Before we start, let’s get it straight that I haven’t been to hundreds of London restaurants. This is a list based on those restaurants that I’ve been fortunate enough to eat in and that have lived up to the expectations.
5.Roux at The Landau, Park Lane
I booked this because I originally wanted to go to ‘Le Gavroche’ but found it had a waiting list of about 6 months. No bother. ‘Roux at The Landau’ was a marvellous stand-in.
The setting is very elegant and the service, as you’d expect, is exceptional. I enjoy my wine and I thought a particularly nice touch from the waiter was to compliment us on our choice of wine. ( He might have been lying for all we know but it was a nice touch nevertheless).
We spent a good 2 and a half hours at our table and the meal was a real pleasure.
We were staying at St James A Taj Hotel next door and had read reviews on Quillon. I fancied an Indian restaurant that was Michelin starred to add to my collection!
If you are fortunate to eat at Quillon then don’t expect the usual Indian fare of chicken bhuna or beef madras. This is proper Indian cooking. We opted for the tasting menu.
The emphasis was most definitely on ‘taste’.
We visited the restaurant some time ago and I can still taste the subtle flavours and spices that run through each of the dishes. It really is a sublime experience and well worth repeating.
3. Ormer, Mayfair
This was a restaurant we saw on TV as part of ‘Masterchef’, liked the look of the food and decided to ‘give it a whirl’.
Cocktails beforehand can be taken in the oak-panelled cocktail bar should you choose to. The meal is in a room that is smaller than most restaurants we’ve been to but the quality is there through every course.
Service is excellent throughout and the food is simply exceptional. They served ‘foie gras’ which gets me every time and my wife chose the lobster raviolo. I had the duck as the main course and it was cooked to perfection.
This was a meal that, as fine dining goes, was hard to beat.
2. Craft, O2 .
Again, this was a restaurant that we sourced from watching ‘Masterchef’ on TV. It looked quirky and some of the dishes looked very unusual and exciting.
Its situation fitted us exactly as we were seeing a show at the O2 and this couldn’t be closer without actually being inside.The ambience is fairly relaxed, certainly more so than others we have visited, but again the food was outstanding and the wine selection was very good.
For our meals, I chose lamb belly to start and pheasant for mains and duck to start and lamb for my wife and her son. We enjoyed two bottles of South African red before a very tasty dessert.
This is one place that, because of the venue, the relaxed atmosphere coupled with very good service, I would definitely visit again.
1.The Ivy, Covent Garden
Our ‘go-to’ place in London. Never lets you down, and for somewhere that has such a well-earned and well-deserved reputation, it is surprisingly unpretentious. We have eaten here many times before the desire to branch out got the better of us and it has never failed us.
We have tried many combinations on the extensive menu but a few standouts for us are the baked alaska that was ceremoniously set alight on our first visit, pigeon breast and foie gras ( again).
I hope you agree with some of my choices. Let me know if do, or don’t. Let me know if I’ve tempted you to try somewhere new. I may need to revise my list at a later date as there were some that just failed to make the top 5, who knows, maybe a return visit is on the cards.