Like the bear who shares its name, Paddington is a curious beast. Not otherwise well documented for its bustling bistros, or its tantalising trattorias, here you’ll find there’s much more to the area than just marmalade sandwiches…
Bernardi’s – Comforting, modern Italian fare is the name of the game at this neighbourhood trattoria, tucked down Seymour Place. While some are drawn in by the truffle arancini and the pizzette, many stay for the cocktails at the Dog House underneath the restaurant.
Lurra – Paddington’s culinary credentials have definitely upped in recent years, but when Lurra came about – a couple of years ago now – it blasted most of them out the water. The restaurant is built around a traditional Erretegia food-fired grill, much like those found all over the Basque country. Once you’ve lifted their dry-aged 14-year old Galician Blond to your lips, you’ll know exactly why.
Pearl Liang – Ostensibly a Chinese restaurant with a dim sum slant, Pear Liang often strays into pan-Asian territory, with dishes from Vietnam and Thailand. As such, the menu is extensive, and though this is usually a warning sign, Pearl Liang provides a good alternative to your usual high-street Chinese. Come for the dim sum; stay for the dim sum.
The Harcourt – When it comes to restaurant interiors, The Harcourt hasn’t exactly drawn the short straw – this Nordic and Scandi-flavoured gastropub is set within a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse. Fortunately, it’s backed up with a decent, well-focused menu, with the likes of ‘House’ gravadlax, potato and sage dumplings, and frikadeller (Swedish meatballs).
The Heron – There are a fair few restaurants around the country which, by their bedraggled appearance alone, you’d think twice about going into. But, like Roti King in Euston and The Sportsman on the Kent coast, by avoiding you’d be seriously missing out. Much like them, The Heron is tucked underneath an otherwise nondescript pub. Look past this however and you’ll find, according to the Telegraph, ‘the best British Thai restaurant in more than a decade of seeking.’
Briciole – Padella has in the past couple of years been the poster boy for simple, delicious, and extremely affordable pasta. And rightly so. Would it be remiss to suggest Briciole, an Italian restaurant slash deli slash café bar, could be of similar ilk? Maybe. What about after you’ve had a glance at the menu (Pecorino di Pienza – made with ewes milk and mature pecorino – for £4. Rigatoni with pork cheek for £10)? Maybe not.
Casa Malevo – Argentinian food is not exactly overrepresented in London. Similarly, perhaps there are a questions to be asked of a few items on Casa Malevo’s a la carte. Their sweetbreads however – with lamb, grilled mushrooms, and pea puree – are enough to forgive them for the chips and the burgers.
Angelus – For those who like to geek out over the wine list, Angelus should be somewhere at the top of your list. But then, a good selection of wine is what you’d expect from Thierry Tomasin, the veteran sommelier who once did the rounds at Le Gavroche. Dishes are of a Southern-France persuasion (though all ingredients sourced directly from British farmers, where possible), while the service at Angelus is among the best in the business.
Kurobuta – Nobu alumnus Scott Hallsworth brought casual Japanese fare to Marble Arch in 2014. You should be glad he did – the restaurant is still among the pick of the bunch when it comes to wagyu sashimi, soft shell crab tempura, and robata tea-smoked lamb chops. While Hallsworth has very recently sold off the restaurant group (to focus on his new pop-up in Farringdon), the top-notch izakaya-style food still remains.
Beany Green – Beany is the Little Venice outpost of the successful Daisy Green collection. Like its sister restaurants, Aussie (bottomless) brunch is one of the main attractions – expect broccoli and corn fritters, coconut bread French toast, and banana bread sarnies.