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London’s 2018 Eater Award Winners

The best chefs, restaurants, and designs of the year

After a week of intensive reader voting, today we announce the winners of the ninth annual Eater Awards, celebrating the chefs and restaurants that made the biggest impression on all 24 Eater cities over the past 12 months.

Here are the places — from a Basque-inspired grill restaurant in Shoreditch to a summer pop-up in a Kensal Green wine shop that inspired an unprecedented east-west migration — that have taken the London food scene by storm this year. Thank you to everyone who voted last week, and congratulations to the winners of both the readers’ choice and editor’s choice awards. Here’s a little more about this year’s best of the best.

Restaurant of the Year 2018

Brat

best_sherry_london_brat_restaurant_shoreditch
Brat, Eater London’s restaurant of the year 2018
Ben McMahon/benjaminmcmahon.com

The standout restaurant opening of the year is the solo debut from chef Tomos Parry. Brat, which opened above Smoking Goat in a former strip club on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Redchurch Street in March introduced east London to a very voguish style of grill cooking inspired by the seaside restaurants of the Basque country in northern Spain. Parry’s dedication to that cooking style — slow-grilling and the use of a wood oven — for whole turbots, mallards, and seasonal vegetables, together with outstanding service and a wine list developed by Noble Rot, earned the restaurant both a Michelin star and the status of the city’s hottest restaurant in 2018.

Reader’s Choice Restaurant of the Year — Brat


Chef of the Year

Clare Smyth, Core by Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth, Eater London’s chef of the year
Ben McMahon/Eater London

For a chef to open their first restaurant in London is never easy. To do so having been in charge of one of the country’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurants — while working for Britain’s most famous chef — for eight years, means that expectations might hinder rather than help the effort. For Clare Smyth to open Core and earn two Michelin stars at the first available opportunity, with a fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill that is table-clothed without being claustrophobic, and to earn a controversial title by same awards body that overlooked Core itself, indicates that she remains firmly among this country’s and the world’s greatest chefs.

Reader’s Choice Chef of the Year James Cochran, 1251


Design of the Year

Jolene

The interior at Jolene bakery, restaurant and wine bar in Newington Green
Jolene, Eater London’s most beautiful restaurant in 2018
Samuel Ashton

Jolene’s beauty didn’t really come as a surprise. The owners of London’s coolest bakery and one of the year’s hottest new restaurants have form. Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell have in their portfolio two of the city’s prettiest restaurants: Primeur in Canonbury and Westerns Laundry in Holloway. The pair elect a style that finds a niche between chics both industrial-utilitarian and a kind Gallic-pastoral. The duo also reconfigured the space formerly occupied by Newington Table and Dandy — giving it a bigger bar, better bathrooms, and, based on the evidence to date, a much more successful and sustainable business.

Readers’ Choice Design of the YearNeptune


Restaurateur of the Year

Iré Hassan-Odukale, Ikoyi

Owner Iré Hassan-Odukale sit inside their Michelin-starred restaurant, Ikoyi, in London
Iré Hassan-Odukale, Eater London’s restaurateur of the year
PA Jorgensen

Ikoyi — though having opened in 2017 — cemented its place as London’s most creative and captivating restaurant this calendar year. Not only did it narrowly avoid closure in the summer, in part because of such a challenging location in St James’s Market, it courted the attention of the World’s 50 Best milieu and earned a fully justified Michelin star when the guide was announced in October. As the writer Riaz Phillips has observed, West African food in London is not new, but has over the past 18 months, thanks to Hassan-Odukale and others from a new generation, garnered a deeper understanding and a wider appreciation. And although Ikoyi is not explicitly a West African restaurant, its use of ingredients from that region has demonstrated — as Phillips notes — their complexity and flexibility at the highest technical level.

Readers’ Choice Restaurateur of the Year — Iré Hassan-Odukale, Ikoyi


Chef(s) Without a Restaurant of the Year

Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves, TāTā Eatery

Tata Eatery’s Zijun Meng and Ana Goncalves will partner with former World’s Best Bartender Alex Kratena and Monica Berg on a new Old Street cocktail bar
Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves, the best chefs in London without their own restaurant
TāTā Eatery [Official Photo]

TāTā Eatery’s Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves have been around for some time; the duo closed a long-term pop-up restaurant at Curio Cabal in Dalston last August, and did not meaningfully resurface until this summer, when they took over the small kitchen and makeshift dining room at Borough Wines in Kensal Rise. For the duration of their residency, they delivered some of the most thrilling, clever, and delicious food in the city — dishes which drew inspiration from Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese culinary traditions. Iberico pork, panko-crusted and katsu-sandwiched between lightly toasted brioche, with sliced white cabbage, raspberry brown sauce, and a base note of umami-rich chilli, shallots, and fermented red pepper paste was probably — definitely, according to Instagram — the dish of the year. It is London’s hope that the materialisation of a first proper restaurant is a case of when and not if.

Readers’ Choice Chef Without a Restaurant of the Year — Anna Tobias, Leila’s Shop, P. Franco

BRAT

4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website

DANDY

35 Maltby Street, , England SE1 3PA 020 7237 4521 Visit Website

Leila's Shop

17 Calvert Avenue, , England E2 7JP

P Franco

107 Lower Clapton Road, , England E5 0NP 020 8533 4660 Visit Website

TĀTĀ Eatery

152 Old Street, , England EC1V 9BW Visit Website

Primeur

116 Petherton Road, , England N5 2RT 020 7226 5271 Visit Website

Noble Rot

51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London, Greater London WC1N 3NB +44 20 7242 8963 Visit Website

Smoking Goat

64 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ

Ikoyi

1 Saint James's Market, , England SW1Y 4AH 020 3583 4660 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website

Jolene

54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 429-8383 Visit Website

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