Whether you are looking to indulge in a multi feast of sharing plates or hoping to nibble from a selection of small plates, sharing food with a date or a group of close friends can be a blast. The clashing of forks, the dash for the tastiest looking morsel, the chance to try a variety of different options all within one meal; what more could you want? And with all taste buds working in harmony it not only creates a sensory explosion it also provides the perfect conversation topic. It is such an immersive and social experience and as long as you don’t share Joey from Friends’ mantra on sharing food (“Joey doesn’t share food”) then you are in for a treat. Here at Hero & Leander we have selected our favourite London locations for sharing plates. Which will you try first?
Adam Handling At Caxton
In September last year, this exceptional young chef opened ‘Adam Handling at Caxton’ in Westminster, which has already taken a coveted three rosettes award from the AA. Handling brings his love of Asian flavours and techniques – particularly Japanese – to his kitchen. His beautifully presented dishes start with careful sourcing of top quality, seasonal ingredients, prepared in a number of different, creative ways to enhance their inherent properties and deliver real depth of flavour and harmony. Here at Hero & Leander we are blown away by his inventive menu and his artistry in presentation. This culinary genius agrees with our love for the concept of sharing dining experiences and his menu reflects this wonderfully with small plates such as BBQ Veal Tartare or Smoked Pork with pineapple, lovage and parmesan. Main courses are usually one per person by why not splash out and pick 3 to split between you- this may not be a the conventional concept of sharing plates but when the food is so good, who cares. Alternatively you could opt for the 7 or 11 course tasting menu.
2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW, UK
Tel: 0800 652 1498
Upstairs at Trinity
Opened in 2006, Trinity has long been a dependable destination for residents south of the river and since the addition of ‘Upstairs’ the appeal is ever growing. Chef and owner Adam Byatt is responsible for this casual dining space on the site’s first floor. Wooden communal dining tables are set along bi-folding windows with views onto the Old Town piazza and all dishes are all cooked to order from an open island kitchen. The menu served in the original ground floor space and new piazza stays true to Byatt’s style of cooking, focussing on his interpretation of great classics whilst at ‘Upstairs’ a selection of small plates are on offer and designed to be shared. Sharing highlights include Fish Stew with BBQ Scallops and Seaweed Aioli and DOC Burrata with spiced aubergine, chilli, mint and fried bread.
4 The Polygon, Clapham, London SW4 0JG
Tel: 0203 745 7227
Barnyard is a project from Oskar Kinberg and Ollie Dabbous and headed up by Head Chef Joseph Woodland. This rustic diamond of a restaurant features wholesome and reasonably priced dishes (all of which can be shared) including the likes of homemade sausage rolls with piccalilli and roast beef on toast with warm horseradish buttermilk. The drinks menu is also a key part of the Barnyard stable with tipples including Hedgerow Shandy (sloe gin, cider, pink grapefruit & tonic), boilermakers, homemade lemonade and an array of milkshakes, such as popcorn and lavender, all served either virgin or alcoholic. As the name suggests there’s a nod towards the agricultural and the interior is rusticity-inspired, featuring reclaimed timber and corrugated tin. Barnyard has recently introduced its Beef, Beer & Bourbon Sundays. For just £15 a head, hungry punters can tuck into their first cut of beef (served with béarnaise sauce and a bucket of chips) washed down with a craft beer and then a bourbon. After that refills are available for £5 per cut of beef and £2.50 for a bourbon or beer (extra chips are £2.50, béarnaise is bottomless.) Barnyard’s 3Bs gives diners the perfect opportunity to try a selection of different cuts of beef – cooked to order by professional chefs – and all without breaking the bank!
18 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LZ
Tel: 020 7580 3842
The Cinnamon Club
When it comes to Indian cuisine The Cinnamon Club is in a league of its own. As a Londoner if you have not heard of The Cinnamon Club you have been missing out, and for couples the world over, this is a restaurant to add to your foodie bucket list. Set in the historic Grade II listed former Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club is an institution in the world of Indian fine dining. The original modern Indian restaurant in London, The Cinnamon Club has a long history of serving innovative and creative Indian cuisine in a magnificently majestic setting. Having only reopened in 2015 following a major refurbishment, Executive Chef Vivek Singh and Head Chef Rakesh Ravindran Nair have developed a stunning new menu that combines The Cinnamon Club’s signatures with new dishes and celebratory platters; ideal for sharing. We cannot wait to try the Raan – Slow braised shoulder of milk-fed Herdwick lamb with saffron sauce, black lentils, pomegranate pilau, burhani raita and coriander chutney.
Tel: 020 7222 2555
Darbaar is the latest venture from award winning Chef Abdul Yaseen (previously of Cinnamon Club & Kitchen) and focuses on bringing inspired modern Indian cuisine to the City. The menu showcases a sharing dining experience inspired by the banquets of the Indian Royal Courts. Think Nawabi Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb, Keralan Shrimp Cocktail, and Kid Goat Biryani …
Darbaar is set over an impressive 5,500 feet and it houses a 220-cover restaurant and bar, including an interactive grill seating area, 20-cover private dining room and a bespoke chef’s table for up to 12 people.
1 Snowden Street,Broadgate West, London, EC2A 2DQ
Tel: 020 7422 4100
Sky Pod Bar
Sky Pod Bar is an all-day drinking and dining space situated amongst the impressive gardens and offering the best views from Sky Garden. Throughout the day, soak up the views with drinks, light snacks and sandwiches; in the evenings the extensive cocktail list and sharing boards become the star of the show as London comes to life and music fills the air. Highlights include the Neal’s Yard & Goodwood Estate Cheese Platter with seasonal British & Irish cheeses, balsamic Roscoff onion petals, chutneys, honeycomb & artisan breads.
Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF
Tel: 020 7337 2344
This Scandi-inspired casual dining restaurant, KuPP is located canal-side at Paddington and brings a nuance of the Nordics with brilliant bords, beer and cocktails aplenty every Saturday and Sunday. Why not tuck into a delicious Smokin’ Roast Bord with smoked fore rib of beef, chive buttered smoked onion, honey smoked beetroot, roasted new potatoes and butternut squash, lingonberry jam and red wine gravy. For just £30 per person and enjoy 90 minutes of unlimited Smorgasbord refills alongside bottomless Czech Pilsner Krusovice dispensed direct from the showcased silver tanks, or a choice of deliciously herbal and spice infused Aquavit cocktails – the Collins or Bloody Mary.
5 Merchant Square, Paddington, London W2 1AS
Tel: 020 7262 8618
Rudie’s, is an exciting and unique casual dining restaurant in Dalston that provides customers with a truly authentic taste of the very best of Jamaica. A sharing style menu featuring “real jerk” dishes alongside innovative small plates inspired by traditional Jamaican cooking presented with a contemporary twist, expertly mixed cocktails and an eclectic mix of Jamaican music is all be served up in a vibrant and relaxed environment. You can order their Ya Man Platter to share and you won’t be disappointed, they have had raving reviews for their jerk. They marinate their chicken for 24 hours in their own secret jerk recipe, cook over charcoal and wood smoke in a traditional Jamaican drum. This platter is definitely one to share, with a selection of chicken, pork and slaw, and a choice of hot sauces, you’ll leave this jamming Jamaican restaurant with extra zing in your step…
50 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB
Tel: 0207 249 9930
Kurobuta arrived at Harvey Nichols with a residency within the iconic Knightsbridge store. Ex-Nobu chef, restaurateur and author, Scott Hallsworth, brings his critically acclaimed Kurobuta to the former Fifth Floor Restaurant space and the Japanese Izakaya to central London. Kurobuta popped up on the King’s Road in October 2013 with a simple aim; to provide a casual dining space in which to enjoy excellent Japanese food whilst also accompanying the dishes with great beers and cocktails. These small plates are ideal for sharing and are bursting with flavour. Due to its massive popularity, it is now a permanent site. Kurobuta, Marble Arch officially opened in April last year with sake offerings, fresh fruit cocktails and frozen head beer all chime perfectly with Scott’s unrivalled Japanese menu.
February 2016 sees the first UK launch of Oliver Maki in Soho London, a leader in contemporary Japanese cuisine with five award-winning restaurants already established internationally. The passionate kitchen team led by Executive Head Chef Louis Kenji Huang (formerly Head Sushi Chef at Nobu), work to continually evolve the menu with new flavours, ingredients and techniques: pushing the boundaries with dishes that surprise and delight. Their signature dish is the Oliver Maki roll is designed to share, with each bite a new experience. Guests enter the new Soho venue through an intimate six seat bar serving a selection of drinks from sake and wine to creative cocktails. Each dish at Oliver Maki is a carefully constructed work of art, as beautiful as it is delicious. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Oliver Maki Roll. Made up of eight different rolls in one, it includes over 30 ingredients and eight toppings such as house made kizami wasabi, pico de gallo, and chilli mustard. In addition, the roll requires nine cooking processes from complex marinades to labour intensive fresh seaweed cooking and even molecular gastronomy. A showcase of the Maki chefs’ incredible skill, this single dish represents a culinary journey of different tastes and textures. Akin to an eight course tasting menu on one plate, this signature roll gives diners an understanding of the cuisine and flavours of Oliver Maki. Another star dish perfect for sharing is The Sushi Jewel Box is a visually stunning presentation piece, showcasing a special selection of intricate Oliver Maki signature rolls in a beautifully designed, bespoke box that holds a surprise in every drawer.
33 Dean Street, London, W1D 4PP
Celebrated chef Jun Tanaka strikes it out alone with a long-awaited and stunning solo debut, The
Ninth. So called because it is the ninth restaurant Jun has worked in, although the very first he
has owned. The Ninth offers relaxed neighbourhood dining at its finest. Located in the heart of
Fitzrovia, the menu marries simple yet refined French-Mediterranean sharing plates with casual,
friendly service, and an expertly curated and approachable wine list which focuses on small
producers and lesser known bottles.
22 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2NB
Tel: 020 3019 0880