The 100 best dishes in London 2012 - British

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Enjoy classic, modern and traditional British cooking in the capital

We wouldn’t be Time Out London if we didn’t pay homage to our indigenous cuisine. Here, quintessentially British dishes at the top of their class go head-to-head against classics with a more contemporary spin.


The best British dishes in London

  • Mince and tatties at Dean Street Townhouse Mince and tatties at Dean Street Townhouse - © Rob Greig

    Mince and tatties at Dean Street Townhouse

    £13.50, 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 4QJ

    Dean Street Townhouse is one of those Soho restaurants that attract self-important media types, all flash watches and loud voices. But the menu grounds most people, as it’s old-fashioned and British – in the best sense. One signature dish is particularly brave, having been traduced to a mockery by generations of school caterers… yes, mince and tatties. The version here is piquant, properly browned, full-flavoured, wonderful in texture, and tastes of… childhood. If you ever want to show someone what everyday food in Britain was like in decades past, yet leave them with a favourable impression, order this dish.

    Read Dean Street Townhouse restaurant review
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  • Venison scotch egg at the Harwood Arms Venison scotch egg at the Harwood Arms

    Venison scotch egg at the Harwood Arms

    £3, Corner of Walham Grove and Farm Lane, SW6 1QP

    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.

    Read Harwood Arms restaurant review
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  • ‘Full English Breakfast’ at Pollen Street Social ‘Full English Breakfast’ at Pollen Street Social

    Full English Breakfast at Pollen Street Social

    £10.50, 8 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ

    Jason Atherton is known for his witty reconstructions of familiar dishes – like his famed BLT, which transforms the everyday sandwich into an elegant martini glass of jelly, mousse and purées. The Full English Breakfast is similar, with a slow-cooked egg as its centrepiece, atop a thick, intense tomato purée speckled with morels, croûtons and crisp shards of bacon. The only thing missing, perhaps, is an haute cuisine interpretation of baked beans.

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  • Fish and chips at Poppies Fish and chips at Poppies - © Tricia de Courcy Ling

    Fish and chips at Poppies

    From £9.90, 6-8 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR

    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 the Square Pie Company Pie and mash at the Square Pie Company - © Jason Lowe

    Pie and mash at the Square Pie Company

    £6.99, Old Spitalfields Market, 105C Commercial Street, E1 6BG

    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.

    Read Square Pie restaurant review
  • Sunday roast at Trinity Sunday roast at Trinity - © Celia Topping

    Sunday roast at Trinity

    £35, 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG

    This smart Clapham restaurant specialises in Modern French cuisine, but also does a smashing Sunday lunch. The classy three courses for £35 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.

    Read Trinity restaurant review
  • Kedgeree at The Wolseley Kedgeree at The Wolseley - © David Loftus

    Kedgeree at The Wolseley

    £11.75, 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB

    Few dishes evoke a notion of Empire as much as this one, brought to the UK by colonials returning from Raj-era India. In Queen Victoria’s time kedgeree would be served in the morning, so it follows that you should enjoy it in the grand, clattering dining room of The Wolseley, arguably the capital’s ultimate breakfast venue. As it happens, this version, a heap of creamy curried rice punctuated by generous chunks of smoked mackerel and topped with a runny-middled poached egg, is so rich, so buttery, that it would do very nicely for brunch or even an early supper. Just as well the restaurant is open all day.

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