With Christmas almost upon us, we thought it would be fun to take a look around London and put together a small selection of restaurants who are putting their own magic touch and twist on the traditional Christmas menu we’ve all come to know and love.
Chi Kitchen in Oxford Street
We popped in to Chi Kitchen on the ground floor of Debenhams one recent Friday evening to try out their special Christmas menu. The restaurant was brimming with couples and groups enjoying the excellent cuisine and cosy atmosphere.
The Chi Kitchen 2017 Christmas menu offers an alternative twist to the traditional dinner with a choice of three dishes made with festive ingredients such as turkey, infused with pan-Asian flavours.
We start with a tasty Salt and Pepper Smoked Turkey and selection of Winter Vegetable Tempura of asparagus, baby corns, broccoli and carrots. The main course winner is the Salmon Teriyaki with Brussel sprouts, which is so flavoursome you’ll want to eat it all, whilst the Turkey Randang is a vivid Malaysian red curry. Be warned though, the Stir-fried tofu with chilli bean sauce, mixed peppers and onion is not for the faint-hearted as it packs a spicy punch!
We were not sure we could manage dessert, having over indulged a little, so rather than order two, we succumbed and share the Ginger Brownie, which consists of a rich chocolate brownie with honey and ginger ice cream and is really quite filling but a satisfying end a relaxed an excellent meal before venturing out into a cold Oxford Street adorned with Christmas lights and late-night revellers.
You can find Chi Kitchen on the Ground Floor of Debenhams, 334-348 Oxford Street, London, WC1 1JG
Tel: +44 (0)20 3841 6888
The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch
Shoreditch is always a part of London I enjoy visiting and, so it was earlier this week that I headed over there to enjoy The Jones Family Project’s festive Christmas menu.
The restaurant was filled with Christmas revellers enjoying their Christmas parties and with the restaurant decked out with decorations and Christmas tree, we got into the atmosphere with a festive cocktail at the bar upstairs before making our way to our table downstairs.
There is hopefully something for everyone, with a selection of three starters, ranging from Venison Chorizo and Smoked Duck to Cream of Parsnip and Chestnut Soup and a Cured Stonebass.
Whilst we opt for different starters, the delicious Turkey Breast Steak was a must and comes accompanied with bacon wrapped stuffing, tarragon glazed carrots, hazelnut winter greens, roast potatoes and of course lashings of Christmas gravy! However, if turkey is not your thing then you can choose from something The Jones Family Project are known for, a lovely juicy Sirloin Steak. Otherwise there is a Salmon En Croûte and Vegetarian Wellington.
We of course make sure that we save some room for dessert and choose the fabulous Guinness Chocolate Cake with Chantilly cream and a prune compote. The menu also offers a selection of sorbets and selection of British cheeses served with homemade chutney and crackers.
A few hours later, fed and feeling quite merry, we stepped out into a dark Shoreditch and make our way Liverpool Street Station and agree that this was the perfect way to start the Christmas week!
You can find The Jones Family Project at 78 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3JL
Tel: +44 (0)207 739 1740
Their three-course Christmas Menu costs £37.50 per person.
Hammer & Tongs in Farringdon
Hammer & Tongs in Farringdon are celebrating their first Christmas with a South African Braai Christmas Menu.
The menu consists of three courses and start with a braai’d butternut soup, which is a beautiful rich soup whose sweet squash complements the main course of braai smoke, Cape Malay marinated Barnsley chop, with flavours of coriander, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, chillies, mustard and ginger, and served with braai roasted brussel sprouts and dry roast chips.
If you still have some room left, then the dessert is a Cape Brandy pudding steamed on the embers of the 3-meter long grill.
The sight, smell and sound of the roaring braai in the restaurant’s open kitchen offers a rather unique atmosphere along with a service style that reflects the philosophy of the braai with primal elements of smoke, fire, food and good company in celebration of life! I’ll second that.
You can find Hammer & Tongs at 171 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3AL
Tel: +44 (0)20 3774 2884
Their two-course Christmas Menu costs £20 and their three-course £25 and includes a complimentary glass of bubbles and selection of curated South African wines to choose from to accompany your meal.
Hunter 486 at The Arch London in Marble Arch
Hunter 486 at The Arch London is serving a series of seasonal dishes this Christmas with its dedicated Festive Menu. Starters include a Warm Salt Beef Salad with caper dressing and a Burford Brown Egg, as well as Salt Baked Heritage Beets with whipped goat’s curd, red chard and candied pecans.
The main course offers a traditional Roast Norfolk Turkey with chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and chipolatas in bacon and some wild mushroom and truffle tortellini, served with a cepe and Parmesan sauce. If you fancy something a little lighter, then the Fillet of Stone Bass may suit you better, and is served with sesame greens, a lemongrass and ginger broth.
Still have some room left for dessert? Well then how about a Lemon Tart with crème fraiche or Bramley Apple and Quince Crumble with Cinnamon Custard? My choice? The traditional Christmas Pudding with brandy and vanilla sauce.
Hunter 486 is also serving a Festive Afternoon Tea which is available until 7th January 2018 and includes some seasonal ingredients such as Roast Norfolk turkey finger sandwiches to compliment the plain and fruit scones and rich chocolate Yule Logs, Batternburg cake and Macaroons with Eggnog cream!
You can Find Hunter 486 at The Arch London, 50 Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD
Tel: +44 (0)20 7724 4700
The Festive Dining Menu costs £35 per person, whilst the Festive Afternoon Tea is £28 per person or £39 with a glass of Tattinger Champagne.
MeatUP Pop-up Burger Kitchen in Chelsea
Wandsworth’s BBQ restaurant MeatUp has open an exciting new pop up Burger Kitchen in Chelsea for Christmas this year where you can order your choice of colourful buns and patties cooked as you like along with a selection of over 20 exciting toppings, as well as its rather indulgent Christmas Burger.
Their patties are made from a secret blend of short-rib, brisket, sirloin, ribeye, chuck and bone marrow. You can order your burgers cooked to preference, as all the meat is butchered, minced by hand and pressed in a strict process allowing them to serve the burgers rare, which very few restaurants offer these days. You can then choose to encase your patty between a normal milk bun, an inky black charcoal bun or a festive red beetroot option – yes seriously!
When it comes to toppings, you can choose from a range of indulgent mac & cheese, short rib, triple cheese, seared foie gras and bacon or more off-the-wall options that include chow mein, chicken tikka and naan, waffles, lime & chilli prawns and even Kinder Egg, yes you read that correctly.
Each bun is paired with bespoke matching drinks. For example, the midnight-hued bun comes with the Charcoal Cobbler made with charcoal-infused rum, vanilla, orange and lime and served with flowers. The signature red bun is paired with the Beetini, which blends beetroot gin, hibiscus and elderflower, whilst you can enjoy the milk bun with a Brit75, a tantalising mix of lemon, gin and prosecco.
The Christmas Burger is made with a patty topped with roast turkey, bacon, pigs in blankets, stuffing, sliced brussels sprouts and brie, and then covered in tangy cranberry sauce. It is then encased in a festive red bun and held together with a candy cane and served with a side of gravy for the ultimate dip.
You can find the pop-up at MeatUp’s Burger Kitchen, 351 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 9TW
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.