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September 15th, 2013

FERNANDEZ & WELLS (South Kensington)

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 FERNANDEZ & WELLS (South Kensington)

Category: Budget (£)  FERNANDEZ & WELLS (South Kensington)

South Kensington is not exactly a culinary destination.  In fact it’s a sad collection of chain places with only very few restaurants and cafes that stand out.  So I was all the happier to discover that an outlet of Fernandez & Wells has opened a mere stone-throw from South Kensington tube station.  Fernandez & Wells, which started as a tiny and incredibly charming tapas bar in Soho, has also two more joints in Soho and another in Somerset House and I just love it.

September 9th, 2013

JANETIRA EAT THAI (Soho)

 JANETIRA EAT THAI (Soho)

Could this be London’s spiciest dish? @ Janetira Thai

Category: Budget (£) JANETIRA EAT THAI (Soho)

Janetira Eat Thai is a refreshing exception in the Soho dining scene.  It doesn’t serve burgers, hot dogs or Southern fried chicken.  It’s not a pop-up and no famous chef is involved.  There are no queues (in fact it seems empty most of the time I walk past), it is inexpensive and totally unpretentious.

August 19th, 2013

BISTRO CASSIS (South Kensington)

 BISTRO CASSIS (South Kensington)

 sea bass  (23) @Bistro Cassis

Category: Brasserie (£££+)   BISTRO CASSIS (South Kensington)

I had been to Bistro Cassis once before, around Christmas time last year, and I didn’t like it very  much at all.  The dining room was freezing cold and didn’t feel welcoming and I found the food to be overpriced and mediocre.  I gave Bistro Cassis the benefit of the doubt and didn’t write a review at this stage (I thought maybe the head chef was on Christmas leave) and returned for another meal in August 2013 with slightly better outcome.

August 1st, 2013

PATTY AND BUN (Marylebone)

 

 PATTY AND BUN (Marylebone)

Patty and Bun

Category: Budget (£ )

 PATTY AND BUN (Marylebone)

I just find it difficult to get excited about burgers.  A burger is a burger is a burger, right?  While I do enjoy an occasional one (particularly when I’m hungover), and I appreciate that there are huge differences in quality and taste between the various burger restaurants in London, I nevertheless don’t understand what the hype is all about. For me, this hype has been going on for far too long already and with 2 American burger chains having just opened branches in Central London (Five Guys and The Shake Shack) and drawing in the masses, burgers seem to be here to last!

June 29th, 2013

BAIWEI (Chinatown)

 

 BAIWEI (Chinatown)

Green beans with pork (6) @ Baiwei

Category: Le Budget (£)   BAIWEI (Chinatown)

Ba Shan, the Sichuan / Hunanese restaurant in Soho, is one of my top 10 places to eat in London.  So I was very excited to hear about the opening of Baiwei, which belongs to the same group that also runs Ba Shan, Bar Shu and Baozi Inn.  Fuchsia Dunlopthe well-regarded food writer and expert on Sichuan cuisine, is consultant to all four restaurants. 

April 19th, 2013

LITTLE SOCIAL (Mayfair)

 LITTLE SOCIAL (Mayfair)

Prix fixe @ Little Social

Category: Brasserie (£££)   LITTLE SOCIAL (Mayfair)

April 18th, 2013

YASHIN SUSHI (High Street Kensington)

 YASHIN SUSHI (High Street Kensington)

@ Yashin Sushi

Category: Brasserie (£££)  YASHIN SUSHI (High Street Kensington)

Admittedly, Yashin Sushi had a lot to live up to.  I had my last sushi at the wonderful tiny sushi bar Sushi Tetsu, generally agreed to serve the best sushi in London.  To add insult to injury, I was treated to a stellar meal at Zuma a couple of weeks back, which again convinced with its selection of non-sushi Japanese dishes.  Yashin Sushi could only lose, and lose it did.  While the sushi there was really quite good, it did not reach the level of Sushi Tetsu in regard of quality, attention to detail and presentation.  Based on the sushi, I would nonetheless have awarded a green light.  What however disappointed were the non-sushi dishes which were too expensive for what was offered and actually not that good.

April 13th, 2013

HEREFORD ROAD (Bayswater)

 

 HEREFORD ROAD (Bayswater)

Lamb Rump (15.5) @ Hereford Road

Category: Bistro (££)  HEREFORD ROAD (Bayswater)

St. John in Clerkenwell is the quintessential British restaurant in London and has been awarded a Michelin star for its achievement to put British food and rare cuts back onto the culinary map.  Several chefs who have cooked at St. John’s have done very well for themselves, spreading the love for British cuisine throughout the country.  Tom Pemberton, former head chef at St John’s, is one of them and has cooked at Hereford Road since its opening in 2007.  He has followed the St John’s principle: weird and sometimes not all that appetising sounding (at least to the foreign ear) British dishes, unusual and often cheap cuts and a whole lot of offal.

April 11th, 2013

BUSABA EATHAI (Chelsea)

 BUSABA EATHAI (Chelsea)

Tom Yum Soup @ Busaba Eathai

Category: Bistro (££) red traffic2 150x150 BUSABA EATHAI (Chelsea)

I was never very keen on the Thai restaurant chain Busaba Eathai.  Several years ago, when the first Soho outpost had newly opened, I ate there a couple of times, and I never quite understood what made people queue in rain and cold for this in my opinion rather mediocre Thai food.  Time passed and with it the memory faded.

April 7th, 2013

A WONG (Victoria)

 A WONG (Victoria)

Salt and Pepper French Beans @ A Wong

Categorie: Budget (£)   A WONG (Victoria)

The area around Victoria train station is not exactly a destination where one would usually head in pursuit of culinary delights.  All the more intrigued I was when I read about a new restaurant, serving ‘inventive’ Chinese cuisine, that had opened just a stone throw from the busy station.  The rather odd choice of location is explained by the fact that A Wong took over his father’s traditional restaurant, and relaunched it as a bright and friendly place serving modern and creative Chinese.