Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Named the New Food Capital of the World 11 Restaurants in the Top 50 List

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Named the New Food Capital of the World 11 Restaurants in the Top 50 List

Article excerpt

Byline: VALENTINE LOW

IT IS a frequent boast that London is the restaurant capital of the world.

Today that is demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt.

According to a panel of international experts more than one in five of the best restaurants in the world are in London.

The jury of more than 500 chefs, critics and journalists voted for the 50 best restaurants in the world - and chose 11 from London.

That is an increase of two on last year - even though this year's panel includes far more restaurateurs from abroad. Fourteen British restaurants made the top 50, one more than last year.

One London restaurateur even has two in the top 50. He is Alan Yau, whose Hakkasan - number 14 in 2004 - is joined this year by Yauatcha, which opened a year ago.

Yau, who was born in Hong Kong but raised in Lincolnshire where his parents ran what he describes as a "typical chop suey house", first came to attention when he founded the Wagamama chain in 1992.

His move into top-end restaurants came with Hakkasan, a temple to stylish if pricy modernity which got its first Michelin star - the only Chinese restaurant at the time to have one - two years ago. Yauatcha, which specialises in dim sum, got a Michelin star 12 months later.

Ella Johnston, editor of Restaurant magazine, which organised the list, said a wide range of London restaurants-were in the top 50. "It reflects the diversity of the city itself in terms of the type of high-end dining experience you can have. There's Sketch and Yauatcha, which are really glamorous environments, metropolitan and sexy.

"Then you've got something very wholesome and seasonal like St John, which focuses on the ingredients, and fine dining establishments like Le Gavroche, which are just classics."

Other London restaurants vying for the top slot are Nobu, Tom Aikens and The Wolseley. …

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