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London restaurants best for... Bragging about scoring a seat

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108 Garage Featured
West London
108 Golborne Road, London W10 5PS
Critic reviews - total score 8 out of 10
Sexy Fish
Mayfair, Belgravia
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR
Critic reviews - total score 7 out of 10
This is the latest restaurant from Richard Caring's Caprice Group, who are also behind the Ivy. It's an upmarket seafood restaurant (with grilled meats too) in Mayfair with a vibe to have much in common with the original Ivy, right down to the use of known artists to decorate the place.
The Ivy
Soho, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden
The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
Critic reviews - total score 9.5 out of 10
One of London's oldest restaurants, the Ivy has recently undergone a big revamp and has re-built almost the entire restaurant. Chief among the changes is a new central bar area with plenty of counter dining spaces added. There are new paintings too - but expect some old favourites to appear too. The menu has a mix of classic Ivy dishes like the Shepherd's Pie and more contemporary fare.
Bao
Soho, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden
53 Lexington St, London W1F 9AS

Critic reviews - total score 9.5 out of 10
One of the most successful example of street food vendors going permanent, this is one of the toughest places to grab a seat at in Soho. But when you do, the steamed milk buns that are at the heart of the menu make it all worthwhile.
Chick n Sours
East London
390 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA
Critic reviews - total score 9 out of 10
Barrafina Adelaide Street
Soho, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden
10 Adelaide Street, London WC2N 4HZ
Critic reviews - total score 9 out of 10
The Hart Brothers (also behind Quo Vadis and Fino) are opening a second venue of Barrafina, the Soho tapas restaurant. While much on the menu will be familiar to diners at their current restaurant with a menu made up of classic and contemporary tapas, chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho is planning some entirely new dishes. Those dishes will probably be inspired by the Josper oven that's being installed here.
Kitty Fisher's
Mayfair, Belgravia
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QF
Critic reviews - total score 8.5 out of 10
This small restaurant in Mayfair is in the refurbished Shepherd Market and features Tomos Parry - former head chef at Climpson's Yard and YBF winner for best chef of the year - in the kitchen.
The Araki
Mayfair, Belgravia
12 New Burlington Street, London W1S 3BH
Critic reviews - total score 8 out of 10
Michelin star 2 Michelin stars
Mitsuhiro Araki, whose Tokyo restaurant had three Michelin stars has come to London. That's the good news. The bad news is that the restaurant will accommodate just nine people up at the dining counter and six in a private dining room.
Gymkhana
Mayfair, Belgravia
42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH
Critic reviews - total score 8.5 out of 10
Michelin star 1 Michelin star
This restaurant is from Karam Sethi, the chef behind Michelin starred Trishna and he's taking the concept of colonial gymkhana clubs as a running theme, serving modern Indian food combined with British ingredients, with a focus on the tandoor oven and sigri charcoal grill.
The Palomar
Soho, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden
34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN
Critic reviews - total score 7.5 out of 10
Quite possibly THE best counter dining experience in town, albeit not the quietest one. Expect a Jerusalem-style menu here, with additional influences from Southern Spain and Italy, North Africa through to the Levant. You CAN grab a table at the back - but try for the full-on counter experience if you can.
Chiltern Firehouse
Marylebone
1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA
Critic reviews - total score 8 out of 10
Andre Balazs, whose hotels The Standard and The Mercer are top destinations for NYC's hippest visitors has opened this boutique hotel in Marylebone, taking over a disused fire station and he's enlisted Nuno Mendes - fresh out of Viajante - as his Executive Head Chef. Nuno will be delivering a modern American menu with a Mendes twist.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Critic reviews - total score 9 out of 10
Michelin star 2 Michelin stars
Blumenthal's first London restaurant has 140 covers, serving lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. Ashley Palmer-Watts who's been at the Fat Duck for nine years is head chef. Promised by Blumenthal to be an "upmarket bistro" featuring "historic British-influenced dishes" there will also be the chance to book private dining rooms to enjoy your own feast in the style of Heston's Channel 4 shows.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge
68 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HP
Critic reviews - total score 6.5 out of 10
Michelin star 3 Michelin stars
Sushi Tetsu
Shoreditch, Clerkenwell
12 Jerusalem Passage, London EC1V 4JP
Critic reviews - total score 9.5 out of 10
The Ledbury
West London
127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
Critic reviews - total score 8.5 out of 10
Michelin star 2 Michelin stars
Le Gavroche
Mayfair, Belgravia
43 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QR
Critic reviews - total score 9.5 out of 10
Michelin star 2 Michelin stars
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