London is, we would argue, the world's best city in which to dine. It's not just about the sheer number and quality of restaurants, but also the diversity of cuisines. And there's always something new: Here are five new restaurants to enjoy.
Taking its name from the artist who painted the spectacular mural that provides its backdrop, the Rex Whistler Restaurant has just reopened as part of Tate Britain's £45m redevelopment. The mural, depicting an expedition to discover exotic meats, has been lovingly restored and even inspired the menu. Head chef Nathan Brewster has collaborated with food historians to create seasonal dishes, using traditional English ingredients, for a good-value breakfast, set lunch and afternoon tea. There's an excellent wine cellar too, so you'll be able to find the perfect pairing for your meal.
Ever since Tim Luther walked into a Spanish bodega on a family holiday when he was 12, he dreamed of opening his own. Three decades later, Drakes Tabanco brings a touch of Andalusia to Fitzrovia, specialising in exclusive sherries from Jerez that are rarely seen outside Spain. Have your drink poured from the huge oak barrel and, as in a traditional bodega, try regional dishes: a seafood sharing platter, cured Iberico pork tongue, or hake in caper butter sauce. There is also a six-course sherry pairing menu for £55.
The Great Court
Most people come to The British Museum to see its historical and cultural works, but its new Great Court Restaurant gives them an extra incentive to dine and enjoy the splendour of the building itself. The restaurant lies on a mezzanine floor, an airy space punctuated with greenery with an open kitchen on one side and overlooking the great court below—which is the largest covered square in Europe, with a roof containing 1,656 uniquely shaped panels, bathing you in light.
The menu is themed around the museum's major exhibition at the time. Most recently it was Beyond El Dorado: Power And Gold In Ancient Colombia, so the cuisine was South American. The avocado soup was unexpectedly warm, but worked well. The next course was an interesting and successful combination of sirloin steak with chimichurri and chips made from yucca, a South American root. As "Vikings: Life and Legend" comes to the museum, look out for the Scandinavian-inspired menu—truly food for thought.
The owner Luiza adores flowers, so much so that she filled her new Mayfair restaurant Casa Di Fiori ('house of flowers') with them. With decor in her favourite pale blue and hand-blown Venetian glass chandeliers, it's a real labour of love. Not that it should detract from the cuisine, a superb example of Italian fine dining. The burrata was the epitome of creaminess, served with basil pesto and a home-baked, wafer-thin pane carasau bread. Sea-bass fillet with leek cream had an enticing addition on the plate, like a kataifi, made from light-as-a-feather potato. Even the tiramisu was weightless and elegantly presented.
Holborn Dining Room
Inside the startlingly elegant new Rosewood London hotel, which has been restored from a 1914 Edwardian Belle Époque building, the Holborn Dining Room is bound to be a real talking point, especially if the jaw-dropping décor in the Scarfe Bar is anything to go by. The brasserie itself has a sophisticated décor of oak furnishings, chandeliers and leather upholstery designed in quintessential British style. The menu offers British dishes made from the finest locally sourced ingredients, such as Highland partridge and steak and ‘Camden Ink’ suet pudding. 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN.