Yesterday was one of the most important days in the restaurant industry; the results of the UK Michelin Guide were announced. Now, more than a century since the first Michelin Guide was published, the notoriously hard to attain (and even harder to maintain) stars have once more been sprinkled sparingly out across the UK. Heston will be pleased The Fat Duck regained its three stars after a stint Down Under, whilst London saw a spate of new stars given out to London stalwarts as well as a handful of new talent. The trend for understated, unfussy dining was recognised in two new Hackney restaurants which each received one star but with the celebration comes the rather brutal ‘deletion’ of stars so make sure you’re bang up to date and read on to find out the 8 top restaurants in London, as declared by the UK Michelin Guide 2017…
Fitzrovia’s Newest Star
We reviewed The Ninth back in February and knew from that moment it was on track for big things, saying “believe the hype”. The critics listened and so Jun Tanaka and co are now celebrating their well-earned debut Michelin star for Jun’s debut restaurant (he’s worked in 9…). The French-Mediterranean menu has Eastern influences dotted throughout with dishes designed for sharing, served as and when they are ready. Whilst there is no shortage of decent restaurants in Fitzrovia, when we visited, The Ninth had an air of quiet confidence and understated elegance which set it apart. We hope that doesn’t change as The Ninth gets the recognition it deserves.
Artisanal Modern British Luxury
Nestled over near Sloane Square, The Five Fields has been plating up consistently creative food for a couple of years. Fitting in to the more old-school style of Michelin dining, expect smooth white tablecloths and twinkly lighting in the dining room and food that is as technically sound as it is beautiful. A focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients with a fine dining twist is the focus of Chef Patron Taylor Bonnyman and Head Chef Marguerite Keogh’s creations, done with the help of Kitchen Gardener Heather Young (formerly of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons) who grows vegetables and herbs for the restaurant in a dedicated garden in East Sussex. Impeccable service completes the experience.
Honest Food and Wine in Hackney
Hackney quietly pumps out consistently good restaurants so it’s no surprise that all-day cafe, bar and restaurant Ellory has been awarded a Michelin star. Especially when you consider the two names behind it: Matthew Young (Mayfields – now Pidgin, which also now has a Michelin star) and sommelier Jack Lewes (Spring, River Cafe). Minimal surroundings and dim lighting make Ellory all about the food and a long marble-topped bar hints the the wine is pretty good too. It’s cutting-edge yet simple, cool yet serious and the thoughtfully created dishes really very reasonable although the wine will ramp up the bill. After all, what’s a meal without wine? Especially when it’s this good.
Seasonal and Inspirational
Trinity is chef, food writer and restaurateur, Adam Byatt’s second restaurant, following his first successful restaurant Thyme. When it closed in 2005, he came back with Trinity the following year in Clapham. With an ethos of seasonal, inspirational and delicious ingredients, the menu features the likes of roast rose veal with artichokes barigoule, sweetbread and leaks, crisp pork jowl, salt baked turnip, preserved lemon with black pudding and salted caramel and custard tart. With a whole plethora of awards and rave reviews under his belt, Adam can now add a Michelin star!
Supper Club Turned Restaurant
There must be something in the water in Hackney… Formely Mayfields, Pidgin is a somewhere you’ve probably heard a lot about and, unless you live nearby, have been meaning to go to since it opened last year. Prepare to wait a bit longer as no doubt demand will go through the roof now. The restaurant serves a set 4-course menu that changes weekly (harking back to James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy’s supper club days as ‘The Secret Larder’) so, unless you go out of the way to, you won’t have the same food twice. It’s approachable, friendly dining and the supper club feel remains – prepare to lean over and chat to the next table, probably about how good the food is and how well the boys have done.
Perhaps one of the most richly decorated and ornate restaurants in London, Céleste can be found in the Lanesborough hotel in Knightsbridge. Envisaged by Chef Eric Frechon with his protégé from Epicure in Paris, Executive Chef Florian Favario (the pair already have four Michelin stars between them), they bring their experience from Le Bristol in Paris to the London food scene. With a focus on presentation, the restaurant serves up fine dining under its glittering chandeliers and domed glass roof. On the menu you’ll find dishes such as sautéed squid with black ink porridge and red wine sauce; red leg partridge roasted with coffee beans, chervil roots and red onion puree and figs with hand crafted sugar figs, sangria sorbet and fig leaf forms.
The World's Most Beautiful Dining Room
Established by Auguste Escoffier, one of history’s most influential chefs, The Ritz Restaurant is pure opulence and arguably one of the most beautiful dining rooms, with marble columns, frescoes, neoclassical statues and an incredible chandelier – it’s London splendour at its finest. At the helm of the kitchen now is Executive Chef John Williams, MBE; using seasonal British dishes he creates contemporary takes on classic French dishes, keeping in mind the indulgent cuisine created by Escoffier.
The UK's Oldest Indian Restaurant
Founded by an Indian princess and the grandson of an English General, Veeraswamy opened in 1926 to a very different London. As well as now gaining a Michelin star, it also holds the title as the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, serving up a menu of fine classical Indian cuisine as well as exotic seafood dishes from the shores of India and dishes from clay ovens of the North West frontiers – the tandoors. It’s opulent, grand and a London icon for Indian dining.
The Bib Gourmand was also awarded yesterday – restaurants of note at a lower price bracket. If you’re saving the fine dining for pay day, check out some of the winners of Bib Gourmand. Our favourites are Padella, Gunpowder, Bellanger, Hoppers and Bao.