INSIDERS Restaurant


7-9 Fashion St, London E1 6PX
  • Monday: 6:00 – 9:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:15 PM

Sister to one of our favourite seasonal spots just down the road, Townsend, Maene is located on Fashion Street in Spitalfields in an old clothing warehouse. Maene is a seasonal modern British restaurant, with a menu created by Head Chef Amber Francis who might only be 27 but already has quite the CV, having worked at places like Brawn and Zebra Riding Club. The food and drink tries to be as local and sustainable as possible, without being holier than thou. Cocktails are made from discarded ingredients (each one has an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version), and there’s a ton of interesting British wines too. Of the dishes we tried we’d recommend The Snapery sourdough with whipped brown butter; the gnocco fritto with Iron Cap squash and London stracciatella; the Nutbourne tomato tart; the Cornish sole with wild garlic; and the heritage potatoes with smoked yoghurt and salsa verde.


256 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2AA
  • Monday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM

What was The Oxford Tavern on Kentish Town Road, has now been transformed into The Parakeet, a 60-cover dining room where a locally sourced, seasonally changing menu from ex-Brat chef Ben Allen and sous-chef Ed Jennings is served. The Victorian pub is bursting with character and is beautifully put together, with ornate antique furnishings set against a backdrop of wood panelling, dark green leather booths, white exposed brickwork, and an open kitchen. There’s lots to love on the blackboard menus, with dishes like spider crab croquettes with wild garlic aioli; lamb chop with confit Jerusalem artichoke and gremolata; charred asparagus served amongst almonds, nettles and confit lemon; ox cheek on pomme puree with crispy polenta; and Kossoff kouign-amann with brown butter custard. The Parakeet have something special here, it’s the kind of place we love; an unpretentious approach to modern seasonal food resulting an elevated menu of exciting dishes, housed in a familiar setting with a sophisticated edge. In short, a posh boozer with banging food.


70 Leonard St, London EC2A 4QX
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What was formerly home to St Leonards, and before that Eyre Brothers, has been reinvented once again and turned into modern Mexican restaurant Zapote. It’s the debut restaurant from Mexican chef Yahir Gonzalez  and hospitality veteran Tony Geary. Yahir is really putting his own spin on familiar Mexican dishes, including making tortillas in-house using native corn varieties. And what tortillas they are – truly some of the best we’ve ever had. Happily they make quite a few appearances on the menu, including folded into a delicate little quesadilla filled with smoky wild mushrooms; crisped up into a tostada topped with actually spicy chilli-flecked crab and ruby red slices of fresh yellowfin tuna; and served on the side of a superb dry-aged beef ribeye with salsa roja and habanero aioli to make tacos. Don’t miss the smoked aubergine with tamarind and chilli, the al pastor skewers with a vibrant citrusy guac and pork skin crispies; and the chorizo, potato and burnt cheese. Zapote delivers sophisticated, refined food without veering into super high-end territory, and it’s a great addition to the neighbourhood.


1F, 373 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3DQ
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 4:00 PM

After a series of deliveries, pop-ups and residencies, Matthew Scott has finally taken Hot 4 U permanent and he’s got Charlie Carr of Wingnut Wines in on the action too. With Papi, open on a London Fields backstreet, combines the creative cooking (who can forget the garum pom bears and whisky bone marrow luge?) we’ve come to know and love from Hot 4 U, with Wingnut Wines’ selection of under-represented natural wines. Split across two floors, the intimate downstairs cocktail bar nods more heavily to the Hot 4 U days, with Ribena Negronis, Strawberry Nesquik Daiquiris, pig’s trotter nuggets with mustard smiley faces on offer. Upstairs in the main 28-cover dining room, Matthew’s signature mix of sustainable, zero-waste and fun cookery is still on show, just in a slightly more refined way. And what a menu – smoked rabbit kielbasa, cheeseburger tartare, garlic bread with cheese, ABC tomatoes, get it all!


12 St George St, London W1S 2FB
  • Monday: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

HUMO is the debut restaurant by Colombian-born chef Miller Prada, the protégé of chef Endo Kazutoshi. ‘Humo’ means smoke in Spanish and it’s not hard to see where the name comes from once you step inside the smart new space on St George Street. The room is dominated by a four metre-long open kitchen that glows with the embers of wood burning beneath the grills. There’s no specific cuisine at HUMO; instead, the menu is made up of dishes inspired by Prada’s Colombian background, his training at Endo at the Rotunda, the heritage of his Italian head chef, and influenced by the precision of Japanese cooking techniques. The wood grill is, of course, a big influence on the style and flavours too and it is in fact the only cooking method on offer here, with the wood chosen to enhance the flavours of different dishes. Don’t miss the 14-day aged Ike-Jime Hampshire trout topped with 3-month aged caviar grilled in kombu kelp, the Highland wagyu with Fiorentino tomato and yamadashi kelp, and the Amalfi lemon tart, topped with Oak “burnt” Italian meringue and fresh yuzu.


5 Hillgate St, London W8 7SP
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Notting Hill’s Kuro only opened in 2021 but it quickly gained a rep as one of the best coffee shops in town, and the team have wasted no time expanding, opening Kuro Eatery across the street and Kuro Bakery round the corner. The 30-cover restaurant has the same minimalist vibe as the coffee shop, with a wide stone counter, lots of light wood, and dried flowers set against the back wall. Andrianos Poulis (ex-Rovi, Cornerstone and Mazi), is heading up the kitchen, showcasing both his Greek heritage and love of fish on the Mediterranean-leaning menu, which features dishes like cod ham & extra virgin olive oil, brill with overnight cabbage & beurre blanc, and spaghettoni with clams & bottarga. The puds, like tarte tatin with goat’s cheese ice cream, are also excellent here, as you’d expect from a mini-empire that includes a bakery.


199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

After originally landing at the subterranean, low-intervention wine bar as a pop-up, Four Corners is now a permanent fixture of Rondo La Cave. That means you can pair your glass of orange wine with a slice of Vodka Meatball pizza in perpetuity. Four Corners specialises in Detroit-style rectangular pizza, with lots of options al taglio. Highlights from the menu include the Red Top (cheddar, mozzarella, Sicilian oregano, pecorino and tomato, Beef and Onions (smoked entrecote, mozzarella, roasted red onions, white onions, sumac, paprika and pomegranate molasses and Pistachio Pesto & Mortadella (pistachio pesto, mozzarella, mortadella, pistachio and parmesan).


45 Berwick St, London W1F 8SF
  • Monday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:30 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:30 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

He already runs Bar Esteban in Crouch End and Escocesa in Stoke Newington, and now Stephen Lironi has opened his third spot, Maresco in Soho. It’s a tapas bar, so there’s mainly counter seating (plus a handful of tables for bigger groups downstairs), with one section running down the length of the open kitchen, and the other looking out the large windows onto the street. Named after the Spanish words for sea (‘mar’) and Scotland (‘esco’, short for ‘Escocia’), the restaurant was inspired by Lironi’s childhood visits to Spain and a Guardian article that detailed how the best Scottish seafood was exported to Spain. Stephen, Head Chef Pablo Rodriguez and General Manager Naroa Ortega (who are also partners in the other two sites), are showcasing that Scottish seafood through a Spanish lens, like halibut with black rice and txistorra del mar (fish sausage made with mackerel and monkfish). There are plenty of meat and veg tapas classics too and an all-Spanish wine list to get stuck into.


94 Kensington High St, London W8 4SJ
  • Monday: 12:00 – 3:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 3:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:15 PM, 5:00 – 10:15 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 4:15 PM, 5:00 – 9:45 PM

It was only a matter of time before the Big Mamma crew headed west and naturally their first restaurant over that side of town is their most luxurious one yet. Like GloriaCircolo Popolare and Ave Mario, Jacuzzi in Kensington is massively maximalist and OTT. The four-floor, 4000 sq ft, 170-cover space features a gigantic lemon tree, a Sicilian mezzanine with a retractable roof, a green boudoir, and glitter ball disco toilets in the basement. Of course the food is just as extra as the decor with the menu featuring dishes like Culatello di Zibello with gnocchi fritti; burrata with fresh seasonal truffle; pizzette topped with Italian caviar; lobster risotto with half lobster, clams, red gurnard & cuttlefish; truffle pasta for two with fresh black truffle, truffle cream & parmigiano foam, served in a 4kg wheel of pecorino; and chocolate fondue for two with Valrhona dark chocolate & homemade churros.


65 Shepherd's Bush Grn, London W12 8QE
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Following on from a successful four-month residency at Rondo la Cave in the basement of The Hoxton in Holborn, ‘LA Thai’ spot Chet’s has moved into another Hoxton (in Shepherd’s Bush), this time permanently. Created in collaboration with the creator of LA’s NIGHT+MARKET, Kris Yenbamroong, Chet’s blends Americana with Thai flavours. Kris’ unique brand has been inspired by his childhood spent working in his family restaurant, Talesai, which was the first mainstream Thai restaurant in LA, as well as his background in the arts. At Chet’s, this manifests itself as dishes like bodega sandwich with sai uah sausage, egg and cheese; pineapple rice; tuna melt with ruffles and pickles; Chet’s smashburger with American cheese, pickle, and thousand island sauce; firecracker lobster noodles; and bloomed tingling 5 spice onion. The cocktails, like the Holy Chet! (a holy basil and vermouth swizzle), and the Thai-ami Vice (a sharing cocktail served in Chet’s full moon bucket alongside a bottle of champagne), are just as punchy.


120a W Green Rd, South Tottenham, London N15 5AA
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

After a series of sell-out supper clubs, Genevieve Sparrow took Pasero from pop-up to permanent by opening it as a restaurant and wine bar in Tottenham. Pasero, named after the Esperanto word for Genevieve’s surname, runs week-long as a cafe and deli by day before flipping into a restaurant in the evenings from Wednesday – Saturday. Pip MacDonald (ex-J. Sheekey, Scott’s, Cafe Murano and Levan) heads up the kitchen, cooking up a broadly European, regularly changing menu, with dishes like smoked cod’s roe choux bites, Cornish sole with caper beurre noisette, and apple & almond tart with creme fraiche. And as for drinks, expect a short list of low-intervention wines from small suppliers that you can take home with you.


58 Penton St, London N1 9PZ
  • Monday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM

Sometimes you’re craving a trip out of London, maybe even just to sit in a cosy country pub for dinner. Sod getting on the train, you can satisfy that craving right here in the city at the hicce hart. With its wooden floorboards, roaring fire, low ceilings and menu of elevated British classics you’ll feel transported to a remote gastropub – but will still be within TfL-ing distance of your own bed. An offshoot of Pip Lacey and Gordy McIntyre’s hicce, the hart brings the flagship’s ethos to the new neighbourhood, centring around a carefully curated menu of excellent pub grub, courtesy of head chef Charlotte Harris (previously of Fallow). This is not just a go-to pub for locals, it’s a destination for foodies who are after an unfussy but quality food offering. Drinks include the likes of craft beer pints and biodynamic wines and the food menu changes regularly but, if you can, get the fantastically chewy orecchiette.

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