Ross Shonhan’s latest venue – another self-styled rock ‘n’ roll take on modern Japanese cuisine like Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns before it – bills itself as a twelve-month pop-up. However, once you try the food, you’ll be grateful it’s sticking around that long. There was nothing on the menu we didn’t fancy. Crisp tostadas were topped with melt-in-the-mouth yellowtail sashimi and a slick of guacamole. A flagship dish of juicy beef picanha, cooked in the pizza oven inherited from the site’s previous occupant, came with spicy kimchee and hot-pink pickled onions, a zingy foil to the rich meat.Read more
Bó Drake calls itself an ‘East Asian barbecue restaurant’. It could also be called an American/Asian fusion restaurant, having elements in common with David Chang’s Momofuku group in New York and the Kogi ‘taco trucks’ (Mexican tacos, but with Korean-style meats) set up in Los Angeles by Seoul-born Roy Choi. While the Mexican connection is indisputable, the dominant palate at this no-reservations restaurant is Korean. And the flavours are splashed on with vigour. To eat here is to surf on wave after wave of umami flavours.Read more
A small, unshowy restaurant that’s made a name for itself with a short but perfectly formed menu and an easy-going conviviality. Dishes are seasonal – ricotta-stuffed courgette flower with lentils, wild mushrooms and truffle, and chilled asparagus and pea soup with crème fraîche were exemplary starters. And it’s value for money too – the soup cost a fiver. The kitchen (under Australian Cameron Emirali) produces lots of interesting but ungimmicky combinations: notably a special of halibut fillet with yellow beans, chilli and garlic, on a vivid romesco sauce. There’s more fish than meat, but Brecon lamb cutlets with borlotti beans, aubergine and courgettes earned their place on the menu. Cooking is not fault-free: gooseberry and apricot crumble had good fruit, but the topping was a little worthy. Better was a divine own-made lemon and basil sorbet doused with vodka. A thoughtful drinks list includes several variations on the negroni. Tables are closely packed and in the evening it can get noisy, but otherwise it’s hard to fault the place. Adept, friendly staff are a further plus. If you can’t handle the no-booking policy at dinner, bookings are accepted for lunch.Read more
Venue says: Join Señor for pisco power hour: £5 cocktails - every day from 5pm-7pm.
You know what they say: practice makes perfect. And Harry Edmeades, aka Señor Ceviche, has had plenty of practice. In 2012, after a stint at Lima’s renowned ceviche restaurant El Mercado, the 25-year-old British chef came back to London and started Don Ceviche, a pop-up with just five ceviches (raw fish cured in citrus juice). Then he spent another two years perfecting and expanding the menu before launching this ‘proper’ restaurant.Read more
All things to all people at all hours – whatever the Soho occasion, chances are Dean Street Townhouse fits the bill. A leisurely breakfast, elevenses with the morning papers, a brisk business lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre quickie, romantic dinner for two… and if that dinner gets uncontrollably romantic, there are rooms upstairs.Read more
Michelin starred Yauatcha, in the heart of Soho, is an informal dining dim sum teahouse offering an all day grazing experience by providing modern authentic dim sum, petit gateaux and teas at exceptional quality and value. The palette of design materials used throughout the space informs a modern interpretation of the old Chinese teahouse. At the same time, the lighting and seating environment embody the atmosphere of a congenially vibrant ‘chatter shop’, akin to the traditional Hong Kong dim sum restaurants during the early hours of the morning.Read more
Venue says: Join us for one of our jerk chicken burgers and wash it down with a £5 cocktail from our happy hour menu every day from 5-7pm! Rum n' Ting!
The original Rum Kitchen opened in early 2013 in the island paradise of Westbourne near Portobello Road, and was an immediate hit with the sort of locals who were probably reminded of their last holiday in the Turks and Caicos Islands: Prince Harry and his pal Cressida Bonas were snapped loitering outside. It’s Caribbean for the loafers-and-gilet set, for sure, but it’s a lot of fun, especially the basement bar.And now it’s washed up in Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, in a much more compact space.Read more
Venue says: Our new sushi menu has now launched - make sure you check out the yasi maki, salmon picante and smoked California roll.
If you're looking for a good time, head to Soho. No, not for anywhere lit by a red light, but for a night at Chotto Matte. This vast Frith Street newcomer takes Japanese-Peruvian fusion (or Nikkei) and really cranks up the volume. On the ground floor is an enormous bar, which on our visit was a seething mass of suits and glamourpusses, all drinking cocktails against a vivid manga-style mural; for the restaurant, go up a floor.Read more
Venue says: Join us for bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday. £30 for brunch with unlimited rum punch, bloody marys and bellini's for two hours!
There surely can’t be a more jolly place to drink in Notting Hill: colourful wooden wall-slats and furniture fill the upstairs bar, and down in the party-time basement there’s good reggae, very friendly staff and rum, rum and more rum. The selection is enormous, and you could spend weeks here without getting through it all. On the cocktail front, there are plenty of big fruity numbers, but the classicism of a perfect daiquiri makes us think this is the way to go. There’s a happy hour from 6pm to 8pm too. If you stay later, you’ll probably find yourself unable to resist the lure of jerk chicken, saltfish fritters or just an enormous bowl of sweet potato fries.