In the cacophony of the London restaurant scene it can be hard for newcomers to make themselves heard, but when Nutshell opened it needed hardly any introduction before it was booked out for weeks to come. The recipe for success, perhaps, was in it singing its own song. With few other high-profile Iranian restaurants in the capital, there aren’t many places serving up this colourful cuisine in such a contemporary, central setting.

The menu is a tumble of vibrant ingredients – aubergines, saffron, pistachio, rose, barberries, pomegranate – made up into small sharing plates served family-style as and when they’re ready. The brevity of the menu’s terse descriptions can make dishes hard to decipher, but enthusiastic staff are on hand to guide and recommend.



Situated on Fekruna Bay, Salt Water Malta is a perfect fusion of mediterranean cuisine in a crystal blue pool surrounded by a beautiful view of Xemxija.

Hotel restaurants in affluent areas of London are hardly known for their vibrancy, but famed Mexican chef Martha Ortiz rips up the rulebook with her brand of authentic yet cliché-busting cuisine. Guests are welcomed into a colourful and quirky dining room inspired by native artist Frida Kahlo (waitresses don her hairstyle and her face even appears on the lamps in the loos). Despite the offbeat surrounds, the menu (split into theatrical ‘acts’) isn’t about to be overshadowed.