For most Londoners, Paddington
is often thought of as either a transport hub or a business centre and not as a great dining destination. However, there are some good eats to be had in between all the offices if you know where to look.
London Shell Co.
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Technically the London Shell Co.
is in Paddington but as it’s aboard The Prince Regent Canal boat it doesn’t always stay there. At lunch the boat is moored just off Sheldon Square, whereas in the evenings it takes diners on a cruise along the Regent’s Canal up to Camden
and back again. The food is superb regardless of the sitting you choose, with the menu showcasing seafood (what else?) like skate wing, Devon crab and mackerel tartare, paired with great wines.
Restaurant, American, European, $$$
Right on Merchant Square, Lockhouse
is an all-day joint with burgers and craft beers at its heart. From the Locked & Loaded (double beef patty, double American cheese, double bacon) to the Asian-inspired tuna steak burger, the menu is full of crowd-pleasers plus a number of salad options for those who want something more virtuous. There’s a varied tap selection with more beers to be found in the fridge, so you’ll have no problem finding the perfect brew for your burger.
Restaurant, European, Italian, $$$
Pizza and beer are the specialties at Heist Bank
, which is run by the team behind Exmouth Market’s Coin Laundry. The sourdough pizzas are made from a mother yeast started in Italy in 1920 and 48-hour fermented dough so you can be sure of a good crust, whether you opt for the lamb, feta and aged rocket or the egg, sea aster and anchovy pizza. There are lots of local beers, including Beavertown and Gipsy Hill, on tap (which you can take home in growlers) plus rotating guest brews and more cans and bottles in the fridge. Heist Bank even has a pool table and a games room to keep you entertained between drinks.
Restaurant, Chinese, Dim Sum, $$$
The extensive menu at Pearl Liang
includes dim sum, Cantonese classics, delicacies like abalone and even some Thai and Vietnamese dishes. All this can appear overwhelming at first but there’s lots of treasure here, especially amongst their seafood selection. It’s one of the more upmarket Chinese restaurants in town, with its water fountains and blossom murals, so go in a group and make it a real feast.
Restaurant, Argentina, $$$
is one for carnivores – this country-style Argentine kitchen is heavy on the meat. Various cuts of beef, lamb chops and chicken are cooked on the grill with chorizo burgers and classic meaty empanadas also on the menu. The wine list is Argentinian, of course, with many available by the carafe so you have the chance to sample as many different varieties as you can handle. Casa Malevo feels rustic and homely, but the cooking is top drawer.
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
is chef Scott Hallsworth’s take on a Japanese izakaya and he hasn’t shied away from being bold or inventive. You won’t find plates like tuna sashimi pizza with truffle ponzu, Korean short rib tacos with chilli oil and avocado wonton bombs at many other places. Even the sushi section sees traditional rolls given a Kurobuta twist. They do a fantastic bottomless brunch too – this kind of food just goes so well with booze.
Restaurant, French, $$$
Once a pub and venue that played host to secret meetings for the likes of Winston Churchill, Angelus
is now a smart French brasserie, although with its Art Nouveau interior it has lost none of its past elegance. Classic French flavours with some contemporary flourishes dominate, like snails in parsley sauce with garlic emulsion; ginger, honey and orange tuna steak; and lychee and passionfruit bavarois. The comprehensive wine list is also largely French.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
has been serving up authentic Italian food to the people of Paddington for over 15 years. Co-owners Franco and Luca hail from Puglia and Naples respectively and have channelled their passion for Italian produce and Italian hospitality into this restaurant. Traditional dishes like cacio e pepe linguine, veal Milanese and beef carpaccio are given the modern treatment, the wine list celebrates the best regional Italian varieties and everything is delivered with charm.