Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Visiting London - Restaurant Recs Please


Recommended Posts

Why go to the Fat Duck (except for a very expensive laugh) when you could have a fantastic 'proper' dinner round the corner at the Waterside Inn?! Went to both within the space of a few weeks and I definitely know which one I'd rather go back to!

Let the shouting commence.....!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why go to the Fat Duck (except for a very expensive laugh) when you could have a fantastic 'proper' dinner round the corner at the Waterside Inn?!  Went to both within the space of a few weeks and I definitely know which one I'd rather go back to! 

Let the shouting commence.....!

Couldn't agree more. My Fat Duck experience was about as memorable as my first enema.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Couldn't agree more. My Fat Duck experience was about as memorable as my first enema.

errrr... so does that mean it was memorable or wasn't??? :unsure:

as i would imagine that type of thing is hard to forget

even if you wanted to :raz:

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why go to the Fat Duck (except for a very expensive laugh) when you could have a fantastic 'proper' dinner round the corner at the Waterside Inn?!  Went to both within the space of a few weeks and I definitely know which one I'd rather go back to! 

Let the shouting commence.....!

The simplest reason, I guess, it that while there are restaurants which are similar to the Waterside Inn in New York, there is nothing really like the Fat Duck here, and the curiosity is killing me.

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why go to the Fat Duck (except for a very expensive laugh) when you could have a fantastic 'proper' dinner round the corner at the Waterside Inn?!  Went to both within the space of a few weeks and I definitely know which one I'd rather go back to! 

Let the shouting commence.....!

The simplest reason, I guess, it that while there are restaurants which are similar to the Waterside Inn in New York, there is nothing really like the Fat Duck here, and the curiosity is killing me.

Wow?! Is there really a restaurant like the Waterside Inn in New York?! Tell me more - I'm in NY next month! (and - wrong forum I know, but while I'm here..... where's good to eat in Soho/Tribeca at the moment - and will be possible to get into in 2-3 weeks time?!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's fairly well documented that I am a fan of the Waterside Inn, but I wouldn't be quite as dispariging about the Fat Duck. If you are looking for a very different food experience then go and enjoy. I certainly intend to go back at some point and it will challenge your perception of food. Although, I think you may be hard pressed to get a table at this juncture.

If you do go to Bray. Make sure you pop in to Heston's pub- The Hind's Head Hotel- across the road for a look. We had an excellent lunch of potted rabbit and wonderful Lancashire Hotpot (with the traditional, although not often seen, addition of slivers of oyster) earlier this summer.

I won't embarrass the greedy EG member who thought the portion size of the latter dish was a bit small. :raz:

Edited by Bapi (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

So, I'll be spending nearly 10 days in London next week and was looking to do a good job of hitting lots of great restos. I've been reading through these boards and various books but I have to admit I'm quite overwhelmed with the choices. (Also, I haven't been able to locate a definitive thread of what's good out there now.) Here's what I'm hoping to sample - please let me know if there's anything else I should try.

1) Cockney food. Looking for the best of the best of the eel, mash and pie shops. Thetwo easiest to find info on - Goddard's and Manze's, have had both favourable and unfavourable reviews. Is there anything else to try besides the pies and eels? And are the eels really like pickled herring?

2) Looking for good value lunch fixed-price menus, especially near Chiswick. Also, any good dinner fixed price menus?

3) Real "British" Indian food. I've had Chinese-Indian, American-Indian, and Indian-Indian. Looking for something the makes the Anglo versions better. (There's an Anglo-Indian takeaway in my neighborhood here in Brooklyn, and one at a chip shop two neighborhoods away.)

4) South African food. Was excited to try Fish Hoek in Chiswick, only to find that it is closed. Any other good ones out there that are reasonably priced?

5) New Zealand/Australian food. THe Kiwi Kitchen at Baroque sounds interesting - any other recs?

6) A nice meal for the weekend. Sunday dinner or brunch maybe. Was thinking maybe The Glass House in Kew, but I'm sure there are many more that you recommend. Looking to spend less than 30 quid per person if doable.

7) Fish and chips. Have two prospects - Faulkner's and North Sea Fish Restaurant. EIther one better, or should I choose an audible?

8) Coronation chicken salad. One of my favorite dishes, and a true British invention. Who does the best one?

9) Anything else I may have forgotten that is a must try/do in London.

Cheers for all/any of your advice!

Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Cockney food. Looking for the best of the best of the eel, mash and pie shops. Thetwo easiest to find info on - Goddard's and Manze's, have had both favourable and unfavourable reviews. Is there anything else to try besides the pies and eels? And are the eels really like pickled herring?

Eels are nothing like pickled herring. I think they're horrible but the handful of Cockneys I know swear by Robins in East Ham, I think this is it: J Robins Pie & Mash Shop

Tel: 020 84721956

105 High St Nth, London E6 1HZ

2) Looking for good value lunch fixed-price menus, especially near Chiswick. Also, any good dinner fixed price menus?

Chiswick-ish : Le Vacherin and La Trompette, if they're open for lunch, are excellent

3) Real "British" Indian food. I've had Chinese-Indian, American-Indian, and Indian-Indian. Looking for something the makes the Anglo versions better. (There's an Anglo-Indian takeaway in my neighborhood here in Brooklyn, and one at a chip shop two neighborhoods away.)

You asked for it...Gaylord. They even call male diners "boss".

4) South African food. Was excited to try Fish Hoek in Chiswick, only to find that it is closed. Any other good ones out there that are reasonably priced?

no suggestions, that was the only one that I was aware of

5) New Zealand/Australian food. THe Kiwi Kitchen at Baroque sounds interesting - any other recs?

There are probably loads of talented Australian, South African and New Zealand chefs here but I think those who have tried to open restaurants devoted to their home cuisine have struggled mightily to define for diners what exactly it is. As a result, Fish Hoek, as well as East West (I think that's what it was called, the place next to the Ivy); Osia; and Sugar Club - all of which I think were Australian, and which initially seemed popular and well-reviewed, have closed.

Providores is the only restaurant that I can think of where the fact that the Chef is from New Zealand, is highlighted in any way; he serves "Antipodean fusion food". It's good and expensive. Their downstairs informal dining 'Tapa Room' has gentler prices but I haven't eaten there so I can't say what the difference is.

6) A nice meal for the weekend. Sunday dinner or brunch maybe. Was thinking maybe The Glass House in Kew, but I'm sure there are many more that you recommend. Looking to spend less than 30 quid per person if doable.

If you go to La Trompette, Glass House is very similar. It is lovely though the last meal we had there didn't get raves from all diners.

I always recommend Ransome's Dock, which is my favourite go-to for all meals. Great food, relaxed and friendly service, attractive room. Excellent wine list and they let you linger as long as you like. They're not open for dinner on Sunday night though. You might want to get your Anglo-Indian on that night (if Gaylord's is open).

7) Fish and chips. Have two prospects - Faulkner's and North Sea Fish Restaurant. EIther one better, or should I choose an audible?

What's an audible?

8) Coronation chicken salad. One of my favorite dishes, and a true British invention. Who does the best one?

I think you're best off going to a high end deli section - I bet Selfridges do a good one, or maybe even the fancy Waitrose on Canary Wharf...

9) Anything else I may have forgotten that is a must try/do in London.

Depends - where are you from? High end Chinese lunch at Hakkasan or Yauatcha.

I really like The Wolseley for a mid-afternoon pig-out, decadent hot chocolate/chocolate sandwiches, excellent "Viennese" pastries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Borough Market, Southwark - London Bridge Tube station - Saturday.

Personally, if you are visiting London, as a foodie this is a must - It's London biggest farmer's/gourmet market. Go early because it gets really busy - I like to get there for 8:00am, to enjoy the luxury of a leisurely browse.

Don't worry if you don't have access to a kitchen, there are plenty of goodies to eat on the move whilst you are there and take back to a hotel room.

Borough Market

Link to post
Share on other sites

No eel, but seek out the S&M Cafe on Essex Rd in Islington for excellent sausage and mashed. Their mushy peas are rather good too.

I've had quite respectable fish and chips at the Rock and Sole Plaice, the Golden Hind, and Geales.

Ten days is enough to tolerate at least to fry ups or Full English Breakfasts. The Ten Deadly Sins at Simpsons-In-The-Strand - quite formal, quite good, quite expensive and the Full English Breakfast at Smiths of Smithfield, across from the Smithfield Market. I sense that genuine Brits consider Simpsons to be dated and a bit of a tourist trap, but it is worth a visit for breakfast, at least.

Also Rules, London's oldest restaurant. I went for the Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding. A good choice, but even better are the game dishes raised on their own country estate.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are looking for good Indian/Asian food, take a trip to Southall - You can get the train from Paddington Station. It contains London's largest Asian community. There you'll finde genuine Indian cuisine, from cafe's as opposed to restaurants. Rita's Samosa Centre, on Southall Broadway is a good place to start, but there are plenty to choose from. Also take time to take a look in the sweet centres and grocery shops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

South African food:

There is a restaurant on Upper Richmond Road (the east putney end) in Putney (not too far from Chiswick) called Chakalaka which I'm pretty certain does South African food. Never been there but have heard it isnt bad from a few friends who have eaten there. It is painted in zebra stripes so pretty much impossible to miss!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my London faves--

For a pricier evening--St. John's (there is a big thread in Food & Media News) and Simpson's in the Strand--they do have a prix fixe--I particularly like the jugged wild hare and trifle.

For Indian, we went to a place called Nazrul and found it very good and cheap. It's BYOB, but Sainesbury's sells beer by the bottle and Pims and lemonade and gin and tonics by the can (these are very strong).

For tea, Fortnum and Mason's (make a reservation or get there early) or Maids of Honour (in Richmond). Maids of Honour makes many Tudor era specialties.

Now, to save some dough (because London is expensive), do not eat in museums. Most museums are free, but they get you on lunch and it is not very good, but there are Pret A Mangers all over London. It is a French sandwich chain, and they have delicious wrapped sandwiches at a good price. One of my personal faves is the hard boiled egg, mayo and watercress sandwich on walnut bread at a pound thirty (about $2.50).

For a little snack, one of my favorite things to get across the pond are Kit Kats. They are different than the American ones. They are less sweet and more heavily coated in chocolate. And if they are still around, try a blood orange Kit Kat.

S. Cue

Link to post
Share on other sites

South African restaurants in New York CIty = 1.

Good South African restaurants in New York CIty = 0. (It was formerly good, but the food has gone downhill steadily over the past years.)

I had noticed that there were several SA restaurants in London, many well respected, but it seems a great many have closed this past year. There are also a lot more SA expats in London than in the US, so I figured that there'd be some good restos over there.

Plus, I'm very excited about the World Cup in 2010 and don't imagine I'll get to SA before then...

fatmat - thanks for the rec on the market. I'll try and check it out early Saturday before the football. (I shan't say who I support as I may get some misleading answers here!)

And if eels taste nothing like pickled herring, what are they similar to? The only eel I've had has been Lithuanian and Japanese, both grilled.

Guys - thanks for all of the recommendations - I certainly have a lot to mull over.

Link to post
Share on other sites
And if eels taste nothing like pickled herring, what are they similar to? The only eel I've had has been Lithuanian and Japanese, both grilled.

I love eels. They are delicate and sweet. The best are the teeny baby ones. They look like pasta, and you eat them bones and all.

S. Cue

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that Borough Market on Sat morning is a must.

St John is not cheap, but I've never had a bad meal there and it is quite unusual (if you like offal). You should also try a meal at a "gastropub" - often relatively inexpensive and better food than several London "restaurants" -the Eagle, Coach & Horses, the Princess, the Well, the White Swan are a few that come to mind (nr the city).

Faulkners is a great chippy - not far from Liverpool St Station.

Boisdale is the only Scottish restaurant I know of (but I haven't eaten there)

Indian food - High end (price-wise): Cinnamon Club (better than Tamarind, Zaika etc); high/mid - Café Spice Namaste; mid - Madhu's (in Southall) ; low - Lahore Kebab house. You should also decent Sri-Lankan food in Tooting, Rayner's Lane and East Ham.

Other recommendations - Moro (Spanish), dimsum at Yauatcha or Royal China, J Sheekey (sister to celeb-spotting restaurant The Ivy; very good fish but not cheap)

Link to post
Share on other sites
there are Pret A Mangers all over London. It is a French sandwich chain

I think not - started by Brits and now part-owned by MacDonalds. But it is pretty good.

There seems to be some confusion about jellied eels. They are nothing like eels. I love eels. Jellied eels are one of the most disgusting things I've ever eaten.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm curious why you want to eat South African food in London?  :huh:

I'm curious too... being a South African chef in London :rolleyes:

Having been head case/chef :rolleyes: at 2 'South African themed seafood restaurants' just outside of London (and wholly disgusted with the food served at Fish Hoek at the time - our supposed 'competition' :rolleyes: ) there are a handful that I know of and only one that I can say is worthwhile.

Chakalaka - Putney - never eaten there but supposedly 'authentic'.

Vivat Bacchus - I think near Farringdon. A sister restaurant of one in Pretoria, though never eaten there as well.

Cape Etc - Little Chalfont :biggrin: Great little deli and near to where I live - the only one I personally would trust to have a decent 'home' cooked meal at.

Alternatively there is the South African shop in Putney/ Roehampton (St Marcus foods) who might be able to direct you to some hidden gems..

Lambretta, there are a load of expat Saffers here and most tend to eat out locally and purchase 'home' goodies from the SA shops dotted around the country or online.

If you want an authentic Saffer meal in London, befriend a local Saffer and convince him/ her to do you a proper braai with potjiekos and all the trimmings. Alternatively a meal that their grandmother/ mother used to make them when kids.

Personally I'd sod the local version of the food and take Matthew Grant's girfriend recommendation of going to Cape Town :wink:

Andy... one day the food might match the wine recognition :wink:

Morning people should be forced to milk cows!

The Plough Wavendon is where I work

Link to post
Share on other sites

PotjieCheffie -

Will you be my friend and cook me dinner? (Kidding, of course.) I may try Chakalaka, or I may just head to St. Marcus Fine Foods and see if they have any recs.

And, like I said, I will go to Cape Town, but not until 2010. So this will be my SA kick until that point in time. (And hope that Madiba here in Brooklyn gets better.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you wanted a good Indian in Chiswick area I would suggest Agni (search UK forum and you will find a write up by Origanicrime). It is quite modestly priced.

Somewhere a little posher is Indian Zing and I believe the chef / owner worked at Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy. Little pricier but certainly not in Cinnamon Club or Vineet Bhatia bracket.

Both are on King Street going into Hammersmith but walkable from centre of Chiswick.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...