Rather than the usual panic buys – pithy personalised mugs, ‘fun’-sized snooker sets and bottles of whisky – this year, we thought it an idea to ditch the predictable Father’s Day purchase and instead, take him out to one of the best restaurants for Father’s Day in London – June 21st.
In this scenario everyone’s a winner. Dad gets to spend some time with you without having to feign happiness over another pair of comedy slippers. You get to assume the role of generous son/daughter whilst ticking off another restaurant on the ever growing London ‘to do’ list.
To make life easy, we’ve even divided our options into dad-friendly cuisines, meaning zero thinking on your part.
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Thanks to the ever-burgeoning burger phenomenon there’s no shortage of superior options if pops is a fan of the meat and patty. A good place to start would be Big Fernand on Percy Street, a petit Parisian chain adding a touch of Gallic gastronomy to everyone’s favourite dude food. Get your beef cooked how you want, pile it high with French cheese (we’d go Fourme d’Ambert or Raclette) and wash it down with a bottle of Maison Chapoutier red.
For a tried and tested fave, hit up one of Honest Burger’s nine London locations. Those bad boys never fail to deliver on flavour and flair, particularly when it comes to the monthly specials (Brindisa chorizo, chimichurri, manchego and jalapeno puree for June). There’s also the recent arrival of their weekend brunch menu at HB Clapham, Tooting and Liverpool Street – nothing says ‘I Love You Dad’ more than a Cheddar and Black Pudding Sourdough Toastie for breakfast.
Budget will be a big decision making factor in the curry category. Those with deep pockets should book National Restaurant of the Year 2014, Gymkhana for its faultless modern Indian cuisine in Mayfair. We also have a soft spot for Moti Mahal in Covent Garden, another restaurant on the higher end of the price scale but worth it for their black lentil Dahl oozing with ghee.
Islington’s Indian canteen, Delhi Grill, might be on the other end of the price scale but maintains a high standard; with fresh as you like and next level lamb chops. Another frugal but tiny option is Elephant in Brixton, which serves incredible Pakistani thalis (though, like most of the restaurants in the market it gets packed so go early).
As many of the UK’s budding chefs will tell you, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it traditional which is why our first suggestion is half pub, half restaurant The Jugged Hare. With a game-peppered British menu, taxidermy-decked interior and very own ale, it pretty much ticks all the ‘dad’ boxes. If you want to really impress Dad, take him to The Parlour in Kensal Rise where Head Chef Jesse Dunford Wood blends classic with culinary tricks in dishes such as Chicken Kiev and Cow Pie.
Got a shepherd’s pie lover in the family? Then the newly re-opened Shepherd’s of Westminster, an iconic restaurant which has long been a hot spot for surrounding politicos, is just the ticket. Particularly now they’ve bought former Berners Tavern chef, Paul Croasdale on board.
Finally, the 21st would be a great excuse to sample Stevie Parle’s latest restaurant Craft London in Greenwich. Billed as using almost exclusively British suppliers and producing as much as they can in house, dishes such as Ross Chicken with Bone Broth & Dumplings with Pork Scratchings & Kombucha Egg have already collected impressive column inches (pix. Peer Lindgreen).
London’s got rather good at posh kebabs meaning Dad can get his fill on Father’s Day sans formacia seating. A good place to start would be the newly opened, but already much lauded, Berber & Q in Haggerston. Geared towards the ingredients and flavours of the Middle East and North Africa, meat including smoked pork belly with pomegranate molasses BBQ is blackened to a beauteous crisp over charcoal and their merquez sausage is made in house.
On a budget? Dad’s eat free on 21st at Mamounia Lounge which have flashy but fun outposts in Mayfair and Knightsbridge. Or try Alan Yau’s Bibaji Pide which, alongside tremendously moreish Turkish pizzas, does a great line in lamb and beef kofte for less than a tenner.
If its drama you’re after, there’s nothing quite like the outlandish interior of Sarastro in Covent Garden. One glance at dressed up waiters weaving between gold pillars and you’ll feel like part of a West End production. Gimmicky? Yes. But having won a runner up prize at the British Kebab Awards, they have the meaty goods to back it up.
Best of the rest: Mangal Ocakbasi, Antepliler, Meze Mangal and Patogh.