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  • Writer's pictureMatias

The 5 best London restaurants for an end-of-year treat

As we get close to bid farewell to 2023, there's a final chance to wrap up this year's food adventures on a high note. Whether it's a Christmas surprise, a treat for someone special, or just self-indulgence (why not), finding the perfect spot in this city can be a bit of a challenge.

London's culinary scene is famous for its mix of flavours and styles, and it boasts a generous share of Michelin-starred restaurants - over 70 places offering unique dining experiences. Therefore, choosing the right spot for these unique occasions become a mission, to ensure a satisfying experience for both your taste buds and your wallet.

For me, the anticipation of going to a top notch or Michelin-starred restaurant is always exciting. It's like stepping into the unknown, a chance to explore unique culinary sensations. And clearly, these visits are saved for those special moments in life -celebrations of life & love, milestones, or even fresh starts. Therefore, you want to make sure that those choices will leave a positive and lasting impression.


And with that, a little tradition has sprung up with my partner, starting and ending each year with a fancy food adventure. This ritual allows time to reflect on the culinary highlights of the year and set the stage for another year of tasty discoveries - a wish list that grows with every bite.


What's the fuss about fine dining and those intricate tasting menus?

The term "fine dining" it's a bit old-fashioned, bringing to mind stiff atmospheres and high price tags. For me, it's not about the elegance or extravagance; it's about diving into unique and bold flavours, where chefs push the limits and create unexpected taste combinations. That's where tasting menus come in - a series of curated episodes or food stories that takes you on a taste journey. Yes, proper journeys, because they stretch for a couple of hours allowing you to immerse in a world of sensations, textures, and aromas.


Having visited a fair number of Michelin-starred restaurants in London, as well as other top-notch restaurants that are on their way to joining that exclusive club, here are my top 5 spots and their amazing tasting menus. Whether you're a foodie, someone who enjoys investing in culinary experiences, a fan of unique tasting menus, or just looking to impress someone, these recommendations are sure to deliver on the promise of enjoyable gastronomic adventures.

 

The Clove Club |⭐⭐ Michelin in Shoreditch

A culinary gem located in trendy Shoreditch, this restaurant consistently secures its place among the world's 50 best, proudly claiming the 38th spot in this year's prestigious list.

Taking space within the historic Shoreditch Town Hall, The Clove Club offers more than just a dining experience - it's a journey through the diverse and delightful flavours of modern British cuisine. The magic happens as each dish unfolds, inviting you to savour the expertise and creativity of the chefs, one snack at a time.


Kol|⭐ Michelin in Marylebone

Having earned their first Michelin star only two years after opening their doors, this unique restaurant has already made a mark not only in London but globally, securing the 23rd spot in the world's 50 best of 2023.

What sets this place apart is the chef's continuous experimentation to reinterpret and reconstitute Mexican flavours using exclusively English ingredients. It's a significant challenge given that Mexico is known for key ingredients that define its unique cuisine: chilies and tomatoes. Having been to Mexico on various occasions and explored their cuisine in depth, Kol simply delivers a punch of original flavours with a twist.

If you have the chance to book a spot at the chef's table, you're in for an extraordinary treat where British ingredients seamlessly deliver the most delicious Mexican flavours.


Marcus |⭐Michelin in Belgravia

This renowned restaurant, owned by celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, has long been synonymous with England’s culinary excellence. This former two-Michelin-starred establishment is about to bring the curtains down at the end of this year, so you’ll have only a few more weeks to enjoy one of the most notable food experiences I’ve had in my life. What to expect? A mix of English and French cuisine at its best. Although the actual location and atmosphere have a bit of an old-school feel, the entire food experience and almost invisible but perfect service will leave a memory to treasure. Don’t miss out!


Behind |⭐Michelin in London Fields

Located in trendy London Fields, where normally high end restaurants are a rare species, lies Behind. This is the ultimate restaurant for all seafood lovers who want to experience a unique tasting menu using only the best products the UK waters have to offer. They feature the first seafood-focused tasting menu, where chefs and members of staff come together as one to serve all diners simultaneously. What's really cool about Behind is the way the restaurant is set up. It's not your usual layout, instead, it lets you get up close and personal with the food. Behind in essence is a low-key spot that lets you enjoy great seafood in a chill atmosphere right in the heart of London Fields.


Perilla | Newington Green

Perilla is a modern neighbourhood restaurant that takes pride in elevating humble ingredients to present contemporary takes of classical European flavours. At Perilla is all about a chill vibe, nothing too fancy and despite not holding a Michelin star, they offer a more accessible tasting menu that is certainly worth experiencing.

Perilla is always a good choice for delicious dinners with friends or family, particularly because I'm just a short 5-minute walk away - lucky me!

Pictures: Behind, The Clove Club, Kol

 

Anyone up for the last sensational dinner of 2023? Let me know what you think about the list and as usual, happy to hear recommendations!

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