Shopping and wandering around art galleries are good reasons, as is lying on a beach. But eating has to be a standout reason to travel — and surely the ultimate way to get to know a place and its people. With a little help from some of our gastronomically inclined, jet-setting friends, we put together a list of restaurants you should head to next. Some are fancy, some are street — all are exceptional.
London's food scene, from the tastebuds of Sarah Buitendach:
1. MONTY’S DELI
At Monty’s in Hoxton Street, they do it all. They cure the meat, they make the bagels, they ferment, they bake, they whip up Jewish soul food I’d gladly schlep for.
And schlep I did, early on a Saturday morning as the east of the town was getting going. The interior is all hipster-style New York diner and the staff are friendly, cool young things. I sat and read the papers and drank black filter coffee (they have no time for “fancy” double espressos and cortados here) while also obliterating an enormous and fantastic plate of salt beef, latkes, and eggs, served with coleslaw. They also do noshes like chopped liver, classic Reuben sandwiches piled high with pastrami, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut and, of course, mandatory smoked salmon bagels.
2. MAY FAIR KITCHEN
Those who’ve maligned hotel restaurants as overpriced and underwhelming (I admit I am one of them), prepare to be astounded: The May Fair Hotel’s May Fair Kitchen dished up the best meal I ate — and there were many — in the British capital recently. The magic here is that its menu does small-plate samplings of all the fare available in the various Edwardian Hotels’ restaurants in the UK. So there’s Peruvian, Mexican, and Japanese bounty from its Monmouth, Leicester Square, and Peter Street kitchens, plus Spanish and Italian goodies from its own. Try the sea bass ceviche, the snow crab with creamy spicy mayo, the burrata with basil and tomato, and the crispy duck and pomegranate salad. They’re all flavourful, light, and heavenly.
• From the August edition of Wanted 2019.