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Where the chefs eat: Ravneet Gill shares her 7 favourite London restaurants

From fiery Thai food to British fine dining, these are the pastry chef and TV presenter’s must-visit foodie spots in the capital

British pastry chef Ravneet Gill learnt her trade at some of the finest restaurants in London, from St. John and Llewelyn’s to Jamavar and Black Axe Mangal, before putting down everything she knew about crafting sweet treats into her hugely popular first book, The Pastry Chef’s Guide, published in 2020. Since then, she’s released a second book, Sugar, I Love You, and charmed viewers as a judge on Five Star Kitchen alongside Michel Roux Jr. Here, the pastry supremo shares her favourite London restaurants. 

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Where The Chefs Eat

Ravneet Gill’s favourite London restaurants

Maison François

One of the places I keep going back to again and again is Maison François in Piccadilly. I’d happily go there for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and I have all my meetings there. It’s also where my husband and I went for drinks after we got married. They make all their pastries in-house and the service is great. If I go for breakfast, I have one of their pain Suisse or a yogurt bowl, because I’m more of a sweet person for breakfast. 

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

For lunch or dinner, they do amazing flatbreads, but you can always have a really delicious plate of pasta, or roast chicken, or a great steak. The menu is full of crowd pleasers. It looks fancy in there, but everyone is so down to earth and the atmosphere is amazing – the people who go there just like good food.

34 Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6DF
maisonfrancois.london

Som Saa

For incredible Thai food, Som Saa in Spitalfields is top of my list. I go there about once a week. Everything is made from scratch – my husband worked there as a chef for a little bit, so I know it’s all authentic and that they use the best ingredients that come directly from Thailand. The prep is ridiculous, they hand chop all the lemongrass and the Thai basil; it’s a lot of work and you can definitely taste it in the food.

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

Their Som Tam is lovely, though I have to ask for it be half as spicy as it normally comes. They do these lovely tamarind chicken skewers – I always get two of those – and a really good Flourish Farm Thai green curry with delicious vegetables. That’s my usual order. You can go for a casual lunch or something more formal; I’ve taken my parents there, but I’ve also been there after the gym with no makeup on.

43A Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6BD
somsaa.com

Yasmin

I recently went to Yasmin, the restaurant at the top of the new members’ club 1 Warwick in Soho, and was really impressed with it. Because it’s a private club I was a bit like, “How good is it going to be?” But it was actually really great! I’ve been twice recently and loved it both times.

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

The food is Turkish, so you can have a lovely fresh watermelon salad, great manti, kofte and a bit of flatbread on the side. The food is made for sharing, so it’s somewhere to go with friends. I used to be a massive fan of Selin Kiazim, who had a restaurant called Oklava in Shoreditch – I thought her food was the best, and this is the closest I’ve found to her cooking since that closed. It has a similar vibe too, with a buzzy rooftop.

1 Warwick Street, Soho, London W1B 5LR
1warwick.com

Dorchester Grill

For special occasions, I usually go to the Grill at The Dorchester, because Tom Booton is such an incredible chef. It’s where my husband and I went when we got engaged, and then we went again with all my family the day we got married. Tom is just so good at taking things that are really classic and making them the best version possible. Even something simple like roast chicken is stuffed with a delicious mousse. It sounds really pretentious but it’s not at all.

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

And the chips are the best chips you’ve ever had, and come with the most moreish mayonnaise on the side. Plus, his desserts are incredible. I always order two or three so I can try them all: last time I had bread and butter pudding, soft serve and then rice pudding with caramelised apples. He really understands dessert, and I think any chef that gets dessert right is going to have great starters and mains. 

53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA 
dorchestercollection.com

Wild By Tart

When I’m in Victoria, I always try to pop in to Wild By Tart. I helped open it and the owners, Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met and worked with. I’m constantly impressed by how lovely they are, even in the face of huge stress.

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

When I go there, it’s always got a great vibe: I’ve hosted supper clubs in there, I’ve had parties in there, but I’ve also come and had brunch, lunch and dinner and loved it every time. It took a really long time to get the building converted, years and years, but they’ve done a brilliant job. The food is all seasonal British produce and so delicious. I love all their little starter plates, which change all the time, and their dessert chef is really good as well. I’ve never been there and had a bad meal. 

3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London SW1W 9AZ
wildbytart.com

Rambutan

One of the most exciting new places I’ve been to lately is Rambutan, the Sri Lankan spot in Borough Market. I absolutely loved it when I went there. The food is so good, packed full of flavour and just what you want. It’s very casual, with a small chef team, but the food is knock-your-socks-off delicious, especially the spicy curries. I particularly love it because they actually serve dessert there.

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A lot of Sri Lankan restaurants don’t have dessert on the menu – I always harass the guys at Hoppers and Paradise, which is run by my friend, about it. But at Rambutan Cynthia [Shanmugalingam] does this amazing strawberry and coconut soft serve for dessert, which is just what you need to cut through all the spice. 

10 Stoney Street, Southwark, London SE1 9AD
rambutanlondon.com

Rita’s

If I’m in the mood for a cool, vibey spot, I’ll go to Rita’s in Soho. It’s such a great place to hang out, you always feel like you’re being welcomed into a home there. As soon as you go in, they’ll get you a drink – I’m a non-drinker, but they make a brilliant Shirley Temple. That’s my kind of drink. You have to order the garlic bread – it’s the best I’ve ever had, freshly baked and filled with garlic butter. It’s a bit outrageous.

Where The Chefs Eat: Ravneet Gill Shares Her 7 Favourite London RestaurantsPin

They also have great schnitzel on the menu, and cornbread occasionally too. The food varies, but it’s sort of American influenced with some Mexican touches thrown in, an elevated take on comfort food. Whatever menu they’re following that day, the food is always great and there’s always a fun buzz in there. 

49 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 9AP 
ritasdining.com

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