Ranging from two dishes to twelve, tasting menus are the quick fix to never placing the wrong order again. With restaurants far and wide jumping on the alternative to traditional a la carte dining, London’s best tasting menus take you on a journey across the world without having to tackle the crowds and stress of Heathrow. And with so many popping up we’ve gathered the best alternative tasting menus in London into one list.
From Japanese-Italian fusion to a restaurant that reinvents the Sunday roast in 8-courses, this list of alternative tasting menus shakes up the concept. So indulge a little, eat 12-courses in one sitting, and never be labelled as a food thief again.
From suckling pig to miso cod, the tasting menu takes on a journey through bold flavours and exotic ingredients. When it opened in 2015, it was named the “New Restaurant of the Year”, and completely lives up to the title.
And don’t worry, the 8-course menu does feature ceviche, and it’s better than any ceviche you’ve ever tried. So next time you fancy something a little exotic, ditch the curry and take a bite of Peru.
View on AVA Ooty Not your traditional curry night Marylebone, £££ As much as a take-away curry is a thing of beauty, ordering the standard tikka masala or bhuna doesn’t quite transport you to the villages of India.
Ooty is London’s solution to authentic South-Indian cuisine. From coconut-lime lobster to spicy curried goat, Ooty delivers aromatic dishes that challenge the conventional British stereotype of Indian curry. Their bold tasting menu takes you through 8 carefully selected courses of their most incredible and flavourful dishes.
Far from London’s usual chicken curries and onion bhajis, Ooty takes traditional Indian flavours and elevates them to a chic and sophisticated level, the trademark of all of London’s best restaurants. Paired with incredible drinks from their Colonial-style basement bar, it’s a recipe for an evening that’s out of this world (or at least out of this continent). View on AVA Picture Marylebone The lunchtime meal-deal for foodies Marylebone, £ There’s no denying that a £3 sandwich, drink and bag of crisps is an incredible lunchtime deal. But it’s no run for a 5-course tasting menu which the Guardian calls “exceptionally good”, and the Independent calls “a place to visit again and again”, all for only £35.
Picture Marylebone traces its roots to the creative genius of a trio who shared a common dream of opening a restaurant in London, and did so more than once. Opening Picture Fitzrovia in 2013 and continuing their success with Picture Marylebone in 2016, they aim to bring incredible hospitality and equally brilliant food to every guest that enters their door.
With a tasting menu ranging from ruby beetroot tartare to 28-day-aged fillet of beef, the restaurant, and the reasonably priced tasting menu, deserve every accolade they’ve received.
Check Them Out Craft Taking homemade to a whole new level Greenwich, £££ It can be difficult to know for certain if a restaurant makes everything on-site and refuses to use a freezer, let alone if it smokes its own fish, grows its own vegetables, and even keeps bees for homemade honey.
Crafted takes the word to a whole new level, making a conscious effort to source locally, grow cleanly, and use quality ingredients. Surrounded by chain restaurants and under the massive lights of the O2 arena, Craft brings a quaint and personalised feel to the North Greenwich area.
6-courses of seasonal ingredients make this one of the most carefully planned and truly British tasting menus in London. So skip your attempt at homemade lasagne that you’ve already failed cooking 3 times, and let the chefs at Crafted show you what homemade and homegrown food really tastes like.
Check Them Out Treves and Hyde The “Create Your Own” Tasting Menu Whitechapel, ££ If there’s one phrase trending in the culinary world, it’s “locally sourced”, and Treves & Hyde is taking the lead. Focusing on British ingredients and a relaxed dining environment, it’s truly one of East London’s best-kept secrets.
Calling their tasting menu the “Leave It To Us” menu, the chefs at Treves & Hyde personalise your dishes to your likes and dislikes on the spot. And although no-one likes a name-dropper, head chef, George Tannock has worked alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and Eric Chavot at Zuma, making him a hard name not to drop.
So if one thing’s for certain, it’s that the food is going to be better than that 3-week old chili con carne you have sitting in the back of your freezer. Check Them Out The Petersham It doesn’t get fresher than this Covent Garden, ££ These days, restaurants are quick to boast having the freshest ingredients, but a claim like that just means they haven’t heard of The Petersham.
The continuation of a family-run business, The Petersham focused on fresh ingredients, following the tradition of the family's first endeavour, Petersham Nurseries.
The 6-course tasting menu currently features tartare of venison, fillet of cornish hake, and lamb with porcini creamed potatoes, but changes seasonally, meaning a visit once a month isn’t a ridiculous thing to do.
And with some of the most beautiful Al Fresco dining in Covent Garden, it’s a gem of freshness and deliciousness you’d be a fool to pass up.
Check Them Out Angelina An unlikely pairing Dalston, £ There’s no denying that pasta is delicious and sushi is a stroke of genius, but they’re two incredible foods usually kept very separate.
Before you worry, we’re not saying Angelina’s makes raw tuna carbonara or margarita pizza with salmon sashimi as a topping, but they do take the unconventional route of combining Japanese and Italian cuisine. From unagi risotto to black sesame pannacotta, it’s as if Nonna and Baba spent a day in the kitchen together.
The Guardian calls it “curiously thoughtful”, and really, it is. Take raw prawns: call it crudo and it’s Italian, or call it sashimi and it’s Japanese. Although seemingly wildly different, the two share commonalities, and after 5-courses you’ll be wondering whether a salmon margarita pizza wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Check Them Out Restaurant Story Don’t judge this book by its cover Southwark, £££ Restaurant Story can be compared to a good book, thought-provoking, deep, and leaves you wanting more.
Holding a Michelin Star since 2013, the restaurant focuses on, you guessed it, seasonal and local ingredients. Their dishes aim to tell a story, from “Fairground Onions” to “Snail Ravioli” (although I’m not sure what story that last one’s telling).
At just 26 years old, chef Tom Sellers opened the restaurant, and has catapulted to fame ever since. After 10-dishes of what could be the most aesthetically-pleasing food ever (hello, Instagram), you’ll be left feeling very pleased with yourself for your choice.
Check Them Out Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs A hotdog restaurant with a secret Fitzrovia, £££ Very, very rarely would you ever venture to the back of a hot dog restaurant and see what’s going on. However, at Bubbledogs, we would practically sprint back there.
Tucked away from the hot dogs, Kitchen Table seats only 20 people, and features a tasting menu of 12-courses that changes daily. And if 12-courses of deliciousness isn’t enough, you’ll see the making of your dishes right in front of you, with chef James Knappett whipping up fresh seafood and more.
With two Michelin stars, it’s a tasting menu full of incredible ingredients and a chef that knows what to do with them. Think of Kitchen Table like dinner and a show, but on a whole new level.
Check them out Nest The restaurant that focuses on one meat at a time Hackney, £ Have you ever tried to do too many things at once and it turned into an absolute disaster?
Nest realised a long time ago that focusing on one thing means better results, which is why they have only one meat on their menu at any time. Changing every 4 weeks, their selection ranges from Mangalitza pork to Norfolk Venison.
Nest has a tunnel vision that produces incredible food when it comes to their £38 tasting menu. Yes, you read that right. £38 and 7-courses of carefully planned and truly fresh dishes. Tasting an entire menu has never been better value for money.
Check them out Clos Maggiore The most romantic restaurant in the world Covent Garden, ££ We’re not lying. Clos Maggiore was voted the world’s most romantic restaurant in 2016 and it’s very obvious why. Stepping into their calm and rustic courtyard tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden is enough to make anyone fall in love.
And that’s before the food even arrives. Although they do have a meat-orientated tasting menu, it’s their vegetarian tasting menu that has people talking. With 5-courses and an expertly paired wine menu for an additional cost, Clos Maggiore transports you to Tuscany with every bite.
From hand-rolled pasta with freshly grated truffle to burrata and heirloom beetroot, their vegetarian tasting menu is fresh and vibrant, and leaves you no room to miss meat.
Check Them Out Launceston Place A new take on the traditional Sunday Lunch Kensington, ££ A Sunday roast holds a special place in every Brit’s heart. Meat and veg, yorkshire puddings, and all of the gravy. It’s unchanging, reliable, and comforting.
But Launceston Place is challenging the traditional Sunday roast and transforming it into an 8-course tasting menu. From roast chicken that uses all the trimmings to their unique take on those crucial veggies, it’s a tasting menu with familiar flavours but a new twist.
So don’t waste your Sunday slaving over the oven and let Launceston Place reinvent your traditional Sunday roast.
Check them out