I have a great love of food (and wine, but that’s for a different post!) and am always interested in good restaurant recommendations. I’ve even been known to travel far and wide for a really good meal, recently returning to Florence to visit one particular restaurant that does the best pasta I’ve ever come across in Italy. In case you’re interested, it’s called Zeb and it’s a tiny modern deli/diner run by a mother and son who create some amazingly different pasta’s. One of the dishes we had was ricotta ravioli in a pear sauce – not something you’ll usually find at your local Strada!
Much as I’d like to, making a habit of flying to Florence would get a little bit expensive, so here are my top ‘closer to home’ restaurant recommendations, all in London.
100 Hoxton, Hoxton: This is one of my favourite restaurants around the Shoreditch/Old Street area and it’s pretty good value too. The food is an unusual mix of Middle Eastern, Asian and Indian, which doesn’t sound like it should work but it really does. Plates are on the small side but made for sharing meaning that you can try pretty much everything on the menu. One of my favourite dishes there is a butternut quinoa salad. I realise this doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but anyone who has tried it is instantly a fan.
San Carlo Cicchetti, Piccadilly: A little (substantially!) more on the expensive side in comparison to 100 Hoxton, this Venetian restaurant does plates for sharing (I’m sensing a theme). I’d highly recommend the ravioli with ricotta and truffles and the wild boar pappardelle. Be careful: the wine’s good too!
The Jones Family Project, Hoxton: They do a good steak here but see my next recommendation for an even better one. However, this place does some tasty sides and has a nice atmosphere. If you’re going, try the truffled macaroni cheese, the burrata (my all time favourite cheese) and the smoked aubergine dip if they have it. Apparently the Sunday roast is great too but I’ve yet to try it.
Hawksmoor (various locations): I’ll admit I haven’t been to Gaucho’s or Zoilo but for me this is the best steak restaurant (that I’ve been to so far!) in London. Their fillet is amazingly full of flavour and they have some knockout side dishes too. Although it doesn’t sound particularly appealing, make sure you try the creamed spinach. The triple cooked chips probably sound more appealing and they are worth it. And if you can find room to squeeze in the cheesecake you absolutely should.
Chez Bruce, Wandsworth: If you’re looking for some decently priced Michelin starred food (£47.50 for 3 courses) this is the place to go. It’s a fairly relaxed atmosphere with excellent service and the food is phenomenal. The menu changes constantly depending on what’s seasonal and good at the time. The food combinations and the types of meat used can sound a little unusual but no matter what I’ve had there, it’s always fantastic.
Hopefully the above list will provide you with some inspiration for your next meal out. If nothing else, it will have made you very hungry!
Emma is a Technical Project Manager based in the BJSS London Office.