Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2012

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The full list of nominees as selected by our judges

From street food trucks turned fully-fledged restaurants to an ever-growing number of brewpubs, as always, it’s been a busy year on the London eating and drinking scene. All shortlisted venues were revisited anonymously in recent weeks by members of our judging panel to decide the winners.


Best new restaurant

  • © The Delaunay

    WINNER: The Delaunay

    Restaurants
    55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB (020 7499 8558)

    Taking inspiration from Europe’s ‘grand cafés’, this glam all-day brasserie is the younger sibling of The Wolseley, and has a similar put-your-glad-rags-on, special-occasion feel. The menu celebrates the heritage dishes of Central Europe, including tarte flambée (a pizza-like flatbread from Alsace, savoury with smoked bacon, sweet with soft shallots) and a golden Wiener schnitzel of veal beaten thin, crisply fried. Desserts include strudels and a sensational Sachertorte. Refreshingly, you’re treated with equal decorum whether you’re a big spender or just popping in for Welsh rarebit or hot chocolate. A real treat.
    Around £120 for two. br>
    Read The Delaunay review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Bistro Union

    Restaurants
    40 Abbeville Rd, SW4 9NG

    British-leaning and grazing-friendly – from potted meats to small plates of seasonal greens, this is local hero and chef-proprietor Adam Byatt (also of Trinity in SW4) at his casual best.
    Around £80 for two. br>
    Read Bistro Union review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Brasserie Zédel

    Restaurants
    20 Sherwood St, W1F 7ED

    Another excellent ‘grand brasserie’ from Corbin and King of Rex Restaurants (The Wolseley, The Delaunay). In spite of the imposing art deco setting (a former hotel ballroom), prices are supremely reasonable.
    Around £55 for two. br>
    Read Brasserie Zédel review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Dabbous

    Restaurants
    39 Whitfield St, W1T 2SF

    Chef Ollie Dabbous has wowed both critics and the public with his gossamer-light haute cuisine: tiny plates of ‘lovely – but what is it?’ dishes that always impress and surprise. No wonder it’s so hard to snag a table.
    Around £130 for two. br>
    Read Dabbous review

    Book online

Best new cheap eats

  • Helen Cathcart

    WINNER: Boqueria Tapas

    Restaurants
    192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL

    Combining traditional and contemporary, this Brixton tapas joint offers modern twists such as roast pork rendered stunningly refreshing by a little ball of lemon sorbet on a pool of apple sauce. Simple classics such as pan con tomate – good crusty bread rubbed with garlic and a smear of tomato – are also done well. There’s no faulting the quality of ingredients, from tender flakes of cod in a sweet tomato sauce to a full-flavoured complimentary starter of rosemary-scattered olives. Best of all, the tapas cost around £4-£8, so you can assemble a great meal without causing a deficit the size of the Spanish trade gap.
    Around £50 for two. br>
    Read Boqueria Tapas review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Okan

    Restaurants
    Unit 39, Brixton Village Market, London, SW9 8PS

    Part of Brixton Village Market, Okan deals in Japanese street food, especially yaki soba (fried noodles) and okonomiyaki (savoury deep pancakes with an egg-and-shredded-cabbage base); main courses cost a mere £6.50-£8.25.
    Around £25 for two. br>
    Read Okan review

  • RUNNER UP: Roti Chai

    Restaurants
    3-4 Portman Mews South, London, W1H 6HS

    Taken from the Indian words for bread and tea, Roti Chai in Marylebone is dedicated to serving inexpensive and unusual café-style food in a chic yet nostalgic setting. Mains range from £4.50 to £8.50.
    Around £25 for two. br>
    Read Roti Chai review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Tuk Cho

    Restaurants
    28-30 New Broadway, W5 2XA

    A good-looking canteen that dishes up crowd-pleasing street food that romps across Southeast Asia, ranging from salads and stir-fries to curries and noodles, with main courses going for £6-£9.
    Around £50 for two. br>
    Read Tuk Cho review

Best new beer bar

  • © Michael Franke

    WINNER: Crown & Anchor

    Bars
    246 Brixton Rd, SW9 6AQ

    Sibling to Stokey’s Jolly Butchers, this south London boozer has had a no-frills refurb (bare bricks, smart grey window frames) – the most exciting feature is the lengthy bar offering seven cask real ales plus 14 keg beers and ciders. Regularly featured breweries include Redemption, Dark Star, Magic Rock, Camden Town, Brewdog, Brooklyn and Kernel; bottles take a worldlier approach and include a fair few Belgians. Bridging the apparent divide between Camra-endorsed real ale and its hip young cousin, craft beer, this is a pub for all.
    Read Crown & Anchor review

  • RUNNER UP: Brewdog

    Bars
    113 Bayham St, NW1 0AG

    The first London outpost of a Scottish craft brewery, where clued-up staff will gladly guide you through the groundbreaking list of beers available (keg, draught and bottle).
    Read Brewdog review

  • RUNNER UP: Bull

    Bars
    13 North Hill, N6 4AB

    In addition to kegs offering the likes of Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Veltins Pilsas, The Bull dispenses the fine products of the London Brewing Company, made on the premises.
    Read the Bull review

  • RUNNER UP: Railway Tavern

    Bars
    2 St Jude St, N16 8JT

    There’s live music and Thai food at this Islington local, but it’s the beer that makes it special. Sample six rotating real ales on tap (many brewed in London) or choose from keg and bottle.
    Read Railway Tavern review

Best new design

  • WINNER: Mari Vanna

    Restaurants
    116 Knightsbridge, Wellington Court, SW1X 7PJ


    Design: Yuna Megre br>
    Thanks to the talents of Russian-born and British-educated interior designer Yuna Megre, Mari Vanna is a marvel of old-fashioned Russian cooking in a setting that fleshes out the homely fantasy. Waitresses in flowery domestic aprons invite you to eat comfort food in their ‘sitting room’, where flea market curios fill every inch: there’s ornate crockery, French lace, crystal from St Petersburg, lamps draped with fringed shawls, Lenin pins, antique boxing gloves, an old accordion and so on. A visit to the bathrooms, where they play Russian folk songs and have installed old pull-chain toilets, is part of the adventure.
    Around £120 for two br>
    Read Mari Vanna review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: La Bodega Negra

    Restaurants
    9 Old Compton St, W1D 5JF


    Design: Serge Becker and Jason Volenec br>
    There’s a garish neon ‘sex shop’ façade and a funky ground-floor diner, but it’s in the bookings-only basement restaurant – serving fashionable Mexican-American food – that the designer’s imagination is given full rein.
    Around £65 for two br>
    Read La Bodega Negra review

  • RUNNER UP: The Delaunay

    Restaurants
    55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB (020 7499 8558)


    Design: David Collins br>
    Acclaimed restaurant designer David Collins has taken us back to a golden era with this beautifully evoked ‘grand café’. See also pXX Best New Restaurant category.
    Around £120 for two br>
    Read The Delaunay review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Shrimpy’s

    Restaurants
    The King's Cross Filling Station, Goods Way, N1C 4UR


    Design: Serge Becker and Jason Volenec br>
    A far cry from the building’s original incarnation as a petrol station, this restaurant has been cleverly converted into a good-looking temporary dining space, serving smart US dishes of the sort you might find from Miami to LA.
    Around £95 for two br>
    Read Shrimpy's review

    Book online

Best new local restaurant

  • Ming Tang Evans

    WINNER: Abbeville Kitchen

    Restaurants
    47 Abbeville Rd, SW4 9JX

    Confident St John-style British cooking with a few other European influences at an understated Clapham eatery.
    Read Abbeville Kitchen review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Lawn Bistro

    Restaurants
    67 High St, SW19 5EE

    A modern French restaurant in Wimbledon Village with a fixed price menu and a few adventurous flavours.
    Read our review of Lawn Bistro

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Potli

    Restaurants
    319 King St, W6 9NH

    Regional Indian cooking in Hammersmith against an upmarket backdrop of knick-knacks and retro photographs.
    Read Potli review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Provender

    Restaurants
    17 High St, E11 2AA

    An upmarket brasserie in Wanstead with decent regional French dishes.
    Read our review of Provender

    Book online

Best new no bookings restaurant

  • © Rob Greig

    WINNER: 10 Greek Street

    Restaurants
    10 Greek St, W1D 4DH

    It at first appears to be yet another trendy, no-bookings restaurant in the same mould as a plethora of others that opened this year, but punching well above its weight, this tiny Soho enterprise delivers exceptional cooking in relaxed, buzzy surroundings: clams and mussels in a fragrant parsley and leek broth, say, or succulent, ruby-centred lamb. Best of all, a berry-packed champagne jelly came with a heavily perfumed lavender ice cream. In spite of witty touches (such as tap water in milk bottles) and hip staff, it remains hugely welcoming. Call ahead to book a seat for lunch or queue for a no-bookings dinner.
    Around £75 for two. br>
    Read 10 Greek Street review

  • RUNNER UP: Burger & Lobster

    Restaurants
    29 Clarges St, W1J 7EF

    Big, buzzy sibling to the Mayfair original, where the menu once again runs to burger, lobster or lobster roll. Alternatively, choose a giant crustacean to share.
    Around £70 for two. br>
    Read Burger & Lobster review

  • RUNNER UP: Pizarro

    Restaurants
    194 Bermondsey St, SE1 3TQ (020 7407 7339)

    Classic Spanish dishes in convivial surroundings at this smart, sit-down restaurant from acclaimed chef José Pizarro.
    Around £80 for two. br>
    Read Pizarro review

  • RUNNER UP: Polpo Smithfield

    Restaurants
    2-3 Cowcross St, EC1M 6DR

    Possibly our favourite Polpo (it’s the latest of several - www.polpo.co.uk, this branch – on a quiet street close to Smithfield Market – once again teams stylish interiors with sexy Italian small plates.
    Around £60 for two. br>
    Read Polpo Smithfield review

Best new meat restaurant

  • WINNER: Tramshed

    Restaurants
    32 Rivington St, EC2A 3LX, (020 7749 0478)

    Mark Hix’s latest meat-centric venture serves chicken or steak. To be precise: roast chicken for one or to share, steak, chicken salad or steak salad. (A few ‘bar snax’ break out beyond these restrictions; think ox cheek croquettes or radishes with celery salt.) The birds are top-quality, while the beef is aged in a ‘Himalayan salt chamber’ which results in a fabulously sweet and tender steak. All this meat is meted out in a former industrial building in Shoreditch by some of the friendliest staff we’ve encountered in London.
    Around £70 for two. br>
    Read Tramshed review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Duke’s Brew & Que

    Restaurants
    33 Downham Rd, N1 5AA

    Having imported some serious smoking equipment and brewing kit, this backwater Islington boozer offers up an authentic taste of the Deep South, including the classic combo of ribs ’n’ beer.
    Around £50 for two. br>
    Read Duke’s Brew & Que review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Meat Liquor

    Restaurants
    74 Welbeck St, W1G 0BA

    Having imported some serious smoking equipment and brewing kit, this backwater Islington boozer offers up an authentic taste of the Deep South, including the classic combo of ribs ’n’ beer.
    Around £50 for two. br>
    Read Meat Liquor review

  • RUNNER UP: Pitt Cue Co

    Restaurants
    1 Newburgh St, W1F 7RB

    This tiny Soho basement diner serves meaty ribs that are unparalleled: a flavour-packed dry rub and a long, long smoking renders them dark, sweet and intense, bringing to mind steamy nights in those Southern states where barbecue is a way of life.
    Around £100 for two. br>
    Read Pitt Cue Co review

Best new Latin American restaurant

  • © Lima London

    WINNER: Lima London

    Restaurants
    31 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JH. (020 3002 2640)

    The dishes at this understated restaurant – our pick of this year’s Peruvian influx – look like modernist works of art. Artichokes with green lime, fava beans, tree tomato emulsion and molle pink pepper is a beauty, as impressive for its bold appearance as for its vibrant flavours. It’s not often in London that we see innovative, extraordinary Latin American cuisine like this; it left us scratching our heads slightly, but vowing to come back for more.
    Around £100 for two br>
    Read Lima review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Ceviche

    Restaurants
    17 Frith St, W1D 4RG. (020 7292 2040)

    Alongside the eponymous signature dish (of raw citrus-marinated fish or veg), Ceviche offers the best in Peruvian cooking, from corn and potato nibbles to a mean pisco sour.
    Around £80 for two. br>
    Read Ceviche review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: La Bodega Negra

    Restaurants
    16 Moor St, W1D 5NH

    Beneath a lurid Soho shopfront, La Bodega Negra marries a casual ground-level taqueria with a subterranean bar-restaurant, serving up innovative dishes that are better than the gimmicky setting suggests.
    Around £65 for two. br>
    Read La Bodega Negra review

  • RUNNER UP: Sushisamba

    Restaurants
    Floors 38 and 39, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY. (020 3640 7330)

    Apart from breathtaking views (and sky-high prices), Sushisamba offers sushi, sashimi and ceviche plus traditional Japanese dishes with a Latin accent.
    Around £150 for two. br>
    Read Sushisamba review

    Book online

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