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Unique or Unusual Restaurants in/around London

Hello! DH and I will be travelling in Europe last week of May/first week of June (I'm posting this question specifically for each of the various cities we'll be visiting).

Can anyone suggest some unique or unusual restaurants in or around London? You know, the kind of place that will actually be part of our story when we get home, not just fuel to keep us functional. For example, when we went to Toronto, we ate in one of those dine-in-the-dark restaurants (we'll pass on the one in London), and when I was in Quebec I had dinner in the oldest house in Quebec City. I've tried Google but it seems many folks are confusing unusual with trendy or hard to get into or 5 Michelin stars or whatever. Food doesn't have to be a particular cuisine, or even a particular quality level (if there is a hot dog stand at the top of the Tower of London that would qualify!). Even a decent distance out of town would be worth it for the right place.

Thank you so much for your help!

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  1. You don't mention where home is, so it's a bit difficult for people to choose restaurants that might be novel for you and DH. There aren't too many Ghurka restaurants, but Surrey has one or two, and the food is delicious - not a long distance by train. I'll keep thinking.

    1. Not technically a restaurant, but Gordon's Wine Bar on Villiers Street near Charing Cross is supposedly London's oldest bar, and is situated underground in the vaults. Brick arches, candlelight, slightly damp and musty, but usually fun and busy. I would say the food was functional pub food, though the cheeseboard has always looked pretty decent. p.s. not suitable for claustrophobes!

      Also maybe the St Pancras Grand? We had tea outside on the concourse last Valentine's day, and though it was quite chilly it was fun looking at the beautiful cast iron train shed and seeing the eurostars pulling in.

      What about somewhere with a great view of London? I've been to the restaurant at the top of the Centrepoint which offers a wonderful view over the city, but like all of these places the food is incredibly expensive and not that great. Maybe better for a cocktail, then dinner at one of the cheapy Korean places at the base of the tower.

      1. I would have said http://www.disappearingdiningclub.co.... - however at the moment they are between locations, so the private dining options are for larger groups. Keep an eye on it though as they also do dinner dances and a regular Scandinavian night and, by the time you get here, they should be running in a regular location.

        1. It's an interesting question, although if food quality doesn't matter then Chowhound may not be the right place.

          My first thought would be supper clubs - not sure how prevalent they are in your home city but good food and hopefully great company with 12 strangers in someone else's home.

          MeatLiquor is unusual http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820093 but perhaps too trendy.

          Galvin at Windows probably has the best fayn dining views in the City and Inamo has a funny system where you order off menus projected onto your table with passable food.

          There are some other places that are just plain weird but I can't speak for the food quality which I suspect may not be all there.
          http://www.medievalbanquet.com/about.... is one.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit

            We have a dine in the dark place in Clerkenwell called dans le noir at 30 clerkenwell green. never been so cannot comment on how good/bad it is.
            Champor champor in London Bridge area does unusual meats and has had good reviews. its small and would require booking - again never been.
            I think going to somewhere like Brixton and wondering round the market is unique and has many good eateries.
            Also going to Southhall and feeling like a foreign land is fun - lots of indian shops restaurants - search other threads for opinions on best.

            1. re: bleep75

              I've been to Champor Champor, and while it was quite enjoyable and the decor was quite over-the-top, I didn't think it was particularly note-worthy. A similar sort of thing would be Archipelago in Fitzrovia which does zebra, locusts, frogs etc (edit: looking at the menu now, it's distinctly less "weird" that it was before - no locusts!)

              1. re: gembellina

                If you want something uniquely London you should definately go a pie and mash shop. Here's a selection (though slightly out of date).

                http://www.timeout.com/london/restaur...

                I know M Manze is till going. Order pie, mash and liquor (parsley sauce) or, you're really brave, for the ultimate Cockney treat try the jellied eels

                http://www.manze.co.uk/

          2. Unique/unusual is tricky. What might be unusual to me may not be to you.

            However - how about London's oldest restaurant (1798) - Rules:
            http://www.rules.co.uk/

            I'd also echo Man in Transit's suggestion of supper clubs.