Words by Anna Howard
Michelin stars are no longer the domain of high-end establishments that require a jacket on dining. Six diverse restaurants in London have claimed their first Michelin star this year, highlighting a new movement in food away from stuffy formal dining rooms. Without further adieu, here are London's six newest Michelin star recipients.
49 Brook Street, London Q1K 4HR
Fera comes from the Latin word for 'wild', and chef Simon Rogan's dishes reflect the constant changing in the seasons. Much of the produce used at Fera comes from Rogan's own farm, capturing the very essence of nature in dishes like crisp fried stewed rabbit with lovage and grilled salad with truffle custard.
The menus include a la carte, a three-course lunch and 10- or 16-course tasting menus. For those lucky few, new dishes will be previewed at the eight-seat chef's table.
Fera builds on Rogan's two Michelin-starred L'Enclume restaurant where exceptional ingredients are transformed to reveal new and unexpected dimensions of flavour.
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs
70 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QQ
Kitchen Table is tucked away behind Bubbledogs– a champagne bar that dishes up an unusual, yet popular combination of hot dogs and sparkling.
But behind a billowing white curtain, pint-sized Kitchen Table, seating just 19 diners, serves an evening menu that reflects the best produce of the day in spectacular modern European culinary fashion.
It's an intimate dining experience where chefs serve and talk diners through each plate, rewarding patrons with an in-depth insight into the finesse that goes into preparing each course.
The 12-14 courses change daily, but you can expect signature offerings like chicken skin, grilled onion and burrata milk; beef, dead nettle and carrot; and hay, strawberry, malt and sweet cicely.
54 Frith Street, Soho W1D 4SL
Barrafina is a sliver of Spain in London's Soho. Inspired specifically by Barcelona's famous Cal Pep tapas bar, Barrafina is a cosy space comprised of an L-shaped bar that seats 23, along with alfresco seating in the warmer months.
There's no Michelin price tag here, just incredibly good, humble and affordable food. Barrafina's philosophy is dedicated to preparing the freshest dishes with minimal fuss to let the quality of the ingredients shine. Flawless classics like ham croquetas remain true to their origins, and sit alongside a seasonal specials board that changes twice a day.
With a no reservations policy, you're almost certain to queue, but with the newly pinned star to the chef's whites, Barrafina is well worth the wait. The proof is in the patatas bravas you could say.
24th Floor, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HQ
One restaurant that does have the Michelin price tag is swanky City Social. But for good reason. Soaring 24 floors up, Jason Atherton's newest outing is one heck of a room with a view. Think 50 shades of brown in a chic, contemporary space overlooking London's 'Gherkin'.
You won't find overly complicated dishes here, just fine food done relatively simply and well. Start off with the Cumbrian beef tartare, sour dough crouton, goat's curd, truffle and dried vinegar, followed by dainty slabs of pork belly and cider gel. Wash it all with a pea lini made up of salted pea cordial, spearmint, butterfly absinth, citric acid and Prosecco. Talk about a power lunch.
42 Albemarle Street, London W18 4JH
Make no mistake; Gymkhana isn't your average Indian restaurant where the kitchen churns out greasy takeaway containers dripping in tangerine coloured oil. Gymkhana serves a tantalising contemporary Indian menu using only the finest British ingredients.
The restaurant takes its inspiration from the old gymkhana clubs of India, where members of high society played sport and socialised. The grand dining room is flanked by turned oak booths, marble tables and buttery soft leather banquettes.
Stand-out dishes include venison keema naan, cucumber and cumin raita; lasooni wild tiger prawns with red prepper chutney; and wild boar vindaloo. Gymkhana's tantalising menu is served alongside signature drinks derived from old recipes following the rule of five components: spirit, dilution, sweet, sour and spice.
The Clove Club
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
Head east to hipster haven, Shoreditch, and revel in the no-choice menu of The Clove Club. This restaurant is unashamedly avant-garde; courses are ambitious so expect some ingredients that you'll no doubt need to Google.
The nine-course tasting menu will have even the most jaded diner salivating. If you're time poor, visit for the three-course lunch special. The dishes at Clove Club change almost daily, often utilising overlooked British ingredients. These edible masterpieces are simply made to be shown off on social media.