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The 100 best dishes in London: British dishes

From roast dinners to fish and chips, keep it traditional with the best British dishes in London restaurants

Venison scotch egg at Harwood Arms

When this Fulham gastropub opened in 2008, the heart of many a food pilgrim was set aflutter by the simple brilliance of its venison scotch egg, from the warm, oozing yolk to the toothsome casing of top-quality shredded venison fresh from Berkshire. The Harwood Arms is Fulham’s worst-kept secret, which makes dining tables hard to come by, but swing in for a pint and nibble at the bar.

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Fulham Broadway

Quail brunch with 'cereal', 'egg', 'tea' & 'toast' at Pollen Street Social

Jason Atherton is known for his witty reconstructions of familiar dishes – like his famed BLT, which transformed the everyday sandwich into an elegant martini glass of jelly, mousse and purées. The ‘quail brunch’, meanwhile, is an homage to that meaty and satisfying meal you look for between breakfast and lunch. There’s a bowl of ‘cereal’ (wheat and barley, cooked into a savoury risotto with wild mushrooms), a slice of ‘toast’ (brioche, topped with a rich quail terrine), and even a cup of ‘tea’ (quail stock and lapsang souchong, poured from a teapot at the table). And that’s before they even open the large wooden box that’s sitting next to you, which – presto – reveals two pieces of pine-smoked quail (confit leg, and breast), which are gently placed on top of your risotto. It’s culinary theatre of the best kind, and guess what – it’s delicious, too.

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Fish and chips at Poppies

Tuck into a great British tradition at this Hanbury Street chippy, safe in the knowledge that the fish is sustainably sourced and all the frying is overseen by Pat ‘Pop’ Newland, an East Ender with decades of trade knowledge under his belt. Poppies is civilised enough to draw in the smarter Spitalfields set (there are Meantime beers, wines and table service), but at its heart is a great no-nonsense chip shop.

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Pie and mash at Square Pie Company

Starting life as a stall in Old Spitalfields Market back in 2001, the Square Pie Company has now grown to three London outlets. But this branch – in a swish shop unit – remains the flagship. Square Pie uses top-class ingredients and offers two sizes of square-sided pie. The fillings run from traditional (steak and Guinness) to quirky (mushroom and asparagus); all are served in funky cardboard takeaway boxes. The sumptuous mince pie comes with mashed potato and tasty, fresh mushy peas.

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Roast barn-reared Indian Rock chicken with stuffing and chips at Tramshed

Watch out – this chook has its claws out. That’s right, the whole roast chicken at Tramshed (and Hixter, its more mainstream spin-off), arrives ‘standing up’, with a stick up its bum, its legs in the air, and its talons still very much ON. But don’t worry, this isn’t a Chinese restaurant, so you don’t actually have to eat the feet – just divvy up the juicy, crisp-skinned meat and herby bread stuffing between you and a couple of mates (which, given the £25 price, is a total bargain). It doesn’t come with roasties but proper skinny fries, which are actually pretty damn great for dunking in gravy.

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Sunday roast at Trinity

This smart Clapham restaurant specialises in Modern French cuisine, but also does a smashing Sunday lunch. The classy three courses for £38 centre around beautiful but gutsy roasts, the highlight being Aberdeen Angus sirloin with proper Yorkshire puddings, roast veg and fresh horseradish (grated with a flourish, table-side). Bookends might be charred mackerel with oyster mayonnaise and shrimps, or asparagus with Bayonne ham, curd and truffled egg for starters, and sticky date and toffee pudding for dessert. Service is top notch, and unexpectedly unfussy, for all the pressed linen and sparkling glassware about. Pricey, but very special.

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