Friday 17 December 2010

Greedy Diva's Top 10 Favourite Restaurants for 2010

It's that time of the year again. And while I find it hard to rank my favourite restaurants (comparing apples and oranges etc), here's the list I sent to Toptable regarding my top 10 London restaurants for 2010. Follow the link to see the lists of some other bloggers too.

Crab ravioli at The Fish Place,
December 2010

1. The Ledbury - Brilliant, original fare which is a joy to eat. The setting is airy and unpretentious, despite this being - deservedly - a 2 Michelin star restaurant. And you can even enjoy it over a reasonably priced set lunch. Young Australian chef, Brett Graham, gets a big thumbs up for my favourite restaurant in London.

2. Bocca di Lupo - Simple, Italian regional food, expertly done.  A great place to sit at the bar sipping a glass of wine and tucking into a great bowl of pasta, or schmooze around Italy via the menu, sharing small plates with a table full of friends. The setting may be stylish, but it's all about the food here for me.

3. Polpo/Polpetto - Since these related restaurants are both neighbours and both new (Polpo, the "Venetian style bacaro bar", opened in 2009 and the smaller Polpetto in 2010), I'm joining them together at number 3. Fun, buzzy but relaxed, each restaurant has its own unique personality and menu - but both offer a range of traditional Italian food on small plates at very reasonable prices.

4. Hawksmoor (Covent Garden and Shoreditch) - Some of the best steaks in London, with fabulous cocktails to match. The beef is all British and you will taste the quality and flavour in every cut. And don't get me started on the terrific Hawksmoor burger...

5. Vinoteca - An oldie but a goodie. Enjoy great food and wine in a casual, wine bar setting. Just eat, drink and be merry.

6. 32 Great Queen Street - Good quality, British gastropub style food in a casual atmosphere. Always great for an easy going lunch or a big, hearty dinner in a central location.

7. Cay Tre - My pick of the cheap eats - great Vietnamese food, with fresh, vibrant flavours. Enjoy a feast without breaking the bank.

8. Kikuchi - My favourite Japanese restaurant in London to date. It feels, looks and tastes like Tokyo, as Japanese businessmen enjoy sake and sushi in a relaxed, bustling, convivial atmosphere. Don't miss the nasu dengaku.

9. Bob Bob Ricard - Quirky, fun, great food and a well priced wine list. Not to mention that it's perfectly acceptable here to shoot a glass of vodka with every course. Anywhere that has a "push for champagne" button at each table is alright by me. Fabulous.

10. Bistrot Bruno Loubet - A lovely place to dine on some creative bistro food. Excellent French cooking with a bit of flair.

Onglet steak at 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen,
November 2010

Honorable mentions go to all those other favourites on my "Favourite London Restaurants" page as well as Gauthier Soho (mmm...that truffle risotto...) and 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen, which are both places I loved but have only managed to visit once. I also visited newbie The Fish Place in recent weeks, which was one of the best meals I've had this year, but it loses points for ambience until you all just take my word for it, schlep over to Battersea and fill up some tables.

It's been a great year of eating. With so many new restaurant openings this year, I still have many to try (Trullo, Zucca, Tinello, Brawn... the list goes on). Here's to enjoying that task in 2011.


  1. I rather sadly have never made it to Vinoteca despite living by it. Grrr.

    Tried Tinello before I left and would describe it as Bocca di Lupo but with space to breathe. So worth trying then!

  2. Great list Diva! thanks for introducing us to many of these - our meal at the Ledbury last month was absolutely sensational. Might need to hit Hawksmoor this weekend I think....

  3. Isn't it great to reminisce on the year and then look forward to all the ones that still need to be eaten! Luv your post!

  4. Tom - Aaarghh, I can't believe you didn't make it to Vinoteca, but at least we can use it as an excuse to lure you back every now and then.

    Sarahpell - Thanks Ms Pell. Still many on the to do list that we must try together. I have a feeling you'll like the cocktails at Hawksmoor.

    Kay - Thank you! Very much looking forward to another year of eating out about London.

  5. No surprises that The Ledbury is top - it seems to be there or thereabouts on many of these lists. But no Launceston Place?

  6. Mr Noodles - Actually, I was surprised The Ledbury did not rank higher on more of the Toptable lists! (Although Hollowlegs also put it at no 1). I haven't been to Launceston Place but have been wanting to go - they do a great set price menu deal.

  7. Interesting to see how subjective these lists turn out to be - I would definitely not include Polpo or Bocca di Lupo in my Top 10, and would suggest Viet Grill or Que Viet rather than Cay Tre (despite loving it) as my best cheap option.

  8. The London Foodie - I like Viet Grill too - and it's related to Cay Tre so the food is very similar (although I like the way Cay Tre is smaller - not to mention the funky wallpaper!)

  9. Good list - i always enjoy reading people's top tens because, as The London Foodie alluded, they're always different and show what people like and don't like.

    For example, i'm with you on Hawksmoor, BBR and Vinoteca...but had really underwhelming experiences at Polpo and Loubet. Talking about that sort of thing is what makes food blogging so much fun ;)

  10. Thanks for a great list- has helped add a couple more must do's to ours as we eat our way around the city! Have had so much fun getting to know London- and it's so great to read about somewhere with some good nasu dengaku....

  11. Ahhh I agree with so many of these, especially BBR, Hawksmoor, Bocca di Lupo and of course The Ledbury. Here's to an even more awesome 2011!

  12. Grubworm - I always enjoy reading everybody's lists too - I always pick up 1 or 2 to try.

    Tori - Thanks!

    Catty - It was lovely to visit The Ledbury with you this year!

  13. great list! (and I say this not only because I won the 200 pounds GR voucher from you ;)
    Ledbury and Vinoteca on my top 10 list too, I also really enjoyed Cay Tre. Mainly I am depressed that I still haven't made it to Polpo, Bocca di Lupo or Hawksmoor... They are on my New Year's resolution list!

  14. Your best list reads like my "wish list"! Definitely have a few of yours on my list to get to in 2011!

  15. Ute - I was at Vinoteca again yesterday - such a great place. It's good to still have a few on the list to try in the year ahead.

    LexEat - Yes, you have them all to look forward to!

  16. I LOVE Vinoteca - have actually been meaning to blog about it for ages, but I always drink way too much when I'm there and then forget what I've eaten! Happy new year.

  17. LondonRob - I love Vinoteca too. I've just written yet another review of it. Happy New Year to you too.

  18. I suggest you check out this website, a perfect guide to luxury, as well as the best restaurants in all of England, etc.


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