On Monday 5 February, the great and good of the UK food scene will head to Manchester’s Midland Hotel to discover which restaurants have made it into the latest Michelin Guide. It’s never easy to second-guess the inspectors’ ratings, but Alex Dalzell has made some calculated predictions to pick 10 restaurants that should gain their first star or improve on last year’s results.
Five years after opening his Michelin-starred restaurant, BRAT, which currently sits at #53 on The World’s 50 Best list, chef Tomos Parry launched his long-awaited new venture in July 2023. Its inspiration is drawn from journeys through Spain – think long lunches in vineyards, plates of seafood in bustling fish markets, and hearty stews in local tavernas. The menu is underpinned by the chef’s passion for cooking over coals – a trend that’s bound to catch the inspectors’ attention.
16-18 Beak Street, Soho; See website here
In a coup for Harrods, superstar chef Björn Frantzén launched his first UK restaurant on the department store’s rooftop last summer. Renowned as one of the world’s most innovative talents, Frantzén’s London debut showcases his brand of Nordic and Asian fusion that’s earned his eponymous Stockholm restaurant three Michelin stars, as well as an annual appearance on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Given his calibre, this one’s a shoo-in for a star.
Harrods, Knightsbridge; See website here
When the team behind Gymkhana, Hoppers, and Trishna opened this Indian restaurant, we knew it was destined for greatness. It’s a stunning debut from chef Chet Sharma, who has Michelin pedigree following stints at L’Enclume and Moor Hall, and he brings fine dining finesse to flavours from across the subcontinent. We can imagine the Michelin inspectors tucked into one of the booths, being impressed by the bold flavours and well-balanced spice.
42 North Audley Street, Mayfair; See website here
This wood-fired concept revolves around an impressive grill at the centre of the intimate dining room. It’s not the first place to fuse South American and Japanese cooking (and certainly won’t be the last), but Colombian-born chef Miller Prada stands apart with his pyromaniac tendencies – everything on the menu has encountered flame or smoke at some stage. HUMO opened two weeks before last year’s Michelin Guide was released, so there’s been plenty of time for the inspectors to visit.
12 St George Street, Mayfair; See website here
Simon Rogan’s 12-seat counter spot on a Soho side alley has all the hallmarks of a modern Michelin contender – limited guest numbers, inventive cooking, and a seamless journey of dainty dishes without a micro herb out of place. It’s the type of place that chefs visit on their day off and we’ll be surprised if it doesn’t bag a star.
16 St Anne’s Court, Soho; See website here
Transforming a disused boozer into a sleek chef’s table is very Shoreditch; but cliches aside, this is one of the most exciting dining experiences in the capital right now. The single evening service begins at 7.15pm on the dot, when 16 lucky guests are led on a seasonal voyage across the British Isles by Joe Laker and his team, who are cooking on the other side of the sweeping marble countertop. If it makes it into the guide, expect reservations to become even more elusive.
71 Nile Street, Shoreditch; See website here
Endo at the Rotunda
Step into the calming rooftop space of third-generation sushi master Endo Kazutoshi for a masterclass in omakase dining. Throughout the 20-course dinner menu, you’ll come to learn the chef’s obsession for sourcing the most incredible ingredients, ranging from mackerel caught off Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula to rice cooked in water with the perfect PH level. We predict the attention to detail will elevate this spot to two-star status in the Michelin Guide.
8th Floor, The Helios, Shepherd’s Bush; See website here
The Ritz Restaurant
If a restaurant could get three stars for interiors alone, it’d be easy winnings for the lavish surroundings of The Ritz’s main dining room. As it stands, it only has one star, but we predict it’ll rise through the ranks this year – the crisp white tablecloths, impeccable service, and John William’s pitch-perfect menu tick all the boxes for two-star success.
The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s; See website here
Following extensive travels through 27 countries and stints in the kitchen at Mugaritz in San Sebastian and Noma’s Tulum residency, Santiago Lastra settled in London to wow us with his modern take on Mexican staples. Within one year of opening, KOL had secured a Michelin star, and we hope another follows this year – there’s still plenty of buzz and the cooking remains at the cutting edge.
9 Seymour Street, Marylebone; See website here
It’s almost impossible to imagine the level of skill, passion, and determination needed to reach the rarified heights of three stars in the Michelin Guide; but whatever that magic formula is, we think Ikoyi has it in spades. Jeremy Chan’s unwavering precision shines through in a menu that’s designed to grab your attention, question your preconceptions, and – ultimately – delight. If our predictions ring true, this’ll be a huge moment for this fast-rising star.
180 Strand, Aldwych; See website here