London, how I love thee. You’re a bustling city brimming with culture, history, and culinary wonders, but with so many establishments vying for attention, how do us fervent foodies find the hidden gems that offer an unforgettable dining experience?
I have scoured the city’s gastronomic landscape in my quest for seven of the best hidden gem restaurants that are sure to tantalise your taste buds and send you on a culinary adventure. Loosen your belts, get your tipping monies ready and prepare to dine, drink and be merry by visiting these glorious London restaurants this Spring.
Tucked away in the Lancaster London Hotel, Nipa Thai is a culinary paradise that transports you to the enchanting world of Thai cuisine. Adorned with traditional silk and teakwood décor, this unassuming gem serves up some of the most delectable dishes in town, each lovingly prepared by a highly talented kitchen brigade.
What better way to test your spice tolerance than with their ‘Panang Nuea Rue Moo’ – a dry and aromatic red beef curry with basil and kaffir lime leaves? If you prefer a tamer dish, the ‘Sanguine Phad Thai’ is sure to seduce your palate with its perfect blend of flavours. My dining companion and I were particularly impressed with the incredibly flavoursome lamb massaman curry and the ‘Suer Rong Hai’ – a delightfully tender sliced sirloin of beef with chilli.
If you ever dreamt of indulging in a culinary masterpiece crafted by the legendary Gordon Ramsay, look no further than the River Restaurant. Situated in the prestigious Savoy Hotel, this riverside gem offers a dining experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. The restaurant’s pièce de résistance is their ‘Ramsay’s Wellington’ – a divine creation of perfectly cooked beef wrapped in a flaky, golden pastry that will have you drooling in anticipation.
As you savour each delicious morsel, you can’t help but wonder if Chef Ramsay is lurking in the kitchen, ensuring every plate is perfection. Make sure you order the steak tartare, which may quite possibly be one of the best I had tasted, Just be sure to keep your swearing to a minimum…
Escape the hustle and bustle of London’s streets and step into the enchanting world of Como Garden. This charming Italian restaurant, nestled in the heart of Kensington, is the perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous or a leisurely lunch with friends. the food is always truly exceptional. The vibrant décor, replete with lush foliage and rustic wooden furniture, transports you to the idyllic Italian countryside.
The star of the show is undoubtedly their homemade truffle and parmesan tortellioni which tastes like it was crafted by Italian grandmothers with years of experience. For a truly heavenly experience, try their marinated lamb chops with red wine sauce – a perfect dish for meat lovers with exquisite tastes.
No Italian meal is complete without ending it with a pleasing portion of creamy Tiramisu and Como Garden truly make this sweet treat the best in my honest food-loving opinion.
Order two and thank me later.
For a truly authentic Italian experience in the heart of the city, Piazza Italiana is the place to be. This grand, ‘old Italian style’ establishment is sure to impress you with its warm and welcoming atmosphere and holiday-style glamorous Italian dishes. The menu is a delightful medley of classic Italian dishes made with the freshest ingredients. Do yourself a favour and order the ‘beef carpaccio’ – a melt-in-your-mouth creation made with anchovy-pecorino aioli, rocket, parmesan and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
As a self confessed truffle lover I was again shamelessly bowled over by the truffle tagliolini, drenched in a decadently creamy sauce. Ask for extra truffle which will be grated lavishly over your dish and make you feel you are sunning yourself on a Capri restaurant terrace.
A stone’s throw from High Street Kensington, Zuaya is a Latin American oasis that promises to take you on a culinary journey unlike any other. As you step inside, the sultry, jungle-inspired décor sets the tone for a wild and wonderful evening. The menu, a creative fusion of Latin American and Spanish flavours, is a veritable feast for the senses. The ‘Fried Venezuelan cheese bread sticks’ were incredible and the divinely soft, slow cooked lamb taco is an absolute must-try.
Meat lovers will also be impressed with the tender and joyously flavoursome Argentinian sirloin with chimichurri and the Wagyu beef short rib bao will have them mentally booking their next dinner at this exquisite London eatery.
The seabass ceviche with wild berries is the perfect light and tasty fish dish for Spring, as is the grilled octopus with baked sweet potato – who needs to book a holiday? Pair your meal with a smoky, seductive mezcal cocktail, and you’ll be dancing the samba in your mind all night long.
Hidden away in the vibrant neighbourhood of Notting Hill, Rika Moon is a Japanese haven that will make your taste buds sing, and your fingers post numerous ‘food porn’ photos on social media. The king crab with Japanese corn, croquettes,
yuzu & sage sauce is merry mergence of Japanese flavours and will surely please even the fussiest of palates. This contemporary chic restaurant offers a tantalising array of dishes that showcase the best of Japanese cuisine.
From delicate sashimi to mouthwatering hot dishes such as the Koyoto Miso black cod, each dish is a beautiful work of art – as is their unique party toilets where pressing big red button leads to a mini bathroom race complete with dance floor bangers and flashing lights. Go with your most fun friends and prepare to set your Instagram stories alight.
The brand spanking new culinary offering by Tottenham Court Road’s iconic Outernet building is the place to be if you love holiday-esque Spainish dishes and pleasing views of London’s West End. My dining companions and I gorged on what could quite possibly be the largest, most succulent king prawns we’ve had in a long time and devoured pretty plates of food that transported us back to the sunny shores of Marbella.
The grilled octopus was truly special as were the plates of Spanish air dried jamon and velvety beef carpaccio topped generously with serious slithers of chunky parmesan and peppery rocket. If you’re a lover of Mediterranean dips, order their joyous hummus dish and you won’t be disappointed. Fiery Bloody Mary’s washed down these gorgeous dishes and helped lull any hangovers into merry oblivion. We can’t wait to return….