LDNGuide

The London Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In London

We checked out these new restaurants—and loved them.

The Hit List is the guide to our favourite new food and drink experiences in London. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While the Hit List is by no means an exhaustive list of every great new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighbourhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the many communities that make up London's restaurant industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at london@theinfatuation.com

New to the Hit List (25/03): Zahter, Detroit Pizza, Lahpet West End

THE SPOTS

"Considering the riches of Anatolian cuisine in London, I couldn’t help but feel a little put off when I sat down at Zahter—a shiny and slick new restaurant off Carnaby Street cooking the food of Istanbul—to see that a single palm-sized pide with yoghurt would cost a fiver. £5? I’m used to my bread being low on price and plentiful in Turkish restaurants. But equally, why should a few slices of sourdough and smoked butter be seen as standard at the same price? Restaurants like Mangal II have said the same thing when it comes to the price and preconceptions of Turkish food, and it’s something we should all consider when we start complaining about the cost of certain cuisines. Especially when the food is as good as it is at Zahter. The mezze, both hot and cold, is spectacular. Luscious muhammara, sweet with peppers and pomegranate, made for scooping up with their crisp and warm wood-fired pide. Give me bread and a bucket of this and I’m happy. But I’m even happier when crunchy, caramelised beef manti are involved. These aren’t the soft kind of dumpling. They’re crisp and fattily glued to the cast iron they sit on. Excellently snackable (and also very sausage roll-like). Best of all though is the kayseri yaglamasi. Layers of pita bread, spiced beef mince, garlic labneh and walnuts. Think of a pancake tower made of lahmacuns. It’s a real greedy guts creation that speaks to my ultimate form: happy, hungover and feeling gluttonous when I open the fridge. Ultimately, yes, Zahter does add up to an expensive restaurant. But that's because food this good is worth it." - Jake Missing, Senior Staff Writer


"Much like when you ask your parents who their favourite child is, I won’t tell you that I think the deep-dish Detroit-style pizza being served at this new Spitalfields restaurant might be my new favourite, instead I’ll tell you that I love all pizzas equally, while ranting on about how perfect these pizzas are. A single £4 slice of their 'Red Stripe' is enough to fill you up if you’re looking for a quick lunch—the dough is so chewy and so fluffy, with a layer of cheese and a river of rich marinara on top—but we're willing to bet you'll want a whole pie. Because when they’re the kind of cheese-covered, marinara-heavy, deep-dish pizzas that taste as good as they look, they’re bound to be everyone's favourite." - Rianne Shlebak, Staff Writer


"My entire job revolves around recommending restaurants but even I find it a ‘mare choosing somewhere that will cater to everyone. You’ve got your gluten-free folk, your vegans, your vegetarians, your spice lovers, your spice haters, beloved broke freelancers, and then that one mate who refuses to eat anything red due to some kind of traumatic childhood incident involving ketchup and an older sibling. But Lahpet is a Burmese restaurant that has countless options for all of the above and importantly, will serve everyone enough coconut and ginger to shock you all out of your urban blues. The £7 vegan yellow pea paratha was the perfect zesty little flatbread number and I almost asked the king prawns which workout regime got them so hench, but my absolute highlight was the coconut noodles. Rich, creamy, with an essential crispy wonton that served as the ultimate spoon. Lahpet gets that wanting no-brainer comfort is something everyone has in common." - Heidi Lauth-Beasley, Staff Writer


"The distinction between those who enjoy and those who endure an evening in Shoreditch is undeniable. Whatever camp you fall in, Sohaila should be top of your list the next time you’re round here. The new Lebanese-influenced wine bar and restaurant is good for many reasons. First and foremost because it’s run by Fat Macy’s, a social enterprise that trains Londoners to help them move from hostels into their own homes, and second, because it’s the kind of inconspicuous, quietly lovely restaurant that isn’t particularly common in Shoreditch these days. The restaurant makes for an intimate dinner space ideal for sharing chewy flatbread with chilli butter-laden labneh and a bottle of something funky from their decently priced list. Everything's made for sharing, and the prices mean that you don't have to worry about being polite. The shish barak dumplings are a must." - JM


“When I went to Carousel I saw a large dog attempt to climb up onto its owner’s lap to get involved in their delightful little small plates. I understand that dog. I relate to that dog. I too am a sucker for polite little finger portions of fried chicken that have been bathed in honey and habanero. Carousel is home to a revolving line-up of impressive guest chefs from around the world with 7pm sittings at the bar, but they’ve also managed to create the perfect all-day neighbourhood wine bar with seasonal small plates. Think rich burrata with a refreshing dose of sage, mussels in a gluggable salty samphire broth, and a gloriously tender and nutty bavette. The wine list is packed full of interesting low-intervention options and they even manage to pull off that trendy meets comforting thing that makes it perfect for impressing people without looking like you’re really trying. Carousel is effortless, charming, and it’s officially entered my rotation of Wine Bars I Love To Sit In For Many, Many Hours. And it should be on yours too.” - HLB 


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“The original Soho location of this Indo-Chinese restaurant has an almost cult-like following of lamb chop-yielding enthusiasts claiming that their chops are some of the best in London. And after visiting their newest location, this time in Covent Garden, I can confirm that they are indeed meaty, tender, and a cause I can 100% get behind. But that’s not all that’s impressive here, the menu, which is split into vegetarian, seafood, and meat dishes, is packed with exciting-sounding things that actually taste exciting too. Think deep fried spinach leaves covered in a sweet yoghurt, date and plum sauce, and pomegranate seeds. A refreshing vegetarian dish with the fun-factor of popping candy, Bombay chilli prawns that I wish I could supersize, and those perfectly charred lamb chops. With a combination of four people booths, high tables for two, and a downstairs room that could easily accommodate a large group, this is a spot that can be used for pretty much anything. Just as long as whoever you bring is ready to get down and dirty with a lamb chop.” - RS


"There many things to like about Balady’s second location on Leather Lane, not least the fact I find it markedly easier to get to than the kosher spot’s original location in Temple Fortune. Of course the best thing about it is their falafel: crisp and fresh out the fryer, it’s fluffy inside, steaming with green herbiness and spices, all of which cry out for the combination of fruity amba, punchy zhug and cooling tahini that lines their soft pitas. That will always be the #1 appeal, closely followed by their fantastic hand cut chips. Here though, at least for the time being, there’s another contender: the member of staff giving out free samples whilst trying to entice none-the-wiser lunch workers in by proudly, confidently and also nonchalantly proclaiming it “the best falafel in London”. A big statement we certainly have an opinion on. Is it true? Well, it’s a tight call. The only way to be sure is, of course, to eat some more." - JM


“Prior to becoming the Plimsoll, the pub on the corner of St Thomas’s and Plimsoll Roads was known as the Auld Triangle. It was a Finsbury Park boozer popular with Arsenal fans. A proper Irish drinking hole. Guinness was around the £3 mark and watching a game here usually involved several packets of Taytos. It was full of red shirts, red walls and red cheeks. I liked it a lot. But somehow when Four Legs (formerly of the Compton Arms’ kitchen) announced they’d bought the pub, I wasn’t worried. They had been a key part of a former Gooner drinking den that turned into a still pubbish pub serving excellent food, after all. And it’s the same with The Plimsoll. This is ostensibly a pub up front. Low-lit and loud and full of leaning hips with drinks in hand. The back is where Four Legs’ trademark floral car boot sale plates do their thing. A glorious pile of grated gouda and caesar sauce masquerading as a friseé salad. Deep-fried oysters and aioli on top of a corner-shop baguette. A chicken schnitzel topped with bhuna sauce and melted mozzarella with raita on the side. Everything tastes robust and gutsy and, moreover, fun. All things that make for an excellent menu and, incidentally, all traits you need to make an excellent pub. These guys are doing both.” - JM


“Though Rita’s has been knocking about London for going on a decade now there’s still something decidedly youthful about it. That said, Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce’s take on American-influenced cuisine has grown up. The days of napkin-essential fried chicken and tequila-heavy frozen Ritas in Hackney may be gone, but they’ve created something different and better on Lexington Street, in the heart of Soho. That, or we’re all just getting old. Here it’s candlelight and Roy Davis Jr playing in the background, trademark punchy cocktails alongside cream cheese and chilli water-laden gildas. The room isn’t exactly big, nor is it particularly elaborate, but what it is is comfortable. Bowls of homely clams with sugared Idaho scones and a plate of still mooing bavette with creamed greens and crispy potatoes, all to the sound of James Murphy alongside a glass of Donati Lambrusco. It’s a dash of Americana that feels completely at home in London.” - JM


“Sachi is objectively cool. It’s in a cool five-storey Nordic Japanese building with white pillars at the entrance and more foliage inside than the Belgrave Square garden down the road. The servers are laid back but attentive, helpful, but not at all pushy. And the dining room feels like a well-kept secret with plenty of light wood, bamboo, dim lighting, and corner tables that’ll automatically ensure any date will go well. The coolest thing about this place, however, isn’t the atmosphere or the building. It’s the excellent food. Top quality nigiri, perfectly crunchy lobster tempura, and tasty sushi rolls. It’s somewhere I kind of wish I could keep to myself. But that wouldn’t be very cool of me, would it?” - RS


“If Planque had opened five years ago it would maybe, possibly, no, actually probably be the London restaurant to eat in right now. It ticks the boxes marked Hackney, funky wine list, and 2-3 small plates each that were all flavour of the month a few moons ago. Since that heyday, lots of people have got annoyed at having a nibble of this and a whiff of that for a large amount of money and have decided that perhaps the Toby Carvery approach to dining was the correct one all along. However, Planque is one of those beautiful, airy, minimalist, achingly hip, but undeniably excellent, restaurants that says otherwise. Its aesthetic is MKUltra meets Robyn music video. Its food is sort of French and sort of eccentric, so French. And its wine list is extensive and serious. So serious that one part of the restaurant and ‘wine drinker’s clubhouse’ is a glass wall into Planque’s hidden lair-cum-wine cellar. The kitchen is headed up by P. Franco alumnus Seb Myers and some of it is spectacular. Notably some luscious Jerusalem artichokes in egg yolk and a caramel tart covered in shavings of blue cheese. In a genre of restaurants that are often hard to like, Planque has all the elements that make me think it will be very easy to do so.” - JM


“Hold onto your cynicism people because I’m about to sound incredibly America’s Next Top Model, but Kol is a restaurant that has it. No matter how long I do this job, I’m never entirely sure what it is - magic culinary fairy dust, indescribable star quality, or the overwhelming sense that this restaurant was destined to feed me, here, at this exact moment in time - but whatever it is that takes a restaurant from good to fever dream, Kol has it. A warm terracotta dining room with a buzzing open kitchen, they serve a Mexican-inspired tasting menu. Hold the pretentious faff, think instead: smoky mezcal broths, slick squid paired with a rich cashew mole, and a gooseberry and pear salsa tortilla situation that will make you rue the day you ever willingly bought an Old El Paso kit. Kol is doing something new in a city that is so entirely over itself and it’s for that reason that getting a reservation here will be tricky. Persevere, hit refresh, look out for last-minute cancellations, the booking effort and heavy-duty price tag will be entirely worth it to experience a fine dining restaurant that’s confident, wildly creative, and never ever boring.” - HLB


“They say that when you know you know. And from the first bite of crispy papad at this new Indian spot in Mayfair, I knew this was something special. It’s from the same restaurant group behind Hoppers and Gymkhana, so hopes were set to high coming here. But nothing prepared me for the flavours. From a raw orkney scallop that comes in a tangy ‘Indian lemonade’ and Lahori chicken that blew me away with its tender meat and creamy peppercorn sauce, to the pulao rice cooked in chicken broth, which would be delicious even as a stand alone dish. Although the space is small, it’s a buzzy restaurant with service that’s attentive without being obnoxious. There are also a handful of counter seats that absolutely scream date night. This is a restaurant that will impress and excite you, and show whoever you’re with that you know a thing or two about good food.”- RS


“When we added Sessions Arts Club to the Hit List a month or two ago, we categorically stated that it was not a restaurant you’d want to go to for a swift lunch. Luckily, Brutto has opened nearby. Not only will this confident and lived in-feeling Florence-inspired trattoria on a side street in Farringdon make you very happy. It’s also got an almost preternatural knack for pacing. It’s able to provide what we consider the rarest of restaurant meals - a sub-one hour, three-course lunch - where every mouthful is a perfectly timed, completely stress-free joy. From an anchovy starter (served with cold butter and toasted sourdough) to a refreshingly generous portion of succulent pork and fennel sausages with lentils, and a near perfect tiramisu, this place barely puts a foot wrong. And while we can’t promise they’ll squeeze in a pasta primi or one of their 950g t-bone steaks into 60 minutes, we can guarantee that this is a place that will make you want to cancel those afternoon meetings and kick back with a round of £5 negronis. In fact, this is a place you’re going to want to plan to spend lots of time in. And in a neighbourhood already brimming with excellent restaurants, Trattoria Brutto has the makings of yet another destination, whether it’s to stop by for a drink at their all-day bar, a quick workday lunch, or even a long romantic dinner date under their soft napkin lampshade lighting.” - OJF


“I’m as easily taken in by elaborate architectural detail as I am the flashing lights of a fruit machine, but it’s the former that had me all agape with wonder when I walked into The Cadogan Arms. Thankfully the food on offer at this jaw dropper of a refurb in Chelsea - all spruced up pub classics - knows when and where to draw the line. While you might expect the massive, cushioned armchairs and the diligent and attentive service in the eight table restaurant area out back to spell fussy, dressed-up pub food, happily, they keep things simple and delightful. We’re talking a £17 ham, egg and chips that could easily end up being one of the top ten pub meals you ever eat, or a massive golden brown chicken kiev served with a shaved fennel salad that somehow manages to feel both reserved and slightly decadent at the same time. There’s pie, steak, and grilled fish on offer too, but whatever you do, make sure you get extra chips on the side - they’re excellent. Elsewhere, there’s a non-stop playlist of polite rock, as befitting any SW3 walk-in boozer, a menu of bar snacks that includes a 10/10 pork and sage scotch egg, excellent beer glasses, a classic prawn cocktail, and an unmissable plate of crispy lamb ribs. Also unmissable is the trifle, which is - like the prawn cocktail - 50% fantastic and 50% absolute 80s dinner party throwback.” - OJF


“Bao are very good at opening restaurants. You know this. We know this. Everyone knows this. Even so, there’s still a slow-nod amazement I have for their Manchester United-under-Fergie-like consistency. From delivery shapeshift to noodle new opening, their formula just does not miss a beat. As ever, it’s the smaller plates that get me going the most from their recently opened Noodle Shop in Shoreditch. Crispy tripe with a dancing homemade 16 spice mix and spring onion mayo brings the proverbial party to your mouth, while a pair of Ogleshield spring rolls are as gooey and chewy as they should be. The Tainan beef noodle soup is a heartwarming bowl of slurpyness - don’t skip on the beef butter - and combined with Bao’s always-excellent interiors (this spot leans heavy on bar seating for the solo diner) it makes for one of the most surefire additions to Shoreditch in some time.” - JM


“We all love slagging off the later films in a franchise. How did they get a budget for a film called A Good Day To Die Hard? Can’t they just leave Ben Stiller’s penis alone? And, why is Bridget Jones in a Thai prison? Anyway, over in Peckham, Kudu Grill is the fourth instalment from Kudu Collective, and because we’re all petty little humans, that’s around the point everyone gets bored. But, plot twist, Kudu Grill is fantastic. This time the South Africa-inspired mini-chain is focused on open-fire cooking and the results are fried pigs’ tails nibbles, whole grilled lemon soles, and a huge dry-aged t-bone steak that comes with beer-pickled onions and - whisper it - treacle bordelaise. Housed in a revamped Truman’s pub, it’s loud, it’s proud, and it’s serving some of the most uniquely satisfying food you can eat in London right now.” - HLB


“Whether it’s a late night chicken nugget delivery, or a waiter balancing plates of pasta making a beeline for your table, it’s always exciting to know that there’s food on the way. And that anticipation is significantly heightened when you can see that food being prepared, step-by-step, right in front of you. That’s what makes a meal at this new Brixton counter-only spot a very exciting experience. This intimate 18 seater is all marble, concrete, and hand rolls. A single room where everyone has a front row seat, it feels like you’ve been invited to an exclusive dinner party hosted by Pavlov. You’ll wait, patiently, for that scoop of golden rice to be flattened on a sheet of seaweed, layered with sliced onion, and carefully placed with fish, and once you’ve polished off your first salmon temaki, you’ll want to start it all over again.” - RS


“There was a moment, as I ummed and ahhed between ordering rabbit pasta or steak and chips at Café Cecilia, when I remembered, with the help of some warm and understanding words, as well as a white port and tonic, that you should always follow your gut. My gut told me the onglet with peppercorn sauce and chips. Just as it had told me to come back to the new daytime London Fields restaurant for lunch having had a black pudding breakfast there the same morning. On both occasions my gut was correct. Despite its location in a slick new build and its cool marble white interior, there’s an unmistakeable warmth about Café Cecilia. It’s in the fizzing green peppercorn sauce, it’s in the present and always-pleasant staff, and it’s in a menu that leads with Guinness bread and butter. Before opening his own place, head chef Max Rocha had stints at the River Cafe as well as St. John Bread and Wine, while manager Kate Towers came from Rochelle Canteen. But even without that kind of CV your gut will more than likely tell you to spend all morning, day and, when it eventually opens for dinner, night here.” - JM


“I am a strong believer that all Londoners need restaurants like Bibo in their lives. Otherwise where are we meant to take all of our emotional baggage and rocketing cortisol levels for a mojito? A buzzing tapas spot with its own in-house DJ and big birthday-ready booths, Bibo is the rarest of good-times restaurant - the kind that actually makes good food. This place is great at taking a classic crowd-pleaser and dressing it up in its Friday night glad rags. Think gooey little croquetas with a high-end Jabugo jamon ibérico hat, chorizo served on soft brioche buns with a quail egg to accessorise, and a perfectly cooked tortilla decorated with artsy squiggles of brava sauce. You should get involved in all of the above, but whatever you do, don’t skip the paella section of the menu. They’re served in huge pans with a layer of rice no thicker than your finger and once you’ve oohed and ahhed over the tableside lobster carving dramatics, you’ll eat it whilst also hoping it never ends. Because Bibo is a party restaurant where you come for the boujie cocktail content but stay for the excellent food.“- HLB


“There are some restaurants you use for a swift lunch or a snappy dinner. Sessions Arts Club is not one of those restaurants. From the moment you step through the discrete doorway on Clerkenwell Green, into the rickety lift that delivers you to the most elaborately exquisite ‘new’ dining room in London, you’ll know that this is a place you want to take your time in. You’re going to want at least two old fashioneds before even looking at the menu. You’re going to want to spend a while taking in the artfully-distressed Regency splendour of this landmark building while also spying on your fellow diners to see what they’re eating. And then you’re going to want to enjoy the fact that it’s going to be hard to put a foot wrong here. From the millefeulle-esque eel, potato, crème fraîche and roe that’ll have you nodding with approval, to the riesling-laced clams, to the panisse, everything here - including the warm service - is like the room itself. Simple, elegant, and, in the case of the chocolate tart, fairly beautiful.” - OJF


“There are some things you don’t know you need until you use them once. Like Amazon Prime, or a Shiba Inu with a watermelon helmet. And I didn’t know how much I needed a salted caramel French toast at 9pm, until Crome opened. This new all-day spot on James Street specialises in French toast. And by that I mean the menu is literally just French toast, both savoury and sweet. And it’s the place you won’t know you need until you’re walking around Oxford Street after dinner looking for a sit-down dessert. The space is small but mighty, with sofa seating and neon signs, and towers of French toast. And yes, it’s all very Instagrammable, but it’s also more than that. The thick slices of toast are fried in butter while maintaining a perfectly fluffy centre, and are topped with things like caramelised banana and biscoff spread, or stuffed with Nutella and topped with brownie pieces and caramel popcorn. Yes, it’s OTT, and yes, it’s delicious.”- RS


“Pasta is sometimes dismissed as the ‘watching a Ben Stiller film’ of restaurant dining. How bad can it be? Pleasant nice little penne never hurt anyone. You’ll smile, you’ll be satisfied, and ultimately you probably won’t remember it in two weeks time, right? No. Absolutely not. I cannot and will not approve this theory because of the simple fact that London is home to places like Cin Cin. This Italian restaurant in Fitzrovia is a Brighton import that serves a bigoli with such perfect al dente bite that I have officially added ‘stop eating mediocre pasta’ to my five-year life plan. And it comes in a Venetian duck ragu that is so deliciously rich you won’t even be mad that it set you back £17. Outside of epiphany carbs, Cin Cin is also home to some big-price, big-summer-energy fishy mains and satisfying little Italian small plate classics. Ideal for date night and aperitivo-fuelled four-hour catch-ups, their dining room is a truly lovely place to be, but if the sun is shining, it’s going to be hard to beat their quintessentially London pavement seating. Affogato and limoncello shots encouraged.” - HLB


“The spectrum of emotions a restaurant can conjure in me is concerningly broad. It includes (and is not limited to): ecstasy, despair, amazement, melancholy, confusion, fury, intrigue and, when Peking duck is on the menu, faint arousal. None of these are my favourite restaurant feeling though. Not even that last one. No, my favourite feeling is complete, unadulterated, comfort. To be comfortable in a space where lots of other people - family people, hungover people, excited people, romantic people, solitary people, sultry people - are sitting and smiling and enjoying a rudely rich ice cream sandwich in total contentment. It’s easier said than done, but Molly’s Cafe has made it feel effortless. There are a few reasons for this, I think. The first is that it’s an all-day affair. All-day places are more likely to be intrinsically lovely if done well. As good for a bacon sandwich as they are for a mid-afternoon negroni - what’s not to love? The second reason is that it’s part of the Anchor & Hope family, which is the equivalent of Olympic doping in new restaurant terms. And the third reason is that it’s connected to the Museum of the Home (formerly the Geffrye) in Hoxton, so comfort feels like a geographical requirement. Also, the chips. They make very good chippy-like chips. What this adds up to is somewhere I’ve immediately rebooked. Not because it’s ‘comfortable’ in the Uberfication way of things - like table service in pubs, or avocados to your door. But because Molly’s Cafe is a comforting place. Which is what eating, drinking and restaurants are all about. For me, anyway.” - JM


“Although 2019 feels something like a fossilised memory to me, the before time to now’s after, my meals at Endo at the Rotunda are still as clear as day. Not just because the sushi was sensational and the setting felt totally unique, but because my dinner was mostly eaten from the palm of a stranger’s hand. No Purell involved, thankfully. Anyway sushi master Endo Kazutoshi recently opened another restaurant in Notting Hill in the shape of Sumi. It’s a little less exclusive, a little more affordable (in relative terms) but the sushi isn’t lacking at all. Of all the excellent fish eaten, hamachi (yellowtail) and hotate (scallop) stood out - the latter virtually melting away the instant it touches your tongue. Temaki hand rolls were also a winner combined with some sun trap seating out front. It felt part Notting Hill and part The Hills. The scene and the clientele certainly certainly fit both of these brackets - think lots of recent holidays to Portugal and small dogs with an interest in wagyu - and although service isn’t as slick as the Rotunda, if you’re after high quality sushi then Sumi is an instant must-visit.“ - JM


“Some restaurants make you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else. Some make you feel like you never want to leave London. And Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is one of those rare restaurants that made me feel both at once. With its concise menu of small and large plates (all under £15), this warm and inviting spot, located on the top floor of Carnaby Street’s Kingly Court, is serving up some really excellent Syrian dishes. Namely, some of the best baba ghanouj I’ve eaten at a restaurant, a grilled okra dish that pushed okra up in my own personal vegetable ranking system, and a tender and perfectly spiced lamb shoulder which would get me back to Oxford Circus in a heartbeat. Excellent meat aside, this place has an intimate feel to it, and along with the great service, that’s enough to let you know that you’ve found a new great little place.” - RS


“There are restaurants you want to be in for special occasions, others you save for your beloved, and some that you simply want to age decrepitly and drunkly in. Café Deco is all of the above. Small but perfectly formed, much like the food it serves, there is little not to love about what Anna Tobias (of Rochelle Canteen and River Cafe kitchens) and the 40 Maltby Street team has done here. The menu may be short, 12 dishes or so, but the time you spend here won’t be. Pork crackling with apple sauce, eggs and mayo with a single anchovy perched on top, and ham - a glorious plate of ham! - were all things that we gobbled as swiftly as a deer. Until said deer turned up in the shape of a bowl of venison stew and mash. Truly the most luxurious of baby food, though everything was paired with something from the brilliant, wandering, low-intervention adult-only wine list. Set in the hushed surroundings around UCL this unconventionally conventional café, restaurant, shop and soon-to-be wine bar hybrid feels right. So much so that perhaps Bloomsbury will have another blue plaque here in the future. One that could read ‘Jake Missing, Glutton, Keeled over here’ but more likely and fittingly, ‘Anna Tobias, Chef, Made people happy here’.” - JM


“Picture this: a cricket field, benches, sofas, brisket, lamb barbacoa, buffalo chicken wings. Happiness. And now picture you, sitting in the sunshine, eating a platter with all of that, plus more. Cue Point, a British Afghan catering company, turned nationwide delivery guardian angel over lockdown, have set up shop in The Chiswick Pavilion and are serving up some of the best slow cooked meats you’ll find in London. Their new spot is all outdoors, and the huge space seats up to 200 people. As well as that they’ve got a drive-thru BBQ situation on the weekends, which means if you pre-order (the day before) you can pick up some of their 16-hour oak smoked brisket and eat it in the comfort of your car. Will I be back for more of their excellent brisket buns and hush puppies? I’m not even going to try to make a smart joke about it - the answer is yes.” - RS

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