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[London] ISO Best shabu shabu?

Thanks, Will125. You're right - Miyama is cheaper... but only by £1!

I'm surprised at how difficult it is to find information on Japanese shabu shabu in London. Any other pointers would be much appreciated. If it's a place that also serves hirae sake (warm sake with a fishtail), then I'll be there!

Jan 11, 2013
casskous in U.K./Ireland

[London] ISO Best shabu shabu?

Currently looking for a shabu shabu restaurant in central London for a weekend meal. Thought I'd try Kiku in Mayfair but since it's a little on the expensive side, I'm looking for any other recommendations.

I've already been to Sichuanese hot pot and Japanese ramen to get me through London's cold, dark winter. I think now is the time for shabu shabu!

Jan 09, 2013
casskous in U.K./Ireland

ISO Somewhere special for 30th birthday brunch

Thanks to all for the brilliant suggestions. I made a reservation at NoMad and at ABC Kitchen - I'll have to call and see if I can increase the table size at NoMad, if not then go to ABC Kitchen.

I like Public and Park Avenue Autumn both but don't want to risk no reservation at the former and the latter is a little far. Will report back!

Oct 20, 2012
casskous in Manhattan

ISO Somewhere special for 30th birthday brunch

Thank you both. My favorite restaurant in NYC was Jean Georges. Loved going there for lunch but might have been there *too* often so that it doesn't have that special vibe. I think Marea would be a bit too formal for us on this occassion, likewise Cafe Boulud and Per Se. I would have loved to have tried for Babbo but no lunch means it's out.

I'm having difficulty hitting on a great brunch/lunch place where we can relax, enjoy food and linger with the company; if we were talking about dinner, I would have already Skyped a ton of places to try and get a table. Please share any ideas!

Oct 19, 2012
casskous in Manhattan

ISO Somewhere special for 30th birthday brunch

I'm going to be in town with my two siblings to celebrate a 30th birthday. We all previously lived in NYC so we're really looking forward to meeting up again and EATING! Since we all had to travel, I'm going to dispense with the notion of a fancy shmancy meal and just try for something really nice and memorable. The last big birthday we celebrated together in NYC was a 21st birthday at Colicchio & Son's and I think Gramercy Tavern was another blow-out birthday meal that we had back in the day.

Our birthday meal this time will be a Sunday brunch (due to flights, can't make it dinner) and there will be five of us total. Happy to travel but not too far since we will have bags etc. We will be staying in Downtown Brooklyn and spending most of the weekend in Brooklyn so venturing out to Manhattan sounds good. Any suggestions for some place special, where we can linger and catch up and get to know the new members of the clan would be ideal.

I know I can count on the chowhound community for some good recommendations. All suggestions are welcome!

Oct 18, 2012
casskous in Manhattan

ISO U.S.-style all day breakfast in London

A sudden hankering for American road-side diner food is prompting this question. Can anyone give me insight into The Diner in Soho? I tried to do a search here on Chowhound but ended up with too many false hits. Any other places?

I'm looking for American bacon, fluffy pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs and never-ending coffee.

Aug 04, 2012
casskous in U.K./Ireland

Has anyone tried Chom Chom korean on W. 56th?

Your experience at Chom Chom will depend on what you are looking for. It is not in any way an authentic Korean restaurant and the weekday lunch is a little more expensive that other cheap Midtown lunches (though not in the realm of expensive Midtown lunches). However, the food is tasty and well-prepared and the service is attentive. I found that the waitstaff were quite eager to please though a little green. I've eaten there twice for lunch, once during the week and once on the weekend. Unfortunately, I can't remember what was ordered.

Chom Chom
40 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Sep 14, 2010
casskous in Manhattan

[London] Great food for a special weekend

Here's where we ended up:

Day 1 - only meal of the day: Chilli Cool
Absolutely loved it. I thought the food could be more spicy and I think we didn't order very well because none of the dishes had the peppercorns that I love but all in all a solid meal and great discovery. We were dining pretty late so we missed out on the tripe appetizer.

Day 2 - Lunch: Japan Centre
Soy ramen with BBQ pork was just so-so. Would highly recommend getting it without the pink ginger. The ginger overpowered everything! The small packaged sushi (mackerel, squid, eel) tasted fresh and good though. We were also excited to find frozen mochi sold individually in one of the back glass freezers. Our eyes being bigger than our stomaches, we got two and could not finish both.

Dinner: Tayyabs
The lamb chops were great and I liked the mango lassi a lot. Also, peshwari naan! It's so hard to find in the States that I think I ate most of the whole thing on my own. The curry was a slight let-down but otherwise it was a good meal and one that we were set on going for.

Day 3 - only dine-out meal of the day: Dinner at St John's Bread and Wine
Had very high expectations but found myself a little perplexed. The food was good and also interesting but not amazing. The ox hearts did not taste very different from other cuts of beef, albeit it looked like it had been pounded/flattened. The sauce on the ox hearts was good. The foie gras duck liver app took me by surprise - I did not expect it to be slathered on the bread! I'm perfectly capable of doing that myself. The serving seemed a little stingy. We had one other smaller dish that completely escapes me at the moment. I suppose that means that it was not very memorable. We both tried grouse for the first time. It was really interesting though at first it looks so bloody we were horrified. Gamely, we ate on... and came across a few shotgun pellets. Again, horrified, then reassured that it was simply shotgun pellets and "a risk of eating any game." It was a fun experience.

Here's a question for London 'hounders: at St John Bread and Wine, the bill stated VAT as a separate line item. Why? We found it very confusing!

Sep 09, 2010
casskous in U.K./Ireland

[London] Great food for a special weekend

I'm not that familiar with Middle Eastern food but always up for new culinary experiences.

Forgive my ignorance - can you tell me the main differences between Quilon and Tayyabs? I understand that it is different regional cuisine but not sure what the differences are. Also, would it make sense to try Quilon for dinner? I'm thinking we might go there after or before a visit to Tate Britain.

I'd love to make it out to Launceston Place but not sure if we will have time!

Aug 11, 2010
casskous in U.K./Ireland

[London] Great food for a special weekend

Appreciate the insight. Sometimes, it's just as important to know where to avoid, as well as where to go.

My latest idea for our Day 1 lunch is Chilli Cool, near Russell Square. I love good Szechuan food with lots of peppercorns and I don't get it often enough! We were both brought up on spicy food so I think our tastebuds will enjoy it. The added bonus is that it will be very close to our hotel. Is there any reason to avoid the place? Also, please tell me that it really is spicy, rather than red and oily/greasy.

Aug 10, 2010
casskous in U.K./Ireland

[London] Great food for a special weekend

Thanks so much for the advice. Clerkenwell sounds like a great place to spend time eating and I will be looking into Bistro Bruno Loubet.

I recently read in a different post that Harwood Arms is more of a restaurant than a pub. If I am looking for a more pub-like setting (dark/dim, stuffed seats, wood paneling, lots of good beer), should we head to Charles Lamb, Coach and Horses, The Eagle, Bull & Last or any other alternative?

Appreciate all the help!

Aug 09, 2010
casskous in U.K./Ireland

[London] Great food for a special weekend

I will be spending a weekend in London in early September with someone who is very dear to me. We'll be coming from different parts of the world and neither of us are familiar with the restaurants in London. We both enjoy good food. As this weekend is very special for us, I'd like the food to complement the occasion.

I don't mind having one lavish meal but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for relatively inexpensive, no frills, solid cooking and interesting dishes. I would really like to hear any thoughts, suggestions, or recommendations since I'm flying blind right now. Here's what I have so far:

Day 1 (arriving midday)
Lunch at Hibiscus

Day 2 - unplanned

Day 3
Lunch at Harwood Arms
Dinner at St Johns Bread and Wine

(leaving early morning Day 4)

We also plan on going to Tayyabs one night for dinner. I'm a little afraid after reviews that I've read here that Hibiscus might be too sterile and corporate. I would love to find a place that's relaxed, cozy and laid back with good food near Russell Square for lunch on Day 1. I'm coming in from New York City so I get enough of good Japanese and Italian (both pizza and pasta). Other than those, all ethnic eats are fair game.

Thanks in advance! Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Aug 08, 2010
casskous in U.K./Ireland

ISO grass-fed steak

Thank you so much for your recommendations! We went to Keen's and thoroughly enjoyed it but I will definitely keep these in mind for the next steak occasion. Slowly but surely, I'm hoping to eat better food.

72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

Jun 01, 2010
casskous in Manhattan

10 people, $20/pp, any ideas?

Whole pork butt at Daisy May's! I think they now have a liquor license so they have beer and wine too. You can also try a half-pig but that would take you a little bit over-budget. You need to call ahead for either option. Both the whole pork butt and half pig are for 6 people but I can't imagine six finishing it all. If you get the pork butt, you will still have room in your budget to get a few ribs or plate specials or sides.

Hopefully there are no vegetarians or vegans in your group or Daisy May's will be a poor suggestion...

Daisy May's BBQ
623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

May 28, 2010
casskous in Manhattan

Recommend a trendy or upscale family style Asian restaurant in Midtown?

I'm not sure if it's too pricey or far from where you are but I took my parents to China Grill and they were quite happy. Also, Tao might be an option but I'm not a big fan of their food.

If you're considering Korean.... now you're talking! I love Madangsui but the last time I went on a Friday night, it was a little crazy with a lot of people milling about in or near the entry way waiting for a table. Korean restaurants are not the best at running reservations and big groups. There might be a Korean restaurant in Ktown that has private rooms for larger groups. Another place that I would recommend as "trendy" in Ktown is Don's Bogam. The specialty there is wine-marinated pork but they have other meat for barbeque and a longer wine list than what you would typically find in a Korean restaurant. Whatever you do, don't go to Kun Jip and call ahead to any of these places to make sure they can handle 16 people.

35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

Don's Bogam
17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

China Grill
60 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

42 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

May 28, 2010
casskous in Manhattan

ISO grass-fed steak

My friend and I are planning a steak dinner for tomorrow and I'd like to have grass-fed steak, not industrial meat. Can anyone help with recommendations?

I'd like to go somewhere nice with a solid reputation for steak, such as Keen's, Strip House, Sparks, or Wolfgang's. However, I'm trying to change my eating habits and eat better food (yes, steak is healthy in my opinion); hence, the search for grass-fed meat. I'm hoping for some insight from chowhounders, rather than calling every restaurant and asking where/how they source their meat.

We don't eat out at steak houses often (especially my friend) so it's somewhat of a special occassion and we're aware that prices will be high. Since I'm picking the place, I'd like it to be worth the money. Any suggestions or guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Strip House
13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

May 26, 2010
casskous in Manhattan

First Timer --Korean BBQ.. suggestions?

I second the Madangsui recommendation; it's on 35th St, away from the craziness of Ktown's main drag.

Definitely have kalbi, the short ribs. I hope you're going with a crowd of at least 3-4 people because you have to order lots of meat at a Korean BBQ to truly enjoy it. Start off with the un-marinated plain kalbi so that you can enjoy the taste of simply meat. Then move on to a marinated variety. I have a colleague who swears by the joo-mool-luk at Madangsui; it's very good. After you're done gorging on meat, order rice or noodles. The rice should come with dwen-jang-jjigae, a fermented soybean paste soup. Usually, I go for the cold noodles, either in a cold broth or in a spicy red chilli sauce. Unfortunately, the cold noodles aren't Madangsui's strong point.

Please don't go to Kunjip. Everything there tastes the same and is full of MSG. I also had a truly terrible experience there with the waitstaff. I'd hate for a first experience with Korean BBQ be marred by that establishment.

After being a long-time lurker on this board, your query led me to finally sign-up for an account and post. I love Korean BBQ and love introducing people to it. I hope I'm posting in time for you to get this info!

Oct 06, 2009
casskous in Manhattan