If you want to splash the cash on extravagant meal, you’ll find plenty of places to do so in Covent Garden. From high-end Italian to inventive Peruvian food, these are our top fine dining restaurants in the area.
Restaurant, British, Seafood, $$$
You won’t find much better seafood cookery in London than at J Sheekey. The photographs of actors who have eaten there give the dining room a real sense of glamour and the service is smart, so come here to indulge – that means champagne, oysters, caviar, lobster, the lot.
As a chef who has earned 31 Michelin stars throughout his life, you would expect the food that Joël Robuchon serves in his restaurants to be of the highest quality, and you would be right. The menu at the Covent Garden branch draws on European and Japanese flavours peppered with French delicacies like truffle and foie gras. Though you can eat at the counter downstairs, head to the first floor dining area for a more memorable experience.
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A century old, The Ivy is a British classic through and through. Although it’s had a slight facelift, the interiors remain glamorous with green leather banquettes, stained glass windows, walls full of contemporary British art and a gorgeous central bar. The food is just as elegant, with British classics like shrimp cocktail and shepherd’s pie elevated to fine dining standards.
The Delaunay looks like it’s been lifted straight out of Vienna and placed in Aldwych. The restaurant is modelled after the grand cafes of Europe and it certainly looks the part with lots of oak panelling, green leather and silver servingware. The all-day menu draws heavily on traditional European fare, there are sections for schnitzel, sausages and classic cakes as well as a daily specials list that includes Hungarian fish stew.
For the times when you want more than just a bowl of pasta, come to Margot. The restaurant incredibly slick and shiny, the service is impeccable and the food, though largely classic Italian, is executed with real style. Even the simple sounding pumpkin and ricotta ravioli or ox cheek braised in red wine are on another level.
Though it’s the little sister (meaning slightly lower prices) to Virgilio Martinez’s Michelin-starred Lima in Fitzrovia, the food at Lima Floral is still exceptional. More familiar dishes like ceviche and suckling pig sit alongside unusual desserts, like tree tomato mousse with Amazonian chocolate and coffee ice cream with purple potato. Come for inventive and vibrant cookery and some ace cocktails from their Pisco Bar.
Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Fusion, Asian, Cuban, $$$
One of the originators of Latin American-Asian fusion food and one of the places to be seen when it opened in 1999, Asia de Cuba still has the wow factor thanks to dishes like shrimp churros with Thai coconut curry and Cuban slow roasted pork with black beans and fried rice. Even their bottomless brunch with unlimited cocktails is luxurious.
The London outpost of Parisian favourite Frenchie run by Gregory Marchand, Frenchie Covent Garden combines British ingredients and French flair with a dollop of playfulness – Marchand did name his restaurant after the nickname given to him by Jamie Oliver after all. He serves bacon scones with maple syrup and Cornish clotted cream and the restaurant is very sleek, with lots of grey and brushed gold accents. The modern French food is just as beautiful.
Eneko at One Aldwych, from acclaimed Spanish chef Eneko Axta, may be less formal than his three-Michelin-starred Bilbao restaurant Azurmendi but you’re still in for something rather special. The menu really is a celebration of Basque flavours with a modern twist, like wheat stew topped with truffle and egg yolk, and suckling pig tempura with bacon sauce. He also serves a Basque brunch, which is a far cry from your bog-standard eggs and avocado.