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Jerk Chicken [London]

Sorry, ignore that- hadn't seen the post above that you were replying to...

Feb 02, 2015
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Jerk Chicken [London]

Thanks, these are both very handy for me. Which one would you go for if you had to choose?

Feb 02, 2015
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Jerk Chicken [London]

You mean there is a branch of Tasty Jerk in Peckham? Whereabouts is that?

Feb 02, 2015
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Jerk Chicken [London]

Bump... I went to tasty jerk in Croydon a couple of years back. I'll happily make the pilgrimage again if its still the best. Has anyone got any other recs for good jerk chicken/pork and also curry goat??? Ive tried a handful of places in south east London in the last couple of years, mainly Woolwich/Lewisham/New Cross but I've not found anything winning. The pepper sauce often disappoints too. Any recent experience or tips to share ??? Cheers

My lightbulb moment

Haha! "Small plates" - but priced like big plates('we recommend around 6 per person"- yeah I bet you do) Great post, cheers.

Feb 01, 2015
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Which high-end London restaurant to go to? Ledbury, Pollen Street Social, Medlar, or Orrery

Hi, Ledbury is great and actually pretty un-stuffy for a two star. As has already been said it does require (very)advanced booking. I good friend went their last week though and was a bit disappointed. I cannot help but factor in price when I am eating or appraising a restaurant. Which means that Medlar would get my vote.

I've had a better meal in Ledbury but not by a huge margin and the difference in price is staggering. Medlar is easily the best value and most under rated fine dining place in London IMO, which is even more unlikely given its location on the kings rd in Chelsea!

The menu in Medlar is pretty extensive too which is great for repeat visits.

However, if you want a more impressive meal that feels a bit more special then Ledbury may be the better choice.

Haven't eaten in pollen st- heard mixed things. No idea about Orrery either I'm afraid.

Feb 01, 2015
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Where to find fluffy pitas in London?

Personally I would say those pictured look closer to the pita I have had in many different places in greece rather than the ones ubiquitous in the UK. Every pita I have had in Greece has been soft and at least a centimetre in height, whereas UK ones tend to be flatter and denser in my experience!

Dec 12, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Restaurantn in London for New Year's eve?

Sichuan folk has great food, I would really recommend a visit, but perhaps not on New years eve- i seem to remember it being slightly dark and drab inside- not really special occasion surroundings. I suggest you have a look at the place first to avoid potential disappointment. It's also not very close to Marylebone.

Dec 11, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Wimbledon?

I would second the Korean suggestion. New Malden has the biggest Korean population in Europe. I recommend Jin go gae- it's very good. Beef short rib BBQ, pajeon,duck bulgogi, dumplings were all very tasty on recent visit. It's really not far from Raynes Park, a short bus ride, taxi or 20 min walk.

Dec 03, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

please review my upcoming london trip itinerary...

Clove club does have tables in the bar area unless they've had a revamp. This is how it looked when it was fairly newly opened.

Nov 24, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Help with the London trip that never happened...

I was previously very cynical about high-end Indian, but I now think that was a mistake. I would really recommend a set lunch at Gymkhana - there were some great flavours, unusual ingredients and very interesting tastes with excellent execution. If you forgo the wine for beer or water and go set lunch rather than a la carte you can have a truly great (and huge) meal for similar cost to an unexciting mid-range Indian meal in central London. If you still don't fancy it but don't mind travelling a bit further then I would suggest heading out to East Ham where there are a number of decent, more local, no-frills places to pick from.

Nov 13, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester, city centre] Red Chilli

Interesting, I've never seen the potato dish you describe - Xiang La Tudou Si (香辣土豆丝) - on any menus outside of China. When it's executed well I am a huge fan!

Does anyone know of anywhere in London that does this?

I've seen the more common Suanla Tudou si at quite a few places but its the crispy birds-nest style Xiangla that I am after.

Nov 07, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Please critique my unfinished itinerary + some more..

Pearl Liang at lunch for dim sum is great and very affordable. There are some other good Chinese places if you want mainland cooking that you can read about in other threads here, Sichuan Folk was a bit more expensive with smaller portions, but I think was the best Chinese cooking I’ve had recently.

If you do go for a high-end option then the Ledbury would be my choice. I don’t think you will find it comparable to EMP, particularly aesthetically- it is much more toned down.

The 4 course menu du marche at Antidote (near Carnaby street) was superb Michelin standard cooking when I was there earlier in the year and was excellent value (well under £50 per head) , but I haven’t heard many other peoples thoughts so couldn’t say how consistent they are. The service and décor are more basic - pleasant enough, but not to be compared with the likes of The Ledbury.

I enjoyed Gymkhana – it could be very expensive, but I would suggest a set lunch – the duck dosa as starter was very good, and the bream and kid goat methi with brains as main courses were both great dishes. It can work out pretty reasonably priced, especially if you stick to beer/water, which for me works best with the food anyway.

For a gastropub you could look at The Bull and Last, I have had some incredible food in there and would rate it above Canton Arms or Harwood Arms.

Oct 28, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Restaurant Le Taliet [London]

I have just been into the restaurant I mention in my previous post, Le Taliet Bar and Kitchen. I think I may have been a bit off the mark when I said it appeared to be more bar than restaurant.

I spoke to the owner and is indeed the same ownership as at the old site by deptford bridge DLR. It is now located at 207 Lewisham Way, SE4 1UY (0203698535).

Personally I wasn't blown away by the old place when I tried it a couple of years ago, but I didn't really know what I was ordering and may well have chosen badly. I will give one this a go soon and post some feedback.

I've (hopefully)attached a photo of the menu below...

Oct 27, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Simple recap

The stewed beef la mian from the stall in Greenwich Market where the guys pulls the noodles while you wait is a very decent lunch indeed. One of my favourite bowls of noodles in London. There can be a bit of a wait if they are busy, and I don't think they are always there at the weekend.

Oct 27, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Restaurant Le Taliet [London]

I can confirm it is long gone.

There is an Ivorian restaurant which has set up in a pub about 2 minutes walk from there (formerly The Star and Garter) - it's on the corner of Willshaw St and New Cross Rd. I've only noticed it from passing so couldn't comment on the food.

Also, there is another place called Le Taliet Bar and Kitchen that has opened on Lewisham Way - I don't know if it is in any way connected with the closed place. It looks a bit more-bar-less-kitchen than the other one but they definitely do food. Again, I am yet to have tried anything from there.

They have a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Tal...

Oct 27, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Good news regarding this place: I popped in when I was passing during the week and whilst they have restored the all you can eat buffet, they are apparently still doing the (fairly limited) xi'an menu. I didn't think to check whether the original chef/owner had returned or whether there is a different chef in the kitchen doing these dishes, and as I didn't order anything I wouldn't like to comment on whether the quality will be as good as it was a few weeks back. Either way, the xian menu is not in the window- you will have to ask for it, but I'm glad they are at least still providing this and hopefully they can think about expanding their Shaanxi offerings if they get enough interest in these dishes. They are closed on Mondays. Check it out.

May 16, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Cheers.
Mama Wang's noodle pulling class looks good- but 50 quid?? That seems ridiculous to me!

Apr 04, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Help! I need help to find a few reasonable restaurants for my in-laws when they visit London, please!

zedel has some decently priced dishes esp. the set menu. not remarkable but a nice more impressive brasserie environment than the chains. its near piccadilly and the website menu should help you decide whether they would find the food approachable enough.

Apr 01, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Sadly they were closed when I went last night, and they buffet station which had been put out the back had resumed a central position in the front window indicating a return to its former incarnation. I would suggest anyone planning to eat here saves themselves a disappointing trip until it can be confirmed whether they are still offering a xian menu. I am local to here so will try to find out what the deal is in the next few days.

Apr 01, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Yes, the menu thing is a bit strange - despite having been last week, asking for the Xi'an menu then and chatting to them quite a bit in English and [bad] Mandarin(and suggesting they offer both menus as default), when I went yesterday I still had to ask for the xian menu!
I would have liked to think that having people coming in and asking for it may have given them the clue that people are interested in this. Oh well. As you say, fingers crossed they can get a chef in to take over their Shaanxi offerings.

Mar 31, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Nice one for getting down there for those of you that have tried it out.
I revisited tonight and thoroughly enjoyed again - particularly the yang rou jia mo and the liang pi. I think the liang pi was my favourite of the night.
The yang rou pao mo was again great and full of flavour, but had a lot less broth than before - i preferred it the first time.

THE BAD NEWS: Currently the chef is single-handedly running the kitchen. They have said they may have to stop serving the Xi'an dishes as he is leaving the country for a few months and they are not sure whether they can find a chef with the skill/knowledge to keep delivering these dishes. It was hard to tell how likely this is and the woman running it still sounds like she lacks faith in the whole operation - but unfortunately the chef is set to leave on Wednesday. I'll swing by in the week and report back as to whether they still seem to be offering any Xi'An dishes.

Mar 30, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Hi jfores, I'm really pleased you made it here - thanks for your additional reports on some of the other dishes.
When I went, I too had the impression you mention in your post, that they are not overly confident about the venture and it was clear they are predominantly getting walk-ins expecting a buffet.

I was hoping that by putting up the original post it may drum up some more support for their Xi'An menu so I'm glad you made it there.

I'm nearby so will be frequenting the place regularly - I hope some more people can check it out and that word gets around as it would be very sad to see it go due to a lack of interest.

Mar 25, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland
1

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Yep there is some english, i can't actually remember how accurate or useful the translations and descriptions were but the staff were more than happy to explain and assist. They were not at all busy so had plenty of time to chat.

Mar 20, 2014
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

A new Chinese restaurant has opened a week or so ago next to Deptford bridge DLR station: Xi’an Cuisine Restaurant.

What used to be an all you can eat buffet appears to have a change of ownership (or a change of heart at the very least). Currently they are offering all the usual sanitised Chinese takeaway fare but have a small second menu of Xi’an dishes which I had to ask for (I suggested to the boss that they give non-Chinese customers both menus on arrival). I was told they are waiting for a chef to arrive next week and then will make some additions and alterations to the menu, but currently they still have a few interesting options.

Rou jia mo (meat sandwich?) was good. This dish is slowly stewed pork in a toasted unleavened bun and is typical to Xi’An and Shaanxi province. The rou jia mo I have eaten in the past were almost all in Beijing, and are not themselves done the Xi’an way (they are more kebab-like than slowly stewed) so I don’t have a great benchmark, but this was very tasty.

The zi ran yang rou jia mo (cumin lamb meat sandwich) was excellent – generously filled bun (excellent flat bread) with thin strips of braised lamb, mild chilli peppers and a healthy amount of cumin seeds – I can’t wait to go back for this.

An off-menu yu xiang qie zi was excellent (I asked for a qie zi dish and they knocked this up), very different to most aubergine dishes I have had – I’m not convinced how ‘yu xiang-eque’ it was. It was quite spicy but with no obvious chillis, and didn’t seem to have the addition of pork, soy, fermented bean paste, peppers or onions. It had a really smooth ginger flavour and slighty smoky taste, that I haven’t had in a dish outside of China (though my companion was not so sold on this dish and prefers the qiezi in taste inn, chilli cool, silk rd etc…).

The yang rou pao mo (crumbled bread in lamb/mutton stew) was fantastic. We were given the mo to break into small pieces at the table and then return to the kitchen to be cooked in a well flavoured stock, along with fungus and achingly tender and flavoursome pieces of lamb, a small amount of rice vermicelli and a warming chilli oil sitting on top of the broth. This was a really hearty and enjoyable dish.

The rou jia mo and yang rou jia mo were about £3 each, the yangrou pao mo was £7 ish (and £1 per extra bread), the qiezi was £6, so good value.

It’s great to see some more Chinese regional cuisine in London and I’m very interested to see what happens when the new chef turns up next week and to try a few more things on the menu. I will post an update in the near future.

Trip to London (researched)--need help narrowing options

Ah yes, thanks Theresa, I misread that.

I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing one main, certainly not in Ledbury or equivalent type place anyway.

Mar 19, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Trip to London (researched)--need help narrowing options

I would personally recommend Ledbury over Roganic, an easy choice for me. Enjoyed both but Ledbury was a far better experience for me. I wouldn't worry about sharing at the Ledbury. My dining partner and I shared 3 starters and 2 mains, and this was met with no disapproval whatsoever. We did this by swapping plates rather than having any extra plates on the table, but they were perfectly happy for us to do this, and seemed to appreciate our desire to taste as much as possible. They even chucked in an extra starter and extra dessert for us to try on the house. My friend had eaten the tasting menu there the month before and preferred the meal that we had over that.

Mar 19, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Trip Report

There is a noodle and dumpling stall at Greenwich covered market on weekdays. I can't remember the name. It's not there at the weekends unfortunately, but if you can get there during the week it can't be missed as the guy is hand-pulling fresh noodles to order.Their braised beef noodles in particular are very good indeed, especially with a good spoon of dried chili in oil.

Feb 28, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Patty and Bun, West End, London

I thought the burger was very good; on a par with meat liquor (though the last meatliquor I had was not great), and better than the covent garden #meat place with the skinny grey patties... I think the bbq sauce comes quite close to overpowering the beefy taste in the patty and bun offering, but did rate the pickles, salad and bun.

The bbq chicken wings were terrible. We didn't even finish one portion between two people. Not a patch on the wings from meatliquor.

Wasn't a fan of the rosemary fries either.

I think mother flipper is actually doing better burgers than both of these places, though they need to make sure they keep up their consistency as I had a disappointingly under-seasoned burger from there a few weeks back.

Feb 27, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland

Brasserie Zedel - London

I'll chime in to add another vote to the mild diappointment camp. I think most of my complaints mainly came down to sloppiness, though admittedly at £65 for two coursses for two people, with almost half of that on wine, wasn't really expecting a huge amount.

Fish soup was nice enough, but rouille was virtually non existant on a tiny dried up piece of bread and had developed a skin from obviously sitting around backstage for too long.
Onion soup had two tiny croutons with a pinch of dried out cheese. Though admittedly it was only £3 or so.
Confit duck was OK and puy lentils were good but was not quite cooked long enough and consequently skin lacked proper crispness and there was far too much unrendered fat.
Steak hache was served pink (thankfully) but still retained a dryness- could do with more fat in the mix. The Sauce au poivre had an unpleasant taste like it had slightly rancid cream or butter in it.

No problem with service, wine was very reasonable for just under £30.
I liked that they offered a chilled jug of tap water on arrival and didn't try to up-sell.

It was still better than many chain-type offerings at similar prices, and wasn't so bad that I would never go back if I was nearby and hungry, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to return (barring an existing commitment to check out the choucroute).

Feb 27, 2013
usualsuspect in U.K./Ireland