Magpie is the new Mayfair restaurant from the people behind casual fine dining spot Pidgin. There’s a pretty clear ‘concept’ here, which is that small plates all get brought around on dim sum-style trolleys. Even the cocktails come in mini-flasks that you pour yourself, and have ingredients like Szechuan oil or a piece of seaweed. It sounds like an aneurysm in restaurant form, but much of what we ate - like a sea trout crudo with yuzu and blueberries - was very tasty. There isn’t anything like it in London.
Magpie is permanently closed.
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Emilia is part grown-up restaurant, part wine bar, and serves a whole lot of excellent pasta.
Murger Hanhan is a very useful Mayfair restaurant serving excellent and inexpensive Xi’an specialties like biang biang noodles and murger.
Scully serves fantastically OTT food in a sober St James’s setting. The flavours are a slap around the face, in a good way.
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P Franco is a Clapton wine shop that hosts guest chefs who serve stunning small plates to neighbourhood regulars. You want to be a regular.
Tayer + Elementary
Tayer + Elementary is a three-part bar in Old Street. You should come here to drink and snack, but you should also come here to eat the tasting menu.
Want cutting edge fine dining at affordable prices? Pidgin's ambitious, experimental set menu in Hackney will set you straight.
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Want low-key cool in Highbury? Westerns Laundry is a modern wine bar & restaurant in a converted garage that does brilliant small plates.
Portland is a great restaurant in the vein of so many in London that focus on simple ingredients and offer a reasonably priced tasting menu.
Brawn in Shoreditch might be one of the city’s best neighbourhood restaurants. One that might even make you want to change neighbourhoods.
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