The UK's restaurant bucket list – part 2

6w ago

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We’ve teamed up with Bookatable by Michelin to compile a list of the UK’s best restaurants for every budget.

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We’ve already looked at the best restaurants in London, Manchester and Liverpool – and now it’s time for Leeds, Birmingham and Edinburgh to fall under our foodie spotlight. As with last time, these are some of the best restaurants handpicked by Bookatable by Michelin – and the ones that made us feel especially hungry while doing our research.

Let’s get started, and remember that you can quickly book a table at any of these restaurants by clicking the link on each one.

Leeds:

Issho

The words ‘Sushi’ and ‘rooftop’ go together like soy sauce and rice – and Issho’s thoroughly modern approach to the art of Japanese cooking is guaranteed to leave you speechless.

With a huge range of dishes that are designed for sharing, Issho offers a very social dining experience. As well as every shade of sushi, you can have whole cooked lobster, delicious filled Bao buns and a range of funky cocktails. If you’re ever in Leeds you need to check out Issho.

Read reviews and book a table at Issho.

Matt Healy at The Foundry

Matt was a finalist in Masterchef The Professionals back in 2016, and his restaurant at The Foundry sees him add a bit of star power to traditional British dishes.

There’s a gobsmacking amount of charcuterie on offer, and the main plates include a gorgeous fillet of beef paired with foie gras, raisins and pine nuts. If that sounds a bit too filling, then there’s always Matt’s take on Ramen, complete with obligatory soft boiled egg.

Read reviews and book a table at Matt Healy at The Foundry.

Crafthouse

Jump in the glass lift in the Trinity Shopping Centre and hit the button for the fifth floor and you’ll end up at Crafthouse – one of the city’s culinary hotspots. It’s home to elegant British cuisine served against a backdrop of marble, pewter, specially commissioned artworks and the theatre of an open kitchen.

The action on the plate’s just as exciting – all ingredients are sourced from within a 50-mile radius, so you can expect specialities such as salt-aged Yorkshire duck, pigeon with lentils and cauliflower cooked in yeast.

Read reviews and book a table at Crafthouse.

Want to explore more of Leeds’ best eateries? Click here to see a whole lot more.

Birmingham:

Purnell’s

Let’s kick-start the best of Birmingham with the Michelin-starred Purnell’s. Why? Well, aren’t you tempted to try a menu of what’s been described as “Brummie tapas”?

The a la carte menu at Purnell’s is a lip-smacking blend of British food done well. Take, for example, the haddock and eggs – made with cornflakes and curry oil. Or there’s always the carpaccio of Herefordshire beef complete with red-wine braised octopus. Yum.

Read reviews and book a table at Purnell’s.

The Karczma

What’s this? A traditional Polish restaurant nestled in a gorgeous cottage interior… in Birmingham? Yup!

The Karczma has been a huge hit with Bookatable, and for good reason. Beneath the straw-lined ceiling and at giant communal tables you’ll get to enjoy the full range of Polish cuisine, from stuffed dumplings to grilled kebabs, hearty stews and Polish apple cake – all washed down with frosty Polish beer.

Read reviews and book The Karczma.

Harvey Nichols Brasserie

Harvey Nics is Birmingham’s temple of luxury shopping, and its brasserie doesn’t feel at all out of place amid the haute couture. Plonk yourself down in a snug booth or dine at the chef’s table – either are great places for enjoying the seasonal, locally sourced delights of the menus.

Try the honey and feta-stuffed courgette flowers, followed perhaps by the pomegranate glazed pork shoulder. Or just sip your way through the cocktail menu… the cherry blossom negroni is a great way to start (or finish!).

Read reviews and book Harvey Nichols Brasserie.

Click here to see the rest of the best Birmingham has to offer.

Edinburgh

The Pompadour

If you like your fine dining to be accompanied by the sort of views usually reserved for five-star hotels then you need to make a reservation at The Pompadour. With vistas of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street, it’s the perfect place for a sundown dinner.

Inside’s not so shabby either, thanks to a gorgeous renaissance-style dining room and the choice of a four or eight-course tasting menu from Head Chef Dan Ashmore.

See the reviews and book a table at The Pompadour.

The Witchery by the Castle

Have we saved the best ‘til (almost) last? Quite possibly! The Witchery by the Castle is a fantastically gothic eatery tucked away by the gates of Edinburgh Castle.

Intricately carved wood panels line the walls and ceilings, and James Thomson’s perfectly prepped local meals will line your stomach. Expect Angus beef, Scottish salmon and local game to feature on the menu, all cooked to perfection and served in surroundings that’ll have you feeling like royalty.

Read reviews of The Witchery by the Castle and book a table.

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

We’re not entirely sure how we got all the way through six cities without mentioning Hawksmoor – but the steak chain’s Edinburgh outlet should be firmly on your bucket list, thanks to its imperious surroundings in an old banking hall.

Hawksmoor have mastered the art of selecting and cooking steaks to absolute perfection, and accompanying them with simple but effective dishes, such as the legendary mashed potato and macaroni cheese so good you might actually shed a tear.

Read reviews of Hawksmoor Edinburgh and book a table.

Not taken by these three? Check out everything else Edinburgh has to offer.

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Looking for dinner suggestions for London, Manchester and Liverpool? Look no further...

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Comments (12)
  • To be honest I have never thought about the U.K. as a Culinary destination. For myself those countries have always been France, Japan and Italy. Clearly I was wrong. Thank you for both parts.

    1 month ago
    2 Bumps
    • We have some awesome restaurants and a hugely varied range of cuisines (especially in London!)

      1 month ago
      2 Bumps
  • Although I work in London every day, Birmingham is only 40 minutes from me! And yet I never think it'll have a great restaurant choice (although I do love Dim Sum in China Town!) Going to give Purnell's a try now - I love tapas (posh buffet!) and a short train journey at the weekend.

    1 month ago
    1 Bump
    • Just stay away from the Bullring… I always end up spending a fortune on things I didn't really need

      1 month ago

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