Time Out Eating and Drinking Awards 2011

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Find out which restaurants, bars and cafés impressed our Food

Scroll down to see the winners in all categories or navigate using the tabs above. Do you agree with the choices? Let us know in the comments below.


All shortlisted venues were revisited anonymously in recent weeks by members of our judging panel to decide the winners. This year's judges were Simon Coppock, Alexi Duggins, Euan Ferguson, Guy Dimond, Emma Perry, Susan Low, Charmaine Mok, Jenni Muir and Jessica Cargill Thompson.


Best New Restaurant

  • © Rob Greig © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Hawksmoor Seven Dials

    Rating: 5/5
    Covent Garden, WC2

    Hawksmoor is a meat-eater’s paradise, a homage to top-quality British beef. Yet it’s more than just another steak house. This is a place that chooses its ingredients carefully, then serves them without fuss. We’re fans of the deep-flavoured rump, and were blown away by the rib-eye, served medium-rare to melt the fat in the well-marbled meat. Side dishes of bone marrow and two kinds of chips complete the feast. Arrive hungry.
    Read Hawksmoor Seven Dials review

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  • RUNNER UP: Kopapa

    Rating: 4/5
    Covent Garden, WC2

    Kopapa serves a mash-up of Asian, Middle Eastern, European and American ingredients in fashionable, tapas-sized portions.
    Read Kopapa review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Morito

    Rating: 5/5
    Farringdon, EC1

    The cooking blurs the lines between Spanish and Middle Eastern, picking the best of both and mixing them up.
    Read Morito review

  • RUNNER UP: Spuntino

    Rating: 4/5
    Soho, W1

    With its worn-in, grungey vibe, Spuntino is very of-the-minute, and reasonably good value.
    Read Spuntino review

Best New Cheap Eats

  • © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Manchurian Legends

    Rating: 4/5
    Chinatown, W1

    This authentic Dongbei kitchen stands out from the Chinatown crowd, serving dishes of north-eastern China's Manchurian province in a functional black-and-white tiled interior. Try the 'three earthly delights' (wok-fried potato, aubergine and green capsicum) or the lamb skewers liberally dusted with dried chilli.
    Read Manchurian Legends review

  • RUNNER UP: Ariana II

    Rating: 4/5
    Kilburn, NW6

    Ariana II has a broad-ranging Afghan menu, perfectly prepared dishes, and low prices.
    Read Ariana II review

  • RUNNER UP: KaoSarn

    Rating: 4/5
    Brixton, SW9

    This dinky family-run restaurant in Brixton Village serves punchy, flavour-packed Thai fare. Booking is a must.
    Read KaoSarn review

  • RUNNER UP: Meza

    Rating: 5/5
    Tooting, SW17

    This tiny Lebanese grill may lack flashiness, but it more than makes up for that in charm and stunning dishes.
    Read Meza review

Best New Bar

  • Britta Jaschinski

    WINNER! Worship Street Whistling Shop

    Rating: 5/5
    Shoreditch, EC2

    We’ve noticed a few conspicuous themes appearing in London’s bars: a semi-secret location, Victoriana, imaginative interpretations of classic British drinks. Worship Street Whistling Shop does them all and does them very well.
    Read Worship Street Whistling Shop review

  • RUNNER UP: Booking Office

    Rating: 5/5
    King's Cross, NW1

    This is as far from an everyday boozer as you'll get in London.
    Read Booking Office review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Experimental Cocktail Club

    Rating: 4/5
    Chinatown, W1

    Perhaps the closest thing we have to a genuine hidden drinking den.
    Read Experimental Cocktail Club review

  • RUNNER UP: Zetter Townhouse

    Rating: 4/5
    Clerkenwell, EC1

    This hotel bar captures the unbuttoned revelry of an imagined English past.
    Read Zetter Townhouse review

Best Sushi Bar

  • © Rob Greig © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Yashin

    Rating: 5/5
    Kensington, W8

    The first clue that something is unusual about Yashin’s sushi is that dishes are served without accompanying soy sauce (you can ask for it, if you must). Instead, individual seasonings and garnishes are meticulously paired with each piece of sushi. Eating here is expensive, but it's an experience worth saving up for.
    Read Yashin review

  • RUNNER UP: Atari-ya

    Rating: 3/5
    Ealing Common, W5

    The quality of fish is reassuringly high – as is to be expected from London's top Japanese restaurant supplier.
    Read Atari-ya review

  • RUNNER UP: Dinings

    Rating: 5/5
    Marylebone, W1

    This diminuitive sushi bar displays high levels of creativity.
    Read Dinings review

  • RUNNER UP: Sushi of Shiori

    Rating: 4/5
    Euston, NW!

    The sushi here showcases thoughtful flavour combinations and eye-catching presentation.
    Read Sushi of Shiori review

Best New Local Restaurant

  • © Rob Greig © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Malina

    Rating: 4/5
    Chiswick, W6

    If you regard ‘Polish home cooking’ as a synonym for ‘unrefined’, this restaurant – from Beata and Jola, who used to run Daquise in South Kensington – will sweep your prejudices aside. This is a dining secret we hope more people discover.
    Read Malina review

  • RUNNER UP: Brawn

    Rating: 4/5
    Bethnal Green, E2

    A place for lovers of meat – especially the bits you might ignore or charcuterie you might not have heard of.
    Read Brawn review

  • RUNNER UP: Corner Room

    Rating: 5/5
    Bethnal Green, E2

    Sister to Viajante, this is the place for exciting, surprising eats.
    Read Corner Room review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Kateh

    Rating: 4/5
    Maida Vale, W9

    Come here for rich Persian stews, served with unabashed directness.
    Read Kateh review

    Book online

Best Fine Dining

  • © Rob Greig © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Pollen Street Social

    Rating: 5/5
    Mayfair, W1

    Despite PSS’s popularity and wide critical acclaim, it’s fun, friendly and unpretentious. A huge place too. You can share some tapas over a drink, order a three-course dinner à la carte, a two-course set lunch – or even come for dessert alone. Whichever, service is a dream of polite enthusiasm.
    Read Pollen Street Social review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

    Rating: 4/5
    Knightsbridge, SW1

    Still the most hyped restaurant of the year.
    Read Dinner review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Hedone

    Rating: 5/5
    Chiswick, W4

    An eatery of great style and character; just don’t expect neighbourhood prices.
    Read Hedone review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Medlar

    Rating: 5/5
    Chelsea, SW10

    Dish after dish wowed us with its balance of flavours and subtlety of expression.
    Read Medlar review

    Book online

Best Park Café

  • © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Lido Café, Brockwell Park

    Rating: 5/5
    Herne Hill, SE24

    While the café inside Brockwell Hall at the top of the park's central hill is also decent, food lovers should head straight to the bottom of it. Here, the poolside brasserie has floor-to-ceiling windows and a generous terrace, while the monthly changing seasonal menu offers excellent cooking at reasonable prices.
    Read Lido Café review

  • RUNNER UP: Fulham Palace Café

    Rating: 3/5
    Fulham, SW6

    With high ceilings, polished wooden floors and plush upholstery, this is one of the smartest park cafés in London.
    Read Fulham Palace Café review

  • RUNNER UP: Lido Café, Serpentine

    Rating: 3/5
    Hyde Park, W2

    This café enjoys a brilliant position overlooking the Serpentine in London’s most famous park.
    Read Lido Café review

  • RUNNER UP: Pavilion Café

    Rating: 3/5
    Highgate, N10

    Set in a grassy clearing in ancient woodlands, this café serves hearty dishes all year round.
    Read Pavilion Café review

Best New Design

  • © Rob Greig © Rob Greig

    WINNER! Massimo

    Strand, WC2N

    Design: David Collins Studio
    Attached to the five-star Corinthia Hotel, just off Trafalgar Square, Massimo provides all of the spectacle that its location suggests. Huge orbs hang from the vaulted ceiling, while the room is a forest of striped grey-and-white pillars, possibly an Italianate nod to Siena's Duomo and a homage to Italian chef Massimo Riccioli. Great swirls of golden mosaics fill one wall; the showpiece bar lines another. But alongside these grand gestures are more intimate touches that bring this operatic space down to a human scale. beautiful teardrop lights slide down the walls to illuminate clusters of tables; jagged seat heights are both playful and break up potential monotony; low screens create intimacy for diners otherwise adrift in the central space. Materials are tactile and sumptuous, and every detail is considered, down to the beautiful embossed pattern on the brass door-fingerplates you push as you leave. This is the sort of design that makes you feel special, an impressive space that is both 'wow' and 'mmm'.
    Read Massimo review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Nopi

    Soho, W1

    Design: Alex Meitlis
    The menu says all-day brasserie, the interior says airy, upscale restaurant. But look again and you’ll see that designer Alex Meitlis has done something clever. The traditional brasserie aesthetic has been deconstructed and put back together as something fresher. All the elements are there, housed in a light, white space, but not where you might expect them. There’s brass, but here used for neat square table tops, Champagne buckets, hanging lights copied from a traditional old lamp found in a Jaffa fleamarket, and the entrance doors. Marble – in this case veined with glowing golden streaks – is used for the floor.
    Read NOPI review

    Book online
  • RUNNER UP: Riding House Café

    Fitzrovia, W1

    Design: Louise Davies, Box 9 Architects and Adam White, co-owner
    Salvage seems to be something of a theme this year, but few take it to such lengths as Riding House. Every piece of furniture, every fixture, every fitting is either reclaimed or bespoke. Take the round tables in the dining room, their stout legs hewn from snooker tables. Or the long central table in the main bar, its timbers taken from an old wagon. Not to mention an eclectic mix of seating – reclaimed theatre seats that were shipped over from California, bespoke copies of dining chairs the restaurant’s owner spotted in a 1930s Hollywood magazine. A conscious decision was made to avoid shiny surfaces or anything too chichi, preferring to push a more relaxed aesthetic.
    Read Riding House Café review

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  • RUNNER UP: Spuntino

    Soho, W1

    Design: Russell Norman
    Spuntino’s studiously shabby-chic interior does its utmost to channel downtown New York circa 1930. The narrow, dimly lit space is filled with a U-shaped pewter-topped bar surrounded by heavy-duty industrial stools. The ceiling of tin tiles – a fantastic architectural-salvage find – suggests faded grandeur, while the hefty floor planks say spit ’n’ sawdust. Any hint of comfort has been erased and replaced with rusting metal, worn brick and hard surfaces. Imagine how delighted the owners must have been when they uncovered the original Victorian glazed, white tiles and chipped mosaics on the walls. And yet, in spite of all their efforts to the contrary, the overall effect is a pleasant space, with the relaxed air of impermanence and plenty to intrigue.
    Read Spuntino review


Users say

10 comments
Jenni Hodgson
Jenni Hodgson

You seem to have completely neglected mentioning the Pavilion in Victoria Park...which serves outstanding food.

Brian
Brian

Can't claim that I have tried all from the above list but in my opinion, Pollen street social was a massive disappointment (except the desserts). No idea how it topped Dinner by Heston. And Yashin - thought it was mediocre, some combination worked and some didn't. Given the 60 pound price tag for the Yashin menu, I think Shiori is a better choice both in terms of quality and value given that they are both quite contemporary in terms of their style of sushi. Definitely recommend Shiori as it is my local sushi place!

Rose
Rose

Wish there was a top places for brunch list!

James
James

a good list to work through for 2012, agreed Jose was rubbish

shadab alam
shadab alam

please add some goob bakery in your list, thank you

Sophie
Sophie

Brockwell Lido Cafe is fantastic but Kopapa isn't - the combinations were gross and portions tiny and overpriced. What were you thinking Time Out?

Tom
Tom

Brockwell Lido cafe is amazing - well deserved. Jose wouldnt have a chance of being shortlisted

popo
popo

im frankly bewildered that jose is not shortlisted! oh no, im not, its a rubbish rubbish place.

Foodie
Foodie

I was also surprised that Jose was not shortlisted.. However well done to the winners!

Kavey
Kavey

Slightly surprised Jose isn't a winner or runner up in bar category, but otherwise, some interesting choices. And lots more for me to add to my ever-growing list...