Leicester Square Kitchen, London, UK
Leicester Square proper, as opposed to the neighbourhood, can be a bit overwhelmed by tourists hunting down cheap theatre tickets, though sharp-eyed gourmands may have spotted that the hotel Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire on the south side of the square is showing off a stylish new eatery.
The hotel’s creative director Rob Steul departs from the building’s imposing façade of red brick and Bath stone with a restaurant interior of subway tiles, white terrazzo floor, and black-legged dining tables; the monochromatic palette is pepped with sudden flashes of caramel leather upholstery, De La Espada butterfly chairs, zinc-topped tables, glass bricked wall, and light oak.
An outdoor terrace, meanwhile, is lined with Kartell furniture and shaded with black and white stripped awnings, though with the English weather being so fickle, it makes sense to stay put inside, close to the kitchen headed by Neil Armstrong, Matthew Downes and Preet Tandi.
Despite the restaurant’s particularly pucker name, the MO is a blend of Peruvian and Mexican flavours, here presented as sharing plates – among them hard tacos enfolding chilli-lemon scented chicken, grilled chorizo, and tostadas with shredded crab and ginger mayonnaise. The drinks list is equally bi-coastal, the chilli and lychee margarita cut with blood orange liqueur just the thing to send you out in the cold night.