Growth of London’s indy restaurant scene slows down

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The giddy pace of independent London restaurant openings slackened in the last 12 months, according to the latest, 27th edition of Harden’s London Restaurants published on 9 November, which recorded 193 newcomers in its new edition, compared to 200 the previous year.

The rate of restaurant closings however continued to rise from 76 to 84 – the third highest year on record (the record of 113 was set in 2004). Net openings of 109 (193-84) were lower by 12% than the previous year’s 124 (200-76).

Ratings and reviews in the guide are based on one of the UK’s most detailed annual polls of restaurant-goers, with some 7,500 people contributing 50,000 reports for the 2017 edition.


Winners
The Araki The UK’s most expensive restaurant, run by three-Michelin-star chef, Mitsuhiro Araki, for the second year achieved the highest average food rating for: “world-class” sushi that’s “as close to Japan as you can get in London”, theatrically served by numerous chefs (including Mr Araki) to just nine diners.

Marianne Chef Marianne Lumb entered the top-5 highest scoring restaurants for food (winning the ‘Top Gastronomic Experience Award’ at the Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2017). Her “very special” petite, Notting Hill-fringe venue is “perfect for a romantic evening” with cooking that’s “peerless perfection”.

Jamavar Not only the highest rated newcomer (and winner of the ‘Top Newcomer’ award at the Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2017), but also already the highest rated Indian restaurant in the capital. The “expert” cooking is “genuinely top class” (while “still remaining properly authentic to the flavours you might find in New Delhi or Mumbai”).

Kiln Soho haunt serving “palate-searing” Thai dishes from the charcoal grill, it entered the top-5 highest scoring restaurants in its price bracket and was crowned Top Cheap Eat at the Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2017.

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