May 5, 2011

Lunch menus at top London Restaurants

You may have gathered I quite enjoy fine dining (and pizza). Unfortunately, my wallet hasn't taken to it as much as I would have hoped.

So welcome to fine lunching! Most top London restaurants offer significantly cheaper lunch menus that allow you to sample the goods without breaking the bank. I'll be going to the dentist a lot more around 2pm it seems (wink, wink).

I've gone and done the dirty work, and checked out which top restaurants do lunch menus, and what they offer:

1. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester: no secret this is my favourite place to eat in London. The lunch menu is at £50, with two glasses of wine and three courses. Still expensive, but considering the quality of the food (and the three stars), a steal.

2. Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley: a minimal lunch menu, with some great looking fare: Cornish Pollock, orecchiette, dead nettle, preserved lemon, olive. £50 with glasse of wine, three courses, as above.

3. Dinner by Blumenthal: I was totally underwhelmed when I went, I have to admit. The food was well prepared, but rather uninspired. But it's lovely at lunch time, with a nice garden, and the three course menu is really quite decent at £38 for three courses. Really not bad for a celebrity chef.

meatfruit at dinner, photo Paul Winch-Furness /

4. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon: there is a menu du jour, three courses for £27, no wine. A rather informal menu, oxtail, spaghetti...

5. Hibiscus in Mayfair: this seems like the best deal so far, £29.50 for three courses, throw in another tenner for two glasses of wine. The menu looks grand, with an amazing foie gras ravioli for a starter. I'm dying to try out this place!

6. Pollen Street Social: just opened, and already hyped. Former Maze chef moves on to hipper pastures, it seems. £23.50 lunch menu for three courses, best price yet, and considering this is set to be a staple round town, best have a go at the "Cornish native brown crab risotto, finished with seaweed butter" and see what the fuss is about...

Pollen Street Social, photos Paul Winch-Furness /

7. Sketch: this place is a bit much for my taste, too pretentious, too overly decorated. But it is certainly an experience, and if you're loitering about shopping in Central London, this could be a really cool lunch. Also a great one to take tourists (including those you know and like). Three courses for £35, or £50 with wine. Steep.

sketch restaurant, photo from

8. Tamarind: uber posh Indian? on a shoestring, why not! The lunch menu at Tamarind looks amazing, and you get three courses with wine for £29.50, or without for £19.50.

9. The Boundary: they're now doing weekend lunches, which means you can hit the Columbia Road market or Brick Lane and have uncomplicated food for £24.50. Bonus points for a drink afterwards soaking in the view at The Rooftop.

Conran's The Boundary, photo from

10. Helene Darroze at The Connaught: I love this hotel, home to arguably one of the best cocktail bars in the World. The chef has quite a following in Paris, though the menu, including wine, is on the steep side at £42.00.

I think I'm going to start with Hibiscus, because I have no personality and it made the Top 50 list so I'm curious...

No comments:

Post a Comment