Some of the absolute best restaurants in London are to be found outside of central London and in its flourishing neighbourhoods. However, if you’re looking for delicious eateries for dinner, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here, we share our personal London restaurant recommendations.
Restaurants that specialise in modern West African food aren’t exactly a dime a dozen in London. Nor are restaurants as good as Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare’s Chishuru. The Nigerian-born chef-owner bagged the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019 and opened the doors to her first restaurant in 2020.
Chishuru is a spectacular introduction to the deeply complex cuisine of Bakare’s West African heritage. Dishes such as mimri oku (spicy broth) and kekefia (hake) together with plantain fondant take your tastebuds to exhilarating new places. You’ll think about the textures and tastes long after you’ve finished your meal.
The set-menu set-up means you get a tour of the ingredients and spices of Bakare’s native country, while her absolute talent and charismatic service will steal your heart. At the moment, there’s no other restaurant in London quite like Chishuru.
In terms of influential restaurants, St John carries the crown. Fergus Henderson’s nose-to-tail cooking in a former smokehouse in Smithfield has born many imitators. The pared back, stark white interior provides no distraction from the boldness of traditional British food at its best. His roasted bone marrow with parsley salad has become iconic, as have the Welsh rarebit or Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese, also served in the bar downstairs.
There was never a cheerier chef than Santiago Lastra! The very talented Mexican, who is just into his thirties, came up through the ranks at respected restaurants such as Mugaritz in San Sebastian and Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen before assisting Rene Redzepi launch NOMA Mexico in 2017. Santiago seemed destined for greatness when he finally launched his own restaurant, KOL in May 2020.
However then, well, Covid, and his hotly tipped restaurant had to remain closed until October. But Lastra, as anyone who has ever crossed paths with him will know, is the type of person to come out smiling, and with KOL easily surpassing the already high expectations he has lots of reasons to feel pleased.
Lastra’s menu, which is prepared by a hardworking team in an open kitchen, contains Mexican staples which you might think you know: tostadas, tortillas, tacos; however these are consummate, glorious expressions of familiar dishes that you can enjoy with online betting NZ activities, containing things such as langoustine, sea buckthorn together with smoked chilli, or grilled octopus that is served with bone marrow, potato and seaweed macha.
Lastra’s food is experimental without being ostentatious, and though he weaves in a few Mexican ingredients (chillis, corn, chocolate), he also champions British 9jgrediets (beetroot! cabbage!) that may not always be granted centre-stage. In addition, because – as we have already mentioned – Lastra’s a fun guy, he’s opened up a Mezcaleria in the basement, however if you want the full Santi vibe, the Chef’s Table Experience is where you need to be.