Are you someone who opts for a starter or do you usually choose to skip it and indulge on something sweet to finish? I’m a starter fan myself; you’ll always find me mulling over which first course to delight in.
From oozy burratas to simple, zingy salads, fresh sushi to marinated tuna tartar, there’s so much to choose from here in the capital, but we’ve handpicked 13 of our favourite summer starters that are a must-try in this summer heat.
Famed for their igloos, Coppa Club has become the ultimate place to head for a cosy night come winter time. But it’s just as popular in the warmer months too, thanks to its summer friendly menu.
This summer, while you’re out enjoying riverside views in Streatley and Sonning or cosied up in one of their igloos at Tower Bridge, make sure you order in the seared king prawns. Lathered in garlic, lemon, chilli and parsley, these giant prawns scream summer. Light, fresh and perfect for riverside dining.
Light, fresh and perfect for riverside dining.
Where: Available at all Coppa Clubs, including at Tower Bridge, The Swan, Streatley and The Great House in Sonning.
While away your afternoon the right way, with a trip to The Garden. Located inside Corinthia London, The Garden is a flourishing outdoor oasis that’s waiting to be uncovered.
Enjoy summer nights here, glass of rosé in tow, and tuck into the menu perfectly prepared by André Garrett and his team. Expect Italian delights, including shaved Italian courgette salad topped with feta cheese and toasted feekah; grilled and marinated squid with fresh chilli and apple; and baked romano peppers with freekah and ricotta.
Helping you to transport you from the cityscapes of London and over to the sunny shores of Sicily is Norma and their dreamy, creamy burrata starter. The dish is made up of English burrata, grezzina and yellow courgettes, marjoram, preserved lemon and pangrattato. Perfect as a starter or side, it tastes like summer in a bowl.
The dish is made up of English burrata, grezzina and yellow courgettes, marjoram, preserved lemon and pangrattato.
Where: 8 Charlotte Street, W1T 2LS
Moving to London from Paris, Bar Des Prés is a Parisian restaurant that originally served only raw food. Here in its Mayfair outpost though, it offers a variety of Franco-East Asian creations, served both warm and cold.
Found on Albemarle Street, the restaurant serves up a fun selection of small dishes perfect for indulging on in the summer months. Expect California rolls, sashimi and maki to be making a welcomed appearance – our favourite being the Californian spring roll, king crab, mango and mint. Super fresh and light.
ROBATA, our favourite Soho haunt for breezy Japanese cuisine that’s both affordable and delicious, boasts an exciting range of small plates that guests can enjoy in the warm weather.
Tuck into dishes such as their beef tataki, think seared beef served with yuzu pepper soy, garlic chips, truffle aioli and spring onion; tuna tartar, served with coriander yuzu soy, mango tiger milk and red chilli; and satisfying sushi rolls.
Our favourite Soho haunt for breezy Japanese cuisine that’s both affordable and delicious.
Where: 56 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4UE
Famed for their live music nights, the Green Bar, nuzzled inside Soho’s Hotel Cafe Royal, is also known for serving up quite the starter.
This summer, stay cool with a selection of their small plates. From spiced crispy fried squid with coriander and lime aioli to buttermilk fried chicken bites served with sriracha and ranch dip, there’s something for all the table. Our personal favourite though is the marinated tuna tartar with nori, fried onion and an added little kick of ginger. It’s zingy, fresh and light, making it perfect to enjoy in the heat.
Where: 68 Regent Street, Soho, W1B 4DY UK
For those searching high and low for jungle vibes this summer, check out Mayfair’s Amazonico. Inspired by the Amazon, guests can travel across the world without having to leave the capital.
Executive chef Vitelio Reyes and his team have worked tirelessly to perfect a brand new selection of dishes, heavily influenced by Latin American cuisine. Expect to tuck into signature starters of atun okinamasu with caviar – it’s a small plate made up of Toro tuna tartar, coconut and Baerii vintage caviar; Calamar, a serving of crispy baby squid, kumquat and tamarind sauce; and empanadas with wagyu beef and huitlacoche truffle sauce.
Where: 10 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6BR
While we might not be able to whisk off to Tokyo right now, we can still experience its culinary hits right here in London, thanks to Heddon Yokocho. Inspired by the retro ramen bars, the restaurant serves plates piled high with traditional and tasty Japanese snacks, perfect for sharing.
Tear open a steam Hirata bun, filled with char siu BBQ pork or given in to a crispy pan-fried Hakata Tetsunabe pork gyoza.
Pasta a Pizza, Eataly
Did somebody say cheese? Eataly is home to London’s finest fresh Italian ingredients. Nuzzled inside Eataly, Pasta a Pizza can be found serving up some of the freshest mozzarella, burrata and ricotta on offer.
Book into the restaurant and delight on the burrata con carciofini sott’olio. It’s a rich, creamy burrata with artichokes lathered in extra virgin olive oil. Super simple, yet so satisfying.
Serving up some of the freshest mozzarella, burrata and ricotta on offer...
Where: 135 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3YD
The Cellar, located inside Hammersmith’s members’ club Kindred, provides a space to eat, drink and be merry this summer. Curated by head chef Romulo Silva, Kindred’s signature ‘London Fusion’ style blends the best flavours that the capital has to offer, expect spring vegetable salads with a creamy and oozy burrata; pea and broadbean croquetas with salsa verde; and duck gyozas with a sweet chilli and ginger dressing.
Sumosan Twiga, located on Sloane Street, has managed to blend Japanese food and traditional Italian cuisine to create a fun fusion that shouldn’t work, but truly does.
Now one of London’s top luxury dining destinations, choose Italian classics such as the beef carpaccio with crunchy tuille, rocket salad and shaved parmesan to start, or try a Japanese dish, like the wagyu beef tacos topped with creamy sweet soy sauce and the king crab leg slathered in wasabi sauce.
Where: 165 Sloane Street, Belgravia, SW1X 9QB
Add a spark to your date night with a trip to Holborn’s London Cabaret Club. Guests can expect an action packed theatrical evening filled with live cabaret, talented singers and, of course, a sumptuous dinner.
On the menu, expect to find a selection of delicious bites but we love the confit salmon that comes with prawns, tomato dashi and chilli. Expect a little kick from the chilli.
Where: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Holborn, WC1B 4DA
When it’s scorching outside, the only thing we want to eat is a boatload of fresh salad, and Park Chinois knows how to mix up a good’un.
The freshness and vibrancy of the restaurant’s Asian summer garden, created by Park Chinois’ executive chef Lee Che Liang, lives on through their simple, yet delicious salad. Think baby cucumber, baby carrots, plum vine tomatoes, pomodorini confit, Cornish salad leaves and a zingy mint and oil oil dressing.
Where: 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair W1J 8EA