Where To Eat On National ‘Eat What You Want’ Day
PASTA: Fat Tony’s
We’re massive fans of cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro’s drinking dens (Bar Termini, Untitled, 69 Colebrook Row…) so were most pleased when his latest hotspot, Bar Termini in Marylebone, launched a two-month pasta pop-up to help us soak up some of those negronis. And we were even more pleased when the team announced that Fat Tony’s is going permanent. Pappardelle with shin of beef ragu; tagliarini with crab, chilli, garlic and parsley; and bucatini cacio e pepe – all the classics are present on the new menu. We’d polish off a plate of pasta, and end the evening with grilled peaches and amaretto crème fraiche.
31 Duke Street, Marylebone, W1U 1LG
PIZZA: Voodoo Ray’s
When the team opened its first site in Dalston back in 2014, Voodoo Ray’s became our go-to spot for a pre- or post-gig bite to eat. It may have expanded north and south, but its locations still pump out some of the best pizza in the capital. We love that it’s served by the (very large) slice too. With topping combinations such as salt-beef, sauerkraut, emmental and Russian dressing (The Rubenesque) and minced steak, pepperoni, ham, and smoked streaky bacon (The Meat Is On), you’ll definitely be keen to try more than just one. Make sure to order a house frozen margarita on the side.
Locations in Camden, Dalston, Peckham and Shoreditch
RAMEN: Bone Daddies
We’ve loved Bone Daddies ever since it opened up on Peter Street six years ago. Small, loud and dark, it was the perfect spot for slurping noodles cooked in 20-hour bone broth and topped with ‘cock scratchings’ without fear of being reprimanded for making a mess. Happily, it’s expanded across London and most of its newer sites are bigger and a little quieter – perfect for catching up with friends. The menu has recently expanded to include katsu curries and poke bowls – but in the name of this feature, we’d order the moreish Korean fried chicken every time.
Locations in Bermondsey, Old Street, Soho, Kensington, St Christopher’s Place and Victoria
Hawksmoor might be synonymous with steak and City boys, but its gut-busting breakfasts are the best in town. Its Hawksmoor breakfast for two (£37) has to be sampled once in your London lifetime – the platter is topped with a smoked bacon chop, pork, beef and mutton sausages, black pudding, short-rib bubble and squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, HP gravy and – in case that isn’t enough – unlimited toast. Wash it down with a Corpse Reviver – gin, triple sec, Cocchi Americano, lemon juice and a dash of absinthe – for the ultimate hangover cure.
Locations in Spitalfields, Seven Dials, Knightsbridge, Air Street and Guildhall
MAC ’N’ CHEESE: 34 Mayfair
London has plenty of USA diners and barbecue joints that whip up a cracking batch of macaroni cheese, but for us it’s Grosvenor Square’s 34 Mayfair’s refined take on the American classic that makes it our top choice. Topped with lobster and shaved truffle, it’s the definition of indulgence – trust us, it’s worth every penny of its £35 price tag.
34 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HD
TACOS: Temper Soho
Curry and pizza might be the focus at Neil Rankin’s newer Temper restaurants, but the tacos served in this glamourous Soho basement give some of the capital’s Mexican restaurants a real run for their money. The fillings within his tacos and tostadas might be unconventional – think aged cheeseburger, nduja with pineapple, and crab, apple and pickled onion pork skin – but they’re memorable and delicious. We suggest grabbing a gang and opting for the £50pp feasting menu for the fullest experience (in both senses of the word).
25 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DF
FRIED CHICKEN: Red Rooster
Marcus Samuelsson, the man behind Red Rooster in Harlem, is renowned for creating Barack Obama’s favourite fried chicken. Dubbed ‘21st-century soul food’, Samuelsson’s cookery takes classic American comfort food and gives it a modern twist – and the hits on his Shoreditch menu are no different. Groups should order the Bird Royale Feast, which includes a whole fried chicken, waffles, southern biscuits, mac ‘n’ greens, cabbage and Rooster sauce. Well, if it’s good enough for Obama…
45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PT
If you’re prepared to queue (or are just super-organised) then Dishoom is the place to head if you’re craving curry. From breakfast (the bacon naan breads have reached almost legendary status) through to nibbles (such as chilli cheese toast) and the full works (we’d opt for the mutton pepper fry with house black daal), if you leave Dishoom feeling hungry, then you’re doing it wrong. If you’re stuck on which location to visit, we recommend its beautiful new site in Kensington, which merges art-deco stylings with the Bombay Jazz Age.
Locations in Covent Garden, Carnaby, Kensington, King’s Cross and Shoreditch
If all this warm weather has got you daydreaming about barbecued food, then ditch the DIY effort at home and head to Shoreditch’s Smokestak, where slow-cooked, wood-smoked meats are a speciality. Hits from the menu include brisket bun with pickled red chilli, thick-cut pork ribs with pickled cucumber and crispy ox cheek with anchovy mayo. And if you still want to fire up the grill back at home? You can purchase a 15-hour smoked whole brisket, gift wrapped and sold alongside homemade barbecue sauce and pickles.
35 Sclater Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LB
DESSERT: The Parlour at Fortnum & Mason
It wouldn’t be National ‘Eat What You Want’ Day without something sweet. Luckily, Fortnum & Mason has it down to a fine art with its ice cream mecca, The Parlour, which serves everything from knickerbocker glories to coke floats and hot chocolates. Its afternoon tea sundaes span flavour combinations from mint and cucumber sorbet to more traditional rose-ripple ice cream, and both come topped with Italian meringue, popping candy, rose eclair, strawberry preserve and a cream scone.
181 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1A 1ER
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