While a traditional turkey roast is synonymous with Christmas in the UK, not all countries celebrate this way. And around London, there are an abundance of restaurants proving other foods can be festive too, from seafood platters to tacos. We bring you our pick of the best alternative Christmas dinners the capital has to offer…
For a Chinese-inspired Christmas feast, head to Stoke Newington favourite The Good Egg, an all-day restaurant famed for its American deli-inspired Jewish cooking. Group Head Chef Jooles O’Sullivan has teamed up with Edgar Wallace, formerly of KOYA, to create a unique Christmas menu which fuses traditional Jewish dishes together with flavours from the pastoral East, inspired by the American-Jewish custom of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day. Good Egg’s specially crafted dishes include szechuan noodle kugel, smoked mackerel and mustard soy to start and roast duck pancakes with spiced date sauce for the main event. £40pp for 4 courses, available 21-22 December.
Dine on board the Prince Regent barge at floating restaurant London Shell Co., who are offering both static and cruising experiences this festive season. Enjoy views of the pretty Regents Canal as you feast on fish-based dishes like smoked salmon on soda bread with pickles, crab stuffed seabass with glazed turnips and Brussel sprouts and scallops with cauliflower veloute and black pudding. Miles away from your usual turkey roast! £50pp for the Christmas Cruising Menu.
Now boasting eight locations across London, Ping Pong have secured their spot as one of the city’s best dim sum eateries. This Christmas, diners can enjoy Ping Pong favourites like prawn toast and their famous golden dumplings alongside festive additions: chilli crab steamed buns, champagne crab dumplings and even mince pie spring rolls. Cocktails also have their Christmas hat on – a highlight is the spiced rum punch, made up of Sailor Jerry spiced rum, orange bitters, golden whipped cream and strawberry crunch topping. From £14.95pp.
Tuck into a foodie-fiesta Mexican-style at independent Covent Garden restaurant Cantina Laredo. Guests can choose between individual and sharing menus, which cater for carnivores and veggies alike. Standout dishes include turkey tacos, spiced Brussel sprouts, and eggnog and Christmas and Christmas cake filled Buñuelos (fried doughballs). Fancy a boozy one? All menus offer the option of adding free flowing wine, prosecco and beer, perfect for a holiday hurrah. And probably not one for everyone, but brussel sprout infused margaritas are also on offer…From £37pp.
Make like the Greek at hipster café Brother Marcus’ second location in Angel, where a festive family style sharing menu is being offered for groups. Expect big plates of meat alongside tasty sides: turkey roulade with currants, pistachio and sage; lamb shoulder with pomegranate and lime; bacon wrapped dates; cuttlefish orzo in a spicy red sauce and fried cauliflower with golden raisins. Be sure to save some space for pudding though, as their signature sticky toffee pudding is being served alongside date and rakomelo ice cream. Available only for groups of 10-16 people, £45pp including a glass of welcome prosecco.
Fancy something a bit lighter than a traditional roast? Head to London wellness brigade hotspot Daisy Green, who are offering up an Aussie-inspired twist on the classic Christmas menu. Starters include smoked salmon with ponzu caviar and wasabi mayonnaise or a crispy chickpea, black rice, avocado and pomegranate salad. Mains feature the likes of seabass with Jerusalem artichoke crisp and chargrilled buttermilk savoy; and fire roasted aubergine, served with crispy rise, miso, kale and tahini. For dessert, enjoy a vegan chocolate cake, yoghurt pavolva or indulge on a sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch caramel sauce. £29.50pp
Popular Indian small-plate restaurant Kricket, who recently opened a third venue in White City, are joining in with the festivities by offering a three-course Christmas menu. Classic Kricket favourites are given a festive twist: think samphire pakoras, grilled pumpkin with paneer, goose vindaloo with Brussel sprout and chestnut thorn and sticky date pudding with milk ice cream. £35pp for three courses.
Swap sprouts for seafood at sustainable fish-focused restaurant Claw. Groups of four or more can feast on a roasted platter of freshly caught day-boat fish and seafood alongside alternative trimmings such as Colchester oyster and truffle, crispy squid and raclette cauliflower cheese. Choose between mains like seabream ceviche, turkey & pheasant scotch egg and squash mac and cheese – and top it off with a chocolate eggnog dessert. £27pp for 2 courses or £35pp for 3 courses.
If you’re planning to try Dishoom’s Christmas feast, be warned: you will leave with a very full stomach. Designed for sharing, the menu features a whopping 16 dishes. The centerpiece is turkey raan, served with all the trimmings including masala winter greens, Bombay potatoes and spiced cranberry chutney. Enjoy alongside their signature daal, biryanis, okra fries, freshly baked naans and much more. £40pp.