Places I like

Some of my favourite haunts in London to eat, drink and talk too much.
  • Hawksmoor – steak restaurants par excellence. Fantastic meat, grills so hot they start fires and some ace cocktails. Brave the price tags – it’s worth it.
  • Terroirs  – Wine and food  bar and restaurant, great sharing food, dizzying wine lists and typically French surly waitresses. My first choice for a buzzy night out.
  • Da Polpo – my favourite of the Russell Norman empire, less packed than Polpo but still great fun. The pork shoulder pizzetta is my undoing.
  • Dean St Townhouse  – Old English classics brought bang up to date. The atmosphere is great too.
  • Cay Tre – Soho version of the Hoxton original, good Vietnamese food and fab cocktails for a pretty small price.
  • Mien Tay  – My local Vietnamese and the only restaurant I have on speed dial. Really authentic – get the spiced beef papaya salad. Heaven.
  • Rasa  – Exceptional Keralan Indian food, cheap as chips (but much tastier). My work wife says the Stoke Newington one’s the best – get the unromantically named pre-meal snacks.
  • Diwana – Euston veggie Indian place that does the most fantastic food served by the nicest people. You probably have to cross continents to find better.
  • Taqueria – Laidback Mexican with seriously delicious tacos and seriously lethal Margaritas. Usually full of immaculately dressed Argentine families. A good sign I think.
  • Brixton Village  – An absolute hidden gem, with tiny restaurants and cafes from Thai to Italian through South America. Go early for dinner or book!
  • Trullo – Puglian food done perfectly, with a frequently changing menu and some of the best olive oil I’ve tasted. Book for whatever time they’ll give you. It’s worth it.
  • Wright Brothers – If you can squeeze into this tiny Borough market restaurant it’s great for lunch or supper, especially in the summer. Ridiculously fresh fish and decent plonk.
  • The Thomas Cubitt – great Pimlico gastropub made even better cos they let dogs in. Good bar food and my favourite place for Sunday roast. Perfect for dates, too.
  • Roka – fancypants Japanese food with a very trendy atmosphere. Absolutely delicious and excellent fun as long as someone else is picking up the bill…
  • The Salt Yard  – I love all the restaurants in this group (Opera Tavern and Dehesa), but this one’s my favourite. Incredible, modern tapas with not a gambas pil pil in sight.
  • J Sheekey – perfect place to take your mum, it’s like stepping back into the 50s. Gorgeous fish restaurant with impeccable service.
  • Pizza Metro  – I love it here – simple, beautifully done pizza that they serve as one long one for everyone to share. Worth going with a few people.
  • Mishkins  – Jewish comfort food and gin based cocktails. It opened four days previous to me writing this, and I’m going for the second time this evening. Exactly what Covent Garden needs.
  • C&R   – tucked away in Rupert Court in Chinatown, this tiny Malaysian cafe was recommended to me by a teacher at Leiths who’d lived in Malaysia. Ever so cheap and seriously tasty, try the Mee Goreng and the Archar Awak.
  • Le Beaujolais – Extremely French wine bar, complete with assorted tat hanging from the walls. A really fab place to escape from the tourists of Leicester Sq, they serve good wine and French bar staples – cheese, charcuterie, and peasant dishes. Always packed though, so get a table and stay there.
  • Bistro Union – A bistro on Clapham’s Abbeville Rd serving excellent food with a lovely laidback NYC type atmosphere. Only rivaled in the area by…
  • Abbeville Kitchen  – opposite Bistro Union, doing a similar thing but with a more Mediterranean feel. I can’t decide between the two, they’re both brill.
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