Tuesday 17 May 2016

Bonhams Restaurant

Shining star

Cornish turbot, morels, peas, beef jus

It has been far too long since I have last dined at a Michelin restaurant, and Bonhams is one of the very few remaining ones in London I have yet to visit. Newly awarded 1 star in the 2016 UK guide, Bonhams is located within the London Bonhams auction house near Bond Street. Head chef Tom Kemble's cooking is modern French in essence, using well sourced ingredients. It used to only operate for lunch service on weekdays so it was pretty much impossible to book in unless you have taken a day off. But recently it has opened for dinner from Wednesday to Friday starting from 7pm. The dinner service offers a fixed 5 course menu at £60 and nothing else, so if you are not an adventurous, bonhams might be an ideal dining place for you.

Monday 16 May 2016


Smart Italian in Dalston

Grilled Seabream, tomato, mint and almond

When you talk about restaurants in Dalston, you would most likely think of no booking/ one item concept/ left field decor places. But Rotorino is a completely different beast to the usual "hipster" restaurants or casual restaurants in the area. Co -owned by Stevie Parle, it is a smart, modern looking place, dishing out Southern style Italian cooking. I had a really enjoyable meal at his other restaurant, Craft London just recently, so I had high hope in Rotorino. The food menu is fairly standard Italian affair, with first, second, mains and desserts to choose from, it also has  a separate bar at the front, providing Italian style cocktails with modern flair.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Absurd Bird

Stunned Bird

Big mama southern style smoked chicken

Absurd Bird is yet another fried chicken themed restaurant, newly launched in East London. Fried chicken is one of the UK's most loved comfort food and it has been given a gourmet make over in the last years, with places such as Dirty Bone and Birds are pushing fired chicken at a more refine level. Absured Bird aimed toward Southern style American cuisine in its fried chicken with a light, modern touch, using flavours from around the world. The menu is heavily focusing on chicken as you would expect. The fried buttermilk wings were some of the worst fried wings I have ever encountered, the crispy batter came off easily from the wings and the wings were completely tasteless, also the wings still contained so much leftover hair which was extremely unpleasant to the eye. The smoke garlic and parmesan wings however, was a lot better, the savoury taste with a touch of spices and nutty flavours really worked well with the wings.

Saturday 14 May 2016

Craft London

Experimental flavours

Craft London

Craft London has long been one of my to try list since it was opened last year, Stevie Parle's cooking has impressed high numbers of professional critics and food writers. His signature dish, the clay baked duck has also become one of the most talked about dishes in London. Craft London itself is a stand alone building just outside the tube station, the top level bar is a must visit place, especially on a sunny day when you have a lovely view of the O2 Arena and the Emirates Air Line, not to mention the cocktails are very accomplished. I visited Craft London for its very well priced Tuesday test kitchen menu at £28 for a 7 course menu. The idea is for the chefs to come up with some very testing flavours before deciding if it is worth making it onto the main menu, guests are encourage to give feedback with pen and paper on the spot.

Wednesday 11 May 2016


Pasta bar in London Bridge

The single dish concept restaurant trend still appears to be going strong in 2016, while Padella does not solely on cooking pasta dishes, it is its main focus and are the only choice for your main course. The restaurant is spread across two floors with an open kitchen and bar counter seating on the ground floor, it is a no booking restaurant, but I have easily managed to secure a seat for a Sunday lunch. The menu is short with a small selection of classic antipasti dishes such as burrata and bruschetta, followed by 6-7 pastas dishes as main. The drink menu has a range of Italian classics such as Negroni and Aperol Spritz, as well as beer and wine on taps.

Sunday 8 May 2016


Japanese from a Masterchef

Ramen in pork broth with pork belly
Nanban in Brixton is a trendy, modern Japanese bar and restaurant. Founded by former Master Winner Tim Anderson. It serves a small selection of Izakaya dishes as well as a range of ramen. Unlikely many ramen bars in central London, you can book in advance, there are also plenty of bar counter seating for any walk in customers. The star of the dish had to be the twice-cooked pig tripe, blessed with rich, wonderful flavours from the spicy miso sauce, the texture of the crunchy cabbage along with the bean sprouts was just so comforting, it was the kind of the dish would go perfect with a bowl of plain rice. The smoked eel with sanshō pepper was another strong dish, the sourness of the prickly oil plus the clean and flesh taste of the green apple and cucumber really worked well with the meaty oily fish.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

The Hour Glass

Top class pub food

Beetroot, smoked eel, horseradish
When the food sourcing is done with care and the cooking is in a capable hand, nothing can beat a good old fashioned pub meal. The comforting element with an affordable drink menu is such a magical combination. Sadly, there are just not enough high quality food lead pubs around, but The Hour Glass is definitely one of them. The Hour Glass is a British pub located in Kensington, just a few footsteps away from the famous old Michelin building. This classy historic pub spreading across two floors, the ground floor is a classic drinking den while the top floors offer a full a la carte menu with table service.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Som Saa

Eastern Volcano

Som Saa
Som Saa was perhaps the most anticipated London openings this year, there aren't a great number of top notch Thai restaurants in London so it is always good to see a high profile opening to increase the standard of Thai food in the Capital. After gaining rave reviews by food critics and diners at its Hackney pop up last year, Som Saa managed to secure enough funding to open a permanent restaurant on Commercial Street in East London. I am a big fan of its decor, with an open bar and bar seating area at the front for a more casual dining experience while a more traditional table setting at the back. The menu is pretty short for an Asian restaurant, ranging from salad, grill, curry, soup and wok dishes.