The SL Guide To Marylebone

The SL Guide To Marylebone

Marylebone has plenty of options if you’re in the mood for excellent South Asian food. Another award-winning eatery from the Sethi family (Bao, Gymkhana), Hoppers is one of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London, named after one of Sri Lanka’s popular dishes – egg-topped pancakes. Unlike the original Soho restaurant, Hoppers in St Christopher’s takes bookings for dinner, and offers four semi-private dining vaults for groups of eight. Try the ‘Taste of Hoppers’ sharing menu to avoid food FOMO and sample the kitchen’s highlights. Ravinder Bhogal launched pretty-in-pink Jikoni in 2016, drawing on her Kenyan and Indian heritage to fuse dishes from her travels and her childhood, and create a delicious hybrid menu. Combinations on offer include sweet potato bhel, spicy peanut corn on the cob, baby aubergine and potato Swahili curry and saffron rice. And finally, Trishna delivers a contemporary taste of Indian coastal cuisine. The informal and pared-back aesthetic of the interiors, offset with antique mirrors, marble tabletops and original wooden paneling, offers a neighborhood atmosphere, with terrace doors that open onto Blandford Street, creating a semi al fresco ambience throughout the restaurant.

If Japanese food is more your thing, book a spot at Roketsu, which launched its first site in London this year. The restaurant is made up of just ten seats at the counter, making this an intimate experience. Food is served in the traditional ‘Kaiseki’ style, a ten-course set menu that revolves around dashi. Each sitting lasts three hours and current menu highlights include Cornish ikejime seabass with lobster, yuzu and Japanese mustard; and Cornish crab with pear, air-dried onion, carrot, fennel, yuzu and dill. We also really rate Taka, which serves a small plate-led menu, focusing on hot and grilled dishes and sushi. Sharers include a yakitori omakase – a whole chicken broken down and grilled over hot coals to create a complete nose-to-tail eating experience. The selection of sushi focuses on quirky adaptations of long-standing favourites, such as kagoshima A5 wagyu sukiyaki with onsen eggs, and popcorn shrimp with daikon salad.

Locanda Locatelli is one of the longest-standing Michelin-starred restaurants in London. Born into a cooking dynasty on the shores of Lake Comabbio in northern Italy, founder Giorgio Locatelli is considered by many to be one of the finest Italian chefs in the UK. At this Marylebone staple, expect traditional Italian dishes presented creatively, and a beautiful dining room that places emphasis on a family style dining experience. On Wigmore Street, the more casual and cosier 2 Veneti focuses on authentic Venetian dishes – think whipped salted cod with fried capers and grilled polenta; tagliatelle with mixed wild mushrooms and Italian sausage meat; and baked floured aubergines with mozzarella.

For some old-school glamour, book a table at Fischer’s. Part of The Wolseley Group, it’s an informal neighborhood café with a classic Viennese menu. The space is evocative of early 20th-century Vienna and is open for breakfast until late: the menu includes a huge choice of cured fish, salads, strudels, ice-cream coupes, hot chocolates and coffees with traditional tortes. From the outside, French-leaning wine bar Clarette looks like an old Tudor pub: picture black and white beams and pretty stained glass. But within, the townhouse has had a thoroughly modern makeover – the seating is pink, there’s plenty of exposed brickwork and statement lighting abounds. The Francophile wine list is one we’ve sampled time and time again, and lots of glasses are priced at £5 each – perfect for trying something new.

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