The, now iconic, Borough Market forms the south portico of Roast. In 2005, the restaurant was opened in the large Floral Hall that had previously been used for storage and ignored amidst the hustle bustle of the market. Now, you get a sense of the commotion from the double glazed glass box that hangs above the market, and the space is anything but ignored, constantly filled to capacity, with delicious food and unmissable cocktails and bringing the Floral Hall to life. Borough Market is an unmissable pilgrimage for food loving locals and tourists alike, people travel from far and wide whilst the residents of Southark stroll through its' stalls on a daily basis, feeling a sense of ownership, as it was the local residents who raised the money to save it from closure in the 1750's. So, looking over a gourmet wonderland, serving up unbeatable British roasts with every trimming imaginable, Roast really does give anyone looking for a quintessentially British culinary experience everything that they could hope for from a meal out. What is more, there are countless deals (two for one breakfasts on certain days, kids eating for free, 3 for 2 on weeknight cocktails and so on), daily specials and set menu for Sunday lunch with tonnes of options to choose from.
This truly unique restaurant and bar is nestled in the heart of Southwark, just a stones throw away from the station. Enclosed by a small entrance that signifies a sort of casual and unremarkable bistro, Baltic is a surprisingly big venue, with a glowing amber light installation lining the rear brick wall and a vast conservatory roof supporting its long white panelled walls. The gorgeous contemporary setting includes a large main dining room, a semi-sectioned private dining room and a long sleek bar studded with bar stools and faced by many more low rise leather banquettes. It is heaving. It is immediately visible that the bar at Baltic has been the subject so much fuss and attention, as every seat is occupied by enthused customers sipping magnificently colourful cocktails. The same may be said for the restaurant, the vast space is filled to the brim and what we could see of the food looked authentic and gorgeously presented. It did not disappoint. Baltic is a brilliant restaurant for those that are curious about foreign foods, yet there is something for even the most unadventurous eater - appetisers, blinis, potato pancakes, salads, dumplings, meat, fish - the list goes on. And as for the alcohol, whether you are after an evening of cocktails, wine, vodka or whisky - the selection is expansive and the quality is exquisite. Ambient, delicious and authentically Nordic: this one is a must.
From the 16th October through to the end of February 2015, Babylon's Winter Terrace is open at lunchtime from Wednesday till Friday and for dinner from Tuesday till Saturday. Guests are offered a delicious winter menu, featuring a variety of high quality cheeses and freshly baked breads garnished with nuts, preserves, dried fruits and cured meats to bring out their flavours. Also available is a selection of heartwarming winter cocktails (including the "Hot Ginger Chick" - a Gin treat combining a unique Tanqueray 10 infusion of chicory, ginger and cinnamon, heated with apple juice and winter spiced syrup) and carefully chosen wines to match the cheeses and garnishings on offer. Although reservations are not required, the terrace is subject to availability, so calling ahead might be recommended. Even if there is a chill in the air, the winter terrace is the perfect place to enjoy rich food and wine that is reminiscent of Savoyarde cuisine, whilst taking in the dazzling skyline of central London. They will even offer you a big blanket or a hot water bottle to guarantee that your experience is comfy and cosy. Not to be overused by any of you readers with gout, or other rich-food avoidant health issues, but for anyone who loves cheese and wine as much as I do, head straight up to Babylon! A lovely activity for visiting friends or bored Londoners seeking something new. Menu, below.
The most recent addition to the Fulham fine dining scene, Kozu, is an absolute must for anyone interested in Japanese cuisine. It brings the expertise of esteemed restauranteur Mark Bennett (Mao Tai) and renowned chef Nobuhisha Takahasi (previous head chef at Nobu London and Nobu Cape Town), offering upmarket and refined Japanese food in a sophisticated and glamorous setting. The plates are small and the flavours are powerful, which makes the menu ideal for sharing whilst sipping something from the expansive cocktail menu or sake list. The bar menu is particularly light, enabling the young trendies that flock from their various corners of South West London to share sushi platters and cold tapas at the restaurants' front oak bar. For a more formal experience, the open planned space is peppered with chocolate brown tables that accommodate up to six people looking for a sit down dinner. Whether you are looking for something light or something decadent from the charcoal grill, Kozu guarantees mouth watering food that extends beyond what you might find in London's other upmarket Japanese restaurants. Bennett's background in Chinese dining comes through in the menu and there are plates that resemble modern twists on Nobu's timeless classics. High quality, gorgeously presented dishes that are likely to tingle the tastebuds of even the most reticent Japanese eaters, brilliant ambiance, outstanding service and delicious booze. Are any of your boxed unticked?
Zoe Williams of The Telegraph hits the nail on the head with her description of the Dean Street Townhouse as a "restaurant with serious pedigree". Only six years old, the brainchild of Nick Jones of Soho House and Richard Caring of the Ivy gives the impression of an establishment that has been nestled in the heart of Soho for some 100 years, spread over two large Georgian houses with a seemingly authentic old-school grown up luxury. Bold red vintage chairs and leather banquettes make for a stylish, 1920's-esq romantic setting in the cream and chocolate coloured space. There is a buzzing ambiance, with formally attired waiters and waitresses squeezing past each other to deliver classic British dishes to hip and stylish Soho dwellers that one might expect to find at any of the Soho House establishments. The Georgian-style wallpapered walls are peppered with classic British artworks and the rooms are lit by large, striking chandeliers. Though the dishes themselves are uncomplicated, the restaurant attracts some of London's fussiest eaters, serving beautifully prepared food from 7:30 am until 11:30 pm. Whether you are sat in the cosy dining area at the front, one of the tucked away private dining rooms, in the heaving main dining room or at the pavement terrace, there is a contagious sociable and upbeat vibe; expect a mix of media types, locals and celebrities dividing their time between people watching, cocktail sipping and delicious dining. Oh, and go hungry...