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.

Sign in to follow this  
Hallie

restaurant for a ladies night out

Recommended Posts

I've been charged with locating a place for 6 of us female professional types in our 30s to have a not-vastly-expensive meal in central London during the week.

Requirements: fun, relaxed (perhaps even trendy) atmosphere, not too loud, not too expensive, good food, perhaps serving interesting drinks (though not essential). This is not going to be a mad night out.

My initial thought was Yauatcha but I'm inclined to survey the landscape before committing myself.

Help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been charged with locating a place for 6 of us female professional types in our 30s to have a not-vastly-expensive meal in central London during the week.

Requirements: fun, relaxed (perhaps even trendy) atmosphere, not too loud, not too expensive, good food, perhaps serving interesting drinks (though not essential). This is not going to be a mad night out.

My initial thought was Yauatcha but I'm inclined to survey the landscape before committing myself.

Help.

Ping-Pong is quite a good place to go as a group, whilst the dimsum is not the best in London it has a young, buzzy feel and is relatively cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yauatcha fulfils almost all of your criteria, if you stick to dim sum. Depends how many cocktails you're going to tot up though! Also worth noting that they'll want the table back after about 90 minutes. I find that this is usually enough time unless you want to linger over dessert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Momo still dreadful these days? Haven't heard much about it lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A second vote for Ping Pong if your budget is low: the location, food and decor are all acceptable (ie. not good when compared to the best, but not ritzy enough to scare anyone who's about to be stuck with a communal bill). Yauatcha is a solid choice if you're on expenses and are prepared to get the cocktails down within 90 minutes.

For a more controversial take on the same theme, I'd include Cocoon on Regent Street: impressive spaceship decor, buzzy bar, fair-to-middling pricing, tolerable soundsystem, and a vibe that's one part trendy to two parts Essex. The food gets some extremely bad reviews, although I'd still rate it a cut above Ping Pong's factory-constructed steamerwave operation.

If you have an aversion to Asian: perhaps Vasco & Piero’s in Soho. The menu's solid and unthreatening for business purposes, the atmosphere is provided by the slightly batty clientelle, and the entertainment comes from the waiter trying to chat you up.

And finally, if food is your single biggest priority, forget trendy and go to Galvin.


Edited by naebody (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The menu's solid and unthreatening for business purposes,

Sadly, there won't be any expense accounts. This is just a friendly get-together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a variety of suggestions:

Comptoir Gascon

The Lonsdale (good drinks, buzzy, decent food)

E&O/8 over 8

Le Cercle

Vinoteca


Edited by jennahan (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a quod in LOndon now?


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quod has gone - it closed just before Christmas.

Detroit on Earlham Street has fantastic drinks, unpretentious crowd and the food is modern British. About 2 years since I went but I remember it not being bad but it was after an Absinthe cocktail...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Detroit on Earlham Street has fantastic drinks, unpretentious crowd and the food is modern British. About 2 years since I went but I remember it not being bad but it was after an Absinthe cocktail...

Hm. Approach with caution. Dropped in on a school night a few weeks ago to find the unmistakable stench of failure had crept in. You could have counted the other punters on the fingers of no hands. Also, like most basements, it gets progressively less busy as soon as the sun starts shining *.

E&O is a very strong suggestion if you're prepared to go outside Zone 1. Can't comment on Momo from recent experience, but the same street provides The Living Room, which is not too disappointing providing you approach it with chain-type expectations.

Meanwhile, Levant on Wigmore Street gives you a comparable menu and a similar (albeit quieter) vibe to Momo, yet it won't require military planning to get a table, has plenty of wallet-friendly food deals on offer, and comes with one of central London's superior bars attached.

(* Disclaimer: Levant is also housed in a basement. But I'd argue that the whole windowless thing works much better once you put carpets on the roof, distribute about 100,000 tea candles and light up a good strong shisha.)


Edited by naebody (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last girls night out, we went to Quaglinos for Martinis- Fun!! (Don't remember much about dinner, although the stairs were quite scarey!!!) :blink:


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second Vinoteca

or

Chair in Westbourne Grove is kinda ritzy with a Sex in the City vibe if thats your thing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...a Sex in the City vibe if thats your thing

...

I remember that episode too :laugh::laugh::laugh:


Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think its going to have to be central London - as all of us work in the west end. Also, I don't want anywhere too loud - I know Levant sometimes goes a bit too mad with the belly dancing music.

What we're looking for is more a case of meal + atmosphere as opposed to bar + vibe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd put in a vote for Salt Yard on Goodge Street http://www.saltyard.co.uk/ - great Spanish and Italian "tapas", well-sourced ingredients, plus good atmosphere: not too noisy - plus cheaper and more fun (in my view anyway) than Fino. Sharing the small plates mean that everyone's happy and no quibbling about the bill at the end. Lovely wine list (though easy to spend a lot!) and they do a good line in bellinis as an aperitif. Never had a duff meal here, and, working nearby, have been a lot for both lunch and dinner.

S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just booked the Salt Yard - I'll let you know how it goes.

Apparently they've already been awarded a bib gourmand.

I'm quite annoyed though as it seems that most places I tried to book: Yauatcha and Levant had a two hour or even a 1 hour and 45 min table turn around time, which for a Wednesday night is quite poor. Even the Salt yard said they needed the table back by 9:30. I went with them in the end because at least they were kind enough to allow us 3 hours - possibly more if they're not too busy.

But to be honest, I think this is a mean policy, considering that I'm there to dine and enjoy myself. It seems to be more and more the case with restaurants that they're not ashamed to throw you out on your ear once you've spent your cash. They've no interest in cultivating a relationship with their customers and no shame about treating you like a milk cow.


Edited by Hallie (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just booked the Salt Yard - I'll let you know how it goes.

seems to be more and more the case with restaurants that they're not ashamed to throw you out on your ear once you've spent your cash. They've no interest in cultivating a relationship with their customers and no shame about treating you like a milk cow.

Salt Yard is a top choice, well deserving of its bib. Their stuffed courgette flower in honey is as good an example as I've had anywhere.

On table turning: yes, it's a real pain. But when it's not a place they can guarantee all tables are full all of the time, such as Gogsy's Hospital Food, it seems to be more a safety net for the restaurant than a major imposition on the customer.

I'd guess that, for a popular but not top-rank place on a weekday evening, between a fifth and a quarter of their reservations don't show up. The "table time limit" policy simply allows the house to book to absolute capacity so, as punters turn up, the waiting staff can hassle people out of tables as and when required to keep enough spaces open for the next wave. But if there are the usual amount of no-shows, you can usually sit for as long as you want -- which, obviously, will earn the restaurant much more than an empty seat. The business types call this kind of thing yield management, I think.

Recently, I've over-stayed my allotted welcome at all of the following: Andrew Edmunds, L'Etranger, Sardo Canale, Portal (which was completely empty at the time), Fino, Yauatcha, that Cuban place Conran keeps locked in Mezzo's cellar, Abingdon Road and -- yes! -- Salt Yard. Then there was the Ivy, where a 12:30 lunch booking went through until 5pm without any complaint. But that's another story ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think its a terrible policy on a school night - interesting to know how busy they actually are...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Five of us had dinner in the Salt Yard last Wednesday. First time there, and I would definitely go back. We did find it noisy, but the food and wine is excellent. I would highly recommend the chorizo in red wine sauce and the pork belly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Recently, I've over-stayed my allotted welcome at all of the following: Andrew Edmunds, L'Etranger, Sardo Canale, Portal (which was completely empty at the time), Fino, Yauatcha, that Cuban place Conran keeps locked in Mezzo's cellar, Abingdon Road and -- yes! -- Salt Yard. Then there was the Ivy, where a 12:30 lunch booking went through until 5pm without any complaint. But that's another story ...

What was Portal like? It's looked empty whenever I've walked past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...