Keeping up with the London Foodies: Summer ’16

It couldn’t be a more exciting time to be a foodie in London.

As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, it’s evolved into something of an epicurean haven, imbibing cultures and cuisines from all over… So much so that, this summer I’ve been around the world and back – from Hawaii to Peru, along the Barbary Coast and the Spice Trail – and all without having to leave the city!

So here’s me trying to keep track of it all, by rounding up the best of where I’ve been from the top new restaurants in town…


Eneko

Most recently, I enjoyed a luxuriously lazy escape to the Basque Country, at Eneko.

The new restaurant at One Aldwych, certainly has pedigree – it’s an offshoot of Azurmendi, chef Eneko Atxa’s three Michelin-starred restaurant in Bilbao (also voted no.16 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants).

At Eneko London you can expect a contemporary twist to classic Basque dishes, each proffering a depth of beautifully balanced flavours in stylishly-relaxed surroundings.

There’s a separate wine bar too and a dessert trolley for afters, neatly lined with a tantalising array of treats – all of which are served with vanilla ice cream made with sheep’s milk, as is the Basque tradition!

Full review, here.


The Barbary

A short walk away, just off Covent Garden, I’ve had two of my most thrilling dinners to date at the Barbary (brother restaurant to one of my other favourites, the Palomar).

The atmosphere is electric, with the passion and energy of the open-kitchen fizzing along the surrounding dining counter, which seats just 24. The recent buzz combined with the limited seating meant that I faced an hour’s wait on my second visit here… But truth is, I would have easily waited a while longer if I had to, (whetting my appetite in the meantime, with the sesame-strafed Jerusalem bagel dipped in a lustrously-smooth baba ganoush).

Inspired by the cuisines trailing the Barbary Coast of North Africa towards Jerusalem, the menu here boasts unapologetically bold and exciting flavours (enhanced by the unsparing addition of tahini in most dishes!).

Desserts are a naughty but irresistible affair too, with the likes of hash cake and the gloriously deep-fried, cheese-filled knafeh on offer!

Full review, here.


Foley’s

The ex sous-chef at the Palomar, Mitz Vora, has also opened his own restaurant in Fitzrovia, which takes its cue from the historic Spice Route.

Our shared Indian background meant that I could detect many-a-familiar flavour sharpened and executed with creative flair, with each plate a riot of colours and textures…

And in typical Palomar-fashion, there’s a dynamic open-plan kitchen in the mix too, in case you fancy dining amidst the heat of things!

Full review, here.


Casita Andina

For Peruvian pleasures and a homely experience, head to Casita Andina – the new “picanteria” in Soho inspired by the restaurants run within the houses of strong matriarchal-type figures  in the Andes.

The rich cultural heritage of Peru is showcased throughout the cosy set-up, while the sun-filled dishes feature a rather unique mix of  traditional seasonings such as panca (a chilli pepper) and huacatay – a zesty  herb, aptly described as falling between mint and coriander in flavour… It all makes for a cheerfully vibrant visit!

Full review, here.


Hatchett’s

Closer to home, I’m pleased to have found a new local in Hatchett’s – a British restaurant inspired by the the historic Piccadilly-based hotel and coffee house, tracing its roots back to Dickens’ time.

Whilst the decor here has a relaxed and contemporary edge to it, the dishes unabashedly ooze old-school charm and finesse…

It’s a neighbourhood addition which lends much character to the eclectic surrounds of Shepherd Market!

Full review, here.


Casa di Stefano

Also relatively new to Mayfair, is a quietly elegant Italian restaurant on Dover Street clad in blue and white hues.

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t overwhelmed by all the dishes I’ve had here (on two separate occasions now) – but would return for a few stand-out ones (the zesty quinoa salad and finely-layered aubergine parmigiana being two of them), the incredibly on-form service, and the leisurely ambience which had me effortlessly imagining myself on holiday.

Casa di Stefano, 20 Dover Street, London W1S 4LU


The Fine Cheese Company

Finally, if you’re of the thinking that sometimes cheese is all you really need – then you really must pay a visit to the Fine Cheese Company – a charming deli and cafe in Belgravia specialising in the most exquisite of soufflés (easily the size of my head), alongside a versatile and unparalleled selection of fine cheeses. The richly moist Tunisian orange cake is not to be missed here either!

Full review, here.


What are your top picks among the new restaurants in London?


If you’re interested, you could also have a read of my foodie’s guide to London, here.

And if you’re still hungry for more -find the full list of my London reviews and features (categorised by cuisine), here.


12 thoughts on “Keeping up with the London Foodies: Summer ’16

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s