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.

Dinner in Surrey/Greater London?


Recommended Posts

  • 1 year later...

LA BUVETTE, RICHMOND

The casual visitor to the area would probably completely miss this place located, as it is, on an alley beside the church. But it’s worth seeking out. I noted it down for future reference when I spotted on the doshermanos blog about a year ago and I see it’s now Good Food Guide listed (a cooking 3).

On offer is a short fixed price menu – half a dozen choices at each course – at £17.75 for two courses, a couple of quid more for three. There’s also the three course bistro menu – no choice at starter or main; creme brulee or cheese for “afters”. It costs £23.50 and the owner tells me it’s so popular it’s pretty much unchanging.

Fish soup was suitably rich and came with roiulle, croutons and grated Gruyere. The main is onglet, chips and a big handful of well-dressed lambs’ lettuce and shallot salad. “It’ll be on the menu as long as we’re in business”. I finished with a good sized portion of Brie. Not as ripe as you’d hope for – but at least they’d taken it out of the fridge in good time.

This was damn fine value for an enjoyable solitary dinner. The 12.5% service charge and a bottle of water brought the bill to just on £30.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TANGAWIZI, RICHMOND

My thanks to PhilD for the heads-up on this place on another board. Since he mentioned it months ago, I see it's now got a Cooking 2 in the Good Food Guide.

The dark walls of this otherwise very modern looking restaurant almost remind you of the flock wallpaper of Indian places of 30+ years ago. And it’s not just the walls that are dark – the whole place is dark. Seriously dark. Making it difficult to properly see your food – aren’t you supposed to first eat with your eyes?

Staff are plentiful and attentive. Perhaps a tad over-attentive – lurking near your table ready to remove a glass or a plate the moment you’re finished. The two owners/managers had good customer skills – making sure that they chatted with the single diner (maybe I look like a Good Food Guide inspector).

But the above are niggles. The menu is a good reader – not your run of the mill Bangla curry house, although some dishes will be familiar. I sipped an excellent mango lassi while I looked it over.

Fresh mint tikki sounded like a good starter but it proved underwhelming. The potato patties were a good texture but there was no great taste of mint or, indeed, other spicing. It should have been lifted by tamarind chutney. However, whilst it cheffily decorated the plate in blobs and drizzles, it lack the sour kick.

The main of Lamb Saagwala was spot on – tender tasty meat and good spicing, I’m more used to seeing gosht saag a quite dry dish but this had quite a bit of spinach sauce. It made the side order of dhal makhani a bit unnecessary. But I’m glad I’d ordered it as it was the best thing I ate here. Again, it was well spiced with cumin and the addition of beans (it was too dark to see exactly what they might have been) gave it more texture than usual. Rice and roti helped it all down.

It’s just lost its Michelin Bib Gourmand due to an increase in prices (the owner telling me the inspectors ate lobster – and then said the restaurant couldn’t do three courses for £28!). But it’s not expensive – the bill including a bottle of water and a tip came to £30.

It was a pretty good meal but not an outstander. I see Andy Haylor also reviews it on his website declaring the best Indian food in London. I hope he's wrong.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seems to be a very old topic which has been rejuventated!

My money is on either the Bingham in Richmond, which has just won its first Michelin star and I had a fab lunch there the other day - very reasonable and surprisingly busy for this time of year (but the newly acquired star will have helped!)

The other one we like is Brula in St Margaret's - it has retained a bib gourmand for many years and is, I believe a sister restaurant to La Buvette (which is also excellent - had a really good girls night there only last week).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've mentioned the Bingham recently. Ate there in May 2008 on a TopTable bargain offer. It'd have been excellent value even without the 50% discount.

Although not in the last 12 months, I've had decent meals at Saffron, smack in the town centre. Persian - my notes indicate that the fesenjan was OK but needed a bit more oomph.

Would be good to hear some current recommendations. I visit the area for a few days once or twice a year (researching at the National Archives)and am always looking for decent food in places welcoming to the solo diner.I think I've just about exhausted places I know in the Richmond/Kew/Brentford strip.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

KEW GRILL, KEW GREEN

I think this is the last remaining remnant of Antony Worral Thompson’s bankrupt grill business. I can see why he kept this one going – it was jammed packed with punters and I bet they regret taking a reservation for a single diner.

Bang Bang Chicken should have been a zingy starter. It should have Sichuan peppercorns. It should have chilli. It should have an unctuous peanut sauce. What it shouldn’t have is a few shreds of dried out chicken dumped on tasteless shreds of cucumber and drizzled with thinned down peanut butter. It shouldn’t then be priced at £6.95. I know when someone’s taking the piss!

My ribeye steak was much better. It had to be better. “The only way is up”, as the song had it. I was faced with the ultimate chip dilemma – do I order the “skinny” chips or the “chunky” chips. Why does no-one prepare chip sized chips anymore? I chose chunky. They were OK – if you like that sort of thing. Creamed spinach was fine – in the past I’d never have thought of this as going with steak but have had it in a New York steakhouse where it was the must have” side and it works. Bearnaise sauce without any taste of tarragon is not béarnaise – why advertise it as such, instead of the more accurate “white gloop”.

Rant ends...........

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PALMYRA, SANDYCOMBE ROAD, RICHMOND

This neighbourhood place deserves to survive and thrive. But it probably isnt going to two customers on a Wednesday night simply isnt enough to pay the bills.

Theres nothing surprising on the menu just a shortish list of Lebanese staples, split between hot & cold mezze, salads and mains. Mezze items come in at around £4.50; mains at £13. Its good value.

Freebie pickles were brought almost as soon as Id sat down slices of salted and pickled turnip, decent olives and absolute killer green chillis.

Moutabel was a very generous portion of aubergine dip, softened and sweetened by a sprinkling of parsley and pomegranate seeds. Lots of flat bread for dipping.

My second starter was arayes. Served hot, the bread was nicely crisped but the lamb filling was disappointing - underflavoured and somewhat sludgy.

On to the main course....shish taouk was as fine an example as youd wish to find. The chicken had been perfectly grilled and was just starting to char on the outside yet still soft and most inside. It came with a small handful of mixed salad and a garlic sauce on the side. Now I must admit that I like my garlic sauces to leap off the plate and scream GARLIC at me and this didnt. But it wasnt at all bad. More bread was offered and accepted.

Too full for dessert, I asked for the bill but that didnt arrive until after Id eaten the freebie sweet pastries. I liked it at Palmyra. Id be a regular if I lived in Richmond. Its a place that shows the traditional generous attitude towards hospitality from the people of the middle east.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PAPPADUM'S, FERRY QUAYS, BRENTFORD

Yes, I know this a Surrey thread - but's just over the River.

One of my regular haunts when “down south” (as I normally stay just round the corner), it’s a pretty reasonable Indian – offering a “proper menu” rather than the “any protein with any sauce” offerings at your local Bangla curryhouse.

But, in spite of the “proper” offerings, I started with the commonplace seekh kebab. Here, three kebabs, zingy with coriander and chilli. There was a garlic sauce for dipping which had something sharp-tasting in it. Probably tamarind, innit. I had that with a tandoori roti which was nicely crisp round the edges, still a bit doughy in the middle. Good starter!

Main was Kadai chicken. The sauce here a bit generic but with the addition of a good hit of ginger and some al dente green peppers giving a texture contrasts. A decent enough pulao rice went well with it.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...