Saturday, 14 September 2019

Core by Clare Smyth

Modern British fine dining as it should be


Scottish langoustine, wasabi pea, rose geranium and almond

This is my second time at Core, the fine dining restaurant by chef Clare Smyth in Notting Hill. One year later, a lot has changed since then, Core is now a double Michelin starred restaurant and has two tasting menus, one classic (which is what I had from my first visit) and a seasonal menu, which use more luxury and premium ingredients. I really enjoyed Clare's style of cooking from my first visit, very clean and extremely refined at the same time. The only reason put me off heading back is mostly down to how popular it is, you got to plan well ahead to book a table. I opted for the seasonal tasting menu for my second visit, a 7-course menu with canapes and petit four, at £145 per person.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Luke Selby at Mortimer House

Guest chef series at Mortimer House


Roasted Native Lobster, Fennel & Smoked Butter Sauce with Tempura Claw

I have been a fan of the TV program The Great British Menu on BBC for years, a great show that put some of the finest chefs from around the nation, completing to put up showstopping dishes. One of this year's winners is Luke Selby, the former head chef from the Michelin starred Hide in Mayfair, he has taken over Mortimer House (a private clubhouse with a restaurant) in Fitzrovia for 1 month, showcasing his cooking flair, including his winning dish the smoked butter lobster from The Great British Menu. His menu at Mortimer House is short and snap, it is basically a small a la carte menu, with only 3 choices from each of the starter, main and sweet sessions. 

Holborn Dining Room

British pastry master


Hand raised pork pie

I rarely go to a hotel restaurant these days, simply just because usually is overprice with cooking that has no soul. You are paying for the expensive decor and fancy interior design instead of the quality of the cooking, hence I always try to stay away from hotel restaurants. Holborn Dining Room funny enough is inside a hotel and is at the luxury 5 stars Rosewood Hotel no less. The restaurant caught my attention as it has gained a reputation in providing top class British pies, the humble pie is somewhat a childhood memory for me so I was eager to see how head chef Calum Franklin has turned such an iconic British dish into something exquisite without losing its true essence. There are 5 choices of pies on the menu, along with a selection of modern British dishes and steaks.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Two Lights

American in East London


Crayfish Boil, Jersey Royals, Chorizo, Corn

Located in Hoxton, Two Lights is an American inspired modern restaurant by The Clove Club group. The Clove Club is one of the most regarded restaurants in London, and gaining a spot in the World 50 Best list from Restaurant Magazine is an amazing achievement, so naturally, the expectation is big on the groups' other restaurants. Two Lights is a very different beast compared to The Clove Club, is even more casual with spaces reserved for walk-ins. The menu is a la carte with no tasting menu, focusing on modern American cuisine. As someone who has little knowledge of American food, I was really excited to see what Two Lights is all about.

BaoziInn London Bridge

London Bridge casual Chinese den


Char siu pork

The first Baozilnn in China Town is somewhat an iconic Chinese restaurant known for its regional Sichuan cuisine. Fast forward to 2019, Baozilnn is now a mini-chain with 5 sites across London. The latest one is located in London Bridge and is the biggest restaurant in the group. Looking at the menu, it doesn't appear to be in the mood of Sichuanese style like its Chine Town counterpart. Instead, the majority of the items on the menu are mostly Cantonese dishes, ranging from wonton to roasted meat. In fact, you would see most dishes in many restaurants back in China Town. So when Baozilnn London Bridge is charging around 30% than the standard cost if I compare to China Town, it better be good.

Quo Vadis

Modern British with a European touch


Vol au vent of cod, mussels & sea vegetables

Located on Dean Street, Quo Vadis is one of the most historic sites in Soho. The upstairs members' only space is a popular joint for people in the trade to hang out or conduct businesses. The ground floor space is headed up by chef Jeremy Lee, a former Great British Chef winner, and a highly respected figure among the chef network. His modern British cuisine is all about taking classic recipes with a fresh makeover to create something extremely flavoursome but truly remain the British essence. I returned for my second time to try out its summer a la carte menu.