#FtLionAwards 2018 – Best Restaurant of the Year?

After the #FtLionAwards 2018 Best Newcomer of the Year (sponsored by Chai Naasto and the newly opened Patri), we continue with the final category, and arguably the most important, Best Restaurant of the Year.

After much debate and dialogue, we’ve shortlisted the following five nominees.

And while you consider yours, remember that not only can you also vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but in doing so you’ll automatically be entered in our prize draw with the chance of winning a fantastic Celebration Set Menu for 2 at Chai Naasto’s west London branch in Hammersmith.

SHORTLIST – Best Restaurant of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know of yours, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.


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Located on banks of the River Thames in Battersea is fine dining establishment Chokhi Dhani, which we rated 4/5 ROARS, but which you guys have rated slightly higher at 4.3.

Currently, they’re up for best starter, dessert, seafood and newcomer, having opened this year. Chokhi Dhani is certain to impress with its sheer size, grandeur and style. The Indian cuisine is refined, the atmosphere warm, the surroundings opulent, and the service impeccable. Whether you’re after a quick snack courtesy of their thoughtfully conceived and executed Street Food menu, or something more substantial, there’s enough here to impress almost all diners and taste buds. And, of course, how many restaurants do you know of that have gone out of their way to source Halal rabbit?


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Elvet Steakhouse in East London’s Forest Gate impressed the hell out of us, appearing to be the answer to so many prayers! For how long have London Muslims been seeking after a steakhouse that’s fully Halal, i.e. a top quality restaurant sans alcohol or issues of cross-contamination? Well, Elvet allows us to boast of a fully Halal steakhouse that serves up premier steaks.

While we rated them 4.5/5 ROARS, you’ve considered them less so at 3.7. Nevertheless, they’re up for best beverage (two in fact) and a duo of steaks which includes wagyu. They’ve created a Halal menu that comprises quality drinks and food too. Their attention to detail is such that all our plates came out warm. What more could you ask for? Nothing more to say really other than get down to Elvet Steakhouse and enjoy some of the best Halal steaks in London.


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Specialising in small plates of Indian fusion cooking, Hankies in Marble Arch certainly succeeded in their objective of taking casual Delhi street food and elevating it to something far more sophisticated. So sophisticated in fact that we’re considering them for two best mains, dessert, steak, seafood, veggie and newcomer.

Having rated them 4.5/5 ROARS, the thought and consideration chef Anirudh Arora has put into each dish has certainly impressed our readers who also share said rating.


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Issho-Ni in Shoreditch, London, is one of those rare Japanese restaurants that caters for Halal. Despite the humble location, this place punched way above its perceived weight, with a menu that was extremely varied comprising of both modern and classical dishes, with some fusion thrown in, that offered such calibre of food that we rated them 4.5/5 ROARS.

Issho-Ni is currently in contention for best kebab, steak and newcomer.


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And finally, we have Kahani in Chelsea, another fine dining Indian establishment, that we rated 4.5/5 ROARS, but which you guys consider 5 straight up. So what’s the story behind Kahani? Well, with Chef Peter Joseph pulling out some outstanding dishes, they’re up for two best mains (that’s right, two), kebab, seafood, veggie and newcomer.

Sadly, no restaurant managed to achieve the perfect 5/5 ROARS this time round like Grand Trunk Road did last year.

So that’s it; our final category. Make your final votes count; and we’ll be announcing the winners on 1st January.

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