Angela Hartnett shares her 8 favourite London restaurants
Angela Hartnett is one of the most revered chefs in the world. As well as running several restaurants – including her ever-popular Italian, Murano in Mayfair – she has authored cookbooks, been awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry and has just launched the second series of Dish, a podcast she hosts with Nick Grimshaw. But when it comes to dining out, where does Angela like to eat? From whole-roasted turbot in Hackney to her go-to weekend lunch spot, these are Angela Hartnett’s favourite London restaurants.
Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant is a great restaurant on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury that is run by Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling. I have been going there ever since they opened in 2o15. It’s simple, delicious cooking, they don’t mess around with it. They have two restaurants – there’s another one on Greek Street in Soho, which opened in 2020, where they do a dish of roast chicken with morels and Vin Jaune served with riz au pilaf, which I particularly like. I also love the fact Noble Rot focuses on wine as well as food. If I want a good glass of wine, it’s the place to go – they probably have some of the best wine in London at the moment.
51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3NB
2 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 4NB
Rita’s on Lexington Street, Soho, is run by mates of mine, Gabe Pryce and Missy Flynn. Gabe is the chef and Missy is front of house – they’re brilliant. It is Mexican inspired but uses quality British produce. The food is always quirky and slightly different, with great spice. There’s this one dish – a chicken parmigiana, which is a deboned, brined chicken thigh fried in a spiced cornmeal dredge and served with a marinara and mozzarella – which is really tasty. So is Gabe’s eggs al Forno with anchovies. Everything is delicious and I love the vibe and the service. It’s a good place for a night out with friends.
49 Lexington Street, Soho, London W1F 9AP
Tomos Parry’s Brat x Climpson’s Arch is set under these railway arches in London Fields and is a big, noisy place – I really enjoy it there. You can take the dog, sit outside in the covered courtyard, have drinks, and order great food. Parry has a big wood-fired oven, and the cooking is very much along the lines of the San Sebastian way. It’s not Spanish food necessarily but has this Spanish influence of cooking on grills and open fire. It’s all delicious but I particularly like the cod’s roe, the whole roasted turbot with smoked potatoes, followed by the Basque burnt cheesecake. Again, it’s not messing around with trying to be too clever or complicated – it’s just good seasonal produce. That’s the way to do it.
374 Helmsley Place, Hackney, London E8 3SB
This is a small Italian place in a converted warehouse on Shad Thames, set up by Jay Patel and Matt Beardmore who have worked across Barrafina, Koya and Trullo. They do simple Italian food, which is consistently delicious, including seasonal antipasti and handmade pasta. They make the most perfect meatballs and a delicious sausage ragout with broccoli rabe. I enjoy going solo – they are a cool team who understand how to look after guests. I have never had a bad meal there. I try to eat out a couple of times a week – nothing fancy. I hear about new London restaurants on the grapevine, and by reading reviews and checking social media… I don’t go to every opening. I am lucky enough to get invited to a lot, and I go when I have the time.
Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, Bermondsey, London SE1 2YR
40 Maltby Street
Again, this is a wine shop with a restaurant in it, located in the warehouse of Gergovie Wines in Bermondsey. They do very good wine and simple food – but often simple is the hardest thing to do well. I remember one time having lovely boiled ham that was just served with piccalilli. They also make excellent sandwiches and these little snacky things, so you don’t get too full – they do the small plate concept really well. It’s buzzy and the staff are great. My husband Neil [Borthwick] and I always try to go at midday on a Saturday, as it’s the time you can get a table before it gets mad busy – and they let dogs in too, which is great. They do terrific takeaway sandwiches, too, with a menu that changes daily.
40 Maltby Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3PA
Ed Wilson’s place on Columbia Road in east London is a neighbourhood favourite . He’s a great restaurateur serving seasonal, simple, delicious cooking. I love the pasta Ed makes and he always serves delicious fish. He made this dish last summer consisting of melon, tomato and bottarga [a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe pouch] with fab olive oil. It was so, so good. Mind you, every time I visit, I always really like it. It’s my go-to place when I want to show people a fantastic local.
49 Columbia Road, Shoreditch, London E2 7RG
I haven’t been for a while, but Santiago Lastra’s KOL is a Mexican restaurant that’s beautifully done – great flavours, great food. His way of creating Mexican food with good British produce is incredible. A couple of years ago Santiago did a pop-up in his back garden and it was delicious. And now he’s got his own restaurant, which is equally good. When he first opened, he did a pig stew with tacos, which was just so full of flavour – it was amazing. There’s a mezcaleria downstairs which is fun for drinks.
9 Seymour Street, Marylebone, London W1H 7BA
Dastaan is a fantastic Indian restaurant in very south London, on the way to Epsom. It’s run by a guy called Sanjay Gour who used to work with me years ago, first in Dubai in 2001 and then at the Connaught and Murano as a pastry chef. I’d say they do some of the best Indian food in London. When we go, we never choose dishes, Sanjay just cooks – he does the most amazing daal and the kumbh palak is delicious. The curries are all so light, you just know they’ve been made to order rather than cooked three days ahead and just left to sit there. The team works really hard – they painted the restaurant, built the kitchen, make all the food – and it’s great. It’s lovely seeing people I’ve worked with go on to open their own places.
447 Kingston Road, Epsom, KT19 ODB
Dish, hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett is available on all podcast providers now