London’s diners are reported to be experiencing a “golden age” with more restaurants launched in the capital over the past year than ever before. More good news is that the latest edition of Harden’s guide says that the restaurant revolution sparked in London a decade ago has reached its pinnacle, with London’s eateries now rivaling their New York counterparts. With 158 new restaurants launched in the last 12 months, and even a few classics that have been re-launched, it’s almost impossible to keep up to date with all the openings. To make it easier, Marie Teather has picked out five of her favorites.
1 Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental
New York chef Daniel Boulud is renowned for his soulful interpretation of traditional French cuisine. His New York restaurant recently gaining three Michelin stars and now his newly opened London outpost of Bar Boulud is displaying an emphasis on authentic French charcuterie served alongside seasonal bistro cooking.
House made terrines, pâtés, hams, and saucissons are produced under the guidance of Gilles Verot, one of France’s finest charcutiers. The menu includes traditional dishes such as coq au vin and moules, while the cellar is dedicated to Daniel Boulud’s native city of Lyon and its surrounding wine making regions, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley.
Dine at the charcuterie counter with an open view of the kitchen or take a seat on a red leather banquette and enjoy the centre of bistro activity.
66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA,
020 7235 2000
Set in the heart of the new Shoe Galleries, the largest shoe department in the world, at Selfridges London, contemporary French bistro Aubaine offers the perfect place to relax and refuel, whilst you considering your next shoe purchases.
Breakfast, lunch, and supper are served throughout the day and there's plenty to choose from, whether you fancy a three-course meal with friends, a brief snack in between shopping, or a leisurely coffee break.
To celebrate the launch of Aubaine at Selfridges the head chef pâtissier has also created a limited edition Repetto inspired ballet shoe madeleine.
400 Oxford Street, 2nd Floor, W1A 1AB, London
0207 318 3738
3 River Restaurant at The Savoy
The Savoy’s River Restaurant closed in 2004, but has been revived as part of the hotel’s grandiose restoration programme. The newly designed dining room has been given a contemporary, Art Deco look set against stunning views of River Thames.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Chef Ryan Murphy serving modern French repertoire such as slow-poached monkfish & pork rillette tortellini served with thyme and Chardonnay gelée, as well as roast Normandy poulet noir stuffed with chestnuts, celery, and honey-poached cranberries. For guests wishing to enjoy the most exclusive of dining experiences there is the 12-seater private dining room, overlooking the river.
Strand, London, WC2R OEU
020 7420 2698
Based on the fact that virtually all of the world’s vineyards are located between the latitudes of 28° and 50°, both northern and southern hemisphere, you’re probably starting to understand what’s on offer at 28°-50.° Wine is the star attraction at this stunning basement floor eatery set in the City where seasonally changing dishes are pared to match the wines on offer.
The main wine list offers a huge number of wines available by the glass or carafe while the Collector’s List offers a unique selection sourced from the owners’ friends and elite growers. Michelin-starred duo of Texture, Paul Walsh and Agnar Sverrisson, have created a menu that offers simple, seasonal food with a French influence.
140 Fetter Lane, EC4A IBT
020 7242 8877
Named after the ancient city and trading hub of Samraklan (found on the old Silk Road) Samarqand has been built with a clientele of expat Russian and Middle Eastern foodies in mind. London’s outpost of the Moscow chain offers a mix of dishes from countries like Uzbekhistan and Kazakhstan with influences from Russia, China and Mongolia.
Expect ‘manty’ dumplings (close cousins of Polish pierogi), aromatic plov (a near relative of Middle Eastern pilaf) & hand-pulled lagman noodles served in a meat & vegetable broth. There’s also a great selection of Tandoori-style kebabs and breads, hearty soups and samosa-like pastries. Naturally vodka is the drink of choice to wash it all down.
18 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London,W1U 3JY
020 7935 9393