Food Articles

Extravagant tasting menus that justify a blow-out

Settle in for a long night experiencing everything these ace restaurants are most proud of

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Ingenious Indian Plates

Extravagant tasting menus that justify a blow-out

Indian Accent (Mayfair)

No of courses: Nine (£80/head)

Best one: Beet and peanut butter vadai with goat’s cheese

Manish Mehrotra is the creative vision behind the New Delhi and New York iterations of Indian Accent. And thankfully for fans of absurdly artful Indian small plates, he’s now the guiding hand behind the freshly opened Mayfair branch. Nine courses of novel takes on both familiar faves, from chicken kofta to onion pakora, and unfamiliars like the beet and peanut butter vadai with goat’s cheese pachadi (basically, incredibly refined naans), all washed down with a gem from the comprehensive wine list. Just you wait for the white Rioja. 

Super-Fresh British Fare

Extravagant tasting menus that justify a blow-out 1

Smoke & Salt (Brixton)

No of courses: Seven (£25/head)

Best one: Spatchcock pheasant

Tucked into the crevices of Pop Brixton and little more than a tin box with a heart, Smoke & Salt charms despite its austere surroundings. Expect a procession of face-slappingly fresh British munch, from January king cabbage with chopped mussels and pickled onion through to the show-stopping spatchcock pheasant, replete with artichoke and golden raisins. Would feel like value at twice the price.

Continental Decadence

Extravagant tasting menus that justify a blow-out 2

The Dairy (Clapham)

No of courses: Five (£48/head)

Best one: Yorkshire mallard, farm squash, chestnuts (for two)

There’s something fascinating in how finely poised between naffness and bliss British restaurants are when attempting “continental bistro” vibes. But The Dairy get their carefully rustic decor juuuust right, and have the elegant tasting menu utterly nailed, with the likes of their monkfish with purple sprouting broccoli and garum combining with the truffled baron bigod (a creamy cheese) for an experience of carefully balanced indulgence.

A Quicker Blast

Extravagant tasting menus that justify a blow-out 3

Craft London (Greenwich)

No of courses: Four (£35/head)

Best one: Ray wing, roast artichokes, garlic, parsley

This recent addition to the culinary life of auld Greenwich has a couple of unusual distinctions. As well as producing most of the goods in-house, they also hold the distinction as one of the last places lavished with praise by the late AA Gill. It’s a trifle shorter than the rest, standing at four courses, with flat iron steak with field mushrooms and pine-smoked onions one of the big boys. Rapid-fire and sustaining enough to act as perfect pre-O2 fodder before a long evening screaming at the back of Raymond van Barneveld’s dome.

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