London’s top chefs name the restaurants they most want to eat in

Number one: Bouchon Racine topped the list for Elystan Street owner Rebecca Mascarenthas (Matt Writtle)
Number one: Bouchon Racine topped the list for Elystan Street owner Rebecca Mascarenthas (Matt Writtle)

Top London chefs have shared the restaurants at the top of their hit list this year, with the likes of Rambutan, Dorian, and Bouchon Racine earmarked.

Chefs from Leroy, Elystan Street, Tendril, and Brunswick House were also asked to name the venues they’ve most enjoyed visiting this year, as part of the 15th anniversary of the London Restaurant Festival (LRF), which begins on September 30.

Ed Thaw, owner of Leroy in Shoreditch, named Dorian as one of the most exciting restaurants he has been to recently, while picking out Mangal 2 and The Baring as two regular haunts.

“I’m going to The Baring a lot,” he said. “It’s not really a pub, it’s a restaurant, or a ‘pubstaurant’. The food’s fantastic.

“I also enjoyed Mangal 2. It’s a ballsy move to move Turkish food on, and great for them to do it. I thought their reinterpretation of the grill — the kebab — was fantastic. The flatbreads are brilliant. Each dish has what it needs.

“Dorian was outstanding as well. Easily the most impressive thing I’ve been to recently. The chef’s fantastic — it’s kind of like bistro food but really good. It blew me away. The food I thought was spot-on — pricey, but it’s west London. And it’s food that’s worth it.”

Members of London’s hospitality scene were asked about their autumn go-tos by Resy, the restaurant bookings partnering with LRF.

Rebecca Mascarenthas, owner of Elystan Street, said she was most excited to go to Bouchon Racine, Henry Harris’ restaurant above the Three Compasses Pub in Farringdon.

“I’d like to go to Bouchon Racine. I’ve known Henry Harris’s cooking from when he was in Knightsbridge. I’m very attracted to that kind of cuisine grand-mere, old-fashioned but delicious French food. It’s been out of vogue for so long that I’m looking forward to eating it again.”

Rishim Sachdeva (Rishim Sachdeva Via Press / Tendril)
Rishim Sachdeva (Rishim Sachdeva Via Press / Tendril)

For founder of Tendril, Rishim Sachdeva, said Paradise, Rambutan, and Little Kudu are three locations he most wants to visit.

“I’ve been looking forward to Paradise,” he told Resy. “I love the way they do things — bold food, done in a nice way. Sri Lankan food is getting its due now, with Rambutan also opening in Borough Market. I think those places are definitely on my list.

“I’m excited for Little Kudu. I love what Patrick [Williams] does, and him bringing his South African heritage in his dishes is quite intriguing to see.”

Jackson Boxer (PR Handout)
Jackson Boxer (PR Handout)

Jackson Boxer of Brunswick House and Orasay chose Casa Fofo as the restaurant he wants to try next. He said: “The one place I’ve always looked at and thought looks interesting but never been able to make it to is Casa Fofo in Hackney. Everyone I know that’s ever eaten there has said it’s genuinely really great and incredibly delicious. It’s very high on my list of places that I want to go.”

Black Axe Mangal, meanwhile, is where he goes to most frequently: “I still think that Lee Tiernan is doing something utterly distinctive and wonderful that’s specific to him.

“He’s also continually evolving and doing so creatively, both in terms of providing an attitude towards hospitality and the way restaurants can be. Everything I’ve ever eaten there has been mind-blowingly delicious.

“It’s still a restaurant that I look at and think that feels incredibly distinctive to London and really, really magical and special.”

The London Restaurant Festival takes place from Sept 30 to Oct 31,