River Cottage Canteen, Winchester

I was born and raised in Hampshire and I can safely say there a very few truly decent restaurants in the area. Winchester is a town that has attracted some cheffy names with the likes of Brasserie Blanc, Rick Stein’s and now Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with River Cottage Canteen. It’s a charming space; we sat on the ground floor dining room which had a converted barn … Continue reading River Cottage Canteen, Winchester

Balls & Company, Soho

Balls & Company in Soho – there’s a joke in there somewhere but I’m too respectable for that. Anyhoo, this is Greek Street’s latest opening and it comes from Australian born Bonny Porter (previously of The Arts Club and Village East), who’s attempting to make the ‘humble meatball more refined’. It’s a small restaurant which was rather loud on our visit, but that does at … Continue reading Balls & Company, Soho

Goodman City

A trip to Goodman Mayfair last year provided me with the best steak I’ve ever eaten; our 900g USDA bone-in Porterhouse was simply exceptional. My only problem with London steakhouses however is the price – if they weren’t so expensive I’d probably eat in one every day. I was pleased then to see that Goodman in the City offered a set lunch menu; two courses … Continue reading Goodman City

Paradise Garage, Bethnal Green 

Based on Paradise Row in Bethnal Green, just a few doors down from Mission, this is the third restaurant from Robin Gill – he also owns the ever popular Dairy and Manor in Clapham. It’s a really cute space with turquoise banquettes round the edge and bar stools overlooking the open bar and kitchen; there’s a slight Soho House feel to things. Our tattoo-laden waitress was … Continue reading Paradise Garage, Bethnal Green 

Oldroyd, Islington 

Oldroyd is the first solo restaurant from Tom Oldroyd (ex chef director for the Polpo group) and it’s based on Islington’s Upper Street – not a road exactly known for its culinary delights. It’s a super cute restaurant; downstairs has an open kitchen and a cafe-vibe (available for walk ins) and upstairs the cosy dining room takes bookings – hoorah! It might be small (and … Continue reading Oldroyd, Islington 

Egg Break, Notting Hill

Egg Break opened under the radar; there was little to no song and dance about Soho House’s latest restaurant tucked down a sleepy side street in Notting Hill. As the name suggests, the menu specialises in all things eggy and as it’s only open for breakfast and lunch, it’s a convenient brunch spot. We sat on the ground floor which had a relaxed cafe vibe. … Continue reading Egg Break, Notting Hill

L’Escargot, Soho 

I remember first visiting L’Escargot back in the Marco Pierre White days and it was stuffy, fussy and a little bit shit. It was then taken over by a lovely chap called Brian Clivaz (who’s also soon to open a new swanky members club in Devonshire Square) and a club prive was added above the ground floor restaurant. I was surprised to see the place … Continue reading L’Escargot, Soho 

Granger & Co., Notting Hill

Serial restaurateur Bill Granger must be doing something right; he’s got restaurants all over the world in Sydney, Seoul, Honolulu and Tokyo, and he’s just about to open another Granger & Co. in Kings Cross. We popped down for brunch at the Notting Hill outpost one Sunday and were greeted with a rather large queue; clearly a popular choice. It’s a charming spot with a … Continue reading Granger & Co., Notting Hill

Hawksmoor, Guildhall

Hawksmoor is arguably one of London’s leading steakhouses (of course not forgetting Goodman) and since opening in Manchester, only with Gaucho as real competition, I don’t doubt they’re the best up North too. As steakhouses often are, it was all very manly; the fact we were in their Guildhall outpost added to the suity feel. The long basement dining room reminded me of a public … Continue reading Hawksmoor, Guildhall

Yauatcha, Broadgate Circle 

I remember my first visit to the original Yauatcha in Soho; I had some of the best dim sum I’ve ever eaten. I was excited then to hear they were opening a new one in Broadgate Circle (that new posh food court near Liverpool Street which is home to José Pizarro, Franco Manca and the soon-to-open Crab Tavern). It’s a strange layout; a huge semicircle … Continue reading Yauatcha, Broadgate Circle 

Craft London, Greenwich Peninsular 

We got well and truly lost trying to find Craft London as I had no idea where exactly the Greenwich Peninsular was. This new restaurant from Stevie Parle, who’s the man behind Rotorino and The Dock Kitchen, is in fact slap bang next to the O2 Arena. It’s not an area particularly known for its food offerings, unless you like a good Harvester that is. Location … Continue reading Craft London, Greenwich Peninsular 

Taberna do Mercado, Spitalfields 

Nuno Mendes, formerly of Viajante and currently of Chiltern Firehouse fame, has opened this Portuguese restaurant in the nice half of Spitalfields Market. Like you, I’m not particularly au fait with Portuguese cuisine either, but it turned it to be rather brilliant. We arrived on a Saturday lunch and were only offered an outside table which was pleasant, apart from the paper napkins. I hate … Continue reading Taberna do Mercado, Spitalfields 

The Ivy, West Street 

I want to love The Ivy, I really do. Its theatrical history and glamour is right up my alley. On my first disastrous visit last year, we never made it past the bar, which made for an awfully awkward dinner. So when I heard they were giving the place a huge renovation, I was excited to be eating in the actual dining room. It’s a … Continue reading The Ivy, West Street 

Kanada-Ya, St Giles High Street 

Based near Tottenham Court Road, opposite what was once Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks (before it unsurprisingly closed), Kanada-Ya is a tiny little restaurant which specialises in ramen. They’ve got an outpost in Hong Kong and Japan so you’d expect them to know what they’re doing – and they really do. Whenever I walk past there always seems to be a huge queue and on our … Continue reading Kanada-Ya, St Giles High Street 

Lahore Kebab House, Whitechapel

After a recent visit to Tayyabs, a few people had suggested I also try Lahore to get my Indian/Pakistani lamb chop fix. It’s an interesting spot with two dining rooms; one which smelled of farts and the other, with a giant flat screen playing football – I don’t know which is worse! Everything felt like it needed a good Dettol. I wouldn’t exactly give the … Continue reading Lahore Kebab House, Whitechapel