raditionally when you think of the capital’s dining hotspots, you may consider bordering neighbourhoods Belgravia, Kensington, and St James’ ahead of Victoria as a foodie destination. But the area is no longer a culinary wasteland, and ever more big-name chefs and restaurant groups are choosing this postcode to open their latest eateries. From Chinese tasting menus to Spanish tapas, traditional Italian fare to table service fit for royalty, here are the best restaurants in Victoria.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the various menus and experiences at super-swish Chinese restaurant A. Wong. Indeed, China has 14 international borders, with each one adding diversity and richness to the country’s 3,000 years of culinary history – and at A. Wong you get a taste of them all. The dim sum lunch menu flits from one perfect dumpling to the next with its prawn and pork morsels served with pork crackling and black bean relish, salt and pepper French bean fritters, laughing buddha buns, and seared scallop and honey glazed Iberico pork cheung fung.
For a meal to remember, choose the five movements dinner: each course smacking your senses with its array of reimagined classics and inventive gastronomic delights. Go the extra mile and book the chef’s table if you want a side of entertainment with your Dong Po suckling pig, soy chicken or grilled chilli butter turbot. You can’t go wong.
There’s nothing better for a true foodie than sitting down to peruse a menu and being told you must order at least half of the options listed. Which is why low-key cicchetti bar Tozi, which is inspired by laid-back Venetian dining traditions, ticks every box, from after-work drinks and snacks to a full flung birthday dinner. Choose at least one mouth-watering dish from each tantalising section – raw, fritti, counter and salad, pasta and soup, grilled and baked, large to share, and sides – for an authentic taste of Italy.
If you’re taking our advice, don’t miss the Sicilian red prawns with sea salt, cauliflower fritti with black truffle mayo, octopus with chickpea purée, fennel and fried capers, and of course, the slow-cooked pork shoulder with braised cannellini beans, rainbow chard and crispy pancetta – along with every pasta listed. The cocktail list is also as appealing, while there’s also a comprehensive wine and bubbles offering. La dolce vita indeed.
The Dining Room at the Goring
If the royals are your barometer for all things posh, then it doesn’t get much fancier than the glorious Goring hotel. The only hotel with a Royal Warrant from The Queen (the Duchess of Cambridge took residence here the night before her nuptials), its famed Michelin star dining room is a regal, epicurean experience not to be missed. Start with the Goring eggs drumkilbo accompanied by succulent and sweet native lobster, caviar and roasted tomato, or the acquerello risotto, teeming with glazed fresh morel mushrooms, broad beans and verjus, before moving on to mains.
Order the classic but stunning Longhorn beef Wellington, featuring slow-cooked short rib, pickled horseradish, and onion marmalade. For something lighter, the Dover sole with pickled Muscat grape, seaweed Jersey royal potatoes and tarragon is a treat for the senses. Finish off with a selection of cheeses from the trolley before rolling home in your carriage to sleep it off.
The Other Naughty Piglet
Let your tastebuds be transported to a tapas bar by the Med with The Other Naughty Piglet’s small but perfectly formed seasonal sharing plates. Time your visit carefully and you may be lucky enough to sample salty, fluffy ham croquettes, bursting creamy burrata drizzled with Spanish olive oil, Romana courgettes with Amalfi lemon, black olives and feta, and cuttlefish lardo slathered with pine nuts, wild garlic and fried sourdough. But if not, then hopefully there’ll be a beef fillet carpaccio, squid ink risotto, or confit lamb to whet your appetite, or at least something half as delicious. Choose a communal table or counter seat to give your evening a more sociable twist. This little piggy ordered chocolate mousse…
Nacho Manzano, the famed Michelin-starred executive chef behind one of the capital’s most loved Spanish eateries, grew up in the tiny village of La Salgar in the northern Asturias mountains, where he learned to cook with his grandmother and mother. And the food at Iberica speaks for itself. Cured meats, hams, cheeses and olives are aplenty (may we suggest a tasting platter to sample them all), followed by bite-sized Padron peppers, stewed chicken, grilled octopus, and an array of interesting salads.
Don’t miss the charred aubergine and sobrasada salad with honey, Sujaira cheese, rocket and caramelised sunflower seeds as well as mains of twice-cooked lamb, paella, and prawn and pork papadas – individually served in an iceberg wrap with pickled red onion, avocado, and kimchi mayonnaise. Ideal for a date night or business lunch, Costa del Sol vibes this isn’t.
For the buzziest Saturday brunch in town or a breakfast with a difference during the week, head to M Victoria for a first meal of the day that couldn’t be further from your sub-standard bowl of cornflakes. Get a taste for how the Japanese, Israelis, Mexicans and Americans do it with chimichurri steak and eggs, breakfast ramen with pork belly, noodles, and a mushroom and bacon broth, shakshuka with yogurt and seeds, and pecan pie French toast. For a birthday or pre-wedding celebration (or just because you fancy it) go bottomless with free-flowing prosecco or cocktails. Come nightfall, the dinner menu doesn’t disappoint, with its array of international fare from wagyu scotch eggs and duck leg bao buns to fire-cooked chicken and Iberico pork, finished off with a strawberry ice cream sandwich. Mmm mmm.