A Swiss chef and restaurateur brings some of the best cooking in NYC to Mayfair, and a criminally underappreciated restaurant explores the casual side of formal British cuisine – here are some of the best tasting menus in London right now.
Davies and Brook
The new kid on the block, Davies and Brook is certainly one to sit up and take notice of. Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park (as featured in Netflix’s Chef’s Table if that’s a better indication of his status), has taken up the pans at Claridge’s. Things are looking and tasting quite a bit different from the famous hotel’s previous resident chefs – question is, is it better than ever before? The tasting menu is a great way to find out for yourself.
7-course tasting menu £145pp, £240pp with wine.
Probably not much like your average kitchen table, but you get the idea. At 20 courses and fewer than 20 covers per sitting, James Knappett and Sandia Chang invite you to their place for a dinner arrangement unlike any other, including a lot more theatre and a lot more sophistication.
12-course tasting menu £150pp, not including wine.
The Ledbury falls into the rarely-used category of modern classic. Not only regarded as one of the best restaurants in London, the cooking and the experience at Brett Graham’s tribute to Brit-ish luxury has earned it a place on the list of the world’s best.
7-course tasting menu £165pp, £275pp with wine.
Ikoyi’s not a restaurant that wants to fit under any particular label. But, over the course of its seven-part menu, you’ll become acquainted with the flavours of West Africa: Grains of Selim, berbere, duqqa, and friends.
7-course tasting menu £100pp, £175pp with wine.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Claude Bosi’s French-British menu is one of the most decadent among its counterparts – expect dishes like rabbit with langoustine and Cornish cod ‘à la Grenobloise’. A true bucket-list restaurant, this is fine dining at its finest.
8-course tasting menu £185pp, £300pp with wine.
Slightly more on the casual end of the scale is this neighbourhood restaurant in Newington Green. It has a say-it-as-it-is menu, bringing together burnt onion soup, roast lamb shoulder, and whiting fried in beef fat with chip shop curry sauce.
5-course tasting menu £44pp, £84pp with wine.
CORE by Clare Smyth
Notting Hill Gate became a familiar stop for London food lovers in 2019, such are the new options in the area. Leading the reasons for a new visit is CORE, with up to seven courses based on British-sourced produce often inspired by chef Clare Smyth’s upbringing in Northern Ireland.
7-course tasting menu £125pp, £210 with wine.
Not as hot on the lips of London’s food intelligentsia as perhaps it should be, Anglo in Farringdon is quietly putting out an eight-course tasting menu easily rivalling others at this price. A la bistronomie movement, Anglo’s all about British cuisine receiving the fine dining treatment, sans the tablecloths.
7-course tasting menu £60pp, £105pp with wine.
Another taking on a British slant (clue was in the name), Native’s making full use of wild ingredients, underappreciated varieties, and widely forgotten techniques once so integral to our shores. The restaurant and its six-part menu is also big on mitigating wastage.
5-course tasting menu £65pp, £113pp with wine.
The Clove Club
Surprisingly few London restaurants have made it onto the official list of the World’s 50 Best, but this modern Shoreditch institution is a rare case indeed. Though open for seven years now, we’ll refer to the example it sets it for decades to come.
9-course tasting menu £145pp, £290pp with wine or £195pp with tea or soft pairing.
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.