London is an incubator of dining trends, and the city’s denizens are used to being at the cutting-edge of the global restaurant scene. So, what’s the latest movement that has the capital’s foodies in a fuss? Enter: the one-dish restaurant.
No longer must a restaurant have an encyclopaedic menu of exotic fare in order to attract attention. Nowadays, the mastery of a single dish is enough to propel new eateries into the culinary stratosphere. So before you leave your Red Carnation hotel for dinner, it’s best to decide ahead of time: chicken or steak?
All right, technically Bubbledogs has two specialities: hot dogs and champagne. Though the combination might strike some as unusual, the eatery has perfected the pairing of haute drinking and casual eating. A traditional “Naked Dog” is on offer, but it’s hard to resist the perfect spicy-crunchy-tang of the K-Dawg, which sees a typical dog done up with kimchi, red bean paste, and lettuce. Even harder to resist? The lengthy champagne menu.
Bubbledogs, 70 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QG, 020 7637 7770
There’s no better, or more restorative, food for cooler weather than a bowl of hearty, piping hot ramen. Bone Daddies serves steaming bowls of 20-hour pork tonkotsu broth, so thick you could almost stand a spoon in it, with heaps of springy noodles, shaved meat, and toppings ranging from boiled eggs to chopped scallions. This Soho-based restaurant serves ramen so moreish that crowds wait hours for the chance to get their chopsticks near it.
Bone Daddies, 31 Peter Street, London W1F 0AR, 020 7287 8581
London may be in the midst of a bona fide burger boom, but don’t let the flood of competing eateries overwhelm you. Instead, stick to what’s tried and true: Honest Burgers is undeniably one of the city’s best. Though diners used to have to travel to Brixton to grab a bite, Honest Burgers’ new Soho location means it’s more accessible than ever before. That’s good news for burger fanatics. With perfectly cooked patties (all meat is sourced from The Ginger Pig) squeezed between toasted buns and served with a side of rosemary-salted fries, it might prove hard to stay away.
Honest Burgers, 4A Meard Street, London W1F 0EF, 020 3609 9524,
Flat Iron Steak
In the past, London was accused of being a less-than-ideal steak city – what steaks were on offer were overcooked to oblivion – but Flat Iron Steak is proving the naysayers wrong. The no-reservations Soho steakhouse offers only steak for its main course, which comes with few extra frills (a small side salad, the option to add on chips). Still, simplicity here is a virtue and what the restaurant does it does flawlessly.
Flat Iron Steak, 17 Beak Street, London W1F 9RW, no phone number
Though it’s a bit of a hike into Zone 2, Chicken Shop is essential territory for those who love a perfectly roasted poulet. The free-range, UK-sourced chicken is available by the quarter, half, or whole, can be ordered with hot sauce or smoky BBQ, and diners can choose whether to add crinkle cut fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or butter lettuce & avocado salad to their orders. The no-fuss menu is perfectly complimented by the rustic-yet-stylish décor – not to mention a healthy portion of apple pie to finish things off.
Chicken Shop, 79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL, 020 3310 2020