NUALA All day restaurant in the heart of East London cooking comfort food over an open fire with an Irish bar, often with a dissected hog positioned upright in it. New riffs are given to old classics: clams in pistachio beurre blanc; steak tartare with Guinness sauce; squid and bacon broth; and veal sweetbreads with cauliflower rarebit.
SMOKING GOAT SHOREDITCH Smoking Goat is Shoreditch’s most ambitious bar and restaurant. Ben Chapman has taken the attention to detail, ferocious sourcing and sense of freedom that makes Kiln in Soho such a hit and transported it east in service of Thai drinking food at this cleverly reconfigured dive-bar.
PARSONS Parsons is a low-key Covent Garden wine bar, forefronting coastal regions, such as Galicia, Sicily, Jerez, South Africa, and New Zealand, while presenting accomplished seafood cooking, via a series of small plates: Potted shrimp croquettes (a classic); black rice with squid; and octopus with roast potatoes.
RAMBLA With its menu divided into sections labelled Cru, Mar and Muntanya — raw, sea and mountain — this Soho sibling to chef-patron Victor Garvey’s Sibarita and Enchant focuses on the food and wine of Catalonia (the name nods to Las Ramblas, Barcelona), with dishes such as calamari stuffed with prawn and lobster in ink sauce, and braised oxtail canelones with cheese sauce.
PASTAIO Stevie Parle’s sixth restaurant sits in the heart of Soho, offering a concise menu with a clear focus: fresh, hand-made pasta. There are classics: slow-cooked tomato sauce made with San Marzano’s finest; hero dishes not just for Instagram: potato ravioli with gravy and egg yolk; and successful innovations: fusilli with crab and marjoram.