If you love eating delicious food, but hate having to, ugh, choose stuff, then you’ll probably want to check out one of the single-item restaurants rapidly filling up the capital, whose focus on doing just one specific dish has resulted in them doing it extremely well (and where you can ungluttonously order the entire menu!). Here are the best in London...
Acquired Taste: Blood Rice Cakes With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Justina Valentine
Bubbledogs Fitzrovia After decades of being quarantined in the land of American classic baseball games or kids' summer camps, hot dogs are back, and this time they're being paired with Champagne. Bubbledogs -- in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 months -- is the brainchild of husband & wife team James Knappett & Sandia Chang, who decided that after working at the top end (Noma in Copenhagen), to go a little in the other direction, combining a heavy-hitting menu of single estate bubblies w/ some of the most imaginatively tasty dogs you'll find (their Fourth of July = wrapped in bacon w/ BBQ sauce and slaw).
The Chicken Shop Kentish Town The Soho House group landed on a good thing in Kentish Town when they opened this simple homage to the rotisserie chook, served eye-wateringly spicy or smokey. Whack on a couple sides (corn on the cob, anyone?) grab a drink (the beer's from local brewery Camden) and try to save some room for dessert. The simple life seemed to go down well, and a second joint recently swung its doors down in Tooting.
Le Relais De Venise L'Entrecote Marylebone Over half a century ago, a French man bought an Italian restaurant with the intention of using it to push his family's wine business. Wanting to just keep the menu simple -- forcing the brain to focus on the wine -- he just served a special recipe of steak and salad. His plan backfired spectacularly when it turned out that the secret recipe was so good, that people would queue down the street for it. Not the wine. Fast forward to present day, now his daughter is calling the shots with the business having expanded to New York, and several locations in London, too. Keeping with tradition foodwise, the only option you get here is how you want the steak cooked.
Arancini Brothers Kentish Town Once you try arancini (fried risotto balls), you wonder how you lived your life without them, so it's no wonder that the market cart started by two guys named David has now branched out with three locations dedicated to those hot, crispy, gooey, sauce-filled balls of joy. Certainly, their cafes do have a few other things on the menu -- fine, whatever -- that's not why you’re here. With their first spot in Kentish Town, they’ve expanded and now have two more in Dalston and the City.
Flat Iron Soho In a world where the average consumer now knows almost as much as the average butcher about cuts of meat, these guys made a statement: we like this cut and therefore we will serve this cut. Also, we will charge £10 for it, so you will bloody like it too. You want a side? You get beef-dipping popcorn for free. Also, you get a miniature meat cleaver as part of every place setting, and that's just straight-up cool.
Mussel Men Dalston In another story of “Pop-Up Does Good”, what started as a street food stall with a certain pension for mollusks has taken a long-term(ish) lease on a spot in Dalston where they can truly bring the small mussel to a certain level of greatness. Also, you used to be able to arm-wrestle the chef for a free meal. Now, you just get a thumb war for the fun of it.
Tramshed Shoreditch So, technically, you can get two things at this place. You’ve got chicken and you've got steak. Sure, they have a few different cuts and a couple different ways of being prepped, but if it isn’t one of those two things you’re after, then you are SOL, my friend. Steakwise, the smallest cuts start at 250g and huge roast chickens are good to share between two/three friends.
Burger & Lobster Mayfair Again, a technical cheat, given that this place has a whopping two items on the menu (a, err, burger or a lobster), but the fact that both of them cost £20 makes them either ludicrously cheap or expensive depending on which you order. Your lobster can now come in the form of a roll, and they've now got five sites and counting, so clearly people are cool with it.