Where Top Chefs Eat In London
Time in a chef's life is a rare and magical thing, and where these masters choose to dine when they do manage to carve out moments off the clock says so much about them.
Some take the opportunity to explore what their competitors are up to on the culinary scene, while others just want to get down and dirty with a comforting plate of carbs.
We caught up with a few of our closest to find out where they're hanging out when they've finally hung up their apron.
Jean-Philippe Blondet from Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
The top spot: Caractère
I love the casual atmosphere with the classic taste and sophistication of the dishes.
📍 Notting Hill
Tom Aikens from Muse
The top spot: Brat
I love cooking over fire which is why I love Brat in Shoreditch. The flames are a focal point and the first thing you notice when you walk in. It’s the perfect place for sharing amazing whole pieces of meat and fish cooked over a lump wood charcoal. The house special turbot is a must try! It is cooked Basque-style in an iron cage and just melts in the mouth. Portions are generous and almost a struggle for two people to devour so make sure you arrive hungry.
Clare Smyth from Core by Clare Smyth
The top spot: Scott's
It’s always got a buzzing atmosphere and everything they do is always consistent. They also serve some pretty brilliant oysters.
Endo Kazutoshi from Endo at The Rotunda
The top spot: The River Café
It's my ultimate comfort place and let me tell you why. In 2007, when I moved to the UK, Rose Gray and I met at my former workplace and connected. Somehow, she organically became my mentor: not knowing the language, suppliers, and the hospitality scene in general. She took me under her wings, and for those reasons, I associate River Cafe and the food as a place that feels home. Also, I am a big pasta fan!
Richard Corrigan from Bentley's and Corrigan's
The top spot: Four Seasons
I have a number of favourite restaurants, but with Chinese New Year around the corner I have to mention some of my China town haunts. The crispy Peking duck with pancakes at the Four Seasons in Chinatown is one my all-time favourite dishes. They have specialised this for years and it shows in taste and quality. It's naturally grown as one of the best places to get your crispy duck.
📍 China Town
Tony Parkin from Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room
The top spot: Da Terra
It’s not only food at the top of its game, but you genuinely feel like you’re sitting in Rafael and Charlie’s house. The service and food is so personal and Rafael’s food really shows its roots! Plus, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to see Rolo, Raf and Charlie’s dog, at the end of your meal.
📍 Bethnal Green
Sally Abé from The Pem
The top spot: Maison François
They do really classic cooking executed brilliantly with a great wine list - that's all you really want from a restaurant isn't it? Oh, and the dessert trolley!
📍 St James's
Rafael Cagali from Da Terra
The top spot: Mele e Pere
I used to go there quite often for a nice bit of Italian small bites and vermouth.
Alex Dilling from ION by Alex Dilling
The top spot: The Cow
It’s a spot I always go back to in my neighbourhood. The atmosphere is fantastic - a true old school pub full of characters. The food is simple but very well executed from their tiny open kitchen. Great oysters, pint of prawns, Welsh rarebit etc., are all perfect with a cold beer. They also have a little fireplace which is especially nice in the winter time.
📍 Notting Hill
Matt Abé from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
The top spot: Trinity
Its simplicity and excellence in execution.