As 2016 finally draws to a close, it’s comforting to look ahead to 2017 and think about what joys it might bring us. Unfortunately, before we can really get into the swing of the New Year, we have to endure January, which is inevitably full of people eating kale, exercising and shaking from nicotine withdrawal. However, instead of depriving yourself of everything you love and enjoy, why not make your New Year’s resolution for 2017 to make the most of London’s sensational culinary scene. Of course, we will be there to guide you every step of the way, starting with this handy list of ten restaurants you simply have to visit in the next 12 months.
Flat Iron, Henrietta Street
This restaurant is devilishly hard to get a table in, unless you are prepared to wait at the bar for two hours, as they don’t take reservations. However, if you can go at a slightly less busy time or you don’t mind hanging around for a while, you will be rewarded with one of the most sublime steaks you will ever find for a tenner. The menu is simple: flat iron steak and a salad for £10 and fries are an extra couple of quid. Oh and if you thought it couldn’t get any better – you also get free ice cream at the end.
Bibimbap, Greek Street
Bibimbap is a no-frills Korean diner that serves delicious and wholesome food for a delightfully reasonable price. The menu consists predominantly of different kinds of bibimbap – a hot stone bowl filled with rice, veggies and meat (or not for the vegetarians among us) and topped with a raw or fried egg. The food is freshly made and comes out within minutes of ordering so if you’re starving and need a quick fix, this place is ideal.
Casita Andina, Great Windmill Street
Casita Andina – All dishes are gluten free
Peru might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of international cuisine but that South American gem certainly packs a punch in the kitchen. Casita Andina has harnessed the best of what the nation has to offer and combines the vast spectrum of flavours with beautiful presentation to create a gastronomic experience like no other. Choose from ceviche or hot meat, fish and veg dishes.
Blacklock, Great Windmill Street
If your inner carnivore is craving a good old feed, Blacklock is the only place you need to go. The aim of the game when it comes to this meaty haven is to eat as many different chops as you can without bursting. The menu offers a selection of skinny chops, big chops and even some pre-chop bites. You can also get yourself a cocktail two, fancy side dishes and a gourmet roast (but only on a Sunday).
Balls & Company, Greek Street
Don’t worry; this restaurant has absolutely nothing to do with the more unsavoury parts of the male anatomy and everything to do with rich, succulent meatballs. Select from a choice of meat, fish or veggie balls and then pick which sauce you want them to be smothered in. On the side you can either go for the classic accompaniment of spaghetti or be a bit more adventurous and opt for something like caramelised cauliflower. Go wild.
Inamo, Wardour Street
Inamo doesn’t just have a delicious selection of food on offer, it also has one of the most interesting ordering systems I’ve ever come across. Each table has a projector pointing down at it, so the menu can be seen on the table and an iPad that customers use to order from the fully illustrated menu. You can also set a ‘table background’ to create a bit of an ambience while you eat. The food combines flavours from all over Asia and diners can watch it being prepared via the Chef Cam on their iPad.
Rosa’s Thai, Dean Street
This might just be some of the best Thai food you find outside of Bangkok and it comes at a price that will definitely convert you into a regular customer. Simple and elegant, the restaurant exudes a familiarity that really makes you feel that Rosa’s culinary eye is presiding over every meal that’s prepared. Go for a classic like Pad Thai or Massaman curry for a life-altering taste sensation.
Hoppers, Frith Street
Unless you have been to Sri Lanka or are a real connoisseur of Sri Lankan food, chances are you won’t have come across hoppers before and that, my friends, is a real shame. Hoppers are thin pancakes that come in a bowl and are filled with all kinds of lovely things – most commonly egg. Naturally, Hoppers serves hoppers, along with plenty of other Sri Lankan treats such as rotis, kothu and karis. Don’t know what these are? Go and find out!
Mildreds, Lexington Street
Mildreds is fast becoming the go-to place for vegetarians and vegans in Central London. The menu is more than just a couple of veggie burgers and quinoa – this place has gone all out to make sure that cutting animal products out of your diet doesn’t mean your food has to be boring. The menu includes delights such as Sri Lanka sweet potato curry, black turtle bean and squash burrito and a superfood salad that will blow you away.
Temper, Broadwick Street
In an attempt to minimise waste to the greatest extent possible, Temper, a brand new Soho fine dining spot, allows guests to select their meat by weight from a variety of different cuts. In doing this, the restaurant is able to use as much of the carcass as possible and significantly reduce their wastage. Grab a mouth-watering taco to start off your meal and then carry on to the main event with a hefty portion of beef/pork/goat etc. Just try not to fall into a meat coma afterwards.
Which London restaurants are you looking forward to dining at in 2017? Would you recommend any others? Please leave a comment below.
Main Image Credit: Courtesy of Temper
Image Credit: Flat Iron Steak courtesy of Mini Adventures
Image Credit: Casita Andina courtesy of The Evening Standard
Image Credit: Balls and Company courtesy of Balls and Company
Image Credit: Rosa’s Thai Shopfront courtesy of Rosa’s Thai
Image Credit: Hoppers courtesy of Hoppers Instagram
Image Credit: Temper Restaurant courtesy of Temper Restaurant