Monday 15 October 2018

The Ledbury

London's finest

Cornish Cod, Caramelised in Richmond Park Honey and Radishes

This is my 10th visit to The Ledbury, the double Michelin starred restaurant in Notting Hill is simply the best London restaurant for me. It has everything, from top quality cooking, world-class service to the ever-delightful informal and relaxing ambiance. I really don't get why the 2019 Michelin Guide has overlooked The Ledbury as I think this should easily be a 3 stars restaurant if both Waterside Inn and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is considered 3 stars level. The tasting menu is the way to fully enjoy what The Ledbury is capable of, the amazing thing about this restaurant for me is I have yet to experience a bad dish which is rare in a tasting menu format, everything is either good to excellent and that why I find the restaurant to be so special.

Alyn Williams at The Westbury

Next level hotel fine dining

Giant lobsters

The latest Michelin 2019 Guide went out and Alyn Williams at The Westbury retained its Michelin star. This is actually a big deal as now Alyn is now also heading up the kitchen at Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds so maintaining the standard of his London restaurant is no easy task. These days, head chef Tom Booton is heading up the kitchen at The Westbury, with an ambition to secure a second Michelin star. For this lunch occasion, Tom has offered us dishes taken from his new tasting menu.

The Wild Rabbit

Fine dining in a gastropub

Quail, black pudding, leek, apples

Once again, I am back at Wild Rabbit for the 6th time. The gastropub in Cotswolds is one of my to go venue whenever I visit the Cotswolds for holiday. The restaurant is all about using top grade local British ingredients to create something that is refined but yet with a touch of classic old-school British vibe. Alyn Williams is now chef patron at the restaurant, with a new tasting menu installed and now at the Wild Rabbit for a few months, I was excited to see how the cooking has progressed. In a large group, we have managed to order pretty much everything on the menu.


Cozy modern French dining 

Baked Alaska, Blackberry

After a few good years dining out countless time in London, I am slowly starting to managed to resist the new opening temptation all the time. I noticed there are just as many restaurants shutting down vs new restaurant openings, which give me a good reason to not to jump and visit whenever there is a new hip launch and give it some time to let the media try and test for me first before deciding if it is worth going for myself. So here is Noize, a restaurant has been around for 1 year now and gained solid rating from major media across the nation. With both the owner and chef got the experience at Pied a Terre, it was easy for me to add it in my to try list.

Sunday 7 October 2018

Restaurant Steirereck

Edgy Viennese cuisine

Lamb shank with Aubergine, Young Gear & Lychee Tomatoes

Rated by many as the best restaurant in Austria, Restaurant Steirereck is a contemporary Viennese restaurant inside the Stadtpark in Vienna. It has 2 Michelin stars, as well as voted the 10th best restaurant in the world by the World 50 Best Restaurant awards. Simply put, this is a restaurant with a big reputation. I visited for a lunch occasion and the first thing I noticed was the slick and edgy design of the restaurant itself, almost like a space station you would see from a sci-fi movie. For lunch, you got a pretty decent good value 4-course menu 
(for a 2 stars restaurant) at 98 Euro, which are directly taken from the a la carte menu. You can also splash the cash and go for the long 7-course tasting menu, at an eyewatering 165 Euro per person.

Buxbaum Restaurant

Contemporary Austrian cuisine

Lamb, eggplant, artichoke, hummus

When looking for classic Austrian restaurants in Vienna, there are plenty of choices such as Puerstner and Figlmüller. However, it was somewhat a challenge to find a good quality modern Austrian restaurant without reaching the fine dining/Michelin star cost level. After some extended research, I discovered Buxbaum, a small contemporary restaurant located right in the heart of the city inside a residential square. Buxbaum is a cozy restaurant specializing in Austrian cuisine with a touch of international influences and modern European style presentation. Like many modern European restaurants these days, it offers a tasting menu, as well as the classic 3 courses a la carte option.

Plachutta Wollzeile

Austrian beef party

Boiled beef party

Tafelspitz is an iconic Austrian dish, a cut of beef cooked in a soup with vegetables. It became an instant classic after the then Emperor Franz Joseph declared that it was his favourite dish. Plachutta is all about the boiled beef, in fact, it offers 10 types of beef cut, ranging from shoulder to rump. The restaurant is somewhat a landmark these days, extremely popular and it is not easy to get a table unless you book well in advance.

Figlmüller at Wollzeile

Iconic Viennese restaurant


When you are in Vienna, one thing that you will see everywhere is the schnitzel, Austrian's national dish: deep fried in meat and usually done using veal or pork meat. Figlmüller is the granddaddy of the dish and one of the most iconic restaurants in the city. These days, it is now a very successful business with many restaurants across the nation. I visited the flagship Figlmüller at Wollzeile for my visit, which is the very first restaurant of the business and only offers limited dishes, but all are the classics that you would want to go for if you really want to experience authentic Austrian cuisine. 

Café Central

Viennese breakfast in style

Mozart chocolate

Vienna is known for its cafes and top pastries, so for any hardcore coffee and desserts fans, a visit to a local cafe is a must when taking a trip to Vienna. Located nearby the stunning Hofburg Palace, Café Central is somewhat an iconic landmark itself. The interior is seriously impressive with a charming old-school vibe, the cafe is best known for its legendary pastries. I visited Café Central for a lazy weekday breakfast treat, and I opted for its super-size continental breakfast, as well as trying 4 types of desserts. For lunch, the cafe offers a great value for money Viennese 2 course set menu, containing all-time classics such as the beef soup and roasted meat.

Carpe Diem

Refine fingerfoods

“Szegediner Gulasch” with Hungarian dumplings, pork belly

For most fine dining restaurants, fingerfoods often means canapes. Something that you would offer to diners as a treat before the dishes they have actually ordered. Located in Salzburg, Austria, Carpe Diem is doing the complete opposite. The restaurant is big on serving miniature sizes plates, mostly in cons or tapas format, inspired by international flavours from around the world, so the food is somewhat fusion. They do also have a proper 3 course a la carte menu but I quite enjoy the whole fingerfoods concept. This also made a good opportunity to sample a wide range of cooking from the kitchen instead of stuck with only 3 plates of food.