The best-reviewed restaurants of 2010

Each week, we pull together the review scores awarded by the nations best restaruant critics and add them to our reviews section. We've put those reviews through our patented Hot Dinners algorithm (OK - we looked back over all of them ourselves) to find out which were the best rated of 2010. Each restaurant needed 5 reviews or more to qualify (so the very highly rated Goodman City only just missed the cut) - so here's what made the grade...

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

BinhamHawksmoor Seven Dials

The Covent Garden opening for this Spitalfield's meat restaurant proved a big hit with the reviewers, becoming the best reviewed restaurant of the year. Critics loved the steaks, but the whole menu gained a great deal of praise, not least for it's perfect-ish burger.

"The dry-aged Longhorn steaks, via super-butcher Ginger Pig’s Yorkshire farm, are the bomb. Huge, thick, breathing smoky fumes from their punishment on the charcoal grill, they manage the remarkable feat of being perfectly black outside and evenly pink within." Marina O'Loughlin Metro

"Hawksmoor's steaks are often called the best in London, and Charlie's sirloin, a hefty, bone-in slab, lived up to that billing. The Josper charcoal grill gives a deep, smoky char, but inside the flesh is rosily pink and full of flavour." Tracey MacLeod Independent


Bar Boulud London

8 out of 10Bar Boulud London

Daniel Boulud made a triumphant entry into the London restaurant scene, showing how to pull off a restaurant launch with ease, and immediately became a go-place for the best value food in pricey Knightsbridge.

"We rebooked on the way out, to bring our fellas. If there is higher praise for any dining establishment, I don't know it." Zoe Williams Telegraph

"...the piggie burger, which is regular beef roughly minced, with the genius of barbecued pulled pork on top, and onion, bibb lettuce, green- chilli mayo, slaw and fries. This is brilliant. Real Miss USA on a bun." AA Gill Sunday Times


Bistrot Bruno Loubet

8 out of 10Bistrot Bruno Loubet

The return of Bruno Loubet was our top meal of 2010 and the critics agreed - with the chef living up to very high expectations.

"He cooks like a man determined to make you remember: not just his particular dishes, but what ingredients can taste like, why everybody has spent so bloody long sucking up to French chefs, why we bother going out to restaurants at all." Jay Rayner Observer

"...with Valrhona chocolate tartlet, caramel and salted butter ice-cream on offer, I’m afraid greed gets the better of me. It is, quite simply, the best desert I’ve eaten in recent memory. " Lisa Markwell Independent



8 out of 10Koya

This new restaurant, which specialised in udon noodles, was a wonderful addition to the Soho restaurant scene - great value and superb food and much loved by local restaurateurs.

"The tempura is impeccable. A plate of mixed veg – okra, broccoli, red pepper, asparagus, mushroom, courgette, something else I forget – was beautifully dry and sparky." Giles Coren Times

"Fitting with the 'do one thing very well' philosophy so common in Japanese restaurant culture, the menu features variants of only udon (no other noodle varieties), listed in a manner that might baffle noodle novices." Charmaine Mok Time Out



8 out of 10Morito

Quietly opening next to the original Moro, this tiny sister restaurant specialising in smaller dishes proved to be an instant hit, but has still escaped many critics' radar.

"There are two bite-sized jamon and chicken croquetas, deep fried to crisp perfection; a scattering of crunchy cubes of chicharrónes Cadiz (slow-roasted pork belly with cumin and lemon) and four halves of patatas mojo (salt-crusted potatoes with green chilli and coriander sauce). There’s not a duff dish." Andy Lynes Metro

"It was more enjoyable eating here than in many restaurants costing three times as much. As much as in Moro itself, in fact." David Sexton Evening Standard



8 out of 1028-50

From the people behind the successful Texture, this City wine bar continued their success...

"The food menu is just as enthusiastically prepared as the wine list, with ingredients of high quality, served at City prices in portion sizes which are not especially generous." Guy Dimond Time Out

"We moved on to two mains so pleasing you almost didn't notice them go down your gullet at a hundred miles an hour, but after they were gone you mourned them." Timothy Barber City AM


Gauthier Soho

7.5 out of 10Gauthier Soho

Moving on from Rousillon, Alexis Gauthier's new venture looks like it could be picking up a Michelin star in the new year...

"Each dish is beautifully composed, the elements as polite and harmonious as a string quartet or a performance by Justin Bieber. The word exquisite comes to mind." Richard Vines Bloomberg

"This is unarguably great cooking. This is two Michelin stars nailed on from the get-go." Giles Coren Times



7.5 out of 10Koffmann's

Another returning star, Pierre Koffmann followed up his stint on the rooftop at Selfridges with his own venture at the Berkeley - proving that his pigs' trotters are as good as ever...

"The secret of Koffmann's cooking is flavour, flavour and yet more flavour. Great breakers of flavour roll like thunder round your mouth." Matthew Fort Guardian

"The best thing, for me, was the Coquilles St Jacques à l’encre, in which the scallops reclined on a bright white apostrophe of puréed cauliflower, itself snuggled by a matching apostrophe of deep black squid ink, very harlequin, very Cecil Beaton at Ascot, very cool indeed." Giles Coren Times


Les Deux Salons

7.5 out of 10Les Deux Salons

Will Smith and Anthony Demetre followed up Arbutus and Wild Honey with another smash hit in a much larger location...

"Demetre’s take on French cooking — here interpreted by head chef Craig Johnson — is happily deeper and more interesting in terms of the resulting dishes than those typically encountered nowadays in Paris brasseries." Fay Maschler Evening Standard

"Recognising good ingredients, then knowing how to cook them properly, is what separates good cooks from the rest and this was amply demonstrated with a steak bavette (flank steak) cooked correctly rare in a Spanish-made Josper charcoal grill." Guy Dimond Time Out


The Milroy

7.5 out of 10The Milroy

This former private members' club impressed many with its lavish setting...

"It's a mighty steamship this place, serenely continuing on its course. And the food? The food is, of its kind, perfect." David Sexton Evening Standard

"My companion insists that the true test of a restaurant’s worth is its crab, and – having been recently let down by a well-known fish restaurant – she was delighted with the Portland king crab with lemon mayonnaise, mango and avocado salad." Zoe Strimpel City AM


The Savoy Grill

7.5 out of 10The Savoy Grill

Gordon Ramsay may have had a difficult year, but his company showed a return to form with the December re-opening of this much loved hotel restaurant.

"My lobster bisque, with a generous layer of lobster chunks at the bottom, was creamy, intense and startlingly good." Matthew Norman Telegraph

"GRH has created a menu which nods to tradition, so as not to scare off the dowagers. It nods, but doesn't kowtow, because concessions are made to modernity - the separate vegetarian menu is an appealing read, for example." Guy Dimond Time Out



7.5 out of 10Tinello

Giorgio Locatelli's protegés opened up this Italian in Pimlico to great acclaim...

"We left Tinello, stumbling out into the mid-afternoon traffic of Pimlico, after two hours, feeling we could have stayed there all day." John Walsh Independent

"My "primo" is perhaps the most typical of the meal. The gnudi in salsa al pomodoro (spinach and ricotta with tomato sauce), made this morning, tastes as fresh as anything I have ever tasted." James Hanning Independent



7.5 out of 10Trullo

Hot Dinners' favourite local restaurant became a big fave for the critics in 2010...

"Get someone with good taste who knows how to cook. Find cheery, efficient waiters. Get the latter to bring what the former has made to the tables, and charge a reasonable sum for it. It is the dream neighbourhood restaurant, though sadly not in mine." Jay Rayner Observer

"The fish was very fresh and cooked so that the flesh took on a little colour yet was still firm. Some spinach, a few shelled broad beans, a little bit of olive oil and a wedge of Almalfi lemon. It looked appetising and tasted even better. Unimprovable, really." Hermano Primero Dos Hermanos


To see more top-rated restaurants, view the Hot Dinners best reviewed list.