Wednesday 30 October 2013

Social Eating House

Social eating fun


Part of Jason Atherton's ever growing restaurant empire and one of the one star winners in the latest Michelin guide, Social Eating House on Poland Street is his third London restaurant after his flagship Pollen Street Social and Little Social. As the name suggested, Social Eating House is all about top quality serving in a fun and casual setting. This is actually my second visit to SEH, having eaten there when it was newly opened, I felt there was a bit of ironing out required and I wondered how much they have improved so I dragged a friend to come along.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Great cocktail bars around in London part 3

Shoreditch special


As part of my blog feature, I will highlight some great cocktail bars in London that are well worth a visit. This time around it is a Shoreditch special, home to some of the hottest cocktail bars in London Part 1 here Part 2 here

For exceptional cocktails: Happiness Forgets

Opened by one of the industry greats, Alastair Burgess, there is just something special about Happiness Forgets. Located in an underground basement in Hoxton Square, it's a dark and tiny bar with a short cocktail menu. The cocktails here have no crazy garnishes, no dry ice, no gimmick, just made to a high standard. The drinks themselves are cocktails at their finest and mixed to perfection. This place showcases quality over quantity. Less is more. No wonder it's one of the go to place for off duty bartenders. It was recently voted the sixth best bar in the world in Drinks International's World's 50 best bars competition.


Friday 25 October 2013

Jose

Classic Spanish tapas in London


Jose at Bermondsey, by Jose Pizarro, is a little tapas and sherry bar serving traditional authentic Spanish tapas. I have eaten at its sister restaurant, Pizarro, and was impressed by it. I was keen to try out Jose as it is regarded as one of the best tapas bars you can find in London. Having eaten at a good number of tapas places while I was on holiday in Barcelona, I wondered if Jose could be as good and true to its roots.
Jose

Wednesday 23 October 2013

London Cocktail Week

My London Cocktail Week recap


On the week of October 7 -13th, 2013, London was transformed into a week of celebration for cocktail culture in London. Basically, many drink brands took part and arranged a host of seminars, pop-up bars, tasting sessions and master-classes all built around cocktails. If that wasn't enough, most cocktail bars around London offered a special cocktail through the week for £4 once you bought a Cocktail Week wristband at £10 each to ensure you'd have all the cocktails you ever wanted. Below is a recap of the events I attended.
London Cocktail Week 2013!

Monday 21 October 2013

Leong’s Legends

Taiwanese in China Town


It has been a while since my last dim sum lunch in London, and sadly, there aren't that many great places around London that offer decent dim sum, not even the likes of Yauatcha impressed me in the past. So when I was on a hunt for a good dim sum restaurant in London I actually found it rather difficult. Then I came across Leong's Legends in China Town which I've walked past millions of times in the past. Unlike most Chinese restaurants in London, Leong's Legends offers Taiwanese style cooking which is not too common and I've always been a fan of Taiwanese cuisine so I settled for a visit to Leong's Legends on a Sunday afternoon.

Leong’s Legends

Saturday 19 October 2013

Pizarro

Modern Spanish cuisine in Bermondsey


Pizarro by Jose Pizarro at Bermondsey is a Spanish restaurant serving simple modern Spanish food but with more of a non traditional approach. Instead of the classic tapas format, guests have the choice to order a starter, a main and a dessert like in a traditional English or French restaurant. Pizarro recently allowed dinner reservations and that was the major factor as to why I decided to visit the place, as I am not a big fan of none booking restaurants.

Pizarro
bread and olive

Wednesday 16 October 2013

The Greenhouse

New stars on the block


The GB edition of the Michelin Guide was published recently (end of September) and The Greenhouse in Mayfair was promoted to a two star level which only eight other restaurants in London managed to achieve. Michelin lately has been pretty inconsistent and I was wondering why they awarded the second star to The Greenhouse based on the dinner I had last year. In my view that dinner was at a very solid one star level but no more, just to see if they truly deserve their second star, I visited again with a few friends for another dinner.
Front of Greenhouse

A little oasis leads you to the main restaurant, tables are well spaced and the setting is your typical high end Mayfair. The bread has much improved from my last visit, nice grainy notes and well rounded flavours, however just like last time it was pre done for the whole evening rather than freshly baked like most other Michelin restaurants. 

amuse bouche
bread

Monday 14 October 2013

Murano

The best Italian cooking in London? 


Murano, the flagship restaurant of one of the industry's biggest name in Angela Hartnett, is a fine dining Italian restaurant on the quiet side of Mayfair in Queen Street. Fresh from winning four AA Rosettes and retaining its Michelin star, Murano was the very first Michelin restaurant I visited in London back in 2012 and I was so impressed with the high standard in terms of both the food and services. So for my birthday dinner I decided to visit Murano again to experience its wonderful Italian food one more time.
Murano

Saturday 12 October 2013

L'Autre Pied

True star 


It's just over half a year since my first visit, I was back again to this single Michelin starred restaurant in Marylebone, part of restaurateur David Moore's empire (The other being Pie a Terre, with Pied Nu also opening soon on the same street as L'Autre Pied) . From my last visit, I found out that head chef Andy Mc Fadden's innovative cooking style involves crunchy elements and I really enjoyed it. Out of all the restaurants I've been to lately I've yet to find anything similar so in order to experience his creative cooking once again I returned for a weekend lunch.
bread
frozen gazpacho with ghoat cheese and aubergine

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Apsleys

Fine Italian cooking in a luxury setting


Apsleys, a Heinz Beck restaurant within the super posh The Lanesborough Hotel is a one Michelin starred Italian restaurant with one of the most glamourous and impressive settings in London. Heinz Beck himself runs the La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri in Italy and is the only three Michelin starred restaurant in Rome, his London outlet is currently overseen by his former protege in Heros De Agostinis. I visited Apsleys a little more than a year ago when they had a different head chef, wondering how the cooking at Apsleys had developed under a different chef, I headed back to Apsleys again on a warm Autumn evening.


The Lanesborough Hotel
Apsleys
bread

Sunday 6 October 2013

Koya Bar

Udon heaven


Newly opened in the summer of 2013, Koya Bar is a new restaurant project that was created by the same people behind Koya restaurant which is just next door on Frith Street in Soho. I was a huge fan of Koya when I visited so when I discovered that they had just opened a new Japanese restaurant I wasted no time to check it out. After speaking to one of the waiters, she explained that Koya bar will be serving more traditional Japanese food while Koya itself has a more fusion lead style of blending western and Japanese concepts, but the udon noodles are the same in both sites.
Koya Bar

Thursday 3 October 2013

Chapter One

A rather disappointed Michelin experience


Chapter One in Farnborough Common, just on the edge of Greater London, is a one starred Michelin restaurant cooking in the mood of modern British cuisine. Along with its four AA Rosettes, it is regarded as one of the best restaurants that Kent has to offer. As part of my September eating out spree, I visited Chapter One on a Sunday afternoon in the hope of finding some fabulous fine British cooking.
Chapter One

Tuesday 1 October 2013

The Clove Club

An unusual food adventure in Shoreditch


The Clove Club in Shoreditch Town Hall is one of the most talked about openings in London earlier this year, with a no choice tasting menu of 3 mini appetizers followed by 6 courses. The cooking is all about avant garde, with a heavy focus on seasonal British ingredients and the raw flavours within. Not necessarily a fresh concept but The Clove Club managed to stamp its own mark with a very interesting outcome. We visited on a busy Thursday evening after some pre-dinner drinks at Happiness Forget, the décor in The Clove Club is not your average restaurant setting, with it's high ceiling, open kitchen and wooden tables. 
The Clove Club
Open kitchen