If you don’t spent the day before a big meal out perusing all the dishes posted to the restaurant’s Instagram location tag, then who are you? Why would you deny yourself the joy of seeing all the food, plated up before you, thus negating any cases of food envy at your table forever more?
Anyway, I digress: here are the restaurants and the plates that my thumb has been smashing the heart button on all month:
As the Steely Dan lyrics go: "Peg, It will come back to you." Actually, we’re more likely to come back to Peg, thanks to its delicious small plates, like the smoked and grilled eel rice balls or
raw prawns with preserved blood orange and sancho leaf. This tiny but perfectly formed restaurant is from the same people behind P. Franco and Bright, so expect a banging natural wine list, paired with innovative and modern cooking.
Follow Peg on Instagram here
Burmese cuisine is the dish of the day, every day, at Lahpet and the stylish restaurant has become a firm favourite with foodies since it opened in its Bethnal Green last year. The founders Dan Anton and Zaw Mahesh were inspired by their Burmese heritage to create an eaterie around the ingredient lahpet (tea). Their signature dish is the pickled tea leaf salad, which tastes a whole lot better than it sounds, and packs a proper umami-punch alongside their menu of mohinga (catfish and lemongrass chowder), coconut and chicken noodles or lentil chow chow.
Follow Lahpet on Instagram here
Ancoats is an area of Manchester that was recently voted the 13th coolest neighbourhood in the world by Time Out. 13 might be unlucky for some, but it’s not for locals who get to feast at The Counter House, a casual diner that proves that healthy food can also be comfort food too. Come for the baked crab cakes, stay for the almond chicken katsu, and make sure to leave room for their classic line-up of desserts.
Follow The Counter House on Instagram here
Hark the herald angels sing: Gloriaaaaa. This heavenly Italian spot opened in February, and with it came the instant ‘gram hit of their cacio e pepe dish, tossed around in an actual! Parmesan! wheel! When you’re done with getting high on their cheese supply, relax in their retro lounge with a slice of their lofty-new heights lemon meringue pie and a glass of Lambrusco - after all, the sparkling wine is all the rage again.
Follow Gloria (location) on Instagram here
Sometimes, only a burger will do. And these vegan numbers having been making a splash on Merseyside since the fully plant-based restaurant opened in November. Vlogger Monami Frost has turned her hand from influencer to tattoo artist and now to creator of some decent-looking faux-meat burgers - and the venue’s new range of doughnuts (vegan, obvs) also looks pretty damn fine too.
Follow Frost on Instagram here
Don’t write off this restaurant as ‘just a department store cafe’ because a) that department store is 'only' Selfridges and b) because that cafe comes from the creators of Caprice holdings, AKA the group that owns venues like J Sheekey, The Ivy, Harry’s Bar and Scott’s. Brasserie of Light is another epic addition to the family, housed in an Art Deco setting and with equally opulent eats like lobster spaghettini or Wagyu steak and truffle sauce. Pop your cherry with the sakura (cherry blossom) inspired delight.
Follow Brasserie of Light on Instagram here
Main image credit: Alto Neville Mountford Hoare via Getty Images