American|191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill|££|Have a look!
Following a destructive fire, old time favourite for hangovered Saturday and Sunday brunches Electric Brasserie was renovated and was turned to an american style diner, on the dark side. The dark brick room is highlighted with back and white photos and music turned from lounge style to Rock. Love the ambience although because of the dark colours this is really an evening or winter time place than a sunny day one. Service is fast and friendly. The burgers are top. But what is a drink revelation is the twist the Bloody Mary was given. I have never tried anything similar anywhere before.
Try: obviously the Beef burger but for a lighter option the lobster burger is pretty good too. Bloody Mary. You won’t be happy ordering Bloody Mary anywhere else after you tried this.
Perfect for: matey catch ups
Granger & Co
Australian|175 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill|££|Have a look!
Japan, Hawaii, Australia and Notting Hill. Aussie restaurateur Bill Granger brings his cooking in London. For such a busy place I am pretty impressed at how well the staff is pulling pressure off when dealing with clientelle. Love the environment, good positive vibes, food is always excellent and fresh. Only downside is that the restaurant is operating a non-reservation system which makes the place out of reach if you are in a hurry and especially in the weekends. Evenings are better than during brunch hours where queues are reaching out on street level. Either way, staff always make you feel at home, just relax at the bar with some good wine until your table is ready.
Try: the beef burger, pavlova
Perfect for: week day dinners
Chinese|51 Pimlico Road, Belgravia|£££|Have a look!
Hunan was simply one of the best dining experiences I had in London. Portions are tiny, canapé style Chinese, but if I had to describe this would just say this is how ‘happy food’ felt to me. Interior was low key and very relaxed.
Perfect for: state of the art Chinese
Indian|13-15 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater|£|Have a look!
Real indian food. Great prices. Alcohol not allowed. If you are to visit one Indian restaurant in Notting Hill/Bayswater you have to come here.
Try: butter chicken
Mexican|139-144 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill|£|Have a look!
A personal favourite. On Westbourne Grove and just a few minutes walk from Portobello this little Mexican place serves no frills mexican street food and it is the closest to authentic tacos you would get in London. Service is very friendly and accommodating, food is hearty and margaritas are strong and highly recommended. Love the simple, taqueria style deco – from the formica tables to the Zapata poster on the wall. Can get easily busy in the evenings, especially in the weekends. Make sure you finish off with churros, it may be a breakfast dish in Mexico but it tastes just as good as a dessert.
Try: tacos carne asada, tacos chorizo mexicano and el pastor. Guacamole y totopos. Churros con cajeta. Drink the margarita, ‘straight up’.
Perfect for: duo catch ups, week nights
Yashin Ocean House
Japanese|117-119 Old Brompton Street, South Kensington|££££|Have a look!
It’s always hard for me to write an objective review on a Japanese restaurant as I am not a big sushi, definitely not sashimi fan. So when a restaurant like this wins me over it is always good news. All dishes were amazing and the sake selection impressive. Ambience was elegant.
Perfect for: special occasions
NOTTING HILL’S ‘LITTLE ITALY’
Italian|190-192 Kensington Park Rd|££|Have a look!
Colourful, cheerful, attitude free and with adorable service.
Try: white chocolate cheesecake
Italian|37 Kensington Park Rd|£££|Have a look!
Mediteraneo serves good Italian food in a toned down version of Italian rustic deco compared to its neighbours. White tablecloths and rustic chic is more on the agenda for this place. Still beautiful ambience and one more choice at Notting Hill’s Little Italy.
Perfect for: date nights
Italian|29 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill|££|Have a look!
When it comes to Italian restaurants I like cliches. I like the rustic, traditional touch. The restaurant has two floors but if you can get a table do at the top floor. Great place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Try: Linguine allo Scoglio
Perfect for: matey catch ups, date nights
Italian|39 Albemarle Street, Mayfair|££££|Have a look!
A very elegant, Italian in the heart of Mayfair. Chic settings and beautiful, simple, authentic dishes made with fresh and quality ingredients. Very good service.
Perfect for: special occasions, date nights
Contemporary|11-13 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell|££|Have a look!
Vibrant restaurant at Exmouth Market’s pedestrian street. Perfect for brunch or dinner in a casual setting with really friendly staff! Great on a summer evening for al fresco dining.
Perfect for: large groups
Peruvian|17 Frith St, Soho|££|Have a look!
Great food, ambience and above all really friendly hostesses and staff (can be a novelty in London at times).
Try: drink the Pisco Sour, try the Don Ceviche, beef lomo saltado, tequenos and for liquid dessert the choco toro mata.
Perfect for: duo catch ups, date nights
Dean Street Townhouse
English|72-74 Dean Street, Soho|£££|Have a look!
Dean Street Townhouse, hotel and restaurant, spans across two Georgian residences built (as claimed on the venue’s website) in 1732-1735 and delivers quality under the Soho House brand. Personally, a romantic soul, find impossible to resist anything that combines old fashioned colour with a contemporary approach. There are two rooms at the restaurant; the bigger, more sociable (and noisy) one and a candle lit smaller room offering velvet seating and more discreet presence. It always depends on one’s mood but I always opt for the second one as it feels more decadent.
Perfect for: Christmas dinner season, this is the cosiest most beautiful setting I have seen in London
Spanish|5-6 Down Street, Mayfair|£££|Have a look!
El Pirata is a very authentic, traditional spanish tapas bar. Well established amongst the London crowd, it serves amazing food and the service is superb. Very good wine list too.
Perfect for: matey catch ups
Spanish|33 Charlotte Street|£££|Have a look!
Brought to us by the same team that built the Barrafina brand. The food is beautiful (a combination of traditional and modern tastes) and the setting is relaxed. Wine list is excellent, cocktails are strong and service very unpretentious and accommodating.
Perfect for: business meetings, week day dinners
La Bodega Negra
Mexican|15 Moor St, Soho|££|Have a look!
There are two options for La Bodega Negra. This is the ‘attitude free’ one. Not your average traditional Mexican place but I love it as ambience/crowd is good and music (yes american rock) is refreshing. There is no reservation policy but, Saturday evening aside, getting a table is relatively ok; sure there is some bar waiting but then you get the opportunity to savour some tequila for which coming to a Mexican place you finally get the variety you need.
Try: best espresso martinis in town, tequila ‘straight’ and a lot of it – ceviche roja, tacos camaron, hamburguesa de la bodega.
Perfect for: matey get togethers, duo catch ups
L’ Atelier de Joel Robuchon
French|13-15 West Street, Covent Garden|£££|Have a look!
Exquisite Michelin-starred restaurant, with an open kitchen space restaurant on the ground floor, a formal sitting restaurant on the first floor and a decadent salon bar on the upper floor.
Perfect for: special occasions
Japanese|33 Dean Street, Soho|£££|Have a look!
Creative Japanese and really friendly staff that knows their food! Setting is quite simple and relaxed.
Perfect for: power lunch
Try: rock shrimp tempura
Pub|40 Commercial Street, Aldgate|££|Have a look!
Located in London’s business district The Culpepper serves the most delicious and well presented pub food I have ever had. The pub spans along 3 floors, with its roof top turned into a green house (yes you can have your summer drinks amongst the various herbs). Most importantly, the space (industrial meets country) is very unique, welcoming and gorgeous. I will most definitely return in the winter time as, I suspect, the beautiful light the place has will make for a very cosy option.
Try: fish was beautifully done
Perfect for: work lunch
Turkish|6 Mincing Lane, Aldgate|£££|Have a look!
Best Turkish I had in London so far. The selection and freshness of the food is remarkable. Love the elegant, simple setting.
Try: everything I have tried in this restaurant; meat, fish, meze are all excellent. I particularly love the fish.
Perfect for: big groups, work lunch
Made in Brasil
Brazilian|12 Inverness St, Camden|££|Have a look!
Best Brazilian food in London and the live bands on Sundays are excellent. It gets very busy in the weekends so make sure you book – best spot is upstairs where you can enjoy the live music. Great variety of caipirinhas, if you need to ‘cheat’ with a different one than the classic, I would recommend the passion fruit caipirinha.
Try: everything I tried here is good! But would especially recommend the coxinha, pastel de queijo, manioca fritz, frango a passarinho, piranha, moqueca.
Perfect for: Sunday evenings, matey get togethers, duo catch ups