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.

Dining in London 2009?


Hearno
 Share

Recommended Posts

Morning,

It's my first post here, so please excuse my ignorance!

I'm a country boy from the home counties who, as a young journalist, doesn't have a huge amount of money. But tonight I am going to London to see my girlfriend and have promisd to take her out for dinner.

Blessed as I am with a food-loving father, I have been lucky enough to visit some of the capital's best known restaurants, from RHR to Le Gavroche. But given that I'm paying tonight, these, unfortunately, are a bit out of my league.

So I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers about where to go on a reasonable budget - £50 a head appx - tonight? Not fussy about which cuisine, although definitely want to avoid any generic chains or the such like.

She lives in Hackney, so anywhere not a million miles from there would be an added bonus, but not essential.

Thanks ever-so for your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Bistrotheque in Wadeson Street, E2.

Or Buen Ayre in Broadway Market, E8 if you like grilled meat.

Both jolly good, or at least they were last time I went.

Hawksmoor is superb if you like steak - on the Commercial Road.

Looking a bit further out...

Galvin Bistro de Luxe in Baker St. has that nice traditional French charm about it without breaking the bank. Fino off Charlotte St is a bit more zazzy but top class poshed-up tapas. Heard good things about La Poule au Pot as a romantic place in Ebury St. And I had a very decent meal at the newly-opened Osteria Dell Angolo albeit that Marsham St (round the corner from Westminster Abbey) is a bit soulless as a neighbourhood. L'Autre Pied may also be worth a look though I suspect your starting to skirt the boundaries of your budget at that point.

Can we expect decent copy when you write up wherever you choose ?

G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would second hawksmoor, but that might be at the top of your budget.

I would add albion on boundary street in shoreditch: good food, nice space and decor (though our tastes may differ!) and relatively inexpensive. I had a cracking rib eye and nice creamy rhubarb fool thing a couple of weeks ago.

Let us know how you get on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for the advice guys, much appreciated.

Given that it got two recommendations, I think we'll give Hawksmoor a pop - sounds great, and I'm sure I'll be able to stretch to it.

I'll certainly let you know how it went - I'll have to divert from all the hard-hitting copy I normally produce (lost dogs and parish council planning stories don't write themselves), but I'm sure I'll enjoy it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although it appears that you have already decided I have to second the opinion on Galvin Bistro de luxe.The set lunch is £15.50 and the dinner is £17.50.The quality for the price is unbeatable.

This is a stones throw away from Selfridges and of course Oxford st,great for lunch and then on for a serious shop.

The staff are true pro's and the food is really top notch.

The room is very comfortable,and you will not want to leave.I for one would be a regular here if I lived in London.

They have just gained a michelin bib gourmand.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't what I had in mind when I planned a Valentine's meal - a restaurant seeimgly specialising in great slabs of dead animal, with a certain disregard for finesse and pomp.

But then it's nice to challenge your pre-conceptions sometimes and veer from the well trodden route, and Hawksmoor restaurant provided a near perfect location for a romantic tryst.

Mercifully devoid of the schmalz and general wankery that dominates this time of year, the restaurant manages to capture the essence of the American steakhouse without falling into the cliches and stereotypes that have ruined so many of its predecessors.

The decor is eclectic and busy, without being overbearing and retains an appealing lightness - it's noisy, but not offensively.

We arrived just before eight and we're met by a charming waitress who, judging by her welcome, had been waiting her entire life for this moment.

It seemed apt to have a cocktail or three, so we ordered a French 75 for me, and a Peach Thunderbolt for her. At least I think we did - my memory has never been sharp, and they are the ones I seem to remember when I check their website.

To start, we shared some belly ribs which were, well, marvellous. Fatty, sticky and indecently tasty, they disappeared amid happy murmurings at a slightly undignified speed.

Always one to defy the norm - it's nice to live life on the edge - I opted out of having a steak and instead plumped from the Mutton with spiced mint jelly. Like many people, and in no small part due to HRH's insistent bleatings, I have recently had a revelation with this most underrated of meats and this plate was no exception. A deep, elegant flavour packed into the firm, juicy flesh made me snort in rapture and wonder again why it's not held in greater affection in this country.

Her chicken with watercress and fennel was a little bland for me, lacking the aniseedy punch the menu so enticingly offered. She loved it, though, and devoured it with an alluring gutsiness.

Dessert was, sadly, beyond us but two espressos - which, if I'm being picky, could have been slightly warmer - rounded off a cracking meal.

A lovely venue, with a genuine ambience which avoids both pretension and stereotype without forfeiting elegance and class.

We will, without question, return.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi

First post here so please be gentle :biggrin:

My wife and I are off to London this weekend and am looking for some nice places for dinner/lunch/snacks (we eat a lot when we are down there).

Here's the dilemna - we go to London a lot as our business requires it, we've eaten at a lot of the really fancy places (Claridges etc) but recently have gotten into a rut of going to the same places (don't shout when you here where, we quite like them) - La Porte Des Indes for lunch, Locanda Locatelli for dinner and Bar Italia for coffee and snacks. This time, we'd like to try different places.

In particular - my wife would like to try and find a Thai/Malaysian restaurant - any suggestions? Dinner on Sat might be post theatre as we'll probably go and see something - from looking through previous posts, I was intrigued by Giaconda but don't know how late they open.

We'll need a reasonable sized lunch on the Sunday to set us up for journey home as well.

Only high-endish place I was considering was Le Gavroche as we've never been and I think they cater for post theatre and also Sunday lunch?

Any recommendations/suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Wolseley or Racine are lovely for Sunday lunch. Have you considered Wild Honey as an option for dinner? They do a great pre-theatre also, if that's of interest.

And Nahm is good for Thai food if you haven't tried it before.

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pied a Terre do a post theatre menu.

I also quite like Amuse Bouche - Poland St, Soho for drinks (good value champagne).

Sunday Lunch at Tamarind is decent value on a buy one get one free offer.

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

First post here so please be gentle  :biggrin:

My wife and I are off to London this weekend and am looking for some nice places for dinner/lunch/snacks (we eat a lot when we are down there).

Here's the dilemna - we go to London a lot as our business requires it, we've eaten at a lot of the really fancy places (Claridges etc) but recently have gotten into a rut of going to the same places (don't shout when you here where, we quite like them) - La Porte Des Indes for lunch, Locanda Locatelli for dinner and Bar Italia for coffee and snacks.  This time, we'd like to try different places.

In particular - my wife would like to try and find a Thai/Malaysian restaurant - any suggestions?  Dinner on Sat might be post theatre as we'll probably go and see something - from looking through previous posts, I was intrigued by Giaconda but don't know how late they open.

We'll need a reasonable sized lunch on the Sunday to set us up for journey home as well.

Only high-endish place I was considering was Le Gavroche as we've never been and I think they cater for post theatre and also Sunday lunch?

Any recommendations/suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Martin

Malaysian food - try Kiasu its cheap and efficient. I have heard buzz that their standards are slipping but when I visited it was passable. Frankly I don't have high expectations of Malaysian restaurants in London.

Giaconda - I assume Giaconda dining room? They open mondays to fridays and last order is at 9.15pm. Also if you plan to get a table try to book a few days in advance as the restaurant is very small and you don't want to end up with the table next to the coat rack.

Le Gav - they def cater to post theatre (not sure if they still do their post theatre menu which is a very good deal) They aren't open for sunday lunch. Might be difficult to get a table on a Saturday night - I had to book a month in advance, but who knows with the recession there might be a late cancellation.

Sunday Lunch - L'Autre Pied and Foliage do a relatively affordable sunday lunches, or you could try Ledbury if you want something abit more up scale. For a good view maybe Blueprint Cafe?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for replies so far.

Wife not into offal at all so St Johns might be a bit limited for her.

Have booked for Tamarind for Sunday lunch making use of their 2 for 1 offer on their tasting menu. We'll do Indian instead of Thai I think as there appears to be better Indians (Tamarind is one of them?) rather than forcing a Thai restaurant.

Still left with Sat night - you were right about Le Gavroche - no Sunday lunch and fully booked on Sat night.

Have inquired about Latium for a table but not heard back yet.

Any other suggestions welcome - if it makes any difference, we're staying at Grosvenor Square - willing to travel a bit for a meal but obviously the closer by it is the easier to stumble home! Also, we've done Maze Grill so would probably avoid there even though it's very close by.

Many thanks

Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for replies so far.

Wife not into offal at all so St Johns might be a bit limited for her.

Have booked for Tamarind for Sunday lunch making use of their 2 for 1 offer on their tasting menu.  We'll do Indian instead of Thai I think as there appears to be better Indians (Tamarind is one of them?) rather than forcing a Thai restaurant.

Still left with Sat night - you were right about Le Gavroche - no Sunday lunch and fully booked on Sat night.

Have inquired about Latium for a table but not heard back yet.

Any other suggestions welcome - if it makes any difference, we're staying at Grosvenor Square - willing to travel a bit for a meal but obviously the closer by it is the easier to stumble home!  Also, we've done Maze Grill so would probably avoid there even though it's very close by.

Many thanks

Martin

How about Maze (not Maze Grill, it is very different), Wild Honey, or Corrigans. All close to your hotel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have inquired about Latium for a table but not heard back yet.

Any other suggestions welcome - if it makes any difference, we're staying at Grosvenor Square - willing to travel a bit for a meal but obviously the closer by it is the easier to stumble home!  Also, we've done Maze Grill so would probably avoid there even though it's very close by.

Many thanks

Martin

How about Maze (not Maze Grill, it is very different), Wild Honey, or Corrigans. All close to your hotel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Texture?  They have reservations and their fish tasting menu looks interesting

Thanks

Martin

Had dinner there a few weeks ago. Very nice people, lovely room, but so dark I couldn't read the menu or the wine list. It was also pretty dead on a Friday evening, although they did say that they had had eight cancellations on the day and they had been full the Friday before.

The food I thought was "good but not great", and although I wasn't paying I think it was quite an expensive evening (although to be fair we did drink a lot). It might be an indication that the fish menu with matching wines is £119 PP, + £8.50 supplement PP for cheese. For that kind of money you could eat almost anywhere in London, surely?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also - thinking of going to Grazing for breakfast and maybe Bincho for lunch on Sat - would these places be recommended?

Many thanks

Martin

Grazing's a bit of a trek from Grosvenor Square just for breakfast, though might make sense if you go to Borough Market afterwards.

Do you mean Bincho in the Oxo Tower or Bincho in Soho? I think that the Bincho in the Oxo Tower has folded, hasn't it? That's a cursed site, as my bank manager could confirm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...