Best Chef’s Tables

Watching your food being prepared in front of you, seeing the ingredients in their raw form and the processes used to transform them, undoubtedly adds another dimension to dining out. We’re not just talking teppanyaki here: London restaurants wit

Updated on 31 May 2018

Enjoy all the theatrics of a top London restaurant’s kitchen at one of London’s best restaurants with chef’s tables. SquareMeal has compiled this fantastic list of the best London restaurants with chef’s tables so that you can experience the very best in chef’s table dining that London has to offer. Every one of the London restaurant featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s restaurants with chef’s tables has been tried and tested by food critics and our own customers so check out the reviews and book a table online with SquareMeal today.

Angelus

Angelus

4 Bathurst Street, London, W2 2SD

With its classic French menu, superb wine list, romantic art-nouveau interior and warm welcome, Thierry Tomasin’s bistro de quartier is a destination for diners bored with gimmicks. Readers applaud its “fantastic service and attention to detail”, while the kitchen delivers some beautifully executed, familiar food with some “really original” touches. From baked shallot and snail tarte Tatin with mulled wine reduction or scallops with morels, shaved cauliflower and dandelion leaves to guinea fowl with hop shorts and beer sauce or olive-crusted lamb fillet with lentil purée, roast parsnip and liquorice-spiked wine sauce, everything depends on “superb ingredients”. The menu is constantly refreshed with occasional exotics (roast duck with Szechuan pepper and pak choi, say), but you can eat what you like – from a full-on dinner to a single dish and a glass of wine. Given Thomasin’s background as London’s top sommelier, the wine cellar is mind-blowing (Cheval Blanc ’28 at £2,500 anyone?), but house tipples are excellent and available to take away.

£50 - £79
French
Aulis London

Aulis London

Hidden location, Mayfair, London, W1F 0BN

The second London location for Simon Rogan, (he also oversees Roganic in Marylebone) Aulis London is an intimate eight-seater chef’s table which is a reincarnation of Aulis Cartmel, alongside L’Enclume in the Lake District. By day, Aulis London is Simon Rogan’s hub and creative development kitchen that is transformed into a chef’s table experience by night. Only open to the public for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday evenings and lunch Friday to Saturday, guests can book individual seats at Aulis, or hire it out exclusively. Aulis London offers an interactive dining experience, in which a series of dishes are cooked in front of you and explained at every stage. Each seat costs £195 and includes a multi-course tasting menu accompanied by paired wines which are selected daily by the chefs, alongside coffee, service charge and water. Time and location are revealed upon making a reservation.

Over £80
British
Angler

Angler

South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, Moorgate, London, EC2M 2AF

From the moment you arrive for drinks on the gorgeous roof terrace, it’s clear that Michelin-starred Angler knows how to host its diners. Given that it’s located on the seventh floor of the South Place Hotel, superb views come as standard – thanks to a giant sloping window that looks out onto the busy street below. “Great seafood in a calming atmosphere” sums it up, with comfy striped chairs, light colours and an impressive foliage-motif mirror running along on wall of the opulent dining room. The kitchen matches the sophisticated vibe with a menu of precision-tuned contemporary dishes ranging from roast octopus with taramasalata, chipirones and spicy salsa verde to light-textured John Dory accompanied by coco beans, bacon and sardines. Meat eaters might go for smoked chicken wings with chanterelles followed by a tasting of Iberian pork, while dessert could bring a rich, warm chocolate cake with banana-milk ice cream and crunchy peanut butter. Service is impeccable, and a devoted sommelier is on hand to pair each course with wines from the varied list. Pricey, but highly recommended.

£50 - £79
Fish
One Michelin star
The Drunken Butler

The Drunken Butler

20 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4SX

This Persian-inspired restaurant is the first solo venture of Yuma Hashemi and you get a real feeling that the chef has poured his heart and soul into the place, with plaster-washed walls, a menu featuring artily-shot photos of the kitchen team, and locally-sourced artwork lining the walls. A la carte is available, but we opted for the seven-course tasting menu at £58 (£116 with wine pairings). Hashemi’s cooking style melds French technique with Persian influences with truly interesting results. Oysters from Broadway Market are dressed with the zesty likes of ground pistachio and coucou sabzi, while a silky egg yolk comes resting in a pool of creamy saffron velouté, accompanied by a slice of lemon-dashed aubergine. A tender beef wedge pepped up with red cabbage, chorizo and a cauliflower purée is a highlight; not so an uninspiring dessert of chocolate mousse with a pistachio crumb. Service is a little slow and the restaurant’s poppy soundtrack is at odds with its romantic setting, but with some fine-tuning, we think the dynamic flavour combinations at The Drunken Butler will overcome any wobbles.

£30 - £49
Persian
French
The Gilbert Scott

The Gilbert Scott

St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, Euston Road, London, NW1 2AR

Matching the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel’s awe-inspiring grandeur would be a tall order for any restaurant, but on current form, Marcus Wareing’s team can compete with the architectural splendour of this fabulous dining room. We swooned over plates of cooked-pink duck hearts and perky chanterelles on smoked bone marrow, before chomping on red mullet and roasted prawns perched on creamy brandade, and a dish of silky hake with pickled egg purée, summer vegetables and black pudding. As for pud, we’d advise saving room for the gorgeous praline tart with caramel ice cream. Lunchtime set deals such as mackerel with gooseberries and runner beans followed by lamb shoulder with glistening pea broth are worth it just to gawp at the room’s vast architraves, glorious art and gold lamé pillars, while suited service hits an informed (but informal) sweet spot. Linger over the chunky wine list or indulge in a swift flute of something English before the train.

£50 - £79
British
Afternoon tea
Pétrus

Pétrus

1 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8EA

High expectations are matched by high standards at this Michelin-starred outpost of the Gordon Ramsay empire – a thickly carpeted, richly hued room with long skirted tables, sound-baffling furry walls and a huge circular wine store stacked with the titular Ch. Pétrus (and much, much more). Menus come topped and tailed with a panoply of dainty extras intended to supplement and complement “faultless” standouts such as seared curried scallop atop an umami-rich savoury sabayon with braised kombu and bacon, big-flavoured Herdwick lamb with beetroot and black garlic or fillet of Brixham turbot with pickled clams, samphire and lemongrass – all perfectly cooked and “meticulously presented” in the grand Ramsay manner. To finish, don’t miss the seasonal quince tart with poached rhubarb and ginger ice cream or the genius take on Black Forest gateau involving a light kirsch mousse, a dark cherry sorbet and more besides – although the small but interesting cheese selection is also worth a sniff. Those wanting the ultimate Pétrus experience should consider booking the eight-seater chef’s table in front of the kitchen – just brace yourself for a serious bill.  

Over £80
Modern European
French
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
MARCUS

MARCUS

The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7RL

Marcus Wareing’s one-Michelin-starred flagship brings together “the best of British and French culinary traditions” in an imposing high-ceilinged dining room done out in shades of chestnut brown with swathes of dark panelling, frosted glass panels and leather chesterfields. Wareing’s cooking is an “extraordinary celebration of flavour” as he applies tweezer-like precision to the very best ingredients – from a pairing of scallop, apple and lemon verbena with roasted beef dressing to Cumbrian rose veal embellished with beetroot, liquorice and parsnip. Readers also have their own “fabulous favourites”: a daring veggie creation involving Sharpe’s 1900 potatoes with girolles, Tunworth cheese and truffle; octopus with beef tea; Herdwick lamb with crispy breast, chimichurri and hispi cabbage; a dessert combo of toffee, peanut, milk chocolate and nougat (“heaven on a plate”). From nibbles of sourdough with Dorset snail and cap to pre-desserts such as lightly smoked milk and mandarin, every dish is a marvel of culinary dexterity. The mighty wine list is a pricey paean to global viticulture managed by a genius sommelier, while ultra-professional staff never miss a trick: “our waiter was incredibly smooth and charismatic”, noted one reader. In short “a truly delightful dining experience”.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Cinnamon Kitchen City

Cinnamon Kitchen City

9 Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4YL

Aptly located in an old spice warehouse, the “beautiful” City offshoot of Vivek Singh’s ever-expanding Cinnamon group is a style-conscious contemporary space tailor-made for the neighbourhood. Industrial-chic design features, subtle clubland beats and an open kitchen serve as the cool backdrop to a menu that delivers modern food of “amazing quality and flavour”. There’s plenty of inspired stuff on the carte, from tandoori cod with carom and nigella seeds or Indo-Chinese stir-fried chilli paneer to char-grilled duck breast with spiced confit roll or pan-seared hake with yellow lentils, masala roast potatoes and green mango pickle. Although spicing is rather restrained compared to some places, the freshness and class shine through: it’s “quite simply heaven on a plate”, drools one fan. Desserts also spring a few surprises, from roast white chocolate and cardamom cream with buttermilk sorbet to ‘reverse malai’ (milk doughnuts, milk ice cream, berries and pistachio). The six-course tasting menu also comes highly recommended, while impressive service and an Asian-infused cocktail list cement the restaurant’s excellent reputation.

£30 - £49
Indian
Benares

Benares

12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS

A beacon for Asian fine dining since 2003, Michelin-starred Benares brings French-inspired refinement to spice-based cooking “without depleting the authenticity of Indian flavour”. The kitchen delivers “awesome food” and “real creativity” across the board, although tasting menus are the undoubted showcase for the kitchen's talents – from pan-seared scallops with broccoli couscous and pine-nut podi (dry powder) to a crisp, puffy chicken tikka pie or tandoori lamb cutlets with rich, rogan-inspired jus and creamy black dhal makhani. Inventive set lunches might include piri-piri quail with smoked beetroot or prawn curry with Bengali-spiced kimchi, while a dessert of tarte Tatin infused with anise and fennel typifies the crossover approach. Kindly, engaging staff deliver “spotless service” in the slick, smart, white-on-black dining room, while street food and quirky cocktails are the main business in the lounge bar. Wine picks tackle the spicing admirably. “Pricey, but perfect for special occasions”, says a fan.

£50 - £79
Indian
Halal
Coya Mayfair

Coya Mayfair

118 Piccadilly, London, London, W1J 7NW

This is a very Piccadilly take on Peruvian cuisine from restaurateur Arjun Waney, a man who can turn even the humblest ingredients into something glamorous. When its jet-setting crowd are in the mood, Coya can feel like the centre of a parallel universe, where the pisco flows and the charcoal glows. Eating is only partially the point, although top-notch ingredients help the food stand out among the capital’s growing crop of Peruvian eateries. Ceviche is “to die for”, from wild sea bass with bergamot, choclo (sweetcorn) and plantain to a Japanese-Peruvian version with celery juice, ginger and daikon for company. Smaller dishes celebrate other Peruvian favourites (corn comes Josper-grilled with extra crispy bits, sweet onion and red chillis), while ox heart is speared with panca chillis and parsley. From there, meat options climb steeply towards the Chilean Wagyu sirloin, and even a humble potato ‘iron pot’ casserole – albeit truffled-up – will set you back £20. Our advice? Go in with eyes and wallet wide open.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Savoy Grill at The Savoy

Savoy Grill at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, Aldwych, London, WC2R 0EU

The legendary Savoy Grill has hosted a long list of famous diners since it opened in 1889, including Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra. You'll feel like an A-lister too, seated in the plush dining room beneath glittering chandeliers: "I love the experience whenever I go here," declares one devotee. Now a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, the menu pays its dues to the Savoy's culinary heritage, featuring omelette Arnold Bennett and peach Melba (both created here), as well as French staples that would be familiar to the hotel's first chef, Escoffier. But the main event is the "wonderful meat": generous grills and chops, with classic sauces such as marrowbone and shallot, feature alongside braises, roasts and pies, plus daily treats from the trolley – Wednesday is our favourite day for lunch, when beef Wellington is the star of the show. A traditional wine list lends support, while polished staff include "a helpful and knowledgeable sommelier". In short, the Savoy Grill delivers.

 
£50 - £79
Modern European
Core by Clare Smyth

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN

Since leaving the three-Michelin-starred world of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth has “forged her own special path” – much to the delight of readers who have fallen head over heels in love with her new venture. Core is cor-blimey brilliant rather than a hardcore, haute-cuisine ordeal, complete with the sort of high-end interiors that covetous Notting Hillbillies dream about – think cute handbag stools, feather-light Zalto glassware and Bridget Riley artworks. Unclothed tables, meanwhile, indicate we’re in casual-luxe territory, while “gracious” staff do their very best to make the whole experience extra-special.

The room may be gorgeous in its own right, but everyone is here for food – and rightly so. Readers already have their favourites from Core’s carte and tasting menu: for some it’s the ‘potato and roe’ (actually a dish of skin-on charlotte potato topped with herring and trout roe sitting in a slick of seaweed beurre blanc), while our tip for signature status is the whole carrot topped with braised lamb served alongside a dollop of sheep’s milk yoghurt. These are “smile-inducing” dishes that extract almost unbelievable flavour from the humblest of ingredients.

Elsewhere, brilliant hits abound: a sweet Colchester crab doughnut alongside a glass of crab consommé; an even sweeter Roscoff onion stuffed with rich oxtail to accompany beef short-rib; countless nibbles including crispy smoked duck wings and jellied eel misted with a malt vinegar spray. And then there are the ravishing desserts – exquisitely reimagined versions of cherry Bakewell or warm chocolate tart, for example. Quite simply, this is “the epitome of thoughtful, stylish and technically brilliant gastronomy”.

The “fabulous” French-led wine list is a real head-turner, with plenty of fine drinking below £50, and you can also eat in the handsome bar, which is a cocktail destination in its own right. We’re in no doubt that Core is headed for the very top, and its many fans agree: “One of the best evenings we've ever had in a restaurant. Superb, understated excellence from start to finish”.

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100
City Social

City Social

24th Floor, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, City of London, London, EC2N 1HQ

It may share the signature low-key glamour of Jason Atherton’s other Social restaurants, but the “most incredible views” from Tower 42 elevate City Social to statement status. With the fitting air of a 1920s boardroom, this dining room is custom-built for “business entertaining” – although it has a surprising intimacy given the scale of the setting. Minor grumbles, including music that’s “too loud” in the bar, are dwarfed by readers’ enthusiasm for executive chef Paul Walsh’s oh-so-pretty plates of Michelin-starred food – from cured Scottish salmon with watermelon, saké, cucumber carpaccio, soy and wasabi to tarte Tatin with caramel sauce for sharing. In between, he brings considerable experience to bear on interest-piquing main courses such as saddle of Lincolnshire rabbit with Parma ham, trompette mushrooms, spelt, lovage emulsion and black garlic, line-caught halibut with fondant potato, turnips, crispy prawns and tenderstem broccoli or heritage potato and caramelised onion terrine with Jerusalem artichoke and walnuts. Cocktails are classy, and the wine list is designed to accommodate high rollers – without putting everybody else off.

£50 - £79
Modern European
One Michelin star
Murano

Murano

20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP

Angela Hartnett’s flagship restaurant is Mayfair dining at its very best – “fabulous” food, “unobtrusive” staff and a first-rate wine list manned by a “brilliant” sommelier. The sleek white-and-beige dining room with the odd art-deco flourish may still have echoes of its Gordon Ramsay days, but Hartnett’s Brit-Italian cooking keeps Murano apace with London’s vanguard. The ultra-flexible menu lets you choose up to five courses at will, from an exquisite scallop crudo with plump greengages and crunchy oats, piqued by a lemon verbena foam to gorgeous parcels of rabbit meat and sage in a clear broth or a star dish of confit pink fir apples, crispy skins and a creamy Tunworth cheese foam. The huge wine list stays true to Hartnett’s Italian heritage, and you can keep costs down by ordering the “excellent-value” set lunch. “Murano is perfect for any occasion”, confirms one fan.

Over £80
Italian
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Corrigan

Corrigan's Mayfair

28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 7EH

It’s hard to imagine Richard Corrigan seated in the restaurant that bears his name – at first glance, the blue-toned dining room and polished expanses seem too elegant to contain him. But there’s something of the chef’s robustness in a heartily seasonal menu, the odd visual pun and a chef’s trolley which might proffer shoulder of suckling pig or Dover sole meunière. Corrigan’s puts nature’s larder on the table in a way that suits “occasions when you want to be spoilt”. Influences are wide-ranging, so you might find chicken congee with scallop or roasted boneless quail with red curry and prawn toast ahead of perfectly timed Cornish cod with stuffed baby squid or one of the justly renowned game specialities: if you’re going to have hare in Mayfair, have it here, or try roast wild duck with pumpkin, celery and walnut. Presentation is appealing, but a fair distance from fussy – and the same can be said of a wine list grouped loosely by style.

£50 - £79
British
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA

With Heston Blumenthal’s name attached and a menu of eye-catching dishes that play with our perceptions of British cookery, Dinner was always going to be a hit with London’s gastro-tourists, and there are plenty of reasons for them to leave feeling satisfied – not least the beautiful daytime view of Hyde Park, the fun of the nitro-fuelled ice cream cart and the switched-on staff.

“Attention to detail is second to none”, observes a fan. Even if you don’t buy into the restaurant’s date-stamped reinterpretation of historical recipes, there’s a formidable cornucopia of gastronomic delights to relish – from the ‘meat fruit’ (c.1500) disguised as a mandarin with subtle citrus notes to the soft, juicy ‘tipsy cake’ (c.1810) with spit-roast pineapple. Also brace yourself for other extraordinary conceits ranging from ‘sherried’ scallop tartare with mushroom broth to chicken ‘oysters’ invigorated with horseradish cream and pickled walnuts. Sides are not to be sniffed at either – the mash is among the creamiest we’ve tasted. Obviously, such a “luxurious experience” doesn’t come cheap (especially if you commit to the wine flights), although set lunches offer a more accommodating prospect. Either way, prepare to be astonished. 

Over £80
British
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal London Top 100