Mayfair on Monday: Fun food for tired travelers
July 12, 2011 6:50 AM   Subscribe

ISO reasonably priced, fun, "non-touristy" restaurants within a small radius of the Millennium Mayfair Hotel on Grosvener Square

A relative is in London with her partner for two nights next week and would like to meet for dinner on Monday, their first night here. Given the burden of transatlantic flights they'd like to dine within a short distance of their hotel, the Millennium Mayfair on Grosvener Square.

They have specifically requested fun, non-touristy. I have no idea what their preference is on budget, so I'm defaulting to the mid-range-or-lower setting. Unfortunately I am just not that familiar with the neighborhood and can't seem to find any standouts while making the internet rounds for reviews.

Would love some suggestions from people more familiar with the area! Thanks!

(Bonus question: What London-specific guides do you look at when you want to find a restaurant?)
posted by undercoverhuwaaah to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
There's an Iranian restaurant called Patogh a mile away (is that a short enough distance?) that's really good. I was in London for a month and went there three times (though that had more to do with my Iranian boyfriend really loving the place). It's really tiny and bare-bones, so definitely not a touristy place at all.

Get the moosir (shallot yogurt), greens and cheese, and bread for appetizers, and (non minced) lamb kebab or fish for main course. BYOB.
posted by phunniemee at 7:16 AM on July 12, 2011

If it turns out they have a slightly higher budget, they could go to Texture, which is a Michelin-starred, Scandanavian restaurant. (If they could do lunch instead of dinner, Texture has an excellent, moderately priced price-fixe lunch.)

If their budget won't stretch quite to that, I like Yoshino -- it's a very good, moderately priced Japanese restaurant.

If moderately priced is still too expensive, Tokyo Diner is cheap, charming, and very good. It's a tiny bit farther afield than the others-- it's in Leicester Square, which would be about a 25 minute walk, or a 10 minute cab ride (assuming they're not going in the middle of rush hour.)
posted by yankeefog at 7:19 AM on July 12, 2011

Mayfair doesn't give you a huge amount of choice at the lower end. Shepherd Market is about a five minute walk, and has a decent and eclectic selection, but any closer, you're getting into the domain of Le Gavroche and Ramsey at Claridge's. Perhaps Tamarind for upscale northi Indian? You're still in £20 main course territory, but that's better than the £30+ that's common in the area. Or Scott's for fish?

(Time Out is your friend.)
posted by holgate at 7:25 AM on July 12, 2011

From Grosvenor Square, you are literally ten minutes walk to Soho, which is overflowing with all kinds of restaurants, from cheap to crazy expensive.

If they like French, Prix Fixe is great and very affordable.

If they like Japanese food, they should check out Donzoko.

There's a whole Chinatown full of Chinese places, and Dean St is stacked with great Italian places.

Qype is great for user reviews and with the iPhone app, top-notch for avoiding tourist traps.

As long as they keep away from Picadilly and Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Oxford Street when considering eating venues, they'll be fine.

And on no account, ever, go into anything with the word 'Steak House' in the title. Here's why. Note that article is from 2002, says they're going out of business and yet they're still clinging on. Who knows how or why?
posted by Happy Dave at 8:30 AM on July 12, 2011

I'll second the suggestion of Tamarind, it being the location of the best meal of my life. It's considerably more affordable if they're willing to forgo meat for the evening. The vegetable dishes are mostly about £10 or a bit less.

(I went with my dad. I proposed it on the grounds it was listed as relatively inexepensive in the Let's Go. It was listed as expensive in whatever guidebook my dad had. It seems the Let's Go always assumes you order the cheapest thing on the menu or are a vegetarian.)
posted by hoyland at 10:09 AM on July 12, 2011

Have you considered Maze Grill, right there off the square? Steak as low as 18 pounds, with a little bit of fun factor; they bring steak samples to you and tell you about them, and they work with you to mix your own steak sauce, bringing out several ingredients and mixing them as per your instructions.
posted by troywestfield at 6:08 AM on July 13, 2011

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