The annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants has announced its 51-100 best restaurants, in anticipation of the top 50 announcement in Bilbao in seven day’s time. The headline is that Rene Redzepi’s Noma 2.0 in Copenhagen is not placed for the second consecutive year, because it (re)opened after the voting had been concluded. Noma topped the list between 2010-2012 and in 2014.
Two London restaurants feature in the second tier: the original St. John in Clerkenwell at number 84, and Hedone, run by Mikael Jonsson (the lawyer-turned-blogger-turned fine-dining master) in Chiswick at number 82. Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck — once a mainstay at number 1 — is the highest-placing U.K. restaurant in the back 50, coming in at number 74.
This list is interesting mainly for its absentees, indicating who might be placed in the actual 50 Best list next week: Thus, the most notable absentees from London are Lyle’s, who last year were placed at 54, and Core by Clare Smyth, which would be a new entry and whose chef, Clare Smyth, was named, somewhat controversially, by the same organisation as the “best female chef in the world” two months ago.
Last year’s World’s 50 Best also featured three more London restaurants: The Clove Club in Shoreditch (number 26); The Ledbury in Notting Hill (number 27) and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge (number 36). The latter’s resident hotel was recently damaged by a large fire, but the restaurant was unaffected.
Interesting, too, are the restaurants who placed high in the U.K.’s domestic forerunner to this index, the National Restaurant Awards, which were announced last night. The highest-ranking restaurant Kiln, in Soho, might now expect to get a place in the much-lauded top 50. It also wouldn’t be fanciful to imagine recently-Michelin-starred A. Wong, in Victoria, which placed third for the second consecutive year, breaking into that top 50. And might Nieves Barragán Mohacho also now imagine her new restaurant Sabor could place after being awarded with the U.K. chef of the year gong, and seeing her restaurant given the number two spot in the country.
The theory checks out: The Ledbury and The Clove Club placed second and seventh in the UK in 2017; on the other hand, The Sportsman — enjoying a burgeoning global reputation boosted by its book deal with Phaidon — had no place in the world’s “best” 100.