Ledbury - Nottinghill
For people outside London, Ledbury is perhaps on every top London restaurant list. It's worth going and in my view the only restaurant in London that's worth the 2 Michelin star. Ledbury has created many classic dishes over the years, like the flame grilled mackerel, truffle toast, pork jowl and brown sugar tart. Wine list is equally strong. However, the formula doesn't change very much and the flavours remain relatively similar. It's consistent but not as challenging for me as Hedone. If you haven't been, it's worth going. If you have been, go for the a la carte which has more of the seasonal dishes. But I'd pick Hedone over Ledbury any day.
Hedone - Chiswick
Hedone is my favourite restaurant. It's by far the best restaurant in UK. No one can beat Mikael's passion for good quality produce. He is constantly changing every dish, constantly creating new dishes and have a killer wine list. I don't know any restaurant in London that has more regulars who go there weekly/monthly basis and still never get enough of the food. Hedone classics is super long too, but its carte blanche only, so you'll get what the chef feels like that day. I've taken many friends who said they had the best meal of their lives after.
The Fat Duck - Bray
No need for introduction on this one, everyone knows Heston Blumenthal, the magician that whisks Nitrogen magic from his childhood. Yes, it's expensive, very gimmicky but always extremely entertaining. I went there for a 5h lunch post the refurbishment and was impressed by nearly all the dishes. Some even challenged me on the extend our taste can detect. A dish of woody mushroom tasted everything of the wet soil after the rain, like you are transported there instantly and those memories of walking on wet soil just plays over and over while I enjoyed the very delicious food. There is nothing like it in the UK and very few in the rest of the world. Yes you should book it and check out the fuss, because it's very well deserved. The only 3* in UK worth going.
Barrafina - Soho
The best seafood tapas London has to offer. The runny tortilla and carabineros (Spanish red prawns) are signature dishes but everything is equally special. Go for the daily specials where everything's incredibly fresh. It's simple cooking here, no foam or liquid drops, but somewhere that I can eat anytime any day. They open at 5pm for dinner and I normally queue from 4.50pm to grab the first seating. There are three Barrafinas now, all very close to each other and all offer different dishes, all very good.
St John Bread and Wine - Liverpool st
Love St John Bread and Wine, it's my favourite in the St John group. Simple cooking and nose-to-tail. If I'm taking someone for British food, this would be in the top 3 along with a sunday roast somewhere and maybe Brawn. They also serve great British desserts, especially the freshly baked madeleines and apple crumble, the smell is just divine!
Casse Croute - Bermondsey
I really miss Paris when I'm in London. The cosy setting, the warm and busy bistro vibe, and the delicious yet casual food. Nothing hyped, just good classic french food. Casse Croute ticks all the boxes, excellent French food, lovely small room and excellent service. The mains are always rich, in that French saturated with butter way and the desserts are truly the best French desserts we have in London. The amazing Paris Brest, millefeuile, pistachio and strawberry tart...I've lost count but basically everything is good!! Love this place very much! Follow their twitter to check for daily menus!
This is probably the only restaurant I can say that I love it from breakfast to dinner (also the only restaurant on this list to serve breakfast haha), to the chef's table (basically everything). Located at Kensal Rise might be a bit far out for most people but it definitely should be on everyone's foodie hit list. Lunch has great deals and superb cooking. Breakfast is casual and generous, Chef's table is crazy inventive and very very theatrical. It's one of the best Chef's table I've ever tried, a lot of surprise elements and gorgeous food. Only problem is Kensal Rise is far out for most people to go to.
40 Maltby Street
A wine bar with excellent wine and superb food that is always very very consistent. The plates are smaller and a bit of French influence in taste but everything is always stunning from starter to dessert. On Saturdays, there is Maltby Street Market on with street food packing the entire street but don't be tempted to skip 40 Maltby Street with all these on display, it's really a place not to miss.