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HFL's Restaurant Hot List: April

April has got me smiling because it's finally time for some lighter dishes, fresher veggies, and sweeter fruits. Here are the "Top 5 Restaurants I'm Dying to Try" this spring.


Beep. Beep. Beep. That's my restaurant radar always switched on, always ready for when inspiration strikes. Everyday as I scroll through Instagram or check out different sites, you can guarantee that I'm taking notes and adding new restaurants to my ever-growing "want to go" list on Google Maps. But what's really cool is I now have my HFL platform to share all of my findings with you lot and I think you'll really like my Top 5 selections for April.

Spring has finally sprung in London and I can't wait to put my heavy jackets away, feel rays of sun on my face and taste seasonal flavours on my tongue. It's about damn time! Don't you think? This month, I'm not only hungry for life but for nutritional takes on classics, Parisian bites, pappardelle and prosecco, steamed buns and some of Thailand's finest dishes. Allow me to explain.

1) Farmacy

I'm usually not the healthiest when it comes to eating out. I approach going to a restaurant as a treat or an opportunity to indulge but there is just something about Farmacy's plant-based menu, rooted in love, that is so appealing to my soul. All dishes are vegan, free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. Again completely different from how I like to eat but I'm excited to give Farmacy's earth bowls a try. The truffled mac n' cheese has also caught my eye but the 'air quotes' on the menu leave me wondering what in the hell the cheese is made of?

74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH

2) Soutine

Soutine is the latest addition to the St. John's Wood High Street restaurant lineup. The restaurant screams Parisian café with the quintessential bistro chairs and tables decorating the sidewalk. Soutine's menu features all the French classics like steak tartare, croque madame and coq au riesling. As I'm writing this post, the birds are chirping and I can just picture myself at one of the little outdoor tables ordering up the whole globe artichokes, fillet of sea bass and a salted caramel éclair for dessert. Now that sounds très magnifique to me!

60 St John's Wood High St, London NW8 7SH

3) Padella

It's rare not to see an Italian joint in my Top 5 and this month I don't disappoint. Padella is all about hand rolled pasta being enjoyed in a laid back pasta bar setting. No frills or fuss here. Unfortunately it's first come first serve, which I loathe, but for impeccably made pasta I'm willing to stand in the notoriously long queue that wraps around Borough Market. Whyyy Padella, why? At least the weather is nicer and there's a massive window so you can watch all the different pasta shapes being made while you wait. My mouth is watering just thinking about the fettuccini with nduja, mascarpone and lemon or the ricotta ravioli with sage butter. Hell I might order both because of the queue, I may never get a seat there again.

6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ

4) Flesh & Buns

Flesh & Buns is serving Japanese-inspired dishes with an emphasis on fill-your-own Taiwanese steamed buns. Now that brings me back to Spring 2012! About 7 years ago, I went to Taiwan with 2 of my very best girlfriends. There, I was exposed to a million new sights, smells and tastes. Now in London, I get to experience the Asian flavours from that amazing trip all over again. Flesh & Buns is an izakaya-style restaurant and after googling what that means (type of Japanese bar in which a variety of small, typically inexpensive, dishes and snacks are served to accompany alcoholic beverages) it's now my new favourite Japanese word. Order me up the lychee and pomegranate martini with the wagyu rump buns and I'll be one happy lady.

41 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX

5) Kiln

When researching Kiln, mysterious images of a clay pot sitting in an open fire kept popping up. What could this be? The answer: baked glass noodles with pork tenderloin and crab meat. How exotic and fantastic does that sound? Kiln has become Soho's favourite Thai barbecue restaurant bringing Londoners dishes inspired by Bangkok, but made proudly with British produce. There are only 15 items on the menu so I'll take one of everything, please and thank you.

58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TL

Subscribe to HUNGRY FOR LIFE today and drop me a line to let me know where you'll be eating this spring. Also pass along any of the sites you love for restaurant research. I'm always looking for new media outlets to follow. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!

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