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Apr 17, 2007 09:57 AM

Absolute BEST restaurant in London (fine dinning)

Where is the best place to eat in London? I'm looking for the finest meal available. Something that can top or come as close as possible to New York's Per Se.

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  1. i'll tell you the absolute best restaurant in london if you'll tell me what the absolute best color there is.

    7 Replies
    1. re: howler

      I want to know what the best restaurant is from multiple people. I'm not expecting everyone to agree, I want different ideas of what is good.

      1. re: CEB280

        Ok then, I'm going to put in a vote for Le Gavroche. Not just because the food is fantastic, which it is, but because the overall dining experience is completely unparalleled. For around two hours you can forget every concern, every irritation and every single thought that doesn't revolve around your every single need being perfectly satisfied. It's bliss.

        1. re: emico

          Absolutely pure bliss and if you go for the prix fixe lunch you will certainly not be disappointed and certainly sated. It is my top favorite anywhere. But if you have time for more than one meal the Bombay Brasserie just opposite Earls Ct. Tube is wonderful. Go for one of their luncheon buffets, delightful

        1. re: howler

          Howler. help please! i know this is the wrong board to ask upon but you seem to only show up here. I need to make Thoum/Toum for tomorrow night. You have my e-mail I really really would appreciate it. It does not seem to be anythin anyone in the US is familiar even with friends who come from Lebanese families. Mods. I know this is not the right board but the only place to contact the person who introduced me to this delectable sauce in London.

          1. re: Candy

            sent an e-mailto your address. enjoy.

            1. re: howler

              Thanks much as you aready know. I appreciate the help and still appreciate the dinner at Randa.

        2. I haven't tried enough places to say what is the best (best for whom? to me? most diners? ... all this is not very objective), but we had a fantastic meal awhile back at Blake's Hotel in South Kensington. Each course was superb. Luckily, we were not paying as the bill for 3 came to about £500. I still think about that dinner. If it means anything, I lived near NYC for many, many years and ate at a lot of very good restaurants in my other life.

          4 Replies
          1. re: zuriga1

            What about The Fat Duck? Has anyone been there?

            1. re: CEB280

              I think if you search the board, there are some comments about people who have eaten there. I, myself, have been to Blumenthal's pub which is next door to The Fat Duck. It's called The Hind's Head. There's a photo here:


              We found the food to be extraordinary - best pea soup and chips I've had in a long time. I can't wait to go back. It's the best of gastropub food and worth the short train trip. Luckily, I can drive there in 30-40 minutes but you can include a look-see at Windsor which is just down the road.

                1. re: Howard V

                  I never said the Fat Duck was in London. If you read the message above my reply, it asked if anyone had eaten at the Fat Duck. My geography is just fine... usually.

          2. There's a reason why Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road is the only London restaurant with three Michelin stars...because it's the best.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Goulue

              It's the best in the eyes of the Michelin inspectors, at least.

              And, no I havnt eaten there. I can't afford that sort of money for a meal - best or not.

            2. Restaurants in London have improved dramatically in the past decade thanks to new cultural influences. Much has been made of the quality of restaurants and if your wanting to find out which ones to try then this Michelin guide article may help you make up your mind -

              Park Plaza County Hall

              5 Replies
              1. re: foodfan76

                "Restaurants in London have improved dramatically in the past decade thanks to new cultural influences."

                I'm not sure what "new cultural influences" might mean, but it's an interesting comment., not least when you look at the London restaurants generally highest rated by Michelin or, perhaps more representatively, the Good Food Guide.

                1. re: Harters

                  as a statement, I think its a piece of empty rhetoric.

                  1. re: batfink23

                    I thought it was a joke. An intentional one.

                2. re: foodfan76

                  I'm not at all sure that much has changed over the last ten years. How about over the last two years since CEB asked the question?

                  1. re: Robin Joy

                    I think more emphasis is now being placed in quality seasonal and perhaps locally sourced ingredients - more so than in the past. No self respecting restaurant would serve produce out of season now. I also believe customers are demanding more value for money as well - I dont mean things are any cheaper but people are perhaps more discerning and wont put up (or shouldn't) with shoddy service or food at the high end places.

                3. howler is right, it really depends what you want. there's little doubt le gavroche is up there if you want precise, yet very classical french cuisine. my tips would be:

                  - marcus wareing, he's jonesing for that 3rd star and the place is driven, both in terms of service and food.

                  - eric chavot at the capital, nice balance between contemporary and classical technique.

                  - tom aikens, how this man still only has a single star is beyond me. definitely some of the best food in london

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: marcus james

                    I have to back marcus' opinion with regards to aikens.

                    He is undoubtedly one of top cooks in the country and deserves more credit and praise than he receives. I think there is general consensus of dislike towards him due to a number reasons (bad boy image, no-nonsense approach in the kitchen, hit and miss meals or his lack of business skills and subsequent screwing over of small suppliers).

                    Despite this, think it would be difficult for any serious foodie to visit london and ignore him. He has influenced many other top chefs (Shane Osborne, Aiden Byrne, Dylan Mc Grath) and has an extremely intricate and complex syle of cooking which is well worth the time and money to discover. In short I think he is a cook's cook. at the same time i do not think it is something you can compare to per se.

                    In terms of an overall restaurant experience Marcus Wareing is a contender, although I just found a slight lack of excitement throughout a tasting menu there. Still a meal of an extremely high calibre.

                    As for GR RHR I do not believe it warrants a visit over the above, it will be flawless and seamless but i dont think you will be able to get away from the lifelessness of it. at this stage he is just becoming dated.

                    Other worthy mentions - Pied A Terre?

                    1. re: marcus james

                      Hi Marcus,

                      I think you're a little caught in yesterday's thinking, things have moved on from teh glory days of a couple of these guys.

                      Waring is nowhere near his 3rd star, he hasn't shown any of the originality or invention he promised.

                      Chavot has become increasingly variable as time has gone on. yes he is capable of excellence, but his performance has become massively inconsistent compared to when he started at the capital. perhaps he needs a new challenge?

                      Aikens has always been hit n miss. I had Maitre'D of another 2* restaurant once explain to me the difference was simply when Aikens was on the pass. now I am not saying that is exactly the case, but it makes some sense. He's becoming yesterdays enfant terrible, and his much publicised issues with suppliers hasn't helped perceptions of him and his restaurant. just had too many off nights, to rate him anymore than unfulfilled promise.

                      Ducasse is much improved, Ambassade D'lille is very good imo, and only this week I had one of the best meals I've ever had in London at Helene Darroze. Precise, inventive classical cuisine, menu beautifully structured with impeccable ingredients and flawless service. the progression and build of the dishes was the sort of thing we just don't see done very well these days.