9 London Restaurants for Every Girl’s BudgetEngland, Food & Wine, Restaurant Reviews — By Patty H on May 17, 2010 at 10:00 am
British food has a bad rap—especially when you compare it to Italian pizza, French bread, and Spanish tapas. Plus, eating out isn’t cheap, particularly in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Fish and chips are a bargain, but they can get old after a while. So, what’s a Lost Girl to do when hungry strikes? Don’t think—or nosh—like a tourist.
Julie Falconer, our London go-to girl, compiled a collage of yummy (cheap!) restaurants that made the top of her short list while she lived there. So if you’re in a food frenzy and don’t know where to grab some grub, try some of these LG- approved eats and eateries…
9 London Restaurants for Every Girl’s Budget
By Julie Falconer
Special to Lost Girls World
Even though London’s culinary scene was once as dreary as its weather, thankfully, the city’s food culture has improved dramatically over the years. As a metropolitan melting pot for every culture, London now boasts a range of quality restaurants of every type of cuisine and for every girl’s budget…
Mooli’s: New in Soho, Mooli’s is central London’s budget dining scene sweetheart. The owners define the restaurant’s delicious Indian-inspired moolis as “warm flavorsome fillings, zesty salsas, vibrant chutneys & crunchy salad, all rolled in a fresh homemade roti”. These savory parcels are not only healthy and preservative-free, but at £2.50 ($3.70) for a mini mooli, easy on the wallet as well. Try the chicken Mooli with apple and mint chutney, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go for the goat meat Mooli.
Jenny Lo’s Tea House: Located just around the corner from Victoria Station, Jenny Lo’s Teahouse is a long-standing favorite for Chinese noodles. Jenny Lo is the daughter of celebrated London restaurateur Ken Lo, and she learned the tricks of the culinary trade from her father. The long communal tables at her excellent noodle shop are the perfect place for a quick lunch or dinner. At just £6.95 ($10.20) for the Singapore Noodles, Jenny Lo’s Teahouse also offers some of the best value for money in chi chi Belgravia.
Princi: A concept recently imported from Italy, Princi is already a staple in the Soho scene. Its long counter brims with thin crust pizzas, fluffy focaccia, and bite-sized rustici rolls. And if they won’t keep your stomach full, delicious pasta dishes are cooked up in the kitchen. The only thing not to like about Princi is that you have to decide what to order. But once you’ve chosen your food, take your pick of long communal tables or do as the Italians do and sip your espresso while standing at the bar.
Your Wallet’s Sweet Spot
The Thomas Cubitt: Perennially packed with the after-work crowd in Belgravia, The Thomas Cubitt is an ever popular gastropub in central London. With mis-matched wooden chairs and wide windows, the atmosphere combines traditional pub and modern British. The food at The Cubitt—as the locals call it—is gastropub fare taken up a notch. Whether you order the Beer Battered Fish & Chips in the downstairs pub or the 28 Day Aged Castle of Mey Beef Fillet in the more formal upstairs dining room, you’re set to experience some of London’s best pub fare.
The Windsor Castle: Tucked away on a side street in Notting Hill, the historic Windsor Castle is one of the most unique restaurants in London. Built in the 19th century, Windsor Castle features a series of small rooms that connect with one another via impossibly low doorways. To add to the Alice in Wonderland effect, the interior opens out onto a larger-than-life patio filled with picnic tables that are perfect for summer Pimm’s and Lemonade. While you’re drinking, make sure to enjoy some delicious traditional sausages and mashed potatoes.
The Old White Bear: The Old White Bear in North London’s Hampstead was recently converted from a worn-out neighborhood pub to a charming restaurant serving excellent Modern European cuisine. It is the perfect place for a date or a late lunch with friends after a walk in Hampstead Heath. The mix of rustic pine and circular marble-topped tables, candle-light dining at night and outdoor space in the daytime, means that The Old White Bear is a great restaurant for any occasion. Whatever occasion you choose, make sure to try the excellent risotto and the impressive Austrian Pinot Noir.
Someone Else is Paying
Amaya: On a small mews in Knightsbridge the owners of London’s famous Veeraswamy restaurant created a dining experience your palate will never forget: Amaya Bar and Grill. Specializing in Indian grills, Amaya’s small plates offer the perfect blend of spices, marinades, and tenderness. A favorite is the lamb lollipops, small bites of marinated lamb that will melt on your tongue. Amaya’s open kitchen allows diners to watch as their Michelin-starred meal is prepared, and the creative cocktails ensure it all goes down smoothly.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay: Run by one of the UK’s most well-known celebrity chefs, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Chelsea’s Royal Hospital Road is arguably the best restaurant in London. With three Michelin Stars, impeccable service, and heavenly food, the restaurant is well worth the long wait for a reservation (not to mention the size of the bill). When you get to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, you can order from the a la carte menu, but the seven-course Menu Prestige of “simple French cuisine” is certainly the way to go. And that’s to say nothing of the wine list.
Pied a Terre: So subtle you could walk by and never notice its presence on Fitzrovia’s restaurant-laden Charlotte Street, Pied a Terre is all about understated elegance. The small dining room offers an intimate experience, and the elegant cuisine lives up to the restaurant’s two Michelin stars. While the 10 course tasting menu allows you to enjoy the full range of chef Shane Osborn’s abilities, Pied a Terre’s two course, £23.50 ($34.75) lunch menu is one of the best fine dining deals in London.