There are hundreds of fine dining restaurants in London. However, which of the newest additions are up there with the very best?
Professional food critic Andy Hayler told Verdict his thoughts on luxury restaurants, Michelin stars and more.
Location: 48 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7AY
Average Price: £55
A French cuisine restaurant that opened in early 2017 by master sommelier founders Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney. Although the food is the focus, wine is just as important as the food here, with 600 different labels available including a £5,950 bottle of Domaine Georges Roumier Musigny 1996.
Andy Hayler described his experience at Cabotte: “This is a wine list that is serious, delightful, and above all good value – a rare thing indeed. My main course of beef cheek Bourgignon came with Savoy cabbage and smoked bacon. The beef was certainly tender, though my experienced dining companion noted that the cabbage flavour rather bled into the beef, so perhaps a greater separation of these flavours would be an improvement.
“Still, the bacon and cabbage worked well together and the beef itself was undeniably good. Service was excellent, with a knowledgeable French sommelier and manager.”
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Located: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6RD
Average Price: £120
Rated with two Michelin stars, this French cuisine restaurant opened in April 2017. The décor is luxurious and there are cabinets of old Michelin French red guides, a Michelin man-themed butter dish and salt and pepper set, and the iconic character printed on its dessert napkins.
The pistachio soufflé with banana ice cream left a good impression on Hayler.
He said: “His soufflé was carefully made, evenly cooked and light in texture, with a top that had an impression of the Michelin Man imprinted on it in cocoa butter.
This was a clever touch, and in no way was at the expense ofhaha the flavour of the dish itself. Indeed this was a classy soufflé, with plenty of pistachio flavour.”
Located: 1 St James’s Market, London, SW1Y 4AH
Average Price: £85
Nigeria does fine dining in this West End restaurant which opened in the summer of 2017 by Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale.
West African ingredients are used as inspiration and coupled with luxurious ingredients to create a fusion, with dishes like smoked crab jollof rice, scallops with ehuru (African nutmeg), burnt cream and caviar and buttermilk plantain dusted in dehydrated raspberry powder and spices. Hayler said: “I hope it prospers, because as well as the unusually engaged and pleasant staff, the cooking is interesting, ambitious and capable.
“London is a melting pot culturally, so this fusion of West African influences with more familiar ingredients seems entirely appropriate, and is very original.”
Located: 53 Park Lane, London, England, W1A 2HJ
Average Price: £160
While it isn’t the latest, this three Michelin star restaurant in West End London features a French la carte menu by chef Jean-Phillipe Blondet and deserves a mention.
Hayler said: “Service was superb, essentially flawless, with even the tiniest detail attended to. I think the three stars Michelin has anointed set unrealistic expectations if you are used to three star restaurants in, say, Paris, but that is an issue with Michelin rather than this restaurant. If you strip away the expectations then the food here is good, the menu appealing, the service virtually perfect and the desserts arguably the best in London.”
Located: 70 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1DE
Average Price: £55
This Chinese fine dining restaurant explores dishes from all 14 national regions of China and boasts one Michelin star.
Owner Andrew Wong is “always on hand” to discuss the menu and additional queries in its popular Bar Seat 8, seats close enough to the kitchen where guests are able to try new dishes before they reach the menu.
Hayler said: “The quality of the cooking here is high, the dishes inventive and interesting, and quite different from the other posh Chinese venues in London. Andrew Wong is ploughing his own culinary furrow, and London is grateful for it.”
Located: 39 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 2SF
Average Price: £68
Yet another French cuisine restaurant is leading the way in fine dining London, with Noize opening a few months ago in October 2017.
The menu at this luxury restaurant consists of tortellino of sucking pig, Scottish langoustines, pork, shellfish, caramelised veal sweetbread and sautéed morels.
Andy Hayler described Noize as one of the “best openings of last year” and “a restaurant that delivers the whole package: an appealing menu, thoughtful and fairly priced wine list, nice atmosphere and high-quality cooking”.
Indian Accent London
Located: 6 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4HW
Average Price: £85
This menu explores “progressive ideas in Indian cuisine while maintaining traditional integrity”, according to the restaurant itself, which opened in London in December last year.
Two courses, three courses, and a la carte choices are available, as well as a six-course tasting menu. Dinner offers nine courses from the Chef’s Tasting Menu.
Hayler said: “I have now tried almost the entire menu here and the standard is remarkably high. Indian Accent, both in Delhi and here, is single-handedly redefining high-end Indian cooking: long may it continue to do so.”