Finding “good British food” would have been a difficult task around 20 years ago, but things have changed a lot since then in the dining world. London has completely revamped its food scene to match the growing population of foodies searching for the ultimate meal. Here are some of the best restaurants to eat at in London.
Finding good Korean food in London is not an easy task. There are plenty of watered-down versions of the cuisine in the city that remind us why people think British versions of food are bland and boring, but Cah Chi is an exception to the rule. Not only is it tasty Korean food, but it is also authentic – versus the pseudo overly sweet BBQ antics Korean joints around the world trying to play off as real Korean food.
First off, bring your own wine to the restaurant, because it is BYOB without a corking fee. I recommend a crisp white to match up to the spicy flavors of the Korean food. You must have the pickled squid strands in the spicy and sweet koch’ujang-based sauce that is the perfect treatment of squid not too mushy, chewy or firm. In fact, every seafood dish I tried is cooked to perfection, so if it has aquatic creature in it, get it. Also, do not leave without trying the fermented soy beans that are glazed with a highly addictive miso paste.
This place is tucked away in a residential area, so it can be hard to find. You’ll walk into a chic and casual décor with hardwood floors that contrast with the hipster tattooed staff. The music selection is a reflection of the youthful tastes of the staff, so expect to get a little taste of “indie” music at this establishment.
Start with the perfectly cooked grilled haunch of roe dear that is glazed with a tangy tarragon mustard and topped with complimentary sea salt. This dish is accompanied by the crispy garlic mashed potatoes. Even if you do not get this dish, you absolutely must get a side of the magical crispy garlic mashed potatoes. This is one of those places you do not leave without getting dessert, so definitely save room!
This is the place to go if you want real British food. Not the American stereotypes of Shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, but other animal parts you may not consider to be edible (yet are delicious), like calf brains for example. This place isn’t for the light hearted vegetarian. The décor is minimal, the wait staff attentive and the kitchen is open to make for a pleasant dining experience.
The menu changes daily, but definitely get one of the slow-cooked meats they specialize in if available. The vegetables are treated with respect and not cooked or seasoned. Their sweet breads are exemplary of what sweet bread is supposed to be. To catch a bargain, come here for lunch and order the fixed priced lunch.
Bull & Last
This restaurant may appear like a traditional pub (I even almost didn’t go in), but what the kitchen staff does with food here makes it one of the best gastro-pubs in London. The close-quartered dining, dark wooded interior and friendly staff give it the feel of a cozy pub, and there is no residual crowd stuffiness you would expect from an establishment that produces such delicious food. It is a dog friendly environment, so if you do not like dogs stay away!
For those less adventurous there are simple burgers available that are cooked to perfection on homemade buns. For those who want to adventure into some British cuisine, try their various in-house cured meats or the slow-cooked beef cheek with egg noodles, chard, ox tongue and prunes. The kitchen also makes unique ice cream flavors. I tried the lavender ice cream and loved it.
This place is extremely popular in London, so you need to make reservations several months ahead to have any hopes of getting a table. It a fusion of English-Japanese cuisine with a modern twist that is a bit on the pricy side for the portion sizes, as a warning for the frugal diner. Be prepared for a loud evening, because the industrial style décor apparently didn’t come with sound dampening panels.
The wine list here is reasonable, but you just have to have at least on cocktail from their creative and extensive list. My favorite was a beer based cocktail the “Burt Reynolds” made from Johnnie Walker Black, lemon, agave, angostura bitters & egg whites are shaken together & topped up with Wyld Wood Cider. Try the tasting menu to get a little bit of everything for a decent price.
The star of their tasting menu is the creamy and buttery free range hen egg with smoked butter and sweet mushrooms. The rest of the tasting menus vary from season to season, and the seasons will definitely change before you can get a reservation at this justifiably super-hyped restaurant.
License: Creative Commons
Holly loves food more than most things, and it is definitely one of her favorite parts of travelling. She can’t wait for the food stops she’ll get to try with her next tour with Palace Travel.
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