Harden's unveiled the winners of its 2021 London Restaurant Awards at a ceremony in the grand ballroom of the Langham this afternoon.
Nominations for the awards were derived statistically from Harden's 31-year-old annual survey of UK restaurant-goers. This year 3,000 people contributed 30,000 nominations within the categories specified by Harden's. The final selection from the shortlist was made by the Harden's editors.
Tom Aikens' Muse restaurant in Belgravia scooped the Top Gastronomic Experience award, while husband-and-wife team Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki won Top Newcomer for their London Bridge venue Sollip.
The Canton Arms in Stockwell – nominated in previous years – finally carried off the award for Best Bar & Pub, while Best for Business went to Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields.
The Harden's Outstanding Achievement award acknowledged Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, for her work in defending the hospitality industry's interests against the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic – the first person to win the award who is not a chef or restaurateur.
Alexis Gauthier won the category for Top Vegetarian or Vegan for the second time with his more accessible 123V in Mayfair, and Noble Rot Soho won Most Interesting Wine List, the second time Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew have won the award, with the original Noble Rot in Holborn winning the same category five years ago.
Andy Beynon's Behind in London Fields won Top Fish & Seafood, while Top Romantic destination went to the new NoMad hotel in Covent Garden.
Established operators were also recognised: the Savoy hotel's Thames Foyer won Best Afternoon Tea; Corbin & King's the Delaunay in Covent Garden won Best Breakfast; Blacklock W1 won Top Steak & Grill; and Camberwell's Silk Road was Top Cheap Eat.
In the Street Food category it was ex-Pidgin chef Elizabeth Haigh who carried the day for Singaporean hawker cuisine at her Borough Market stall Mei Mei.
Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden's and host of the awards, said: "After the extreme challenges of the pandemic, it is a joy to be able to gather London's top chefs and restaurateurs again and to celebrate their successes.
"The last year was tougher for the London restaurant trade than any in history. It has been inspiring to watch the resilience and creativity of the trade in the face of such a challenge. And it is in this context that Kate Nicholls is such an appropriate winner for our Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Haysmacintyre, for the superb way she has spoken for the industry.
"Congratulations also to all our other winners and shortlisted restaurants, who show that – far from being down and out – London remains at the forefront of excitement and innovation in dining out globally."
The award ceremony was presented by the BBC's Nigel Barden.