Hands-glee dining Hannah eating spag bol
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Chicken fingerloo! Diners say fork off in favour of hands

5 minutes

Fine-dining may conjure up images of white tablecloths and full sets of silver service cutlery. However, all around the globe, some of the world’s best delicacies are eaten by hand. To recognise this, TheFork are encouraging you to go Hands-Glee, and take joy in high-end eating that you can dive hands-first into.

As it happens, eating with one’s hands actually provides some surprising benefits when we eat our food. Experts believe that feeling food by touch while eating allows us to absorb more good information about its tenderness, ripeness and texture. This stimulates our senses and actually makes each dish we eat taste better. Added to this, diners we surveyed reported feeling more relaxed and even a bit more indulgent when eating by hand. Some even confessed to feeling a “little naughty” when dinner becomes more hands-on.

However, Brits being Brits, we are also easily embarrassed, so a good portion of our customers have admitted to feeling frowned upon or judged for indulging hands-first at restaurants. This is unlike many cultures around the world, who have vibrant cuisines featuring amazing dishes designed to be shared and enjoyed by hand. As a result, these cuisines boast heightened flavour experiences as well as a more social and communal style of dining. Fortunately for foodies, this has kicked off some fantastic food trends that are now becoming a mainstay of the country’s restaurant scene.

We're proud to partner with delicious restaurants who are bringing high-end finger-food to satisfied diners. To celebrate the trend, TheFork has partnered with select London restaurants to launch it's first ever Hands-Glee dining experience, where you can swap forks for fingers to help you better connect with your food. Book one of the 20 restaurants offering the Hands-Glee experience through TheFork and get 50% off food! They will make up more than one hundred restaurants taking part in TheFork Festival that takes place until the 27th November. Let’s explore some of them below to inspire you to get hands-on:


Aubaine, Brompton Road

This quaint neighbourhood restaurant , Aubaine, has a refreshed menu featuring some excellent dishes. Begin with artisanal breads with Isigny Sainte-Mère butter, mixed olives, Beetroot with goats cheese, Iberico croquettes and Brie de meaux bruschetta with egg yolk caramel, candied walnut and granny smith apple. Next, savour main dishes like the Stone bass in a Cannellini bean and mussel stew, or the Wagyu burger with Mustard mayonnaise and sliced Emmental. 

TheFork Rating: 9.0, Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 8am–10pm, Sunday 9am–6pm

BOOK Aubaine, Brompton Road 


28-50, Oxford Circus

Tuck hand-first into a selection of dishes at 28-50 designed for sharing and casual group dining. From sophisticated snacks like Smoked Almonds and Nocellara del Belice Olives to Padron Peppers and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie, served by the board. The famed 28-50 Cheeseburger is packed with iceberg lettuce, pickles, onion & truffle mayo and served with fries.

TheFork Rating: 8.8, Opening hours: Monday - Thursday 12pm–11.30pm, Friday - Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 12pm-10.30pm, YUMS Accepted

BOOK 28-50, Oxford Circus


RedFarm, Covent Garden

Covent Garden is home to RedFarm, an airy and appealing restaurant that specialises in Chinese Dim-Sum. Feast on inventive dishes and dumplings for an authentic taste of Chinese folk cooking, which is always made to be shared. Chicken & Prawn Lollipops, BBQ Pork Belly, Dumplings of Crunchy Vegetable & Peanut and Pork & Crab Soup, and many more are served here, so get your chopsticks ready!

TheFork Rating: 8.3, Opening hours: Monday - Thursday 12–3pm, 5–10pm, Friday 12–3pm, 5–11pm, Saturday 12–3:30pm, 5–11pm, Sunday 12–4:30pm, 5–9pm

BOOK RedFarm, Covent Garden 

Sticky Mango, Waterloo

Serving up tasty Thai bangers is the sweetly named Sticky Mango in Waterloo. With a focus on authentic serving and fragrant flavours, come and enjoy food in the traditional Thailand style, with 50% off food during TheFork Festival. From the Wok Fried Monkfish with Malaysian Chilli Sauce to the Spicy Tuna Tartar Spring Roll with Avocado Radish, dishes here are an adventure that’s yours to reach out and take.

TheFork Rating: 8.6, Opening hours: Monday 5–10:30pm, Tuesday - Saturday 12–2:30pm, 5–10:30pm, Sunday 12–2:30pm, 5–9pm

BOOK Sticky Mango


AperiPasta Italian Kitchen & Prosecco Bar

For casual Italian bites, cicchetti style, you have to visit the AperiPasta Italian Kitchen & Prosecco Bar. As you can expect from the name, enjoy refreshing prosecco as you enjoy tasty bites of Homemade Truffle Arancini and Crispy Fried Italian Cheese and Croquettes. The fries are delicious served with truffle and parmesan, and there is a range of classic Bruschettas to choose from.

TheFork Rating: 9.1, Opening hours: Monday - Wednesday 5–11pm, Thursday - Sunday 11am–11pm, YUMS Accepted

BOOK AperiPasta Italian Kitchen & Prosecco Bar


Don Ciccio Osteria Pizzeria, Hampstead


In leafy Hampstead is this traditional Italian Osteria and Pizzeria, Don Ciccio. Here, Chef Marco Valente serves up Italian classics that are designed to be enjoyed with passion. Dishes like Parma Ham with Melon, Deep Fried Calamari with aioli and Don Ciccio’s Suppli & Croquette are perfect to be enjoyed by hand, while you focus on the real flavour!

TheFork Rating: 9.3, Opening hours: Monday Closed, Tuesday - Thursday 5:30–10:30pm, Friday 12–10:30pm, Saturday - Sunday 12–10pm

BOOK Don Ciccio Osteria Pizzeria, Hampstead


Discover, book and eat Hands-Glee on TheFork and get 50% off food at selected Hands-Glee restaurants across London, as well as 100+ others taking part in TheFork Festival running until 27th November.

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