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10 Architecturally Stunning Restaurants to Celebrate Food

If you love food as much as you love architecture – we're assuming this since you’re here – you’ll be spoilt for choice in London. In this city, there are enough Michelin stars to feed a village, not to mention a myriad of RIBA awarded buildings to make any architect go crazy.

At Architectour, however, we are after the two of them, together, because amazing food without the building is, you know, just food. We are after the delicious dishes that are also within amazing buildings. Charming eating spots that sparkle as much joy as champagne and oysters, views and a sketchbook and, ah, form and function.

Sake no Hana
Sake no Hana

Nowadays, the culinary scene in London is booming and you’ll find different types of foods to cater the most varied and demanding of palates. This list is a short selection of places we think are remarkable (and we are sure you will too) but note there are many more in London. You’ll find additional suggestions on page 304 of our London Guide.


From the cult building spots like The Economist, to the newly designed interior spaces, if it’s on the list, it means you, dear architectural foodie (is there such a title?), will much delight in experiencing and eating in this venue. 


Now go forth and feast 🍝

 

1. Malibu Kitchen

Malibu Kitchen -Architectour Guide
Malibu Kitchen -Architectour Guide

Malibu Kitchen is one of the many venues within The Ned, the former Midland Bank building by Edwin Lutyens. The gorgeous 1924 building has high ceilings, chandeliers and velvety furniture. Malibu Kitchen, located on the south side of the building and facing Poultry Street, is flooded with light and healthy dishes. The restaurant brings Californian food to the City and the menu is full with surprisingly tasty (and beautiful) platters that are actually good for you.

Another unique space within The Ned – unfortunately members only – is the bank vault. 

What dish should you try? Pulled jackfruit burger, coleslaw, sweet potato fries
View menu here.

Location: 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bank

  

2. Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana - Architectour Guide
Sake no Hana - Architectour Guide

Sake no Hana is located within The Economist building by starchitects Alison and Peter Smithson. The complex, made up of three towers and a public square, is a prime example of post-war architecture in concrete done right. As if it couldn’t get any better, Kengo Kuma refurbished the interior space of one of the towers to accommodate Sake no Hana, a Japanese restaurant by the Hakkasan group. Maki  are crafted to perfection, flavours mixed with extreme care and service is top-notch. This is definitely our #1 place in London for food.


What dish should you try? Gunma Wagyu A5 Beef Maki
View menu here.

Location: 23 St James's St, St. James's, London SW1A 1HA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park 

 

3. Hide

Hide - Architectour Guide
Hide- Food - Architectour Guide

Hide, a restaurant well known within the architecture community for its fairytale curling oak staircase by Atmos Studio, offers a unique eating experience. Opened in 2018, the three-story restaurant by Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous, consists of three spaces: Above, Ground and Below. Two first floors are dining areas and the bar is in the basement. The creative and delicious dishes are organised in set menus that are also different depending on the dining areas and the time of the day. 

A highlight is the wine list, which boasts 4,000 wines. If you’re feeling flashy, you might want to spend your well-earned cash on a pricey bottle. The most expensive wine available is the 2004 Penfolds Block 42 – £120,000.


What dish should you try? Cornish lobster baked in fig leaves over charcoal
View menu here.

Location: 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NB (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park

 

4. Tramshed

Tramshed - Architectour Guide

Tramshed - Architectour Guide

Let me begin by saying that Tramshed is not for everyone – having an upside down chicken served as if it had just been slaughtered while seeing a Hereford cow and cockerel in a steel and glass tank of formaldehyde is not what most people consider a normal eating experience. By the way, the cow thing – real name ‘Cock and Bull’ (2012) –  is actually a famous art piece by Damien Hirst, Britain’s wealthiest living artist. 

The building, a former East End tram-generator building, was transformed by Waugh Thistleton Architects (also architects of BOXPARK) and completed in 2012. The striking pitched metal trusses and Edwardian glazed brick faced walls conserve the materiality of the existing structure. 

What dish should you try? Roast barn-reared Indian Rock chicken 
View menu here.

Location: 32 Rivington St, Hackney, London EC2A 3LX (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street

  

5. Galvin at Windows

Galvin at Windows - Architectour Guide

Galvin at Windows - Architectour Guide

With privileged views over Hyde Park, Galvin at Windows is the best spot to delight all your senses. Located on the 28th floor of Park Lane Hotel (another favourite of my personal list of Brutalist buildings), you’ll be eating delicious food and drinking the best wine while stimulating your eyes. Seriously, the views keep me returning to this place.

If you also keep returning to the restaurant (guilty!) the ‘Menu du jour’ is always changing and will provide extra fun. Otherwise, the best menu is the ‘Degustation Menu’, which is the creation of chef Joo Won.


What dish should you try? Baked hake, beaufort crust, Iberico pork & spicy cabbage
View menu here.

Location: 22 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park / Hyde Park Corner

 

 

6. Yauatcha Soho

Yauatcha Soho - Architectour Guide

Yauatcha Soho - Architectour Guide

Yauatcha, located in an early Richard Rogers building, is part of the reputed Hakkasan family of restaurants (like Sake no Hana also in this list). In fact, there’s another Yauatcha in Broadgate Circus but this one is better because of, well, Richard Rogers. Yauatcha Soho was created in 2004 by Alan Yau and has increasingly grown in popularity.

You’ll find delicious Chinese food and other exotic flavours from the East, all with exceptional quality and generous portions. Some delicious dishes are umami-filled foie gras taro croquettes and lobster dumplings with tobiko caviar, but you’ll be surprised by each plate, especially with those dishes containing duck.


What dish should you try? Roasted duck pumpkin puff
View menu here.

Location: 15-17 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DL (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road / Oxford Circus

 

7. Sketch: Lecture Room & Library

Sketch -Architectour Guide

Sketch -Architectour Guide

Sketch, a quirky place that seems taken out of Alice in Wonderland, was designed by India Mahdavi. Previous to that, its premises (designed by James Wyatt in 1779) hosted the RIBA headquarters and Dior.

You’ll find separate areas and restaurants within Sketch: The Parlour, The Lecture Room & Library, The Glade, The Gallery and The East Bar and Pods. The Lecture Room & Library is the best place for lunch. The set menu is what I’d recommend as about 15 creative dishes will be plenty for you to try the quirky battery of techniques they’ll use to impress you.  

What dish should you try? Lasagna ‘Bastarde’ 
View menu here.

Location: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus

 

8. Sushi Samba Covent Garden

Sushi Samba -Architectour Guide

Sushi Samba -Architectour Guide

Covent Garden, the former vegetable market located within Inigo Jones’ piazza, has gone through much refurbishment. The latest building of the complex, the impressive glass and steel structure by Charles Fowler, is the main structure of the market we know today. Sushi Samba is perched atop the East side of this historical building. Belgian studio Too Many Agencies were in charge of designing Sushi Samba’s second restaurant (the other one is at Heron Tower).

Fusing the flavours of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cooking, Sushi Samba not only nails the food. The dishes are so beautifully presented that the whole experience is unique. By beautifully presented we mean an appetizer being brought on a real I-Beam plate 😱😍


What disch should you try? Wagyu gyoza
View menu here.

Location: 35 The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden

 

9. Aquavit London

Aquavit London - Architectour Guide

Aquavit London - Architectour Guide

Aquavit London is a Scandinavian heaven in the midst of St James’s Market, a wonderfully refurbished area by Make Architects. Interior design is sleek: artistic tapestry, long chandeliers hanging from the double height ceiling and wood everywhere.

Food is authentic Nordic so if you aren’t quite confident about that pickled herring you had ages ago, maybe this place is not for you. For the rest of us who tolerate strong tastes, it can be a great delight. You’ll find Shrimp Skagen, Herrings, Gravlax and Vendace roe. And yes, I know you’re also wondering, they have the famous Swedish meatballs.

What dish should you try? Cod, mussels, leek mayonnaise
View menu here.

Location: 1 Carlton St, St. James's, London SW1Y 4QQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus

 

10. Kym’s

Kym’s - Architectour Guide

Kym’s - Architectour Guide

Kym’s, located in one of the most anticipated buildings of 2017, opened earlier this year. It was designed by Foster + Partners and it was awarded the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize. 

Chef Andrew Wong created this venue after a long time under the wing of his parents’ culinary ventures. The result is an innovative, yet experienced, Chinese menu. From the refreshing cocktails at the beautiful bar to the sharing platters of the restaurant, the experience at Kym’s is relaxed and fun. Remarkable dishes of the menu include the Prawn Har Gau, Sweet & Sour Rare Breed Pork Ribs, Crispy Duck Pancakes and the Iberico Pork Char Sui.


What dish should you try? Iberico Pork Char Sui
View menu here.

Location: 19 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bank



We hope you liked this list of restaurants and remember, you have many more on page 304 of our London Guide.

Architectour Guide

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