Whether you’re a seasoned Londoner or just passing through, the capital boasts such a huge range of dining options, it can be hard to know how to choose. For the ultimate in high-quality innovative and international cuisine, these are our tried and tested hottest London restaurants you simply shouldn’t miss.
Adam Handling Chelsea
Located in one of the most affluent and trendy areas of the city, Chef Patron Adam Handling’s Chelsea restaurant offers contemporary elegance in keeping with its surroundings. The building itself has had a colourful past, as the residence of both Lilly Langtry and Oscar Wilde. Handling – who was previously awarded Scottish Young Chef of the Year – has conjured a menu that’s both modern and British in style, with seasonal ingredients sourced close to home. It’s all in keeping with the restaurant’s ethics of sustainability. Dine from the a la carte selection, or try some of Adam’s signature creations from the tasting menu. Sunday lunch is a real highlight (read our review), with a luxury all you can eat banquet buffet including lobster, caviar and oysters, paired with unlimited drinks packages. And if the range is too sophisticated for younger palates, there’s a children’s menu too, making it a popular spot for young families in search of fine food
Indian Accent Mayfair
Awarded a 5-star rating by the Evening Standard, Indian Accent (read our review) fuses the traditional flavours of India with international influences and cooking techniques. Chef Manish Mehrotra designs high-end, innovate and ground-breaking dishes in his a la carte, express and tasting menus. Try unusual combinations like a starter of Rawa idli, madras gunpowder and asparagus, a second of tadka hamachi, avocado and Calcutta chutney, a main of Chettinad chicken with coconut moilee, then finish with old monk rum ball and 70% Valrhona chocolate – you can also request truffle, shaved at your table. The pale marble, deep greens and gold interior design provide a sumptuous and authentic setting for your meal, in this the third plant of the Indian Accent brand (the others are located in New York and New Delhi). Entry is restricted to diners over the age of 10 – making the upmarket Mayfair establishment a good choice for older families, adult groups and couples.
Akira at Japan House
Receive a warm ‘omotenashi’ Japanese welcome at Akira (read our review), on the first floor of Japan House in Kensington. The restaurant follows a ‘trinity of cooking’ principle: food, tableware and presentation, making a visit feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Simple, minimalist and contemporary decor incorporates traditional Japanse design. This is complemented by regional artisan crockery – all curated by chef Shimizu Akira. The eclectic menus will especially delight meat and fish lovers. Order a la carte sushi, Wagyu sirloin and rump steaks, Akira’s own take on fish and chips, or op for a three or five-course set menu. Japan House corporate members benefit from a private dining room and their own dedicated menus. For those who revel in watching while eating, Akira offers an especially exciting and dynamic dining experience – marvel as the chefs create and cook over the Robata charcoal grill, in a theatre-style kitchen at the restaurant’s centre.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Renowned chef Alain Ducasse brings his Michelin three-star French cuisine to one of the best hotels in London. Experience new menus throughout the year, designed by Executive Chef Jean-Phillipe Blondet and inspired by the seasonal produce sourced in both France and Britain. Choose from critically acclaimed tasting menus, a Jardine menu, a la carte, seasonal menu and a weekly changing lunch hour selection. The neutral, sophisticated and refined surroundings allow the focus to be placed on the culinary experience. Signature dishes include fillet of Angus beef and seared foie gras Rossini, and a Monte-Carlo rum baba – or go all out with the sauté gourmand of lobster and a bottle of bubbles. The service is impeccable, making it ideal for a very special occasion. And as the hotel is frequented by many celebrities, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers the chance to dine alongside the rich and famous.
As the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded one and two Michelin stars, Le Gavroche is somewhat of a veteran on London’s high-end culinary scene. Having opened in Mayfair in 1967 under the direction of Albert Roux, the restaurant has received many decorations since. Current chef de cuisine Michel Roux jr regularly appears in the media as a French cuisine expert. His menus include a vegetarian selection, business lunch, a la carte and tasting menus – all with fine wine pairing suggestions. Red and green hues bring a warm, yet elegant feel to this formal establishment in which gentlemen are required to wear a shirt and jacket. Le Gavroche may translate as ‘The Urchin’, but there’s nothing rough and ready about this place. Be prepared to book at least three months in advance, and do order the entrancing feather-light cheese souffle.