The bucket list: our must-eat UK restaurant dishes

Must-eat London restaurants

Steamed duck yolk custard bun, A Wong, London

“I spent weeks trying to get the hot, molten salted duck egg centre right,” says chef-owner Andrew Wong. It’s appreciated by food director, Cassie Best, who describes this lunch-only dim sum as: “Enjoyable beyond measure.” Menus from £100pp;

Steamed duck yolk custard bun. Picture by James Gillies

Sharmaji’s Lahori chicken, BiBi, London

“Sublime”, sighs group magazines editor, Keith Kendrick, as he describes chef Chet Sharma’s chicken in a creamy yogurt whey and roasted cashew sauce, finished with a fenugreek, black salt and green mango butter. “It contains nearly 30 ingredients, half a dozen processes and a BBQ. It’s why we go to restaurants,” says Keith. Dinner, £125;

Sharmaji's lahori chicken at BiBi, London

Presa iberica, Pizarro, London

This pork steak, a shoulder cut which cannot be cured like other Spanish ham, is prized for its huge flavour. Served with Piquillo peppers and potatoes, the presa at Jose Pizarro’s Bermondsey restaurant comes from acorn-fed, 100% ibérico black pigs. “Butter soft,” enthuses our group editor-in-chief Christine Hayes. Mains from £17;

Presa at Pizarro

Shokupan and butter, Humble Chicken, London

As Jules Pearson, VP of food and beverage at hotelier Ennismore, puts it: “There’s butter, then there’s Humble Chicken’s butter.” The latter is a stylish puck of miso sesame-flavoured dairy, layered with chicken liver parfait and fermented red cabbage, served with shokupan bread. “Beautiful to look at, even better to eat.” £125pp;

Shokupan and butter at Humble Chicken, London

Whole turbot, Brat, London

Chef Tomos Parry’s Basque-inspired Shoreditch restaurant was a game-changer for live-fire cooking in Britain. Its whole turbot (£150, serves four) remains a dream dish for many. This magnificent fish is slowly ember-cooked with incredible precision. Larger plates from £21.50;

Whole turbot at Brat in London

Pici cacio e pepe, Padella, London

Using noodle-like pici pasta, is this the definitive take on the dish du jour? “The sauce is just parmesan, butter, black pepper and lemon juice, but has amazing depth of flavour,” says our production manager, Fiona Forman. Pastas from £9;

Pici cacio e pepe from Padella in London

Grilled tiger prawns in garlic masala, The Tamil Prince, London

New wave desi pub that’s easy to love. Chef Prince Durairaj’s prawns have London in their thrall. “Meaty, succulent and so big they’re like mini lobsters,” enthuses group magazines editor, Keith Kendrick. “The masala has a fiery addictive kick.” Larger plates, £10.50-18.50;

Grilled tiger prawns in garlic masala from The Tamil Prince, London

Smoked eel sandwich, Quo Vadis, London

Originally a place-holder (for a planned truffle sandwich), chef Jeremy Lee’s snack of smoked eel, Poîlane sourdough, horseradish cream and pickled red onion is, a decade later, a true classic. Mains from £23.50;

Smoked eel sandwich from Quo Vadis, London

Dexter cheeseburger, The Plimsoll, London

“Best burger in London?” asks olive drinks writer, Hannah Guinness. Run by chefs Jamie Allan and Ed McIlroy, aka. Four Legs, this north London pub has become a point of pilgrimage for patty lovers, thanks to what Hannah calls this, “juicy, sloppy glory”. Mains from £11;

Dexter cheeseburger from The Plimsoll, London

White millefeuille, Tahitian vanilla, jasmine jelly, voatsiperifery pepper cloud, La Dame de Pic, London

Holder of 10 Michelin stars (including two at La Dame), Anne-Sophie Pic’s dishes are, says our group editor-in-chief, Christine Hayes, full of “technical wizardry”. Accompanied by a cloud of Madagascan pepper-infused milk foam, this “visually spectacular” millefeuille presents as a mysterious white cube that, when opened, reveals an exquisite interior of delicately layered pastry, vanilla cream and jasmine jelly. Dinner from £145pp;

Millefeuille at La Dame de Pic, London

Cold noodles, cucumber, chilli oil, Xi’an Impression, London

Xi’an’s hand-pulled biangbiang noodles are undoubtedly amazing, and the cold liang-pi noodles are the star – a starter of wheat starch noodles, tossed with pieces of mianjin (seitan), chilli oil, cucumber, white vinegar and fresh garlic sauce. Mains £10.80-13.90;

Fish sauce chilli wings, Smoking Goat, Shoreditch, London

Arguably, this Thai-inspired BBQ joint’s most compelling dish: fried chicken wings bathed in a sticky sauce, garnished with coriander, shallots and chillies. “Sweet, salty, umami, fiery,” says olive food content creator, Helena Busiakiewicz, these wings are “life altering”. Larger plates £8-26;

Moo krob, Singburi, London

Sirichai Kularbwong’s cooking draws a devoted crowd to this Leytonstone Thai restaurant. For editor, Alex Crossley, its “crispy, fragrant moo krob (pork belly with chilli and holy basil) is heaven. I challenge you not to order a second portion”. Cash only, BYOB. Mains £10-14; Instagram @singburi_e11

Must-eat UK restaurants

Manoush’e, Parker’s Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire

Best known for its curried mutton pies, there is much more to discover at this celebrated Ribble Valley pub. In her manoush’e (or manousheh), chef Stosie Madi draws on her French-Lebanese heritage to irresistible ends, creating a puffier, sourdough version of the traditional flatbread, topped with gloriously fatty, minced belly of mutton, beef or venison. Three courses, £50;

Manoush'e, a dish served at Parker’s Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire

Birria tacos, Bab Haus Mex, Barry, Wales

The dish that put BBQ ace Leyli Homayoonfar’s Bab Haus on the map: 18-hour ex-dairy beef rib and brisket, first smoked (a novel twist for birria), then braised in a lavishly seasoned, spicy broth and shredded into grilled cheese tacos with myriad sauces and slaws, and a hot dipping consommé on the side. “The mess is well worth it,” laughs Jane Cook, founder of Cardiff Wine Passport. Mains from £10;

Bab Haus' Quesa Birria Tacos in Wales

Berkswell pudding caramelised in birch sap, stout vinegar, aged Berkswell, L’Enclume, Cumbria

Stand aside sticky toffee, there’s a new pud in town. And it’s sensational. Topped with a grated snowfall of the ewe’s milk cheese, Berkswell, this gobsmacker (Simon Rogan likens it to “savoury bread and butter pudding”) lays down a serious marker for L’Enclume’s three-Michelin-star tasting menu. £250pp;

Berkswell pudding from L’Enclume, Cumbria

Hen’s egg, Skosh, York

Neil Bentinck’s cooking is all about constantly evolving creativity. But his hen’s egg: a dainty, ceramic shell filled, in winter, with aerated Dale End cheddar mousse, PX syrup, mushroom duxelles and yolk purée, can never come off the menu. Skosh sells over 200 a week. Larger plates, £8-25;

Hen's egg from Skosh in York

North Sea crab, warm butter, sourdough, Noto, Edinburgh

You had me at crab/butter/sourdough (delete as appropriate). This dish of white crab meat warmed in a butter emulsion (50:50 cultured and unsalted butter), finished with lemon juice, herbs and dill oil, served in an empty crab shell with dipping Company Bakery bread, is outrageously good. Sharing dishes, £9-24;

North sea crab, warm butter, sourdough at Noto in Edinburgh

Cruffin, Roots, York

Devised by Tommy Banks and head chef Will Lockwood, Roots’ cruffin is a memorable savoury take on this muffin-croissant hybrid. Stuffed with lamb neck, beef or venison, it’s served as part two of your meat main, to mop up all the juices. Dinner, £145-165pp;

Cruffin, a savoury take on a muffin- croissant hybrid. Stuffed with lamb neck, beef or venison

Acorn-reared pig, grain and mushroom porridge, Higher Ground, Manchester

Chef Joe Otway’s ethos is ultra seasonal, sustainable, waste-minimal. Within that framework, he creates delicious dishes that offer great comfort. This pork dish exemplifies that. Its porridge of rolled organic oats, whole spelt and wheatberries is a lusciously creamy, profoundly tasty foil for acorn-reared pork from Jane’s Farm in Cheshire. Larger plates around £10-35;

Acorn-reared pig, grain and mushroom porridge at Higher Ground in Manchester

Disco cauliflower, Maray, Liverpool

Inspired by Middle Eastern and North African whole vegetable dishes, Maray’s half cauli – par-cooked in turmeric water, then deep-fried and dressed in tahini, chermoula, yogurt, harissa, almonds, pomegranate and herbs – is a star sharing plate. The ‘disco’ name came from a Bold Street regular and, says co-founder Thomas White, “stuck because it made so much sense”. Sharing dishes, £5.50-13.50;

Disco cauliflower, a half cauli – par-cooked in turmeric water, deep-fried and dressed in tahini, chermoula, yogurt, harissa, almonds, pomegranate and herbs

Picos de Europa blue cheese, deep-fried caramelised walnuts, sultanas and honey, Porta, Chester

Alchemy! You may think you hate blue cheese or honey but this combo (inspired by pan de higo, a Spanish mixture of pressed dried figs and almonds served with cheese), creates a new irresistible interplay from its sweet, savoury flavours. Complex, elegant, remarkable. Tapas, £4.20-10.95;

Picos de Europa blue cheese, deep-fried caramelised walnuts, sultanas and honey

Tortilla Baratxuri, Manchester

Joe Botham’s love of Basque food runs deep. From txuleta at San Sebastián’s Bar Nestor to tortilla at Bilbao’s El Kirol, he’s eaten it all, gleaning tips from the region’s best chefs. Vividly flavoured and perfectly seasoned, Baratxuri’s tortilla is simultaneously firm, creamy, crisp, yielding. Look out for the crab aïoli filled txaka version. Sharing plates, £6-17;

Baratxuri, Manchester

Torched fish bun, Dory’s, Margate

“Any of Dory’s small plates have me drooling,” says olive food content creator, Helena Busiakiewicz. But this bun: mackerel, trout or bream with aïoli and, depending on the season, kohlrabi or celeriac remoulade, stands out. “Coupled with a sea view and chablis?” says Helena. “It’s perfection.” Dishes £6-14;

Beef fat buns, Here Comes the Bun at The Swine That Dines, Leeds

During Covid, Swine chef Stuart Myers began filling incredible beef fat buns with goodies such as braised brisket and homemade pickles, with dipping gravy. Every Friday lunchtime, having latterly diversified into potato rolls, too, Stu continues to treat fans to one stellar bun to eat in or takeaway. Buns, £8.50;

Steak and ale pudding, greens, hand-cut chips and gravy, Higher Buck, Waddington, Lancashire

Even in summer, this steamed suet zinger flies out. That is testament to Michael Heathcote, a chef-owner who, working to traditional principles (local, seasonal produce; rigorous cooking skills; patience) has, over two decades, turned this buzzy, comfortable village pub into a reliable source of deep flavour. Mains from £15;

#bucket #list #musteat #restaurant #dishes

Trả lời