Shoreditch has quickly become one of the most popular places in London, with a vast expansion across shopping, clubbing and dining. We've been out and about scouting out our favourite restaurants from recently opened Nobu Restaurant to lunchtime favourite DF Mexico.
The Nobu Restaurant has just opened their doors to their third London location (the other two are situated at Park Lane and Berkely St). Seating an impressive 240 guests, the restaurant in Shoreditch boasts some of the best Japanese dishes around.
10-50 Willow Street London EC2A 4BH
Having only opened their doors at the beginning of this month (July 2017), Nobu executed their entire experience with ease from start to finish. The restaurant itself follows a Japanese theme, decorated beautifully in the heart of Shoreditch.
This restaurant joins the already existing 37 other destinations, scattered around the globe in the USA, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Carribean and The Middle East. The Nobu Restaurant delivers the best Japanese cuisine London has to offer, so add this to your must-go-to list!
The interior of the restaurant follows the Japanese theme that also runs throughout the conjoined hotel. The restaurant is connected to the hotel but has its own grand entrance as well. Find yourself walking down two flights of stairs that lead to the underground phenomenon- bound to take your breath away. It is not often you are greeted by such new, minimal and aesthetically pleasing interiors.
The Nobu also hosts an exquisite bar, where guests are invited to enjoy their signature cocktails. If you are a fan of the outdoors, step into their 'Garden Oasis' for a more private, personal experience.
Nobu holds themselves with welcoming grace- you will feel at total ease once in their establishment. Upon arrival, your booking will be taken, and you will be shown to your table. Now, I can quite honestly say what happened next has never, in all my years of dining, happened before. As we were being shown to our table, our waitress shouted out a form of Japanese greeting, to which every single waiter then responded to in unison. It was a wonderful and personal welcoming to the restaurant. It really is the small details which add up to make a great atmosphere.
If you like to taste a variety of the menu, we suggest choosing the set menu. This includes sushi, fish, meat and soup dishes- a real opportunity to sample the best the restaurant has to offer. The restaurant offers an impressive wine, cocktail and spirit menu, which you can only expect from the grand bar you'll see upon arrival. They are also open for breakfast and lunch.
What To Wear
We believe that a dining experience as fine and captivating as this deserves an effort in appearance. We would suggest dressing smart, but not formal. By this, we mean wear a shirt, but leave your tie at home. Wearing a blazer is optional and suit trousers, well fitted black jeans or smart trousers will all be suitable for this. Team this look with a pair of Oxfords or loafers, and finish your outfit with a silver watch.
Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR
Brushed concrete floors, exposed lighting and an industrial style metal and woodwork decor, perhaps not what you would expect from a typical Mexican restaurant. However, DF Mexico at the Old Truman Brewery in East London not only serves up a much more authentic taste of Mexican cuisine it thankfully does it with far fewer cliches, not a sombrero in sight.
On any given day the restaurant is busy and lively from lunch right through to evening creating a pleasant atmosphere for a workday lunch or even a low-key date. However, don’t expect to be impressed by the luxury of the place as it doesn’t ooze fine dining cuisine, but then again, Mexican street food restaurants shouldn’t.
Bottomless drinks, like their Hibiscus Juice and Lime Chia, are certainly inventive and if you have the typical Central American sweet Tooth these will hit the spot, however, if you prefer your teeth cavity free maybe opt for a Corona.
As the majority of Mexican Street food comprises of a corn-based tortilla with some assortment of filling and salsa, I figured the recently re-invented Taco menu would offer us the best sample of DF Mexico’s authentic cooking. We certainly weren’t disappointed, two per portion, they are nicely presented, large and packed to the brim with filling.
The pork tacos came loaded with genuine tasting Pibil style pork, oozing with tasty salsa and scattered with pink pickled onions. The steak Tacos with grilled cheese were tender and juicy with a nice peppery Chipotle sauce, the grilled cheese was slightly lacking in character but overall very good. The chicken buttermilk taco was perhaps the most lacking in Authentic Mexican flavour but, if like me, you love fried chicken with Chipotle sauce, you’re on to a winner with this one.
The sides had a nice touch of innovation to them, the traditional red slaw was tangy with lime and apple and garnished with sesame seeds creating a dish that could have stood well alone and was perhaps slightly too strong as a side dish. Maize being high up on the Central American food chain was, of course, a necessary order despite already having gorged on 3 tacos. I was glad I did as the cup of corn side was far more inventive that the name suggests, served with feta and a lime-infused flavoursome stock it was more than worthy of its £2.50 price tag.
Overall I was very impressed with DF Mexico, it is not overstated in terms of design but instead tastefully decked out with a few nice Mexican touches and colour schemes thrown in. Given how busy the restaurant was our food came very quickly and the waiting staff, although perhaps short in number, were more than friendly and willing to help.
The brainchild of entrepreneur Mark Selby and Master Chef winner Thomasina Miers, the menu pleasantly varies, there are inventive flavour combinations that are clearly crafted by a very talented chef but it is slightly lacking in belly fire and the rich spices typical of Mexican Cooking. This being said, it is pitched as an American/Mexican fusion restaurant and, as this, it works very well and comes with The Idle Man seal of approval.
Definitely the tacos. These are some of the best in town and well worth a trip down for one lunchtime! What's more, on a Monday you can get 50% off tacos with DF Mexico's #MEXMONDAYS deal!
What to Wear to DF Mexico
A more casual approach would be best suited to this kind of restaurant. Team a plain white T-shirt with some blue, slim fit jeans; a classic look that will work for multiple occasions and situations, then, throw over a black leather biker jacket. This adds an alternative element to your outfit by creating detail and texture to your look. The choice of footwear is up to you as you can opt for a pair of white trainers, or, to keep the look classic, a pair of black penny loafers.