Best restaurants in Knightsbridge

Looking for a restaurant in Knightsbridge? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best. Whatever your budget or taste, SquareMeal is here to help, with a selection of the best restaurants for every o

Updated on 12 December 2018

Mr Chow

Mr Chow

151 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7PA

Like its evergreen septuagenarian owner, Michael Chow, this Knightsbridge institution seems to defy the sands of time. Almost 50 years down the line, it’s as handsome and elegant as ever with its chrome lampshades, monochrome colour schemes and artwork from the likes of Peter Blake. The restaurant’s rather sexy old-school demeanour lures in rich ‘new Knightsbridge’ types and corporate wallets – none of whom wince at the £30 price tag for a dish of citrus-flavoured crispy beef. The reason? When it comes to Chinese comfort food, few places can deliver quite like Mr Chow. There’s hardly a dish we don’t adore, from the sticky glazed prawns to lettuce wraps of minced spiced chicken, mixed seafood awash in a gooey white wine sauce, and – of course – the dessert trolley. Chow’s original vision of Chinese food served by Italian waiters happily lives on, epitomised by a charming maître d'.  

 

£50 - £79
Chinese
Mari Vanna

Mari Vanna

116 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7PJ

Kitsch almost to the point of parody, Mari Vanna's "absolutely fantastic" Imperial Russia-meets-Cath Kidson interiors have become a hallmark for this six-strong international group – and the Knightsbridge outlet is no exception. Marrying finely crafted painted furniture with glass chandeliers, heavy drapery, walls of black-and-white portraits and cabinet upon cabinet of Russian trinkets, it's quite an assault on the senses – although it clearly appeals to modern Russians hankering after a slice of the old motherland. Expect to see suited oligarchs scoffing beef stroganoff opposite wafer-thin spouses contemplating classic Olivier salads (sausage, pickled cucumber, peas and baked potato) with a glass of bubbles in hand. Elsewhere, big tables of ladies enjoy sharing platters of salted herring and cured pork, while first dates tuck in to bowls of borscht, mushroom dumplings and pork fritters. Service is as glamorous and patriotic as the setting.

£50 - £79
Eastern European
Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

3 Yeoman's Row, London, SW3 2AL

Ten years on and everyone now has their favourite Hawksmoor. For us, this subterranean Knightsbridge rendezvous is certainly in with a big shout. The handsome art-deco and wood-panelled interiors are noticeably more grandiose than some of the group’s siblings, but it’s the South-East Asian seafood riffs that we really love. Few dishes in London are quite as joyfully messy as the Singapore-style lobster served up in a spicy, coriander-infused tomato sauce – be warned, you’ll need at least three napkins to clean up afterwards. Pair this with one of Hawksmoor’s famous British-reared steaks (still as magnificent as ever), and you’ve arguably got the best surf ‘n’ turf combo in town. Special mentions should also go to the crispy shallot-topped Vietnamese-style oysters, the Old Spot pork belly ribs with vinegar slaw and the ‘ambassador’s reception’ – a gloriously decadent take on a Ferrero Rocher. As we’ve come to expect, service is a perfect mix of informality and assurance.

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Rivea London at Bulgari Hotel

Rivea London at Bulgari Hotel

Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London, London, SW7 1DW

Rivea London at Bulgari Hotel closed permanently on 2 January 2019
On a balmy evening in St Tropez, few restaurants can beat the original Rivea, a sun-drenched homage to Provençal cuisine. Sadly, something vital has been lost in transporting the restaurant to the glossy Bulgari Hotel’s windowless basement – chiefly, the sun. The glitzy art-deco interior does its best, but we can’t help feeling a vital component of the restaurant’s DNA is missing – a shame, because Alain Ducasse protégé Alexandre Nicolas can deliver some truly exquisite, flavoursome food. “Glamour and dainty plates” is the deal, and we’ve enjoyed many stonking small dishes: marinated slivers of sea bream in a citrus dressing; sautéed prawns the size of mini-lobsters accompanied by squid and cuttlefish; trofie pasta with a verdant, spiky pesto, and a stunning ‘cookpot’ of gently softened baby courgettes and flowers. There are also some conventional mains for those with big appetites (Riviera-style John Dory, say). Dishes don’t come cheap, but top-drawer service and a superb Franco-Italian wine list make it all worthwhile.

£50 - £79
Italian
French
Harry

Harry's Dolce Vita

27-31 Basil Street, London, SW3 1BB

Long-time Harrods shoppers will know this site as the location for many a restorative Café Rouge steak baguette; now it’s been taken over by Caprice Holdings in a further sign of the group’s ambition of dominating mid-market dining in the UK’s poshest postcodes. Like Daphne’s, Harry’s is Italian, although with its clubby wood-panelled vibe it looks more like the group’s 34, and in truth the menu is very little different to the Ivy Cafes apart from a greater showing of pizza and pasta (margherita, bolognese). And like the Ivy Cafes, the food is decently done, if lacking the sure touch of Caprice’s premier-league venues. Thus squid comes encased in a crisp and crunchy batter and accompanied by an aioli that was beginning to separate, while chicken Milanese needed a side order of macaroni cheese to make it interesting. Prices, at least, are reasonable for Knightsbridge, but the biggest drawback is the narrow, railway-carriage dimensions, with tables for two that barely seat one. Not somewhere to linger, then, but more than fit for purpose for the location – and the handsome bar is one of the few places to get a well-made cocktail round here that isn’t a five-star hotel.

£30 - £49
Italian
Sumosan Twiga

Sumosan Twiga

165 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9QB

Mayfair’s Sumosan was among our favourite London restaurants for high-end modern Japanese food, so we were sorry to hear it was closing. But this elegant reincarnation in 50 shades of grey (in partnership with Twiga in Monaco) hasn’t strayed far, either in location or ethos. The four-storey property has a sweeping staircase linking a basement nightclub, first-floor dining room and spacious top-floor bar. On the food front, Sumosan’s Japanese menu has been joined by Italian dishes, so you could follow sushi with sea bass spaghetti, Dover sole or veal Milanese. We stuck with the Orient, and were as impressed as ever: fleshy wasabi prawns, crunchy rice ‘pizza’ topped with spiced salmon, punchy rack of Devon lamb with mustard sauce, and our all-time favourite: T&T sushi rolls, heady with truffle-laced tuna. To drink, there’s a Euro wine list and one of London’s best saké selections. The restaurant now offers a daily lunch service (weekends too). Prices? Yes, they’re high. 

£50 - £79
Japanese
Italian
Adam Handling Chelsea

Adam Handling Chelsea

Belmond Cadogan Hotel, 75 Sloane Street, London, London, SW1X 9SG

The Belmond Cadogan Hotel marks the first London property from the travel group famous for operating such luxury icons as Le Manoir aux’Quat Saisons and the Orient-Express. Legendary chefs such as Raymond Blanc (of Le Manoir) and Eric Chavot (whose much-missed two Michelin-starred restaurant at The Capital has acquired a near mythical status hereabouts) were rumoured to be in the frame for the plum job of running the new hotel’s F&B offering. In the event, the gig has gone to young Scottish chef Adam Handling of The Frog fame, presumably in a bid to inject some street cred to the bluechip Belmond brand.

For his part, 30-year-old Handling (who is shaping up to be a restaurateur of distinction) seems determined to show off an impressive maturity at his self-titled restaurant. The wood panelling of the two dining rooms has been painted a sombre shade of grey while instead of cut flowers on the unclothed tables there are potted plants and herbs to fit Handling’s commitment to sustainability – an admirable ethos, but one that leaves the room lacking in the joie de vivre that former inhabitants Lillie Langtry and Oscar Wilde might have recognised.

A sense of playfulness is however injected with the arrival of the amuse bouches and bread – luscious truffle cheese doughnuts, and chicken butter to spread on IPA sourdough – that serve as the opening salvo to the à la carte or seven-course tasting menu.

We found that the more classical dishes worked better with the high-end setting (and high-end prices: starters average £24, mains £35). Butter-poached king crab with carrot and sorrel was a lovely piece of crustacean, it sweetness amplified by the carrot and cut by the sorrel, a traditional pairing for seafood. 

Lemon sole to follow, meanwhile, came with seashore accompaniments of monk’s beard and seaweed butter and a chunky slice of white beetroot to stand up to the soft texture of the perfectly timed fish.

But we weren't so taken with everything we ate. The chicken butter seemed more redolent of chicken fat, while the signature pudding of compressed cucumber with burnt basil and dill seemed more like a palate cleanser than a dessert proper. Yeast parfait with Earl Grey ice cream and pickled Granny Smith struck us as a more successful fusion of the classic and contemporary. 

Still, Handling is a chef with ideas to spare and this junction of Knightsbridge and Chelsea undoubtedly needs a transfusion of new blood. And he’s already got off to a flying start with a cool bar that has instantly become the best place to go for a drink on Sloane Street, while afternoon tea in a dedicated lounge next door has pretty crockery to match the daintiness on the plate. Handling might not have seemed the most obvious partner for Belmond, but Adam Handling and Chelsea are names that belong together. 

Over £80
British
Zuma

Zuma

5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DL

Fifteen years on and London is still deeply in love with world-class Zuma: “fabulous” says one fan, “can’t beat it” exclaims another avid supporter. And the waves of adoration stretch far beyond the capital itself: this high-gloss, big-money rendezvous draws in a global cast of A-listers and jetsetters, all attracted by the age-defying industrial-Zen interiors and the sleek designer mix of rough-hewn wood, polished granite and shiny steel. Tables are predictably hard to come by, but we prefer chancing our arm with the no-bookings ringside seats by the kitchen. Kick off with a trend-setting cocktail (perhaps Wild Yasei, a macho yet graceful blend of rye bourbon and wild-cherry tea syrup), and expect to pay top dollar for the food. In return you’ll be offered some of the finest Japanese cuisine in the capital: sliced seared tuna with chilli, daikon and ponzu; warm aubergine in sweet miso (an umami-laden masterpiece); robata-grilled jumbo tiger prawns with yuzu pepper; marinated baby chicken roasted on cedar wood, and – of course – the much-imitated, but never-bettered black cod. Service is flawless, and for the final flourish, we suggest asking the dedicated saké sommelier for a tour of his exquisite list. In a word, awesome.

 

£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, 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. 

£50 - £79
British
Two michelin stars
Céleste at The Lanesborough

Céleste at The Lanesborough

The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London, London, SW1X 7TA

With its Wedgwood-esque bas relief, enormous chandeliers and the odd bust here and there, as well as a chap tinkling the ivories in one corner, this huge conservatory is almost a caricature of the best and grandest of British. Coupled with charming, gliding service and acres of white linen, it creates a style to which many of us would like to become accustomed. The menu is predictably littered with big-money ingredients (native lobster with smoked broccoli purée, saddle of wild roe deer with quince confit), but the chefs seem just as happy working with less highfalutin raw materials: cauliflower is roasted and dressed with lemon curry-infused oil and aged Parmesan, while boned quail is accompanied by petits pois à la française and a ring of girolles. “Slick and smart” describes the service, and the wine list impresses without breaking the bank. Despite Céleste’s Michelin-starred status and the unrelenting grandeur all around, prices aren’t too scary and some of the set menus are a positive bargain.

Over £80
Modern European
Afternoon tea
French
One michelin star
MARCUS

MARCUS

The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London, 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
Pétrus

Pétrus

1 Kinnerton Street, London, 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
French
One michelin star
Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

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

Although it was lightly refurbished in early 2017, even regulars would be hard pressed to notice any changes to Bar Boulud’s wood and beige interiors. The design might be restrained, but the combination of super-flattering lighting, friendly staff and chattering diners makes this one of the capital’s buzziest dining rooms.

New York-based French chef Daniel Boulud may be a big name in global gastronomy but he’s very much in casual mode here, offering up the sort of Gallic classics that are many people’s idea of the perfect meal out. Starters of seared prawns and Burgundy snails are festooned with enough garlic to ward off a vampire, while lemon sole with grenobloise butter followed by a sweet slice of gateau basque and crème anglaise prove that this kitchen knows how to finish a dish with a fabulous sauce.

“Although it’s high end, it isn't snobby at all” say readers, so you can also pop in for a luscious croque madame with fries or one of the “mouth-watering” inch-thick BB burgers – not what you might expect from a dining room in the Mandarin Oriental. All in all, the “best fun” you can have in Knightsbridge.

£50 - £79
French
Outlaw

Outlaw's at The Capital

The Capital Hotel, 22-24 Basil Street, London, London, SW3 1AT

NATHAN OUTLAW WITH LEAVE OUTLAW'S AT THE CAPITAL IN MARCH 2019 TO OPEN A NEW RESTAURANT AT THE GORING

Widely accepted as the modern master of British seafood, Nathan Outlaw stepped away from his Cornish home turf to launch in London in 2012. Five years on, this venue still feels like a well-kept secret. Perhaps the menu lends itself more to the coast than a conservatively attired hotel dining room, or perhaps Londoners want more culinary fireworks, but one thing’s for sure: you won’t find better or fresher seafood in the capital. Our octopus starter paired magnificently with almonds and a sharp sherry vinegar bread sauce, while a glorious thick slab of sea bass came with breadcrumbed oysters, sweet baby leeks and a generous dollop of lime hollandaise. No fireworks, no fripperies: just clean flavours and exemplary technique. After that, elderflower cream with strawberries and verjus maintains the seasonal theme. Service is five-star slick and, to drink, we’d recommend something from founder David Levin’s biodynamic vineyard – perhaps Mr L, a barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc.

£50 - £79
Fish