Housed in the Crowne Plaza London – St. James Hotel, Bistro 51 manages to hold its own against established neighbours such as Bank Westminster and Michelin-starred Quilon thanks to its plush interiors and please-all Anglo-European menu with ‘British Asian’ add-ons. Soft seats and gentle lighting contribute to the cosy atmosphere, which is matched by international classics ranging from bouillabaisse, Caesar salad and grilled vegetable tian to fish and chips, homemade ravioli with sage butter or grilled rib-eye with béarnaise sauce. Alternatively, follow the spice trail with chicken tikka masala, rogan josh or Malaysian red snapper laksa with steamed noodles, before chilling out with a plate of tiramisu, coffee ‘soil’ and edible flowers. On sunny days, ask for a table in the hotel’s pretty courtyard, which is a world away from Westminster’s hubbub.
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