Sunday 10 July 2016

Fischer's Baslow Hall

Sunday lunch delight

Fischer's Baslow Hall
It is not too often I get the chance to escape to the countryside, and when I do, visiting high level local restaurants is always one of my main aim in my city escape plan. Located near in the countryside of Bakewell, Fischer's Baslow Hall is the only Michelin starred restaurant in Peak District. The hotel restaurant has its own garden to grow vegetables and herbs for the kitchen with a beautiful driveway and garden. It is a very charming and elegant site which wouldn't look out of place in a Downtown Abbey scene. The cooking is very British with a modern touch but at a very refine level, using prime local ingredients such as the Derbyshire pork. We booked for a Sunday lunch to finish off our Peak District trip on a high.

Samuel Fox Country Inn

Hidden gem in the Peak District

Soused sardines, pickled fennel, grapefruit and saffron

It is not easy to spot a great restaurant when you are on holiday in the countryside, with no local knowledge and limited information on the internet. On my trip to the Peak District, Sammuel Fox came to my radar with an impressive collective of awards, it had a Michelin Bid Gourmand rating as well as being ranked the number 1 restaurant in Hope Valley. Judging from the pictures and the menu online, it seemed like it is a very solid restaurant with some playful and creative elements in the mix which warranted me a visit. The cooking was very British with some classic dishes, using seasonal and local ingredients.


Meaty affair

Beef short ribs, pork loin and lamb culet
Summer is finally here which only mean one thing... BBQ season! There are many great BBQ places across London to choose from and you would find that Blacklock would feature in many publications when it comes to talking about great meaty places in London. The great value for money chops plus the Soho area proven to be a successful formula for Blacklock. 1 year later, it is now a popular restaurant and if it wasn't for the new bookable pre-theatre timing, I would struggle to get a table.

Lima Floral

Eastern flavours

Salmon tiradito, beetroot, black quinoa
Peruvian cuisine is an interesting one for me, the freshness of Southern American flavours in combination of the cleaniness of Far East flavours are somewhat special and are adored by chefs around the world. Lima Floral is the second Peruvian restaurant in London under the much celebrated chef Virgilio Martinez. His first restaurant with the same name in Fitzrova gained a Michelin star for its unique flavours and colourful presentation. Lima Floral is very similar to its biggest brother, but perhaps a touch more casual judging from the pricing on the menu. We opted for the pre-theatre menu, which cost under £20 for 3 course and came with a glass of house wine. 

Wild Rabbit

Good to be back

Wild Rabbit

Last September was both of my happiest and saddest moment in my restaurant adventure  in 2015. I had one of the most memorable meal in my life at the Michelin starred Launceston Place, headed up by my favorite chef, Tim Allen. The 10 course tasting menu was exquisite and truly spectacular. But he was also leaving to become the new head chef at Wild Rabbit, a classy and upscale pub with rooms in Oxfordshire. 8 months later, I made a special trip down to his restaurant and looking to relive some of those wonderful moment I have had from his cooking over the last few years. I was also expecting something different, with use of fresh, top notch ingredients from local farms and suppliers.

Thursday 7 July 2016


Premium meze

Cheers! Barbary style

Neal Yard is slowly turning into a rather special food and drink hub in London, from the excellent Native to the ever popular Homeslice. The latest opening, Barbary is perhaps one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in London. Opened by the same people behind the hugely successful Palomar in Soho. It wasn't long since I had a really enjoyable and interesting meal at its sister restaurant Palomar, and that was the main reason I decided to pay Barbary a visit. It was a tiny restaurant with less than 30 seats surrounding the open kitchen, it was a very informal place, almost like a tapas bar. The menu was a lot shorter than Palomar, with the cooking heavily focused on North African and Mediterranean style, brought out by plenty of exotic spices.


Experimental flavours

Spiced sweet potato fritters, grilled pineapple, cured red onions,
saffron coconut curry

Fusion cooking is tricky one to get right, not many restaurants in the UK manage to pull it off but I have great hope that the newly launched Foley's in Fitzrovia, that it would deliver something fun and imaginative. With an ex Palomar chef in charge of the kitchen, Foley's is all about contemporary style with flavour profiles taken from around the world which you can clearly see from its menu. There are plenty of Asian, Middle Eastern elements to Southern American and European's. The dishes are sharing sizes so you can treat it as a tapas meal and have about 3 - 5 dishes per person. 

The Palomar

Mediterranean feast

The Palomar 

I have heard many great things about The Palomar, a very stylish restaurant that is renowned for its modern cooking from Jerusalem. Located just off the ever busy China Town, The Palomar has an open kitchen with bar seating at the front and a 40 seats cover room at the back. You can not book unless it is for before 5:30pm, so it's best to turn up early, as it is an extremely popular restaurant. The menu is not your typical a la carte format, with a wide choices of snacks and a middle course between the raw starters and mains. Judging from the menu, the cooking takes inspiration well beyond Israel, with plenty of North African and European influence, this kind of modern take on 
Mediterranean cooking is something I have fallen in love with lately and that was one of the main factor I have decided to pay The Palomar a visit.


Great value fine modern cuisine  

Grilled onglet, carrot puree, girolles, parsley

Piquet, the Anglo French restaurant in Oxford Circus is not a strange name for me, as I have already been to its upstairs bar three times in the past and ate from its bar menu. The simple bar snacks quality is enough to make me put Piquet in my "must-go" list for 2016. Being newly crowned  as the 7th best UK restaurant by the trade title "Restaurant Magazine", Piquet is all about modern French cooking using prime seasonal British ingredients. The menu is fairly straight forward with a la carte and all day set menu choices.