KOL | Charlie McKay
Rupert Hohwieler 04/01/23
Marry le bun. Mar lee bone. Maryl Eboon*. The pronunciation of this London neighbourhood can be contentious. Something that everyone can agree on though, is that there are some cracking restaurants in Marylebone. From a Chinese noodle den hidden under a pub to Michelin-starred Mexican; a 1920’s grand cafe-styled Viennese spot and an Italian deli with its own basement bar, we’ve assembled the proof below (and also, that going dining here can be a globetrotting experience)…
*it’s definitely not that one.
It takes a brave man to leave a place like NOMA Mexico, move to an entirely new country and then open your debut solo restaurant in said entirely new country. Santiago Lastra is clearly a brave man, but he’s also an extremely talented chef. Within a year of opening this Marylebone restaurant, he and his team made light work of capturing a Michelin star, thanks to KOL’s dazzling array of Mexican dishes propped up by British produce – think mole with chalk stream trout, British wagyu tacos, langoustine tacos and a whole octopus cured in kombucha and served with bone marrow. If you want to get interactive, there’s also an option to view all the action (and their tortilla factory) up close via the KOL chef’s table experience…
Details: 9 Seymour Street, Marylebone, W1H 5BT | Book here
Like KOL, Cavita marks another London debut from a Mexican super-chef. Not that we’re complaining, because you can never have too many of those. Set inside a striking townhouse on Wigmore Street filled with colourful textiles and geometric lighting, chef-owner Adriana Cavita cooks up Mexican flavours that were a prominent part of her childhood – so things like tacos with handmade tortillas, Blue Bay mussel esquites, beef shin quesabirria with veal bone consommé and pig’s head tamal. Yep, we’re also very envious at the thought of her childhood…
NOTE: If you have no plans of being productive the next morning, you’d be wise to make a night out of it at Mayahuel, the mezcaleria in the basement directly below…
Details: 60 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, W1U 2RZ | Book here
Saying Jikoni’s owner Ravinder Bhogal is merely obsessed with food feels like a bit of an understatement. She’s hosted a culinary TV series in India, trekked around the world for another, written award-winning food columns, published cookbooks and even entered and won a competition in Gordons Ramsay’s The F Word, where he did indeed like the food. Here at Jikoni, her very own restaurant, you’ve arrived at culmination of her obsession, one of the best restaurants in Marylebone. Come here any time of day for the ever-changing lineup of dynamic veggie-friendly dishes spanning anything from lamb and harissa sausage rolls to butternut squash moilee, hot & sour sweetcorn risotto and vegan apricot and orange blossom cake.
Details: 19-21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH | Book here
St. John Marylebone
It’s St. John, in the heart of Marylebone Village, with an all-day menu (everything from lamb’s liver to eccles cake to homemade bread with butter, all complemented by a shot of vodka and then a bottle of house wine), plus a few exclusives like deep-fried Welsh rarebit. Other than that, it’s still the same old St. John, the ultimate British fine-dining restaurant that we all know and love; lauded for its nose-to-tail approach to food, amazing array of baked goods (the team operate some of London’s best bakeries) and for the revolutionary influence it’s had on not just London’s restaurant scene, but the world in general.
Details: 98 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2JE | Book here | More St. John? Try St. John Smithfield (the OG from 1994) and St. John Bread and Wine
It’s hard to experience 1920s Vienna these days. Unless you head to Fischer’s on Marylebone High Street, which does an admirable job of reproducing some of that Viennese magic from a hundred years ago, wearing an interior akin to the Austrian capital’s grand cafes and dishing up a menu of generously portioned Central European classics (käsespätzle, schnitzel, sausages, kaiserschmarrn etc) that’ll likely send you into the hibernation for the rest day/evening…
Details: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN | Book here
Trishna is run by the Sethi family, who know a thing or two about critically acclaimed Indian fine-diners having also launched Brigadiers and Michelin-starred Gymkhana. Like most restaurants in Marylebone, it’s pretty high-end – but there is a way to escape here relatively financially unscathed: the early evening menu (three courses for £39 or four for £45) gives you slightly more affordable access to some of the signatures like the salmon tikka shahi and fig and cardamom kheer. It’s held its own Michelin star since 2012, if you need any more persuading.
Details: 15 -17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, W1U 3DG | Book here
Mayha is a Japanese omakase restaurant that has landed in London by way of Beirut. And besides being one of the most globe-trotting restaurants in Marylebone, it’s also one of the most beautiful – thanks to an illuminated canopy of blossoms that hangs over the sleekly curving chef’s table that seats just a dozen. Wonderfully intimate, with elegant Japanese dishes, it’s a sure-fire win of a date spot thanks to the subterranean cocktail bar and hidden courtyard downstairs.
Details: 43 Chiltern St, London W1U 6LS | Book here
Those Sethi siblings from Trishna? Turns out they also know their way around a stellar Sri Lankan restaurant too. Hoppers is their doing and many credit it with bringing Sri Lankan food into London’s mainstream – its success has spawned three branches across town: Soho, Kings Cross and here in Marylebone (as well as paving the way for restaurants like Paradise and Kolamba). Hoppers’ Marylebone restaurant has the luxury of two floors, which are always packed to the rafters with excitable groups reaching over one another for their fill of the eponymous dish (crispy bowl-shaped egg pancakes) and then falling over each other thanks to the broad list of wines and arrack-laced cocktails…
Details: 77 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QE | Book here
Taking ‘better late than never’ to new lengths, it took Lina Stores – the famed Italian delicatessen that’s held court on Soho’s Brewer Street since 1944 – 75 years to expand into the restaurant game as well. Now, there’s no stopping them; their fourth outpost is an airy restaurant in Marylebone Village, specialising, like its predecessors, in fresh pasta. Enjoy crab linguine, pea & ricotta ravioli or tagliolini al tartufo with black truffle before slipping downstairs to the art deco basement bar…
Details: 3-15 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2NE | Book here
Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope
Liu Xiaomian is the well-oiled machine you can blame for those lunchtime lines that snake out of the Jackalope pub. It started out as a street stall, when two women from Chongqing took matters into their own hands after they couldn’t find any acceptably spicy noodles in London. Now, they’ve made the downstairs floor of the pub their base of operations, where they serve up true-to-form fiery grub from their hometown – sourcing spices and Sichuan peppers from China and pouring a dangerously liberal amount into xiaomian noodles, hot and sour glass noodles, and numbing pork wonton.
Details: The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews, W1G 7EQ | Book here
Like exploring London via your stomach? Have a look at the best restaurants in Soho
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