Tome-like menus getting you down? Feeling a bit of FOMO after seeing the dish that you were going to order (but didn't) get eaten by someone else? Yeah, navigating restaurants can be a real stress sometimes – it's why so many of us rarely branch out of the comfort zone of our favourite orders at our favourite neighbourhood joints. While that might be the safest approach to avoid disappointment, ordering the same thing over and over and over again isn't what going out to eat is really about, is it?
Trying new cuisines and exciting dishes is one of the most effective ways of connecting yourself all Matrix-like with a specific time and place. It's a way of understanding cultures you may otherwise know little about and a way of feeling feelings you may otherwise have never felt before. One of the best methods to expand your palate and pelt yourself with a range of those sensations is through a tasting menu – which, hyperbole aside, can be a life-changing experience in the food department.
As anyone who's ever put their trust (and stomach) in the hands of a chef will be able to tell you, tasting menus can be heavy, refreshing, decadent, challenging, and downright fascinating all at once. They can be an assault on your head, meticulously crafted to ascertain a certain response. Or they can just be really ridiculously tasty. Going out to eat a tasting menu can provide a gustatory experience like no other.
Are you ready to take the plunge? Because this is your last chance. After this, there's no turning back. You choose à la carte – the story ends, you wake up in your bed full of tagliatelle and believe whatever you want to believe. You choose the tasting menu – you stay in Wonderland and we show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
From the affordable to the eye-watering, here's our pick of London's best tasting menus—all 48 of them, guaranteed to suit every taste. You are so welcome.
London's best tasting menus: £60 and under
56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH
Dalston newcomer Angelina combines elements of Italian and Japanese cuisine for an affordable five plate tasting menu that won't leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Dishes like unagi risotto, burnt soy butter and dashi are bursting with umami flavour. Think of this like baby's first tasting menu – a delicious and unpretentious gateway into the world of fine-dining.
£38 per person, additional £35 for wine pairing. angelina.london
2. The Frog Hoxton
45-47 Hoxton Square, N1 6PD
If you're looking to enjoy a tasting menu where you're actively encouraged to eat with your hands, you could do a hell of a lot worse than The Frog Hoxton. Start with a range of finger-friendly snacks before working your way through a spread of plates including crispy duck pancake, Sutton Hoo chicken, and a plump cheese doughnut. Come for a casual eating environment that still maintains that sense of refinement you want went plopping down your pounds. Desserts with names like 'Milk, milk and more milk' sum up the fun ethos.
£60 per person, additional £60 for wine pairing; thefroghoxton.com
383 King's Road, SW10 0L
Getting value for money in Chelsea isn't always easy. Thankfully, Chicama is a restaurant that offers a relatively thrifty menu inspired the coastal food of Peru and the bold flavours of the region. Traditional Peruvian cuisine is available in the form of sea bass ceviche in soy tiger's milk alongside slightly more exuberant offerings like tapioca marshmallow with ocopa sauce, positioning it undoubtedly as one of London's best tasting menus. Bow Chicama-wow-wow.
£45 per person; chicamalondon.com
30 St Cross Street, EC1N 8UH
Located just off Cross Street in Farringdon, Anglo is a restaurant where you can more than get your fill of quality modern British cooking. Chef Mark Jarvis's menu provides a pleasant country ramble through excellent local produce: Jersey Royals with smoked salmon and lemon; Tamworth pork with sage and onion, stone bass with cauliflower and leek. Anglo is sleek and simple, described by Grace Dent as "Noma, if it was born and raised in Norwich".
£65 per person, additional £50 for wine pairing; anglorestaurant.com
1-3 Green Lanes, N16 9BS
Anywhere with a dinner menu that changes with the seasons is obviously doing something right by us, and likely a strong contender as one of London's best tasting menus. By placing such a refined focus on seasonal (and quality) produce, Perilla ensures that every instance dining there is turned into a memorable experience. Modern European is the predominant vibe though the food is far from fusty. Ingredients sing to their heart's content on every inventive plate. Gurnard fried in beef fat and served with chip shop curry sauce being but one example of that inventiveness in full-force. Hell, even if the menu consisted of nothing but five rounds of Perilla's homemade seaweed sourdough, we'd leave pretty happy customers. For under £50 a head it's also an absolute bargain.
£44 per person, additional £36 for wine pairing; perilladining.co.uk
6. Pied a Terre
34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
DISCLAIMER #1: Pied a Terre's tasting menus can cost upwards of £100. DISCLAIMER #2: They're all ridiculously excellent. DISCLAIMER #3: The flexible lunch menu might be the most cost-efficient way of delving into Michelin-standard cooking in London. Available as either a six course tasting menu (with a choice of dishes such as Scottish beef onglet or Cornish cod) or a three course version with half a bottle of wine, coffee and petis fours – you won't find it easy making up your mind. Both options also start with a selection of canapés and unlimited freshly baked breads. Just in case you needed any more convincing.
£60 per person; pied-a-terre.co.uk
7. The Laughing Heart
277 Hackney Road, E2 8NA
Despite the name, eating at The Laughing Heart is no laughing matter. With head chef Tom Anglesea in the kitchen, you can expect nothing less than serious food cooked seriously well at this Hackney haunt. The 'carte blanche' dining option will give you an arsenal of ten or so sharing dishes that change on the daily. Letting Anglesea choose from a selection of bar-setters such as Orkney scallops and contemporary fusion creations like Sichuan crème brûlée is like letting a handsome lion loose at the zoo: gorgeous chaos.
£39 per person; thelaughingheartlondon.com
8. The Dairy
15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
There's more to Clapham than prams and hairdressers. Robin Gill's The Dairy is a forward-thinking eatery that doesn't let its focus on seasonal ingredients get in the way of delivering spadefuls of flavour. The tasty tasting menu here is light, refreshing and usually involves some sort of bone marrow. God, we're suckers for a bit of bone marrow.
£48 per person; the-dairy.co.uk
9. The Petersham
31 King Street, WC2E 8JD
The tasting menu at The Petersham is a real homely affair. We don't mean that it's the sort of food that your mum and dad could easily whip for a weekday dinner – far from it, in fact: it's more so that all the dishes at The Petersham contain a shared sense of care. Family-owned Haye Farm supply poultry, eggs and organic fruit and vegetables to all Petersham Nurseries restaurants (the Petersham included). The seasonal menu here is a great way to see what simple ingredients can do when given room to shine.
£60 per person, additional £50 for wine pairing; petershamnurseries.com
32 Southwark Street, London Bridge, SE1 1TU
Look, we won't mess around here. If you're after a tasting menu or chef's table that'll knock your socks off, Native's new offering is probably one for you. The London Bridge restaurant is already a favourite because of its inventive celebration of wild food. But book yourself onto the new chef's table, and you won't be sat amongst other mere mortals in the main restaurant; instead you'll eat your meal at a gorgeously decorated table just inside the kitchen, where you can see all the action take place. As you'd expect from such an establishment the menu changes frequently to match the produce, but on our visit we feasted on Native's trademark zero–waste snacks of lean and flavoursome squirrel pasty with piccalilli; cod toast with rhubarb ketchup; and wild garlic and nettle borek with labneh. We then moved onto a beautifully presented Cornish scallop with wild garlic and bacon dashi; Dorset brown crab; and Cornish cod, served with sea kale from seasalter and a velvety, umami-laden miso sauce. Mmmmhm. As for meaty bits, oh-so-delicate lardo came draped over Wye Valley asparagus; a mouthful of perfect duck came with sweet fresh peas; and 54-day-aged rump steak was lifted by wild garlic and pickled walnut. London's best tasting menus? Look no further.
£60 per person, additional £40 for wine pairing. eatnative.co.uk
177-179 Morning Lane, E9 6LH
Set up by three close friends with a shared passion for food, Nest offers an excellent and affordable tasting menu that is – on its day – capable of giving any stuffier, higher-end restaurant a run for its money. Expect seasonal vegetables from Calixta at Flourish Produce in Cambridgeshire, fresh fish from Flying Fish in Cornwall, shellfish from Keltic Seafare, and some rare breeds of meat from all across the country. One of the many wonderful things that makes Nest unique is how the restaurant only uses one meat in the kitchen at a time, allowing them to manage meat consumption in a more sustainable way and ensure no part of the animal goes to waste. From 60-day aged grassfed Yorkshire beef to kid goat, rose veal and Goosnargh duck – you’ll always find top notch produce on the menu here turned into creative plates of food. The wine pairing, with its focus on producers that use organic and low intervention production methods, is also worth your attention.
£48 per person, additional £44 for wine pairing; nestfood.co.uk
56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
We don't know what's currently on the menu at Lyle's, but we do know that it’s going to be fairly fabulous. The £59 tasting menu that runs for dinner service at this Hackney essential is a proper gateway into the world of restaurants. It’s hard not to become besotted with Lyle's as soon as you enter the site and that adoration only gets more passionate as you start to eat. At the time of writing James Lowe has got a range of dishes with names like 'Pheasant Broth, Jerusalem Artichoke & Preserved Lemon' and 'Mutton, Puntarelle & Anchovy' that have got us salivating over our keyboards.
£59 per person; lyleslondon.com
52 Wilton Way, E8 1BG
The tasting menu at Pidgin revolves around the gimmick that the restaurant has never repeated a dish from its weekly changing menu. The no-choice four course tasting menu means that once you've had a meal there, it's pretty much nailed on that you’ll never get to have that same meal again. That transience is part of Pidgin's overwhelming appeal; providing an ephemeral dining experience that’s beauty lies in its soigne singularity. As for the dishes themselves? Well, they're just fucking delicious. We guess you could call what comes out of Pidgin's kitchen true "modern British cooking". With modern British in Pidgin's case meaning that you might find bone marrow given the company of egg yolk, caviar, and umeboshi or a braised pork cheek jazzed up with a maple karashi glaze. There's no real rules here, and that’s part of what we love about Pidgin – it's a tasting menu that'll leave you cooing at a price that won't have you booing. (God, we're sorry about that.)
£49 per person, additional £40 for drinks pairing; pidginlondon.com
14. Casa Fofó
158 Sandringham Road, E8 2HS
Casa Fofò is a bijou neighbourhood eatery in the heart of Hackney where you can get your laughing gear around a set menu from ex-Pidgin head chef Adolfo de Cecco for a bafflingly affordable £39. All of the adroit dishes are comprised of seasonal ingredients sourced by local producers and suppliers and the constantly changing menu means that no two meals at the spot will ever be the same. Whether you’re enjoying a complex plate of black garlic, kimchi and cime di rapa or simple pile of house charcuterie, part of the joy of eating at Casa Fofò comes from the surprise at what you’ll find coming out the pass. The only thing you won’t be surprised about is how fucking good everything tastes.
£39 per person; casafofolondon.co.uk
15. Smoke & Salt
49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ
Smoke & Salt is one of our favourite restaurants in Brixton and its simple seasonal tasting menu is a nice way to see exactly what it does best. That just so happens to be using local ingredients and a simple, pared back ethos to create tasty plates of food. It’s also super affordable, making it one of London's best tasting menus for those of you on a budget. You're so welcome.
£27 per person; smokeandsalt.com
18 Market Row, SW9 8LD
If you’re after a veggie-forward tasting menu where UK produce and local London suppliers are given the run of the show, you should absolutely make some tracks to Brixton’s Salon. The ever-evolving set menu here, which consists of either four or seven courses, delivers all the diversity and creativity of a tasting menu without any unnecessary pomp and circumstance. While fresh vegetables tend to be the star of the show, expert cuts of fish and meat do get their own time in the spotlight. The food at Salon is beyond delicious and it remains one of our favourite of London's best tasting menus, stat.
£39 per person, additional £29 for accompanying drinks; salonbrixton.co.uk
London's best tasting menus: £60-£120
17. Frog by Adam Handling
34-35 Southampton Street, WC2E 7HG
Adam Handling's flagship restaurant delivers just about everything you'd want from an eatery in the taste department, and it also does a bang-up job when it comes to sustainability, too. Many of the ingredients used are grown at the restaurant's partner farm in West Sussex to create the restaurant's two tasting menus. The more luxurious of the two is Adam's tasting menu – it's a well-oiled menu that's strewn with tantalising plates. Spare descriptions like 'scallops, oyster, caviar' and 'duck, sausage, foie gras' are more than enough to get our engines revving.
£95 per person, additional £75 for wine pairing; frogbyadamhandling.com
18. Da Terra
Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF
At 109-years old, the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green is seeped in history. But recent years have been kind to it, too: Da Terra, a tasting-menu-only restaurant that exquisitely blends the native Italian and Brazilian cuisines of its founders Rafael Cagalli and Paulo Airaudo. Dishes are frenetic, form-shifting and eclectic, and although most of the menu seems Italian in spirit, Chinese, Brazilian and Japanese influences make themselves known in sauces and garnishes. Is it one of the best tasting menus in London? You best believe it.
Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF; daterra.co.uk
74 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QH
The six-course tasting menu at Mere is one that's designed to be enjoyed by the entire table. Chef proprietor Monica Galetti's restaurant serves up the standard bearers of French fine-dining with an additional twang of South Pacific flavours. Expect elegant plates and equally elegant food balanced on top of those plates. Everything here might be pretty as a peach but don't get ahead of yourself and start eating the crockery. Speaking from personal experience, the food is much, much tastier.
£77 per person, additional £56 for wine pairing; mere-restaurant.com
13-14 Thayer Street, W1U 3JR
This intimate 36-cover restaurant from chef Carlo Scotto offers a 10-course tasting menu of sublime plates peppered with innovative touches, such as tiny iced glasses of pine water to cleanse the palate and warm sourdough with coffee butter. Not that your palate will want much cleansing after it's been lovingly assaulted with a plate of rose cured salmon with foie gras, mind. Head to Xier for one of London's best tasting menus on a mid-range budget.
£90 per person, additional £85 for wine and cocktail pairing; xierlondon.com
3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Who'd have thought you'd be able to find great seafood swimming on the top floor South Place Hotel in Moorgate? Anyone who's ever been to Angler, that's who. With a range of seafood caught fresh from British waters, Angler specialises in grilling, roasting and sautéing just about anything with gills. The tasting menu (available Monday through Saturday) is Michelin-starred for good reason and a pleasant reminder that tinned crab really is the runt of the litter when it comes to crustacean consumption. Get it fresh. Make it Angler.
£100 per person; anglerrestaurant.com
22. Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
5-6 Halkin Street, SW1X 7DJ
This Belgravia-based banger of a restaurant where the menu is a showcase of new Basque cuisine you won't find at many (if any) other places in London. Mythical sounding dishes like Esfera de Txangurro ('Sphere of Txangurro') and Huevo en la Luna ('Egg on the Moon') are simultaneously traditional, modern and not to be missed. Going for the full shebang with wines specially paired by Ametsa's sommelier makes for an evening worth having in the memory bank.
£115 per person, additional £55 for wine pairing; comohotels.com
1 St. James's Market, SW1Y 4AH
There is no à la carte menu at Ikoyi. There does not need to be an à la carte menu at Ikoyi. If you've ever had the tasting menu at Ikoyi, you will quickly understand why. Smoked jollof rice, overripe plantain and rhubarb, aged beef and carrot maafe: a West African influence (and generous smack of scotch bonnets) can be found scattered throughout all of the dishes on offer. The end result for guests is that eating at Ikoyi is easily one of the most exciting dining experiences in the city. Get yourself to St James for one of London's best tasting menus and certainly a meal you won't forget anytime soon.
£75 per person, additional £50 for wine pairing. Extended menu is £100 per person, additional £60 for wine pairing; ikoyilondon.com
24. Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
La Chapelle is the third restaurant from brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. Having already achieved notable success with Galvin at Windows and Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, the two really proved that third time was also the charm when La Chapelle opened its swish doors back in 2009. The swanky restaurant serves French food as it was intended; decorated with heaps of care, panache and just the right amount of arrogance. The seven course 'Gourmand' menu is our favoured way to induce a luxury food coma. The menu obviously varies on the availability of seasonal produce (because, again, they're doing it right here), so forgive us for teasing you just a smidge here by uttering perhaps the four sexiest words in the English language: Lasagne of Dorset crab. Offt.
£85 per person; galvinrestaurants.com
85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
HIDE is a restaurant and bar collaboration between Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous. Dabbous closed his eponymous restaurant Dabbous to open HIDE back in 2017. Which is, y'know, a pretty ballsy move. But it doesn't look like it's a decision that Dabbous regrets one iota. From six to nine courses with a choice between different dishes within, the tasting at HIDE is the ultimate excuse for indulgence. Glazed veal sweetbread and gently cooked foie gras bring home that hedonistic atmosphere in the tastiest way possible. £115 per person.
Additional wine pairing is available in three prices: Classic (£95), Iconic (£250) and Hedonistic (£495); hide.co.uk
26. Launceston Place
1A Launceston Place, W8 5RL
It doesn't get much more Kensington than a Michelin-starred restaurant nestled inside of an old school townhouse, does it? And trust us when we tell that dining doesn't get much more classic than a meal at Launceston Place. This is the just the sort of restaurant that American tourists imagine when you mention that the United Kingdom does, in fact, have a fine-dining scene outside of fish and chips. Awarded three AA Rosettes in 2019, Launceston Place has more than earned its reputation as one of the city's finest premises. It's also probably the only restaurant in the city that includes egg and soldiers on its tasting menu. A fact which garners nothing but respect from us.
£85 per person, additional £64 for wine pairing; launcestonplace-restaurant.co.uk
10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
Rohit Ghai is our kind of guy and his restaurant, Kutir, is our kind of restaurant. Indulge in Kutir's signature Expedition tasting menu for a proper regional and seasonal cuisine-based tour of the Indian subcontinent. Flavours of fenugreek, tomato, and Kashmiri chilli are incorporated beautifully into an aromatic chicken tikka masala that would put any East End curry house to shame. Dill raita and pickle accompany a tandoori hind of salmon to wallop every one of your taste receptors all at once. This is an excellent feast you'll want to share with equally excellent company. Fancy a bargain? Check out our Foodism Experiences Kutir offer, where you can dine at his restaurant for as little as £27. Oh yep.
£65 per person, additional £50 for wine pairing; kutir.co.uk
5-7 Blandford Street, W1U 3DB
Foraging and feeding is the name of the game at Simon Rogan's Roganic. The Marylebone restaurant is an innovative outlet that gathers its produce from some of the best suppliers around the country, including Rogan's 'Our Farm' in The Lake District. Digging into the tasting menu at Roganic is the equivalent of you sending your stomach out to sell the family cow and it coming back with a handful of magic beans. By which we mean it's a fairy tale come true to life. Rogan's L'Enclume might have all the stars to its name, but Roganic still delivers a pretty star-studded eating experience.
£85 per person, additional £65 for wine pairing; roganic.uk
29. Pollen Street Social
8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
Just as alliteration is an aim of ours, provenance is important to Pollen Street Social. Jason Atherton's restaurant is a place for the high-rollers of the world to find out why produce is such a key detail to making a meal. From Colchester crab to Buccleuch beef, each ingredient is carefully sourced and thought over to ensure it makes for the best eating possible. PSS's tasting menu doesn't just play it safe, either: creative dishes such as Jersey rock oyster ice cream with oyster leaf will seduce and challenge your palate in the best way possible.
£105 per person, additional £91 for the 'Classic' wine flight, £160 for the 'Fine' option and £253 for the 'Iconic'; pollenstreetsocial.com
30. Core by Clare Smyth
92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
"Corr" is definitely the sort of exclamation you'll make after ordering the tasting menu at Core by Clare Smyth. Simply named dishes like 'Lamb carrot' and 'Duck and red grapes' deliver a flavour profile so complex you'll want to ask them about their relationship with their parents. The team at Core pride themselves on professional and perfection – an ethos that shines through in the food. Notting Hill's never been the same since Clare Smyth came to town, making Core one of London's best tasting menus without a doubt.
£115 per person, additional £105 for wine pairing; corebyclaresmyth.com
31. Indian Accent
16 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HW
Progressive plates of meetha achaar pork ribs; divine dishes of tandoori scottish salmon: the food at Indian Accent is the kind we could wax lyrical about all the livelong day. The seven-course tasting menu is one of the best ways to taste everything that chef Manish Mehrotra has got to offer. If Mehrotra could serve his blood, sweat and tears on a plate for guests to consume, we're pretty sure it'd be on the menu. Seeing as the Food Standards Agency would likely have a lot to say about that, you'll have to sate yourself with baked sea bass in amritsari masala butter instead.
£85 per person, additional £75 for wine pairing; indianaccent.com
70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Dining in Victoria and the surrounding area doesn't get better than A.Wong, really. The 'Taste of China' menu delivers just that: a selection of dishes that showcase the plethora of flavours that exist across the country's kitchens. Delicacies such as Chengdu street tofu, Yunnan seared beef, and Zhou dynasty cured scallop are all introductions to regional Chinese cuisine that will have you booking the next flight available.
£95 per person; awong.co.uk
33. La Dame de Pic
10 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ
Comfortably perched inside the Four Seasons hotel, La Dame de Pic is the epitome of French sophistication. Chef Annie-Sophie Pic's food was deemed worthy of a star by Michelin in its 2018 and 2019 guides. There's obviously more to life (and eating) than Michelin, but we're confident that the tyre barons have got it right when it comes to La Dame de Pic. Order the tasting menu for an assault of French cuisine classics given a 2019 mambo. Chicken poached in Vin Jaune and wholegrain mustard is unlike any Coq au vin you've ever known. Pasta berlingots with St Cera cheese are an utterly adult and utterly gorgeous rendition on the humble bon bon. Come for a treat and leave feeling treated.
£115 per person, additional £85 for wine pairing; ladamedepiclondon.co.uk
34. Tayēr + Elementary
152 Old Street, EC1V 9BW
Tayēr + Elementary has got a lot going on. It’s got a bar, it’s got a restaurant, and it’s got one of the best damn sandwiches in London. Coming for drinks or snacks won’t leave you disappointed but if you really want to see what T+E is capable of you should try and book yourself in at the restaurant’s Kitchen Counter, manned by the talented Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng of TĀTĀ Eatery. This five-course set menu varies in price according to the produce involved but, honestly, no matter what Meng and Gonçalves are charging, it’s a bargain considering the unrivalled quality of the cooking.
Price varies based on produce; tayer-elementary.com
15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
The Taste of Trishna tasting menu at Trishna is an excellent way to get a taste of Trishna’s food. Well, duh. The Koliwada menus come in either a five or seven course format. The former is the cheaper option, though it is worth bearing in mind that Trishna is in Marylebone and does have a Michelin star. So, cheap is relative, really. That being said, five courses for £65 isn’t bad when you take into account that you’ll be eating a range of Trishna’s signature dishes like the telicherry squid and shrimps; tandoori lamb chop; and meen manga curry. Knowing exactly what to order at an Indian restaurant can be difficult if you don’t know the ropes. This tasting menu takes all of that hassle out of your hands and ensures your meal will be crafted from start to finish.
£65 per person, additional £60 for wine pairing; trishnalondon.com
36. Club Gascon
57 W Smithfield, EC1A 9DS
Club Gascon is a classic restaurant that specialises in cuisine from the South West of France and serves a tasting menu that’s about as typically French as it gets. Delicate yet punchy plates of confit king mushroom or whimsical sounding dishes like “crackling slow-cooked truffled duck egg in the nest” might sound a bit intricate, but just trust us that the main appeal of Club Gascon is that it never delves too far into the over-intellectualised territory of haute cuisine. There’s a tea pairing option for the teetotallers out there but, really, it’d be a crime not to have a glass of wine with a meal this good.
£90 per person, additional £60 for wine pairing; clubgascon.com
107 Upper Street, N1 1QN
James Cochran’s 12:51 might just lay claim to having the best tasting menu in North London. The eight course menu changes seasonally (meaning that it’s always subject to change depending on availability of produce) but here’s just a few of the dishes to give you a taste of what Cochran’s food is about: picked Devon white crab, indian spices, peanut and carrot; line-caught cured and torched Cornish gurnard, n’duja, cucumber, pork scratchings, and yoghurt; and buttermilk jerk chicken, scotch bonnet jam, corn nuts, and coriander. If that hasn’t got you excited, then you’re on the wrong website. On Tuesday evenings the restaurant hosts a BYO alcohol night where you can bring your own drink with no corkage fee to enjoy a five course tasting menu for £35. Which is ridiculous, really. For more on the best BYO restaurants in London, read our guide.
£75 per person; 1251.co.uk
London's best tasting menus: £120 or more
9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Yes, Sketch is really, really ridiculously good-looking, but the West London Instagram darling isn't just about the aesthetic. Far from it, in fact: Sketch has got more than enough substance to match its style. The descriptions of the dishes on the tasting menu are frankly poetry to read: slices of Pyrenean milk lamb marinated in kefir; chablis-poached Scottish salmon glazed with nettle velouté. Sketch serves the sort of food that would make Keats swoon into oblivion, and just the sort of food that's worth spending your hard-earned ducats on.
£120 per person; sketch.london
17 Bruton Street, W1J 6QB
When Fredo rapped "my bitch wants to go out to Hakkasan" – we felt that. Not because we condone his misogyny (in fact, we actually condemn it) – but we related to Fredo's lyricism because, deep down in the recesses of our soul, we know that we are all that bitch. And that there's never a time where we don't want to go out to Hakkasan. The high-end Mayfair restaurant is one of the most consistent purveyors of excellent Cantonese cuisine in the city. The signature menus at Hakkasan are all curated by Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee and his team. Peking duck with Prunier caviar? Wok-fried Tristan lobster with black truffle sauce? Mongolian style lamb chop? Yeah, we're all about that.
£120 per person; hakkasan.com
40. Restaurant Story
199 Tooley Street, SE1 2JX
Bear with us for this one. Story is a tad conceptual. If you'll allow us to pun a little, it's a restaurant that could even be described as 'novel'. Here's what the foreword on its website says: "As a guest at Story, you will not be presented with a menu on arrival. We will build your meal around your preferences and will typically include a mixture of Story classic dishes alongside new and seasonally inspired creations." Going into Story involves putting your trust in Tom Sellers' capable hands and allowing him to weave you a lovely edible narrative.
£145 per person; restaurantstory.co.uk
41. Imperial Treasure
9 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4BE
Fancy yourself a bit of a high-roller, do you? Want to spend lots of money on a menu that's got words like caviar and wagyu all over it? Well, Mr Big Stuff, it's high time you got yourself to Imperial Treasure in St James for some wagyu beef rolls and mounds of caviar. Finesse is the name of the game here and while Imperial Treasure might be very conscious about the overwhelming fine-dining-ness of itself, the food is still excellent. Expensive, yes. But excellent nonetheless. Making it one of London's best tasting menus for special occasions and, well, the mega-rich. Naturally.
£128 per person; imperialtreasure.com
42. The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
Jermaine and Murray might be nowhere to be seen but chef Brett's influence is very much present at The Ledbury. Brett Graham (actually Australian) delivers a real flight of culinary delight to Notting Hill diners; two Michelin star dining that's far from stuffy and stuffed with bold flavour. The Ledbury's whopping tasting menu is a real who's who list of 'things of we like to eat'. Chantilly of oyster with sea bream tartare and frozen English wasabi is a 'thing we like to eat'. White beetroot baked in clay with caviar salt and smoked eel is a 'thing we like to eat'. Everything at The Ledbury is massively eat-able and worth every hard-earned penny.
£150 per person, additional £110 for wine pairing; theledbury.com
43. Le Gavroche
43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Michel Roux Jr is one of those rare chefs: someone still very much at the top of his game, while still being someone your mother has actually heard of. You'll be pleased to hear that Roux's mainstream success on the box hasn't had a dampener on the food served at his hugely successful Le Gavroche. The first UK restaurant to be awarded one, two and then three fat Michelin stars, Le Gavroche – and its tasting menu – is still very much worth your attention. Go for a crash course in the French classics (soufflé suissesse, boudin noir) and a wine pairing that's been meticulously thought through. Menu Exceptionnel? Mais oui!
£178 per person, additional £100 for wine pairing; le-gavroche.co.uk
44. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP
Established in 1998, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is a grizzled vet of a restaurant: a place that's been around the block once or twice and knows its shit. It also knows that it's food isn't. The 'Seasonal Inspiration' menu takes smoked eel to the next level; ushers sorbet to the other side of the tracks; pelts asparagus into a simply different stratosphere. Regardless of what you think about Gordon Ramsay, it's hard to deny that his bonny restaurant is very much a Kitchen Dream. Go in with high expectations and you'll have them matched.
£185 per person; gordonramsayrestaurants.com
45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
66 Knightsbridge, W1X 7LA
'Meat Fruit', 'Spicy Ice Cream', 'Rice & Flesh'. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I made one of those up. The beauty about the Chef's Table at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is that you could think of pretty much any fantastic food wizardry and it wouldn't seem out of place on the restaurant's innovative menu. The bespoke menu, created by Chef Director Ashley Palmer-Watts, is a tour through the history of food itself with recipes inspired by cookbooks from as far back as the 14th century. Eating dinner at Dinner does more than just sate a physical hunger: it scratches an intellectual itch and culinary curiosity like nothing else.
£165 or £225 per person; dinnerbyheston.co.uk
46. Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
The 'Surprise Tasting' menu at Bibendum is... drum roll, please... a surprise. What's unsurprising is how bloody great it is. Intriguing dishes like 'My mum's tripe and cuttlefish gratin' will give your mind and mouth something to mull over while more traditional fine-dining accoutrements like hand-dived scallops are just plain old delicious.
£120 person, additional £85 for wine pairing; bibendum.co.uk
47. Hélène Darroze at the Connaught
Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
What's better than one-Michelin-starred dining? Well, according to that fat rubber bastard Bibendum, it's two-Michelin-starred dining. Hélène Darroze's eponymous restaurant is somewhere where that distinction almost becomes obvious. It's that good. Seeing as chef's tables have all been done before – far too blasé now, darling – you're invited at The Connaught to dine at a very special 'Sommelier's Table' instead. Taking place in the hotel's atmospheric limestone wine cellar, guests are assaulted with wonderful wines hand-selected by the restaurant's sommelier which are then paired with exquisite dishes from Hélène Darroze. Not one for the teetotallers, but an absolute dream for the budding Bacchuses out there.
£150 per person; the-connaught.co.uk
48. The Clove Club
Shoreditch Town Hall, EC1V 9LT
The tasting menu at The Clove Club is a colourful culinary tour of British cuisine and a prime example of what makes London's best tasting menus, well, really bloody good. The menu highlights the very best produce that CC’s founders Daniel Willis, Isaac Mchale and Johnny Smith are able to get their hands on from across the British Isles, with inspiration for the dishes themselves coming from all across the globe. Despite the structure of the tasting menu every plate still feels interesting and special in its own right, especially when paired with a cracking wine list that showcases regions from the old and new world with a focus on artisanal growers. Is it expensive? Yes. It is it excellent? Yes.
£145 per person, additional £145 for wine pairing; thecloveclub.com