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Harden's names winners and losers in 2016 guide

05 November 2015 by
Harden's names winners and losers in 2016 guide

The growth of London restaurants is "off the charts", with the tally of new openings in the past year now higher than it was before the financial crash of 2008.

That's according to the 25th edition of Harden's London Restaurants, whose 2016 book is published on 5 November.

The 2016 edition counted 179 newcomers to the capital's restaurant scene since the 2015 version of the guide was published, outstripping the 158 in 2008, and the figure in the 2015 edition of 148.

The number of closings, 56, was also slightly higher than last year's (which at 47 was the lowest this century), Harden's said it was still a "modest amount", continuing a three-year trend of limited closures.

The guideʼs co-founder, Peter Harden, said: "The growth of Londonʼs restaurant scene is jaw-dropping in comparison to its recent past, never mind the ʻDark Agesʼ in which we founded our guide 25 years ago. It is wonderful to be celebrating the guideʼs silver anniversary in what is a golden age for restaurant-goers."

Harden's also published its annual lists of "winners and losers" in the guide based on ratings and reviews from 6,750 restaurant-goers, who contributed 60,000 reports for the 2016 edition.

Chief among the winners was Michel Roux Jr's Le Gavroche in Londons Mayfair, which topped the guide's London's "Top Gastronomic Experience" for the second time, toppling Brett Graham's the Ledbury, which nonetheless still held onto the capital's highest average food rating thanks to Graham's "adventurous" culinary creations, "executed with panache".

Chez Bruce was voted London's favourite restaurant for the 11th year running, while the Wolseley took best breakfast/brunch.

Among the "losers" in the guide were Chiltern Firehouse which took the dubious accolade of "Most Disappointing Cooking", knocking the Oxo Tower restaurant off the top spot after 15 years.

Taking the title of "Most Overpriced Restaurant" was the River Café for the second year in a row, which one survey reporter described as "eye-wateringly expensive, but brilliant".

The guide also noted a trend in London towards Japanese cuisine, with Japanese restaurants representing almost 10% of all new openings in the capital.

Meanwhile, it estimated the average price of dinner at establishments listed in the 2016 guide at £50.51 (compared to £49.46 last year). Prices have risen by 2.1% in the past 12 months, a little less than last year's rise of 2.7%.

SURVEY RESULTS

(Last year's position in brackets)

Most mentioned 1 J Sheekey (1)
2 Clos Maggiore (4)
3 Le Gavroche (3)
4 The Ledbury (5)
5 Chez Bruce (7)
6 Scottʼs (2)
7 Gymkhana (12)
8 The Delaunay (6)
9 Fera at Claridgeʼs (-)
10 The Wolseley (10)

Top gastronomic experience 1 Le Gavroche (2)
2 The Ledbury (1)
3 Chez Bruce (4)
4 Fera at Claridgeʼs (-)
5 Dinner (3)
6 Gordon Ramsay (7)
7 Pied a Terre (6)
8 Pollen Street Social (5)
9 Story (-)
10 Hedone (-)

Best breakfast/brunch 1 The Wolseley (1)
2 The Delaunay (2)
3 Duck & Waffle (3)
4 Riding House Café (4)
5 Roast (5)
6 The Grazing Goat (-)
7 Cecconi s (7)
8 Colbert (6)
9 Dean Street Townhouse (-)
10 Balthazar (10)

Favourite 1 Chez Bruce (1)
2 Clos Maggiore (3)
3 The Wolseley (10)
4 Le Gavroche (5)
5 J Sheekey (2)
6 Gauthier Soho (-)
7 Le Caprice (8)
8 La Trompette (-)
9 The Ledbury (4)
10 Moro (-)

Best bar/pub food 1 The Anchor & Hope (1)
2 Harwood Arms (3)
3 Bull & Last (2)
4 The Ladbroke Arms (7)
5 The Jugged Hare (4)
6 The Truscott Arms (9)
7 Princess Victoria (-)
8 Pig & Butcher (8)
9 The Camberwell Arms (-)
10 The Eagle (-)

Best for business 1 The Wolseley (1)
2 The Delaunay (2)
3 The Square (3)
4 City Social (-)
5 Galvin La Chapelle (4)
6 LʻAnima (9)
7 Coq dʼArgent (7)
8 The Don (6)
9 Scottʼs (8)
10 Bleeding Heart Restaurant (5)

Most disappointing cooking 1 Chiltern Firehouse (-)
2 Oxo Tower (Restʼ) (1)
3 Pollen Street Social (-)
4 Colbert (3)
5 Grain Store (-)
6 Dinner (2)
7 Gordon Ramsay (5)
8 Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (9)
9 Dabbous (10)
10 The Wolseley (-)

Best for romance 1 Clos Maggiore (1)
2 La Poule au Pot (2)
3 Andrew Edmunds (3)
4 Bleeding Heart Restaurant (4)
5 Chez Bruce (6)
6 Le Gavroche (5)
7 Galvin La Chapelle (8)
8 Fera at Claridgeʼs (-)
9 Le Caprice (-)
10 Gauthier Soho (10)

Most overpriced restaurant 1 The River Café (1)
2 Oxo Tower (Rest ) (2)
3 The Chiltern Firehouse (-)
4 Dinner (3)
5 Gordon Ramsay (4)
6 Marcus (5)
7 Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (6)
8 Pollen Street Social (10)
9 Aqua Shard (-)
10 Savoy Grill (-)

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