London’s Soho has a great range of restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving, whether for a traditional British dinner, flavours of Southeast Asia or Italian cuisine fit for royalty. There is simply nowhere better than Soho for dining in London, so head over there for this pick of the best venues.
The first Yalla Yalla, in Green’s Court, Soho, was opened in late 2008 by chef Jad Youssef and his partner Aga Ilska. Beirut-born Jad met Aga, who is Polish, while the two worked in a Lebanese restaurant – she ran front-of-house while he was in the kitchen. The food is to die for if you’re a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, and certain to make you a convert even if you’re not.
If you’re looking for a slice of 1950s Havana, then Bar La Rampa is the place to go. Expect a menu of Cuban-inspired small plates, along with a selection of dishes influenced by wider Central America. Sip on cuba libre cocktails, or make your way through the extensive list of classic Cuban rums one-by-one. When it comes to food, the elote ribs served with vegan chipotle mayo are a must, as is the crispy pork belly sandwich, melted together with stringy raclette cheese. It’s all about the vibe here, too. From Tuesday to Saturday you’ll hear live latin bands and be transported to the bustling streets of Havana.
The best time to go to this divine Japanese noodle bar is around 5:45 on a cool evening, just before everyone pours out of the office and the queue for udon snakes up Frith Street. This little restaurant is an absolute delight and consistently delivers well-measured portions of Japanese dishes using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients – and they’re delicious, too.
Opened in the 1920s, Quo Vadis was one of the first Italian restaurants in Soho, and it has been given a new lease of life with the arrival of Jeremy Lee. The head chef’s cooking is simple yet superbly executed, and his search for unusual ingredients to complement the standard offerings never ends. Indeed, the menu changes daily, but summer fare has included sweetbreads, squid, duck hearts, samphire and pickled gooseberries.
The name alone is a draw – who wouldn’t want to visit such a merrily titled establishment? The original Rum Kitchen opened in 2013 near Portobello Road, and was an immediate hit with locals, evoking time spent holidaying by the beach. Head here for beautifully flavoured Caribbean food, too.
In 2008, Bocca di Lupo set out to change the Soho dining scene. Chef Jacob Kenedy’s take on classic Italian regional cuisine is like the Silver Spoon cookbook brought to life, with stripped-down, simple food served in buzzy, glamorous surroundings.
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