Oh London. Such a city full of buzz and energy. I love travelling to London and usually my to-do list is packed with restaurants to go to around the city. London is full of amazing places, be it about food, culture, art or history. Also, it’s a source of inspiration foodwise for me, with influences from around the world.
1. Brat Restaurant
One of the most unpretentious star restaurants I’ve been to. It’s located in Shoreditch, just perfect to go to after and/or before heading to some fun bars in the area. Relaxed but friendly staff, a cosy interior with wooden furniture, an open kitchen and a large charcoal grill make this one of my favourite restaurants in London. You’ll want to order everything from the menu, but there’s a couple of dishes I really recommend. Make sure to have the grilled bread with anchovy, they usually always have it. Then, don’t miss out on the scarlet prawns, the beef sirloin and if you’re in for a special evening the whole baked Turbot – a classic. Before you leave, definitely ask for a slice of their burnt cheesecake, it’s amazing.
2. Tacos El Pastor
After strolling through Borough Market, the most known food market in London, slurping some oysters and buying some fabulous cheese at Neil’s Yard, go to El Pastor. Their tacos are amazing. Filled with beer battered fish, cabbage and pico de gallo or soft shell crab, chipotle mayonnaise, jicama (Mexican turnip) & chayote (a light green fruit that has a similar texture to cucumber) slaw, they’re irresistible. Otherwise their tuna tostadas or charred spring onions and bone marrow are a must try, too. Make sure to wash it all down with a Michelada, a Mexican beer drink, or an agua fresca.
A simple spot just off Oxford street. The interior is a bit of everything with leather benches, grey tables and flashing lights. Downstairs is cosier than upstairs, but I recommend you come here for a quick lunch, slurp your noodles and then continue your sightseeing or whatever you’re up to. The name is what you get and hence the menu is filled with different kinds of Laksa. All are super flavourful, rich and I definitely advise you not to wear a white shirt here like I did. I went for the most luxurious Laksa with a tiger prawn in a seafood broth base – delicious!
4. Sager & Wilde
A cool spot located in the arch of Bethnal Green’s rail station with a cosy and laid back atmosphere, great food (mainly pasta) good cocktails and a really nice choice of wines. The menu isn’t long and that is perfect, because everything on it sounds lovely. The dishes are mainly Mediterranean, with lots of pasta courses such as Pappardelle with boar ragù or Mafalde with swordfish and cherry tomatoes. Their duck foie gras with grilled brioche, apple compote and hazelnuts sounds lovely, too. When I was there last time, I had an amazing deep fried croquette of pulled pork with baked apples, which was some time ago.
5. Harwood Arms
You’re in for a real treat here. There’s no way you can leave London without having a Sunday roast and the one at Harwood Arms is special. Not only because it has a Michelin star, but is still affordable, but because the Sunday roast here is a feast. You pay 49.95 £ for three courses. The first can be a Jerusalem artichoke and truffle tart with black garlic and pickled trompettes for examples or Hand cut venison tartare with pickled mustard seeds, egg yolk and straw potato. Mains are for example braised shoulder of roe deer wrapped in bacon or Cornish pollock with white beans, cockles and celery. As a proper Sunday roast should be, they come with traditional Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, gravy and greens. Don’t leave before trying their dessert. The Blackcurrant and apple oat crumble pie with bay custard sounds so good. It’s temporarily closed, but I’m keeping my finger crossed that this will change quickly.
Yes, I said 5 places, but here’s a bonus! Orasay in Notting Hill is a small but very homey place with friendly staff, fun wines and beers to choose from and good food with an interesting twist. They also serve delicious puffed breads with anchovies. Otherwise, how does Isle of Mull Diver scallop, shiitake & vin jaune sound to you as a starter? Or monkfish cheek, celeriac & cauliflower in scallop velouté as main? I can tell you it’s all very tasty. Make sure to explore the area afterwards or in advance, it’s a dreamy neighborhood.