Quirky restaurants in London: Our picks for 2016

DATE: 14 Apr 2016 | BY
shaka zulu london restaurant Shaka Zulu has zebra and ostrich on the menu

There’s a plethora of unusual restaurants in London that are just waiting to be discovered. Here, we round up the best…


London is a hot spot for unusual, quirky restaurants that offer more than just what’s on the menu. Whether it’s a live opera performance to help set the mood, or a sprawling warehouse where you can enjoy brunch in bed (we’re serious), the following haunts offer fantastic food - and an experience you’ll never forget.

Bel Canto

“bel” Live opera performers sing throughout the night

Based on the ground floor of The Londoner 4* Corus Hyde Park Hotel, this global concept offers something far more special than your average dining experience.

From Tuesday to Saturday a quartet of opera singers - accompanied by a grand piano player - take to the stage every 15 minutes to perform a series of classics from Don Giovanni, Tosca, La Boheme and Carmen. Aside from the musical atmosphere, the European-inspired menu offers fantastic dishes, from rump of lamb to corn-fed chicken breast. Divine!

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Bel Canto, Corus Hotel Hyde Park, Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3LG

Bunga Bunga

These days, ‘Bunga Bunga’ is best known as the codename Silvio Berlusconi used to refer to sex-parties at his house. Previously it referred to a popular joke: Three Englishmen are tracked down and captured by a primitive tribe. The tribe’s chief offers each of his new captives a choice between death and bunga bunga. The first two choose bunga bunga, and are sexually tortured in various ways before being killed. The third man, having witnessed what happened to his friends, selects death.  At this the chief laments, "Death you have asked for, and so death you shall have… but first a little bunga bunga!"

Whichever definition you prefer, the name is befitting for a restaurant of Bunga Bunga’s crazy calibre. Split into five different sections (you have to walk through an Italian phone box just to get into the place) there’s a pizzeria, a Eurovision room and the elegant “Sistine stairway”, decorated with paintings from the famous chapel. We could go on, but don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BA

Shaka Zulu

Since opening in 2010, this South African restaurant has accumulated a following of discerning and adventurous diners looking for a cultural experience -- and dishes you won’t find anywhere else. You just have to browse the game meat options to see what we’re talking about: from zebra and ostrich to buffalo steak and springbok. You’ll be spoilt for choice at this one-of-a-kind haunt.

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Shaka Zulu, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AB

Circus

“circus” Circus acts provide awe-inspiring entertainment

A favourite among London’s arty types, Circus boasts a pan-Asian influence and each course is punctuated by a series of acrobats swinging on hoops from the ceiling. But that’s not all; expect fire-eaters, hula-hoopers and scantily-clad dancers to strut their stuff while you scoff on dumplings and prawns. If you have the cash to splash, we recommend booking the main table on which the performances take place

Circus27-29 Endell Street,
Covent Garden,
London, WC2H 9BA

Beach Blanket Babylon

One of Notting Hill’s finest, Beach Blanket Babylon (or BBB as the locals call it) has been serving cocktails and delicious food in ‘an old English mansion of Rococo elegance’ since 1990.  This quirky restaurant has a range of intimate spaces to choose from including a crypt, chapel, gallery and ballroom.  Beach Blanket Babylon serves a range of modern European dishes including veal Milanese, Cornish crab tagliatelle and swordfish with a mango, ginger, coconut and papaya salad. Why not find out what all of the Notting Hill set are raving about and head to BBB.

Beach Blanket Babylon, 45 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AA

Tags: French, Italian, Good For Groups, Modern European, Business Dining, Live Music, South African

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