April Guide: 5 London Restaurants to Visit This MonthBy Claudine Levy
You know the drill by now… here’s 5 London restaurants we recommend visiting this month. Go on, have a scroll:
What: Opened in July 2018, Zuaya has quickly established itself as a quintessential West London dining experience. With an immersive jungle interior and resident DJ on select nights, Zuaya brings good vibes and great food.
Eat: Classic Latin American dishes are given a modern twist with a menu bursting with colour and vibrant flavours. We loved the tuna avocado tacos, mango gazpacho, seabass ceviche with wild berries – the head chef masterfully pairs zingy flavours with the freshest ingredients. There are also the stalwart dishes you’d hope to find on the menu; whether croquettes or guac with sweet potato chips. If the food isn’t a reason to tempt you – the cocktail list should do the job. Come for the Margaritas, stay for the Pisco Sours.
Where: 35B Kensington High St, London W8 5EB
What: With a new home on Charlotte Street now open – Carousel is home to creative, culinary and cultural experiences which capture the essence of London life.
Eat: The marker of any restaurant worth its salt these days is the Gordal olive. If you see a Gordal olive on the bar menu, you can rest easy that you’ll be taken care of. Suffice to say: the Carousel wine-bar menu is full of delicious, simple small plates accompanied by a bubbly buzzy vibe which guarantees a good night. Our fave fishes were the winter tomatoes, kimchi croutons, pecorino and the olive oil chocolate mouse – both perfectly balanced but with a surprising edge. Carousel is also home to an exciting programme of guest chefs – serving a line-up of chefs at the top of their game in their open kitchen every single week.
Where: 19-23 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RW
What: Quo Vadis – the historic restraint and members club has recently re-opened following an extensive refurbishment to expand the dining room at the iconic Dean Street restaurant.
Eat: Formerly a brothel and a home to Karl Marx, the dining room of Quo Vadis has a sense of gravitas and culture oozing out of every corner. Headed up by renowned chef Jeremy Lee – who has a gorgeous new book out (Cooking Simply and Well) – the restaurant serves classic modern European dishes which feel special without being pretentious. From griddled mackerel, pickled rhubarb and horseradish to cannelloni, fennel, black cabbage, turnip tops and three cheese – Lee prioritises balance and precision. This is a lovely place for a special occasion.
Where: 26-29 Dean St, London W1D 3LL
What: Newly opened Japanese omakase restaurant houses two floors: a basement raw bar and on the floor above it: a curved counter intimate omakase dining experience where you dine inches away from the talented chefs.
Eat: Initially debuted in Beirut, Mayha brings its focus on quality and the theatre of the kitchen to London for the first time. The two-floor London site sits among the gentlemen’s outfitters, florists and antique shops of Chiltern Street. The ground floor is home to an intimate, curved stone counter, where guests interact with the chefs preparing and serving the day’s tasting menu.
The focus here is on the spirit of omakase: to respectfully leave the decision with the chef. This means you go with the flo, eating micro-bites served to you with flare – entirely entrusting the fate of your mouthful to the chefs behind the counter. In a world which feels overwhelmingly full of choices – it’s a blessed relief to hand over the reins to someone else. Especially when the daily-changing tasting menu is grounded in the freshest seasonal ingredients money can buy. The food is sensational – don’t just take our word for it…
Where: 43 Chiltern St, London W1U 6LS
Photo credit: Steven Joyce
What: Set in the heart of Angel’s recently redeveloped Esther Anne Place lives Jiji – a restaurant blending Japanese elegance with Middle Eastern creativity.
Eat: Have you ever craved the light simplicity of sushi and the rich depth and warmth of Middle Eastern food? With Jiji, you don’t have to choose. While not pure fusion in the sense of mixed flavours, Jiji’s menu will offer a blend of dishes – from corn on the cob with zhug butter and slow-cooked lamb and beef shawarma, to miso black cod and a mini-menu of delicious sushi rolls. The vibe is low-lit and sexy, with a cocktail menu to knock your socks off (we LOVED The Picanteria – JIJI’s take on a spicy margarita with agave syrup and a punchy chilli aftertaste.)
Where: 6g Esther Anne Pl, London N1 1WL