finding spots with heated … Continue reading Fallow

Coal Office

A collaboration between designer Tom Dixon and chef/entrepreneur Assaf Granit, who in London co-owns (with siblings Zoë and Layo Paskin) The Palomar and one of my favourite haunts, The Barbary, Coal Office’s roots are of critical acclaim.  In Jerusalem, he’s behind the equally successful hotspots Machneyuda and Yudale.  Having visited the former (with some difficulty … Continue reading Coal Office

Chuku’s

At the time of this review’s jaunt, eating out in the then new normal (with its 10pm curfew) meant 6pm reservations (even on a Sunday evening), travelling to Seven Sisters to #supportsmall and cubicle dining.  Though an unpromising combination, I was willing to bite the bullet and commute up to the ends of the Victoria … Continue reading Chuku’s

Siam Niyom

Finding authentically delicious Thai food in London is (surprisingly) difficult but Siam Niyom confirms that the best are the local, family-run, no-fuss no-frill kind’a haunts.  At the top of that list should be this gem of a restaurant – Siam Niyom.  Whilst Rosa’s is an obvious option, I’ve been underwhelmed with it in the past … Continue reading Siam Niyom

Nue Ground

Trying out “Nue Ground” in what has become the “new normal” seems apt.  Particularly given the ethos of this place, located on Clapham Old Town’s neighbourhood street of Abbeville Road.  Appropriate for the “new normal” (whatever that is), at its core is sustainability, ethical sourcing and healthy, fresh produce, without compromising on taste and at … Continue reading Nue Ground

Brother Marcus

In performance of my Eat Out To Help Out civic duty back in August, my companion and I made it to Balham’s (Little) Brother Marcus.  Though a big name on the brunch scene, offering the hipster holy trinity of Caravan coffee, cocktails and avocado on toast, by night it serves Middle Eastern mezze: think kebab … Continue reading Brother Marcus

Don Luigi

Looking for a slice (or a few) of authentic Neapolitan pizza in a traditional Italian trattoria, my choice for this week’s Eat Out To Help Out dinner was Don Luigi.  Originally a pop-up serving Italian street food in Pop Brixton, Don Luigi found a permanent home in Streatham Hill in what was previously the site … Continue reading Don Luigi

Bubala

3 August 2020 was probably the first day when most of the country stood behind the government, or at least Rishi Sunak – Covid’s answer to Santa.  The date marked the launch of the nationwide August “Eat Out To Help Out” campaign.  In spite of its slightly cringe-worthy collective name, the initiative is an outstanding … Continue reading Bubala

Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

Having visited Sri Lanka in February 2020, I can confirm that Sri Lanka is totally deserving of its title as “pearl of the Indian Ocean”.  But as the victim of a 20-year civil war, a tsunami, terrorist attacks and now, of course, the coronavirus pandemic, the island has suffered from a drop in tourism.  Since … Continue reading Sri Lanka: a whistlestop guide to a paradise island

kin + deum

London Bridge seems to be a hidden corner of Thailand.  One of its most well-known Thai haunts is Suchard on Tooley Street, founded by Suchard Inngern.  He arrived in London in 1975 with £20 in his pocket.  Having grown up in an orphanage in Bangkok, he enrolled in a restaurant kitchen, before opening his popular … Continue reading kin + deum

Wild by Tart

From the fantastic duo behind the beautiful Tart column in the Evening Standard comes Wild by Tart, a restaurant set in the attractive Eccleston Yard.  Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison’s recipes are always seasonal, produce-led and full of wonderful spices – an eclectic interplay of Middle Eastern, South American and European flavours – and now … Continue reading Wild by Tart

Kolamba

Finally, London seems to have clocked on to the joys of Sri Lankan cooking. Though rustled up in restaurants across Tooting, Wembley and Ealing for decades, “trendy” spots have now sprung up across the capital: Weligama supper clubs @ Italo, Paradise on Rupert Street, Hoppers (of course) and Kolamba on Kingly Street.  Named after the … Continue reading Kolamba

Athens: a modern guide to an ancient capital

The classical capital of Athens has been undergoing a Renaissance of late, which makes it perfect for a city break.  Although subject to turmoil – treated as a stopover en route to Greece’s glamorous islands, momentarily transformed into a modern metropolis for the Olympics, only to become wounded by the recession – a dynamic revival … Continue reading Athens: a modern guide to an ancient capital

Madrid: The Essentials

Madrid offers something for everyone: it’s steeped in history yet impressively innovative; it’s incredibly laid-back yet there’s a lot going on; it’s layered with grandeur, Baroque boulevards and manicured parks, yet has benefited from regeneration of late.  That metamorphosis has been fuelled by the economic crisis and led by a new generation of Madrileños, determined … Continue reading Madrid: The Essentials