2012, what a delicious year for London! This city – this big old convoluted mess of a city – kept improving its flavour profile and coming up with new and better ways to offer locals and visitors alike more choice and better quality. Narrowing down my “best of” list to a mere ten was tough. To be sure, there were plenty of dud meals along the way, but maybe not as many as in recent past years. Listed in alphabetical order (don’t make me rank them!), here are my favourite London restaurants from the past year:
Moreno at Baglioni
Baglioni Hotel London, 60 Hyde Park Gate, SW7 5BB
This newly launched restaurant situated inside Kensington’s lush Baglioni London Hotel sees two Michelin star Italian chef, Moreno Cedroni, share his avant garde approach to Italian cuisine with his first venture outside Italy.
50 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ
Chef Morgan Meuier’s new “affordable haute cuisine” restaurant across the street from Smithfield Market and just a pleasant stroll away from the Barbican and St Paul’s Cathedral wins big time … or at least won me over big time with a combination of service, setting and sensational food and wine pairing.
Berwick Street Market, Berwick Street, W1F 8TF
Okay, so technically a van and not a restaurant … Pizza Pilgrims offers a simple range of made from scratch pizzas using quality ingredients and traditional preparation learned during a foodie pilgrimage to Napoli.
194 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ
Chef Patron Jose Pizarro’s eponymous restaurant is a low key and becoming foodie retreat and an ideal setting for quality conversation over exemplary Spanish cuisine and an anything but fussy wine list.
The Rib Room
Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel, Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY
Young’uns and tweeting foodie upstarts may blather on and on about meat this and meat that as if no one in England had eaten an animal before the onset of the 21st century. But the 50 year old Rib Room reassures that enjoying masterfully made meat dishes in London is something that’s been going on for quite some time.
19 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH
Simon Rogan and Penny Tapsell’s Blandford Street eatery is a two year pop-up restaurant “passionate about the very best in British natural ingredients all cooked with skill and imagination and served with warmth and style.”
55 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LH
Seoul Bakery’s cosy vibe, simple menu and tasty dishes should win you over to the realisation that this sweet little place is a bit of a one-off wonder.
Sodo Sourdough Pizza Cafe
126 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JY
The dudes from E5 Bakehouse recently opened this to-the-point and back-to-basics pizzeria close to Clapton Railway Station.
This Bright Field
268 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9DA
This Bright Field offers a “fresh, well crafted, ever changing menu” that’s English in both its recipes and ingredients used.
Tommi’s Burger Joint
58 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2NX
Proust had his madeleines. I’ve got charred medium rare cheeseburgers. And an entrepreneur from Iceland brought those memories back to me in a Marylebone restaurant?
There are just too many honourable mentions and 11th place ties for me to list, but to read more about the above listed restaurants and all sorts of other great eateries in London and beyond, check out my blog’s Restaurants category. Thanks for a delicious year!