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Angela Hui

Angela Hui

Writer

Angela Hui is an award-winning journalist reporting on the intersection of food and culture, hospitality industry and food justice. She is the author of 2022's Takeaway: Stories from a Childhood Behind the Counter.

Bylines include the BBC, Eater, gal-dem, HuffPost, Lonely Planet, The Independent, National Geographic Traveller Food, MetroRefinery29Vice, and among other publications. She’s also the associate editor of Sandwich Magazine and you can find her documenting Chinese takeaways in the UK.

Find out what she’s eating on Twitter and Instagram.

Articles (39)

The best bottomless brunches in London

The best bottomless brunches in London

Bottomless brunch. These words strike excitement – and also a slight sting of terror – into our hearts. Endless quaffing of fizz, usually within a 90 minute time limit – and, often, endless platters of food, seem like the perfect backdrop to catching up with mates on a weekend. Simply bash your cash down and let the London restaurant of your chosing do the rest. Will you get drunk? Most likely. Will you be so full of food that you're worried you may explode? Also possible. Are you in? Yes, you very much are. In London, you’ll find bottomless bubbles and Bloody Marys, but you can also go beyond the tried-and-tested and experiment with infinite beer or endless streams of rosé. The food doesn’t have to be straightforward breakfast stuff either. Brunch can be anything from bao to barbecue, Turkish to Japanese. Time to go hard then go home! Or, you could just stick to regular old brunch. RECOMMENDED: Find more great breakfasts in London.

London’s best Korean restaurants

London’s best Korean restaurants

Parasite, Squid Game, and BTS – the rising influence and popularity of Korean culture have taken the world by storm in the last few years and that very much includes food. When it comes to Korean cuisine in London it’s all about the three Bs: banchan (small side dishes), bibimbap (mixed rice) and barbecue. From bibimbap in unassuming takeaways to sizzling bulgogi on table-top barbecues and a dizzying array of banchan on fine dining set-menus, you’re spoilt for choice for Korean food in London. Here are the 20 best Korean restaurants in London, many of which you'll find in south west London's New Malden neighbourhood, which has been home to the largest Korean community in the UK since the 1970s.  RECOMMENDED: London’s 20 Best Japanese Restaurants. Angela Hui is an award-winning journalist reporting on the intersection of food and culture, hospitality industry and food justice. She is the author of 'Takeaway: Stories from a Childhood Behind the Counter'. 

The best bars in London

The best bars in London

Want a drink? Well you've come to the right place. This is Time Out’s list of best bars in London, our curated guide to London’s drinking scene, featuring the buzziest booze dens in the capital right now. If it’s on this list, it’s excellent. These are the 50 places we'd recommend to a friend, because we love drinking in them and have done many times over. From classy cocktail joint to delightful dives, hotel bars, speakeasys, bottle shops, rooftops and wine bars, London's got them all. The latest additions to our list include Bar Lina, an Italian aperitivo spot underneath the famous Soho deli, Moko hi-fi listening bar in Tottenham, Oranj's vertitable wine warehouse in Shoreditch, and Helgi's, a suggestively Satanic rock bar in Hackney. Now go forth and booze. RECOMMENDED: Like bars? Then you'll love London's best pubs.  Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

London’s best sushi restaurants

London’s best sushi restaurants

Sushi doesn’t just mean raw fish, rice and seaweed – although there’s plenty of excellent examples of that kind in the capital. No, sushi can have many forms: fishy forms, meaty forms and even vegan forms. In London, you can eat it in Michelin-starred restaurants, at cosy omakase counters and with breathtaking views. Our list of London’s best sushi restaurants covers all this ground and more, so have a browse and then book your next Japanese feast. RECOMMENDED: London’s best Japanese restaurants.

Cheap things to do in London: 50 fun things to do for less than the cost of a pint

Cheap things to do in London: 50 fun things to do for less than the cost of a pint

It might sometimes seem like the only way to have fun in this city is to spend a wodge of cash, but there are actually loads of brilliant things to do in London for less than the price of a pint. You can ride a pedalo, dance the night away, neck oysters, or sample some of the city’s finest culture (think Shakespeare at the Globe or baroque murals at London’s very own ‘Sistine Chapel’ aka the Painted Hall). So don’t just fade away watching Freeview and waiting for payday – get out there and enjoy the best cheap stuff the capital has to offer.  Recommended: tuck into London’s best cheap eats.

The best bakeries in London

The best bakeries in London

From Asian patisseries to sourdough specialists and beigel gurus, when it comes to bakeries London is one big doughy goldmine. This means whittling down the best bakehouses in the city is no mean feat. But, we’ve risen to the challenge and eaten our way through the lot to round up London’s yeasty royalty. Whether you want fluffy naan breads from north London institutions, exquisitely-made pastries, perfectly-proved sourdough, or heritage-grain flaky goodness, there’s an oven in London cooking up something for you. Why not pair your pastry goodies with a hot drink at one of the best cafés and coffee shops in London? Go on, treat yourself.  RECOMMENDED: London's 50 best cheap eats.

The best restaurants in London’s Chinatown

The best restaurants in London’s Chinatown

Chinatown is one of London's most truly delicious neighbourhoods. London's Chinatown was first found in Limehouse in the East End, but relocated just south of Soho in the 1970s, with some of the first to open here Poon's Restaurant on Lisle Street, which sadly closed in 2003, Kowloon Restaurant and Loon Fung supermarket, which you can still find on Gerrard Street. Chinatown is always busy, and with good reason; there are over 80 restaurants packed into these central London streets. Here you can savour Sichuanese cuisine and dim sum at some of the capital's best Chinese restaurants, but you can also find amazing Thai, Taiwanese and Malaysian restaurants in this historic location. Read on for Time Out's list of the best places to eat in Chinatown.  RECOMMENDED: Find more Chinese restaurants in London.

London’s best Irish pubs and bars

London’s best Irish pubs and bars

Find the right London Irish pub and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in heart of Dublin – perfectly poured pints of Guinness included. These London pubs will whisk you away to the Emerald Isle, and are perfect places to spend St Patrick’s Day on March 17. They’re also pretty damn brilliant the rest of the year, too, and we’ve picked the best of the bunch, from old-fashioned boozers honouring Gaelic traditions to young and trendy London bars stocking Irish ales and whiskies. At some, you’ll find the country’s music, food and even dancing; at others, you’ll be served tasty Thai food. So get stuck into the craic: here’s a round-up of the best Irish pubs and bars in London. RECOMMENDED: London's best gastropubs. 

The best rooftop bars in London right now

The best rooftop bars in London right now

From swanky skyscrapers to casual warehouse hangouts and hidden pub terraces, London has a real crush on a rooftop bar. To enjoy natural high, we are blessed with all kinds of rooftops which offer a winning combination of wicked city views and perfect drinks. So take your pick from stylish Shoreditch, buzzing Soho and Covent Garden, trendy Peckham and more – it’s time to soak up those sunsets. If you'd rather something a little more grounded, then have a look at London's best beer gardens.  Fancy a majestic meal up in the air? Check out London’s best rooftop restaurants.

The best vegan restaurants in London

The best vegan restaurants in London

It's official: London is experiencing a fast-mushrooming plant-based restaurant boom. Across the city, creative chefs are showing off their prowess with plants, creating pitch-perfect imitations of meaty comfort food classics, or dreaming up new vegetable-based delights. Whether you're after a lavish night of culinary theatre, a delicate Middle Eastern spread, or a carb-coma-inducing full English breakfast, you'll find it in our list of London's best vegan restaurants. Read on and plan your next plant-free feast. RECOMMENDED: London’s best restaurants for vegetarian food.

London’s best restaurants for breakfast

London’s best restaurants for breakfast

Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, and luckily for London, the city caters to every possible whim. These days, London isn’t just home to the fry-up, but the ubiquitous smashed avocado on toast, the shakshuka and many more besides. In fact, London genuinely might be the best place to eat breakfast in the entire world. Whether you’re the kind of person who favours a posh restaurant over a greasy spoon, or who champions a caff over a swanky hotel, we’ve rounded up the ultimate list. From morning mezza to croissants and udon noodle bowls – it’s all here. RECOMMENDED: Breakfast’s a little too early for you? Try one of London’s best brunches instead.

London’s best dim sum restaurants

London’s best dim sum restaurants

Peking duck, special fried rice and bountiful bowls of noodles are all extremely delicious, but sometimes Chinese food is best eaten in exquisitely crafted bite-sized packets. London’s best dim sum restaurants serve up traditional buns, dumplings and rolls as well as renegade riffs on old classics. And not just in Chinatown: you can sample London’s yum cha offerings across the city, from fancy west London hotels to hip Hackney hideaways. All you need is a pair of chopsticks and – depending on much you manage to put away – some elasticated trousers. RECOMMENDED: London’s best Chinese restaurants.

Listings and reviews (24)

Plaza Khao Gaeng

Plaza Khao Gaeng

4 out of 5 stars

‘How is your spice tolerance?’ our waiter asked, as she led me and my friend to our table.  ‘Terrible,’ I replied. ‘I find Sriracha spicy.’ ‘Great, then you’re going to love this place.’ she said, while rubbing her hands in delight. And that’s the type of place Plaza Khao Gaeng is. Not that he tries to force-feed you capsaicin, but chef-owner Luke Farrell doesn’t hold back or try to dumb anything down to appease the masses. This new no-frills southern-Thai canteen on the mezzanine level inside the JKS-backed Arcade Food Hall next to Centre Point is a hot commodity. We were welcomed by the sounds of ladles rattling against the woks, the sights of towering flames waving over the open-plan kitchen and a fish sauce funk that stung the nostrils. All very good signs. My pal reckoned the interiors here look like a film set. From the strip lights to the rickety wooden chairs and bright patterned plastic tablecloths, Plaza Khao Gaeng has paid meticulous attention to detail and managed to bring Thailand to Londoners without it ever feeling gimmicky or fetishsised. Plus, the sounds of the bustling lunchtime crowd of the food hall really adds to the ambience. The more you ate, the more the heat built, seared and spread. Seriously addictive stuff. We kicked things off with miang phuket (cashews, nuts, seeds and chillies in coconut and palm sugar with leaves). A leaf wrapped tidbit was a masterclass in sweet, crunch and punch, but as someone who doesn’t have the affinity for the hot stuff

Acme Fire Cult

Acme Fire Cult

4 out of 5 stars

‘It’s not just a restaurant, it’s a cult!’  That’s the slogan on the wall that greeted me on my way to the toilet. I asked my waiter what it meant, to which they said: ‘You’ll know when you try the menu. This is barbecue food, but not dude food. Don’t expect any burgers and bangers.’  This new live-fire restaurant is the brainchild of chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, who both used to work at St Leonards. Together, they’ve opened their first permanent site at 40FT Brewery in Dalston after a series of successful pop-ups.  Acme Fire Cult has created a vibey hangout out of a dusty car park next to the brewery and Dusty Knuckle bakery. The live-fire concept idea is a simple, sustainable and collaborative one. The brewery and the restaurant work together to use beer by-products like yeast and grain that go into ferments and hot sauces, while leftover spices are used in the drinks. I visited on a gloriously sunny Saturday in May (the perfect weather for a barbecue) with two friends and sat outside on the terrace under a string of lights and heat lamps on a folding picnic table strategically in full view of the impressive tiered barbecue set up. Paradoxically, there’s actually not that much meat on the seasonal changing menu. Vegetables are the stars of this show.  Leeks! Sexy! Who would’ve thought? Take the sharing plate of leeks, for example, a smart and sexy dish that demands your full attention. Charred just enough until the layers softly fall apart and covered with a vib

Apricity

Apricity

3 out of 5 stars

On my Friday evening visit, I went looking for Apricity, a new socially conscious restaurant in Mayfair. Instead, Citymapper failed me and I ended up at a fertility clinic also called Apricity five minutes down the road.  The two share the same name and they also share the beginnings of parenthood. Chef-owner Chantelle Nicholson’s new restaurant baby has been years in the making (after being delayed thanks to something or other). She’s known for her zero-waste approach to cooking and has previously received a Green Michelin Star (an honour for sustainability) for her work at her former restaurant Tredwells.  When I finally find the right Apricity, I discover that this emphasis on sustainability is also promoted in the interior. The walls are bare plastered; chairs are made from old Coca-Cola bottles; oyster shells are crafted into moon-like light pendants; pothos and ivy plants hang down from the ceiling, giving the airy space a distressed-chic (or late ’00s Dalston squat party) look.  The menu Nicholson has put together with head chef Eve Seemann follows the seasons and naturally changes a lot. Things kicked off with a plate of cuttlefish with chilli cherry tomatoes and smoked emulsion, and aubergine with zhoug and roasted almond butter. Both were punchy, crunchy and creamy – texturally triumphant and moreish. The move is to make sure you order Flor sourdough to mop up the saucy remains. A lettuce head followed, with dainty pieces of dehydrated tomatoes, blobs of aioli and s

Goddard & Gibbs

Goddard & Gibbs

3 out of 5 stars

Locally sourced and sustainable British seafood is the hot ticket at Goddard & Gibbs at the 100 Shoreditch Hotel, a new seafood restaurant that’s headed by chef Thomas Moore (formerly of Ormer in Mayfair) replacing the old Hoi Polloi restaurant inside Ace Hotel.  On my Friday evening visit, the place was packed with fashion types in shredded Balenciaga hoodies wearing sunglasses indoors, families and first dates all enthusiastically digging into gigantic sharing seafood platters and towering piles of oysters. A good sign.  We’re in Shoreditch, so the interiors are fancy. Think: terrazzo tables, big paper lamps, dark wood panelling and leather banquettes. Plus a massive yellow wooden sculptural showpiece in the centre of the dining room that wouldn’t look out of place in the town of Bedrock. We started with a cracking plate of fried calamari rings that were light, bronzed and crunchy, tinged with the flavour of lemon and paired with a creamy aioli dip that didn’t hold back on the garlic. I could’ve easily eaten another plate of this holiday-inducing squid all by myself.  Sadly, the same couldn’t be said for the rustic seafood stew with mussels and chorizo. It had a nice kick to it, but it was one-note and forgettable. As for the emblematic dish? Enter the hefty roasted skate wing. It was a proper whopper that barely fitted my plate and was definitely made for sharing (or for one very hungry person). The delicately sweet flesh was perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper and do

Lisboeta

Lisboeta

4 out of 5 stars

Recently, it seems that everyone wants to either a) go on holiday to Lisbon or b) move to Lisbon. But while we’re making those grand plans, we can get a slice of sweet Portuguese life right here in London. Enter: Lisboeta.  Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, best known for his work at Michelin-starred Chiltern Firehouse, has returned to the kitchen with a swanky new restaurant that celebrates his homeland’s cuisine. On the ground floor, there’s a long counter bar with warm wooden accents and a big open-plan kitchen where all the fire action happens. We were sat on the more relaxed upper floor. There was a frame wall with teal wood panelling and a shelf just for plants. Basically, it was a Pinterest interiors board come to life. We kicked off the meal with some snacks and charcuterie: a board of beautifully marbled, melt-in-the-mouth copita slices that belonged in the Tate; two dainty, delectable pieces of morcela blood sausage and razor clam on toast; and a Goan-spiced pork pie that was a flaky, crumbly beauty, but could’ve done with more heat. But so far so good.  I’m told that the petiscos – seasonal Portuguese-style small sharing plates – are created from produce brought straight from the seas and shores of Portugal. The bacalhau (salt cod) was adorned with a comical number of shoestring fries, which made me giddy like a schoolchild. The fish was mixed with hunks of slowly braised caramelised onion that contributed to the hearty and warming nature of the dish, with the mountain

Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley

Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley

3 out of 5 stars

Frenchman Cédric Grolet is a big deal. He’s one of the world’s best pâtissiers (he won the title of Best Pastry Chef in 2018). He has more than 2 million Instagram followers and is famous for creating trompe l’oeil-style desserts that look like fruit (sometimes nuts and flowers, too). Now, he’s hopped across the Channel to open his first pâtisserie outside France with this ambitious café and high-end ‘pastry lab’ at The Berkeley Hotel. Since it opened in February, there have been endless queues and people going mad over it on social media.  On my Monday-morning visit, I was greeted by five pastries that looked like works of art displayed in their own glass cloche. It reminded me of the enchanted rose from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but with less wilted flower and more buttery, flaky goodness. I took a seat on one of the eight pink stools at the clinically white polished steel counter for my two-hour, seven-course pastry tasting menu. It's direct from the oven and straight to you. Sadly, there was no sign of Grolet himself in action, but his team of pastry chefs were on hand to explain ingredients and techniques. ‘We’re proud of the fact that there’s no fridge here,’ my pastry chef said, handing me my first plate. ‘It's direct from the oven and straight to you.’  The menu started with a bang: a delicate and intricate web-like croissant cracker with a luxurious Peruvian dark-chocolate swirl that felt properly decadent, both bitter and sweet. It was swiftly followed by a transcend

Chuan Royal China

Chuan Royal China

3 out of 5 stars

While we have plenty of affordable options for Chinese food in Chinatown, the playing field for higher-end versions of the cuisine is wide open. Enter the Royal China Group. Its original Baker Street branch is an institution, and it has other successful restaurants across the city. This new Chinatown site quietly opened at the tail-end of last year, when London was in the grip of Omicron. After that rocky start, things seemed to have picked up by my February Wednesday evening visit: the restaurant’s vibrant red dining room, divided up by expensive-looking lotus-and-crane screens and displaying antique Chinese porcelain, was bustling. We kicked things off with a quarter portion of crispy aromatic roast duck. A glossy ruby-coloured fowl glistened under the light on our table and, just from picking up a piece with chopsticks, I could tell how amazingly juicy it was: the glorious dripping oozed out. To accompany, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) covered in crispy garlic bits, which provided a healthy, crunchy counterpoint to the fatty, succulent meat. Happily, the dessert mochi, liberally smothered with peanut powder, was in a different league. The mains, however, were not so good. The fried king prawns and vegetables could have been fresher and the fried tapioca bird’s nest they were served in was hard and inedible. I was equally disappointed with the gigantic portion of Fukien egg-fried rice because it tasted like it was boiled and had never seen any stir-fry wok action. Its diced

Zahter

Zahter

4 out of 5 stars

Zahter is a properly gorgeous restaurant. It’s full of artistic touches, like exposed brick, industrial beams, brass lamps and a blue-tiled, marble-topped chef’s counter that surrounds a central, flickering charcoal oven. When I visited with a friend, all of this chicness and elegance was shown to us but then cruelly snatched away as we were ushered past the main dining area on the ground floor and taken upstairs to a basic-looking mezzanine level. I peered over the glass fence next to our table to look down on the diners below. I longed to be closer to the flames, the smoke and the action. Putting aside the seating envy, we focused on the torrent of hot and cold mezze plates, adorned with wood-fired Turkish goodies, that quickly arrived at our table. The kofte kibbeh (stuffed meatball) served with toasted pine nuts, tahini and labneh, was a robust, comforting and texturally smart dish, but it was a bit small to justify its hefty £18 price tag. The tomato-and-cucumber salad with walnuts and urfa chilli was remarkably punchy and zingy. And an ovenware dish of charred tiger prawns swimming in a sizzling crimson pool of aleppo pepper garlic butter was begging for a side order of freshly grilled pide bread to mop up all the sauce. The acidic, sweet and tangy pomegranate sauce was striking, and electrified the charred chicken Next, we were presented with a plate of greens, and initially thought we had been given the wrong main sharing platter. ‘Where’s the chicken?’ my pal asked,

Sucre

Sucre

4 out of 5 stars

Sucre's downstairs bar relaunched as cocktail bar, Alma, at the end of 2022.   ‘This is a terrible restaurant! Don’t bother!’  Two women pushed me out of the way and slammed the front door behind them.  Awkwardness filled the air; everyone in the queue shot each other a look and the woman manning the cloakroom apologised profusely.  ‘I’m so sorry about that, we’re extremely busy and very understaffed for a Thursday evening.’   It only made me more determined to stick around and try the food for myself. Surely, it couldn’t be that bad? I was led through a small bar and into the dining room and my jaw hit the floor.  This new Soho Latin American bar and restaurant is the brainchild of Argentina’s hottest duo. Bartender Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni of Florería Atlántico (currently ranked number seven in the World’s 50 Best Bars) is in charge of the basement live-music bar Abajo directly beneath Sucre and executive chef Fernando Trocca oversees all things food. Together, they’ve taken over the London College of Music’s former home and this revamped ex-concert hall is truly a sight to behold. On one end, an open kitchen is flanked by opulent floor-to-ceiling marble columns, booths line the right-hand wall while gorgeous chandeliers dominate the ceiling. On closer inspection, I found they were made from loads of cut-glass decanters so you feel like you’re inside one of Yayoi Kasuma’s infinity mirror rooms. This stunning fairytale-esque dining room looked straight out of a film set and

Din Tai Fung Selfridges

Din Tai Fung Selfridges

3 out of 5 stars

The celebrated Taiwanese restaurant chain Din Tai Fung, which has more than 170 restaurants worldwide, opened its first European venture in Covent Garden in December 2018 and has now landed in Selfridges. A word of warning: don’t get lost meandering through the maze of designer bags and shoes in the department store, desperately looking for the restaurant, on an empty stomach because you will curse and you will get hangry.  Eventually, I found my way to the fourth-floor dining room and was welcomed by a mesmerising view of the kitchen through a giant glass window. I watched the team of dumpling-makers roll and pleat the restaurant’s signature 18-fold xiao long bao (steamed pork-soup dumplings) with speed and precision. My navigation and hunger woes immediately melted away. The restaurant is a sleek, minimal and modern space with a terrazzo floor, rattan walls and a big, wooden tree centrepiece with red pockets hanging off it ready for Chinese New Year. But it’s part of Selfridges’ shiny new ‘dining complex’, which means we could see other outlets – Pizza Pilgrims, EL&N Café – from our table. It felt like we were sitting in a soulless food court.  The menu here is a cut-down version of the Covent Garden branch’s offering. We started with a trio of cold appetisers: crunchy wood ear mushrooms swimming in a sharp ginger-and-vinegar dressing; vibrant, fresh green beans with diced pork and prawn; and a poached Shanghainese drunken chicken that tasted as silky as satin sheets. Bliss

Warehouse

Warehouse

3 out of 5 stars

‘We’ve tried to make it cosy, but sexy,’ says Paul van Zyl, chief creative officer of The Conduit members’ club, as he spots me looking round from my seat trying to take in the busy interiors of its new public restaurant Warehouse.  But nothing about this place screams sexy at all. Cosy? Yes, but it felt a bit too try-hard. There’s a tapestry from Swaziland, the tiles that frame the kitchen hatch are from South Africa and the bright turquoise-blue walls on your way to the toilets are adorned with a Durban dish collection. The room’s a loud and lively mix of colours and textures, with hanging woven lampshades, mismatched wooden chairs, gigantic plants and stone floors. I understand they’re trying to support craftspeople and use repurposed and vintage materials, but there’s a lot going on. It felt very jarring and incongruous to what was being served. As for the food, ex-head chef of zero-waste restaurant Silo Brendan Eades brings his environmental credentials to the table. The seasonally fluctuating menu has a focus on locally sourced ingredients from artisan suppliers and producers. I started with a refreshing, clean-tasting, luminous green Gimlet cocktail made with foraged sea herbs. With every sip I was reminded of the breezy, salty, sea air with hints of floral juniper botanics. My pal tried a pink drink made with whisky, foraged and fermented sloe berries and spent coffee grounds: a warming, fruity and punchy concoction. Seriously sublime tipples that were great for whett

The Barbary Next Door

The Barbary Next Door

4 out of 5 stars

‘Is this The Barbary?’  Two customers were standing at the front of Neal’s Yard’s freshest restaurant, looking puzzled.  ‘No, this is the new place, The Barbary Next Door,’ said general manager James Steel. He pointed to his left. ‘The Barbary is next door.’  I must have watched this same moment play out at least six times over the course of my dinner there. The Barbary Next Door has opened in the space where the Palomar-owned Jacob the Angel coffee shop used to call home. (RIP one of my favourite workspaces in central London.) Sitting adjacent to its sibling restaurant, it shares the same bar-counter dining concept as the original, but with half the space and a tiny open kitchen. Its simple pared-back interior, with white exposed-brick walls and a big mirror opposite the counter, gives the illusion of a bigger space. Wine bottles and glasses hang from the ceiling. For such a small sliver of a restaurant, the space is utilised in a very smart way. The place had barely been open for a week when I visited and it was already booked out. At one point during our Tuesday-evening trip, a horde of people all arrived at once and it felt very claustrophobic, so it might not be the best place for the Covid-wary. (There is one table outside in the courtyard for those who still prefer outdoor dining.) The candlelit ambience was a little too dark and, on the playlist, upbeat jazz instrumentals flowed into a rather interesting and creepingly loud version of Richard Strauss’s ‘Also Sprach Z

News (127)

Sober October: Your three-step guide to going alcohol-free in London

Sober October: Your three-step guide to going alcohol-free in London

Alcohol has long been seen as an essential wingman for a good night out, but what if we told you that really didn’t need to be the case anymore? Non-drinkers have come a long way from only being able to wet their whistle with a sticky J2O, a glass of Coke or an overly-sweet spirit imitation. London’s innovative restaurateurs and bartenders are now gladly catering for booze-avoiders all year round and it’s not just a faddy trend, it’s here to stay. In fact, there are now so many low and no booze options that it’s hard to know where to start. Whether you’re laying off the booze for good, cutting down with mindful drinking, or dipping your toes into the sober curious lifestyle – we’ve pulled together a guide to getting to know the drinks scene.  Photograph: Haydon Perrior 1. Beginner: get to know cool craft low-ABV brews If you’re new to not-drinking your first port of call should be dabbling in some of London's excellent independent low-ABV or alcohol-free crafties. Venues like Mother Kelly's, The Rake and Earl of Essex are all great options for grabbing a boozeless brew.  ‘Alcohol-free craft beer sales have really grown over the summer. Londoners are living at 100-miles per hour in both work and play. I honestly think drinkers weigh up their options – asking themselves ‘have I got time for a hangover?’’ David Burgess co-founder of the now sadly closed bar and kitchen Fugitive Motel explains. ‘Awareness of mental wellbeing certainly plays a part, too.’ So, what should you be

Iconic Chinatown restaurant Joy King Lau is closing after 30 years

Iconic Chinatown restaurant Joy King Lau is closing after 30 years

Longstanding Chinatown fave Joy King Lau restaurant has announced on the its Instagram account yesterday that it will be closing its doors for good from July 4 and the last service will be July 3, where the restaurant will shut at 3pm and available for walk-ins only. Known for its traditional Chinese wedding banquet meals and Cantonese fare serving dishes such as roast ducks, sizzling meat platters, meat and veggie claypots, stir-fried beef ho fun noodles and the ever-popular queues-out-the-door daily dim sum offerings since it opened in 1990. The central London Chinese restaurant is one of many places in Chinatown to have suffered due to the lockdowns, not helped by early prejudice surrounding the supposed Chinese origins of the virus.  Photograph: Joy King Lau Speaking about the closure, restaurant manager King said: ‘The current team will all be leaving after nearly 30 years of service and we want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have supported us, especially the last two years in the pandemic. We are truly grateful for you all. Thank you so much for your trust and support, and we will miss you all dearly.’ View this post on Instagram A post shared by Joy King Lau (@joykinglau) There’s no news yet as to what is going to replace Joy King Lau but it is said there will be a change of management. For now, there’s still time to visit for a slap-up Cantonese meal like no other and say goodbye.  3 Leicester St, London WC2H 7BL For more

Canadian fast-food legend Tim Hortons is opening a store in London

Canadian fast-food legend Tim Hortons is opening a store in London

Doughnuts, Timbits and very polite people are finally coming to the capital! Cult-favourite Canadian restaurant Tim Hortons is setting up shop in Park Royal in west London and will officially open its doors on July 1, aka Canada Day. To celebrate this momentous occasion, one lucky early customer in the drive-thru and restaurant queue will win free drinks for a whole year, while the first 100 customers will be able to enjoy a free breakfast meal. Plenty of other Canadian goodies are up for grabs.  Photograph: Tim Hortons The restaurant will be able to accommodate up to a hundred guests, with dine-in and drive-thru service as well as delivery options and will open from 6am till midnight, seven days a week. The menu will feature the chain’s best-selling items, including signature Timbits (bite-sized doughnut holes), coffee, freshly baked doughnuts and crispy chicken sandwiches, as well as beef burgers, hot dogs and lattice fries.  Tim Hortons has big plans to roll out more sites in London. Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer of the company in the UK, said: ‘Having opened 52 venues across the UK, Londoners have been crying out for us to open a restaurant in the capital. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, family-friendly venue, welcoming guests’ morning, noon and night.’ Need a hole to fill that hole? You know what to do, eh? Royale Leisure Park, Kendal Avenue, W3 0PA. Hungry for more of the good stuff? Sign up to our new daily newsletter here. Get baked at the other t

Five chefs on opening a restaurant in London right now

Five chefs on opening a restaurant in London right now

A new restaurant in London is always an optimistic thing. The sector is awash with talent and loves to embrace the positive. But opening a restaurant ain’t ever easy, even without Brexit-related staffing issues, a certain virus and the rising cost of… everything. So, what’s it like to jump into the London food pool in 2022?  Photograph: Caitlin Isola The one doing modern Malaysian cooking  Chef Abby Lee's first foray into the restaurant world didn't have the best timing. She opened in Spitalfields selling salads to city workers just weeks before the first lockdown and was forced to close. Now, she's dusting herself off and trying again with Mambow at Market Stalls in Peckham. ‘After hitting rock bottom, I went home to Singapore and Malaysia with my tail between my legs and I haven’t been back to see family since before the pandemic,’ she explains. During her time at home she cooked with aunties and grandmas where she found joy in cooking again. ‘I’ve never cooked food from my home culture before and I didn’t believe in what I was doing before. If your heart's not in it, then what’s the point? I’m glad I failed and had time to reflect.’ This new perspective has nudged her towards showing people that there’s more to Malaysian cuisine than laksa and roti. Lee wants to preserve traditional Malaysian and Nonya recipes, but also put fun spins on dishes like the Hainanese chicken sando and her grandmother’s Sarawak black pepper chicken curry recipe. Opening date? Open now The one

Meet the chef: Asma Khan, owner of Darjeeling Express

Meet the chef: Asma Khan, owner of Darjeeling Express

Tell us something about your restaurant that people might not know‘Be prepared to wait. We don’t batch cook. Darjeeling Express celebrates home food – it’s not food that’s designed for restaurants. Everything is cooked fresh every day; nothing has been reheated. What you eat here is the closest to my home cooking.’ Who is London’s most exciting chef right now?‘Andrew Wong from A Wong. He’s so immersed in his Chinese identity – his pride in old Chinese medicines, telling the stories, explaining the history and how that follows through in his cooking. I can taste the heritage in his dishes but he puts his unique spin on them. Plus, he’s such a nice man and probably the sexiest male chef.’ Most unexpected thing that’s happened at Darjeeling Express since you opened?‘It has to be Paul Rudd [visiting]. The first time I saw him at the restaurant I almost passed out. He said: “I’m so excited and I want to take a picture with you.” I replied, saying: “No, I want to take a picture with you!” He came back three times and brought Dan Levy, who went on Jimmy Kimmel and called me the “great Asma Khan”! It was so unexpected.’ What’s the ‘most London’ restaurant?‘Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. The food is done with care and it tastes so good. Immigrants built this city and what I love about Beigel Bake is that despite the area being gentrified, it’s done the same thing over the years and it still serves its community.’  How to get involved in Cook for Ukraine in London. A south London neighb

How to eat well on the Elizabeth Line

How to eat well on the Elizabeth Line

Picture this: you’re sitting on a shiny new train, there’s real air conditioning that doesn’t blow out hot air, the patterned purple seats are comfy and you can get from Paddington to Canary Wharf in just 17 minutes. Nope, it’s not a pipe dream. The long-awaited first phase of the Elizabeth Line aka Crossrail, opens today. The new purple link promises super-speedy connections from east to west and back again, but also gives you the chance to easily eat your way across the city. Here are the top Lizzie Line’s stops. The next station is... Flavourtown. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bonda Kitchen (@bondakitchenlondon) Paddington There’s more to Paddington than a famous fictional Peruvian bear and marmalade sandwiches. This stretch of London might not be the first thought for good dining, but there are some top-notch Malaysian eateries nearby in between all the offices. Satay House has been serving outstanding nasi lemak and roti telur for over 40 years and are still going strong. For halal good eating head to Bonda Kitchen for exceptional beef rendang rolls while Tukdin is knocking it out the park with some magical and nourishing oxtail soup and laksa kari that’s topped with boiled eggs, mussels, prawns, fish cake and tofu.  Photograph: Paul Rothe Bond Street [not open yet] The shopping mecca’s Crossrail stop might not be opened to the public just yet but bookmark these places for future reference. Chef Ferdinand ‘

Where to drink the best cocktails in London for World Cocktail Day

Where to drink the best cocktails in London for World Cocktail Day

Are you a half glass empty or a half glass full type person? Either way, you should have something delicious in your hand, at some point this evening. It is, after all, World Cocktail Day. Whatever your drinking desires, London will have a cocktail for you. From mood-boosting super drinks to classic vodka martinis, we think this lot of cracking concoctions are top-notch and perfect for sipping.  Photograph: Anton Rodriguez The Frothy Boi at Sweeties  Happy Hour? Happy days. The new 10th-floor bar Sweeties at the Standard Hotel in King’s Cross offers two drinks for £20 available everyday from 5pm-7pm (including Fridays and Saturdays). Try a range of natural mood-boosting cocktails (think: Goop, but less spenny) created in collaboration with award-winning mixologists Jack Sotti and Todd Austin. Try the pink Frothy Boi (pictured above) that’s made with lacto-rhubarb, gin, raspberry, pink pepper and gut-friendly fermented amazake oats against the backdrop of the bar's floor-to-ceiling views of the London skyline. 10th Floor, 10 Argyle St, WC1H 8EG View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bar + RTD Cocktails (@tayer_elementary) Frozen Yuzu Margarita at Tāyer + Elementary We’re going to call it. This frozen yuzu margarita from Tāyer + Elementary is going to be the drink of the summer. It might look like an adult slush puppy, but it tastes nothing like the hopped-up sickly-sweet stuff we grew up drinking. It’s a refreshing, citrusy and electrifying

Ultra-viral snack-seller Bubblewrap is doing a buy-one-get-one-free this weekend

Ultra-viral snack-seller Bubblewrap is doing a buy-one-get-one-free this weekend

Remember that waffle dessert that broke the internet and caused crazy queues in Chinatown? Well, Bubblewrap is still going strong and it’s opening a new location inside Spitalfields Market. To celebrate, it’s offering a buy-one-get-one-free offer from now until the end of this weekend (May 5-8).  The indulgent Insta-famous dessert known for its Hong Kong-style bobbly, spherical homemade egg waffle, which you can top with fresh gelato, mochi, fruit, cream, chocolate, sauce and biscuits, will be joining the likes of other well-known street food offerings such as Dumpling Shack, Yum Bun and Bleecker Burger. This kiosk will be takeaway-only and hungry Londoners can choose from three waffle types, six homemade gelato flavours, 14 toppings and nine sauces. This site will be the first pilot franchise as Bubblewrap has plans to expand across the UK and ramp up expansion with 25 new stores opening over the next five years. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bubblewrap Waffle (@bubblewraplondon) Bring your well-manicured friends, get ‘gramming and stuff your face with melt-in-the-mouth crisp and fluffy homemade egg waffles. London’s dessert obsession is still going strong and this place is set to be a wrapper’s delight. Bubblewrap, Spitalfields Market, Brushfield St, E1 6AA Discover more things to do in Spitalfields with our area guide Sugar fix not quite sated? Check out our list of London’s best bakeries.

Meet the chef behind Time Out’s best London restaurant of 2022

Meet the chef behind Time Out’s best London restaurant of 2022

For Time Out’s 2022 best restaurants issue, our Food & Drink Editor Angela Hui meets Joké Bakare, chef-owner of Brixton Market’s Chishuru  What’s your most popular dish?‘Mimri oku, which is a spicy broth that reminds me of my grandad. I grew up in Nigeria and we’d travel across the country to see him. We’d always be greeted with a pot of murky-looking stock bubbling away on an open fire with chopped up vegetables, yams, plantains and fermented fish. This dish packs a punch – it’s layered with complex flavours.’ Best thing you’ve cooked this year?‘Omoebe, which translates as “black soup” and is native to the Edo state in south Nigeria. We blacken ground leafy vegetables and alliums on the grill and cook it down. We use a range of herbs: scent leaves, thai basil, uziza leaves and utazi leaves. You get aromatics from the basil, pepperiness from the uziza and a slight bitterness from the utazi.’ Who is London’s most exciting chef?‘I love the inventiveness of Seb Myers’s food at Planque. I’m not sure if it’s still on the menu because it changes all the time, but the calf’s brain with braised pine nuts dish stuck with me – it reminded me of the braised nuts of Nigerian soups. It’s something different to what I’m used to eating, but it speaks to my heart.’ What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened since you opened Chishuru?‘To be honest, it’s the way we’ve been accepted. I never thought we’d be here this long. People have embraced our cuisine. It’s emotional for me, because f

The mystery of London’s ‘dark kitchens’

The mystery of London’s ‘dark kitchens’

When I went to collect my order from a Chinese takeaway in east London, I wasn’t expecting to find a pristine production line and speakers blasting noughties dance tunes. And I definitely wasn’t expecting to get lost in a maze of industrial units, hidden under the railway arches near a Zone 2 tube station.  Google Maps told me: ‘You’ve arrived at your destination’, but all I saw was a commercial wheelie bin overflowing with flattened cardboard boxes and a stream of bright orange Just Eat drivers going in and out of a door with no signage.  I followed suit and sheepishly entered: volcanic heat smacked me in the face. The stench of deep fryer oil and sweet and sour assured me it was the right place, but it was a long way from any takeaway I’d ever seen. Everything felt so calm, serene and ordered. Where was the shouting in the kitchen? Where was the chaos dealing with drunken late-night customers? A member of staff nodded at me and got out his phone to play DJ Sammy’s ‘Heaven’ through the speakers, followed by an intense Chinese opera dance mix. A machine was endlessly churning out receipts for online orders and brown paper bags were lined up under heat lamps, ready to go. Within minutes, I was handed my order of ribs, sweet and sour pork, prawn toast and spring rolls, ready to take home.  This was a ‘dark kitchen’, a faceless, unacknowledged space catering only for the takeaway and delivery crowd. Dark kitchens, ghost kitchens, cloud kitchens, virtual kitchens: whatever you li

Brixton Market’s Chishuru named Time Out’s best restaurant of 2022

Brixton Market’s Chishuru named Time Out’s best restaurant of 2022

The last time we published our annual Best Restaurants list was in November 2019. Since then, London’s hospitality venues have been through a lot. That’s why we're pleased to announce that our top 50 rundown is back for 2022 – and better than ever. This year’s number one spot has gone to Chishuru, a West African neighbourhood restaurant in Brixton that’s unique, exciting and, most importantly, serves up really delicious food.   Nigerian-born chef-owner Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare opened the space in September 2020 in the midst of the pandemic’s dreaded tier system. Before that she was hosting dinner parties and supper clubs – it was only after winning the Brixton Kitchen competition in 2019 that she was able to start her own restaurant. It’s not been an easy ride since opening, but Bakare and her team have developed a loyal following. Chishuru has become a local favourite, known for its peach-coloured intimate dining room and welcoming atmosphere. A large part of what makes this place so great is down to Bakare herself. Diners can watch her at work in the open-plan kitchen and she’ll happily bring out dishes to tables, give customers insight into the stories behind her food and discuss cooking techniques. Photograph: Jess Hand Speaking about being Time Out’s Best Restaurant of 2022, Bakare said: ‘The recognition makes us feel so special. We opened at a time of great uncertainty, thus we’ve never known “normal”. This makes it worthwhile.’ She added: ‘My restaurant is a very perso

Hoko to open a Hong Kong french-toast and milk-tea café kiosk in Hackney

Hoko to open a Hong Kong french-toast and milk-tea café kiosk in Hackney

Those of you who love to start the day with a cuppa and slice of toast are in luck because a new tea-and-toast café-kiosk is coming to town. But this isn’t your regular cup of tea or toast, oh no. Hoko got known for selling silky, sweet Hong Kong milk tea pouches online during lockdown and has been quietly making a name for itself since. Now it’s launching a proper bricks-and-mortar venue at Westgate Street Market opposite London Fields on March 26, which will be open every Saturday.  Photograph: Hoko The menu will include six types of Hong Kong-style french toast made with deep-fried milk bread, including the Golden Yolk (salted egg yolk, cream cheese and shredded ‘pork floss’); soy mochi (rice mochi, soy sauce, mirin sake and nori); the 3.15pm (ham, cheese and honey); the Hong Kong Classic (peanut butter, maple syrup and butter); the Matcha (uji matcha lava and powder with whipped mascarpone); and the Yuen Yeung (a Hong Kong speciality made from half milk tea and half espresso, with condensed milk).  They’ll be joining other traders including the likes of Bun House, Wingnut Wines and Calamari Canteen. This is certainly the place to be if you want to switch up your weekend brunch game.  London Fields Primary School, Westgate St, E8 3RU. Discover more things to do in east London. Find more street food markets and food halls.