Italian or Asian? Mediterranean or Peruvian? With so many delicious cuisines on offer across the capital, it can be hard to pick just one – but luckily there are some places where you don’t have to. With unique flavour combinations (banana sushi rolls, anyone?), these fusion restaurants offer something different to your local pizza joint…
Head to Penelope’s in Hotel AMANO Covent Garden for Israeli-Spanish fusion cuisine. This blend of flavours might seem particularly unique, but these are dishes you don’t have to question – unless, of course, you’re asking for more. Try the Israeli mezze, which encompasses pillowy taboon bread served with spicy yoghurt, fresh tomato salsa and green harissa with a hint of cod roe. The tuna ceviche is a seafood-lover’s dream, served with jewels of mango and hints of seaweed, while the ox cheek is velvety and rich, dusted with a traditional blend of herbs, nuts and spices. For mains, make sure to sample a surprising showstopper: the Israeli tomato salad. This was a recommendation from our waiter, and it’s a true hidden gem on the menu. Expect tomatoes so fresh that they banish the gathering dusk and the grey clouds preceding it; tossed with mint and drenched in citrus, this is far more than a humble salad, and it will leave you wanting more from the very first bite. It also pairs brilliantly with the lamb rump as well as the Israeli-style paella, which is crowned with buttery octopus and murky pools of ink – a rich, sticky and fragrant dish that is at once hearty and refined. When it’s time for dessert, order the baklava cheesecake – you won’t regret it.
BOOK IT: Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HA. amanogroup.de
Standing in a prime spot in London’s theatre district, Farzi is the perfect place for some pre-show fare – but there’s so much to sample that you might be there all evening. The extensive menu boasts an array of fusion dishes including butter chicken bao, an incredible truffle naan, and a quirky saag burrata served with crispy spinach and vegetable coulis. If you’re after the classics, however, there’s plenty to choose from, with highlights such as tandoori paneer and chicken parda biryani. Top off your meal with a brilliant ‘Farzified’ cocktail (we recommend the Fortune Teller, a blend of Fortunella golden orange liquer, plum and salted hisbiscus) and make sure to leave room for dessert – the fig and ginger pudding is divine.
8 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4BP. farzilondon.com
With its whitewashed walls, marble floors and brass fittings, Soho-based Nopi is worth a visit for the interiors alone. But it’s Ottolenghi, so you know the food will be top quality too – and equally artistic. The menu is based on a mixture of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines, so expect healthy, tasty food with lots of spices. Think soy cured smoked duck, roasted aubergine with sorrel yoghurt, turmeric pickled cucumber and chickpea pancakes with yuzu – all packing plenty of flavour into small portions.
BOOK IT: 21-22 Warwick Street London W1B 5NE. ottolenghi.co.uk
Putting a fresh spin on fusion dining is Stork, opened earlier this year in Mayfair by young couple Michael Adjovi Kalu and Nadina Grigoras. The concept is based around the journey of the migrating Stork bird, which flies from Eastern Europe to Western Africa, picking up flavours from the countries it passes – from crushed yams to tarragon. Head Chef Adebola Adeshina then crafts these into unique dishes, such as shredded lamb shoulder with jollof cous cous and smoked aubergine; baked polenta with wild garlic, peas and deep fried Arlington white egg; and salted cod with crushed yam and pee puree.
BOOK IT: 13-14 Cork St, Mayfair, London W1S 3NS. storkrestaurant.com