Food & Drink

The fast food revolution: three new restaurants doing it differently

Move over greasy spoon. The new generation of London fast food joints turns grab-and-go eating into foodie heaven

Fast food has really come into its own in recent years. No longer solely the preserve of McDonalds, or your local chippy, here in London we’re indulged with a plethora of authentic pizzerias (the original fast food), fried chicken and burger joints. And now, in 2018, it’s come on even further, with a series of fine food-meets-fast food joints opening in the capital, boasting well-considered menus of dishes from around the world. Here’s our top three fast food restaurants that have either recently opened, or are shortly to launch.

Hai Di Lao

Opening at the end of October, Hai Di Lao is the Chinese fast food giant that specialises in traditional hot pot, which involves dipping fresh meat and vegetables in simmering broth. Now, they’re bringing their unique brand of characterful service (games, shoe shines, manicures and massages) and entertaining nightclub-esque setting to central London, with a 10,000-square-foot restaurant near the Trocadero, on Shaftesbury Avenue.


Thought kebabs were reserved for late-night, post-pub guilt fests? The Turkish dish has been reinvented by Bababoom into hearty, healthy plates of chargrilled flatbread, tender meats and lashings of grilled veggies. They also do frozen margaritas, homemade desserts and a Middle Eastern brunch at the weekends. And not a stick of mystery meat in sight.

Yen Burger

Yen Burger, by the entrepreneurial Yen Nguyen, takes the classic Western comfort food and gives it enticing Asian twists. The four patty options available (Aberdeen Black Angus, Wagyu beef, sustainable cod or veggie) can be topped with tangy shiso, kimchi mayonnaise or Japanese chilli. Sides include sweet potato fries, crunchy Asian-style slaw, or steamed edamame beans. The health message continues in the gluten-free buns, supplied by Bread Ahead.