Phil Howard’s Top 5 Restaurants in London

Chef and restaurateur Phil Howard of Elystan Street shares his five favourite restaurants in London.

Carrot Core by Clare Smyth


Phil says, ‘Having made her name under the shadow of Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth has now set up shop with her solo venture in Notting Hill Gate. Here is a chef at the top of her game, producing dishes of breathtaking quality from start to finish. High technique, beautiful craftsmanship and wonderful harmonious flavours – pure class and surely the benchmark for modern, more relaxed fine dining. Don’t miss her signature chocolate dessert.’

Core, 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN


A. Wong

Phil says, ‘Andrew Wong has built himself and his restaurant mighty strong by doing what he does best – producing authentic Chinese food with creativity and flair. He knows his subject, and, as a result, his dishes are, not only full of flavour, but have touches of beneficial originality that genuinely make a difference. Restaurant experiences should be fun – and a trip to A. Wong certainly is just that. The lamb buns are a must.’

A. Wong, 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE



Phil says, ‘Gary Folks worked with me for many years at The Square, as Head Chef for the last couple of years. He might be tucked away on the top floor of a city hotel but any effort taken to get there will pay dividends! He’s a class act and is one of a very elite group who has the ability to hone dishes to their very essence without losing the flavour. I’d happily go back just for one of his tarts – top dessert of 2017!’

Angler, South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF


Flour and Grape

Phil says, ‘If you fancy a quick and very fairly priced meal that is likely to be based around pasta, then this is the one for you. A menu full of character delivers small tasting plates in spades, and a recent dinner here was one of those meals that left me wondering just when I’d find my way back. Great cooking and a buzzing and upbeat atmosphere. Linguine with tomato and gurnard was epic.’

Flour and Grape, 214 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ



Phil says, ‘Adam Byatt worked for me at The Square many years ago and was a talented chef then. In the 20 years that have passed, he has quietly matured into one of the most respected chefs in London, producing modern British food of remarkable quality. He is a fine craftsman, but his food is dictated by the seasons and his passion for produce leads to dishes that sing loud and clear. He’s the real McCoy – a true chef/restaurateur.’

Trinity, 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG

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