Titu — London, UK
Quietly tucked away between Piccadilly and Curzon Street, Shepherds Market appears almost unchanged since the 18th century, its cobbled streets, Victorian pubs and hanging flower baskets conjure a villagey feel that is sure to be a comfort to anyone seeking shelter from the hurried pace of nearby Piccadilly.
Taking over the site of a former sandwich shop, petite Titu has space for just 15, and serves an all-day Asian-inspired menu from New Zealand chef Jeff Tyler, who honed his culinary skills in Japan before taking on roles in the kitchen at Roka and several Mandarin Oriental outposts around the world. Handmade wagyu beef gyozas, softshell crab salad and crunchy-fried king prawns and a desert of tonka bean beignet are highlights.
The cheering turquoise and gold interiors are the work of Athens-based DZA Architects, who chose to offset plush travertine table tops, a marble bar and brass pendant lighting against original dark parquet floors and original open brickwork behind the bar.
Large windows with low-lying booth seating means you can watch the comings and goings of Shepherds Market without feeling overlooked yourself. On the cocktail menu, don’t miss the Smoked Old Fashioned, which can be made with a wide range of whiskies, including a honeyed Japanese bourbon.