Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Mayfair
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Mayfair restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 156 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
1. The Ritz British, Traditional restaurant in Mayfair 150 Piccadilly - W1
“For a very special occasion, there is nowhere better” than this “beyond-compare” Louis XVI chamber, widely acclaimed as “the most beautiful dining room in London”: “it will not only rekindle the romance in your marriage, it’s also great for impressing on business”. “Not to be totally outdone by the surroundings, staff are friendly and unpretentious, and the classic cuisine under head chef John Willliams is measured and precise (if not exactly cheap… but it’s not supposed to be!)”. Top Tip – “a lovely fancy place for an epic breakfast”; also “the dinner dance is special and great value”.
2. Coya Peruvian restaurant in Mayfair 118 Piccadilly - W1
“A real culinary tour of the best of Peru, with mouthwatering ceviche, smoky grilled meats and show-stopping desserts” (“we were blown away by the freshness and amazing flavour combinations”), “… all washed down with a pisco sour or two”, helps inspire rave reviews this year for this Latino duo – an “impressive-looking subterranean bar/restaurant in Mayfair”, and a similarly “buzzy and relaxed” set-up in the City, tucked away behind the Bank of England. “It’s best if someone else is paying” of course, but past flak about whopping prices was absent this year.
3. Theo Randall at the InterContinental London Park Lane Italian restaurant in Mayfair InterContinental London, Park Lane, 1 Hamilton Place - W1
“Exemplary Italian ingredients cooked to perfection” and “served impeccably by delightful people” has earned a glowing reputation for the English-born former River Café chef, whose dining room off the foyer of the 1970s-built Intercontinental Hotel tower near Hyde Park Corner provides some of London’s best Italian cuisine. The “soulless setting” always attracts adverse comment, although it is “much improved” since its renovation a few years back.
4. Corrigan’s Mayfair British, Traditional restaurant in Mayfair 28 Upper Grosvenor St - W1
“Classic and club-like (without being oppressive)” – Richard Corrigan’s spacious Mayfair HQ, just off Park Lane, offers a traditionally luxurious experience, focused on “unfussy”, top-quality British cuisine (from head chef, Aidan McGee). Its ratings looked less secure this year, though, with mounting concerns about its vertiginous pricing – to fans “even if it’s expensive, the quality is there”, but to foes it now seems “extremely overpriced” to an extent some feel is “ludicrous”. Top Tip – “superb value set lunch”.
5. Kai Mayfair Chinese restaurant in Mayfair 65 South Audley St - W1
“If you want Chinese food at its best”, numerous reporters award top marks to Bernard Yeoh’s luxurious Mayfair fixture, which has held a Michelin star for the last 10 years now, and which is unusual in boasting a heavyweight wine list featuring many of the world’s most famous vintages. Even those who say it’s “brilliant” acknowledge it’s decidedly “not cheap” however.
6. Benares Indian restaurant in Mayfair 12a Berkeley Square House, - W1
Mixed reports this year on this swish first-floor Indian, in the heart of Mayfair, which severed ties in August 2018 with its original founder. Fans say it’s “still excellent, despite Atul Kochhar’s departure”, serving “very nicely balanced, spiced and well-prepared” Indian cuisine that offers “a real twist compared to what’s usually found in the UK”. Its ratings have waned, though, with gripes re-emerging about its “windowless”, slightly “dull” interior, but more concerningly about cooking that “may not justify the price tag”: “just go to Dishoom, get better food, have more fun and save your cash!”
7. Le Gavroche French restaurant in Mayfair 43 Upper Brook St - W1
“Elegance… discreet service… classic French cuisine – they never go out of fashion”, and nowhere else in London can match Michel Roux Jr’s “grande dame of the London restaurant scene” for “perfect, old-school Gallic gastronomy”. Founded (on Sloane Street) in 1967 by his father Albert, this famous culinary temple has operated in Mayfair just around the corner from the former US embassy since 1982 and with MasterChef-maestro Michel at the stoves since 1991. Menus (with no prices in the lady’s version) are perused in the smallish ground floor lounge, before descending to the “dark and moody basement with its elaborate table ornaments”. To a few doubters the style is too “stuffy and formal” (or, alternatively, too dated and 1980s-tastic) – but to most visitors (some of whom are regulars of many decades’ standing) the milieu makes it “one of the capital’s best dining rooms, setting the perfect scene for any posh liaison”; with “soft furnishings and a layout that means one may hear and converse in quiet and relative privacy; and where it’s refreshing to find the standard of dress amongst the patrons still includes a suit and tie”. “Attention to detail and personal enjoyment shows in every aspect of the experience”: cooking is “superbly judged both in its selection and preparation”, and the “wine list is the work of an afternoon – hugely pleasurable to read and to attempt to absorb its width and variety!”. “Smooth, unobtrusive service” under maître d’ Emmanuel Landré, is “impeccable” – “ideally pitched from when you step through the door to the final farewell”; and Michel (usually in attendance) “is a charmer as well as a brilliant chef”, with “the personal visit from Le Patron making a special meal very special”. The bill? “It’s barely affordable, but worth saving for”: “a classic example of the rule, ‘you get what you pay for’ and, while expensive, good value for money”. Top Tip – “the renowned set lunch deserves every bit of its reputation”: “perhaps the best value prix fixe deal in town” and “always a top experience”.
8. Roka Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 30 North Audley St - W1
“I’ve never had a bad meal at Roka, and I’ve eaten there many, many times” – Arjun Waney and Rainer Becker’s small modern Japanese group delivers an “exceptional”, “all-round” package of clean-tasting fusion food served in stylish and “buzzy” contemporary surroundings. Dishes are “beautifully presented but also amazingly well-flavoured” – be it “fantastic black cod”, “fabulous sushi” or grilled tapas-y bites from the robata grill. Top Tip – in E14, the “weekend brunch menu is splendid value for money: especially the children’s menu”.
9. Gymkhana Indian restaurant in Mayfair 42 Albemarle St - W1
“Still at the top of its game” – the Sethi’s “posh Indian” in Mayfair is “worth the hype” and remains the most-mentioned Indian in the survey on account of “memorable and beautifully flavourful” cuisine delivered by “warm and friendly staff” in an enveloping, old-colonial-style setting: “get a booth on the ground floor and prepare to be transported!” Top Menu Tip – “How I love the tandoori lamb chops. After a marinade in spices, these thick pieces of meat become so succulent, tender and taste-laden, are magnificently presented and really delicious on the eager palate!”. NB: Just as the survey closed, in June 2019, a fire gutted the restaurant and according to its website it remains “closed until further notice”.
10. Sabor Spanish restaurant in Mayfair 35 Heddon St - W1B
“Just thinking about it is making my mouth water!” – Nieves Barragan and José Etura’s “bustling, casual and friendly” two-year-old, tucked off Regent Street, is establishing itself as one of the West End’s brightest stars: “a guaranteed first-class food experience with a lot of fun thrown in”. “The downstairs bar serves modern tapas, including the beloved carabineros and croquetas. Upstairs at the communal tables, you’ll feast on traditional dishes like suckling pig, cooked in an Asador (wood-fired oven)”. Both locations score a big thumbs up: “not cheap, but what an utter treat to have well-executed, passionate, uncomplicated cooking of Spanish classics in the middle of London”.
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