A Luxury Sushi Counter Sits Atop the 100 Best U.K. Restaurants

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s most expensive restaurant is also its best, according to a new ranking of the top 100 places to eat in the country.

The only option at the Araki, a London sushi establishment that seats 10 diners, is a set menu that costs £300 ($400) per person, before drinks. The Mayfair restaurant topped the Harden’s 100 list, which reflects about 50,000 reviews submitted by 8,500 contributors.

Chef Mitsuhiro Araki opened the restaurant in 2014 and was awarded three Michelin stars this year. Celebrity David Beckham appears to have eaten there this week.

Harden’s is just one of several competing U.K. lists. These include the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, which are based on the votes of 180 chefs, restaurateurs and food writers, including me. Araki doesn’t feature in that Top 100, possibly because so few people can afford to eat there, much less secure a table.

You can spend a considerable amount of money at several of the restaurants near the top of the Harden’s list, such as No. 5, chef Heston Blumenthal’s experimental restaurant the Fat Duck. A meal there is £275 and will rise to £325 in April. But Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, where the 10th Anniversary menu costs £280, doesn’t even register in the Harden’s rankings. 

Restaurants from around the U.K.—in Bristol, Port Isaac, Bray, Oldstead and Edinburgh—all appear on the list.

“The excitement of the London restaurant scene has spilled over into the rest of the U.K. in the past five years,” said Peter Harden, who co-founded the guide with his brother Richard. “Most large cities now have nationally notable restaurants.”

The Harden’s Guide has been published for 25 years. Anyone can register and submit reviews. The rankings vary widely: The Black Swan, named the world’s best restaurant on TripAdvisor, places at No. 8 on Harden’s and at 58 in the National Restaurant Awards. 

The Harden’s 100:

  1. The Araki, London
  2.  Casamia, the General, Bristol
  3. The Ledbury, London
  4. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
  5. The Fat Duck, Bray
  6. Marianne, London
  7. Waterside Inn, Bray
  8.  Black Swan, Oldstead
  9. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
  10. The Clove Club, London
  11. Gidleigh Park, Chagford
  12. Fraiche, Oxton
  13. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
  14. Ormer Mayfair, London
  15. Gareth ward at Ynyshir, Eglwys Foch
  16. Sushi Tetsu, London
  17. Story, London
  18. L'Enclume, Cartmel
  19. Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale
  20. The Greenhouse, London
  21. Midsummer HouseCambridge
  22. Le Gavroche, London
  23. Pied à Terre, London
  24. Sketch, Lecture Room, London
  25. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton
  26. Umu, London
  27. Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, London
  28. The Five Fields, London
  29. Raby Hunt, Summerhouse
  30. Moor Hall, Aughton
  31. Bohemia, Jersey
  32. Adam's, Birmingham
  33. Texture, London
  34. Estiatorio Milos, London
  35. Andrew Fairlie, Auchterarder
  36. Morston Hall, Morston
  37. Hélène Darroze, London
  38. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo
  39. The Box Tree, Ilkley
  40. Le Cochon Aveugle, York
  41. Pétrus, London
  42. Hedone, London
  43. Hambleton Hall, Hambleton
  44. The Neptune, Old Hunstanton
  45. The Ritz, London
  46. Roux at Parliament Square, London
  47. The Kitchin, Edinburgh
  48. Murano, London
  49. Llangoed Hall, Llyswen
  50. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow
  51. 108 Garage, London
  52. Hakkasan Mayfair, London
  53. Chez Bruce, London
  54. Lympstone Manor, Exmouth
  55. Jamavar, London
  56. Hunan, London
  57. The Forest Side, Grasmere
  58. The Art School, Liverpool
  59. André Garrett at Cliveden, Taplow
  60. House of Tides, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  61. Artichoke, Amersham
  62. 5 North Street, Winchcombe
  63. Goodman City, London
  64. Trishna, London
  65. Wilks, Bristol
  66. Norn, Edinburgh
  67. One-O-One, London
  68. The Three Chimneys, Dunvegan
  69. Elystan Street, London
  70. Typing Room, London
  71. La Trompette, London
  72. Where The Light Gets In, Stockport
  73. The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds
  74. Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth
  75. Marcus, The Berkeley, London
  76. The Whitebrook, Whitebrook
  77. Pollen Street Social, London
  78. Gauthier Soho, London
  79. Zuma, London
  80. La Petite Maison, London
  81. Locanda Locatelli, London
  82. Northcote, Langho
  83. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Marlborough
  84. The Woodspeen, Newbury
  85. The Sportsman, Seasalter
  86. The Glasshouse, Kew
  87. Wiltons, London
  88. Purnells, Birmingham
  89. Coya, London
  90. La Dame de Pic, London
  91. Roka, London
  92.  Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
  93. The Seahorse, Dartmouth
  94. The Peat Inn, Cupar
  95. Scott’s, London
  96. Stovell's, Chobham
  97. Trinity, London
  98. Portland, London
  99. Min Jiang, London
  100. Medlar, London

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcSCMHFDgTN/?hl=en&taken-by=thecloveclub

 

Harden’s Best U.K. Restaurants 2018 is published today at £15.99 and available via the website http://www.hardens.com/. 

Richard Vines is chief food critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and Instagram @richard.vines.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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