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Dukes Brew & Que [London]

Totally agree. I was so disappointed with this place. The ribs come out looking amazing but after one bite into tough meat you are put off. I understand that they shouldn't be falling off the bone but people were gnawing and pulling at the tough chewy meat all around us. Sauces were pretty rubbish too. As for Mac n Cheese, when is anywhere in London going to figure out that they are doing it all wrong.

Oct 06, 2012
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Hawksmoor Seven Dials [London]

I had a burger yesterday and it was a very underwhelming experience. The bread had a very good texture and OK flavour (not quite sweet or absorbent enough) but the meat was surprisingly dry and flavourless and the ogleshield cheese was just all wrong. It tasted similar to a mild raclette cheese that completely overpowered rather than complemented the (already lacking) flavour of the meat. Toppings were OK and the beef dripping chips were the star of the show (though not really a burger chip). This is just another case of a restaurant trying to mess around with a 'gourmet' burger and the sum being less than its parts. A polite burger is no longer a good burger.

Feb 27, 2011
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Dumpling Legends, Chinatown, London

Agreed the Xintiandi DTF are the best XLB's I've ever tasted.

Feb 18, 2011
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

new tayyabs [London]

Just in case you didn't know, the lamb chops at Tayyabs are actually mutton chops - I had a chat with their suppliers.

Feb 18, 2011
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

EATING ALONE IN HONG KONG

OK well I'm here and have spent the past 2 days eating around town. Last day tomorrow so trying to get ready for a big day of eating! So far the highlights have been:

FU SING - mmmmm their Char Sui is BBQ perfection. Dim Sum is also good (I forgot to order the Char Siu buns and saw everyone eating them but I was already full).
MAK'S - Lovely wonton noodles - great broth and perfect bite to the noodles.
TAI HING ROAST - Pretty good goose and char siu on rice. I saw the 'pork brisket' which is a cut of meat I haven't seen before so I'm thinking of going back'
YEE SHUN MILK - Steamed milk pudding is nice.

I also have eaten some pretty good beef brisket noodles and developed a strange obsession with floss bread!

Going to eat at Tasty tonight in Hung Hom. Tomorrow some friends are taking me to She Wong Fun for snake soup that they recommend and I'm considering the trip to Fung Lam for lunch.

I want to buy some food gifts before I go (XO sauce, floss meat etc), any recs? Any other must eats in HK?

Aug 12, 2010
plummonk in China & Southeast Asia

EATING ALONE IN HONG KONG

I am quite a dedicated eater and I'll try my best but yeah I can't see myself ordering anything close to the amount of dishes that I'd like to try. Any chowhounders out there fancy a meal?

Jul 20, 2010
plummonk in China & Southeast Asia

EATING ALONE IN HONG KONG

Thanks for the responses. I'm gathering a list of places to hit so all solo friendly recs are appreciated. Roasted pigeon sounds interesting - wanted to try a goose somewhere good but I guess you have to order a whole one?

Jul 18, 2010
plummonk in China & Southeast Asia

EATING ALONE IN HONG KONG

I am passing through HK for a few days and keen to go and munch my way through the city. I've been a couple of times but not with the express purpose of food. I have been avidly reading all the HK posts but the annoying thing is that I'll be travelling alone. This means that I can't order as much (grrrr) and I'm not sure which restaurants are solo diner friendly. Any thoughts?

Jul 17, 2010
plummonk in China & Southeast Asia

Mezza Express - London

Yeah I stopped going there about 6 months ago. The food went up in price and down in quality.

May 28, 2010
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Hickory Chips [London]

Any idea where I can buy Hickory chips in London? I'm planning a slow BBQ brisket this weekend and want to get some smoke into the meat.

May 14, 2010
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

Thanks, both of you, good to know. I found them at Wing Yip as well.

Nov 23, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

So just thought I'd write back that I found it when I went back to Wing Yip and really enjoyed cooking with it (apart from having to wear gloves and watch out for stains). It definitely has a much more fragrant, fruity and fresh flavour and scent compared with dry and I'll be using a lot more.

For those interested, I used it to slow roast a pork shoulder for Sunday lunch. Mixed turmeric with lemongrass, galangal, ginger, lime juice, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and palm sugar and blended for the marinade. It was really tasty, soft, pull apart pork and crunchy crackling. Mmmm. Attached are quick pics, sorry they are not better but I was too anxious to eat!

Nov 23, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Set menus in London

It might not be in your area but the Ledbury is excellent.

Nov 17, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

Yeah I did try Wing Yip but couldn't see it. I'll go hunting again this week or Saturday, I'm sure with all your suggestions I'll find some. Also on the lookout for candlenuts!

Nov 17, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

Thanks both of you. I was imagining using it fresh like ginger, maybe making a curry paste with it and a load of other ingredients and basting on a pork shoulder for some slow roasting. I'll definitely try it on the weekend and let you know.

Nov 17, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

Thanks frogprince, I'll go track it down. I have never used it before and I want to try out some Balinese and Sri Lankan dishes. I always felt that powdered turmeric had a slight 'musty and old' taste about it and am excited to see how fresh turmeric differs. Any tips on using it?

Nov 17, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Fresh Turmeric - London

Any ideas where I can find fresh turmeric in North London, I've been to a few ethnic supermarkets but to no avail. Suggestions would be very welcome.

Nov 17, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Hereford Road vs. Harwood Arms [London]

For me there is no contest. Harwood Arms wins hands down. The cooking skills, menu, service and atmosphere are all well above Hereford Rd, although I'm sure this post will be followed by many who disagree.

Nov 15, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Harwood Arms, London

Nice review, I think that anybody who has been to HA would agree, this is some stunning cooking, imaginative and balanced, simple with wow factor, and flavours that linger in the memory for weeks. I'm not such a dessert fan but I can't stop thinking about their deep fried elderflower and sour cream ice cream. Probably the best meal I've eaten this year.

Nov 09, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Best Cantonese in Chinatown [London]

Crispy pork is a weakness of mine so I'll have to try it. Thanks.

Nov 01, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Best Cantonese in Chinatown [London]

Hey hounders,
I was recently asked to recommend the best Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown and I couldn't really think of any particular one that I would confidently recommend. I often eat at Four Seasons for their duck, I've also spent many late nights eating at Crispy Duck, HK Diner and others that I can't recall. They can all be pretty good but none of them stand out as a must-go restaurant that consistently serves great food. When I go out to Chinatown I more often eat Szechuan (Bar Shu, Ba Shan, Red n Hot etc) or at Leongs Legends.

So, I'm interested what you all think. Which is the best CANTONESE place in Chinatown? Which is the one place that you would happily send your best friends to? Feel free to include any favourite dishes.

Nov 01, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Blue Pacific - London

Blue Pacific is on a pretty empty and unattractive part of the Finchley Rd near Golders Green. It's just one restaurant sitting next to a hairdresser and a lighting shop, with no other shops let alone foodie spots nearby. In short, it is not the kind of place that you would find just strolling around and certainly not the kind of place you would normally risk going into. The room inside is small (maybe 8 tables) and pretty uninspiring too. Yet on most evenings it is pretty busy which raised my eyebrows, every time I passed by (I live close) - 'it can only be busy by people actually travelling here specifically' I thought, 'which means that something good must be going on in the kitchen'.

I have since eaten here a few times and thought I'd fill you in. The menu is a bit confused, mixing the standard Chinese restaurant staples with a few eye catching traditional dishes. Avoid the crispy chilli beefs and crispy wontons (of course you chowhounders wouldn't even think of those) and head for the Pan Asian dishes dotted around the menu. The woman who runs the place is Malaysian with a passion for food.

Their Rendang is pretty damn good, thick, rich and loaded with whole spices. I also liked their Nyonya chicken curry, it was comforting and flavourful with soft boiled potatoes - kind of a child's version of a curry but in a good way. Another memorable dish is their Fried Pork with Garlic and Curry Leaves. They also do a decent Char Kway Teow and a friend told me that he enjoyed their Laksa. But what you have to try is their homemade Tofu. The skin is so thin and nutty from frying and the tofu inside is soft, silken and rich. It's a joy to eat. They have a laminated 'special menu' with the better dishes and there are quite a few dishes with the homemade tofu so take your pick. This is also one of the few Chinese restaurants outside chinatown that has a full range of Chinese vegetables including my personal favourite, Dau Miu.

This place is not going to blow you away, service is a bit awkward and there are a few duds on the menu (especially if you order the more standard cantonese dishes), but if you happen to be passing nearby then its a good one to have up your sleeve.

Oct 08, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Chiang Mai Recommendations

Aaah Aroon Rai. I was in Chiang Mai a few years ago and their pork and ginger curry nearly brought me to tears.

Oct 06, 2009
plummonk in China & Southeast Asia

Nopales in London?

Tried cool chile? They have Pasilla.

Oct 06, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Red Sun, Marylebone, London

I'll check it out. Limster, any idea where to find a good Hong Shao Rou in London. Been craving it for ages.

Oct 06, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Hereford Road, Notting Hill/Bayswater, London

Yeah , I guess I need to return because I love the simplicity of the menu and I agree with you Patricko, simple food needs attention to detail. That's why it was disappointing when I went, the kitchen made too many errors in my opinion.

Glad I'm not the only one Limster - love your recs for asian foods btw, I've been following your trail.

PhilD, I'm not saying it was expensive but a 'substantial' price when compared with the quality of cooking (on the day) and portion size. I would have happily paid the bill if the food had been better. Call me old fashioned but at £35 a head, I expected more.

Oct 06, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Hereford Road, Notting Hill/Bayswater, London

Wow I must be the only person in London that doesn't rate Hereford Rd. After all the rave reviews, I was seriously disappointed with lunch there. The place is really sterile, service robotic, and the area under that turfed roof feels damp and cold. The food was decent but pretty uninspired and generally a bit limp and lacking finesse in the kitchen. I expected bravely simple cooking with hearty flavours but instead found myself sampling tough ox tongue and over vinegared celeriac, very chewy Guinea Fowl and underseasoned fish. An underwhelming experience at a substantial price. I guess it must have been an off day in the kitchen but I can't help thinking 'what's the fuss all about?'

Oct 06, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Needoo, Whitechapel [London]

I went yesterday and there was already a Tayaabs style queue snaking out of the door! Looks like that metro review had an effect.

Food was still excellent though. Grills were Tayaabs quality (which is saying something) but the curries and side dishes I thought were superior. The dry meat curry was amazing - soft, rich and mellow meat flavour leading to a chilli kick. We also had a Karahi Chicken Keema which again had a great layered flavour that ended in a perfectly balanced heat. Daal was extremely good too and the paratha was steaming hot inside a flaky and crispy exterior. Mmmm. Only thing is I wish they wouldn't cover the breads in that much butter but with food this good, I'll get over it.

Oct 02, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Mezza Express - London

Hehe yeah I know I'm in the minority when it comes to El Parador. I have no problem with the atmosphere, my kind of place for sure. The menu makes me salivate, the flavour combinations are right up my street. When the dishes come out they look great BUT I just feel like the food is a bit tame in flavour and freshness and doesn't deliver what it promises. Also sometimes the dishes are a bit lukewarm (maybe a bit picky with tapas but it makes them feel heavier and more oily). The food is good but not as good as the menu reads. Anyway, clearly people love it so that's why I put it on the list.

Sep 30, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland

Mezza Express - London

Yeah, I'm a newbie poster but I've been following Chow threads for a while and thought I'd join the chatting.

Mezza takeaway is a container to fill, but it's pretty big, especially if like me you fill it with an architectural eye and make sure that there is no air space (yeah I'm a pig). You can eat in for £7.95 and eat as much as you want.

Other lunch places in the area worth checking are:

Caponata - Good, fresh sicilian food but a little overpriced
Ottoman Palace - Really reasonably priced and tasty turkish
Teachi - Bit hit and miss but if you order the more authentic stuff you can eat well
Yum Cha - Decent enough dim sum at good prices
Coast - Ate there once, really good fish (obviously) but pricey
Hache - Pretty good burgers (by London's standards)
Burrito stall on inverness street - For a street stand it's a tasty lunch
Bento Box - Nothing special but an ok lunch option

Bit further away:
El Parador - Pretty good tapas (but the menu reads better than the results). Dunno if they do lunch.
Asakusa - Very rundown (in a charming way) japanese. Good food at good prices.
Oxford - I've always had a great meal at this gastropub in Kentish Town. I don't know why it isn't more recognised.
Bintang - Pretty good malaysian at good prices.

Sep 29, 2009
plummonk in U.K./Ireland