Monday 27 November 2023

The Midland Grand Dining Room Restaurant

Grand French cuisine in style

Roast duck a l’orange

Thanks to inflation, it is a real struggle to find any places in London that can offer quality cooking under the 100-pound mark, and that is especially true for French cuisine. However, located inside the beautiful St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King Cross, The Midland Grand Dining Room is fast becoming my go-to place for fine quality French food without breaking the bank. Headed up by the super talented Irish chef Patrick Powell. The French cuisine for me had a perfect balance of paying homepage to traditional, as well as a touch of modern refinement. For my second visit, I went for the big sharing plates to share among friends.

The Five Fields

Modern British fine dining, Chelsea vibe 

Scallop, carrot, smoked roe

This happened to be my 5th time visiting The Five Fields. The Michelin-starred British restaurant in Chelsea is a cozy little fine-dining restaurant just off Sloane Square, it held the No1 spot on Tripadvisor London once and booking a table was almost impossible. These days, the hype has moved on but the quality of the cooking remains, and to be honest, I prefer places that do good food don't get over the the top media hype as otherwise it will be flooded with tourists. These days, it only offers a no-choice tasting menu. So it might be a place to visit if you are a picky eater.

Saturday 18 November 2023

The Devonshire Soho

Grill hype  

Scallops, bacon, malt vinegar

There are many high-profile restaurant/pub openings in London in 2023, but perhaps The Devonshire is the one that seems to be getting the most hype, with media coverage coming out left and right even before it opened, and now fast becoming a dining destination, and almost impossible to secure a booking. The main reason down to the reputation of its 3 founders, from a 2 Michelin-starred chef, a successful steak chain owner to a pub landlord who already created a gastropub with a cult following. The Devonshire itself spit across 3 floors, with the top 2 floors housing its grill restaurant, with most items cooked over a custom-made wood fire griller.

64 Goodge Street

 Not classic, not a problem

Lobster vol au vent, carrot

From the same people behind the much-loved Quality Chop House (Woodhead group), 64 Goodge Street is a brand-new French restaurant that does things completely different vs what the group is renowned for, which is British cuisine. Instead, 64 Goodge Street is all about looking into traditional French cuisine, then reformulating to something with a modern British touch, that might scare off hardcore traditionalists. The ALC menu is short, with less than 9 dishes to pick from between starters and mains, but this could be a good sign as it means the restaurant is able to master and focus on these dishes very well.

Canton Blue at Peninsula

The power of branding

Dim sum selection

The Peninsula Hotel is one of the biggest hotel openings in London in 2023, the hotel brand's Hong Kong site is highly regarded as the most luxurious hotel in Hong Kong, and the London site cost over 1 billion pounds in the making. As a Chinese hotel brand, a high-end Chinese restaurant was always on the card for the London site. This came in the form of Canton Blue, and stated it pays homage to innovative Cantonese cuisine. This is somewhat of a strange statement as looking into the menu, its offering is not a great deal different vs anything you see in ChinaTown, but at a sky-high cost with most dishes costing over the £30 mark.