DIY Dining

Discover our favourite make-it-yourself restaurants for some DIY dining.

Hot May

Found inside an elegant three-storey town house in Knightsbridge, Hot May is a northern Chinese hot-pot restaurant. The space speaks to the Asian eating houses of old, featuring printed wallpaper, leather booths and illuminated green glass panels and brass accents. On the menu, you can expect to find classic hot pot fare. Each diner gets their own dedicated burner to keep the hot pot at the right temperature, with six-hour clear chicken, vegetable or oxtail broths on offer. You can then choose from the likes of wagyu beef, Scottish Highland beef, king fish, seabass, seafood fishcakes, langoustines, abalaone, tofu, vegetables and noodles to cook in your broth, with Hot May Master sauce, beef sauce and seafood sauce for dipping on the side.


Long before Korean cuisine became a trend in the capital, Koba has stood in London’s Fitzrovia since 2005. The restaurant specialises in Korean table barbecue and underwent a refurbishment to celebrate the beginning of its second decade - by Korean design agency Elephant have blended elements of the country’s rich design heritage with more contemporary touches. To coincide with the re-opening, chef and owner Lindia Lee introduced a revamped menu, yet the focus remains on table barbeque cuisine, signalled by a series of unadorned low-hanging extractors hovering over tabletop burners. Here, classic dishes like bulgogi are cooked by diners themselves. Other Korean staples, such as shinsunro, a hotpot served in a flaming copper pot, and bibimbap are also available. 


Partnering with three-Michelin-starred The Araki, Sakagura - inspired by old-style Japanese drinking houses - offers the same renowned, authentic Japanese cuisine but in a more accessible, relaxed setting -across two floors. Beneath the ground floor’s intimate booths and saké bar, you’ll find an 11-seater kappo bar (a Japanese-style chef’s table. The menu, created by Shoryu Ramen executive chef Kanji Furukawa, is based on southern Japanese recipes, or ‘washoku’, meaning “the food of Japan” - and incorporates a range of yakitori, sushi, sashimi and bento boxes, as well as Wagyu steak and lobster, which is served on a shichirin (charcoal grill) or hot ishiyaki lava stone at the table. Pictured. 

Shuang Shuang

London’s first specialist hot pot restaurant, at which diners put together dishes from a conveyor belt of ingredients. Choose from five broths to form the basis of their hot pot. They include Bird Berry (made from a rare breed of black-fleshed chicken and dried Chinese berries); Mala (Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilli); Herbal River (created with prawn heads and fresh lemongrass); Lamb Tonic (made with lamb bones and Chinese pickled cabbage); and Monk’s Broth (using soya milk, turnips and mushrooms). A selection of around 50 British and Chinese ingredients – including beef, pork, clams, sea bass, crab wontons, Chinese pea shoots, mustard leaves, lotus roots and noodles – available on a passing conveyor belt are then cooked in the simmering broth by diners.

St. Moritz

Established in 1974 St.Moritz is London's oldest Swiss restaurant. Genuine and traditional Swiss cuisine prepared and served under the auspices of the renowned proprietor and chef Armin Loetscher. This very unique chalet-style, Swiss-themed institution (complete with dangling cow bells and little wooden chairs) dishes up Swiss-style fondues and other speciality dishes including the best rosti outside of Switzerland. Plenty of cheesy fondue options available (all served with crusty bread, potatoes or vegetables), for more carnivorous types order the Fondue Bourguignonne – cubes of prime beef you cook yourself at the table in hot oil. A large selection of Swiss wines are also always available. 


Another Swiss entry, but with a more modern outlook. Overseen by head chef Aarik Persaud, the restaurant (replacing Spanish deli-cafe Brindisa) offers a small plate menu with dishes including dry-aged steak tartare and lobster tart with roasted fennel; interactive dishes such as meat fondue and charbonnade - where you can barbecue prime meat cuts, fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables on table-top charcoal grills. Alongside with Swiss-inspired dishes: rosti with maple-glazed Dingley Dell lardons; Tomette de Brebis and shaved truffles; and raclette with Cobble Lane charcuterie featuring 24-month ham, wagyu bresaola and saucisson are also on offer. The menu is complemented by a 200-strong wine list which champions wineries from the Alpine region. The 80-cover venue features a modern interior that mixes industrial features, soft furnishings and eclectic artworks. There's a centralised bar and a semi-private dining area seating up to 14 people for banquet-style feasting. 


This terrace bar and grill restaurant is from the Barrafina team and located in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. The partially covered restaurant supplies diners with their own bespoke mini charcoal grills, or parrillas, allowing you to cook select cuts of meat, fish and vegetables for yourselves at the table. The menu has developed by Barrafina’s Executive Chef, Angel Zapata Martin and inclues: 50-day aged rump steak, Middlewhite pork chop and rare Iberian pork sweetbreads from Maldonado. You can also order from a list of para picar ahead of the main grilling course such as the DIY Pan con Tomate which you assemble yourself. A Spanish wine list as well as sherries, beer, and gin and tonics completes the offering. Opens again in Spring 2020.

Ideal For

Playing with your food