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New restaurant roundup

London has one of the most diverse food scenes in the world and there are always new gastronomic gems to recommend to your guests. By Amy Hughes.

Shiro from the group behind Aqua Shard and Hutong, both at The Shard

The group behind Aqua Shard and Hutong, both at The Shard, recently opened its fifth restaurant in London: Shiro. It has already made a name for itself in Hong Kong, where its crystal sushi – sushi rolls draped with an intensely flavoured layer of jelly – commanded attention.

I visited its new London outpost at 100 Liverpool Street and was blown away by the contemporary Japanese fare. From the tempura rock shrimp starter that was light, buttery and oh-so meaty, to the Wagyu bavette steak, salmon teriyaki and fried cauliflower mains: everything far exceeded expectations. And the crystal sushi? Well, the salmon was silky, and the mint and sake jelly added an unexpected but delicious salty tang. As one of the few out there who isn’t so keen on gyoza, I also can’t recommend Shiro’s prawn and ginger offering enough – they are perfectly crisp and flavoursome and I am wholeheartedly converted.

Wallet-friendly Italian dishes at NOTTO

Pasta bars have been having (quite an extended) moment in London for the past few years, but not all of them live up to the hype. Initially established as a pasta delivery service in 2021, NOTTO opened its first bricks and mortar restaurant in Piccadilly at the end of last year and it certainly delivers, that’s for sure.

The menu of fresh pasta plates and Italian-inspired dishes gets straight to the point. Snacks start at £3, starters from £7 and mains (they recommend three per pair of diners) range from just £9 to £22, meaning it's easy to enjoy a sizeable meal under £30 each.

From the February menu, we tried the classic rigatoni cacio e pepe; herbed ricotta ravioli, served with a walnut sauce and a zing of lemon; pappardelle with slow-cooked oxtail and beef shin, rich with mushrooms and red wine; and the spaghettini with white crab meat and a generous kick of cayenne. Each dish was expertly balanced in flavour and complimented the others perfectly. The wild mushroom arancini is also sure to convert any fungi foe.

The serene, minimalist interiors make for a perfect date night setting and ensure all the attention is focused on the food, and rightfully so. If you’re in the area, you should check for a table.

All images © restaurants. Text Amy Hughes


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