Don’t get distracted by the big hitters and miss some real gems from Brazilian rodizio that rivals Hawksmoor to a fiery Thai spot in Soho. Alex Dalzell pinpoints seven overlooked or hidden restaurants that deserve your attention.
Missing summer? Find the sunshine at Saltie Girl
This Boston import has brought its lobster rolls, towering shellfish platters, and posh tinned seafood to the northern edge of Mayfair. The art deco interior, excellent service, and welcoming neighbourhood vibe mean this can be either a dress-up date spot or something more casual with mates. To be in the thick of it, secure a couple of spaces at the kitchen counter, or choose a table further into the restaurant for a calmer, more intimate evening.
15 North Audley Street, Mayfair, visit the website here
Love Hawksmoor? Get your next meat fix at Fazenda Bishopsgate
When a restaurant empire expands in the UK, it usually takes root in London before spreading to other major cities, but this Argentinean restaurant group made a name for itself in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool before reaching the capital. For a set price, you’ll settle in for an evening of grilled meats carved at the table, served alongside fries with zingy chimichurri sauce, classic feijoada, Pampas-inspired sides, and a good selection of South American reds.
100 Bishopsgate, The City, visit the website here
Like to keep things classical? Dress up for The Midland Grand Dining Room
This one isn’t exactly a hidden restaurant but it does tend to fly under the radar. Referencing the original name of the St Pancras Renaissance when it opened in 1873, one of London’s most historic dining rooms is back on the scene following the closure of the much-loved The Gilbert Scott in 2021. Patrick Powell, who also heads up Allegra in Stratford (which is well worth a trip east), helms the new incarnation and pays tribute to the building’s 1920s heyday with a menu rooted in Golden Age classics with a few contemporary twists.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross, visit the website here
Ready for some heat? Discover the taste of Thailand at Speedboat Bar
Cast yourself to the neon-lit streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown at this colourful, spice-fuelled dining spot in Soho. After success behind the stove at Plaza Khao Gaeng at Arcade Food Hall, chef Luke Farrell has crafted a menu of fiery curries, aromatic stir fries, and specialities such as the seafood packed tom yam mama noodles. Gather your friends, order a round of whisky sodas, and make your way through as much from the menu as you can.
30 Rupert Street, Soho, visit the website here
Want to taste something new? Check out Lahpet
No matter how popular the food is, making the leap from street food stall to a permanent restaurant isn’t easy, but this Burmese crowd-pleaser is one of the success stories. Following a year-long pop up in Hackney followed by its first permanent venture in Shoreditch back in 2018, there’s a new Covent Garden iteration that deserves your attention. If you’re new to Burmese cuisine, expect soups, curries, salads, and skewers that fuse flavours and ingredients from India, Thailand, and China – don’t miss the tea leaf salad and coconut noodles with chicken.
21 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, visit the website here
Craving a plate of pasta? Uncover the magic of Legare
While queues snake around the block for pasta perfectionists like Padella and Gloria, we’ve always been surprised that Legare in Shad Thames has remained under the radar. Ex-Trullo chef Matt Beardmore oversees the concise menu that changes a few times a week to showcase a delicious selection of seasonal dishes from across many regions – there’s an impeccable Roman spaghetti alla gricia, a proper Lombardi risotto, and some of the tastiest focaccia you’ll try outside Puglia.
31 Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, visit the website here
Been to Bentleys? Next stop… The Seafood Bar
This Amsterdam-born seafood restaurant brought its towering platters to Soho’s Dean Street back in 2021… and we’re surprised how few people have visited, especially considering how popular places like Bentleys, J Sheekey, and Wright Brothers remain among our members. While it’s on the more casual end of the spectrum, the dining room has a great buzz and the menu spans all the favourites, from fine caviar and native oysters to a decent fish and chips; however, it’s all about the generous platters of fruits de mer that are the main attraction. The perfect “hidden restaurant”.
77 Dean Street, Soho, visit the website here
Alex Dalzell has written extensively about dining and interviewed some of the world’s top chefs in his role as Head of Content for Europe at Ten Lifestyle Group. Ten is the world-leading travel and lifestyle concierge service which helps 100,000s of members across the globe live life to the fullest. Ten also provide services to valuable customers of some of the world’s leading private banks and premium financial services.
To discover more hidden restaurants and learn how they can unlock your next culinary discovery, plan your winter getaway, or secure tickets to the next sold-out gig visit the website here and follow @tenconcierge.