The Melting Pot: London’s Top 10 Restaurants

London is perhaps the world’s greatest melting pot of cultures and cuisines. This isn’t to take anything away from New York, but London is going through a brilliant food renaissance that deserves to be noticed.

In the past 20 years London has evolved into a foodies’ haven. Not having much of a core cuisine like neighboring countries France and Italy, London always seemed to lag behind Rome or Paris. But that started to change when the likes of Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsey hit the town. It was like starting with a clean slate and the entire food scene changed.

When you add to this new level of British Chef the tremendous influence that immigration has had on the city’s culinary options, you begin to see why London’s food scene is positively happening.   The concept of British food didn’t used to have a strong foundation so cuisines like Indian, Chinese and Italian could be very true to their origin. Cooks who moved here didn’t have to change their style to match a predetermined local palette. This means that London today has the best variety of restaurants that I have ever seen. It has the best Thai food I have ever had and incredible French, Korean, and Japanese.

So here are my top 10 eats in London along with my 5$ affordability rating.

The Rib Room, Carlton Towers Hotel

British

This is classic British opulence. Beautiful dining room that has been at the pinnacle of roast beef for decades. Smoked salmon and simple, elegant British cuisine.

$$$$$

Thai Square (many locations- Trafalgar SQ is my favorite)

Thai

Now there is Blue Elephant on Fulham Road but it is expensive so I love Thai SQ and its real Thai food with great seafood that’s grilled, a killer papaya salad and excellent Curries.

$$

Gogi Korean, Maida Vale

If all you know about Korean food is Korean BBQ then you have to head down to Maida Vale for the BEST Korean food I have ever had. They do a Korean beef tartar that is one of the best dishes I have every tried. Small portions but fantastic delicacies you may not see in all Korean restaurants.

$$$$$

New World, Chinatown

Chinese

Around Gerrard in London is some of the best Chinese food I have ever eaten. This is because the chefs are all from Hong Kong and in my opinion that’s the best Chinese food you can have. Hot & Sour soup and every dim sun under the sun.

$$

La Famiglia, 7 Langton St

Italian

Now you have all heard the old saying that a restaurant does well when the owner is always present. This is why La Famiglia has been part of the Italian restaurant establishment in London for decades. 2nd generation run with the BEST al dente pastas I have had. Risottos are quite incredible too. Lovely family atmosphere and always the who’s who dine there. Last time I was there I was sat next to Princess Diana’s brother.

$$$

Veeraswamy, Regent Street

Classic Indian Cuisine

London has the best Indian cuisine outside of India and some dishes that are made in India today actually evolved in London like the chicken tikka, which is a must here along with prawn madras, naan bread and poppadum.

$$$$

Zuma, 5 Raphael St

Japanese

I have always been a fan of Zuma. Even though it is a chain now and they have locations from Bangkok to Miami it still has the most innovative Japanese cuisine. It is expensive and portions are small. I prefer the buzz this location has more than is competition, Nobu.

Reubens Baker Street

Jewish Deli food

Outside of NY it is hard to get food like chopped liver, chicken soup and salt beef. You have to have English mustard on the Salt Beef when you’re here. NY Delis don’t do this, but it’s a great match.

$$

Satay House, 13 Sale Place in Paddington

Malaysian Food

This cuisine is hard to find in any city but London has some great options. Very spicy and authentic. I always ask what’s the best thing to have as they offer many Penang specialties. Quite sweet and rich food.

$$

The Square

Best French food in London

This is a gastronomic experience. It is worth eating at one of London’s best but be sure to book in advance and get the tasting menu. NY, London, Hong Kong, Paris all have elite places to dine because they are THE place to be seen.  But that’s not what’s happening here at The Square. This is all about the food. But forget the diet. At all of the other top 9 restaurants I can eat healthily, except for this place. But it is worth the indulgence!

Daniel - Living GreenDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living  well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

To contact Daniel or learn more visit www.themodelcook.com or follow on Twitter  and Facebook.