Having lived in London for over 6 years now, and having eaten out quite a bit, here's my choice of London's best restaurants.
This small family-owned French restaurant between Holborn and Oxford Street is a good choice for a bite to eat after a long day's shopping, or a excellent value gourmet meal for two. They tend to stick to the French bistro classics, and it's all good, home-made tasty food. Service is excellent - the Scottish lady who runs the restaurant makes her customers feel right at home and nothing is too much trouble.
Situated in Kentish Town and easily reachable from Camden Town, this is a quirky and cosy Malaysian/Indonesian/Thai restaurant is probably the best value choice on this list. They're not licensed so bring your own bottle. Try the whole seabass with a choice of spicy sauce and a bottle of your own Gewurtztraminar. Yum.
I have seen it mentioned that this is now the most expensive restaurant in London - down to their seven course Menu Prestige for £125. Their set lunch menu is much more affordable, however, although you can still spend a fortune what with wine and brandies etc ... The best service I've ever experienced, the scrummiest food. I can't recommend Gordon Ramsay's enough for a celebration meal.
This is a chain of Vietnamese street food cafes. I've tried out their fare in Westfield London, as well as in one of their Soho branches. Fresh, healthy flavours predominate - try their Goi Ga (chicken salad) or one of their noodle soups, accompanied by a zingy apple and ginger juice and you'll feel much better about yourself!
Authentic Pakistani food is the speciality of this restaurant. Be prepared to queue as this place is extremely popular: not for too long, however, as service is extremely efficient and they're quite used to dealing with large numbers of people. You'd be hard pressed to find a better curry in London, and you can bring your own beer or wine (there's a supermarket just down the street to stock up in before your meal.)
Not all Chinatown restaurants can be recommended: some are complete tourist rip-off joints. We've to the New Fook Lam Moon quite a few times now, however, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Never having been to China, I can't comment on whether their food (it's actually a mix of Chinese and Malaysia) is authentic, but their grilled dumplings are beauteous and service, although brisk, is courteous as well.
10 Gerrard St
Soho, W1D 5
Phone: 0871 075 7068
Fratelli la Bufala
Pizza is the food to try in this neighbourhood Italian restaurant near Hampstead Heath rail station. The buffalo mozzarella is extremely important to the flamboyant owner of this business and it enhances the flavour of the pizza no end (other dishes are available.)
A favourite of food critic Giles Coren (who lives nearby), this serves some of the best gastropub food that I've tasted in London. You'll find all the usual gastropub dishes on lunch menu and distinctly posher food such as venison and game pie at night, but everything is in season, and every supplier they use get a mention on their website. Excellent.
Situated in Islington, this is a lively, bright and modern South American restaurant. The staff are lovely and I can't recommend the ceviche followed by rabbit in chocolate sauce enough. And their margheritas aren't bad either.
A Swiss Cottage favourite, Eriki has been around for a while now and has even opened up in the Crowne Plaza, Heathrow as well. We've had quite a few meals in this slightly upmarket Indian restaurant and their onion bhajis in particular are to be recommended. Service is professional and friendly and we're always left contented and satisfied.
4-6 Northways Parade