Each month that lovely lot at olive Magazine, aka the gurus of all things food, bring you a spankin’ new series about the best places to get your boozy lunch on in the capital. The ultimate food porn, olive is to food what BarChick it to booze, so if you’re as into your sushi as you are your Sweet Manhattans, you should probably check out their Facebook page.
olive's Best Boozy Lunches in January
Salt 'n Pepper Salt ‘n Pepper is a household name in Pakistan, and its brand-new branch here is the first overseas outpost, bringing authentic Pakistani cooking to London. The menu is a feast of South Asian flavours and focuses on meat cooked in the tandoor oven. Go for spicy kebabs, such as the chicken malai tikka, £10.30 or for authentic Karahi curries, such as Karahi ghost (lamb on the bone), £12.20. 32 Orange Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7HQ The Dairy We like Dabbous, and Story’s way up there too, but most of all we LOVE The Dairy, an unassuming bar and restaurant in Clapham Old Town. And if seasonal eating and respect for where your food comes from are your thing, then so will you. But earnest it ain’t. A cool young team headed up by chef/owner Robin Gill serves generously sized ‘snacks’ like venison Scotch egg, brussel tops and toasted chestnuts (£6), plus not-so small plates such as crispy chicken skin, wild mushrooms, burnt kale (£8) and Irish onglet, butternut squash and black cabbage (£9.50). Cocktails are pretty bang on too: the Fennel & Apple Hendrick’s with gin, Granny Smith apple, fennel, cucumber (£8) was ace. It’s truly imaginative cooking with a slightly Scandi vibe (lots of dill, charred leeks and cool slateware). Wallet friendly too: the 7 course tasting menu is just £45. 15 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0HY Dirty Bones A hotdog hole-in-the-wall by day, by night, a door to the left of the serving hatch leads to a dimly-lit cocktail bar serving canine-themed drinks (Top Dog, Deputy Dog, 101 Dalmations). In the quirky diner-style restaurant beef, pork or vegetarian hot dogs get an upmarket twist - this is Kensington Church Street, after all. The Frenchie (£7.50) is loaded with celeriac remoulade and topped with crispy shallots and The Asian comes with kimchi purée, wasabi mayonnaise, crispy seaweed and sesame seeds (£8). Plus there’s fried chicken, ribs and rib-eye. Look out for the junk shop style ornaments dotted throughout. 20 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4EP The Imperial Once a proper football boozer, this Fulham pub has had a proper wash and brush up, and now food’s the star, not the footie. There’s still plenty of room in the light, airy bar if you just fancy a pint, but there’s a smart restaurant at the back, where a window into the kitchen lets you see chef Tom Hope at work. His salmon sashimi salad is a thing of delicate beauty, but there’s rib-sticking dishes like venison loin with spiced red cabbage and pork belly with black pudding, too. Aussie landlady Kate MacWhirter ensures the wine list is short and snappy, with lots of choice by the glass. 577 King's Road, London SW6 2EH