Nothing screams “December is here” more than everyone sharing their highlight reels, throwback pics and Spotify Wrapped. Instead of highlighting restaurants, I’ve decided to walk you through my best meals of 2021 because there’s something magical about the memories specific meals evoke. Grab a beverage of your choice and get your notes app ready, it’s a long one!
Sticky Toffee Pudding – The Terrace, Rosewood London
The first dish that blew my mind this year was the sticky toffee pudding at the Rosewood. There is nothing better than a classic dish made so well that it warrants the restaurant markup. It has the perfect sticky texture and sponginess you want in STP, it was so good I ordered it again at midnight during a staycation.
Buttermilk Pancakes – Smith & Wollensky
Steak is the obvious choice but as I went for brunch I wanted to highlight other parts of the menu. Smith & Wollensky offer one of the best bottomless brunches in London. Unlike a lot of places, the food tastes good AND the prosecco stays flowing until the very end!
Truffle Pasta – The Dorchester Rooftop
The Dorchester transformed their penthouse suite terrace into a restaurant for summer and of course, I paid them a visit. When I think about this pasta, I mostly think about the price and the theatrical plating from a cheese wheel. It deserves a spot on this list because…well no real reason but if I don’t document how will they ever know it happened???
Bombay Prawns – Fatt Pundit
In one word: phenomenal! These deep-fried prawns coated in a spicy sauce were the highlight of an overall excellent meal. It’s a great casual dining spot in Soho at a much lower price point but with good food and drinks because that’s what we’re into over here.
Sorbet – La Dame de Pic London
This was a complimentary dessert to replace the cheese and it was my favourite/the most memorable dish. Honestly, the restaurant is a miss for me and I wouldn’t recommend it but this “secret sorbet” was everything!
Mashed Potato – The Terrace, Rosewood London
Remember how much I raved about the beauty of elevated classics? Well, the mashed potato at Rosewood was everything I needed to nurse a hangover: fluffy and flavoursome. It’s almost as good as the one they serve at HIDE.
Venison Puffs – Yauatcha
These will make the list every year unless they…you know what never mind, I’m not putting that negative energy out there! Yauatcha has been fave for YEARS and this particular dish holds a special place in my heart.
Crab and Black Cod Dumplings – Roka
I loved everything on the menu but these dumplings are unassuming but delicious. Surprisingly this was my first time visiting Roka despite it being on my list for years but it was worth the wait!
The NoMad Hot Dog – Library, NoMad London
You might be wondering how we’ve gone from black cod and venison to a…hot dog but hear me out! This signature hot dog dish is wrapped in bacon with truffle and cherry. I won’t cheat but the fries are also incredible.
Oxtail Brioche – Bibo Shoreditch
I almost forgot about this one! Bibo opened in early August and has been on several hotlists but after visiting on the second night, I was not impressed. That said, the oxtail brioche is phenomenal and left a lasting impression on me.
Monkfish – Sucre
Another newly opened (at the time of visiting) restaurant. Sucre is absolutely stunning, has excellent service and a cool basement bar downstairs to continue the party. The monkfish was the standout dish for me.
Rigatoni – The NoMad Restaurant
This was a tough one because I enjoyed my entire meal but I randomly dream about the crunchy garnish on the rigatoni which completely elevated the dish.
Carlingford Oysters – Prawn on the Lawn
I’m an oyster girlie now. I realised that bigger is not better as far as oysters go and a drop of tabasco/relish goes a long way. This inexpensive seafood restaurant is a great place for a casual catch up with friends, the menu changes often so it’s worth getting plates to share.
Wagyu Beef – Amazonico
I was torn between this and the octopus but the tenderness and flavour of the wagyu beef won me over. You can never go wrong with perfectly cooked red meat.
Pigeon – Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Another restaurant I enjoyed in its entirety but forced myself to choose a standout for the list. Words cannot describe the delicate texture and rich but light flavour of the pigeon, you just have to experience it.
Glazed Baby Back Ribs – Roka
There’s a theme here: I revisit the places I truly love. As I mentioned before, the menu at Roka does not disappoint! This time I visited for brunch (which is amazing btw) and found a new love. I ordered the beef but I helped myself to several of my friend’s ribs; if you eat pork these are a must!
Duck Ragu Gnocchi – Cecconi’s
This was recommended by the waitress and was apparently a new offering at the time. I didn’t know what to expect but it blew my mind! The duck was perfectly tender and the gnocchi wasn’t too dense. Topped with Parmesan… *chef’s kiss*.
Grilled Octopus, Antillean
I was torn between the scallop ceviche (which is fab) and this dish. The octopus had a slight edge because it’s served with mango and honestly it’s a combo I never knew I needed until I tried it.
Monkfish Tempura, Sabor
I’ve had tempura many times and I’ve eaten monkfish before but this dish is truly outstanding. It’s a starter so it was one of my first impressions of the restaurant but definitely memorable.
Fries, Beer Burger
I was super hungry and walked for 40 days and 40 nights to find something…anything. These fries were perfect: fresh out the fryer, crisp, crunchy, potato-y. I was time pressured so skipped the burger but I’ll be back.
Duck Raviolo, Da Terra
The entire menu was amazing (sans a few things I personally dislike) so choosing a favourite should have been way harder than it actually was. The menu simply states: duck, whey and watercress but the distinct texture and flavours made the Raviolo a clear winner for me.
See you in 2022 with more fabulous food reviews!