fusions restaurants london
Image: Coya/Ben Carpenter

Best of both worlds: The best fusion restaurants in London

14 Mar 2024 | |By Amie Elizabeth White

Can’t decide between steak and sushi? Fancy teppanyaki and tortellini? Meet the London restaurants seamlessly blending the world’s finest culinary traditions

Caught between cuisines? We’ve all been there. Thai or pie, truffle or temaki, focaccia or fine dining… the options are endless. But among the capital’s crowded food scene lies a genre perfect for the indecisive: fusion restaurants, and of course, London’s chefs are doing it incredibly well. Rather than sticking to the confines of one culinary culture in particular, the best fusion restaurants in London take completely different concepts, usually from completely different continents, and combine them in ways far more literal (and exciting) than being simply ‘inspired by’.

Some take traditional ingredients or dishes from one culinary culture, but prepare or serve them using traditional methods from another, creating an innovative plate that respects the art of both. Others are charting hundreds of years of history, traversing lands and mapping migrations, all within the menu placed before you. Whatever the aim, the outcome is the same: unexpected, inventive and absolutely delicious. Here are the best fusion restaurants in London for when you don’t quite know what you want, but you know you want something good…

Bar Des Prés, Mayfair

bar des pres restaurant london

Bar Des Prés is the first international venture from acclaimed chef Cyril Lignac, who sought to combine French culinary know-how with his love of fresh Asian cuisine, Japanese individuality and London’s vibrant energy. The result is a Franco-East Asian menu focusing on exceptional seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques and an element of playfulness, producing unique yet undeniably elegant dishes.

Menu highlights include Saint-Jacques scallops with ponzu and beurre de brioche (brioche butter), spinach salad with yuzu black truffle and bonito, and the well-documented avocado and crab galette: a flavourful balance of delicately sliced avocado atop a lightly spiced madras crab. Every single plate is an utterly delicious insight into the passion and expertise of Lignac but, be warned, you may end up booking yourself into his new Paris opening before your meal is done.

16 Albemarle St, W1S 4HW, bardespres.com

Angelina, Dalston

Angelina is a chef’s choice, tasting menu-only restaurant, but don’t let that deter you from booking your table as soon as possible. The family-run restaurant combines two unlikely cuisines – Italian and Japanese – after years of travel, research and plenty of cooking made the founders' question why the two hadn’t been explored as a duo before. The resulting menus offer distinctive dishes that pay homage to both, challenging perceptions of what traditional Japanese and Italian dishes should taste like. Think hamachi saltimbocca, focaccia with umeboshi (a pickled Japanese fruit), and taglioni with tuna and mentaiko (Japanese seasoned roe): dishes that rip up the rule book, defy convention, and leave you wondering why you’ve never combined balsamic with soy sauce before.

56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH, angelina.london

Coya, across London

Coya invites you to explore the vibrant roots and culture of Peruvian cuisine, offering a fusion menu of authentic Peruvian dishes with Japanese and Spanish influences which mirrors the multinational communities making up the South American country. Classic small plates, such as ceviche, croquetas and tostadas, are given Coya flair through garnishes such as guacamole and yuzu tobiko, cancha corn and coconut, or miso with almonds and cucumber.

Heartier plates of meat and fish are given the same attention, using quality produce and innovative flavour combinations to complement each component, enabling you to experience a whole new culture without leaving London. If the food hasn’t caught your attention, the extensive Pisco library, and the drinks made from it, certainly will.

Visit coyarestaurant.com

Chotto Matte, Soho and Marylebone

Another restaurant drawing attention to Peruvian cuisine is Kurt Zdesar’s Chotto Matte, an accessible fine-dining experience that brings the rich history of Nikkei cuisine – a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian elements resulting from Japanese immigrants arriving to the South American country over a century ago – to the forefront. Utilising Peruvian ingredients in a menu shaped by Japanese culinary techniques, expect to find gyoza alongside tostadas, wagyu beef on the robata grill, jungle curry salmon and a succinct but sensational selection of sushi. Zdesar has set out to push the boundaries of Nikkei cuisine, creating dishes that are bold in colour, courageous in flavour, and a genuine thrill to eat.

11-13 Frith Street, W1D 4RB; 26 Paddington Street, W1U 5QY; chotto-matte.com

Penelope’s, Covent Garden

Ariel Schiff, co-founder of the Amano hotel group, grew up between Tel Aviv and southern Spain and, inspired by their lively hospitality as well as their food, founded a restaurant that would allow guests to experience both. Led by executive chef Fez Ozalgan, the Israeli-Spanish menu fuses the strong but unfussy flavours of both cuisines to create lively dishes with huge depth of flavour.

When asked which plates showcase the restaurant best, Fez struggled to pick a favourite. The sea bream tartare with gazpacho and caviar, “a delight to the eyes as well as the mouth” was the first mentioned. Lamb rump, paired with picada rice and a hefty dose of manchego (“because who doesn’t love cheese!”) came shortly after. The baklava cheesecake? “Star of the show!” In short, you will be spoiled for choice, but don’t worry about taking your time – live music and an even livelier atmosphere will keep everyone at the dinner table occupied.

Drury House, 34-43 Russell St, WC2B 5HA, amanogroup.com

Fatt Pundit, Soho

fatt pundit lamb chops

Huzefa and Hamza Sajawal have brought the culinary magic of India’s Chinese community to London’s Soho, founding a restaurant that highlights the fusion of traditional Chinese techniques and bold Indian flavours traditionally served from street food carts along the roads of Kolkata. Imagine your go-to Chinese order then multiply the flavour ten-fold, and that’s what you will get at Fatt Pundit.

Apparently, no meal in Tangra should begin without a plate of steamed momos dumplings. At Fatt Pundit, a filling of cardamom-laced kid goat makes clear the brilliance of the fusion of flavours and techniques. For the meat-eaters, there’s garam masala lamb chops with black bean dust, spiced honey chilli duck served with pancakes, and shredded chilli venison, replacing beef with game for a different flavour experience. Seafood lovers should opt for the Crab 65 (a unique take on India’s famous chicken 65) featuring soft-shell crab cooked in a symphony of spices but don’t shy away if veg is your thing, as the Fatt Pundit team will endeavour to create a vegetarian or vegan version of any dish on the menu.

77 Berwick St, W1F 8TH, fattpundit.co.uk

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