Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

A guide to London's best new spots for eating and drinking

Sette London
Sette London

By Martin Breen

If you are planning a break in London, check out our guide of the best new places to eat and drink in the city.

SETTE

I had the most amazing Italian meal of my life there and it was a simple tomato and basil spaghetti.

Located in the plush Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, this first London restaurant from the team behind Scarpetta in New York brings authentic Italian food from the heart of Manhattan with its own inimitable flair.

In Italian, 'fare la scarpetta' is to take a piece of bread between thumb and forefingers to mop up that last delicious bit of sauce on the plate. At Sette that is exactly what you will do once you taste their food.

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Sette Tomato and Basil Spaghetti

Before the pasta course we enjoyed some offerings from the Crudo section including delicious delicate Yellowtail and tuna susci.

Next up was creamy polenta served with a fricassee of truffled mushrooms in cream and parmesan - as exquisite as it sounds.

Its homemade pasta was simply divine. The star of the show sounded so unassuming I was not going to order until staff advised me it was a must-try. That was their signature spaghetti with tomato and basil. Bursting with flavour, it would be up there as my death row meal (not that I think I will ever have that choice to make).

Another dish you need to taste is the black tagliolini. This squid ink pasta is loaded with lobster, tomato and spiced basil breadcrumbs. Again all flavours shine through without overpowering each other.

For desserts the espresso budino with salted caramel, chocolate biscotti and hazelnut gelato was delightful, as was the valrhona chocolate cake with chocolate banana toffee sauce and caramel gelato.

We paired our food with Italian wines recommended by the knowledgeable staff.

RUYA

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Rüya London

Prepare for a Turkish taste sensation when you step inside the beautiful Anatolian restaurant in Mayfair.

Meaning 'dream' in Turkish, Ruya offers a taste of sophisticated, contemporary dishes from the various Anatolian regions, stretching from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Highlights for me included a mouthwatering 24-hour slow-cooked short rib with Turkish chilli BBQ glaze and spiced Konya chickpea puree; a shish tavuk kebab (yoghurt and chili marinated grilled chicken); and sucuk pide flatbread, which contained spicy sucuk sausage and simit coated baby squid with avocado haydari.

Everything was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Beautifully presented, I will never forget the sight of the succulent short rib served with the bone the meat had glided off and finely sliced to show its perfect pink colour.

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Rüya London. 24 Hour Slow Cooked Short Rib

For dessert the waiting staff steered me towards their signature kunefe dessert. It is baked kadayif pastry with melted majdule cheese and rose and orange blossom syrup, served with pistachio ice cream.

Even though we had ordered more than usual for a lunch, we managed to polish it off. I would go back for that alone, although every dish was a winner for me, as was the venue itself, which transports you into all the opulence of the Middle East.

Ruya is open seven days a week from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner. Visit www.ruyalondon.com.

NOLITA SOCIAL

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Nolita Social London
 

If you fancy some of the most creative cocktails you can imagine in a lively bar, you just have to wander down one flight of stairs from Sette.

Nolita Social, named after New York's most charming neighbourhood, north of Little Italy, succeeds in its aim to bring the energy of the New York night to London, with a heady mix of crafted cocktails, live music and DJs playing 60s rock, 70s soul and 90s hip-hop.

I would happily recommend the Stairway To Heaven cocktail - Bombay Sapphire gin, grappa morbida poli, passion fruit, vanilla syrup and lager. As I love both gin and lager, it was just perfect for me.

  • Sette and Nolita Social are located on 4 Knightsbridge Green, London SW1X 7QA. For more information, visit www.settelondon.co.uk and nolitasocial.co.uk

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