It’s a testament to the British food scene to have some of the finest cuisine in the world represented to the furthest outposts of our humble Isles. In the last few years we’ve seen demand for Japanese, Thai and Indian food override Italian and French favourites raising our tastebud expectations with explosive, exciting fusion food. When you can experience the Irani café culture of 1960’s Bombay at Dishoom (found in Shoreditch, Covent Garden and King’s Cross) with spicy Akuri scrambled eggs and a toasted chai-dipped bun maska to start your day, Instagram-stalwart avocado and salmon slightly pales in comparison. Here’s our list of the best fusion restaurants that have popped up since 20014 fusing far-reaching menus with a seriously fun night out. Add to that list a Hawaiian-themed restaurant in – you’ve guessed it – Dalston and we really have seen it all.
14A Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TJ
Open Midday – 11PM Tuesday – Saturday (closed 10PM Monday)
Another of those ‘pop ups’ that never quite ‘pop down’ due to huge demand for their exciting, vibrant menu in the heart of Soho. Opened by the certifiable big daddies of ramen and Japanese food in the Capital, Bone Daddies, it’s been promised to us for at least a year but we hope it will be here to stay. Expecting big things, we were not disappointed, hailed as one of Grace Dent’s favourite meals of 2015 (big praise indeed). For glutinous, mouth-watering dishes the list is endless; korean fried wings, monkfish cheeks, prawn toast and the slightly surprising macaroni cheese with extra bacon and cock scratchings (yes, you read that right). Oh and joyously they take reservations. Be sure to finish with their French toast with bright green matcha ice-cream and an Asahi beer and you will roll home deliriously happy and content.
43A Commercial Street, London E1 6BD
Open 12 – 2.30PM Tuesday – Friday / 5PM – late Monday – Sunday (last orders 10:30PM)
It was the coffee experts Climpson & Sons who initially decided to transform their railway arch Roastery location into a foodie hotspot for exciting young chefs to showcase their talents. Luckily for us Londoners the Som Saa residency was the perfect pairing with the Thai restaurant and bar and now, having moved to a permanent Spitalfields location (in a former fabric warehouse no less), helps the masses be introduced to the lesser known dishes of Northern and North-East provinces of Thailand alongside Asian-inspired cocktails. Chef Andy Oliver has the gravitas of time spent at Peckham’s Begging Bowl so expect great things; snack on poached prawns followed by octopus salad done on the grill with with a salted duck egg and Asian celery. The puds delight to a sumptuous finish with jackfruit (used to high acclaim on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off) with coconut cream and Chinese doughnuts.
SMOKING GOAT SOHO
7 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8LZ
Open Midday – 3PM & 5PM – Midnight Monday – Saturday (Sundays Midday – 9PM)
Wowing us with inventive and fresh Thai dishes this summer, Smoking Goat has been brought to life by the imaginative friend of Nahm creator David Thomson, who also happens to be the brains behind the Som Saa pop-up and the writer of Thai Street Food. The only downfall is coming against the 2015-created ‘No Reservations’ policy that continues to irk so take an umbrella in case you find yourself waiting for a table out in the rain. The tiny space marries well with the tiny menu with on average about 3 dishes per course but matters less when the food is so excellent. Start with coal roasted scallops and fish sauce wings and take some hungry friends (or date) to order whole cornish chilli crab, perfect for sharing with salted curry leaves infused in fresh coconut cream. The beers are excellent when paired with the spicy menu so maybe take along your Evening Standard and umbrella and suck up the wait in the queue. It’ll be worth it.
312 King’s Road, London SW3 5UH
Open from 6PM – 10:30PM Monday – Tuesday (Open from Midday Wednesday – Sunday)
Pairing a Chelsea postcode with a large bill is not far off the mark. The problem with these ‘sharing dish’ restaurants means our eyes become larger than our stomachs with all the tantalising variations on offer. How could you choose between sweet potato and soba-ko fries, crunchy rice senbei crisps with avocado-jalapeno dip, flamed edamame with sake and lemon and pork scratchings? And that’s just the snack selection. With cold raw salads to appease the Chelsea yummy-mummy crowd us mere mortals can feast from the Japanese junk food menu with BBQ pork ribs and wagyu beef sliders being the real crowd pleasers. Expect a lot of neighbouring tables of shouty girls called Tara but this pop-up is soon to move to its new permanent Marble Arch location to avoid the pitfalls of Chelsea. Take a ladyl friend (men will wolf through your pay packet in one sitting) – preferably one with a deep wallet and order everything.