From barbeque to mangal grill to braai, London’s love of open-fire cooking shows no signs of slowing down. Here, we’ve brought together the best of the bunch, from chefs inspired by the family dishes of their childhood to those freshly inspired by the challenge of cooking over an open flame.
Dalston – Abbot Street, London E8 3DP
The newest to the party in Dalston, this sees chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins teaming up with Dalston’s 40FT Brewery for a restaurant that focuses on fire cooking. You’ll see their impressive (and enormous) grill outside where they cook up an ever-changing meat and veg menu, also making great use of the local beer.
Follow them on Instagram @acmefirecult
Learn more about Acme Fire Cult
Shoreditch – 35 Sclater St, London E1 6LB
One of London’s earliest proponents of cooking over the fire, David Carter’s steampunk-inspired Shoreditch restaurant in Smokstak serves up plenty of excellent dishes, but we’ll always love its original street food, brisket bread. Vegetarian dishes are also excellent here, including charcoal roasted eggplant.
Follow them on Instagram @smokestakUK.
Learn more about Smokestak
Shoreditch – 4 Redchurch Street, London E1 6JL
The signature dish of Tomos Parry’s Shoreditch restaurant is whole turbot slow-cooked over coals over low heat, but there are also roasted oysters over seaweed, bread with burnt onion butter and smoked potatoes, which have all encountered the kitchen fires.
Follow them on Instagram @bratrestaurant
Learn more about Brat
soho and Borough
All the tools of an Iranian chef are on display at Berenjak, from the tandoor oven to the mangal barbecue and the rotisserie. Inspired by the kabab houses holed in the wall of Tehran, chicken or lamb kababs are the dishes to order here, nice and smoky thanks to the charcoal on which they are cooked.
Follow them on Instagram @berenjaklondon.
Find out more about Berenjak
Dalston – 4 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8BH
From its original roots in a Dalston side street, Mangal II sees the humble ocakbasi reach new heights with Ferhat and Sertac Dirik, sons of original owner Ali, now running the show. The menu may have changed and the wine list updated to reflect the brothers’ passion for natural wines, but the ocakbasi grill is still where it’s at.
Follow them on Instagram @mangal2restaurant
Learn more about Mangal 2
Photo by Justin DeSouza
Hackney – 338 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA
In 2015, Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi opened the first of their high-fire restaurants, the self-billed Berber & Q Grill House in Haggerston. Nestled under the arches of the railway, the open mangal and smokehouse are at the heart of what they do here. Dishes can include coffee-rubbed pork belly or wood-roasted pil-pil prawns.
Follow them on Instagram @berberandq.
Learn more about Berber & Q
Peckham – 1a Station Way, Peckham, London, Rye Station SE15 4RX
What better way to reuse an old ticket office than to turn it into a restaurant centered around meat and grills? Not only does the restaurant focus on show cooking here with its robata grill and smokehouse, but the team also have their own on-site butcher so none of the meat goes to waste. The Sunday breakfasts and lunches are legendary.
Follow them on Instagram @coalrooms.
Learn more about carbon chambers
Soho, City and Covent Garden
If your idea of a good time is to watch a beautiful rare breed steak cook over a fire pit in front of you, then take a seat at the Temper counter to enjoy. The Soho branch, in particular, has a 20-foot-long pit which they say is one of the biggest in London.
Follow them on Instagram @temperlondon
Learn more about temperament
soho – 58 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TL
Ever since Soho spot Kiln opened, people have been scrambling to sit at the counter to enjoy Thai cuisine from founder Ben Chapman and his team. Fire plays a big role here, from the wood-fired oven (hence the name) to the grills designed by Ben himself.
Follow them on Instagram @Kilnsoho.
Learn more about the oven
Victoria – 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HN
Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt has built his reputation around old Nordic wood-fired cuisine. For a real demonstration of cooking over a wood fire in his London restaurant, order the flambadou oysters which are cooked by pouring hot beef fat over them.
Follow them on Instagram @ekstedtldn
Learn more about Ekstedt at the construction site
islington – 156 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2UP
When chef Lee Tiernan took over this restaurant on Highbury Corner, he installed (as the original name of the Black Ax Mangal restaurant says) a mangal grill and wood-fired oven emblazoned with the Kiss logo and started sending out dishes like l squid ink once tried and never forgotten. smoked cod roe pancake. It’s more than worth driving across town, it’s a move to London just to be near this kind of restaurant.
Follow them on Instagram @fkablackaxemangal
Learn more about Black Ax Mangal
Shoreditch – 74 Luke Street, London EC2A 4PY
Oklava chef-boss Selin Kiazim was adamant when it came to designing her Oklava restaurant, as long as there was a real stone Turkish wood oven and mangal grill in the kitchen she would be happy . From there, the cuisine here turns out to be exemplary pide and lahmacun, as well as grilled hellim and more.
Follow them on Instagram @oklava_ldn
Learn more about Oklava
Peckham – 57 Nunhead Ln, London SE15 3TR
As the name suggests, Peckham’s Kudu Grill offers a menu inspired by and dedicated to their bespoke South African braai – a grill that uses sustainably sourced Sickle Bush and Camel Thorn wood. Dishes can include grilled flatbread draped in lardo or whole-smoked braai cauliflower with raisined capers and goat curd.
Follow them on Instagram @kudugrill
Learn more about Kudu Grill
soho – 54 Frith Street, London W1D 4SL
Angelo Sato’s yakitori sea bass is comb-to-tail when it comes to using all parts of the chicken, so you’ll find the wing and cooked oysters next to the yarrow and knee. Here, dishes are cooked over Bincho-tan charcoal on a traditional Japanese grill that Sato imported from Kappabashi in Tokyo.
Follow them on Instagram @humblechicken_uk
Learn more about Humble Chicken
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