Cheap meals in London's best restaurants

Posh nosh for less dosh – the finest restaurants with bargain pre-theatre deals and set menus

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Want to sample London's gourmet restaurants without splashing the cash? Take a seat at off-peak times and you can eat like a king for a lot less than you'd expect. Here are just a few the finest London restaurants with bargain pre-theatre deals and uncommonly cheap set menus.

Saigon Saigon

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Offer

West London is something of a desert for Vietnamese food, but this roomy, fairly smart place near Ravenscourt Park more than makes amends. As well as the two sizeable dining rooms – coolly decorated with dark wood, bamboo, and black and white photos of pre-war Saigon – there’s a party room holding up to 16. In the basement is a lounge for private events, and in summer, tables are placed on the very wide, boulevard-style pavement. Service is unfailingly welcoming, polite and

  1. 313-317 King Street, W6 9NH
  2. Main courses £6.95-£15. Set lunch (Mon-Fri)...
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Plateau

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer

The aptly named Plateau sits on the fourth floor of Canada Place, with sensational views of Canary Wharf from its huge glass and metal façade. The interior aims to impress with iconic contemporary furniture – marble-topped white Eero Saarinen Tulip tables and matching chairs, and Arco floor lamps – but the restaurant isn’t just a designer showroom for the moneyed classes; the beautifully presented cuisine is testament to the fact that head chef Allan Pickett takes his job

  1. Canada Place, Canada Square, E14 5ER
  2. Main courses £14-£29.50. Set meal £22 2...
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Theo Randall at the InterContinental

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

Since 2006, when Theo Randall, long-time head chef at the River Café, opened this eponymous restaurant its reputation (and Randall’s media profile) has gone from strength to strength. The colourful, spacious dining room is high on comfort, if a little corporate, with cream leather, walnut wood and olive green shades. Service is caring and warm-hearted and the cooking, in our experience, is joyous. The carte is not cheap, featuring luxury produce such as Limousin veal and wild

  1. 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY
  2. Main courses £28-£38. Set meal (lunch,...
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Orrery

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

This serene, elegant Marylebone dining room with bucolic views through arched windows produced a meal that astonished us in every way. The Ukrainian chef Igor Tymchyshyn has achieved the seemingly impossible – a £26 menu du jour of exceptional beauty, glamour and flavour. A starter of lobster bisque with seafood raviolo was pure luxury; chicken liver pâté was served on a raft of toasted Poilâne, heaped with tangy apple chutney and scattered with pea shoots. A main course of

  1. 55 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5RB
  2. Set lunch £23 & £34 2 courses, £26 & £38 3...
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Marcus

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Offer

The former restaurant 'Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley Hotel' has now been rennovated and reopened at 'Marcus'. The review below is for the previous restaurant - March 2014, Food & Drink Editors Like sinking yourself into a glass of fine Bordeaux, this long-established dining room is a treat, confident in its quality and style. Deep wine tones are brightened by white linens and a circular glass motif for an ambience that is cosseting and elegantly comfortable. Meals begin with

  1. The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL
  2. A la carte: £60 for two courses, £85 for...
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Cinnamon Kitchen

Cinnamon Kitchen Ming Tang-Evans

Cinnamon Kitchen

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

There’s something almost karmic about the location of this new sibling to the Cinnamon Club, occupying as it does a former warehouse of the East India Company. And it occupies it stylishly, with walls in soft pewter hues inset with lustrous mother-of-pearl patterns. The juxtaposition of exposed air-con ducts with intricate filigree light-shades works unexpectedly well under the lofty ceilings – as does the long tandoori-grill bar where chefs cook to order. Most dishes

  1. 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL
  2. Main courses £12-£32. Set lunch £15 2...
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Thomas Skovesende / Time Out

Hakkasan

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer

More than a decade after it started wowing London’s big spenders with its classy Cantonese cooking, this Michelin-starred trendsetter remains a benchmark against which all high-end Chinese restaurants should be judged. The basement’s stylish interior (all dark wood lattice screens and moody lighting) still attracts the kind of beautiful people who might suppress their appetites – though there was little evidence of restraint on our midweek night visit. Plate after plate

  1. 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
  2. Main courses £17-£61. Dim sum £3-£20. Set...
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© Ming Tang-Evans

Moti Mahal

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

Class, poise, judgement: these words might well be embossed on Moti Mahal’s burnished copper bar, beside the serried ranks of expensive whiskies. This London outpost of Delhi’s celebrated restaurant group is geared to international business diners and priced accordingly. Weighty linen tablecloths, polished wooden flooring, an ambient soundtrack and a spotless open kitchen (viewed behind a curvaceous glass partition) lend gravitas to the ground-floor dining room – as do

  1. 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA
  2. Main courses £9-£28. Set lunch £15 2 courses...
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Q Grill

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Offer

‘Twat.’ ‘Cow.’ ‘Wanker’: those of us who have ever worked ‘front of house’ in the past would expect this kind of abuse on a Friday night, when service would reach boiling point and the chefs would lose their cool. Afterwards, we’d sit down for a few beers, and all would be forgiven. These days, of course, all the cool, sexy restaurants have open kitchens, so you can see – and hear – all the action.   So it was with some admiration that we watched the chefs

  1. 29-33 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ
  2. Meal for two with drinks and service: around...
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Britta Jaschinski / Time Out

Barshu

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

The distance north of Shaftesbury Avenue, though only 20 metres, is important. Barshu (the original of a Sichuan quartet along with Ba Shan, Baozi Inn and newcomer Baiwei) is distinct from Chinatown’s mostly Cantonese restaurants in looks and pricing, as well as cuisine. The dark wooden ground floor is brightened by red lanterns and partitioned by a beautifully carved screen; upstairs is similarly woody. Despite such rusticity, you could spend extravagantly here – though

  1. 28 Frith Street, W1D 5LF
  2. Main courses £9.90-£30.90. Minimum charge...
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