Street XO, Mayfair

StreetXO is the first UK restaurant from David Muñoz, who owns the three Michelin starred DiverXO in Madrid. It’s next to the police station in Mayfair and from the minute you step foot through the steel container door and down into the basement, the experience is bizarre. The dining room is massive and on our Thursday night visit it’s packed – and clubby. We sit at … Continue reading Street XO, Mayfair

Isabel, Mayfair

You haven’t heard of Isabel on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street? Well I hadn’t either until a well connected friend took me there for a drink. I should say, it’s not the sort of restaurant I’d usually enjoy; a rich “I’m not happy with this table” Mayfair clientele and it’s super exclusive; basic website, no Twitter, no Instagram but I found myself in love with the place. … Continue reading Isabel, Mayfair

Ralph’s Coffee & Bar, Regent Street

Quite honestly, I’ve never been in a more gorgeous space than this new cafe cum cocktail bar in the Ralph Lauren store on Regent Street. It’s all dark wood, plump Ralph Lauren cushions, fresh flowers, paintings of polo players and handsome waiters drying glasses with tea towels – it’s like a set from a film. We arrive for breakfast and after a notably good Cortado … Continue reading Ralph’s Coffee & Bar, Regent Street

Kricket, Soho

Kricket in Brixton, housed in a shipping container serving Indian small plates, was bloody brilliant. Like seriously so. Friends Will Bowlby (kitchen) and Rik Campbell (front of house) seemed to have a winning combo of fantastic food and great vibes. They’ve since opened a far swankier spot in Soho, or arguably Piccadilly, on Denman Street. It is predominantly walk-ins only and it’s counter seating overlooking … Continue reading Kricket, Soho

The Rosewood art afternoon tea

I’ve always thought of the Rosewood as one of London’s prettiest hotels. Based on High Holborn it’s mega grand and inside, whether it’s the Holborn Dining Room, Scarfe’s Bar or the copper corridor that apparently cost them over a million quid, it’s all rather gorgeous. In a bid to make the lesser known Mirror Room a more prominent feature of the hotel, they’ve introduced a new … Continue reading The Rosewood art afternoon tea

ROKA, Charlotte Street

Whenever I walk past the original ROKA in Charlotte Street it’s totally heaving. On our Saturday early lunchtime visit it’s no different – after 10 minutes of the doors being flung open the place is packed. We’re seated at the wooden counter overlooking the open kitchen with robata grill – the chefs are non stop. Definitely sit at the counter if you can. Service is … Continue reading ROKA, Charlotte Street

Masala Zone, Covent Garden

The guys behind Masala Zone know a wee bit about Indian food; they also own Michelin starred Veeraswamy and Amaya along with Chutney Mary, a pretty impressive collection of restaurants. There are currently 7 Masala Zones, which are a more casual offering. We visit their Covent Garden one, opposite the Royal Opera House, for dinner and it’s absolutely packed. The space has just had a … Continue reading Masala Zone, Covent Garden

Lobos Meat and Tapas, Soho

I loved the first Lobos Meat and Tapas, housed in a cramped railway arch in Borough Market. As far as vibes go, that place certainly has them aplenty. I’m not so sure their second restaurant on Frith Street in Soho is quite as buzzy (the second floor dining room does have an open kitchen but the space is quite plain) but the food is outstanding. … Continue reading Lobos Meat and Tapas, Soho

The Sommelier’s Table: Hélène Darroze

My last visit to this two Michelin starred restaurant in the Connaught hotel, run by French chef Hélène Darroze, was for her rather special Sunday chicken or Le Poulet du Dimanche. If anyone knows how to cook a chicken, it’s this lady. My visit on this occasion however was not in the main dining room but in the basement – in their wine cellar. It’s … Continue reading The Sommelier’s Table: Hélène Darroze

The Ninth, Fitzrovia

Named after the ninth restaurant chef Jun Tanaka has been involved with, The Ninth on Charlotte Street may not win any awards for name innovation but it did recently receive a Michelin star. We arrive to a busy and bustling ground floor dining room. We’re taken upstairs however which is far less atmospheric (request the downstairs if possible). The walls are grey and distressed in an … Continue reading The Ninth, Fitzrovia

Kiln, Soho

Kiln is the second restaurant from Ben Chapman – he’s the bloke behind Smoking Goat – and it’s on Brewer Street in Soho. The menu, think “Thai grill, seafood and claypots”, is the sort that reads so well you want to order every single bloody thing. On the ground floor it’s counter seating (if you sit at the kitchen end it may be boiling hot … Continue reading Kiln, Soho

Anzu, St James’s Market

I’ve been a fan of Tonkotsu for a while; this cheap and cheerful ramen joint (now with 7 spots in the UK) consistently delivers if you’re after a quick and delicious bite to eat. It’s easily the best chicken karaage I’ve come across too FYI. So, it was good news to hear owners Emma and Ken were opening a more grown up ‘Japanese brasserie’ in … Continue reading Anzu, St James’s Market

Chick ‘n’ Sours, Seven Dials

I fell in love with Chick ‘n’ Sours after visiting their original shop on the Kingsland Road; their fried chicken was among some of the best I’ve tasted and the owners, Carl and David, are bloody nice blokes. Opening a second restaurant, this time in central London, just by Seven Dials, seemed a logical move for the boys. They’ve perfected their craft and now they’re … Continue reading Chick ‘n’ Sours, Seven Dials

Galvin at Windows, Park Lane

Galvin at Windows is one of those restaurants that quietly chugs along, sitting pretty on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, which was made more famous recently as Fred Sirieix off of First Dates is the maître d’. The restaurant, owned by the Galvin brothers, has been open for years and has retained its Michelin star since 2009. The dining room … Continue reading Galvin at Windows, Park Lane

Casita Andina, Soho

This has got to be my favourite of Martin Morales’ restaurants (he’s the chap who owns Ceviche and Andina). Mainly because it has the blended charm of a Peruvian Granny’s house (I imagine, having never been to Peru) and an old fashioned Soho townhouse. There’s two options where to sit; the busy and busting ground floor complete with open kitchen or the first floor which … Continue reading Casita Andina, Soho