With thousands of restaurants in the capital at your fingertips, it can often be hard to decipher what’s worth spending your hard-earned cash. But never fear, because we went to town with a food photographer Rebecca Dickson to show you what’s what.
STARTER: Potato rosti, sour cream and Exmoor caviar at Caravel
Reviewers would call it a couch, but we call it (and the three others we took out of sight) the most heavenly entryway. Perfectly proportioned to work up an appetite on the floating restaurant, the chef Lorcan SpiteriThe ode to the holy trinity – potato, sour cream and Exmoor caviar – is, frankly, a gift from the gods. The rösti is crispy on the outside and ever so moist in the center, while the silky, tangy sour cream and luxuriously salty, mineral caviar help it glide down a treat. Beverage expert and co-patron Late Spiteri says that it is best accompanied by a citrus verdejo wine, to which we say: aye, aye, captain.
£6.50 each; 172 Shepherdess Walk, London N1; thestudiokitchen.co.uk
FOR THE AREA: Arroz de Marisco in Lisbon
This year, Nuno Mendes, otherwise known as Portugal’s culinary wizard, has graced Charlotte Street with his ode to the country’s coastal capital. On the menu are many brilliantly executed surprises, but for us the real star is this very traditional and gloriously spicier rice, lightly spiced, studded with large, glistening prawns – the heads of which are served, ideal for sipping, on the side. Depending on the day, you will also find soft and tender knives. Go, go!
£49 for two to share; 30 Charlotte St, London W1T; lisboeta.co.uk
FOR DESSERT: Penny licks the Benham & Froud Jelladrome
Believe it or not, the puds on this page are illegal. Well, what they are served are. In the 19th century, ice cream was served by street vendors on a lick glass, from which passers-by drank before returning the glass. Due to the spread of cholera, they were soon banned, but now, with the advent of (expect) the dishwasher, the dessert design agency Bompas & Parr slyly brought them back to his first spot at Tottenham Court Road Arcade food hall. Our favorite flavors? Ultra-fruity strawberry with candied lemon zest, vegan passion fruit sorbet with vanilla meringue and vanilla cardamom with a slice of fresh strawberry. Oh, and dark chocolate with sprinkles, duh.
£3 each; 03-105 New Oxford St, London WC1; bompasandparr.com; arcadefoodhall.com