abby d's Profile

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Comments/Thoughts on proposed London itinerary?

I much prefer Social Eating House to PSS - better food and more relaxed setting; their bar is also great (although the cocktails at PSS are good and tend to be the reason I call in).

With 28-50, I like the Marylebone branch as long as you're not downstairs; I also like Fetter Lane branch but it's in the city so tend sto have more suited business folks dining (I expect it's dead/shut at the weekends). the Maddox Street branch has more of a chain feel, to me. Which makes me want to join up with Phil's point comparing them to Green Man/Terroirs - I think the latter are more individual and therefore have more character but on the other hand, I think you get a more consistent experience with 28-50 and you can predict a bit more what you'll be offered based on the online menus.

I went to Dinner ages ago and liked it very much. I also came away thinking their set lunch menu would be good esp if you want to watch your wallet a bit.

Apr 16, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Antidote [London]

I think it must have been sous vide, Phil - the texture of the meat was good and the flavour delicious.

Sorry, I struggled to write that para, redrafted it at least once but still ended up being unclear!

Apr 15, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Birthday dinner: Sunday evening in London. Recs please?

I haven't been to Donostia but Fino, Barrafina's sister restaurant is good and does take bookings - it's a much more formal setting than Barrafina.

I also like Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern- again they are sister restaurants. I think Dehesa has a more celebratory feel even though it is quite informal, but a lot of their tables are tall and have stools which may or may not appeal.

Apr 14, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

What about Tas EV - their menu is very broad so your requirements will easily be met. You can take a mezze approach for the whole meal or choose individual dishes. They have space and if the weather is nice you can sit outside. there is a lively bar too (not sure if they stay open late).

Apr 14, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Antidote [London]

I went a couple of weeks ago and had a mostly great meal.

My favourite dish was the slow-cooked duck egg with peas - such wonderful pea flavours that really made me feel as though summer was round the corner. A scallop cooked in its shell with the tiniest amount of butter had the most amazing texture and a really intense flavour - my friend said it was the best scallop she'd ever had. Perfectly cooked monkfish with chard. There was also a crab and apple dish which I thought was very average.

The salt marsh lamb was interesting - the meat looked completely raw - there was lots of fat around the meat itself, which showed nothing to suggest it had encountered any cooking technique and TBH I was wary of tucking in, even though I am normally happy with rare meat. However, the texture was good and I enjoyed the flavour; there was also a very fine layer of seared fat on the outside which was lovely. I skipped the rest of the fat though! This was served with a wonderfully punchy anchovy sauce.

We finished with a wonderful chocolate molleux which was perfectly balanced by a passion fruit sorbet. this was good as the citrus dessert that preceded didn't seem at all balanced to me - it was so sour that my mouth felt as though it had been stripped.

Service was mixed - thankfully the wonderfully helpful woman who gave us great wine advice balanced out her less than interested colleague who barely made eye contact and didn't serve the one altered dish we requested, to the right person.

Overall, I'd happily recommend it and would like to go back.

Apr 14, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Budget Recs for Lewisham, South East London

the Hare & Billet pub in Blackheath is probably the closest thing you'll get to a decent gastropub in the area. I can't comment on the quality of their beer though.

Feb 24, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Lunch in Nottingham

It's been a while since i was in Nottngham but last time I was there I had a nice meal at Iberico Tapas. Looking at their website they have a 2013 bib gourmand so presumably the quality has held.

http://www.ibericotapas.com/

Feb 24, 2014
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Frankfurt

extract from a recent NY TImes article:

"Frankfurt, long considered strictly a financial capital and major travel hub, used to land on the culturati map once a year, during its annual book fair. A recent boom of restaurants and clubs, though, makes the case for permanent placement. Leading the city’s transformation is its fast-evolving red light district, where spots like Maxie Eisen, a deli-style cafe by day and a speakeasy-inspired bar by night, offer a sexiness that isn’t unseemly. In the city center, a buzzy pan-Asian restaurant called Moriki was just opened by the Berlin-based chef Duc Ngo with a menu that includes envelope-pushing courses like sushi pizza; and the new sleek Lamoraga, a modern Spanish restaurant, is pulling in the shopping crowds for lunch. By the end of next year, the developer Ardi Goldman plans to reinvent and reopen the famed King Kamehameha Club, which had its original heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. And growth extends to the art world: The 32,000-square-foot underground extension at the Städel Museum earned accolades from around the globe when it opened last year."

my boyfriend ate at Mariki over the weekend and enjoyed their food. I'll be visiting in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to trying some of lecker's suggestions for cocktails!

Jan 13, 2014
abby d in Europe

Cafe Murano, london

this is one of Angela Hartnett's new places - more casual than Murano, the menu is northern Italian and it is pitched as the kind of place she'd enjoy eating at every day.

we went for supper a week before Christmas and the place was packed, really nice buzzy atmosphere and full of people obviously having a nice time.

we started with a couple of cichetti - truffled arancini and mozzarella with aubergine - plus their lovely bread. both were good but my favourite dish followed. wonderfully tender octopus with chickpeas and pesto - a lovely fresh tomatoey sauce and the pesto kept everything light and fresh. the other starter we had was artichoke with a bagna cauda dipping sauce. for mains we both had pasta - rabbit & green olive fettucine for me (wonderfully lemony) and wild boar pappardelle (as you'd expect, much richer, with a tomato sauce).

at this point I gave up, stuffed having got a second bread basket (why?!?) so watched while my OH enjoyed tiramisu and a couple of ice creams - fig and white chocolate, I think.

we both enjoyed it and I look forward to going back - maybe to try the set lunch/theatre menu which is £17 for 2 courses and £21 for three.

Dec 28, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Alyn Williams at the Westbury [London]

pics

Dec 28, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Alyn Williams at the Westbury [London]

this restaurant continues to provide me with wonderful food!

we went on xmas eve and had the tasting menu (£65 - such great value).

favourite dishes for me were the scallop with pumpkin, bacon and maple jam and a lovely light horseradish cream; the extra course of hake with spied red cabbage, thinly sliced discs of celeriac and artichoke puree plus, surprisingly for me, I loved the pudding - an aerated chocolate with an intensely limey gel and sugared dill.

I shall try and add photos...

Dec 28, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Frankfurt

hi lecker, thanks for your post. the good news is that none of it is wasted as we will be moving to Frankfurt in the new year! I'll be sure to revisit this when I'm local and starting to explore.

Dec 10, 2013
abby d in Europe

Tenner a head in London

there are some nice ideas for central london in this guardian article:

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/201...

koshari street, wc2
honey & co, w1
attendant, w1
scandanavian kitchen, w1
honest burger, w1
foxcroft & ginger, w1
pizza pilgrims, w1
chettinad, w1
bi bim bap, w1
banh mi bay, w1 and wc1

Dec 09, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

mid-week breakfast near London Bridge

We went to El Vergel and really enjoyed it. I had the special breakfast - chorizo, beans and spicy scrambled eggs plus their homemade flat breads - which was enormous and delicious. Others had the scrambled eggs with chorizo (really good, not at all oily and served on a nice rye-style-but-lighter bread) and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and rocket (served on same rye bread, I didn't get to try this).

Good recommendation, thanks Linda.

Nov 23, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

mid-week breakfast near London Bridge

thank you - some great ideas there. my vote would be for El Vergel but I shall have to see what t'others think!

Nov 09, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Suggestions for Christmas Day lunch in Kensington?

my Christmas eve plan is Alyn Williams at the Westbury - they appear to be on open on Christmas day too. it may not be local enough for you, though.

Nov 07, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

mid-week breakfast near London Bridge

i'm meeting a friend for brekafast/brunch next Friday near London Bridge but am drawing a bit of a blank on where to go.

Roast is an option but not particularly interesting. On the river would be nice but Blueprint Cafe doesn't do breakfast and I can't think where else to look. Any ideas?

Thanks

Nov 07, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Frankfurt

So, we went and had a lovely meal at Margarete and an overpriced disappointing one at Emma Metzler. We also discovered and enjoyed the sweet delights of Bitter & Zart.

At Maragrete we ate in the restaurant rather than the less formal cafe which serves tapas. Having seen the enormous portions being served, we started by sharing ricotta ravioli with sauerkraut and a lemon and potato foam. Delicious and a nicely balanced dish. My boyfriend’s main was one of the specials – liver and mash – very simple and very delicious.

I had the fish special which was a white fish which the waiter said would be served with a lentil and pear salsa plus mash. Instead it was a celery and pear salsa and I think the mash was flavoured with peas and broad beans. The contrast of the cold and crunchy salsa with the rest of the dish was lovely and made it quite light to eat. No space for pudding but I would really recommend the wine we had – a Scheurebe which is a lovely German white wine.

At Emma Metzler we opted to have the 4 course set menu with wine. The starter was an enormous plate of salad leaves served with a soft goats cheese and three small pieces of smoked salmon. Far too much cheese, not enough salmon and the large pile of salad leaves were very uninspiring.

The fish course which followed was better – the fish and seafood was beautifully cooked and served on top of haricot beans which were cooked with apple and had been spiced with cinnamon. The dish was too sweet for my tastes and I didn’t like the use of the spices. The next course was chicken which was wrapped in pastry. Neither of us can can’t remember what accompanied it. This was the only disappointment with the wine pairing as despite being told all the wines would be German, we were served a French red.

Pudding was a chocolate sponge which had a melted chocolate centre (vanilla sponge and a milk choc centre), plus vanilla ice cream, various fruit puree smears and a chocolate straw. Overall we had a bill that was twice as much as Maragete and apart from the pre-dessert (some blackcurrants topped with lovely light chocolate foam which was squirted on top of the fruits) didn’t find anything we’d like to have again. We both really liked the space though and I imagine it is lovely for lunch or on a light evening when the light is streaming in.

Bitter & Zart is a chocolate shop and cafe (on the same street as Margarete) which we popped into en route to an early morning walking tour of the city. They serve thick unsweetened hot chocolate (you can have it with or without milk – I preferred without) and have a selection of flavoured sugars you can use – rose, citrus and violet were the flavours we tried. Our second visit was for hot chocolate and to try their lovely looking cakes – I had a delicious plum streusel tart and my boyfriend had a creamy apricot & yoghurt tart. Be warned though, although the cafe is open on Sundays, the shop is not (so no souvenirs for me).

Oct 23, 2013
abby d in Europe

Help! I need a dinner recommendation for tomorrow night (16Oct) in Cambridge.

I have no idea if you'd get a table but Midsummer House is a Cambridge place on my list of places i'd like to try. May be worth a look

Oct 15, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Frankfurt

Thanks for the tips, the markets sound particularly good. Hopefully we will find some places for breakfast or a mid-morning coffee and cake as I like to support smaller local businesses (which is not the case with our hotel this trip!).

My reservation enquiries have come back and Heimat is closed for a private dinner so we will go to Emma Metzler.

Oct 15, 2013
abby d in Europe

Frankfurt

I'm visiting Frankfurt this weekend with my boyfriend and having done a bit of research on the boards I have made a reservation at Margarete and have enquired about reservations at Heimat and Emma Metzler for our other evening meal. If both are possible, which would you recommend? I haven't been able to find a Heimat menu (I'm trusting positive chowhound feedback here!) so am unsure how they compare.

I'm also interested in casual suggestions for breakfast/lunch. We are exporing the city to see what it might be like to live there, so will be spending time in a few different neighborohoods - Nordend, Sachsenhausen, lower end of Bornheim and Bockenheim are all on our list. Info about any nice cafes, bars or food markets that are in these areas that we might visit would be great.

Also, is there much of a cocktail/wine scene in the city? any recommendations would again be very welcome.

thanks and apologies for the short notice!

Oct 15, 2013
abby d in Europe

Pollen Street Social or Medlar [London]

Completely agree.

Oct 04, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Salt n Pepper, Orange Street, London

Worth a visit, it sounds like tavegyl, thanks for the tip.

Sep 22, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

barons court, london - pre theatre options?

We enjoyed it very much, thanks for the recommendation. We had a mix of meze plus a lamb and rice main. My favourites were the fattoush (minus cucumber, as I dislike it) and the fried chicken livers with lemon.

Sep 22, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

barons court, london - pre theatre options?

Thanks everyone, we're going to try Chez Marcelle.

Sep 20, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

barons court, london - pre theatre options?

can anyone recommend anywhere for an early evening meal? I had thought about Thai 101 but it seems to be getting "gone downhill" feedback (would be keen to hear if 'hounds tend to agree or not with this)and is possibly a bit far in the wrong direction.

thanks

Sep 17, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Local British Jams - London

I really recommend London Borough of Jam - the are made by an ex-St John's chef and there is usually a really interesting set of flavours. fennel and plum was a real favourite of mine last year.

Lillie has a shop in Shoreditch but also supplies a few other places - see here: http://londonboroughofjam.tumblr.com/

"Leila's Shop Shoreditch, AGold Spitalfields, E5 Bakehouse London Fields, De Beauvoir Deli, Maison D’Etre Highbury, General Store Peckham, 46b Espresso Hut, The Fields Beneath, Russell's of Clapton, Spuntino (Dutch Baby) and The Deli Downstairs Victoria Park."

A Gold near Spitalfields Market is fairly central:

Sep 15, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

solo bar dining in London

Hawksmoor? Several branches are open on Sundays and while they have bar-specific menus they are often flexible and let you order from the main menu too. Good cocktails too.

Sep 07, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Dinner for 10 [London]

For your special meal, Medlar's private dining room is the right size, no room hire cost and they would do you drinks on arrival to make it feel a bit more special, if that's what you'd like. Lovely food too, there are various reviews on the boards.

More casual is Tas (Turkish, lovely big menu so can cater for most preferences) who often do big tables - I think Tas EV in Waterloo would be your best option as I think it is the largest branch.

Sep 07, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland

Ledbury or Hedone???? [London]

I've loved reading about Hedone recently - we went ages ago and liked but didn't love it. I've just booked us in for a few months time.

Aug 20, 2013
abby d in U.K./Ireland