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PaulaJK

Visiting London - Restaurant Recs Please

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Guys, I'm also headed for London in mid August, something like 8/10 to 8/15.

This thread has given me some great hints. There are, however, a couple of questions that I'd like to ask:

a) Are the top restaurants (FD, GR and such) closed in August? In general, what chances do I have that many restaurants are closed those days?

b) I don't intend to have stellar meals everyday, specially when hopefully I'll be coming from Costa Brava and its handful of multi-starred restaurants, including Can Fabes, El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca. So it'll be quite useful to me a selection of restaurants providing good value for money.

Your input will be very much appreciated.

Sorry Pedro - I didn't see this.

As far as I know, they are open in August. Most of the swanky places allow you to book early - and some have no time limit. I think Ramsay works a month ahead, but I'm not sure. With both Ramsay and FD, lunches are easier to get than dinners.

The other recommendations on this thread - St. John, Hakkasan, New Tayyeb etc are where you can find some really fun and far more casual eating.

Let me know if I can be of any help.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I believe you have to call RHR exactly a calendar month before you want a table. So on the 15th for the following 15th. If that's the correct meaning of calendar month.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I'd have thought a good London experience would be the Anchor and Hope gastropub for lunch preceded by a breakfast visit to Borough Market and then the afternoon at the Globe Theatre or Tate modern and then dinner at a South London Indian.


Adrian York

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I'd have thought a good London experience would be the Anchor and Hope gastropub for lunch preceded by a breakfast visit to Borough Market and then the afternoon at the Globe Theatre or Tate modern and then dinner at a South London Indian.

I thought the food we had in London last month was - on the whole - great. No need for anyone in London to apologize to me :smile: .

Just a few notes (have discussed most of these meals elsewhere at length). Had lunch at Gordon Ramsay (easier reservation than dinner - fabulous 3 hour lunch). Dinner at Tom Aikens was also fabulous. Angela Hartnett at the Connaught was excellent. Zaika was disappointing (and more expensive than Tom Aikens).

Anchor and Hope for lunch followed by afternoon at the Tate for the Hopper exhibit was great. You have to have a bigger stomach than I do to eat breakfast before that lunch :wink: .

Liked La Fromagerie but my husband (who's more of a sweetbreads person than a salad person) left a bit hungry.

Really enjoyed 140 Park Lane (restaurant at our hotel).

J. Sheekey's was good. It's not Gordon Ramsay or Tom Aikens - by a long shot - but it's one of the few places that looked appealing for a 50+ person after theater. If you're 25 - there are lots of other options :wink: .

Forget the name of the place in Chinatown where we had dim sum - but it was excellent.

Don't miss Jerry Springer the Opera.

Make reservations as far in advance as possible - and bring lots of money.

Note that the Fat Duck isn't in London - it's kind of like going to a place on Long Island if you're staying in Manhattan. Unless you're big on travel to/from places to eat - I'd pass if I were staying in Central London (I love to walk - and must have walked at least 5 miles a day during our trip - I actually lost 2 pounds!). Robyn

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There seem to be a number of names that keep popping up at the mid-range level, though (e.g., Zaika, Tamarind, Chutney Mary, Cinnamon Club, Soho Spice, et al.)...

You're from Dallas. I'm from Jacksonville FL. Zaika is definitely not mid-range price-wise. Dinner was over $300. Lunch at Gordon Ramsay was almost $300. Lunch at La Fromagerie was $80. Etc.

Our best rule of thumb price-wise was that all the prices looked reasonable - if 1 pound = 1 dollar. Unfortunately - 1 pound = $1.80 plus. So everything will be about twice as expensive as you think it should be. Budget yourself accordingly.

Note that none of these prices included big bottles of wine (some drinks to be sure - like 2 glasses of wine at lunch at Gordon Ramsay - but nothing spectacular as far as wines were concerned). If you want big wines - you'll pay more. Robyn

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Scott -

if you're going to eat at all of those places, you'll have a phenomenal time. Not to mention a coronary. The only thing I would suggest is avoiding Zaika - I had a bad meal there quite recently. Not even average. Everything was overcooked.

The Ramsay meal will make you happy. As will the FD. There's more of a consensus than Opson would lead you to believe. It's just that he/she thinks there's a conspiracy afoot. It's quite true, btw. Between London, Paris, New York - London doesn't stand up for sheer breadth. But there's some great food here. Hope you enjoy.

Although I wrote up just about every other meal I ate in London - I didn't write up Zaika. It was extremely expensive - and (I thought) not very good. I followed the old rule - "if you can't say anything nice". Especially since I'd never seen a bad word about it here.

But now that you mention it....

I don't know much about Indian food (I like good Indian food when I eat it - but I'm pathetic when it comes to knowing whether to order this, that or the other thing). Our waiter was Spanish. No communication problem because we speak Spanish and he spoke English etc. But he really didn't have much in the way of recommendations that impressed us. So we had the tasting menu. I thought it was "blah" - at best - some of the dishes were "deconstructed" Indian dishes. Interesting intellectually - sometimes pretty to look at - but not all that tasty. I was disappointed.

One of the worst things was that my husband had the "wine pairings". Not only were they not served with the courses they were supposed to come with - but best we could figure - he wound up 2 glasses short (of course - it was kind of hard to figure since the pairings didn't arrive with the courses).

I didn't like the room - kind of cavernous - and I didn't like our table. It was like the tables at Cafe Boulud in New York - a 2-top inches away from the 2-top next to us. We couldn't help but learn the life history of the people dining next to us.

We had a reservation for 8 on a Sunday - and the place had pretty much emptied out by the time we left after 11. We needed a cab - which looked to us like it should have been easy on that street (a relatively main street) - but it was harder than we thought. And just about when we turned around to go back into the restaurant to ask that they call us a cab - they shut the big front door - BANG. We did hail a cab - about 10-15 minutes later. I know I said I liked J. Sheekey before - and one of the things I liked about the place is we left there after 1 am on a Friday - tried to find a cab and couldn't - and when we returned - they had someone there whose only job was to make sure all the customers got home - which apparently isn't easy in the early morning in the theater district! He made the necessary arrangements for us. The place may not have the greatest food in London (although the seafood we had was very good) - but it's classy - and I liked it.

Anyway - when I'm spending more than $300 for dinner - I want a better experience than the one I had at Zaika. And I guess your post gave me the courage to say what I thought about our dinner there. Robyn

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I believe you have to call RHR exactly a calendar month before you want a table. So on the 15th for the following 15th. If that's the correct meaning of calendar month.

I made my reservation at RHR by email. A month and a day before (ok - the woman we dealt with cheated a bit :smile: ). Of course that was for lunch - not dinner. I suspect it's a much easier ticket - but not a less important one for us. The woman we dealt with also handles reservations at all the other Ramsay restaurants. I found her to be very competent - very professional - and very nice.

I'll note here - as I've noted elsewhere - that RHR has a stated policy of limiting dining times at dinner to 2 hours if the restaurant is really busy. Since we're not famous - I wanted to avoid the possibility of being served late - or rushed out early - etc. I don't know what would have happened had we booked dinner - but lunch was wonderful. A leisurely 3 hour meal at a great restaurant. Robyn

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Robyn,

Thanks for passing along the information. After Moby's warning about Zaika, I went back through the archives more carefully, discovering several negative reactions to the food and prices. I've ditched that plan and am now leaning more towards Mela, which seems to get widely favorable treatment on the board as better food at a better value.

As for "mid-range," I meant relative to the other prices I've seen for London restaurants. I'm hoping that if I keep looking at the prices, the sticker shock will have worn off by the time my plane lands on Thursday morning.

Scott

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Mrs W. started ringing RHR at 8-30 on 2nd July. By the time she finally got through, at 9-40, they had one table for two left, which was 10pm (on August 2nd obviously). This suited us fine as they made clear no-one was after us...prfer to be late and relax rather than early and rushed...

Lunch, I'm sure, is easier.


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Thanks for passing along the information. After Moby's warning about Zaika, I went back through the archives more carefully, discovering several negative reactions to the food and prices. I've ditched that plan and am now leaning more towards Mela, which seems to get widely favorable treatment on the board as better food at a better value.

or there's the newly opened rasoi vineet bhatia which is damn' fine. bhatia is the chap who earned the michelin star for zaika and has now set up on his own.

x

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Mrs W. started ringing RHR at 8-30 on 2nd July. By the time she finally got through, at 9-40, they had one table for two left, which was 10pm (on August 2nd obviously). This suited us fine as they made clear no-one was after us...prfer to be late and relax rather than early and rushed...

I had a similar experience when trying to book at RHR for a very popular Friday night. Called from 08:30 onwards; got past answering machine at 09:00:01; then on hold till about 10:00, but unfortunately I'd missed the last table. I didn't really mind since a) they were very nice about it; and b) that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. But I did make me marvel for a minute as I thought of all the punters sat around their phones like me at 9am.

On the subject of telephone booking lines, I remember a discussion long ago about 'VIP' reservation lines for certain grand restaurants. I'm not privy to any of these, sadly, but I'm curious as to how they work from a logistic point of view. Do they just route a caller to the same receptionist but jump the phone queue, or is the point that they mark the caller out as eligible for tables that have been held back for regulars, stars etc.?

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Thanks for passing along the information.  After Moby's warning about Zaika, I went back through the archives more carefully, discovering several negative reactions to the food and prices.  I've ditched that plan and am now leaning more towards Mela, which seems to get widely favorable treatment on the board as better food at a better value.

or there's the newly opened rasoi vineet bhatia which is damn' fine. bhatia is the chap who earned the michelin star for zaika and has now set up on his own.

x

Yeah didn't I read some tosh about the place on the way in this morning? :biggrin::biggrin:

You know I am joshing missus- sounds like a good place. I have been meaning to try his food since he was at The Star of India and AA Gill was raving about him many moons ago.


Edited by Bapi (log)

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I've ditched that plan and am now leaning more towards Mela, which seems to get widely favorable treatment on the board as better food at a better value.

i like mela but it's very, very different to zaika or the cinnamon club (the latter i haven't been to) were you keen to compare and contrast high-end/modern indian food with more traditional stuff? i thought that mela was great in terms of producing proper home style cooking, but it's not hugely innovative in my eyes.

that said, you might not want innovative and if you simply want really good indian food, i think you've picked a winner.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I agree with Tarka -- Mela is great but not high end or innovative. Plus the tables are quite close together.

As far as high end goes, I've always enjoyed Veeraswamy on Regent St but I know others have had less success there. I went to Tamarind once years ago and didn't think much of it. My recent trip to Painted Heron suggested great things -- they are based in Chelsea and Kennington.

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I got a table at The Fat Duck in August. It'll be interesting to go to the FD sixteen days after visiting El Bulli.

After those visits, I'll need a desintoxicating treatment of traditional cooking. Look for me in Asturias.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Pedro - please come and share your experiences with us when you've been there.

And have a great time - Bray is very picturesque. There's a great old churchyard and cemetary, and a lovely river near by (where you might pass the other 3 star restaurant The Waterside Inn).


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Don't forget to wash your meal at FD down with a pint in the Hind's Head or the Crown, never know which superchefs you will bump into not to mention the great beer.

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Pedro, we have the same bookings for August, when are you going to Bulli and FD?

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Pedro - please come and share your experiences with us when you've been there.

And have a great time - Bray is very picturesque. There's a great old churchyard and cemetary, and a lovely river near by (where you might pass the other 3 star restaurant The Waterside Inn).

Of course I will, MobyP.

Thanks for your tips about Bray. I was planning to go, lunch, and return. Now I'll reconsider the former plan and probably will spend the morning there.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I got a table at The Fat Duck in August. It'll be interesting to go to the FD sixteen days after visiting El Bulli.

These are two completely different meals despite the constant comparisons.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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That also would be an interesting conclusion to reach :wink:.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my requests for info. As you'll see from the brief report below--excerpted from an e-mail to a good friend and Portland e-Gulleteer ExtraMSG, hence the informality--we ended up modifying the original itinerary on the fly.

----------------------------------

1) St. John. Went here for lunch on the day we arrived. Had the marrow and parsley salad as a starter. Two slices of toast, several segments of hot roasted bones, a salad of parsley and shallots, and a small pile of gray sea salt. Okay, but nothing outstanding. The parsley flavor was so strong that it tended to overwhelm the meaty, buttery flavor of the marrow. And there really wasn't enough marrow to leave much of an impression. An interesting, quirky dish, but not something I (or K) would order again. Next was a white cabbage and cockles salad. Bland, bland, bland. Almost no flavor in any component of the dish. Totally forgettable. Next was an "Old Spot" pork pot roast with bean salad. The pork ended up being a slice that included the tenderloin, bacony cut, and then a thick layer of fat. Good pork taste, but very one-note (and definitely on the salty side). It was served in a bit of soupy stew broth that tasted the same (i.e., porky, salty). I think the pork had potential. But this was the wrong dish for it. The only interesting thing about it was the contrast in textures you got with the unusual cut. The beans, however, were excellent. They were mostly Lima, with shallots, bits of carrot, and maybe some potato. Definitely the best dish component we had there. For dessert, we got the Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese. The plate came out with a good sized slab of cheese and a puck-shaped pastry about 2" in diameter. The Eccles cake was a bready pastry with a light granulated sugar coating, filled with currants. That's it. No moisture. No sauce. No pastry cream. We both agreed that, for what the pastry chef was trying to do, he probably did a good job. But it didn't approach the American ideal for a dessert (i.e., sweet, sweet, sweet). Anyway, we were both pretty disappointed with the meal. Total tab for that ended up being almost 40 pounds (roughly $75).

2) New Tayyeb. This was a low level Indian restaurant near Whitechapel, recommended highly on e-Gullet. The place was slammed when we got there around 9 PM. We waited nearly a half hour for a table. The menu was a challenge, since there weren't any descriptions of dishes and most of them were unfamiliar to me. We ended up ordering veggie samosas, one chicken curry, one lamb curry, and kheer for dessert. The samosas were good, but thin (flat, rather than the lofty pyramid shape I'm used to). Really good chutneys--one cucumber and yogurt, one mango, and one hottern'hell chile. Both curries were excellent--not really as soupy or gravy-like as I get around here. They didn't impress at first bite. But once you started eating them, they really grew on you. Entrees included sides of a veggie curry with squash and a red bean curry. Both were very good. Good kheer, closer to a rice pudding than what I usually get under that name. Total price for the meal ended up being about 17 pounds (about $28 US)--unfortunately one of the better values of the trip.

3) Soho Spice. A good friend recommended this place, saying it was one of the best meals of his and his wife's life. K ordered chicken tikka masala. I ordered another lamb curry (something korma-ish). I didn't like either of them as much as what we'd had the night before, but they were still very good. K said it was the best chicken tikka masala she's ever had. We had a good gulab jamun for dessert. 30 pounds or so for the lunch.

4) Mela. This was proposed by several people as an alternative to the high-end nouveau Indian places I had enquired about. Reminded me of an Indian Cafe Azul [an erstwhile Mexican restaurant in Portland run by a Chez Panisse alumnus]--great ingredients, good technique, but pretty traditional dishes. We weren't really hungry, so we skipped the appetizer and went straight to entrees. I ordered a duck curry and K ordered some kind of veggie ball curry. Both were incredible--two of the best Indian dishes I've ever had and definite highlights of the trip. The duck pieces were crispy, with an excellent sauce (with spiciness and almost mustardy undertones) that clung to the pieces without making them soggy. And the curry with the veggie balls was "lick the bowl" good. We had a good mango kulfi for dessert. 25 pounds or so.

5) Street vendor near the Tate Modern Art Museum. This guy had a cart with a wok-like bowl in it. He had a sugar syrup heated in the wok and would stir these enormous peanuts in it until they were caramelized, then sell small bags of them--still hot from the wok--for one pound. Mmmm. Simple, but a great little snack. I saw a similar cart elsewhere in the city a couple days later and was tempted to buy another sack, even though I was on my way to a dinner reservation.

6) Cafe Italia (or something like that). K was mad that we were taking so much time traveling to restaurants and spending so much (by US standards) on food. So I said, "Fine, we'll go wherever you want to go from now on." When mealtime came, she was at a loss and picked this place because it was close to where we were at the time. She had canneloni and I had spaghetti Bolognese. Both were sub-Olive Garden [i.e., a mediocre US chain] in quality. 25 pounds, without appetizer or dessert. After that, she went back to letting me pick the restaurants.

7) Harrod's. I've never seen anything like Harrod's. The place is unbelievable--like a lovechild of Neiman Marcus and Las Vegas on steroids. It's enormous, gaudy, and cool as hell. They have "food galleries" that cover the better part of a city block on one floor. A candy, chocolates, and pastry section. A cheese and deli section. A seafood and meats section. It makes Central Market look like a low-rent 7-11. Cabrales had recommended their Oyster Bar for a lunch. So we ordered fish & chips there. K loved it, saying it was one of the best things she'd eaten on the trip. I thought the fries were really good. And the fish seemed to be done about as well as it could be, though it's just not my kind of dish. 16 pounds for one order (i.e., two fried filets and a small portion of fries). We went over to the pastry section and picked up a bread & butter pudding and a fig & brioche pudding. The former was pretty good, while the latter was just so-so.

8) Tamarind. The only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in England. (Zaika used to have one till the original chef left.) They started us with papadum and a trio of chutneys. The chutneys were, as K put it, "Interesting here," tapping her head, "but not here," pointing to her tongue. Sweet and sour flavors in unsual combinations. I tended to agree with her. One of them (the fruitiest of the three) was okay, but the others barely worked at all. Our appetizer was some kind of concoction of fried potato patties, chickpeas, tamarind chutney, and yogurt. Interesting, mellow, and pretty good. For entrees, she got a chicken with tomato onion curry and I opted for two veggie dishes, sag aloo (spinach and potato curry) and a black lentil curry they touted as a house specialty. Disappointment across the board. All three dishes were just okay--really no better than we can get around here. Also, it seemed like they pureed and strained the chicken curry so there would be no texture to it; that might earn them a star, but it kind of detracts from the dish. For dessert, we ordered the most unusual sounding option they had--slow-cooked carrot fudge with vanilla ice cream. Very tasty. Imagine something between a carrot cake and carrot bread, removed from the oven while it's still underbaked, then extracting the warm, slightly mushy underbaked center portion. That's kind of what it was like. Served with a decent vanilla bean ice cream with the plate garnished with a carrot juice reduction. A groovy little dessert. But it wasn't enough to redeem the uneven quality. And at around 60 pounds, it was a very poor value.

9) Viceroy. This was an Indian place in Windsor (where we were visiting Windsor Castle) that came highly recommended in Lonely Planet. Ugh. High school cafeteria quality Indian. 20 pounds for two entrees. Total disappointment.

10) Gordon Ramsay RHR. Our one three-star meal. While it didn't knock my socks off, it was a very good meal and a reasonable value at the price point (80 pounds per person for the tasting menu). I'd say it fell short of Trotter's or French Laundry. But, overall, it's in the ballpark (i.e., 5 Mobil stars in the US). Quick sketch of courses (followed by a 1 to 10 ranking of the course, comparing it with the best of the best in the US):

a -- Kelleresque cones filled half with an avocado mousse, half with a masala mousse. 9.

b -- Two paper-thin slices of some kind of spicy meat dehydrated to complete crispiness with a layer of seasoned creme fraiche and cheese between them. 10. One of the best amuses I've ever had.

c -- Trio of salads, each served in a spoon. One was a nicoise, one was a tomato and basil gelee, one was rare beef with capers, shallots, and something else. 9.

d -- Foie gras terrine with layers of smoked goose, served with bite-sized salads of mushrooms and green beans, with concentric rings of olive oil and a red wine reduction. A superb foie gras presentation. 10.

e -- Scottish lobster and langoustine ravioli with tomato compote and other things I can't remember. A lobster lover would probably really dig this. And even though I'm not a lobster lover, I thought it was pretty darned good. 7.

f -- Skin-on seabass with veloute. I'm sure there was some kind of excellent side component to this course, but I can't remember what it was. All I remember is the seabass and sauce. Man, what a fish. Right up there with the best I've ever had. 10.

g -- Lamb three ways. Thin rare slices, layered with well seasoned potato slices. A shaped pile of shredded meat, like confit in richness. One other way, combined with spinach. All very tasty and competent, but not interesting at all. 8.

h -- Beef medallion with sauteed sweetbreads, mushrooms, and a way too dark, rich, intense sauce. By far the weakest dish of the night. K liked it more than I did, but she agreed it was the weakest of the bunch. The meat wasn't very tender and the flavors were just too clumsy. 6.

i -- Lavender infused creme brulee. Lighter than most creme brulees I've had--almost fluffy in texture. Very tasty, but not original in any way. 7.

j -- Trifle of warm apple compote, a cool spiced tapioca, and an intense granita. One of those dishes that emphasizes contrasts in temperature and texture. Very tasty, too. 8.

k -- Strawberry and rhubarb tartlet. Hard to describe (almost no pastry component) but excellent. 9.

l -- Mignardises: (i) Dark liquid caramel filled truffles. Very intense caramel flavor--like cajeta quemada. 9. (ii) Strawberry ice cream truffles. Truffle sized balls of an excellent strawberry ice cream enrobed in white chocolate. They were served just as the ice cream inside was starting to go melty. Simple, but perfect. 10. (iii) Some good but forgettable mini-muffins. 6.

(11) Goddard's Pie Shop (in Greenwich). K had a minced beef pie with mashed potatoes, half with gravy, half with parsley sauce. I had a Cornish pastie--a croissant-looking pastry filled with lamb, potatoes, carrots, etc. The pastry components to both items were very well done--light, flaky, not soggy. But the fillings were bland as can be--a blandness that salt alone could not rectify. The mashed potatoes tasted like they were made with water rather than milk, cream, or butter--totally flat tasting. A great idea, but really blah in the execution.

(12) Mela, again. We had to grab a quick dinner before a play started ("Measure for Measure" at Shakespeare's Globe Theater), and this was close by. We started with an appetizer sampler that included potato and chickpea balls with a spicy tamarind chutney, crispy tandoori chicken bits with a mango chutney, and a lamb kebab with a very spicy pickled meat and veggie chutney. (A lot of the menus had pickled meat items.) All were good, but the veggie balls were the best. We shared a mild chicken curry, a potato/spinach curry, and lentils. For dessert, I got gulab jamun with ice cream and she got some kind of bready pastry in a cardomom/milk-based sauce. Another good meal, though nothing was as good as the entrees in our prior meal there. That may be because we did the "pre-theater" fixed price meal, where they guarantee to get you out in time for your show. We probably should have ordered ala carte. They had a rabbit curry I really wanted to try.

12) St. John Bread & Wine. We came here for breakfast before heading to the airport. We had hoped they'd have some pastries, but they said they wouldn't really start on pastries till closer to lunch time. I had toast and honey (two slices for two and a half pounds). They know how to do toast there. But it's still just toast and honey. (Nothing remarkable about the honey.) K got pikelets and apricot jam. We didn't really know what that would involve. It ended up being two round patties--sort of a cross between a pancake and an English muffin--served with butter and an apricot jam. K thought they were pretty good, but I thought they were excellent. Maybe it's just because I'd never had anything quite like it before. Very interesting texture. We picked up a brownie to go. Good brownie with whole hazelnuts in it. The hazelnuts weren't toasted, though, so they ended up with that slightly chewy resistence, rather than the brittle crunch (and nuttier flavor) they get from toasting. A good brownie, but no better than one can make at home.

13) Generic Airport Cafe. We picked up a chicken tikka sandwich--white bread with spiced chicken and slices of cucumber. Yuck. Edible, but just barely. But what can you expect with airport food? Also, Lay's operates in England under the name Walker's. They have a line of gourmet potato chips in all kinds of offbeat flavors. I picked up a bag of "Roasted Lamb and Mint" potato chips to go along with the sandwich. Not bad, though there wasn't any noticeable lamb taste to the chips. I'd be interested in trying some of their other flavors. [bTW, Chips = Crisps.]

-------------------------------------------

Overall, we had a good time with the food, despite the occasional disappointment (and common service shortcomings--even at Gordon Ramsay, surprisingly). High prices and a weak dollar resulted in poor value in most cases. But, still, there were many morsels that made it all worthwhile.

Thanks again for all the help--71 replies from the date of my first enquiry till my departure to London five days later. Astonishing. Your experience, passion, and generosity are greatly appreciated.

Scott

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thanks for posting this scott. looks like you had a pretty reasonable taster of the indian stuff on offer, although i hear the kebabs are the real reason to go to the new tayyeb.

i especially enjoyed your description of the eccles cake. i'd never thought of it before, but i guess it really would be totally alien to anyone from outside of the uk. possibly even the north of the uk. did you try popping a bit of cheese and a bit of cake in your mouth together?

it's a really traditional north of england cake. here's some information about eccles cakes


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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1)  St. John.  Went here for lunch on the day we arrived.  Had the marrow and parsley salad as a starter.  Two slices of toast, several segments of hot roasted bones, a salad of parsley and shallots, and a small pile of gray sea salt.  Okay, but nothing outstanding.  The parsley flavor was so strong that it tended to overwhelm the meaty, buttery flavor of the marrow.  And there really wasn't enough marrow to leave much of an impression.  An interesting, quirky dish, but not something I (or K) would order again.  Next was a white cabbage and cockles salad.  Bland, bland, bland.  Almost no flavor in any component of the dish.  Totally forgettable.  Next was an "Old Spot" pork pot roast with bean salad.  The pork ended up being a slice that included the tenderloin, bacony cut, and then a thick layer of fat.  Good pork taste, but very one-note (and definitely on the salty side).  It was served in a bit of soupy stew broth that tasted the same (i.e., porky, salty).  I think the pork had potential.  But this was the wrong dish for it.  The only interesting thing about it was the contrast in textures you got with the unusual cut.  The beans, however, were excellent.  They were mostly Lima, with shallots, bits of carrot, and maybe some potato.  Definitely the best dish component we had there.  For dessert, we got the Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese.  The plate came out with a good sized slab of cheese and a puck-shaped pastry about 2" in diameter.  The Eccles cake was a bready pastry with a light granulated sugar coating, filled with currants.  That's it.  No moisture.  No sauce.  No pastry cream.  We both agreed that, for what the pastry chef was trying to do, he probably did a good job.  But it didn't approach the American ideal for a dessert (i.e., sweet, sweet, sweet).  Anyway, we were both pretty disappointed with the meal.  Total tab for that ended up being almost 40 pounds (roughly $75).

Scott,

The society meets twice monthly :biggrin::biggrin:

will expect to you see you there :wink:


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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