Feather your food nest with champion chicken at Clockjack Oven…

Chicken & chips. In the words of the world’s wisest piece of crockery, the all-knowing Mrs. Potts, it’s a tale as old as time and for good reason – it just works. However like many things that should just work, the potential is there for it to fail on a spectacular level but thanks to Clockjack Oven, you don’t need to worry about that in London.

This small but brilliant restaurant is 5 minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus tube as the chicken flies and wing on heart, I’d walked past it dozens of times before without ever stopping to take note. I shan’t make that mistake again. Picked in no small part thanks to a bunch of enthusiastic reviews from my frankly fabulous fellow Time Out Tastemakers, on paper Clockjack seemed to tick all the boxes for a mid-week supper; centrally located, takes reservations, reasonably priced menu, awesome sounding food. Trust me when I say that places catering to all of requirements in London are getting fewer and further between so if you find somewhere that does, make a note, share it with others, be thanked forever. Read More

Bowled over by the fresh flavours of Sri Lanka at new must-eat hotspot Hoppers…

No reservations. Like Marmite, mushrooms & Madonna, this is a guaranteed bone of contention among those who love going out to eat. You either don’t mind because you feel the end results are going to be worth the wait or you feel aggrieved that you aren’t being trusted to honor your booking. Either way, there’s no doubt that with some of the most covetable tables in  London now un-reservedly reservation free, your options are limited to waiting it out, going somewhere whose dishes don’t currently grace the Instagram feed of every foodie in town or beans-on-toasting it up at home.

So ask yourself this – how would you feel about waiting 2 hours for a table at one of the hottest new culinary tickets in town?

Honestly, for me it depends on context. Dining alone on a random Tuesday night, you might find that a bit too much to ask when frankly all you want from your dinner is speed and ease – is it just me or are Tuesdays the new Mondays in terms of ‘ugh’ factor?! – whereas dining with a friend on a Friday night with lots to catch up on and drinks available at a nearby wine bar might make it a bit more doable.

Opening last autumn to a quiet fanfare, Hoppers on Frith Street is exactly the kind of place where context becomes important because unless you rock up promptly at opening time, you ain’t gonna get in without a certain amount of determined hanging on for that all elusive table.

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Good food + gimmicky ordering = totally underwhelming dining at Inamo…

Eating out in London is incredibly fun. It’s exciting. It’s fresh. It’s diverse. It can also be expensive so when an offer comes along for 50% off food at the opening of a restaurant which already boasts a very popular, sister Soho location, you jump at it. This is exactly what I did with Inamo in Covent Garden during its recent ‘soft service’ preview however if you asked would I be in any hurry to jump back, I’d have to say ‘hmm…’ Read More