23.1.18

TOP 10 RESTAURANTS 2017

Hello! Yes, I know, it's been a while.... no excuses really. But hopefully there'll be a lot more coming on this site in the near future. I might not have been writing about them (yet), but I've continued to eat my way around London and beyond, and have lots of lovely places to tell you about, but I thought I'd break the ice with my top 10 from 2017 (before we get even further into 2018!)

So, starting with the best... which is a bit of a tease, as it's now closed down....

Summers - for six glorious months north west London was home to the best food I ate last year. Summers appeared in the tiny upstairs room of the Sir Colin Campbell pub in Kilburn, turning out plates of the finest terrines, meats, pickles, and perfectly cooked vegetables you could ever hope for. Tables were ramshackle, walls were peeling, the whole thing was run by one chef and one waiter, and every time we visited we stayed for hours and hours - drinking delicious bottles of wine, eating as much as humanly possible, dancing downstairs to the Irish "band" before running back upstairs for just one more plate of whatever goodness was on the menu that day. I'm really hoping that Greg and Ruairidh have a secret plan to reincarnate Summers very soon!

So, after that ode to my favourite, now missing in action, here are the other 9 I loved in 2017 (and are still open for business)

The Cow - having moved to north west London in late 2016 I've discovered a raft of brilliant eateries right on my doorstep. The Cow is one of those. Probably the most deceptive pub I've eaten in, you'd have no idea of the quality of French food they serve on walking through the doors. An "old man's pub" is the less than flattering phrase one of my friends used to describe it, but appearances mean nothing here. The menu is bursting with fresh seafood, perfect cuts of meat and French classics. The pies are legendary and the chicken liver parfait is the best I've tasted. You can eat downstairs in the main pub, or book upstairs for a more sophisticated experience. Either way, if you're in Portobello/Notting Hill, be sure to head to The Cow for food.

Western's Laundry - another neighborhood gem (though sadly not my neighborhood), Western's Laundry, just off Holloway Road, bill themselves as a seafood restaurant, but if you're not a fan don't let that put you off. They're far more than that. The daily changing menu includes treats like meaty croquettes, delicious cured hams, ray wing with bertolli beans, braised chicken leg and leeks, and seriously good cheeseboards and puddings.

Freak Scene - I've long been a fan of Scott Hallsworth's cooking so was thrilled to find out his new venture was a five minute walk from my office in Farringdon. The food here is billed as curious Asian plates - I'd say it's more divine Japanese junk food. A totally unique offering, there's nowhere else in London that I know of doing food like Scott does at Freak Scene. The red curry duck with lychees is my perfect guilty lunch - in fact I'd quite like to go every day for lunch and work my way through the menu over and over again. Which, if my waistline allowed, I could, as they've just gone from pop up to permanent (YEY!)

Noble Rot - sometimes it takes me a while to catch up. Places go on "the list", I never go, then new places open, the original place slips down "the list" and then a year or two later I finally make it to said restaurant. In this case, Noble Rot, the wine bar/restaurant in Bloomsbury. Having won several accolades for their excellent wine list, this is clearly a place to go for a good bottle. But don't miss out on the food. Pair that good bottle with their extrodinarily good food, go with friends or a date, and don't book anything afterwards - just move yourselves and your bottle from the restaurant to the bar area and congratulate yourselves on picking a corker for an evening of great food and booze.

Patty and Bun - there seems to be a lot of "junk food" on my list this year....! Patty and Bun have been a firm favourite of mine ever since I took a bite of their veggie burger at Wilderness a few years ago. The deep fried mushroom dripping in garlic butter won my heart. And then they opened in Notting Hill, and I've been back many, many more times for all of their burgers and sides. Deep fried cheese balls with fiery chilli sauce, thunder thigh chicken bits and their Ari Gold cheeseburger, made with meat from the same butcher I use for my pop ups, with onions, smokey mayo and brioche buns. I figure if you're going to eats burgers, you might as well eat the best quality ones you can get.

Dumplings Legend - I'm pretty sure that I became addicted to the Dumplings Legend's dumplings on first bite. I mean, how else can I explain buying 8 or 9 portions of their dumplings that evening we first tried them at Taste. Since that first bite, I've visited their Chinatown base (too) many times. Open till 2am and with an extensive dumpling menu, DL is the perfect spot for your fix of steamed, fried and baked little parcels of joy.

Chik'n - another "junk food" place...! But it hardly even counts as junk food.... I think. Chik'n is the first fast food joint from the guys behind Chick n' Sours, a firm favourite of mine, as Chik'n is now too. Their first outlet is at the top of Baker Street and serves up buckets of wings, towering burgers and varieties of chicken tenders, all made using higher welfare chicken, which is cooked in rapeseed oil meaning healthy(er) fried chicken. They recycle their waste and dispose of unrecyclables responsibly and are just all round good eggs.

Mam - there's no surprise that a dog friendly, Vietnamese BBQ restaurant, run by the loveliest team, that's five minutes walk from my flat makes it on to my top 10 list. But even if you don't live locally (or have a dog) I highly recommend a visit to this gem of a restaurant. With a menu that ranges from crispy chicken wings tossed in fish sauce and crispy garlic, to the lighter prawns with steamed vermicelli and herbs, there's something for everyone in this plant filled, cosy, West London spot.

The Wigmore - last but not least (how could I ever put anything to do with Michel Roux Jr last or least?!) The Wigmore is the newish pub that's part of the Langham Hotel near Oxford Circus. Dog friendly, and so warm and welcoming, this central London pub serves some truly indulgent and delicious food - pub classics done with serious style. We had a rabbit, veal and cep lasagne to share between 2, and today's menu includes toasties, scotch eggs, pies and moules. I can't think of a better place to hide from the madness of Oxford Street and eat all the wonderful things.

I've already got some contenders for 2018, which has got off to a food fueled year already. I'll be sharing full reviews of my favs on here over the next weeks (I promise!!)

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2 comments

  1. You provided us with a very informative article about best food destinations in London. I sometimes got confused, where to eat when visiting a new place. But after finding such article it becomes easy. Thanks for sharing.

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