7 Reasons This London Food Trend Is Here To Stay

Here's the scenario: You ooh and ahh over a menu ("What are you having? Come back to me last!") only to spend the rest of the meal eyeing up everyone else's food with a serious case of menu envy. Sound familiar? Thankfully, ordering is easy at the flurry of new single-dish restaurants now open in London. At these locations, the kitchen focuses on doing just one thing — really well.

The trend for pared-down menus started a few years ago with dual-dish restaurants that served anything from burgers and lobsters to hot dogs and champagne to chicken and steak. Then, two became one, and a crop of mono-eateries opened, eliminating major mealtime choices entirely. Some dismissed it as a passing fad, but this latest round of niche restaurants is proof that, sometimes, less really is more.

Read on to find seven London restaurants where deciding what to eat is super-simple. (Now, you just have to decide which one to try first.)

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Photo: Courtesy of Meltroom.

London's first restaurant dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches is the best place to find yourself when you're craving comfort food. But don't be fooled — these are no ordinary cheese toasties at this Soho spot. Expect sophisticated variations on the classic cheese melt, including one stuffed with pulled pork shoulder, mustard, chutney, and sharp cheddar. Or try the grilled sourdough filled with tuna bean salad and melted mozzarella. Not done? There's a nutella and mascarpone melt for dessert.
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Photo: Courtesy of Smack Lobster Roll.
Smack Lobster Roll

It's all about lobster rolls at this grab-and-go spot in Soho, where generous chunks of lobster meat are stuffed into buttery brioche buns and served with various toppings (from Japanese to Californian). The only difficult decision that needs to be made is whether to indulge in a second one.
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Photo: Courtesy of Balls & Company.
Balls & Company

Meatballs, or rather, balls in general — since they're not all meat — are available in pork, beef, chicken, salmon, or quinoa at this family-run eatery where the focus is on good-quality ingredients and sustainability. Add one of the four sauces on offer (pesto, creamy ricotta, tomato, or red pepper) and get psyched for your four balls to arrive in a little copper pan.
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Photo: Courtesy of Top Dog.
Top Dog

Husband-and-wife team Matt Hermer (Boujis, Bumpkin, and Eclipse) and American-born Marissa (cast member on Bravo's Ladies of London) recently opened this cool hot-dog joint in a tri-level townhouse in Soho. Natural, grass-fed, free-range chicken, beef, veal, and pork dogs make the indulgence practically guilt-free. Meanwhile, unusual toppings (kimchi or chilli and cheddar) keep things interesting.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Killer Cafe.
Cereal Killer Cafe

They take all-day breakfast very seriously at these two London cafes dedicated entirely to cereal. As with many mono-eateries, there are still plenty of choices to be made, thanks to a selection of 120 American and British cereals, 13 types of milk (hazelnut, soya, rice), and more than 20 toppings, including fresh fruit, nuts, or Malteasers and freeze-dried marshmallows.
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Photo: Courtesy of Arancini Brothers.
Arancini Brothers

Deep-fried Sicilian-style risotto balls made with cheese and herbs are the main attraction here, whether served straight-up, squashed into a wrap, or as part of a salad or hot stew. These folks also do their own take on a burger, using a vegetarian risotto patty on a brioche bun.
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Photo: Courtesy of Flat Iron.
Flat Iron

Feel like a steak? You're in the right place, because a fixed price (£10) feather blade served with a selection of sauces and a few sides is all you'll find on the menu at both the Soho and Covent Garden locations of this tiny, no-reservations steakhouse.