Mayfair may be London's most exclusive neighbourhood.
Even as a child you learn this – why else would it be the most expensive property on the Monopoly board? (£400 – but knock up a hotel and you'll make that investment back within a couple of visits.)
Everything in Mayfair speaks of the good life – from designer shops to palatial properties to some of the finest restaurants in town.
Regarding the latter, we've rounded up a selection of the best places to dine in and around the Mayfair area.
We've even linked to a full review of each restaurant should you want to learn more.
Head chef of Ikoyi, Chan honed his craft under Heston Blumenthal, Rene Redzepi and Claude Bosi but here has hoarded the treasures of West African food culture and distilled them into a tasting menu where guests are spun around the continent at breakneck speed. It’s not intended as an ‘authentic’ representation of African cuisine, rather something altogether different. Chan talks about West African food as being part of the fabric of London – plantains and yams, chilli and spice are all common market stall fodder – and the interplay of these familiar-but-not ingredients is the pivot for Ikoyi’s dishes.
Ikoyi, 1 St James's Market, SW1Y 4AH; 020 3583 4660; ikoyilondon.com
The talented chef Ollie Dabbous' new restaurant has resulted in three separate concepts: Below, a subterranean cocktail bar run by booze whiz Oskar Kinberg; all-day dining at Ground; and Above, that aims to put itself head and shoulders in that direction over London’s other fine-dining prospects. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful restaurants anywhere in the UK, and one hell of a bold statement of intent. Of course, all of this wouldn’t matter a jot if flavour and execution were lacking, but there’s perfectly cooked turbot, shimmering in its iridescence, remarkable ruby red slices of goose and soft tranches of lamb. Delicious. Well worth the Michelin star it picked up in its first year.
Hide, 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NB; 020 3146 8666; hide.co.uk
Tokimeitē specialises in kaiseki, authentic Japanese dining at its most refined. From the produce to the presentation, the aim is perfection on a plate – and chef Daisuke Hayashi is a master of it. Hayashi has form: he trained under the renowned Yoshihiro Narisawa, a man with no less than seven Michelin stars to his name. The restaurant is so renowned for its beef that it hosts monthly wagyu workshops with chefs from across the UK focused on educating them in how to make the most of this premium ingredient. (Zen-Noh doesn’t purely provide Tokimeitē, you see – it’s one of the main suppliers of wagyu across the country.)
Tokimeitē, 23 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XS; 020 3826 4411; tokimeite.com
Triple-Michelin-starred chef Dabiz Muñoz’s Street XO has established itself as one of the capital’s most talked-about restaurants since its 2016 opening, and the new menu will doubtless bring another wave of punters into its achingly cool basement. From the neon fish sculpture to the bright red bar to the cocktails served in vast and ornate receptacles in the shape of practically anything that isn’t a normal glass, Street XO makes a dinner into a (very Instagramable) event. Fortunately the food lives up to the surroundings. Allow us to nudge you gently in the direction of the chef’s menu: nine courses of fabulous, fantasy food intended to show off every trick in Muñoz’s locker.
Street XO, 15 Old Burlington Street, W1S; 020 3096 7555; streetxo.com
Indian Accent comes off the back of two wildly popular sister restaurants of the same name in New Delhi (opened in 2009 and consistently voted the best restaurant in India) and New York (2016). Chef-owner Manish Mehrotra is a visionary when it comes to creating dishes that speak profoundly of their origins while also subverting expectations of how Indian food should be eaten. His cuisine has been described as modern by some, and as a fusion with the culinary traditions of the West by others, but neither of these feels quite right. Ask the passionate waiting staff their opinion and they’ll speak warmly of food that invokes childhood memories.
16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4HW; 020 7629 9802; indianaccent.com
Sakagura, the Japan Centre group’s elegant new restaurant and sake bar, has certainly got the location right. More importantly, it’s got a lot of other things right as well. Sakagura is run on the principle of omotenashi – hospitality at all costs – and our waiters proved as courteous as the customers were crude. The food itself proves delicious, and impeccably presented. In particular, the palate-cleansing tsukemono (‘pickled things’) includes a delicate plum which luxuriates in the hinterland between sour and sweet. Equally elegant is the chef’s sashimi selection, subtly flavourful and served on blocks of ice that offer a passable imitation of a sculpture.
Sakagura, 8 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BU; sakaguralondon.com
Flemings has been a hotel since 1851, yet it seems to be hiding in broad daylight – no cavernous atrium or gaudy frontage here. Inside, every swathe of lush fabric, square foot of marble floor and panel of textured wood whispers expensively sexy luxury – right through to Ormer Mayfair, Shaun Rankin’s seasonal fine-dining restaurant. Ormer is as much a reflection of Rankin’s culinary philosophy as the original. Whether you hit the à la carte or the seven-course tasting menu, Rankin creates dishes that leap off the page.
7-12 Half Moon Street, W1J 7BH; 020 7016 5601; slh.com
OK, technically this is in Fitzrovia – but we've made an exception as The Ninth is so good, is worth the extra walk. With a career as distinguished as Jun Tanaka’s, you might expect his food to be fairly cheffy. However, Tanaka was one of the first Michelin-quality chefs to really embrace street food in London. As The Ninth is the first restaurant he has actually owned, he’s free from any encumbrances; he’s making food exactly how he wants to. Although the fare at The Ninth could never be described as street food, the simplicity of some of the dishes and the sharing plates certainly reflects the ethos. That said, the starter snacks are so good you won’t want to share them.
The Ninth, 22 Charlotte St, W1T 2NB; 020 3019 0880; theninthlondon.com