Tasting menu

Tasting Menus Worth Shelling Out For in London

Food & Drink /


Why stop at three courses?

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For those who struggle to pick a dish when dining out, tasting menus can be a godsend. These leave tricky decisions in the hands of those who know best – the chefs – and the whole table is usually required to join in, eliminating the ever-present fear of food envy. Done right, a good tasting menu will offer a whirlwind of different tastes, textures and visuals, nailing the portion sizes to leave diners satisfied but not overly full. Prepare to be wowed with our pick of London’s standouts.

16 Best Tasting Menus in London

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Lyle's

Lyle’s

Proving less is more is Lyle’s, an understated restaurant with much to offer. Despite its Michelin star and spot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, there’s nothing pretentious about James Lowe’s fine dining venture: instead of tablecloths and candles you’ll find white-tiled walls, concrete flooring and simple seating. But amid these stripped-back settings you’ll be treated to some rather extraordinary food. Classic British dishes are given interesting twists, showcasing Lowe’s impressive art and technique. Dinner is a tasting menu – with a choice of classic or vegetarian – featuring six dishes with optional wine pairing, with short descriptions of dishes adding an element of surprise. Everything is seasonal-led, with Scandinavian influence and some obscure ingredients thrown in for good measure: at the moment, diners can expect the likes of quail broth with green asparagus, cheviot mutton with preserved citrus, and sweet woodruff ice cream.

Price: £95 for six courses, £69 for wine pairing

Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6GY

BOOK: lyleslondon.com

Ikoyi

Ikoyi

This two Michelin-starred restaurant hit the headlines recently after being named in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, coming in at number 49. Founded by friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Chef Jeremy Chan, it combines West African spices with British ingredients, made using organic meats, biodynamic vegetables and fish from UK waters dispatched using the Ikejime method. The tasting menu is served for dinner Monday to Friday, and at lunchtime on Fridays, and features dishes like aged sirloin with salted citrus and lobster, turbot and caramelised chicken wings, smoked jollof rice, and a poppyseed and rum cake. It’s worth noting the menu can’t be adapted for vegetarians or vegans.

Price: £300

Address: 180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA

BOOK: ikoyilondon.com

Evelyn's Table

Evelyn’s Table

Intimate chef’s table experience Evelyn’s Table is another favourite among London foodies, scooping up second place in Harden’s 2023 best restaurants guide. Hidden below The Blue Posts pub in Soho, with room for just 12 guests, it has a speakeasy, supper club-style vibe. You won’t find out what’s on the menu until you arrive (dietary requirements are submitted in advance), but you can assure you’re in safe hands with chef James Goodyear, who combines a love for British produce with Scandinavian and Japanese cooking techniques – underpinned by his French training. Expect top-quality dishes, with optional wine pairing, served amid a relaxed, unique setting. 

Price: £120 for five courses

Address: 28 Rupert St, London W1D 6DJ

BOOK: theblueposts.co.uk

Dai Chi

Nestled in the hustle and bustle of Soho lies Dai Chi, a sophisticated and intimate restaurant offering two sets of tasting menus influenced by Osaka’s dining culture. The omakase-styled set menu is centred around crudo, and Dai Chi’s interpretation of kushikatsu, fried skewers of the highest quality meat, fish and vegetables (kushi = skewer, katsu = deep-fried). An extensive and unique wine & sake list has also been curated to pair perfectly with the kushikatsu.

Price: £42 for six courses

Address: 16A D’Arblay St, London W1F 8EA

BOOK: daichi.london

Native at Browns

Native at Browns

The London outpost of wild food restaurant Native, which sits within Mayfair store Browns, has added a tasting menu to its repertoire, offering seven courses alongside foraged cocktails and natural wines. Dishes are based on what the team are able to forage that week, but it could look something like: zero-waste bites made from kitchen offcuts to begin, followed by hand-dived scallops, wild hare ragu, regenerative rib of beef, and a dessert made from white chocolate and bone marrow caramel. 

Price: £72 for seven courses

Address: Native at Browns, 39 Brook St, London W1K 4JE

BOOK: nativerestaurant.co.uk

Taste of Samba at SUSHISAMBA

London’s hottest sushi spot and twilight cocktail venue with a view is venturing further into daytime territory with its new ‘Taste of Samba’ lunchtime tasting menu. Inspired by the cuisine of Japan, Brazil and Peru, the ever-popular SUSHISAMBA flexes its culinary skill across four new menus (including a vegetarian menu), each with six courses amounting to between 10 and 13 dishes. Start with a humble batch of edamame and a bowl of moreish crunchy plantain chips with aji amarillo, before venturing into refreshing crispy lobster taquitos and tender wagyu gyoza, bursting with hearty flavour.

Moving between fish, meat and veggies (who knew asparagus could be so flavourful), though the menu is well-paced, you’ll find yourself fit to burst by the end. Regardless, the deserts are a delicious cherry on top of the tasty experience; if you try the chocolate banana cake, make sure you order the rich Cafe Millonario to sip alongside (the SUSHISAMBA take on an espresso martini, with Bacardi Carta Negra rum, spiced maple and dark chocolate liqueur). By Olivia Emily

Price: The Taste of Samba menu starts at £75 per person, or £70 for the vegetarian menu

Address: Available at SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden (35 The Market, London WC2E 8RF) and SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower (Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY)

BOOK: sushisamba.com

Image (c) Steven Joyce.

Tasting menu at Scully St James

Scully St. James

Chef Ramael Scully’s acclaimed Asian fusion restaurant, Scully St. James, is transforming its evening offering into an eight-course tasting menu. Guests will embark on a journey through Scully’s heritage (he was born in Malaysia, and grew up in Sydney with a mother of Chinese/Indian descent and an Irish/Balinese father) and cooking techniques, with a focus on fermenting, preserving and ageing ingredients. That means unique flavours, but also low waste, with a standard and a vegan menu to choose from. Your experience will begin with three surprise snacks, followed by Scully’s famous Arepa made with eight-day fermented corn bread and served with Scully’s Mum’s eggplant sambal. Other notable dishes on the menu include Lake District short rib pastrami brined, smoked and slow cooked with Urfa (a Turkish chilli pepper), plus a traditional Indonesian rice dish called Nasi Jagung, made with cooked dry cracked corn. All this will be paired with unique wines, from orange varieties to a Madeira Verdelho red from Portugal.

Price: £120 for the standard menu, £90 for the vegan menu, both eight courses

Address: 4 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AH

BOOK: scullyrestaurant.com

UMU Sushi

Umu

Forgoing the theatrical bells and whistles found at London’s more name-checked Japanese establishments, Umu favours a more refined, less Westernized cuisine that won it a Michelin star within months of opening (it now has two). Around 70 per cent of the fish served is British, and such is Chef Yoshi’s dedication to the highest quality produce that he personally trained Cornish fishermen in the ikejime method of killing and preserving fish to ensure it met his exacting standards. The seasonal kaiseki tasting menu takes you on a journey of elegant, traditional and previously unheard-of dishes, with many of the top contenders being fully vegetarian. Winter dishes include charcoal grilled roe deer, Cornish squid with sea urchin, and Scottish langoustine with Tokyo turnips, with the option to add a wine, sake or non-alcoholic drinks pairing.

Price: £250 for eight courses

Address: 14-16 Bruton Pl, London W1J 6LX

BOOK: umurestaurant.com

Six course tasting menu at Amethyst

Amethyst

Drawing from Carlo Scotto’s global travels, this exciting new Mayfair opening offers brilliant tasting menus taking you on a journey from India to Japan to his home in Naples. The overall theme of the food? Modern European with global influence, and this is delicately balanced throughout. A fantastic chef’s table view places all guests round a communal table (struck through the middle with real amethyst) offering are prime seats to spy Carlo and his team – an assembly line of culinary athletes – chop, sprinkle, and generally artfully prepare these small plates. 

Price: From £75 for five courses

Address: 6 Sackville St, London W1S 3DD

BOOK: amethystdining.com

Read our review here

Gordon Ramsay

Restaurant 1980 by Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay’s third restaurant at The Savoy is a tribute to esteemed chef Auguste Escoffier, who worked at the esteemed hotel back in 1890 – hence the name. The small restaurant opens only for dinner, offering a tasting menu featuring seasonal French dishes with European influences. Think native lobster vol-au-vent, Aberdeen shortrib, and blood orange parfait with chocolate and cardamom. 

Price: £165 for nine courses

Address: 68 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HP

BOOK: gordonramsayrestaurants.com

Six by Nico

Six by Nico

After proving popular in cities like Edinburgh, Belfast and Manchester, Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone brought his innovative dining concept Six by Nico to London last year. The Fitzrovia branch follows the same unique format as its siblings: an ever-evolving six-course tasting menu that changes every six weeks, each following a different theme. This April, the restaurant is celebrating its sixth anniversary with two destination tasting menus, inspired by Nico’s trips to Marrakech and Lisbon. From Marrakech, there are dishes like lamb tagine and chermoula cauliflower, while the Lisbon-inspired creations include roast pork with chorizo jam, and pastel de nata with caramelised puff pastry.

Price: £44 for six courses, an extra £35 with matching wines

Address: 41 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RR

BOOK: sixbynico.co.uk

Read our review here

Muse

Muse by Tom Aikens

Muse is the latest venture from chef Tom Aikens, who returned to London’s fine dining scene at the start of 2020 following a five-year absence, bringing with him years of experience in the world of high-end restaurants. Aged 26, Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, going on to cook at the likes of Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, Pied-à-Terre and Joel Robuchon in Paris. Muse is a culmination of all this: a ‘gastronomic autobiography’, as he puts it. You’ll find the restaurant tucked away inside a tiny townhouse in a residential Belgravia mews, spread across two floors and seating just 25 diners. The eight-course tasting menu tells a story, with each dish reflecting a part of Tom’s life. A salmon and cucumber creation titled ‘5 minutes and a few seconds more’, for instance, is an ode to Pierre Koffman, who would race Tom in prepping a whole salmon. And for dessert? ‘Wait and see’, says Tom – a nod towards the often-used mother’s response he remembers from childhood.

Price: £170 for ten courses

Address: 38 Groom Pl, London SW1X 7BA

BOOK: musebytomaikens.co.uk

Restaurant Story

Restaurant Story (currently closed for refurbishment)

Chef Tom Sellers earned his stripes working in top kitchens across the world before opening his own restaurant aged just 26, Restaurant Story in London Bridge. After five months it gained its first Michelin star, which it has held onto ever since – and this year received a second. As the name suggests, Tom likes his dishes to have a narrative behind them. Upon arrival you won’t receive a menu: instead you’re asked for your likes and dislikes and a parade of exceptional tasting dishes will arrive on your table. There are some signatures though, like the famous beef dripping candle, an edible candle which creates a dipping sauce for your sourdough, and the ‘Storeos’ – a savoury spin on Oreo cookies filled with cheese. Not a meal you’re likely to forget any time soon.

Price: £225 for ten courses

Address: 199 Tooley St, London SE1 2JX

BOOK: restaurantstory.co.uk

Hot Stone

Hot Stone

Sushi lends itself naturally to tasting menus, with lots of small bites being the norm. This is demonstrated to perfection at buzzy Islington restaurant Hot Stone, which offers two tasting menus: one focused solely on seafood, another adding wagyu beef into the mix. Both begin with salty edamame beans and sashimi, before venturing in separate directions – the seafood option towards tuna carpaccio, miso black cod and Japanese yellowtail, and the other towards sirloin Japanese wagyu served with yuzu soy jalapeno sauce. Each finishes with a green tea matcha cheesecake and mochi selection, with the option to add wine and sake pairings.

Price: Seafood Tasting Menu is £85, Seafood & Wagyu Tasting menu is £110, £45 extra for wine and sake pairings

Address: 9 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ

BOOK: hotstonelondon.com

Image from Instagram

Kitchen Table

Kitchen Table

After 15 months of closure, Michelin-starred Fitzrovia restaurant Kitchen Table reopened last summer with a fresh look and an exciting new menu. Spearheaded by husband-and wife-duo, Noma-trained James Knappett and sommelier Sandia Chang, Kitchen Table used to sit at the back of gourmet champagne and hot dog restaurant Bubbledogs, which sadly closed for good during the pandemic. It’s been repurposed as a cocktail bar though, while Kitchen Table continues to serve as an intimate dining room seating just 18. The setting may be low-key, but the two-Michelin-starred food is anything but: diners will embark on a dazzling 20-course gastronomic feast. Prepare for some surprises – the daily-changing menu is intentionally enigmatic, with one-word descriptions of dishes, but the chefs will talk you through their magic along the way.

Price: £300 for up to 20 courses

Address: 70 Charlotte St., London W1T 4QG

BOOK: kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Chicama

Chicama

The second restaurant from the Pachamama group, Chelsea’s Chicama is a charming restaurant named after a coastal town in Peru – not the word chic, although that does describe it well. Unlike its sister, Chicama is meat-free, focusing instead on fish served small plates-style, with seafood delivered daily from Cornwall and given a South American twist. The classic tasting menu features sea bass ceviche with soy tiger’s milk and sesame, for instance, while the tuna is served with an avocado jalapeno sauce. Vegetarian or vegan? Fear not: the plant-based dishes are equally delicious, with tasting menu highlights including fried aubergine with plantain miso and charred sweet potato with BBQ plantain. Don’t knock the tapioca marshmallows before you’ve tried them: made without eggs or sugar, these bitesize snacks have the texture of fluffy marshmallows but the flavour of cheese – they’re made with deep-fried parmesan, and served with a chilli sauce. Pisco Sours are the natural drink of choice, though the Spicy Margarita shouldn’t be overlooked. Eat al fresco on the lovely plant-filled outdoor terrace, or watch the chefs working their magic up close from the pastel pink marble counter, which looks onto the open kitchen.

Price: £60 for nine courses

Address: 383 King’s Rd, London SW10 0LP

BOOK: chicamalondon.com