London is known for its abundance of restaurants, with everything from the usual high street haunts to independent cafes, and of course, plenty of award-winning and Michelin-starred eateries. But in a city with more than 20,000 – yes, you read that right – places to grab a bite to eat, there’s stiff competition to be Londoners’ favourite.
Fortunately, at SquareMeal’s annual restaurant awards, the public chose their favorite London restaurant, as well as the top pick in the country. The site announced its top 100 restaurants in a series of Instagram posts, from bottom to top.
Using a combination of internal reviews and thousands of votes from diners, the city’s absolute favorite has been revealed each year. Snatch first place for London was Mayfair BiBia modern Indian restaurant serving everything you can imagine of the country’s multicultural food scene.
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Run by chef patron Chet Sharma, who earned a PhD in physics from Oxford University before changing paths to enter the hospitality industry, BiBi opened in September 2021. During his studies, Chet has worked in some of London’s finest restaurants including Locanda Locatelli and Benares.
His experience includes time at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, now three Michelin stars in the Lake District, two star Moor Hall in Lancashire and The Ledbury. After joining the award-winning team JKS-Restaurants band (known for running Lyle’s, Trishna and Gymkhana) as head of development.
At BiBi, which means “lady of the house” in Urdu, customers will find an ever-changing menu offering a contemporary take on classic and iconic Indian flavors. Their site notes that these aspects “would have been appreciated by Chet’s paternal and maternal grandmothers (bibis)” – who were instrumental in developing his own culinary identity.
SquareMeal noted “The main dishes – which are often cooked on the custom-made grill – celebrate Sharma’s grandfather’s pre-partition memories of his local kebab vendors.
“Options here cover a green leg of chukh masala, four peppercorn lobster, and rump of lamb.”
Their a la carte menu is divided into ‘Snacks’, ‘Chaat’ and ‘Sigree’ which are inspired by Indian street food and grilled meats. Guests will find the likes of Wookey-hole Cheese Papad, Orkney Scallop Nimbu Pani, Okra Salan and Sharmaji’s Lahori Chicken.
For dessert? Customers can expect classic Pondicherry mint and saffron and white chocolate chocolate Kulfi. BiBi also serves a seven-course chef’s selection menu for £85pp.
Celebrating their win, BiBi posted on Instagram: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that BiBi has won SquareMeal’s Best Restaurant in London 2022 award!
“What has been a whirlwind year, we are delighted to know that the hard work and determination of our team is not going unnoticed.
“A big shout out to our amazing team and neighboring restaurants who made the list, representing London’s diverse and innovative culinary scene.
“Hope you all meet again soon to celebrate!”
chet said Square Meal “Winning this award is a huge achievement for us at BiBi and is all the more special as we are still so early in our journey. I
“It drives us to work harder, to keep creating, innovating and taking care of our customers the best we can.
“Thank you to SquareMeal and our amazing team at BiBi.”
In second place are Fallow at St James’s, which focuses on sustainability, and Evelyn’s Table by the Selby brothers at The Blue Posts in Soho. The latter recently won the Michelin Guide’s Young Chef Award, which was shared between the three siblings – Luke, Nathaniel and Theo. They were recognized as an “unbeatable trio” whose “infectious enthusiasm for their craft is a joy to behold”.
Elsewhere in the top 10 are Michelin-starred heavyweights Le Gavroche and Core de Clare Smyth de Michel Roux Jr, as well as new Mexican KOL, all of whom have six stars between them. Just outside the summit were Shoreditch’s Lyle’s, Kitchen Table in Fitzrovia and Jason Atherton’s flagship restaurant, Pollen Street Social in Mayfair.
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The ten best restaurants in London according to SquareMeal:
- Bibi, Mayfair
- Fallow, St James
- Evelyn’s table at Blue Posts, Soho
- Oxeye, Vauxhall
- KOL, Marylebone
- TEMAKI, Brixton
- The Newsboy, Mayfair
- Ikoyi, St James
- Core by Clare Smith, Notting Hill
- Helene Darroze at Connaught, Mayfair
To see the full list, visit here.