It has been a truly miserable month for foodies, who have had to rely on the new home delivery options from top restaurants to get their fix. As lockdown 2 nears its conclusion, we spoke to some of London’s top chefs to find out where they will be spending their first post-lockdown meal. Take some inspiration from London’s finest and book yourself a table while you still can.
James Lowe, chef and co-founder of Lyle’s and Flor: “I’ll be heading to 40 Maltby Street for my first dinner out again. Great food, great people, great wine list. I’ve been visiting regularly as they’ve been operating as a bottle shop and also making what are the best sandwiches in London over lockdown, but can’t wait to sit down and have a full menu from Stevie [Williams], one of the best chefs in London.
David Carter, chef and founder of SMOKESTAK: “Brawn – for the cooking as much as for the people.”
Chris Leach, chef and co-founder of Manteca: “I’m really looking forward to going to Kol, but this will probably be one for next year. Most likely, my first meal out of lockdown will be a lunch at Kiln, which is always brilliant.”
Iain Smith, head chef of No. Fifty Cheyne: “If I wasn’t cooking for a full house here at No. Fifty Cheyne, my fiancée and I would be at The Goring Hotel, where much of my training happened and where I stayed longer than anywhere else! Their family of colleagues made it a truly memorable place to work and I’d love to be enjoying a signature lobster thermidor omelette – and if either Jeremy Goring (CEO) or David Morgan-Hewitt (MD) pulled up a chair then my evening simply couldn’t get much better. I owe them both a great deal.”
Taiji Maruyama, executive chef of TAKA: “The first restaurant I would like to visit is Four Seasons in ChinaTown, specifically for the Roast Duck. It’s one of my favourite dishes in London due to it being crispy, sweet and tender all at the same time.”
Marcus Eaves, executive chef, Oblix: “The first restaurant I will be visiting is Akoko in Berners Street. I ate at another West African restaurant, Ikoyi, after the first lockdown and loved it! The level of heat was exceptional, so well balanced, the food was thought provoking and intelligent. So I’m looking forward to trying the next instalment in London’s West African food scene and seeing what Aji [Akokomi] and his team are up to.”
Aji Akokomi, Founder of Akoko: “I’m going to try and get a table at Kol. I would love to eat there: Santiago is showcasing the deliciousness of Mexico with British ingredients.”
Monika Linton, founder of Brindisa: “I’ve booked a table at Cafe Deco. It’s newly opened and it takes me back to my uni days in Bloomsbury. I am a great fan of what Anna Tobias calls ‘brown food’ – we all need some comfort and wholesome reassurance that everything will be ok, and I find it in this kind of homely menu. Inland Spain does very good brown food, too so I’m all in!”
Eran Tibi, chef and founder of Bala Baya: “I’m going to the launch of Golden Gai in Soho, to support a friend who is opening his second site, his first being Angelina in Dalston. To come out from this difficult, stressful time with a new message, investment and flare takes a lot. Many people will say it’s madness, but I appreciate madness!”
Apollonia Poilâne, CEO of Poilâne: “I would have to say Hunan in Belgravia. I have been craving to share a table covered with Hunanese dishes with friends for a very long time!”
Victor Garvey, chef-patron of SOLA: “I wanna push the boat out. A big, multi-Michelin star meal for me. Sketch or Dame de Pic, probably.”