Monday, 24 March 2014

My 10 Favourite London Restaurants

I've been blogging about my dining experiences in London for just under 5 and a half years now and I've seen both the types of food on offer in the city and the quality of the average meal go from from strength to strength.  I've been introduced to so many new cuisines, it's been quite mind boggling at times. Trends of note during this time include:-

The burger invasion
Aussie breakfasts and coffee
Rotisserie chicken

Along the lines of Krista's farewell post, here are some of the things I'll miss about the place.  (I'll be back in June for the wedding of the year, and regularly after that no doubt).  It's so telling about the standard of food in this amazing city that my list of places soon to open that I'd like to visit when I'm back is already out of control. 

Prêt (I know, it's pathetic) in particular the mozzarella and tomato croissants and the egg and tomato breakfast baguettes - saved me on many hungover days
Waitrose (and Ocado, nothing like this in Montreal, apparently)
Hampstead Heath
Borough Market
La Fromagerie
Green Tomato cars
Curzon Cinemas
London buses (love and hate one, this)
Pierre Hermes
Cider (apparently not widely available in Canada)
& Other Stories
Clarence Court eggs
Marmite (god help them if I can't find this)
Whole Foods
Truffles Deli

And obviously all of my wonderful friends and family.

I've met some amazing people and made great new friends through my love of food, long may that continue.  London, it's been better than I ever dreamed.  Canada, be awesome, please.

As a parting gift, here's an update of my top 10 places to eat in London, in no particular order.

1) Berners Tavern

Here's a post recounting my first visit.  Bel and I went for Bel's recent birthday celebration and will return for mine when I'm back in June.  The dining room, the food, the punch room, the doorman welcoming you back, everything about the place is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  It's my absolute London favourite. 

2) Koya

Here's my recent post on Koya Bar the newer opening.  Love them both.  I find myself drawn to whatever the special Udon is on most visits, this one was haddock and leek.  So so good.

3) The Quality Chop House

Here's my post after my first visit.  Revisit was every bit as good.  I drank a wine made from grapes that were picked in 1936 (the Château Sisqueille 'Rivesaltes' no less).  This dish was one of my favourites last time (though it's impossible to choose just one) broccoli, bagna cauda and summer truffle.  The restaurant offers one of the best value dinners available in London.  Love everything, every time.

4) Kitchen Table

Here's my post following dinner on their opening night.  I remember liking the savoury dishes far more on early visits, this roasted pork for example, was exquisite.  THE best crackling I've ever had.  Last time though, dessert was the highlight.  Still love the place.

5) MEATmission/ MEATmarket/ MEATliquor

Here's my account of eating all the food at MEATmission.  To be honest, since monkey fingers were born, I've probably thought about them daily.  They are the sole reason that MEATmission is my fave of the 3, but they're all great and I visited them all regularly over the last few years. 

6) Bone Daddies

Here's my Bone Daddies post, shortly after they opened.  This spot needs no explanation, best ramen in London, full stop.  I tended to go tantanmen with extra egg and corn.

7) Mishkin's

Here are my initial thoughts on Mishkin's.  Revisited recently and, thanks to Bel's love for whitebait, had the above which was just brilliant.  It's my favourite of Russell Norman's restaurants, but they're all excellent, Polpetto, Spuntino, Ape & Bird, they all deliver and he's contributed so much to the London dining scene, it's quite remarkable. 

8) Burger & Lobster

Here is how I felt about the place after my first visit to the Soho branch.  It's a genius formula, offer only 3 food options + open multiple restaurants = £££.  Great cocktails, don't queue though, be smart, go at lunchtime and make sure you ask for that garlic butter. 

9) Barrafina

Here is an old old post about Barrafina, almost 5 years ago.  This must be my most frequented London restaurant, I adore the place, Fino too.  Can't wait to visit Barrafina Covent Garden when I'm back, due to open shortly.  It still is, and always has been, about the ham croquettas, they are the best thing in the world, ever.   The daily specials too are worth trying without exception, this one, pictured, was the pencas, a sort of Spanish scotch egg containing cecina (air dried beef), chard and tetilla cheese.

10) Brasserie Zédel

Here is a recap of a wonderful blogger dinner I attended at Zedel.  I've said it before, I'll say it again, this Ile Flottante is one of the finest and best value for money desserts I've ever had.  I do not know how they can keep prices so consistently low.  Corbin & King are opening more venues in the coming year, which can only mean great things for the London dining scene. 

Special mention to these too:-
Cay Tre Soho
Bob Bob Ricard
Green Man and French Horn
The Red Lion & Sun
Le Coq
The Sportsman (not technically allowed as it's not London, but I love it, so it's on here)

So that's that.  Look at what I'll be missing out on!  Here is a blue dog, attempting to mount me, to cheer me up.


Anonymous said...


Laura Fitzpatrick said...

I know, right?! Cruel owner, thought it was cute, I guess?? It was NOT happy about it.

Ines Baro said...

That was a great farewell post. I am
Going to miss your restaurant advice when you are gone. Are you going to be back in London soon?

Laura Fitzpatrick said...

Hi Ines, thank you! Yes, I'll be back in May for a 2 week trip and regularly after that I hope!

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Good luck on your next adventure!

Laura Fitzpatrick said...

Thanks Lizzie!

Ines Baro said...

Great! Wish you the best!enjoy Canada

Naomi said...

I just found your blog, I moved to Montreal from Oxford five years ago and I've eaten better here than anywhere in the world! The variety is incredible. Lawrence is a good place to start, in that neighbourhood Cartel and Arts Cafe are also perennial favourites. Although at that point, St Laurent is no longer known as the Main - the Main is the lower Plateau bit from about Pine to Chinatown. I've never been to Bone Daddies but Sumo Ramen in Chinatown is good, and I hear Cafe Sardine's is good too (only served for 2 hours every day though, four hours on Sundays and Mondays). If you'd like any more foodie recommendations I'd be happy to make lists! It is easy to eat amazing well for dirt cheap compared to London!