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Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

Indeed! Been away a long time, trying to catch up on what's new and interesting. Planning to try and make it down for a quick lunch when I'm back the week after next. Keen to hit up the new Thattukada also. Any new board favourites in the last couple of years?

Mar 28, 2014
skut in U.K./Ireland

Xi'An Cuisine (Deptford, London)

What are its hours/days of trade? Would be interested to visit

Mar 26, 2014
skut in U.K./Ireland

Apollo Victoria Theatre - Where is a good place to get a drink after the show

have never failed to get a seat at Rules, it's very discreet and underpatronised. The American Bar again, I've been twice since it reopened and had no problem getting a seat. The back bar is strong, though in the european mould, so I haven't checked out there rums and I doubt they'd be much cop at tiki drinks, but they do the classics well, with an excellent range of gins, vermouths and aperitivos.
Colebrooke Row is a very strong cocktail bar, their list is a small fraction of what they do, and it's the finest exponent of craft cocktail culture in London (ie barrel aging cocktails, fabricating house bitters etc.)
Would say Rules is the best option though.

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

Apollo Victoria Theatre - Where is a good place to get a drink after the show

If by mixology you mean an attentively made and carefully crafted cocktail in the contemporary backward looking style, then it's quite possible that The Goring might be perfectly serviceable, however I think few would disagree that the paucity of good cocktail bars in London means it might not be worth the risk. I'd therefore advise a short cab ride to Rules, or perhaps the American Bar at the Savoy. Hix is decent, but if it's crowded the cocktail service suffers. Mixology can also mean a molecular approach to the construction of cocktails, and for this there's only one address you need: 69 Colebrooke Row. Save that for a night at the Almeida perhaps.

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

The Hide, Bermondsey, London

the food on the other hand... curious why you bothered limster.

Sep 20, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

The Hide, Bermondsey, London

no, but I've had many of their others, and I don't see why their sazerac would be anything less than excellent.

Sep 19, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Best bets in Southwark, Waterloo area?

based on several recent meals the Anchor and Hope is in its best form in years. Lovely staff, inspiring menu, and the only place I'm chowing regularly round here (SE1 local). Robin is correct though, they do get busy, though lunch has never been a problem, nor has showing up before the 7pm rush for aperitifs. I've never been hurried by the staff here, so coming early does not necessarily mean a short stay. Otherwise there's little action about - head east to Bermondsey for cocktails at The Hide followed by dinner at Zucca?

Sep 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

St John Bread and Wine - Sunday Lunch Thoughts [London]

I don't know about the Harewood Arms (what's the St John connection there?) but I'm able to say with reasonable certainty that neither the Anchor nor GQS would ever serve something so quintessentially St John as eccles cake & Kirkham's, just as no other restaurant in the capital with any self respect would ever serve roast bone marrow and parsley salad. Also neither the anchor nor GQS serve mid morning snacks.

Jul 18, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

St John Bread and Wine - Sunday Lunch Thoughts [London]

where else in london is this actually available?

Jul 17, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Equivalent to St John's...?! [London]

Hix is an impressive restaurant - it displays a lot of nice little touches, and has a great ambiance. Bread & Wine eschews these, and is therefore perhaps less of an occasion restaurant. I would also say that even if you decide against taking your friend there you should go yourself, and trust the staff, they always know what's especially interesting that night.

Jul 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Equivalent to St John's...?! [London]

Bread & Wine is way more impressive than St John. The menu is consistently more adventurous, inspired and creative. I'd struggle to name a more excititng restaurant in London right now.

Jul 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Where to find a Po Boy in London?

was gonna say Automat, but was terrible last time I went. Lovely service, massively overpriced and shudderingly dull food.

Jul 01, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

New Covent Garden market query

go around seven, walk down buyers walk, purchase the nicest looking strawberries for cheap, profit. Then go steal flowers from the bins.

Jun 15, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Looking for great grilled sardines [London]

I second the Stockwell rec. It's about the best reason to go to Estrella, great fish, not a huge fan of anything else beyond the superbock but the sardines should be what you're looking for and cheap too. Also Barrafina might be a good option, a glass of sherry and a plate of sardines off the plancha shouldn't set you back too much. Or cook your own. There's a fish shop a few doors down from Estrella which never has a huge selection, but what's there is always spanking fresh, and they usually have sardines. Also best grilled sardines in London I've had were at the Campari Bar on the roof in Peckham last summer, reopening July this year I hear.

Jun 11, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Towpath: Hackney (london)

yeah, towpath is lovely, quite one of the nicest places in London. Was last there for the party they threw to mark the end of the native oyster season, my best eating of recent memory.

Jun 01, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

British and other cuisines focusing on locally sourced ingredients [from UK board]

I think Harters is exactly right on this
(Seasonal; locally sourced? I'd have said that's the essence of British cuisine.).
If you look back at English inter-war cuisine it's remarkably similar in spirit to the food of Alice Waters, with a pronounced emphasis on lightness of touch, seasonality, quality of produce etc. This was probably the point at which english cooking was at it's most self-assured, and deliberately worked to eschew the received wisdom of la grande cuisine, preferring light dressings of oils and herbs to compliment and contrast with the flavours on show rather than the sauces and emulsifications of the french tradition which seek to enrich and synthesise flavour. English food was predominantly about what had been freshly picked from the kitchen garden, and displays of produce a la the Chez Panisse cafe were a common center pieces on the tables of grand country houses, which in this period is still where most of the highest level cooking was exhibited. Anyone interested would be advised to read one of Alice Waters books alongside Arabella Boxer's Book of English Food, an absolutely fantastic cookbook.

May 24, 2010
skut in General Topics

Silk Road - Report [London]

I'm in. Any excuse.

May 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

When Restaurant Reviewers 'Just Don't Get It' - Moved from UK/Ireland board

We haven't had a decent restaurant hack since Durack moved back to Australia. Jay Rayner tries, and his heart's undoubtedly in the right place, but he doesn't have the necessary love of the new/unknown (see his review on Silk Road, which commends the restaurant while admitting total ignorance of Xinjiang food and culture, without displaying any particular desire to find out, and his review of Gourmet San, which makes the common mistake of categorizing it as Sichuan whereas it's Dongbei, a fact of which I was illuminated by this board). This is why chowhound is so important. John Walsh is a total joke, well done to all those of you who wrote to the editor, though since [allegedly] he only got the job by being [someone]'s mate I doubt his total lack of any qualification to the position is going to affect his possession of it now. On a more positive note, Golden Day is indeed splendid, was doing roaring trade last time I passed by, and I doubt they give much of a toss what's written in the Independent (let's let that sentence finish itself). I know no one at Silk Road has bothered to read their Observer review, which is another reason why I love it so.

May 06, 2010
skut in Food Media & News

Golden Day (London)

We haven't had a decent restaurant hack since Durack moved back to Australia. Jay Rayner tries, and his heart's undoubtedly in the right place, but he doesn't have the necessary love of the new/unknown (see his review on Silk Road, which commends the restaurant while admitting total ignorance of Xinjiang food and culture, without displaying any particular desire to find out, and his review of Gourmet San, which makes the common mistake of categorizing it as Sichuan whereas it's Dongbei, a fact of which I was illuminated by this board). This is why chowhound is so important. John Walsh is a total joke, well done to all those of you who wrote to the editor, though since [allegedly] he only got the job by being [someone]'s mate I doubt his total lack of any qualification to the position is going to affect his possession of it now. On a more positive note, Golden Day is indeed splendid, was doing roaring trade last time I passed by, and I doubt they give much of a toss what's written in the Independent (let's let that sentence finish itself). I know no one at Silk Road has bothered to read their Observer review, which is another reason why I love it so.

May 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Tianjin chef at Royal Palace in Rotherhithe, London, anyone been?

missed this thread first time round, thanks for reviving and reporting.

May 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Chung Viet - Deptford High St. - Best Vietnamese I've had in London so far!

lotus and chicken feet is amazing,

May 06, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

American-style hot dogs in London?

fantastic post right there, cheers brokentelephone

Apr 29, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

[London] Koya - Serious Udon specialist in Soho..

I had that for lunch yesterday, cold noodles with smoked mackerel, bean sprouts and green leaves with a chilled dashi to pour over, and it was amazing. So much so that I did indeed return for dinner, gf in tow.
For dinner we started with the seaweed salad, which was I think wakame and another kelp dressed in a light emulsion with some spring onions. It was very small, but absolutely delicious, for four quid. This was followed by cod tempura, with deep fried lotus root, accompanied by a plate of what I think was minced daikon, and chopped spring onions. There were about five or six large chunks of well fried cod, demonstrating a light, crisp batter and good technique. This was not my choice as I don't tend to get particularly over excited by deep frying - I'm pretty adept at it myself and tend not to see the fuss in competent execution, rather I tend just to despair at the greasy evidence of weak technique - but this was fine, and really very generous, for what was I think £6. I got a lot more pleasure from the salad though.
The chef who I'd been talking to at lunch recommended me the hot udon with mushrooms and walnut miso, and it was absolutely splendid. While the flavours of the dashi were paler at a higher temperature (though this might also be because they were different stocks, as I think I remember her saying that they make different stocks every day, one for meat, one for vegetarian bowls, perhaps one for fish also?) the sweet and savory richness of the walnut miso, when stirred in, made it utterly compelling, as did the pleasing textural play of the mushrooms and noodles (again, I found the noodles more interesting cold).
We were also served a splendid amuse, two small dishes, one containing a salad of kelp and mushrooms, one of flaked anchovies and bonito.
I don't think I need to say how much I like this place, but I feel I should also add that on both visits the waitresses were helpful without ever being over attentive (it was pretty much empty both times) while the kitchen team, who are on full view if eating at the bar, are seriously engaging, to watch and to talk to.
I'm sure they'll cope fine when they get busy, they don't seem like they would let standards slip, but while it's still quiet I'd recommend going down and spending time at the bar and let the chefs talk you through the menu. This kind of engagement makes it, for the price, surely the best restaurant experience in London right now.

Apr 28, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

cheap but memorable [London]

in terms of wine and food, then Vinoteca in Farringdon immediately would suggest itself, or Terroirs in the West End as a backup, both these would certainly be able to offer you a heap of organic and bio-dynamic wines alongside food made from, as you say, fresh, farmer's market type ingredients. I personally found nothing wrong with Terroirs, but nothing that great either, and if wanting to stay in the West End would make a beeline for Great Queen Street, which is (I think, though I know many others share my opinion) better, cheaper and more generous, just without such a voluminous wine list, though I do remember them having a couple of bio-dynamic french numbers. Vinoteca as I said would be my first choice, but it's tiny, and last time I was there it was packed. GQS is bigger. If you're at the bar you can stay as long as you like whereas the tables normally get turned, but if you get a later sitting you can linger till closing.

Apr 27, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

london street food?

in London ? is exactly right, thanks for coming over to our board and rubbing it in.

Apr 27, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Are there ANY proper Mexican restaurants in London??

isn't that a franchise? am I cynical for thinking that'll mean it's probably not particularly good?

Apr 27, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

[London] Koya - Serious Udon specialist in Soho..

just had lunch here
going back for dinnerrrrrrrrr
think I'm in love <3

Apr 27, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Need advice on Lemonade in London

cheers guys, I guess I should sheepishly admit I'm not much of a pimms man.

Apr 21, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Need advice on Lemonade in London

Making your own isn't hard at all. I'm sure one of the posh supermarkets probably has some good stuff, or sells Fentimans. Wild Caper/Franco Manca make excellent lemonade also. Would be interested to hear the suggestions of others.

Apr 21, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland

Mexican food stand - Elephant & Castle/London

I believe the sunday food stalls set up on the low level round the bottom of the shopping centre

Apr 21, 2010
skut in U.K./Ireland