Some predicted that the single item restaurant would be a fleeting trend for London; they couldn't have been more wrong. Of course, we've always had burger joints, pizza ovens, steak houses and chippies, but the past few years have seen a wave of new openings, increasingly niche. Here are our favourites.
There are a few places that serve really good hot wings in London now, but we love Sticky Wings because there's something so old school about the way they do things. Run by a husband and wife team who just really, really love wings, this place makes super crisp 'n' juicy wings, drenched in sauce. Many places nowadays are way too stingy on the sauce, and they often fail to achieve that balance between butter-richness and chilli-vinegar punch. These guys nail it every time.
Sticky Wings, 40 Brick Lane, E1 6RF
Restaurant hype can be annoying, and there was a tonne of it surrounding Padella when they opened. Now there are queues down the street every lunch and dinner time but you know what? It's worth it. The silk-smooth cacio e pepe is the dish that everyone splashed over their t-shirts this summer.
Padella, 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ
A seriously specialised hotpot restaurant, Shuang Shuang go to town on the options. Choose from a range of broths and dipping sauces for dunking your chosen ingredients into. You can dip everything from noodles to veg to whole lobsters. It's a whole lot of fun where the prizes to be won are the bits and pieces you forgot about, bobbing to the surface.
Shuang Shuang, 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LU
Where the Pancakes Are
There are lots of places to find pancakes in London, but we love WTPA for their fluffy stacks of buttermilk pancakes, their A grade maple syrup and their tempting, modern menu with classic American bacon 'n' syrup options, plus sweet things like banana with chocolate ganache. They also make spectacular Dutch babies which are baked until huge and puffy.
Where the Pancakes Are, 85 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar
OK, so they do side dishes and mezze too but it's mostly about the shawarma here. With the rise of the trend for Middle Eastern flavours it was only a matter of time before we saw a restaurant dedicated to this most important preparation of spiced meat. There are chicken, lamb and cauliflower options and everything is loud and ballsy and spectacular. Pickles are crisp, sharp, sour, sweet; meat is buzzing with smoke and spices; herbs are plentiful, labneh is thick; tahina glues everything together.
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, 46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE