I Robert is a surprisingly chilled out Italian restaurant, given its location in the heart of Mayfair, and the fact that it’s owned by restaurateur Arkadiy Novikov whose namesake restaurant is the height of flash. The rambling series of rooms make for a fairly eclectic dining experience, from the baroque-style paintings on the walls of the upstairs dining room to the big rabbit picture signed I. Robert that lends the restaurant its name. It’s nice to find somewhere chilled in Mayfair though and the house made pasta makes for surprisingly reasonable comfort food (they offer it gluten free too, if you’re that way inclined). Make sure to try the I Robert taglioni with rabbit ragout.
Gymkhana is a startling addition to London’s plethora of Indian restaurants. Head-and-shoulders above your average cheap-and-cheerful curry house, it’s also not the the clinical corporate genre of posh Indian nosh. Named for old Indian sporting clubs, the place is decked out something like you might imagine a colonial pub; it feels decadent and reassuringly cosy all at the same time. Of course, it comes with pedigree. The founder, Karam Sethi, is also the guy behind Trishna, one of London’s only Michelin-starred Indian joints. No surprise then that the food has tongues wagging (and not just from the spice). Take a group so you can plough your way through as much of the menu as possible, taking particular care to order the goat keema and, if brave enough, the bheja (that’s brains) to go with it.
7 Park Place isn’t the kind of restaurant you’re likely to just stumble into any old how. In fact, tucked away behind Green Park in the sparse outskirts of Mayfair it’s really a bit of a hidden gem. Then again, it’s a bit fancy for your run-of-the-mill, every day, wander in kind of a place. After all, it boasts a celebrity chef (William Drabble who has curated many a famous kitchen), a Michelin star and an interior so plush it borders on French. The food, though, is distinctly British and you can be sure you’re going to be getting the best local and seasonal produce. Even better for those with allergies, or just following some fad diet, it does a rather fabulous gluten-free menu which makes it the ideal spot for treating tricky diners.
Scoffler was a guest at 7 Park Place
Take a breath, close your eyes, roll the dice, pick a cuisine, chow down. Not necessarily in that order, though you may want to build up some winnings at the casino before looking at the price list at the Colony Club’s restaurant. On the other hand, this high-end Mayfair establishment serves some of the best late-night food on offer in London. There aren’t many other places you could have your pick of lobster, steak or sushi at 3 in the morning. And the list doesn’t stop there. The cocktails aren’t half bad either – beware too much Dutch courage though, the gaming tables aren’t far off.
Scoffler was a guest at Colony Club.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little grandeur. A fancy entrance, dangly (blinging) chandeliers, squishy slightly luxurious banquettes and some art nouveau style thrown in just to pull it all together. No wonder we’re big fans of Brasserie Chavot since it ticks all those boxes and lays on damn good food to boot. It should do, chef Eric Chavot has serious Michelin-style pedigree, but his latest foray in the kitchen channels simpler food; classic brasserie stuff, and boy does it do it good. We do have one or two little quibbles with the (we think cheeky) charge for bread and dodgy acoustics which mean you have to shout a bit, but this place still does great food and does it with style.
News that the father-daughter team behind Arzak – one of Spain’s hottest restaurants, we’re talking el Bulli levels of fame here – were opening a London branch has had us all excited for months. Now Ametsa with Arzak instruction has finally arrived and it’s a strange place. The grey, slightly sterile room is par for the course in a certain type of stuffy Mayfair restaurant, but the bright, penis-shaped sculptures dotted across the ceiling add a touch of the unexpected to say the least. Actually, they’re spice-filled viles, but it’s very hard to think of them as anything other than dildo-shaped stalagmites. Drag your mind out of the gutter though and the dining experience at Ametsa can transport you. The service is impeccable, probably the best we’ve experienced in London for a long time and the food is filled with gentle surprises, but doesn’t get too in your face. Stand out dishes include foie gras with grapefruit and dried fig – a generous portion of rich, creamy duck liver, slivers of delicately pink and bitter grapefruit and crunchy, tangy figs – and French toast with mango and coconut – a sliver of brioche soaked in coconut and covered in a bruleed mango emulsion. Complete. Mouth. Party. The place is already booked out until June for dinner, so get dialling fast if you want to go this year.
Superstar restauranteur Arjun Waney of Zuma, La Petite Maison and the Arts Club is bang on the money again with his latest Peruvian venture in Mayfair. Just like at his other places, the clientele are sophisticated, the staff are knowledgeable, the prices are astronomical and the food is divine. Pimped out with a ceviche bar and an open charcoal grill, the spectacle at Coya is almost as good as the end product and that’s before you start checking out the other customers. The ceviches (marinated raw fish) and tiraditos (thinly sliced raw fish in a spicy sauce) are the star of the show; a yellowtail with green chilli, coriander and lime dish was particularly sublime. Don’t worry if you need to hit the carbs too, the patatas bravas were out-of-this-world (we should know as we scoffed two portions). You may have to wait for your table, but the bar has 40 different tequilas to keep you occupied so it shouldn’t be too much of a hardship.
Designed by London architecture firm d-raw, this cafe/restaurant situated in Fenwicks (on the corner of Bond Street and Brook Street, geddit?) has a slick setting, a full fashion library and affogato bar. The perfect spot for post-shop pick-me-up. The menu is mainly ‘tapas plates’ of the miniscule variety with a smaller selection of ‘main’ dishes (also designed to suit the appetite of someone in fashion). Food is generally healthy with tartares and salads forming the bulk of the menu. Having said that, it’s all rather good, especially the dinky breakfasts, neatly served in little (the operative word here) copper saucepans.
The food is hardly the star of the show at this star-studded Italian(too many famous faces to compete with), but the portions are generous and the dishes well-executed. Regulars love the beef carpaccio (Dukan don’cha know?) and pasta dishes. Token skinny blondes indulging in a liquid lunch are practically part of the furniture. Crowds of the beautiful, the famous and the rich flock on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to mix and mingle as wealthy men splash their cash on botoxed and boob-jobbed women in expensive outfits. The atmosphere is unquestionably fun and lively but the prices match the clientele – this is no place for those on a budget. The decor is dated but dahhhhling, and with all the eye candy around who cares!
Going since 1967, this Mayfair must-have is positively ancient by London restaurant standards, which makes the stuffy décor almost forgivable. The sublime food and impeccable service makes it absolutely unforgettable. Yes, this place is old school, but in all the best ways. Presided over by TV chef darling and generally nice guy Michel Roux Jar, who took over at the helm from father Albert Roux in 1991, this place exudes luxury. The staff are attentive, but unobtrusive and incredibly knowledgeable. The prices are astronomical and the food is dripping with cream and butter (just as good French food should). Request one of the plush booths if you can to get the best view of the dining room drama (and so you can recline in comfort once you’ve gorged, of course). The soufflé Suissesse is a must-eat. It’s been on the menu since day one, and let’s be honest who can resist anything this cheesy and creamy. Heart attack be damned, just say yes. If you’re going in the evening expect the bill to rack up well into the hundreds, which makes the £52 lunch menu one of the best value in London. Whenever you go, be sure to book well in advance.