London's most beautiful dishes

Top grub, looking pretty

They say you start eating with your eyes. Which is weird - cos you eat with your mouth, everyone knows that. Not even babies try and eat with their eyes - and they're stupid.

But there's certainly no better way to get the juices flowing than with a plate of food that looks darn-right delicious.

So if you want to find a plate of food that's as pleasing to the peepers as it is your palate then take a look at these esteemed establishments...

Lima London
Rathbone Place W1T 1JH
Region: Fitzrovia
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Michelin-starred Lima serves food that looks as good as it tastes. The octopus is not a creature renowned for its beauty, but here after being lightly braised with olives and white quinoait’s prettified with leaves and flowers. Served as a starter, you’ll wish there was more of it.

  • USERS 10/10
Yauatcha Soho
15-17 Broadwick Street W1F 0DL
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: At Yauatcha they’ve cleverly positioned their mouth-watering confectionery in a glass-fronted counter so it’s one of the first things you notice when you enter. The brightly coloured macarons and petits gateaux are enough of a reason to visit, before you tuck into their acclaimed dim sum.

  • 64/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
34 Portman Street W1H 7BY
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Marble Arch (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Texture shows how a pigeon claw can be beautiful rather than savage. Chunks of ruby-red meat are paired with chargrilled sweet corn and bacon-flavoured popcorn.

  • 37/100
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
66 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LA
Region: Knightsbridge
Nearest Station: Knightsbridge

AIL Says: One of Heston Blumenthal’s most famous dishes is the meat fruit. It looks like a perfect mandarin, but slice it apart and you’ll find silky chicken liver parfait. The whole process – alcohol reduction, terrine, mandarin jelly and creating a perfect stem – takes five days.

  • 7/100
  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
  • USERS 8/10
Oscar Wilde Bar at Hotel Cafe Royal
68 Regent Street W1B 4DY
Region: Piccadilly
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus

AIL Says: Café Royal’s Oscar Wilde Bar has one of London’s most ostentatious afternoon teas. One of the desserts is the Passion Banana Opera, a cake sumptuously layered with banana sponge and passion fruit cream, topped with dazzling fruit tuilles.

    Pollen Street Social
    8 - 10 Pollen Street W1S 1NQ
    Region: Mayfair
    Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: Nothing is what you’d expect at Pollen Street Social. The quail served “brunch” style with cereal bowl, tea and sandwich is in fact quail terrine on a brioche, a cereal bowl of wheat, barley and mushroom risotto and a cup of quail stock and lapsangsouchong “tea”. Oh, and there’s a wooden box with a drawer that reveals confit quail leg and breast.

    • 9/100
    • OUR REVIEW 8/10
    • USERS 9/10
    32 Rivington Street EC2A 3LX
    Region: The City
    Nearest Station: Old Street (0.2 miles)

    AIL Says: Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but whatever your ideal is Tramshed’sIndian rock chicken with stuffing and chips is a show-stopper. A whole chicken arrives on the table upright on a skewer to be carved by the diners, covered in crispy skin and dripping with gravy for you to mop up your fries with.

    301 - 303 Chiswick High Road W4 4HH
    Region: Chiswick
    Nearest Station: Chiswick Park (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: There is no fixed menu at Hedone, but for a while they served squab pigeon, the leg of which was left whole with a claw. Chef-proprietor Mikael Jonsson manages to beautify it by adding roasted red and golden beetroots along with colourful dabs of jus.

    • 12/100
    • USERS 6/10
    Yashin Ocean House
    117 - 119 Old Brompton Rd SW7 3RN
    Region: South Kensington
    Nearest Station: Gloucester Road (0.2 miles)

    AIL Says: Presentation is everything in Japanese cuisine. At Yashin Ocean House the Vegetable Garden Tempura is served on a garden naturally, with the tempura in a plant pot and dipping sauce in a metal watering bucket.


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