Yesterday the Michelin Guide unveiled its 2014 guidebooks, and with them a new batch of stars won and lost. It’s no surprise that chefs, restaurateurs, and diners around the world await the day with bated breath: the gift of a star can bolster the reputation of a new eatery, while a star lost can spell doom for even the most established of dining rooms.
As London’s reputation for artful and internationally minded fine dining only continues to grow, so Michelin is making a nod to the city’s haute cuisine pedigree. In the just-released 2014 guide, a whopping nine new Michelin starred restaurants in London, several of which only opened in recent months.
Read on for the scoop on these lauded restaurants, and see if you can snag a reservation before they’re booked up months in advance. We have a feeling the kitchens will be in the mood to celebrate.
Virgilio Martinez, chef patron of Peru’s Central Restaurant (recently included in San Pellegrino’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants), has won one more plaudit with London’s Lima: it is now the first Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant. Despite the slightly under-styled dining room, the cooking soars, boasting rich and tropical flavours that leave diners dizzy with sensory overload.
Lima, 31 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JH
+44 20 3002 2640, www.limalondon.com
Under the watchful eye of chef Nathan Outlaw, whose Cornwall-based Outlaw’s has itself earned two Michelin stars, the new Outlaw’s at the Capital Hotel brings gorgeously fresh seafood to London’s diners. Also under the guidance of Head Chef Pete Biggs, the restaurant’s rather sedate setting is enlivened by a truly impressive tasting menu.
Outlaw’s Seafood & Grill at the Capital, 22-24 Basil Street, London SW3 1AT
+44 20 7591 1202, www.capitalhotel.co.uk/restaurantbar.html
Story, the project of young chef Tom Sellers, opened to a firestorm of hype earlier this year. With the addition of the restaurant’s first Michelin star, the fuss has been legitimated. Occupying an old Victorian toilet block, the Scandinavian-styled dining room is open and airy, the perfect setting for Sellers’ whimsical, poised cooking. Taking inspiration from, yes, stories, his tasting menu reads like its own fable, finished off with “three bears porridge”.
Story, 201 Tooley Street, London SE1 2UE
+44 20 7183 2117, www.restaurantstory.co.uk
Opened early this year by the Hakkasan restaurant group, HKK is led by chef Tony Chee Hwee. The Hakkasan veteran has taken HKK beyond the bounds of the former’s club-like atmosphere to a more sedate, but still youthful, dining room that offers tasting and a la carte menus designed to highlight Cantonese cooking at its most elegant. From goji berry-dotted soup to perfect dim sum parcels, the march of dishes veers from spicy to savoury to surprising.
HKK, Broadgate West, 88 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BE
+44 20 3535 1888, www.hkklondon.com
Self-billed as “X-Treme Chinese” food, Bo London is certainly not for the faint of stomach. Chef Alvin Leung, the “Demon Chef” behind the avant-garde dining room, has now earned the rare accolade of being one of only two self-taught chefs to receive Michelin recognition (the other is his compatriot in weirdness, Heston Blumenthal). From the prophylactic-themed “Sex on the Beach” plate to the creative take on local fare with an “Ode to Britain” tasting menu, the restaurant has more than a few tricks up its sleeves.
Bo London, 4 Mill Street, London W1S 2AX
+44 20 7493 3886, www.bolondonrestaurant.com
Within the buzzing, Moorgate-based South Place Hotel, head chef Tony Fleming has guided the kitchen at Angler since its opening one year ago. After furnishing his reputation as chef de partie under Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and Oak Room, Fleming is bringing his skills to the fore with an accomplished array of primarily seafood dishes. Under the ceiling’s mirrored installations, plates of sustainably sourced Orkney scallops and langoustines positively shimmer.
Angler, South Place Hotel, London EC2M 2AF
+44 20 3215 1260, www.anglerrestaurant.com
Arguably the most renowned restaurant in the food lover’s utopia of San Sebastián, Arzak made the move to London earlier this year under the new guise of Ametsa with Arzak Instruction. Situated in the back of the Halkin Hotel in Knightsbridge, the sleek restaurant is decorated with thousands of spice-filled test tubes suspended from the ceiling. In the kitchen, father-daughter team Juan Mari and Elena Arzak oversee a menu of Basque-tinged haute dining.
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, The Halkin, Halkin Street
+44 20 7333 1234, www.comohotels.com/thehalkin/dining/ametsa
After a stint away from London, French chef Eric Chavot is back with Brasserie Chavot at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, an ornately decorated new eatery that shamelessly plumbs the most indulgent end of the French culinary spectrum. Think perfectly fried soft-shell crabs with saffron aioli, gorgeously rich daube, and a full array of other artery-thickening fare. The convivial chef, who frequently prowls the dining room, and the accomplished cooking make for a restaurant that’s worthy of its new accolade.
Brasserie Chavot, the Westbury Hotel, 41 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YF
+44 20 7183 6425, www.brasseriechavot.com
Chef of the moment Jason Atherton has, with the newly starred Social Eating House, added another jewel to his crown. Stylised like a New York eatery, all brick walls, sultry lighting, and a this-side-of-trendy feel, the restaurant’s heart is its modern Brit menu, which takes locally sourced ingredients and turns them into wonders like roast Cornish cod with kombu, mousseron, baby gem, cockles, and cream. As a bonus, the upstairs Blind Pig “speakeasy” serves some of the city’s best cocktails.
Social Eating House, 58 Poland Street, London W1F 7NR
+44 20 7993 3251, www.socialeatinghouse.com
Feature image © Social Eating House
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