London restaurants are offering better value for money than before the recession, a new eating out survey has found.
According to the 2011 Zagat London Restaurants guide, which is based on the comments of nearly 5,000 regular restaurant goers, two-thirds of diners said that restaurants in the capital are now offering better deals. While more than a quarter (27%) found that another added benefit of the recession was easier access to reservations, a fifth said that they now feel more appreciated by operators.
Despite only a marginal increase in the average spend for a restaurant meal, which is up 1.1% to £40.84, Londoners have cut back on dining out and now eat out 2.2 times a week compared with 2.5 times last year. A third of diners said they now eat out less, with a quarter opting for less expensive restaurants.
"Diners seem to have changed their habits and have become much more price sensitive since the recession began," said Tim Zagat, chief executive officer of the Zagat Survey.
"However, there obviously are a host of London restaurants that provide such good value that no one need go hungry."
The Zagat Restaurants survey, which includes ratings and reviews of nearly 1,200 restaurants in London and the surrounding area, recognised a number of establishments, with Chris and Jeff Galvin's latest venture Galvin La Chapelle named top newcomer.
Brett Graham's two-Michelin-starred Ledbury won the award for best food, with The Ritz picking up the award for best decor and Caprice Holdings' Mark's Club coming top for service.
Gordon Ramsay's three-Michelin-starred flagship restaurant on Royal Hospital Road was named the most popular restaurant overall at the awards presentation, which took place at Koffmann's this morning.
Ramsay said he was honoured to have won the award. "It's all down to the team, so big thanks to them," he said.
He also extended thanks to Pierre Koffmann, adding that he would not have been able to open the restaurant on the former site of La Tante Claire 12 years ago without his help.
"He let me pay him half of the money up front and the other half a year later, which, coming from a French man, was pretty amazing," he said.
The 2011 Zagat Restaurants guide is published today priced £9.99.
By Kerstin Kühn
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