Now into its sixth year, the London Restaurant Festival (a mouthful in itself) just keeps getting better and better. Over 250 restaurants are to be taking part in this year’s iteration – a great number of those introducing special menus to their tables to celebrate. With ten large events taking place around the capital, we’ve picked out six of the most auspicious.
Friday 17th October
As the title suggests, culture will be served in ample portions on Friday the 17th with an evening centred on Cinema Paradiso. The movie, about a filmmaker reminiscing about his falling in love with theatre, many consider a masterpiece and one of the best films to ever come out of world cinema. The Princess Anne Theatre, one of Bafta’s own rooms, will host a screening of the film while guests snack on gourmet popcorn.
Afterwards, celebrated fashion photographer Rankin has been selected to curate a three-course dinner inspired by Cinema Paradiso and cooked by Michelin star chef Anton Manganaro. Manganaro possesses a glittering career, previously having worked with the likes of Anton Mosimann, David Nichols, and Gary Rhodes.
Cooking With Friends
This is, quite simply, a one-off experience whereby some of Britain’s most talented and best-recognised chefs will be cooking up a three-course lunch at their respective venues. The menus will be inspired by the chef’s personal friendships, while there will be opportunities to catch-up with and learn from the chef and his or her inspirations. Top chefs to feature include Jason Atherton (Pollen Street Social), Simon Rogan (Fera & L’Enclume), and Angela Hartnett (Murano).
Jason Atherton at Home
Friday 10th October
The culinary mastermind behind the well-respected Pollen Street Social could, for a day, be your personal chef. The London Restaurant Festival are hosting a prize draw where the winner will have a full tasting menu made for them and 11 friends at their own home, and Michelin star chef Jason Atherton will be the one cooking it.
Laurent-Perrier Gourmet Odyssey
11th, 18th, 25th October
This aspect of the London Restaurant Festival will be featuring in its sixth year running, with each of those iterations more memorable than the last. Transported from restaurant to restaurant in a classic Routemaster bus, guests will be met with a drinks reception and served each of the three lunch courses at separate venues.
Discovering the best of East London’s cuisine on the 18th, there will be a champagne reception at Shoreditch’s contemporary Ace Hotel. This will be followed with a starter at 8 Hoxton Square, a very relaxed and unpretentious establishment. The main course will take place at Merchants Tavern, a place best known for the abundant comfort in its furniture and atmosphere as well as its food. The final course will be served at Cove Club, a real gem of a restaurant that’s recently and very rightfully been awarded its first Michelin star.
11th, 12th, 18th, 19th October
Inaugural to the overall festival experience, London Restaurant Festival will be hosting a tour of the Chinatown’s most notable eateries to better explore the dining options available in the area. While its best to leave the proceedings as a surprise, highlights include visits to Britain’s only Guizhou restaurant Maotai Kitchen, Cantonese fine dining at the sleek-looking Plum Valley, and the heaven for tofu lovers that is Baiwei.
11th, 18th, 25th October
Ramen joints, izakayas and sushi bars are aplenty with this rather grand tour of Japanese cuisine in London. The tour will centre its focus on six venues situated between Soho and Mayfair. Highlights include the quaint and personable ramen bar known as Tonkotsu, the not cheap but delicious Kurobuta, and Chisou – a modern looking restaurant serving traditionally prepared sushi and sashimi.