The end of the year encourages a chance for reflection, and what better thing to reflect upon than the finest drinks and dishes we’ve sampled in twenty-fourteen?
2014 saw more exciting and enticing gastronomic ventures opening up in London town, while other established restaurants continued to thrive. We’ve been to hidden chicken joints, descended into basement bars serving just the sweet stuff, and chosen cocktails from an actual pop-up menu. We’ve jumped on 2014’s Peruvian bandwagon and enjoyed more than a few pisco sours; indulged in the seafood of Maine; and tested gorgeously made sushi at a brand new Belgravia restaurant.
So, without further ado, we present a BOE round-up of the favourite places we quaffed and scoffed this year…
Newly opened in Shoreditch in November, HotBox is the place to partake of Pit-food. Whether it’s pulled pork, chicken thighs or the insanely good USDA prime Beef Short ribs, then this uber-trendy and meat-a-licious establishment is the perfect spot to come with friends for a good meal, a good time, and a good cocktail from their downstairs bar if you fancy it.
Sushi can certainly be conceived to be culinary art, and nowhere is this more apparent than at Kouzu in Belgravia. With a stellar line-up of chefs and a complete dedication to the preparation of Japanese cuisine, it won’t be long before tickets to Kouzu are as hot as a ball of freshly grated wasabi. Book yourself a place at Chef Ryu’s table and prepare to be wowed.
Sometimes the harder things are to spot, the more rewarding the experience. This is certainly what we found with Moral Fox, a hidden chicken eatery tucked behind the facade of an old pub called The Globe. But that isn’t where the surprises end, because this is possibly some of the best chicken you’ll experience, prepared in a delicious fashion. We also loved the funky club below playing reggae and hip-hop classics.
Nowhere does lobster like Maine, New England – so why not bring a little slice of it to London? From the authentic buoys and traps on the ceiling, to the succulent lobster served in a variety of tantalising ways, then this is one heck of a place to savour some shellfish. Friendly and charming, The Lobster Kitchen also gets the award for one helluva Mac N Cheese experience.
This gem of a restaurant found in Covent Garden is the place to head for all of those looking for an authentic Italian experience. Not only do they have a superb list of dishes that use ingredients sourced from some of the best producers in Italy, but Cicchetti also boast a wine list to make fans swoon. Not only that, but they go out of their way to ensure customers always feel incredibly welcome.
Raymond Blanc’s indomitable mother taught him to cook, and it seems she taught him well. Now with twenty venues across the UK, Brasserie Blanc has become the go-to place for those seeking authentic and delicious French fare. Classics like escargot, beef tartare and steak with béarnaise sauce, served in a romantic environment, ensure it’s a popular place all year round.
The vibrant lights of Soho are the perfect backdrop for this delicious, quirky and colourful Mexican joint that continues to wow us with its quality. El Camion don’t just promise dishes that include favourites like burritos, nachos and tacos – the delivery is fresh, tasty and very generous. Add to this a downstairs member’s bar serving top quality cocktails and a late night menu, and there’s no wonder we’re fans.
2014 seems to have been the year when pisco and Peru really made it onto London’s gastronomic scene. With delicious and vibrant small plates intended for sharing, the cuisine has sparked a huge number of fans, and nowhere is this more deserved than Pachamama in Mayfair. Cocktails to savour and the tastiest dishes you can imagine mean we’ll be continuing to back the trend well into 2015.
If you’re going to indulge in a steak, then holy cow, choose wisely. It’s frequently agreed that Argentinean beef is the best there is – something CAU have taken on board to great effect. With some of the juiciest cuts you’ll experience this side of Buenos Aires, and a wine list choc-full of Malbecs, then you simply must visit this place if you’re a fan of red meat.