Start talking about eel dishes in London and it’ll only be a matter of seconds before jellied eels, beloved of Cockneys and pie & mash shops because eels were cheap, readily available and nutritious, get a mention. Whilst the gelatinous fish can still be found across the East End, the chefs in this town have discovered plenty more ways to cook eels that don’t involve setting them in a jelly, and they’re (r)eel-y (r)eel-y good.
Bottle & Rye
Robin Gill’s new Brixton wine bar is bringing us all the Parisian bistro vibes with this smoked eel brandade with pink fir crisps and a bangin’ bottle list.
If the pain perdu is the only way to end a meal at Jun Tanaka’s Fitzrovia restaurant The Ninth, then the glazed smoked eel panisse snack topped with pickled shallots is the only way to start one.
An iconic dish at an iconic restaurant. Jeremy Lee has been doing a version of this smoked eel sandwich since the mid-90s and with good reason. The Quo Vadis iteration, sourdough bread, mustard cream, smoked eel, horseradish cream, more bread, pickled onions on the side may just be the most famous sandwich in town.
If unagi still makes you think of that Friends episode, get down to Brixton handroll bar Temaki and have it banished from your mind forever with one bite of their BBQ eel handroll.
Islington pub The Baring might be the new kid on the block but its already cooking a menu of bangers, including this pig cheek and smoked eel terrine topped with ribbons of daikon.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
The Dinner by Heston Blumenthal team have put their spin on a recipe from 1390 and turned it into the modern Rice & Flesh, with almonds, saffron, veal sweetbreads and smoked eel.
Brand new sushi spot Roji serves up Japanese grilled eel with glutinous rice as part of their omakase menu. It’s giving major Tokyo vibes and it’s delish.