After an incredible 2 months away in London along with a couple of trips within Europe, I’m finally back in Bombay. While I might be biased given its proximity to my place in London, I personally think Marylebone is one of the best areas in the city. It’s the perfect mix of quaint, eclectic and modern chic. Along with the chain restaurants like Nando’s, Chipotle & The Natural Kitchen, this area of London is a hub for hidden gems. While the list is extensive, here are a few of my personal faves – both from this summer and previous trips:
- Discreetly located in Portman Village, Daisy Green was my #1 go-to spot over the summer. If I was not taking friends/family members here, chances are I was talking about it. Its cosy Alice in Wonderland-esque indoor garden seating area downstairs was only enhanced by the food. Between their gorgeous selection of salads, dreamy Aussie-style brunch platters, perfectly foamed almond milk cappuccinos and comforting baked goods like toasted coconut bread and banana bread, I simply couldn’t get enough.
- If you’re even slightly into healthy living, chances are you’ve heard of Instagram superstar Deliciously Ella. After plenty of success with her recipe books and blog, Ella Woodward finally opened her small cafe The Mae Deli on Seymour Place which bursts with plant-based goodness including some of her signature dishes. Her menu is entirely wheat-, dairy- and refined sugar-free but hardly limited in terms of choices. While her lunch and dinner spread seemed to lack a certain je ne sais quoi, her breakfast selection had me going back. With a porridge bar, acai bowls, coconut yogurt bowls, pancakes, smoothies & a number of nut butter & avocado toast concoctions, Ella sure knows how to do breakfast right!
- Regardless of time or day, Casa Becci on Paddington Street seems to always be packed…and for good reason too! The staff at this small & family-run Italian restaurant are extremely friendly & accommodating, and their food is pleasantly consistent. Despite the absence of pizza on the menu, Casa Becci offers a variety of other Italian favourites including antipasti, a number of pastas, meats & fish. My personal go-to dishes are Grilled Cod in Arrabiata Sauce with Steamed Spinach and their Lobster Linguini- can you say YUM!
- Founded by Segu Mohamed Lareef (ex-chef of Nobu Park Lane) and Indika Gunasekara (formerly of Atariya and Café Japan), Ohisama offers Nobu favourites including yellowtail jalepeno sashimi, rock shrimp tempura, tacos, lobster salad with yuzu ponzu dressing and some new surprises like chirashi bowls, healthy salads, Ohisama-style sushi & sashimi…without the Nobu price tag or dress code ;).
- I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that going out to brunch might be one of life’s BEST simple pleasures! While there’s no shortage of mouthwatering brunch spots in London, The Providore and Tapa Room at the centre of Marylebone High Street deserves a special mention. Their breakfast & brunch menu boasts an exciting mixture of British seasonal produce and food from around the world like chorizo, miso and labne. Although their Turkish Eggs is probably their most Instagrammed dish, my personal favourite is their Veggie Fry Up: Two free-range eggs with seeded granary toast, sautéed buttered field mushrooms and slow-roasted tomatoes (unpictured).
- Despite being an avid coffee-drinker, New Cavendish Street’s teashop Amanzi never fails to lure me in. From matcha & chai lattes to various bubble tea flavors, a selection of caffeine-free teas, and more, Amanzi’s extensive menu adds a whole new level of excitement to tea. My current favorite is their Roasted Almond Tea but I hear their Lychee Mar-tea-ni is pretty fabulous too….even without the gin ;)!
- I blogged about this Greek delight earlier this year but I couldn’t do a Marylebone round-up without another mention of Opso on Paddington Street (click here to read my full review).
- Is their anything more quintessential to England than a Sunday roast? I think not…even more so as the temperatures begin to. While I believe their regular lunch and dinner menu is outstanding, I can only speak highly of the Sunday Roast Menu at Galvin Bistro de Luxe on Baker Street. With classics like Yorkshire pudding, duck-fat roast potatoes, classic trimmings and a variety of meats to choose from, I would especially recommend paying a visit when you’re looking for a comforting meal.
- Part of the boutique Marylebone Hotel on Marylebone Lane, 108 Brasserie is perfect for every occasion, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, high tea or a round of cocktails. Their homemade Guinness bread is enough reason alone to pay 108 Brasserie a visit. Dark, earthy and slightly sweet, this bread is somewhat addictive…even more so when paired with a light spread of salty butter. I would even go so far as to say that it’s the best thing since sliced bread ;).
- Given the beef ban in Mumbai, you can say I’m somewhat starved for a good burger during a majority of the year…which is why getting my fix is a priority when I travel abroad. Despite its extremely casual vibe, Tommi’s Burger Joint on Thayer Street is packed with simple, quality meals, including gourmet burgers, crispy fries, and thick shakes. Their patty tastes nothing short of exquisite…so much that you won’t even miss the bread. If you’re a pickle & condiment fan like me, you’ll be pleased to know that you can fill up to your heart’s content at no additional charge.
- Although scattered around London, there’s something particularly charming about the Nordic Bakery on Dorset Street. True to its name, this Scandinavian cafe offers dishes based on Nordic ingredients like open-faced dark rye sandwiches, pastries & hot drinks. I personally think their Cinnamon Bun is the creme-de-la-creme of baked goods when it comes to tea-time in London…even more so if you’re lucky to score one straight out of the oven!
What’s your favourite area in London?
If I were to visit your city, what restaurant would you recommend?