From sharing plates piled with pigs in blankets to traditional turkey dinners that are ready to compete with your mum’s very best, London restaurants are pulling out all the stops to give discerning diners something to rave about this Christmas. Whether you’re looking for a menu to suit a group work dinner in an opulent private dining room, a festive catch up with friends or a romantic evening with your other half, here are our favourite Christmas tasting menus in London. And, for those already tired of the same-old turkey fare, read on for fresh Hawaiin, Portuguese, Malaysian and Turkish takes on the traditional English dinner – you won’t be disappointed…
Pivot, Covent Garden
Head to Pivot, perfectly situated overlooking Covent Garden’s piazza, this Christmas period to try its exceptional festive menu available in two- and three-course options. Offering a menu of classic British food from Mark Greenaway, starter highlights include Brussels pate, Scottish smoked salmon, and cream of chestnut soup before main courses of braised lamb shank with red wine jus, roasted cod with cranberry sauce, or the traditional roast turkey with sage and onion stuffing. Complete your feast with chilled prosecco or Chai mulled wine, perfectly paired with Mark’s Christmas pudding or chocolate mousse to finish.
From £42 per person, 3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU, visit pivotbarandbistro.com
The Laundry, Brixton
On 2 November, The Laundry – Brixton’s all-day neighbourhood bistro and wine shop – will launch its new festive all-day menu from head chef Sami Harvey, best enjoyed inside the beautifully-restored Edwardian bistro or al fresco on the Parisian-style terrace, complete with tartan blankets and heaters for colder days. Available for lunch and dinner, guests will enjoy a selection of festive dishes with New World flair – think rare roast beef with horseradish buckwheat and gravy mayo, and confit duck with parsnip purée, beetroot relish and orange salad – alongside classic hearty winter sides of pigs in blankets, Brussel sprouts with chestnuts, and cauliflower cheese with sage and truffle gratin. Finish with Coupe Dänemarks and coffee crème brulée. Simply delicious.
From £35 per person, 374 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PL, visit thelaundrybrixton.com
El Ta’koy, Covent Garden
Fed up with turkey already? Get a taste of Hawaii this Christmas at El Ta’koy in Covent Garden, where a complimentary glass of festive punch will be served on arrival. Kick off with starters of salmon avocado ceviche and Hawaiian popcorn chicken, before main courses of traditional Huli Huli turkey served with coconut rice, pineapple pasta salad, and teriyaki sauce, or barbecue pulled lamb shoulder with roast potatoes, lamb jus, and a corn taco. Keep the aloha spirit going with fruity desserts such as Hawaiian Christmas pudding, banana lumpia or lime and mango sorbet.
From £42 per person, 3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU, visit el-takoy.com
Straits Kitchen at Pan Pacific London, Liverpool Street
Embark on a Christmas culinary adventure fusing flavours of Singapore, Malaysia and China at five-star hotel Pan Pacific London’s flagship restaurant, Straits Kitchen. Available from 13 November 2023 to 6 January 2024, head chef Nick Yung’s celebratory four-course festive menu features snow crab with edamame, crispy Peking duck with caviar and hibiscus plum, mixed peppercorn Sarawak Salai flank steak and mocha mousse. Straits Kitchen is also home to London’s largest Chinese wine selection, including bottles rarely seen on UK menus, such as a 2018 Kanaan Winery Ningxia Riesling from Ningxia, so make sure you pair your meal with delectable Chinese wine pairings courtesy of head sommelier Francois Bertrand.
From £85 per person, 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB, visit panpacific.com
Nessa, a modern bistro in the heart of Soho, is the perfect spot to dine with friends and family during the festive season. From 27 November to 31 December, Nessa’s executive chef Tom Cenci will be serving a sharing menu, beginning with cheese and onion croquettes with mustard mayo, sage stuffing brioche with chestnut sauce (a playful take on Nessa’s black pudding brioche) and smoked salmon with clementine and cranberries. The main event will be Grandma’s roast chicken served with all the trimmings, including roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts and gravy.
Those with a sweet tooth will love Vienessa – Cenci’s take on the nostalgic ice cream dessert – served and sliced at the table to share, alongside Eccles cake with stilton and spiced hot honey. If you still have room, end the meal with mince pies hot from the oven and a special Christmas cocktail from Nessa’s bar.
From £78 per person, 86 Brewer Street, W1F 9UB, visit nessasoho.com
Acme Fire Cult, Dalston
This Christmas season, chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins are serving a seasonal barbecued feast cooked over Acme Fire Cult’s unique outdoor grill. Available for groups of nine-30 people, the menu starts with a selection of small plates, including classic toasted knuckle focaccia with marmite butter, and grilled leeks with pistachio romesco, alongside festive additions such as Daniel’s Christmas pickles and Brussel sprouts and kale with sourdough miso ‘caesar’.
For the main event, pick from herb-fed chicken with smoked wild mushrooms and miso cream, smoked lamb shoulder with salsa roja and spent beer grain tortillas or wood-roast beef with winter tomatoes and truffle butter. Alongside the menu, diners can enjoy fresh beers brewed on-site by neighbouring partner venue 40FT Brewery, as well as a selection of seasonal cocktails and wines.
From £60 per person, Abbot Street, E8 3DP, visit acmefirecult.com
The Counter, Notting Hill
Notting Hill’s contemporary ocakbasi restaurant, The Counter, has launched its festive menu by acclaimed chef-founder Kemal Demirasal, consisting of a Turkish-inspired spread that is perfect for alternative group feasting. The sharing menu, available for groups of eight-24 people, includes starters of white chocolate baba ganoush and lamb tartare with pepper paste, followed by a choice of a confit leg of lamb or chicken with Robuchon potato cream, truffle and wild mushrooms. For dessert, enjoy baked tahini halva, and petit fours with Turkish coffee to finish.
From £48 per person, 108 Golborne Road, W10 5PS, visit thecounterlondon.com
Over on Charlotte Street, Chef Nuno Mendes has designed a special set sharing menu to be served in Lisboeta’s lower ground private dining room, the Adega. From cured meats such as the ‘Paleta’, dry-cured shoulder of black pork from the Alentejo, to signature dishes, such as the empada vindaloo pork pie and mushroom açorda bread porridge with dashi, and seasonal plates of wood pigeon in a beetroot and port escabeche, the menu – available from 20 November – will take guests on a journey across Portugal and Mendes’ memories of home.
The tasting menu is topped off with an indulgent Pão de Ló olive oil cake – Mendes’ favourite dessert – which uses a special blend of oil, made exclusively for Lisboeta by Quinta Mourisca do Alendouro in the mountainous region of Trás Os Montes, famous for its excellent wines and fine olive oil. With tailored guidance from the sommeliers, guests can also explore the world of Portuguese wine, with unique bottlings showcasing the breadth and variety of indigenous grape varietals.
From £110 per person, 30 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NG, visit lisobeta.co.uk
Casa Do Frango, Piccadilly
Casa Piccadilly, situated on Heddon Street, is bringing the warmth and hospitality of the Algarve to central London this Christmas with its large, sun-soaked ground-floor restaurant and two delightful private dining rooms, Sol and Mar. Nestled between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, Casa Piccadilly is a charming central London location for a festive team lunch, dinner or parties and events. Expect a menu of grilled Iberian chorizo and Portuguese salt cod fritters before the show-stopping Frango piri-piri chicken served with casa slaw, African rice and batatas fritas. This may be a world away from the traditional turkey, but it’s definitely worth a try…
From £35 per person, 31-33 Heddon Street, W1B 4BL, visit casadofrango.co.uk
The Ivy, across London
Every restaurant within The Ivy Collection, from St John’s Wood to Wimbledon, will be home to an installation of charming polar bears adorned in Christmas attire and eagerly awaiting guests for a festive feast from 14 November. Start the day with the festive breakfast set menu, featuring smoothies and breakfast classics with a twist, such as pigs in blankets and eggs royale with The Ivy 1917 cure smoked salmon. To continue the celebrations, festive set menus have been curated to feature ingredients celebrating the joy of the season and include a blend of traditional and modern dishes. Highlights include goose and turkey shepherd’s pie and crème brulee topped with winter berry compote and shortbread.
From £50 per person, visit ivycollection.com
Decimo at The Standard, King’s Cross
Decimo, situated on the 10th floor of The Standard hotel, is celebrating Christmas in style with Spanish and Mexican-inspired festive feasting menus. Launching on 14 November, chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has curated seasonal a la carte dishes and set menus putting a creative twist on traditional holiday flavours. Two set menus will be available for groups of six or more, with a meat option of jamon croquetas, roasted scallops, wood-grilled black cod, and beef fillet served alongside Decimo’s signature fried potatoes with aioli and roasted vegetables with cranberry chutney. The vegan offering includes artichoke tostadas, red pepper aguachiles, sweet potato tacos and masa salt-baked celeriac. Seasonal specials will also be available across the a la carte menu for smaller groups, including manchego truffle croquetas, beef fillets with truffle, spiced tres leches and Chilean sea bass.
From £120 per person, 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG, visit decimo.london
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