Already a go-to fun dining destination in Ibiza, Milan and Porto Cervo, IT London hits the spot for a good night out, at a restaurant. The dining room is nautical inspired and sophisticated, the lighting is soft, and the atmosphere is professional but jovial. Start with their thin, crisp marinara pizza, and move on to lobster linguine, and sea bass papillote. There’s an array of seafood – tartares, crudo, king crab, oysters – as well as caviar and rib-eyes, tomahawks (for two) and Dover sole on the charcoal grill.
Views and bucatini
If you’re after views with your bucatini, this is your spot. A laid-back, bustling two-floor affair, with a huge outdoor terrace, virtually right in front of London Bridge: this is about as scenic as it gets. And as for the food, with a head chef who is ex-Bancone and an in-house pastry chef, the offering is great. Highlights include red prawn bucatini with datterini tomatoes, cacio e pepe (pasta is made fresh daily), hake with nduja and zucchini, and a polenta skillet-cooked cake with ice cream and cherries. Do start with the aperitivo de la casa which is a concoction of Cocchi Americano Rosa, gin, prosecco, strawberries and rhubarb, and end with a pink peppercorn sorbet. The staff are excellent, too.
Szechuan in Soho
We love this dining room – small, low-lit, buzzy but not too noisy – so we had to get in to try their post-lockdown menu. Start with some of their old faithful dishes: cucumbers in chilli oil, lightly fried tofu, dan dan noodles (veg are amazing) and Chengdu Jiaozi prawn dumplings. Then move onto some of their new dishes including tender salt and pepper spare ribs, sirloin with black pepper sauce, prawns with piles (literally) of chilli, king prawn or chicken fried noodles, and king prawn fried rice. Add a bottle of tempranillo, and you’ve got the perfect hot, spicy autumn night.
Hot4U at Laylow
So, this was a pop up (which is now over), but still worth covering as these boys will pop up again soon. You’ve heard us mention them before, but two chefs who got together in lockdown (Matt and Eddy) to serve super innovative take-away menus have now gone on to do fun, interesting pop ups around town. With things like poboy tacos (potato teddy bears with cockles and green allium) and a dessert that looked like leftovers from a Scarface mirror, there is a real playful element to their cooking, the likes of which we haven’t seen in LDN in years. They definitely remind us of Albert Adrià and his approach at Tickets. FUN! Their menu is always interesting, and wines (Top Cuvée is their partner), superb. If you like trying new things, they are ones for you.
Sette by Scarpetta
If you didn’t make it to Italy this summer (or are already missing it), an evening at Sette – on the food front – will take you back. Start early with an aperitivo (5 -8) at their bar, where, like in Italy, drinks now come with three chef-selected cicchetti (gratis). Move on to salmon and sea bass crudo, followed by their signature ‘scarpetta’ spaghetti (tomato and basil), and taglioni ‘acqua pazza’ which comes in a dramatic glass dome and has lobster, chilli and pane nero. For sides, fingerling potatoes and creamy polenta are a must. You can always get a hotel room upstairs (you’re in the Bulgari hotel) should you overindulge.
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