Why? Making a trip to the Blue Elephant is like stepping into another world. If you close your eyes and let your senses take over, you could be fooled into thinking you were in Thailand itself. The food is fresh, the tastes are new, the decor is lush and it’s also a great place to go celeb spotting. With the restaurant being a stones throw away from the Chelsea football ground, players such as Frank Lampard and John Terry are regulars, along with pop stars Matt Cardle and X-Factor judge Tulisa.
Where? Chelsea, London, SW6. Nearest Tube: Imperial Wharf overground.
What to eat? The menu is split into three sections; Thai cooking of the past, Thai cuisine of today and Thai kitchen of tomorrow. We recommend trying the Memories of Siam Tasting menu which incorporates a little bit of everything from the full menu. We loved the Khang Khao Phuak, which is a combination of minced prawns, chicken and sweet spices stuffed in a golden taro pastry, accompanied by a chili sauce. The Tom Yam Koong soup was divine; the dish fused together Tiger prawns and Eryngi mushrooms and a spicy sour broth; we felt like this was health in a bowl. The créme de la créme was the Massaman Lamb, which is possibly the best dish we have had the pleasure of eating. The tender lamb curry of dried spices and coconut milk, is joined by Thai sweet potatoes, boiled peanuts and cashews. Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the mango sorbet is as refreshing as jumping in the sea, and the Jasmine cake gives your mouth a treat you will want again and again.
What to drink?
The cocktails are to die for and the menu is just as unusual as the food. We loved the frozen blue margarita and the Red Dragon, to give you the ultimate Thai experience. The bar itself is really sophisticated, you could easily come here just for drinks (although you’d need serious willpower to resist the tempting aromas coming from the kitchens)
What to pay? Prices range from £7 for spring rolls to £28 for a crab curry. The Memories of Siam Tasting Menu is priced at £45.
Contact: Blue Elephant, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road, London, SW6 2UB. 020 7751 3111.
Visit the Blue Elephant website
Why? How many restaurants have you visited that cook the food on your table, right in front of you?! Talk about fresh food… Plus it helps that stars like Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner and Mischa Barton are fans of this swanky Japanese restaurant group, which has won numerous awards over the years.
Where? Chelsea, London, SW3. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square. Piccadilly, London W1S. Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus.
What to Eat? The entertaining way in which the chefs cook the food in front of your very own eyes will make everything mouth-watering. We recommend anything from the Hibachi grill menu, cooked fresh on your table and accompanied with miso soups. The divine black miso cod and wagyu beef are special dishes to look out for. Make sure you leave space for desserts to try out oriental twists on ice cream including green tea and wasabi flavours! You certainly won’t leave here hungry.
What to Drink? There is a separate bar in the Benihana restaurants but get in the mood of things and enjoy some Japanese tea with your oriental meal.
What to Pay? Prices range from £3.50 for a miso soup to £65 for the wagyu beef.
Contact: Chelsea Benihana, 77 King’s Road, London SW3 4NX. 020 7376 7799. Piccadilly Benihana, 37 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DQ. 020 7494 2525.
Visit the Benihana website
Why? Located a stone’s throw from Fulham Broadway Underground station and Chelsea FC, the chances are good that you’ll see a fit man / hot chick on the search for a fit man. If you don’t find another half or have one already then you’ll fall in love with the way the food is cooked on an open grill.
As Brasa’s owner Brenhan Magee is super well-connected on the London nightlife scene, you will see some of his famous friends from time to time.
Where? Fulham Broadway, London SW6. Nearest Tube: Fulham Broadway
What To Eat?
I expected juicy steaks and fresh fish cooked well on the state of the art Asador Grill, imported especially from the Basque region of Spain. However, I never imagined how succulent a rare steak could be nor would have predicted game like pheasant and partridge on the menu, which is even more flavoursome than usual due to being cooked over FLAMES. For starters, my date and I tried smoked eel , which thankfully fell apart in the mouth rather than being chewy like I’ve had in sushi restaurants (also a surprise). A starter of cockles and ceps was a generous size and came with a fresh garlic sauce. But the highlight was chocolate soup. This is like the best bit of a chocolate fondant (the goo) and served on a wide white plate. Utterly brilliant.
What to pay? £6- £8 for starters, £10- £15 for mains and £5 – £7 for desserts including chocolate soup (I keep mentioning this because it was divine)
Contact 74 ‚Äì 476 Fulham Broadway, London SW6 1BY, Tel: 020 7610 3137.
Visit the Brasa Website
Bentley’s Oyster Bar
Why? To dine in a classy environment that’s been enjoyed by tons of British TV personalities and actors including X Factor’s Holly Willoughby and Louis Walsh and actors Colin Firth and Hugh Grant
Where? Central London, W1. Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
What to eat? Seasonal oysters are served in both the formal Grill restaurant upstairs (photographed) and the more casual oyster bar downstairs. When I visited (at the end of October) I was impressed by delicious Malden Oysters from Essex. The Grill restaurant sources ingredients from top producers with melt in the mouth smoked salmon from Frank Hedderman in Ireland and beef from West Cork. Pre-meal breads are made in the restaurant’s on site bakery and served warm – mmmmm!
What to drink? We think Champagne and oysters are the perfect match. However, we also tried a glass of Chapel Down, English sparkling wine, and were pleasantly surprised.
Read more »
What to pay? £120 for a decent dinner for two (inc wine and service)
Contact 11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG. 020 7734 4756.
Visit Bentley’s website