Chef’s chef Joël Robuchon, who sadly passed away last year, whose restaurants have been awarded a record Michelin 25 stars, said in 2011 that London’s restaurants are now more innovative than those in Paris. “London is very possibly the gastronomic capital of the world,” he told the Telegraph. “Why? Because it’s only in London that you find every conceivable style of cooking. When it comes to what’s new in cooking, to innovative cuisine, it’s all happening in London.”
Praise indeed. Fortunately, for those that wish to experience his cuisine, his legacy continues at the one Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Covent Garden.
We at Gibson Hall believe that this food revolution continues intensifying to this day, particularly with the thrilling popularity of the celebrity chef-led pop-up restaurants, this boom time for London’s upmarket fine dining establishments and this golden new era of renowned street food. All are driven by social media where everyone can see the food for themselves, then long to experience the taste. Here are some of our favourites of the places to eat in London and the best areas to eat in London boroughs.
We’ll start on our home turf, the City of London, where 390,000 work. Unsurprisingly, there is so much choice from the budget conscious to fine dining.
Liverpool Street has the reasonably priced Chinese Yauatcha City (££) and the pricier British The Ivy City Garden (£££), not forgetting the Shoryu Ramen (£££) for authentic Hakata tonkotsu (recommended by the Michelin guide).
If you fancy the best modern Indian cuisine then head to Cinnamon Kitchen (£££) in the striking Devonshire Square development that is more relaxed than its Westminster counterpart.
The City institution steakhouse Barbecoa (££££) and Gordon Ramsay’s modern European Bread Street Kitchen (£££) at St. Paul’s are both very popular.
Bank has The Ned, a gourmet diner’s one-stop shop with so much quality and diversity inside including the Italian Cecconi’s City of London (£££), the British cuisine of Millies Lounge at The Ned (£££) with its amazing ambience and the pan-Asian Kaia at The Ned (££). Another top Italian is Giorgio at Leadenhall (££££).
Not forgetting legendary pricy steakhouse loved by so many of the City’s financial fraternity Hawksmoor Guildhall (££££), else Gaucho Broadgate (££££) or if you’re more on a budget for your meat then Blacklock City (££).
Japanese restaurant Kintan (££) at Chancery Lane is extremely popular, particularly at lunchtimes and at its bar after work. Gaucho Chancery (££££) is one of the area’s best steakhouses, or if you’re a vegetarian/ vegan then head to Vanilla Black (££££).
Aldgate’s best offering is the at the Four Season’s Hotel La Dame De Pic (££££) if money is no object where celebrity French chef Anne-Sophie Pic serves up classic French cuisine with one Michelin star finesse. Lunchtimes you can try her cuisine with two set courses for £32 or three for £42 if you pre-book. If American food is on your mind then Chicago Rib House (££) at Aldgate East, else for Spanish tapas then Barcelona Tapas – City EC3 (££) offers much choice.
Tom Sellers’ molecular gastronomy is showcased at the one star Restaurant Story at London Bridge where you don’t even get a menu! You just have to experience the story told through the “chapters” before gasping at the bill. Make sure you book well in advance here but for an annual blow-out celebration dinner it’s an experience you’ll treasure.
St. John (££££) in Farringdon comes highly recommended for its modern British cuisine in its stark minimal interior perfect for the casual diner to enjoy its one Michelin star understated pedigree. For Spanish cuisine, then Iberica Farringdon (£££) is the place for tapas at the sophisticated bar. Maybe you fancy Italian? Enoteca Rabezzana £££) is perfect for unfussy dining.
Japanese restaurant Tanakatsu (££) in Clerkenwell comes highly recommended, else the
the stunning Galvin La Chapelle (££££) for modern French one Michelin star cuisine in a jaw-dropping classy dining room.
Club Gascon (££££) in Smithfield is renowned for its classic French cuisine with one Michelin star. Should you want more reasonably priced French flair then Comptoir Gascon (££) hits the spot. In this meat market district unsurprisingly there’s also Gaucho Smithfield (££££) for the best steakhouse chain, or if you want the best of British then Smiths of Smithfield (££££) is an institution, else the more reasonable Smiths of Smithfield The Grill (£££). HIX Oyster & Chophouse (££££) offers classic British cuisine as does Foxlow Clerkenwell (££) which is the perfect place for a weekend brunch with your friends. The slightly pricier The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell (£££) has a modern fusion and eclectic food offering which is perfect to wow the more jaded foodie’s brunch yearnings. Thai cuisine is showcased at KIN (££) which also has a seasoned vegetarian menu and we could not forget legendary 19th century modern British gastro pub The Wilmington (££) where the signature six-hour braised ribs for two to share or the bun & cheek (ox cheek in Worcestershire sauce in a brioche bun with fat chips and dipping gravy) are outstanding.
Leroy (££££) which is the renamed Ellory in Shoreditch, earned its first Michelin star this year and pairs up small contemporary European plates of food with glasses of wine. Elsewhere there’s the modern British Clove Club (££££) within Shoreditch’s Old Town Hall, with its one Michelin star and awesome nine-course tasting menu, it does not disappoint. People seem to be raving for good reason about James Lowe’s one Michelin star ultra modern British cuisine at the laidback Lyle’s (££££) where you can stay at the same table all evening – no table-turning here!
Here at Gibson Hall, we’re lucky to be surrounded by such inspirational world-class cuisine from all corners of the globe. Don’t forget our chefs can design tailor-made menus for your wedding, event, party or conference with ease. Should you wish to take it to the next level then we can involve our own two Michelin-starred chef Daniel Clifford with his “Exclusively by” service.