You’ll find the world is on your plate in London, a city that’s proud to serve up cuisines from around the globe. Here are five of our favourites tickling our taste buds right now.
Peruvian food has been in the shadows somewhat when it comes to London’s dining scene, but it looks like that is set to change. LIMA Floral follows hot on the heels of LIMA Fitzrovia, which won numerous awards since it opened not long ago—including the coveted Michelin star. Celebrated for its intricately presented Peruvian dishes and fresh, delicate flavours, the most recent branch of LIMA Floral (so called because it’s on Floral street in Covent Garden) is every bit as impressive. Its menu practically sparkles with elegantly constructed, clean dishes, with curious meals such as ceviche with hot tiger’s milk, sweet potato and seaweed and organic lamb with eco dry potato and black quinoa. The cocktail, list, too, is unique, featuring Peruvian inspired, Pisco-infused drinks—with a fiery kick.
Opened during summer, this Soho restaurant has already proved a real hit. An offshoot of the popular Jerusalem eatery Machneyuda, Palomar presents a riotous party of Levantine cuisine: Palestinian, Turkish, Yemeni and Iraqi, drawing on Jewish, Arabic and Mediterranean flavours. The 'Daily 6' platter makes an ideal starter, from a lentil salad with minty yoghurt to sweet roasted beetroot, mopped up with fluffy Yemeni bread. Polenta Jerusalem style is a creamy, taste-laden dish with mushroom ragout, al dente buttery asparagus and truffle oil, and another popular dish, the 'deconstructed kebab', is a platter of spicy minced lamb with pine nuts and harissa. This culinary feast comes wrapped up in a party atmosphere where the staff has an absolute blast by downing shots, singing along to Gogol Bordello songs and cheerful banter flying around in myriad languages—but always giving exceptionally good service. Perch up at the marble-topped bar if you can't get a table.
There is nothing better on a lazy Summer Sunday afternoon than a Sunday Roast, so with that in mind we set off to sample the new Sunday Roast menu at Barnyard, the newest venture from British “Chef of the Moment” Ollie Dabbous. The entire place oozes a fantastic laid-back rustic atmosphere from the corrugated tin walls to the plaid check dressed staff and enamelware plates. Starters include crudités served with a sunflower seed and miso mayo dip and scrumptious “just like mamma makes it” cornbread. For mains try the beef rump and leg of lamb, both of which are melt in the mouth good, and served with generous sized Yorkshire puds, golden crispy roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli, gravy and of course horseradish and mint sauces. As far as Sunday Roasts go, Barnyard has definitely hit the nail on the head.
Located just behind the Royal Academy in a street famous for its commercial galleries, Peyote is perfectly situated for art lovers. Inside is the art of Mexican cooking on show and there’s as much creativity on display as any exhibition you might’ve seen. Traditional dishes are given an elegantly modern twist with zingy flavours. The succulent cactus salad is a revelation (yes, it’s a real cactus). Try the mouthwatering pork pibil tacos, shrimp & onion quesadillas or octopus ceviches, or the Chilean sea bass with cilantro and pineapple sauce was an inventive combination of flavours, superbly executed and delicious to savour.
Founded in 1981, Woodlands paved the way for Indian vegetarian cuisine in London. More than 30 years later, it is still something of an institution, having received wide critical acclaim for its fine Indian cuisine with dishes from throughout the country capturing a range of flavours and styles. Choose from an eclectic assortment of dishes, including tandoori—this branch has a fantastic tandoor oven. There are also lighter versions of classic favourites such as chaat, roadside savoury snacks served cold, and dosa, rice and lentil pancakes filled with seasoned potatoes and onions—especially popular in South India. The restaurant has recently undergone a refurbishment, plus there’s a wine list with organic, vegan and vegetarian wines available.