There is so much to admire in the way Lyle’s in Shoreditch conducts itself, especially its reluctance to ever give itself any credit in an era when restaurants seem to feel obliged to incessantly bang on about how great they are in order to maintain attention. The food is so well conceived and executed, minimalist in its refinement, maximalist in its concentrated flavour, I'm always left in a mixture of reverent awe and pure disbelieving pleasure at everything I eat there.
At Quo Vadis, Jeremy Lee's cooking is so supremely confident, assured, generous and delicious, overwhelming without ever being too much, and so gloriously full of soul, wit and charm that every visit works to restore me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
If I was asked the kitchen which has given me most excitement and pleasure over the last 12 months, it would be undoubtedly be Joké Bakare's Chishuru, which occupies a small space on Brixton Market Row. Joké is cooking some of the most interesting and outstanding food in London right now. Her food is thrilling – wildly explosive and tightly refined, oscillating between extremes of heat, pungency, sharpness, freshness, sweetness, savour and flavour. Every new plate she puts out stirs a deep sense of awe and admiration within me, and no little sense of envy at her talent and skill.