19 May 2019
On the doorstep of both the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel and the Jumeirah Carlton Towers is one of the most culinarily-blessed boroughs in the British capital: Knightsbridge. From the Michelin-starred to the most mesmerising, here we present our favourite ten restaurants in the heart of fashionable London.
Pan-Asian is perhaps London’s most glitzy high-end dining scene, with restaurants like Hakkasan and SexyFish setting the tone. Knightsbridge is no exception: its resident showstopper is the legendary Zuma, a sleek Japanese restaurant with a gorgeous interior. Low lighting, exposed air vents on the ceiling, and backlit wood panelling on the walls combine forces to create a wonderfully stylish environment. And the food is in a league of its own: favourites include the hoba-leaf-wrapped cod and sesame beef tenderloin. Then there is Dinings SW3: a Japanese izakaya bar whose sushi and sashimi might just be among the best in London, changing with the seasons, and stocked directly by the day’s haul from Cornish fishing boats.
High-end Italian has always had a home in Knightsbridge. Delighting the neighbourhood for over 40 years, Sale e Pepe is the most established trattoria, combining delicious food Italian (we have two words for you: veal chop) with a charming osteria vibe. Most of its staff have worked there for multiple decades, giving Sale e Pepe a genuine neighbourhood feel despite its proximity to Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Just the other side of Harrods is Harry’s Dolce Vita, a chic Italo-centric restaurant that is a jack-of- all-trades. Their brunch is consistently the best in the area, while, later in the day, a specialised truffle menu showcases Harry’s expertise at sourcing the most flavourful ingredients from Italy. High-rollers will want to book the Canaletto room, named fittingly after the famous Venetian landscape master. The final Italian showstopper in the Knightsbridge cornucopia is Zafferano, a dapper venue that has defined local Italian for almost 25 years. The wine list is expansive, with much more depth and geographical range than you might expect of Italy, while the restaurant’s namesake saffron risotto is as light and as fragrant as a bouquet.
Knightsbridge’s most eclectic restaurant is perhaps its Russian grande-dame, Mari Vanna. The restaurant lives and breathes Russian heritage (elaborate chandeliers, iconic Russian bears, bookshelves of high Russian literature), while paint-stripped furnishings and row upon row of flowers give Mari Vanna a fairy-tale appearance. While not the most recognised cuisine, Mari Vanna’s Russian will surprise you with how light and flavourful its traditionally heavy dishes are. And, of course, you’re looking at the most eclectic vodka selection in London.
In Knightsbridge, when it comes to steaks, there can be only one suggestion: the decadent Rib Room at Jumeriah Carlton Towers. With almost 60 years of serving thick-cut steaks, it is also without a doubt Knightsbridge’s best table for a Sunday roast. While, on the walls, original artworks by expressionist painter Feliks Topolski (also featured at the Tate Britain), combine with a refined, green-and-white colour scheme for an engaging yet formal ambience. Then there’s Hawksmoor, with a flirtatious art deco interior and an award-winning cocktail and wine list. But it’s the steaks and seafood that put the Hawksmoor on another level. We recommend Vietnamese oysters and the Shanghai lobster roll for seafood, and, of course, who could resist the flamboyant tomahawk cut when in the mood for beef?
When it comes to French cuisine in Knightsbridge the name that really stands out is Petrus, the Michelin-starred jewel in Gordon Ramsay's London crown. For a more formal experience of French haute-fare with all the elegant, picture-perfect touches expected of Ramsay, and a wine list that lives up to its name.
And last but not least, for all things Indian, there is the universally acclaimed Haandi. Originally starting in East Africa, Haandi’s London outpost brings the full flavour of its African counterparts to the heart of Knightsbridge. Many dishes are inspired by Kenyan tradition, (our favourite is the Jeera chicken), and offer a truly unique take on classic Indian favourites.