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London trendy restaurants/bars/lounges

Experimental Cocktail Club is a nice speakeasy and not too far from theatre land. The door policy can be a pain at times but otherwise the drinks are excellent. Good idea to reserve a table.

Closer in Mayfair itself, Dukes makes the best martinis if that's your thing.

I agree that the burgers at Opera Tavern are to die for but besides that I've failed to be overly impressed by their other dishes.

To have a bar/restaurant all in one though I'd strongly recommend Great Queen St. The restaurant is relaxed and they do fantastic gastropub fare. The bar downstairs is trendy and fun.

Aug 31, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Riding House Cafe, Fitzrovia - any thoughts?

This reply may be a tad too late. Liked the decor and the vibe but the food was average at best. Had the chorizo hash brown and a friend had the fish and chips. Would welcome your thoughts on the place!

Aug 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

In Search of »Wok-Hay« in London

Agree with limster that sedap's char kuay teow is as close to a dish with wok hei as it comes in london. Have not come across any restaurant that delivers KL/Penang street hawker quality wok hei in their dishes

Walter - when you've tasted a truly authentic char kuay teow, plated hot from the wok, stir-fried masterfully in a seasoned wok on top of a roaring charcoal fire, with little charred bits to give it that slightly smoky aroma, you'll know instantly what the concept of wok hei means! hope you get to taste it one day!

Aug 06, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Best Thai food London

none taken. I must be seriously missing out! now i really have an urge to make my way out there.

Jun 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Charlotte Street, London

second koba. love the yook hwei, barbequed pork belly and the pan-fried beef. washed down with copious amounts of soju of course

Jun 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

New foodie in London. Looking for the best sandwiches money can buy.

Not exactly gourmet but I came across this place Grazing near work (tower hill/monument) and they do the most amazing pork roll complete with crackling. Is oily and messy but oh so good.

On the topic of pork sandwiches, the hog roast sandwich stall in the Camden Lock food market on weekends is also outstanding.

Lastly, salt beef sandwiches at either Harry Morgan's (St Johns Wood) or Selfridges.

Jun 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Best Thai food London

i'm quite fond of Thai Rice in portobello.

Jun 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Athens Report

I just got back from Kuzina and had very cheerful service albeit I was there at 7pm which I understand is very early for dinner by greek standards.

My family and I really enjoyed the food and it was a fantastic example of how traditional greek/mediterranean flavours can be transformed with some creativity and modern flavours. The dumplng and the tart starters were well done and the mains were excellent as well. They even incorporated some non-Greek flavours such as a wasabi mash with the short ribs and even the truffle parpadelle, something that is so quintessentially Italian, was beautiful. Slow cooked pork was also a true delight.

Though not by any means a cheap place to eat, it was a good experience and would recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit more modern.

May 15, 2011
jonY in Europe

Zucca, Bermondsey, London

Heading over to Zucca tonight. Anyone been recently and have any insight on the good and the ugly on the menu?

Apr 07, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

[London] Banh mi?

Wow. Talk about rationing. Reckon they account for each beansprout and mint leaf they hand out.

Apr 04, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

London - Spice Market @ W Hotel

Sedap does the best char kway teow in London hands down.

102 Old St, Islington, Greater London EC1V 9, GB

Apr 02, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Getting into London late (after 10pm) on a Thursday - any recommendations

Tinseltown opens till late but if you're coming in from the States, it might not be your first choice!

Apr 02, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Good Restaurant in the Kingston/Richmond Area?

Resurrecting this thread as I was at Adesso for lunch today and can concur with several recommendations by various chowhounders.


Parmigiana - A perfect combination of aubergine, egg, tomatoes, parmesan and basil

Carbonara A Siciliana - No cream in this Sicilian version of carbonara but plenty of flavour and generosity with ingredients

Linguine al Granchio - Excellent flavour once again. You get a sauce packed with seafood goodness.

Tiramisu - Great tiramisu. Plenty of cream but still manage to keep it light.

Slight negatives:

Tagliatelle al Tartufo - Expected more from this dish. The texture of the tagliatelle was slightly squidgy(if you can consider that a word) and a bit too much cream didn't really allow the truffle to stand out.

Coffee - Quite sub-standard coffee. Latte came all frothy with too much milk.

Final thoughts:

Despite a few downsides, Adesso impressed me on a whole with full flavoured Italian cusine. The portions were very generous as well and provide fairly good value for money. The service, though a bit slow getting to our mains, was very pleasant. Have a go if you're ever in the area!

Apr 02, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

[London] Banh mi?

I've heard that they do a decent pho as well. Will try to pop by at lunch at some point.

Apr 02, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

London - Georgian cuisine at Tamada, St John's Wood

Always a delight to find any good restaurants in the culinary desert that is St Johns Wood. How were the prices?

Mar 23, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Grand Imperial Review [London]

Here is my review of this restaurant after having a dim sum lunch here today.

-The room-
Located right outside Victoria tube station in the Grosvenor Hotel, upon entering, the room immediately impresses with high ceilings and a tasteful decoration. It was rather quiet with only a few occupied tables which immediately put a bit of doubt in my mind on the quality of the food. How wrong I was.

-The food-
The dim sum portion of the menu occupies the last three pages and there is a somewhat select number of choices available.

Right from the get go my lips were given a real treat. The fried turnip cake was tasty and fragrant followed by the black cod dumplings and the chive and prawn dumplings. To sum up all the dumplings, the skins were light and thin and the fillings were extremely flavoursome. I ordered the usual siu mai, bbq pork buns, bbq pork cheung fun, pork ribs, egg tarts which were all done to a very high standard. The roast duck was good but nothing special. The preserved egg and pork congee was somewhat average as well.

The stand out dishes that I had were the dumpling in soup and the foie gras and beef dumpling. At £5.50 a pop for the dumping in soup, the broth was rich and the dumpling filled with a myriad of goodness. The foie gras and beef dumpling (more like a pan fried gyoza) was juicy and rich with a crispy skin.

-The servce-
My waiter Alex was fantastic. He was pleasant and knowledgable, entertaining all my questions about the restaurant and the chef. He also advised me that there was a top table offer coming up next month which I would highly recommend.

-The bill-
At £99 for 3 people it was a bit on the pricey end but I may have gone a bit overboard on the amount of food ordered which meant I had to doggy bag some of the food! The portion of duck was quite overpriced at £20 but as for the overall experience, I felt it was worth every penny. Set in the same arena in terms of price range and level of cuisine to Min Jiang and Royal China Club, I felt Grand Imperial was heads above. It was a truly delightful experience and I will be back as soon as I book my toptable offer!

Feb 26, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

What food/food experience does London do better than any other city?

limster, could you tell me more about that 'Japanese-French Tetote Bakery' please? i did a quick google search but there's not much out there. thanks!

Feb 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Dinner [London]

going on the first saturday of March for lunch. will report back!

Feb 07, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

best indian food in london?

Is the Lahore in Church Street any good? A mate mentioned that it's a branch of the one in Whitechapel but i'm not fully convinced as the website of the one in whitechapel does not list it as one of it's branches. In any case, not so concerned if it's a branch as i guess that's no measure of the standard. Main question is how's the food there??

Jan 28, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

[London] Les Deux Salons

Had dinner with a group of 8 here about 2 weeks back and we were given the private dining room. It's quite cosy for anything between 6-10 guests and there's an iPod jack that allows you to play your own music. You are quite isolated from the rest of the restaurant so you lose the whole French bistro atmosphere but it's great if you want some privacy and service was always on hand.

The stand out starter was the beef tartare. The famous snail and bacon pie was unique and tasty not to mention generous with the snails. I think a few mates ordered the ravioli which was good as well.

For the mains i had the ox cheeks. Really liked the combination of the cheeks with the parsnip puree. The pork belly received numerous approvals across the table as the best main. I also sampled some of the Barnsley chop that was perfectly cooked. The fish dishes did not impress as much and desserts were quite average as well.

On a side note, the restaurant was very accommodating in helping prepare the candles for a birthday cake that I brought along. (they also informed me before hand that there was a a requirement for everyone to order a dessert if we brought a cake, which was acceptable)

Great night coupled with good service. Bill came up to about £52 per person including wine and some cocktails.

Jan 28, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

best indian food in london?

It's good food at a good price as well but is it slightly overhyped? maybe. If you don't mind the queue (even when you have a reservation, you may have to wait half an hour), then have a go!

For Indian food in the same sort of price range, I quite enjoy Khans in Bayswater.

Jan 20, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Dinner in London: Paddington or Globe Theatre environs

concur with this recommendation of pearl liang. fantastic duck in addition to quality dim sum

Jan 19, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

No 10 Restaurant - Sichuan in Earls Court - London - Report

Went to no 10 yesterday on the back of many excellent reviews here and had a wonderful meal. The dishes had plenty of unique flavour in addition to the spicy Sichuan touch that was not overdone. Dishes ordered were:

water cooked beef - the texture of the beef here was the highlight. smooth and tender, very well done.

ma la fish - this was my favourite dish of the night and would highly recommend it to others. it was slices of fish cooked in a spicy broth with tofu. fantastic

Aubergine with peppers - my second favourite dish of the night. it was a style of cooking aubergine I have never tasted before. The toppings of garlic and peppers, with a tangy vinegar base, made for an exquisite dish.

Dry French beans with pork - Very good with the dried chillies giving a nice punch to this dish

Twice cooked pork - Fairly tasty, but did not stand out particularly

Bill came to £60 for two including two Tsing Taos. Must admit to having overdone it on the number of dishes, but between myself and my mate, we wiped the table clean - a testament to the food. I'm sold on no. 10

Jan 14, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Oxford area recs.

absolutely agree with your assessment of Moya. Was not very impressed when I ate there.

Jan 08, 2011
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Christmas in London

take a drive out to Murcott from Oxford to the Nut Tree Inn.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Oct 16, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Nasi Lemak @ Eatzone Noodle House, Kentish Town, London

Just got back from eatzone. Unfortunately, they were out of the nasi lemak which was my main reason for venturing out there. Had to settle for the other malaysian dishes instead.

Chicken rice - Not too bad. The rice was fragrant and the chicken was quite tasty. I wasn't given any ginger on the side or the black sticky sauce which should be mandatory as it is supposed to be Hainanese chicken rice. They did have the chilli sauce though. I have to say the best chicken rice I've had in London is still the one at Kiasu in Bayswater.

Char Kuay Teow - Fairly decent attempt but as I hold all CKTs in london to the Sedap standard, this was nowhere near.

Lo Mee - When the dish first arrived, the sauce was thick and starchy the way it should be but progressively it started to get less viscous and rather watery. I'm not a big Lo Mee fan but my partner who is said that it wasn't quite authentic.

Might be tempted to go back just for the nasi lemak but given the mediocrity of the other dishes, would rather head over to sedap instead.

Oct 16, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Oxford area recs.

to add to this well compiled list by mattc666

Sojo - really good Chinese food, with dishes that you can't get anywhere else in Oxford. Highly recommend the pork hock. They also have Sichuan dishes such as the spicy glass noodle soup that has one hell of a kick. Good value for money.

Liaison - Another Chinese restaurant in a slightly higher price range. Try the Mongolian lamb here.

The Missing Bean - A recent addition to Oxford and easily the best coffee in town. Used to grab a coffee here regularly on the way to the library!

The Magdalen Arms - Set up by the same folks of Anchor and Hope fame, this is the first real gastropub to hit Oxford. Highly rated by many, I found it good but nothing spectacular. Reservations are essential!

Al-Shami - Pretty popular Lebanese restaurant tucked away in Jericho

Chutneys - Nice Indian food right in the middle of town

Jamie's Italian - One of my favourite restaurants in Oxford. Don't let the celebrity name put you off. They constantly deliver good quality, fresh and well prepared Italian food. And for that price, why bother with the likes of the zizzis and bella italias. Highly recommended. No bookings taken here so during peak hours, be prepared to wait!

Other pubs - Eagle and Child, The Turf, Kings Arms

The Mission - Best take away burritos. I can't remember how many slow cooked pork burritos/fajitas i've had from this place.

The Nut Tree Inn - This is outside of central Oxford in a small village called Murcott. A gem of a restaurant. Delightful English cuisine in a traditional little inn, this place is best visited during the summer when you can sit outside and enjoy your lunch and wine with some sunshine. Did i mention they rear their own pigs that end up on your plate?

If I can think of any more I'll be sure to add to this list!

Oct 16, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Need hip & trendy restaurant rec. for birthday dinner in early Nov!

Sketch maybe? Great decor and vibe to the place. Food is not amazing but still pretty good!

Oct 13, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Graduation dinner - Chinese food. Central London (west)

Thanks for the replies guys. I've made a reservation at Min Jiang. Fingers crossed it'll be a memorable dinner!

Oct 13, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland

Graduation dinner - Chinese food. Central London (west)

Hi all,

I'm trying to decide on a place for my girlfriend's graduation dinner, preferably a Chinese restaurant. So far I'm trying to decide between Min Jiang and Pearl Liang. I'm a regular at Pearl Liang for the dim sum and the lobster noodles, though I'm unsure if it has the ambience for a momentous occasion and if the other dishes on the menu are at the same level as the dim sum and lobster noodles.

I have never been to Min Jiang before and most of the posts in this forum are skewed towards the dim sum and the peking duck. Can anyone shed some light on the other dishes on the dinner menu there?

I am quite aware that the two restaurants are quite different on a price scale and may be difficult to compare directly, but my main concern here is to find an authentic Chinese restaurant with an ambience to suit the occasion. I'm not too keen on an overly posh restaurant with individually platted minuscule portions but rather a place where we can get dishes to share, done to a good standard with an ambience and service to match.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!


Oct 10, 2010
jonY in U.K./Ireland