London’s restaurant scene is booming; there are weekly openings of new, unusual restaurants that offer an array of delicious and unique cuisines. The capital of the UK is now home to some of the most interesting, innovative restaurants, thanks to a huge range of talented chefs creating magical masterpieces for our plates. We’ve rounded up our current favourite London restaurants that offer innovative menus.
Born in Brixton, this Indian-Anglo fusion restaurant is probably one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. A huge claim, yes. But a worthy one. The first Kricket restaurant opened as a temporary pop-up in quite aptly, Pop Brixton. Since then a permanent restaurant has opened on Atlantic Road in Brixton and serves as a test restaurant for the other restaurants. There is a Kricket in Soho and a much larger one is opening in White City, Television Centre in October 2018.
I love a restaurant that instantly creates a casual, laidback vibe as soon as you walk in, and this is exactly what Kricket does. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable of the menu but not in your face, the food is utterly brilliant and the menu is inventive – leaving your pallets to wonder what the next surprise will be (in a good way!). We started with ‘chaitinis’ – the Indian take on an espresso martini and delicious. A Coconutty treat, the chaitini is the perfect way to take the edge off some of the spicier dishes.
The samphire pakoras, Goan sausage pao and the Keralan Fried Chicken are the highlights of the menu. Oh, and the Bhel Puri is phenomenal and that is said after much chaat was eaten on Indian railway journeys across south India (Bhel Puri is a form of chaat which is a savoury snack and very often offered as a street food snack in India). If you’ve visited India, the menu transports you to the streets of Mumbai, the hills of the Himalayas and the beaches of Goa. When a restaurant takes me back to my travels and the flavours are similar to what I experienced in that country, I know it’s good.
A new addition to the ever-growing and buzzing scene in Exmouth Market, tapas restaurant Tonica is certainly a strong contender for one of the best restaurants there. Tapas can be a little hit and miss in London, but when it’s done well, it’s one of my favourite things. Tonica’s expressive and vibrant decor immediately evoke the feeling of a stylish Spanish restaurant with a colourful blend of ceramic tiling and abstract artwork. What makes Tonica’s menu so innovative is the vast gin menu that accompanies the food. Blurring the lines between the traditional G&T and the cocktail, the ‘Gin + Tonic Plus’ is an experimental new serve that uses fanciful garnishes, interesting tonics, bitters, tinctures, fresh herbs, juices, jams and even liqueurs, to take the classic ‘spirit and mixer’ to dizzyingly delicious new heights.
Renowned for its award winning brunch, Brother Marcus has opened a second site in Islington with a brand new evening menu. This restaurant serves some of the best Mediterranean cuisine in London. The small plates have a focus on the traditional flavours of Crete, taken from family recipes. The menu is varied and innovative, my favourite dish includes the fried feta with honey and sesame. Their home-baked Lagana bread is a delicious treat and with this, you must order the beetroot hummus. The chargrilled aubergine with mint, chilli, lemon zest tahini is also a must-try. The restaurant also serves seabass stuffed with Mediterranean herbs which is the star of the show. To accompany the creative menu is a wine list decorated with wines from Greece, Spain and Italy. I would also recommend the cocktails. Smoke and Honey with mezcal, lime and Greek honey water is a game changer.
Black Roe, Poke Bar & Grill
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard the word “Poke” in 2018. Black Roe in Mayfair is the leader of the trend. The restaurant’s crowning glory is a Poke bar at the entrance, where an expert chef serves up raw fish with a Pacific slant alongside other fresh seafood and oysters. Black Roe Poke Bar & Grill takes its produce very seriously, working closely with farmers and fishermen whose portraits hang on the restaurant’s walls. The menu is one of the most interesting menus I have seen this year. Think Asian fusion with a twist. The best dish on the menu is the lobster stuffed with macaroni and cheese – yes you heard right. It works. The langoustine and scallop ceviche cured in lemongrass, ginger and lime is also to die for.