It’s hard to miss Gold. Its three-storey facade is covered in a mural and two huge eyes stare out at you from between the antique shops and candy-coloured houses on Portobello Road. Some of the neighbours may not be fans, but it has received the royal seal of approval. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were spotted here on a double date. Beyond the mural, there’s a buzzy bar and former River Café chef Mr Theo Hill offers in the restaurants, a modern European menu with desserts to die for. The chocolate tart with marmalade ice cream is not to be missed.
Opened in June 2019, Sette is the seventh restaurant of its sister brand, the critically acclaimed Scarpetta Restaurant whose flagship location resides in New York City. Nestled on the ground floor of the Bulgari hotel in Knightsbridge, it marries Manhattan elegance with old-world hospitality. Handmade bread and pasta and seasonal ingredients are the stars of the show with the signature tomato and basil spaghetti taking centre stage.
Fitzrovia’s Charlotte Street is always a good bet for top-notch grub, and Mere is no exception. It’s the passion project of Ms Monica Galetti, MasterChef judge and former sous-chef at Le Gavroche, and her husband Mr David Galetti. Blending her Samoan heritage and classical training with his French roots, the menu is both elegant and innovative. In particular, the asparagus and morels with a marmite mushroom purée and the buttery lobster with peanut sauce and coconut are terrific.
Given it’s a discreetly high-end restaurant in Kensington that has been a fixture on the fine-dining scene for decades, it would be easy to imagine Launceston Place is one of those “temples of gastronomy” that impress Michelin inspectors. And while there’s no doubt the elegant platefuls of luxe ingredients sent out by young chef Mr Ben Murphy are far from every day, a sense of fun in the plating and flavour combinations means it’s never dull. When a meal starts with "egg and soldiers", you know you’re in for an adventurous ride.
This restaurant from Mr Rohit Ghai, formerly of Gymkhana and Jamavar, is set in a Chelsea townhouse just off Sloane Square. Not quite in keeping with its name, which means “a small cottage in the middle of nowhere” in Sanskrit, but it is rather pleasant, nonetheless. The menu showcases India’s richest regional and seasonal cuisine, with dishes for both the cautious (chicken tikka masala) and the adventurous (truffle kedgeree, jackfruit dumplings, Nargisi kofta with bone marrow curry). End with an indulgent digestif made up of Indian whisky, chai syrup, coffee, nutmeg and cream.
Famed chef Mr Jason Atherton’s latest grand venture is situated in Mayfair’s suitably plush hotel, The Biltmore – right across from his onetime mentor Mr Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat. Aiming for affordable luxury, the seasonally-led “theatre of the senses”-themed menu of sharing dishes espouses a global outlook, while making the most of prime British produce. Ember-roasted chicken with trompettes and Albufera sauce and a side of onion flower, chive emulsion came in for particular post-opening praise.