The first thought that will pop in your mind when you walk past this restaurant is probably “Why is there a massive queue?!”. The second thought would probably be “What is the name of this restaurant? I have to try it!”. Barrafina is one of those places that you-either-know-it-or-you-don’t. Nothing on the outside gives any indication to what the restaurant is called, nor what they serve. Well, it is a Spanish tapas restaurant bar located in the heart of Soho. It seats 23 people around it’s L-shaped bar with chefs cooking up a storm behind the bar. Barrafina does not take reservations so you’ll definitely be able to get a table…if you’re willing to wait. The picture above was taken at about 5pm, 30 minutes before the restaurant opened for dinner…

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Having dined at its sister restaurants previously (Le Deux Salons and Arbutus – reviews in the near future), I was keen to dine at Wild Honey, which has been said to be best restaurant among the three. Wild Honey has one Michelin star to its name and it sits on Saint George Street in Mayfair, which transforms into a quiet area in the evening after the Bond Street shoppers leave for the day.

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The Square opened its doors in 1991 and has held its two Michelin stars since 1998 (almost 15 years!). One would be definitely be surprised to know that Phil Howard, the chef and co-owner, has had no formal culinary training. He started his culinary career as an apprentice at Roux Restaurants and worked under Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s as well as under Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum before opening the Square with Nigel Platts-Martin. The food at this Mayfair eatery has been described by Phil as “modern French”, and after having a meal at the restaurant, I completely agree. The deco of the restaurant is sleek and simple. And every dish is unique and carefully crafted by Phil and head chef, Robert Weston.

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Kinki is one of those places that is understated, funky and cool. Kinki is definitely not what you’d expect from a Japanese restaurant. The moment the doors of the elevator opens, you’ll be welcomed by a large floor mural of a fish at the entrance, designed by Chris Garver of Miami Ink. With its edgy urban murals and pop-culture anime menus, Kinki reminds me of a night out in Harajuku — fresh, young and exciting. The food was no exception…

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Shakespeare and Company is undoubtedly one of the most famous bookshops in the world. You might have noticed it while watching Before Sunset, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, or even Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. This bookstore was featured in Ernest Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, and was where James Joyce spent his time writing Ulysses. It’s easy to understand why this bookstore is loved and frequented by many. It is quaint, cosy and has books stacked up from the floor right up the ceiling. I was swept away by its charm as well and spent an entire afternoon in the bookstore, browsing, reading and people watching…

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A couple of Fridays ago, I managed to get a last minute reservation for two at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. This restaurant only opened its doors in 2011 but has already earned one Michelin star and was the highest new entry for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2012, earning the 9th spot. Needless to say, I was very very excited to dine there. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal serves British food but no, not the typical British food that you’re thinking of right now. The restaurant serves food inspired by recipes from the 13th to 19th century.

We went for the a la carte menu and had champagne and bread with salt-sprinkled butter while waiting eagerly for our starters to arrive..

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The word ‘wesele’ refers to the celebration after a traditional Polish wedding which consists of family, food, friends, love and of course, Polish vodka. This two-story restaurant is exactly how you would imagine a traditional Polish restaurant to be — warm, rustic and cosy. This popular eatery is one of the seventeen restaurants in Krakow mentioned in the Michelin guide. Thus we were lucky to be able to make a reservation at the restaurant on our first day, for dinner on our last day in the city.

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