London’s food scene is constantly evolving to embrace cuisines from far-flung parts all around the world, in order to satisfy the ever-adventurous diner.
Branching out from the crowd of high-street restaurants is a new wave of unique eateries, tailor-made with their own speciality menus, decor and finishing touches.
From venues steeped in history to those challenging the way we dine, the capital is alive with restaurants offering vibrant dining experiences.
Being serenaded while you dine may sound like a cliche of dining in romantic European cities such as Rome and Paris, but Bel Canto (literally ‘nice singing’ in Italian) offers a refreshingly charming update to this. All of the waiters are professional opera singers and have trained in some of the most prestigious and exclusive academies around the world.
This Hyde Park restaurant’s operatic performances beautifully complement its French fine dining menu, letting you embrace the traditional history of opera alongside some classic dishes. Highlights of the menu include the foie gras and rabbit terrine starter, and the premium sturgeon caviar with potato salad main.
The crème de la crème of dining through the ages, Rules is the oldest restaurant in London and is celebrated around the globe for its historical past. Opening in Covent Garden more than 200 years ago by founder Thomas Rules, around the time that Napoleon opened his campaign in Egypt, Rules has seen some of the finest historical figures pass through its doors, from authors to actors.
Serving to many of literature’s greatest names, including Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackery and HG Wells, the restaurant has also notably appeared in novels by writers John Le Carré and Dick Francis, and more.
Part of the restaurant’s charm is its historical embellishments – the walls are lined with hundreds of classical drawings, paintings and cartoons, and the interiors are kept traditional with deep wooden furniture, offering you a glimpse into the restaurant’s heritage and the evolution of London through the centuries.
Boasting a fine-dining menu, an exquisite wine and champagne selection, a refined list of cocktails (once a favourite served to King Edward VII), and private dining options, Rules still guarantees you an extravagant evening, all these years on.
Pioneering the future of technology, Inamo offers you a more interactive and digital experience. While many restaurants concentrate on their interiors, you’re unlikely to find anywhere else that offers ‘tablecloths’ quite like Inamo’s. Take a closer look and you’ll notice the moving screen beneath you – you can not only order meals at the tap of a finger, you can also watch meals being prepared through the ‘chef cam’ on the tabletops.
If you need a way to stifle your hunger while you wait, though, switch to the games setting and enjoy battleship, ping pong, memory games and more. And you can also create the right ambience for your meal by selecting the backdrop of your table from a choice of images.
The futuristic dining process sits hand in hand with the restaurant’s offering of East Asian fusion cuisine. Choose from the menu of dishes influenced by traditional (and modern) flavours used in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and beyond, with sushi platters, Asian tapas and noodle dishes. Due to the popularity of the original Covent Garden location, Inamo now has restaurants in Soho and Camden too.
As its name suggests, Restaurant Story by London Bridge evokes narratives through its menu selection. Serving only the very best of seasonal British produce, the restaurant taps into childhood memories and classic stories to bring a unique dining experience. Chef Tom Sellers has precisely mastered the art of both cooking and storytelling throughout his culinary career, allowing you to traverse stories based on what you “see, smell and taste on the plate”.
The dinner and lunch menus are divided into chapters, drawing upon the senses; for example, Chapter 1 of the dinner menu is titled ‘Childhood’, presenting classics such as bread and dripping, whilst Chapter 2 is centred on the ‘Garden’, with snail ravioli and foie gras.
Further delving into the concept, you are invited to browse the ever-growing bookshelves of the restaurant, and bring your own book along to share with the Restaurant Story’s library.
Another restaurant exploring the world of stories, The Fable is directly inspired by the Aesop’s fantastical fables. Paying close attention to every minute detail, the restaurant is delicately adorned with vintage typewriters, leather-bound books, novel trinkets, and even a book-wall seating area.
This Holborn haunt offers a creative food and drinks menu alongside its enchanting setting. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper or even just dessert, The Fable has crafted individual menus to suit every diner, and the cocktails menu is broken down into timeless classics, drinks inspired by literature, and those steeped in heritage.
Understanding the need of many Londoners to escape the bustle of the city, The Fable offers a cosy retreat, and welcomes private hires for special occasions and events.
Embracing London’s Culture
Whether you are looking for classic dinner menu or a modern selection of delicacies, London has a wonderful number of unique dining experiences across the city. Embrace the capital’s heritage or look to the future with the many unusual restaurants.
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