- Life In London Magazine
- Eating Out in London
Eating Out in London
Stuck for dining ideas? Want to find the best value offers? Read our guide to dining out in London for the answers.
With the help of celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and the fact Londoners are becoming more culture savvy, London is fast becoming renowned for its good food. The following are some of the places that make Londonís food scene so great.
Sometimes dining out in London can be a bit "hit and miss" as you've no way of knowing what to expect from a restaurant, and it's always better to go on a recommendation. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised by a venue however disappointment is always amplified when you have to pay for the privilege of road-testing a venue only to find that it's unsuitable for a certain occasion.
And so All In London has put together a selection of "Best fors..." such as "Best for fine dining", "Best for Romantic dining", "Best for families" and so on.
See the "Best fors" on the homepage of All In London's Restaurant Section
is the perfect couples dine-out experience with a distinctly Parisian feel, dark wood mahogany bars, flooring and chairs that hide in dimly lit shadows cast from candle light. Rustic, charming benches and antique-looking wooden booths made especially for couples to cuddle up in line the walls. Food served is everything from lamb to seafood, with meals costing £30 a head and they offer of an extensive wine list starting at £11.50 for a bottle of house red or white.
Or thereís the Aquarium
and Bang Bar
at Saint Katherineís Dock where for £37 a head you can get a classy lounge-like dining experience with food differing depending on the time of the year. The large, fresh room overlooks the calming water of St Katherineís Dock and the million pound yachts that rest on it, creating the feel of a romantic holiday.
Or for a bit of a treat thereís French restaurant Aubergine
in South West London. Although at £69 a meal itís a bit pricey the restaurant is renowned for its romantic atmosphere and beautiful food. Date-friendly meals like foie gras and apple salads are served on perfect white china and the room is filled with sumptuous colours, red walls and purple flowers and the view of the West London cityscape which can be seen out of the floor to ceiling windows which would top off any date.
Or click here to see other "Best for Romantic Dining"
But where to go really depends on what type of food youíre after. For Italian food Il Bordello in the city center is always busy, offering traditional pizzas and pastas in generous portions for £31 a meal. And Cecconiís
mixes stunning design with great food, their furniture looks like a work of modern art with mahogany fixtures and striped marble floors and green leather everywhere. They offer Italian twists on English food including sandwiches, salads and light bites.
Click here for other Italian Restaurants
But for the best Italian food in London you have to go to Kensington. At The Ark (122 Palace Gardens Terrace, London, W8 4RT) imaginative food and subtle, chic decoration fuse together to give the perfect Italian experience. The long spacious rooms boasting wooden floors, tables and chairs are filled with simple, elegant framed prints.
Rich brown colours in the curtains and seating and satin cushions on benches give a real soft, romantic feel about the place. The food is old-school Italien with a modern twist. At £37 a meal you can order dishes such as ravioli borage or guinea fowl with truffles and to wash it down thereís an extensive list of fruity wines with delicious rich reds starting at £12.50 a bottle. This is a date friendly restaurant.
Or thereís Assaggi
also in Kensington, above the Chepstow pub where a £44 set meal results in an intimate, private dining room with large windows and huge displays of orange flowers and terracotta walls that create an almost Moroccan feeling. Glass, oval lights hang from the ceiling and the room is filled with decoration and canvasses of contemporary art, it feels lively and warm. Itís seasonal cooking means that meals could be anything from veal liver to sword fish to tiger prawns, depending on the time of year. The menu is in Italian but fear not, there are waiters waiting by willing to translate and describe meals at length while you gaze into your dates eyes.
For Chinese food
everybody automatically thinks of Chinatown
and itís true that with all its noodle bars, vendours and all-you-can-eat buffets itís a great place to go but itís a little known secret that the best place to go for Chinese food is in fact Knightsbridge
boasts a stunning, impressive interior as well as serving huge portions giving you value for your money. At £35 a head for lunch plates prices are reasonable because your plates overflow with the lobster tails and seafood on offer. And the presentation is amazing, with king prawns being decorated with orchids and strawberries. Dťcor is as authentic as it gets with regional artwork on walls. Cocktails, reasonable wine offers and the legendary dim sum are all on offer here too.
in the center of Knightsbridge offers delicious authentic Shanghai dishes for £25 a head with anything from honey duck to vegetarian noodles on offer.
And just a bit further down thereís Harbour City Chinese Restaurant
with a variety of Cantonese dishes such as lemon chicken to eat in or take away from as little as £10.
Then thereís Magic Wok
near Queensway which boasts a beautifully plain and elegant dining area with bowls of floating flowers creating the perfect romantic mood. Gourmet dishes start at £30 a head, but itís well worth the cost.
For Indian food Soho is a great place with both Choki on Denman Street which focuses mainly on Delhi delicacies and you can eat for as little as £10.95 and Gopals of Soho on Bateman Street which is an old fashioned curry house specializing in traditional favourites like Tandoori and Jalfrezzi.
But itís West London that does the best Indian food
. Bombay Bicycle Club in Nightingale Lane offers classic meals consisting of samosas, tandoori and japatis mixed with fresh, adventurous ingredients like knuckle of lamb, for a reasonable £32 a set meal. The restaurant is clean and bright with huge overhead ceiling fans which cool you down after a hot curry.
And thereís Calcutta Notebook on Replingham Road which is an intimate little restaurant filled with native Indian artwork and countless bouquets of rich, fragrant flowers. This restaurant has a North Indian influence and offers Calcutta delicacies like wild tiger prawns with ginger for £23 a head. The food is often very hot though, with most dishes involving mustard and cumin and ginger, so not for the faint hearted.
Or for something a bit different thereís Brillion in Southall which offers East African delicacies and has fast become infamous as one of the best restaurants in London. Itís a quirky little restaurant offering countless specials including lentil dumplings that excite the palette.
All of these restaurants prove that London is justified in being touted as a place of great food and culture, and if we keep producing food like this long may it reign.
And, of course, let us not forget the excitement of sniffing out a great dining bargain.
On All In London we're got hundreds of regularly updated Special Offers that allow two for one dining, free courses, free win, set meals and much much more.
To see these click on All In London's Special Offers Section
Dining Loyalty Cards
There are also dining loyalty cards available which, on purchasing a card, allow you to make great saving on eating out in London. A particularly popular one is the "Taste London" card.
Click here to see more details of the Taste London card and offers