London-based restaurant KOL, operated by MJMK Restaurants, has been listed as number 17 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

KOL rose six places from the 2023 list and is the highest positioned UK restaurant. Chef Santiago Lastra aims to elevate traditional Mexican dishes to reflect the vibrant culture and heritage of his home country, adapting meticulously sourced produce from the British Isles.

KOL operator MJMK Restaurants’ portfolio also includes Portuguese concepts Casa do Frango and Lisboeta. Earlier this year, MJMK announced is to open a second venue in partnership with Lastra, another Mexican restaurant called Fonda on Mayfair’s Heddon Street.

Meanwhile, London restaurant Ikoyi was named number 42 on the list. Since opening in 2017, Ikoyi has aimed to distinguish itself as a pioneering restaurant for its bold use of flavour, creating new and original ingredient combinations.

The venue entered the World’s 50 Best list for the first time in 2022 and also holds two Michelin stars.

The top five restaurants on the list were Barcelona’s Disfrutar; Atxondo’s Asador Etxebarri; Paris’ Table by Bruno Verjus; Madrid’s Diverxo; and Lima’s Maido.

Owned by MCA publisher William Reed, the World’s 50 Best annual ceremony took place on 5 June in Las Vegas this year. Since 2002, the list has reflected and celebrated the richness and diversity of the world’s culinary landscape, with a panel of 1,080 culinary experts and a structured and audited voting procedure.

It provides a snapshot of some of the best destinations for unique culinary experiences, in addition to being a barometer for global gastronomic trends.

Chef Santiago Lastra of KOL said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be in this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants alongside so many fantastic restaurants, all of whom I deeply respect and admire. This achievement belongs to our brilliant team first and foremost, and also to Mexico - to its traditions, people, and culture that never ceases to inspire us - and to our farmers and foragers for all the opportunities to explore Britain’s landscape and produce. Thank you to our guests and global community for the ongoing support and trust in KOL, and for believing in our story.”

Chef Jeremy Chan of Ikoyi said: “The past seven years have been quite a journey for Iré and I. The team at Ikoyi just keeps getting stronger and we’d like to thank the Academy and everyone who supported us.”