Over the last month, the city’s restaurants have slowly been reopening and adjusting to the new normal. But there’s no denying that it’s been a tough time for London’s hospitality scene, with many restaurants having to operate at 50 percent capacity.
To help restaurants get back on their feet and encourage people to get back out and go to them, the government has launched ‘Eat Out to Help Out’. The scheme kicks into action next week on August 3, meaning you’ll be able to get a 50 percent discount per person, capped at £10, from Monday to Wednesday throughout August.
The discount is only valid if you eat in and will be automatically applied at any participating restaurants (it only includes food and non-alcoholic drinks). The restaurant can then claim that money back from the government.
To help you make the most of it, here’s a list of some of our favourite spots from our Eat List, our top 100 restaurants in London, where you can use the discount throughout August.
With plates of pasta priced between £4 and £11.50, Padella is already super affordable. But with the 50 percent discount in place, you could now enjoy its famed pici cacio e pepe for £3 (normally £6) or its equally popular pappardelle with beef shin ragu for £4.25 (normally £9.50). Guess we’ll order one of everything, then.
A two-course Michelin-star meal for £12? Yes, really. A meal at Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House is usually firmly in the ‘blowout’ price category, but on Tuesdays and Wednesdays it’s offering a prix fixe menu at lunchtime and in the evenings between 6pm and 6.30pm, which is £22 for two courses and £28 for three courses – and you can knock a tenner off both thanks to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’.
Until it can open the restaurant, Sabor is taking things outside with its newly launched terrace, Sabor al Fresco. It’s closed on Mondays but head there for flawless tapas at discounted prices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
In Normal Times, Smokestak’s signature beef brisket bun would set you back £9.50, but with the discount you can now get four courses for only 50p more. Its 4-for-10 deal means you can get the brisket bun (or any other bun), a starter, side and dessert for a tenner (it’s priced at £20 with the intention that you use the discount to get it down to half-price).
From the herb-strewn seekh kebab and fantastic beef-dripping keema naan to the finger-licking, blistered, spiced lamb chops, everything at this friendly Charing Cross spot is all excellent. Our advice? Grab two friends and order ‘the mighty thali’ – it’ll only set you back £30 (instead of £60) between three of you.
There’s nothing like Hoppers in London – and now all three branches (King’s Cross, Soho and Marylebone) have reopened for dining in. To help you make the most of the discount, the restaurant has launched an ‘Early Week Feast’ menu which gets you all the classic Hoppers dishes for £10. Plus, the first 50 people who order it will get a drink on the house.
Quality steak and chips for a tenner? Yes, please. A 300g 35-day dry-aged rump steak with chips and a sauce of your choice would usually set you back around £30, but the restaurant has dropped it to £20, meaning you can get it for a mere £10.
This bustling, Barcelona-style tapas place has reopened its branches on Dean Street, Adelaide Street and Coal Drops Yard, meaning you can now enjoy its hugely popular tortilla (among other things) for £4.50 instead of £9. We’ll take two, thanks.
Huge news: from next Tuesday, you can book a table at Bao’s Soho branch, as well as its Borough branch. More huge news: the discount means you can enjoy its already reasonably priced cult buns (which start from £4.50) for half-price.
With branches in Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Carnaby and Kensington now reopened, you can now get your black dhal fix across the city, along with all your other Dishoom faves. Speaking of which, that signature dhal dish will only set you back £3.45 with the government discount (usually £6.90). Even better, the restaurant is offering 50 percent off all food and soft drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays – and it won’t be capped at the government’s £10 discount.
Find out more about the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.
In other news, Dominique Ansel is closing both of his London restaurants.