As you may or may not know by now, the team here at U&I Lifestyle are massive foodies. Like, we all LOVE food. A lot! Especially me. Growing up with half of my family being Lebanese, meant that food was always a big part of my life. Whether that was home-made meals cooked at home or going out to eat, food has always been a "thing" for us!
I've visited a LOT of restaurants in my almost 30 years of living, including the majority of London's hot spots as well as highly sought-after haunts in various other cities around the world. Travel has always been a massive part of my life, too, and we all know that exploring food comes hand in hand with exploring countries... although you definitely won't catch me eating some form of bug in Thailand, ever.
Now, these 5 are in no particular order, and I actually could write about at least 20 more of my favourite places but we would be here all day! So, let's start with...
1. Restaurant: Zuma // Cuisine: Japanese // Budget: £££
If you're a fan of exquisite Japanese cuisine, then this is a must-eat. Located in the heart of Knightsbridge, Zuma offers a Unique twist on your traditional Japanese style of dining. This is somewhere that I would go on a special occasion (I recently took my best friends here for their 30th Birthday!) because let's be honest, it's not the most friendly option for your bank account, however, it's 100% worth it.
I also love the atmosphere inside. There's good music playing in the background and everyone is on a high vibe, plus, the staff are always really friendly and helpful which is a massive tick for me (no one likes rude and disinterested staff, right?!).
Find out more about Zuma and book your table here.
2. Restaurant: Al Sultan // Cuisine: Lebanese // Budget: ££
Next up is a restaurant which I've been going to since I can remember! Honestly, I think I've been going here since I was around 7 years old, that's over 20 years. That's how good the food is!
Al Sultan is a Lebanese restaurant located in Mayfair, around a 5 minute walk from Green Park station (not far from Hyde Park Corner, either), and it was actually one of the first Lebanese restaurants to open in London back in 1986. There's a fun fact for your day!
Their dishes are made with the finest produce on a daily basis and are prepared by Head Chef Zak Wafaie. They cater to all dietary requirements and have many vegan and vegetarian dishes to choose from.
This is a great spot for a variety of occasions. I often go here for lunch meetings and catch ups, as well as for a more relaxed evening with friends and family. They've also got a cute little outside area (which is heated, winning!) for Shisha lovers, too. #Guilty!
Book your table at Al Sultan here.
3. Restaurant: Meat Liquor // Cuisine: American // Budget: £
Omg. This is one of my fave places EVER! I'm a sucker for a good burger and chips, and when you've got that along with some of the tastiest sides that you could ever come across (I'm talking about the Monkey Fingers and Fried Pickles, obvs) and a Salted Caramel Milkshake, I mean... yes, exactly.
Whenever I go to Meat Liquor, I go with my best mate and our order is always exactly the same. Please do not judge me for the amount of food that I'm about to write down. Go HAM or GO HOME! So, we each order the Dead Hippy Burger (the sauce is TO DIE FOR), Fries (sometimes Cheese Fries depending on how exotic we're feeling), Monkey Fingers (one portion each, naturally), and Fried Pickles. Maybe coleslaw too. Diet coke. Salted Caramel Milkshake to take away. If you trust me, you will go and order the exact same order and you will understand how wonderful your life will become when you are in this situation! I need to stop talking about it because my mouth is watering like a dog now, so let's move on. Did I mention the Mac n Cheese Bites?
P.s, there's quite a few Meat Liqour's scattered around London, but I always go to the one in Islington. I don't know why, I just do! Find out more about Meat Liqour here.
4. Restaurant: Dishoom // Cuisine: Indian // Budget: £
If you love Indian food as much as I do, you need to head to Dishoom ASAP. The first time I went, I didn't know what to expect as I had been told "It's not your usual Indian restaurant, everything is a bit...different to what you would expect". That was exactly right. It's not your usual Indian cuisine at all. Everything on the Dishoom menu has it's own take to your standard Indian dish. It's hard to explain without tasting it, so just go and check it out! You can even go and have an Indian breakfast there, too!
Be prepared to queue outside for a while (I've had to queue for about 45 minutes before) because they don't take reservations unless you're in a big group, but they have a lovely bar with delicious cocktails where you can wait before you are seated, and if you're outside waiting, the staff usually bring hot drinks for you! Don't let the queuing put you off, it's worth the wait! Nothing worth having comes easy, right?!
Check out the full menu for Dishoom here.
5. Restaurant: Constancia // Cuisine: Argentinian Steakhouse // Budget ££
I couldn't wrap up my Top 5 without a great Steak! Constancia is an independent, family-run Argentine grill and steak house, located in the heart of Bermondsey, London's former tannery and leather district.
They haven't got the biggest menu, but when it comes to Steak, I personally don't think that's a bad thing. When you go out for a steak, you know what you want, so a huge variety doesn't need to be an option. The quality of the food is delicious and they offer an extensive list of Argentinian wines, too. For me, a Steak dinner isn't a Steak dinner without a glass or 3 of red.
Constancia is open weekdays from 5.30pm and weekends from 5pm. Find out more here.
So, there you have it! My top 5 restaurants in London. If anyone goes to any of the above recommendations then make sure you get in touch to let us know about your experience! You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UILifestyleLtd, or find us on Facebook here.