Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Mayfair
Hardens guides have spent 25 years compiling reviews of the best Mayfair restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 163 restaurants in Mayfair and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Mayfair restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Mayfair Restaurants
Italian restaurant in Mayfair
20-22 Queen St - W1
As it enters its tenth year, Angela Hartnett’s “understatedly brilliant” Mayfair haven is an unusual example of a swanky, celeb-backed restaurant just getting better and better as it approaches middle age. Though not enormously distinctive in design, “the dining room is beautifully set up – you don’t feel crowded” – and the “charmingly kind staff” help “create a wonderful and romantic atmosphere”. Head chef Pip Lacey’s Italian-inspired cooking is taking the food quality here to new heights – “fantastically good” – and reporters “love that you can construct your own tasting menu”, whereby you select any number of dishes from the menu’s five sections in the order of your choosing. STOP PRESS: in July 2017, Pip Lacey left Murano, to be replaced by Oscar Holgado. Here’s hoping he can keep up the good work.
. Le Gavroche
French restaurant in Mayfair
43 Upper Brook St - W1
“A well-oiled, old-school machine that still delivers!” The Roux dynasty’s Mayfair icon “never goes out of fashion” to its army of fans for whom it’s “simply the best”. Founded in Chelsea in 1967, it moved to its current “cosy” site round the corner from the American Embassy in 1982, and even if the occasional reporter “wishes it wasn’t in a basement” the general effect “oozes class and charm”. Michel Roux Jr succeeded his father at the helm in 1991, and “the regular presence of the great man himself adds value; he takes time with his customers and actually talks!” (Currently his daughter Emily is being primed as next in line.) The Gallic cuisine – under head chef Rachel Humphrey – is “rich and sumptuous”, while the “polished but un-condescending” service under Emanuel Landré is “almost other-worldly good”. “A hefty chunk out of the wallet” is of course de rigueur, but even so gripes about “arm-and-a-leg” bills increased this year, contributing to the food grade missing a 5/5 for the first time in a few years. Top Tip – “The fixed price lunch menu is still the best deal in London!”
. Sketch, Lecture Room
French restaurant in Mayfair
9 Conduit St - W1
“Take your sense of humour and embrace the place”, say fans of this “crazy, wonderful” chamber – “a stunning” space on the first floor of a huge Mayfair palazzo. That it’s “shockingly expensive” occasions less outrage nowadays, and when it comes to the tasting menus (overseen by Pierre Gagnaire), while “there may be a few more components in each dish too many” there are “some nice marriages of flavours” and results can be “remarkable”. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the trick is to admire the quality and meticulousness, while not taking the ponciness too seriously.”
Fish & seafood restaurant in Mayfair
20 Mount St - W1
“Possibly the best all-round dining experience in London” – James Bond’s favourite lunch-spot remains, under Richard Caring’s ownership, a “sophisticated” Mayfair institution that’s “worth it if you can afford it” thanks to its “classic” seafood (it’s “a paradise for fish lovers”), “exemplary” service and “perfect atmosphere”. Its “effortless” style suits all occasions, but in particular it’s a “power-brokers’ favourite”.
. The Araki
Japanese restaurant in Mayfair
Unit 4 12 New Burlington St - W1
“Can heaven be far away?” – “If you can afford it, Mitsuhiro Araki’s Mayfair restaurant is a unique experience” and a “world class” one that for a second year won the highest food-rating of any restaurant in the UK. “Be one of nine diners enjoying a specially prepared meal from one of Tokyo’s top chefs” that’s “as close to Japan as you can get in London”. “You feel like you are at a theatrical performance, sat in line watching the numerous chefs, and Mr Araki himself, and there are too many amazing dishes to mention”. “The price is world class too” of course but “worth every penny for what you get” (in the view of all reporters, including those who are themselves Japanese). “Clients can’t fail to be impressed… and at that price so they should be!” STOP PRESS. On October 2, Michelin finally woke up, and awarded the Araki the three stars it should have granted last year.
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