Top Five Restaurants of 2011

Posted on Friday, 23rd December 2011

This year I was again asked by the nice people at TopTable to come up with a list of my top restaurants for 2011. However, this year’s list posed a dilemma. Rather than a list of top ten restaurants as was the case for 2010, I was only permitted to table a list of my top five! With so many great dining options in London, how does one whittle down to a list of only five best eats?

I can assure you, only with great difficulty. But I tried my best. Reliving some great memories along the way, here are the restaurants that I have come up with which you can read about below, or on TopTable.

1) Dinner

Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner is setting the London dining scene alight with its modern take on British cuisine. The superlative cooking in the sumptuous surrounds of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel makes Dinner a restaurant that’s hard to beat. There’s something for everyone and that meat fruit is to die for.

2) Roganic

Roganic is the brainchild of Simon Rogan, and if it is anything to go, then Rogan’s original L’Enclume Restaurant must surely be a gastronomic paradise as well. Roganic is innovative, inspired and creative. It’s hard to believe that its head chef, Ben Spalding, is only 25 years old.

3) Texture

In the last few years Texture has truly come into its own. Head Chef Agnar Sverrisson’s food is sleek, stylish and cool, no doubt attributable to his Icelandic roots. Texture also boasts one of the best champagne collections in London – perfect if champagne is your poison.

4) José

The food at José is truly fantastic. The no-booking policy and the fact that the restaurant is virtually standing-room only can be a tad annoying. But when José Pizarro works his culinary magic to extract every ounce of flavour from the simplest of ingredients, this can make for a truly joyous experience. So simple, but so good.

5) Nopi

A heady blend of Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean influences, Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi takes the finest culinary aspects from each of these regions to produce something truly exotic and delicious. If there was one restaurant that could make a meat eater turn vegetarian, then Nopi would be it. The desserts are also to-die-for.

Finally, for my top meal outside of the UK, it would have to be la vie which received its much deserved third Michelin star in November. Again congrats to Chef Thomas for this wonderful achievement – your skrei tartare was to-die-for.

And to all you lovely readers, thanks for spending time on my blog. Have a fabulous Christmas and a happy new year. All the best for 2012.

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3 Responses to “Top Five Restaurants of 2011”

  1. Kavey Says...

    What I love about José’s new place, Pizarro, is that you have that same fabulous food – simple ingredients elevated to something magnificent – but with more space and seating. For someone who finds standing or perching on stools difficult, the new place is even better! 🙂

  2. Paul Dunlop Says...

    You’ll have to get yourself down to José’s new place, Pizarro. I’ve not tried José, it’s next on my list, but Pizarro was really excellent. We had a slightly dodgy waitress, but the food was great and none of this standing room only stuff.

  3. A Girl Has to Eat Says...

    Hey Kavey, Paul,
    I can’t wait to try Pizarro. I have heard nothing but good things about it. Something to look forward to in 2012!

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