Tis the season to be jolly, especially if you dine at one of these restaurants…
Londoners are lucky folk – there are exciting eateries around every corner, from dining-scene mainstays to new, trendy dining spots, that will be offering up all manner of festive treats this Yuletide. It would be impossible to list them all, but here are a few ideas for Christmas dining in the capital to get the ball rolling and your mouth watering.
1901 at Andaz
This festive season, Andaz has got Christmas all wrapped up. The Yuletide offering at the elegant 1901 restaurant – housed within the magnificent Andaz Hotel on Liverpool Street – is rather tempting, and it’s hard to imagine a better backdrop for some fabulous festive fare. Under the beautiful vaulted glass dome ceiling, chef Hameed Farook is serving up exquisite Christmas treats, celebrating the diversity of home-grown British produce.
Creative starters include game terrine with quince chutney, pistachio purée and mulled-wine jelly and artichoke soup with smoked mackerel tartar, while delectable main courses include halibut with hazelnut crust, langoustine and a courgette flower and confit leg of turkey with pigs in blankets, winter vegetables and carrot purée – how very tempting. To satisfy your sweet tooth, choose from the likes of layered apple and chestnut cake with Baileys sauce and praline ice cream and pecan and hazelnut tart, chocolate fudge and sour cherry sorbet. Three courses cost £33, four courses are £37 and the six-course tasting menu is available for £69. Andaz offers top-quality cuisine in an elegant setting – just the ticket for celebrating Christmas in style.
The Modern Pantry
How could you fail to be impressed by The Modern Pantry as you enter St John’s Square, Clerkenwell? Housed within this tall warehouse you’ll discover a contemporary yet rustic restaurant – if you’re looking for something a little more imaginative and a little less run-of-the-mill this yuletide, then this is the place to come.
The delightful Christmas menu is offered for £50 a head, and it’s packed with a host of imaginative dishes. Begin with a selection of fresh breads before moving on to your starter – the octopus and anise Carpaccio, shaved kohlrabi and crispy capers and the ham hock and coriander seed terrine with miso and sour cherry piccalilli are two examples of what’s on offer. Moving on to main courses, and the traditional turkey dinner has been well and truly spruced up – the slow-roasted rolled turkey filled with umeshu soaked prunes served with shallots and ajowan, morcilla braised leeks and umeboshi fondant potatoes is a modern take on a classic – while alternative options include roast Cornish fish of the day with baked cauliflower, mustard sauce, mole rojo crumbs, pomegranate and fennel salad. Round off with an indulgent dessert – the chestnut and chocolate delice with candied hazelnuts is most tempting – and you won’t be disappointed.
The stylish First Edition restaurant, set against the impressive skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, is a rather impressive venue for a delicious festive feast. Within the smart exterior of this establishment, you will find a warm, comforting and quirky interior, with simple, fresh and elegant decor.
With Billingsgate market nearby, the food offering here is always exquisite, and the Christmas menu is certainly no exception. The seasonal three-course menu (plus coffee), costs £35 a head, and is available throughout the month of December. Begin with the soup du jour, home-cured jasmine salmon or crunchy coconut king prawns to whet your appetite, and follow up with the likes of poached smoked haddock, wild-boar ragu with fresh pappardelle or a juicy 8oz sirloin steak for the main event. Plump for a decadent dessert to finish (it’s Christmas after all) – traditional Christmas pudding and tiramisu with amaretto cream are among the sweets on offer – and you’re guaranteed to leave feeling satisfied.