Having done our fair share of eating, we thought it was time for us to do a round-up of the top restaurants in London. We have gathered up our favourite eateries to create a list of vibrant and delicious places that will leave you with a happy tummy and your next reservation already in the diary.
Pachamama is a Peruvian-inspired bar & restaurant dedicated to making the most of the UK’s most extraordinary ingredients. Located in a basement in Marylebone (not as suspect as it sounds), this low-lit; laidback restaurant features vintage lampshades, wooden dressers and potted plants to bring you a quirky but comfortable vibe.
The food itself was fresh, colourful and absolutely fantastic. Our favourite dishes are the sea bass ceviche with samphire, radish and tiger’s milk and the miso-cured carrot, red quinoa and Peruvian kimchi (yum). These are both light, flavourful dishes that leave just enough room for a plate of Peruvian chilli and cacao truffles or a couple of Papa’s cocktails (you don’t have to ask us twice!)
If you are feeling frisky and in the need of a good night out, hang tight this is the spot for you! At weekends, Pachamama goes from being a ‘civilised party’ to ‘party party’, with wine from £4.50 a glass and a DJ from 8pm to 11pm. It’s safe to say that this is a new LK favourite and we won’t struggle to find a date in the diary to go back.
Location: 18 Thayer Street, London W1U 3JY
The Barbary menu reflects the countries from the Atlantic Coast through to the Mediterranean Sea, demonstrating their rich culinary traditions, exotic produce and generational cooking techniques. The restaurant itself is made up of 24 stools arranged in a horseshoe shape with the kitchen in the middle, giving you the chance to watch the chefs as they transform quirky ingredients into a fantastic feast. Alongside this, you will find a wall-standing counter where they feed you delectable nibbles whilst you wait for a table (which can take a while due to the no reservation policy – be warned).
Moving onto the most important aspect, the food. We love the simple and understated menu that is split into; land, sea, earth and heaven (need we say much more!) and is packed full of delicious flavour that will most definitely leave you wanting more! Some of our favourite bites include the Black Salmon Dukkah, Cauliflower Jaffa Style and the Capsicum Haloumi. This is our favourite spot to pop into on a spontaneous evening out with the LK elves or for a pre-theatre treat.
Location: 16 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
Som Saa has made a permanent home for itself in Spitalfields market having exceeded their crowd-funding target within three days (evidently, no one could bear the thought of living without it, and there is good reason!). This is the place to go for authentic Thai food with uncompromising flavour and a refreshing drink in their large airy bar (their cocktails are something special). Our top LK picks are the green papaya salad with snake beans, dried shrimp, peanuts and cherry tomatoes (som tan thai) or the grilled mackerel with a peanut sauce, rice noodles, fresh herbs and lettuce to wrap (miang pla yaang). Both of these are fresh, colourful and hearty enough that you feel satisfied, but leave enough room for pudding (you don’t want to miss out on the tapioca dumplings with sweet coconut cream).
If you are into sharing, you have come to the right place. They recommend four to five dishes per two people so you can get the perfect balance of flavours and textures, so if you are in the mood for something fresh and delicious, rally the troops, this is the spot for you!
Location: 43A Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6BD
Known for its creative cuisine and dynamic dining experiences, COYA combines traditional Peruvian cooking with contemporary interiors to create a unique and delicious evening for guests. The restaurant features a central ceviche bar and charcoal grill, giving you the chance to taste the delights of Peru and then settle in for the night at the Pisco lounge to sip on a few cheeky cocktails.
Moving onto our favourite dishes, where do we begin? There is such an extensive menu at COYA it can be challenging to not eat the entire menu (this may have happened once or twice). Our go-to-dishes are sea bass ceviche with red onions, sweet potato and white corn (Lubina Clasico), the forest mushrooms with aji panca and parsley (Setas) or the josper tiger prawns with chilli salsa (Langostino Tigre). However, if these don’t tickle your fancy, we can honestly say that we have never tried anything on the menu that we didn’t like, so go wild!
This is the perfect place for a feast with your girlfriends, a hot date or a family catch up. When the elves and I go, we like to order a variety (the whole menu) and share, so if this is your thing, get a date in your diary and head down!
Location: 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW
Zuma offers a sophisticated twist on traditional Japanese izakaya style of informal eating and drinking that respects the traditions of the past, but combines them with authentic flavours from the east, all in a cool and comfortable atmosphere (you won’t want to leave).
The menu is a sophisticated and alluring guide, emphasising quality ingredients and minimalistic presentation. With no set ordering style, you are free to order as much as you want (hence why we love it) and share it with the table or enjoy all of the dishes individually (if you are greedy as we are, this is the option for you). We are a sucker for sushi and sashimi and anything from the grill, so you will often find our table full of spicy tuna maki, jumbo tiger prawns and lots of teriyaki sweet potato (our favourite dish ever). So, if you are in the mood to venture to a new restaurant and shake up your taste buds, this is the spot for you!
Location: 5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DL