More and more restaurants are moving to tasting menus to relieve pressure on staff, rising ingredient costs, interest rates and being able to budget more efficiently. Tasting menus are a great way to experience the most a restaurant offers, with the dishes curated for a complete journey, just as the chef intended. In this guide, we look at where in London you can experience Michelin-starred menus under £100.
Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown
Chef Selection Menu: £80pp – 8 dishes
Opened in April 2018, Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown is the debut restaurant by Nathan Outlaw protégé, Tom Brown. Located in the East London neighbourhood of Hackney Wick, the 36-cover restaurant showcases Tom’s signature style of simple, clean, and produce-driven cooking with an emphasis on seafood, led by Head Chef James Toth.
Named after Tom’s favourite Arctic Monkeys track, Cornerstone offers a flexible and regularly changing menu that adapts to the seasons and the latest fishermen’s catch, ensuring only the best of British produce is used. The restaurant gained its Michelin star in 2021, and its excellent dishes have ensured its retainment.
Cornerstone offers a tasting menu available to enjoy for lunch at dinner, priced at just £80; the sharing menu includes eight delicious dishes; highlights include sea bream tartare with egg yolk and soy, cured gurnard, leek, potato and Vichyssoise dressing, Hake Kyiv with Café de Paris butter and Jerusalem artichoke, and to finish, a tangy Amalfi lemon tart with yoghurt and pistachio.
Chef’s Menu: £95pp
Luca serves high-quality ingredients from around the British Isles and Italy. Seasonal produce such as scallops from Orkney, Hebridean lamb and turbot from Cornwall. It is food that observes the established traditions of Italian cooking but breaks the rules a little. Luca was a new but well-deserved addition to the Michelin list in 2023.
The tasting menu, priced at £95pp, includes a variety of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci courses, lovingly selected by the chefs. Dishes include smoked cod’s roe, blood orange and pickled fennel, Tagliatelle with rabbit, green olives, lardo di colonnata and parmesan, Hebridean lamb with wild garlic, sweetbread, asparagus and sheep’s curd.
Casa Fofò, Hackney
Set Menu: £65pp
Italian chef Adolfo de Cecco eats, sleeps and breathes his vocation. Tucked away in a parade of shops off Dalston High Road, this tightly packed neighbourhood gem has a cosy, derelict-chic feel – and its shelves strain under the weight of cookery books, wines and fermented products.
The chefs prepare a great value and truly enjoyable daily set menu of innovative dishes which take in many Pacific influences. Asian flavours fuse with Mediterranean traditions making some intriguing combinations.
The set menu consists of crab with nori and daikon, house sourdough bread with caramelised butter and roasted yeast, pollock with bergamot and chanterelle, tomato with kimchi and tofu, potato with fermented tom yum and seaweed, ex-dairy cow with sourdough miso and frigitelli, umeboshi froyo, and to finish, strawberry grape with sake lees and white chocolate.
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