Meet Kingly Court’s restaurants… I’ve kept this hideaway in London quiet for a while now because it’s so little, and can get so busy, that I worry that if it becomes too popular, I’ll never be able to eat in there again. However my new job sees me stare out at it everyday thanks to being opposite the entrance – and I think it’s about time I share its wonders.
Kingly Court, situated in the heart of Soho/Central London, and a stone’s throw away from busy Oxford Street is one of my favourite places to eat in London – simply because it feels like you’re not actually in the city centre. Once you enter its four walls, it’s quieter, more peaceful and the perfect respite from the bustling city.
Situated across three floors (the top dedicated to a yoga place, and various other shops dotted about) most of the floor space, and the surrounding streets, is taken up by restaurants – and I’ve made my way through most of them!
Here’s what you need to know…
What’s it like? A 1940s themed underground bar set in an old air raid shelter and inspired by post-war tube stations in London. It has a fantastic and elaborate cocktail menu, it’s impeccably decorated and the music is old-school swing and jazz. Strictly over 21s.
Average price: Cocktails around £8.
Drink I love: ‘Turning Over a New Leaf’ – a cocktail concoction of Tanqueray, London dry gin, raspberry liquer, lemon juice, egg white and chambord black.www.cahoots-london.com
2. CHA CHA MOON
Type: Chinese noodle bar
What’s it like? Prides itself of creating a variety of regional Chinese dishes, as well as other traditional ones across Asia. It has open kitchen which creates a buzzing and exciting atmosphere.
Average price: £45 for two starters, two mains and a bottle of wine.
Baby back ribs, Red Duck curry, Seafood Ho Fun and the Cha Cha Moon Platter.
3. CINNAMON SOHO
What’s it like? Cinnamon is a spin-off of its big sister restaurant, The Cinnamon Club, and is a refreshing change from your bog standard curry house. I love the informal vibe and the whole experience was relaxed and authentic.
Average price: £58 for two starters, two mains, rice and bottle of wine.
I recommend: Bangla-Scotch eggs, Tanjavore style grilled king prawns and the Vindaloo of ox cheek.
They also do an 8 dish sharing menu for £26.00 per person and a High Chai afternoon tea at £12.50 a head which I’ve yet to try!
4. CRUMBS AND DOILIES
Type: Cupcake shop
What’s it like? Baked fresh to order and absolutely scrumptious, perfect if you want to buy one for yourself, or order as a gift or for a party.
Average price: £14 for a dozen mini cupcakes
5. DIRTY BONES
What’s it like? Comfort food and its finest with that cool, American diner vibe. Definitely for people who love greasy, American portions. They do a mean brunch with bottomless prosecco – perfect hangover cure.
Average price: £38 (two starters, two mains, two sides)
Type: Smoothie and juice bar
What’s it like? Nice health kick and they tailor them exactly to your taste. They do food too such as organic scrambled eggs or yoghurt and granola, but I normally pop in for a juice.
Average price: £4.20 for a regular juice, £3 – £9.50 for food.
I recommend: The ‘Green Monster’ – spinach, strawberry, banana and soya milkwww.mooshfruit.com
What’s it like? Upmarket sushi restaurant with no conveyer belts in sight. A modern take on pan-Asian cuisine and tastes super fresh.
Average price: 8 pieces of Uramaki is around £8, 2 pieces of Nigiri is around £4.50.
8. PIZZA PILGRIMS
Type: PIZZA obviously
What’s it like? Cheap and cheerful with plastic table covers and chilled atmosphere. Don’t go here if you like your personal space, but come if you want home cooked food at a cheap price. Good food but hated drinking wine out of a tumbler and not a wine glass.
Average price: £26 for two pizzas and two beers.
9. SEÑOR CEVICHE
What’s it like? It’s like you’ve been transported into a South American bar with vibrant colours, packed out restaurant space and cosy lighting. Great for a group of friends, perfect for a date if you’re not too fussed about a loud environment, and sharing food.
Average price: £60 for 6 small plates and two signature cocktails
10. SHORYU CARNABY
What’s it like? A decent Asian chain, a nicer Wagamama in my eyes. Good outdoor area – but be prepared to be touching elbows with your neighbours. Definitely more for a quick bite to eat than a go-to place for the full dining experience.
Average price: £43 for two ramen noodles, two sides and two pints of Kirin Nama Draft beers.
11. STAX DINER
What’s it like? You can’t go wrong with an American restaurant that serves London’s “it” food (burgers) in sweet brioche buns and plastic red baskets straight from an LA diner.
Average price: £34 for two burgers and fries and two milkshakes.
12. THE DETOX KITCHEN
What’s it like? If your body needs a good health kick, you can’t go wrong with the detox kitchen. One of my fave places for food-to-go.
Average price: £10 for a small salad and juice.
I recommend: ‘Bright and beautiful’ juice and avocado and spinach wrap.
13. RUM KITCHEN
What’s it like? Such a good vibe with great music, friendly stuff and a half-open kitchen. Again, because of the small space in most of Kingly Court’s restaurants, be prepared to sit close to your neighbours.
Average price: £49 for two starters, two mains and two Jamaican red stripe beers.
I recommend: The curried mutton, jerk chicken supreme and the plantain and chilli dip.www.therumkitchen.com
14. WHYTE & BROWN
What’s it like? Surprisingly empty when we visited – and I don’t recommend if you’re a vegetarian. Unlike most of the other restaurants in the court, W&B have a huge eating space across multiple floors, and an outside area. Bright, airy, good atmosphere, and good spacing between tables for private conversations. The food was certainly not the best we’d had – probably because there was such an eclectic mix of dishes for the chefs to cook.
Average price: £58 for two starters, two mains and two glasses of prosecco.
15. WRIGHT BROTHERS SOHO
What’s it like? Admittedly I haven’t gone here for dinner – but potentially one of our favourite happy hour spots. Great if you want to sit outside in the courtyard with some fizz and oysters. It’s Buck a Shuck (£1 an oyster) between the hours of 3-6pm every evening!
Average price: £84 for two mains and a bottle of prosecco