5 London Restaurants You Need to Visit
When I first moved to the UK, you could find me more often than not eating at a Wetherspoon. In my head, a good ol’ Spoon breakfast was probably the most ‘traditional’ British food (please forgive 2015 Vicky) plus you can’t beat the prices when your cash flow is low.
I stuck with the same food choices almost exclusively every time I went out. Variety was not my second name, and “Eating out in London is expensive!” was one of the first things that came out of my mouth when talking to my friends at home about the city.
That changed when we moved to East London. Suddenly, we had more time to see friends and different cuisines were at the tips of our fingers. In the last year, we have visited many pubs, cafes and restaurants, but these five places have been tried, tested, and continue to be loved by us.
Have you ever visited them? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been hooked on Japanese food since I tried Sushi for the first time as a kid. Back then, there weren’t many restaurants in Uruguay that served Japanese dishes, so all I knew about their cuisine came from TV and videogames (Sushi and ramen, anyone?)
Three years ago, my best friend from boarding school took me out for lunch and brought me to Eat Tokyo. The server brought the menu, which resembled a thick encyclopaedia, filled to the brim with starters, mains and of course, their Bento boxes.
I have only tried a handful of items from the menu, but my all-time favourite is their Salmon and Chicken Teriyaki Bento, which comes with rice, salad and a serving of Miso Soup. In other restaurants in London, that could cost anywhere from £12 – £15, but at Eat Tokyo their Bento Boxes start at £8, and the one I mentioned above is £10! Can you say bargain?
If you’re feeling fancy, I recommend ordering a bottle of their plum wine, and if you’re feeling peckish after dinner, they have mochi by the unit.
Address: Several branches in London, but my favourite is 16 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TL
Patty and Bun
P&B was recommended to me several times when I first moved to London for a good burger, but the truth is I put it on my bucket lists and forgot about it. It wasn’t until we were queueing to visit Eat Tokyo and got bored of being in line that we decided to give it a try. We were seated quite quickly, and the first thing you notice walking in is the smell of the burgers and the uniqueness of the playlist in the background (you can follow it on Spotify!).
We looked at the specials but decided to go for an Ari Gold (Beef Patty with Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickled Onions, Ketchup, Smokey P&B Mayo, Brioche) a Smokey Robinson (Beef Patty, Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce, Mounds Of Caramelised Onions, Bacon, Ketchup, Smokey P&B Mayo, Brioche) and some brisket loaded chips.
The burgers come out quickly and wrapped in paper – I ordered my burger medium-rare and it was delicious, with bits of fat and dressing dripping onto our makeshift plates with every bite. I ordered some pink lemonade and it reminded me of the one I used to drink in the summer in the States, so it is safe to say it was a delightful meal.
Since then, P&B has become Tim’s favourite restaurant, so we go there every other month and on special occasions.
Address: Several branches in London, but my favourite is 18 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TL
Kin + Deum
Kin + Deum is the Thai restaurant I didn’t know I needed in my life. From a girl who swore her favourite dish was Pad Thai, Bank Inngern’s Currys (try his version of Massaman curry) and Tom Yum soup made me wonder what I was missing out on.
I’ve sat at a table and the bar, but the atmosphere is the same – the low chatter of people and clinking of cutlery, the minimalistic decoration and the lighting are as welcoming as they can be.
The desserts rotate ever so often, but a family favourite is the Lady Butterfly Cake – a light sponge with blue butterfly pea infused creme… go check it out for yourself.
Address: 2 Crucifix Ln, Bermondsey, London SE1 3JW
This hidden gem in Mornington Crescent is the closest to Argentina you’ll get if you hop on the Northern Line. Stepping into the bricked-wall restaurant felt familiar, and rightly so. Decorated with signs from Argentina, pictures of Maradona and other football stars, and surrounded by shelves stacked with alfajores and mate, the restaurant is a time-capsule for the Argentina of my childhood.
If you have never experienced Rioplatense cuisine, I would recommend starting with some staples. For a starter, you could try some Empanadas (beef, chicken, ham and cheese). For a main, I recommend a Milanesa with papas fritas, which is our meat or chicken version of a schnitzel with some fries on the side.
For a special occasion, I recommend trying the Parillada Pampa, which is a mixed grill of beef ribs, rump, chorizo, black pudding and bondiola pork. At £42 for two people, is an absolute steal for a date night.
For dessert, consider trying the panqueque con dulce de leche, which is a crepe-like pancake filled with a milk caramel spread.
Address: 31 Camden High St, London NW1 7JE
The Morgan Arms
If innocent old me thought that Wetherspoons had the ultimate British foods, The Morgan Arms came round and demolished that. We stumbled onto this gem by chance one rainy Sunday morning after going to the Post Office. We were soaking and thought it would be a good idea to stop for coffee, but the next thing I know we picked the Sunday roast menu
They offer three types of meat (Pork Belly, Chicken and Roast Beef) and they have a vegetarian option of Goats cheese, spinach & Portobello mushroom Wellington. Their Cauliflower Cheese is my downfall (as a lactose intolerant person who refuses to accept she’s lactose intolerant, mind you) and their desserts – particularly the Salted Caramel tart – melt in your mouth. Need I say more?
Address: 43 Morgan Street, Bow, London, E3 5AA