Sunday 21 July 2019

Bar Douro

Taste of Porto

Octopus with sweet potato

Portuguese is one of the most underrated cuisines in the UK, always overshadowed by its Spanish counterpart. However, Portuguese cuisine can be exceptional, with a strong focus in seafood and stew dishes. Located in London Bridge, Bar Douro aims to recreate a slice of authentic Portuguese dining culture. The dishes are split into four sessions, starting from snack, to garden, sea and earth. along with a strong collection of wine. For per person, it is recommended to order 3 plates per person. Having eaten Bar Douro's cooking at Taste of London, it was enough to justify a visit to its actual restaurant, to get an idea what true Portuguese cuisine is all about, before my trip to Porto.

Temper Covent Garden

Meaty party

Aged beef skewers flatbread

I have always been a fan of Neil Rankin, the chef-owner of the Temper empire. Neil Rankin is considered a top BBQ and meat master in the trade. When I first encountered his cooking when he was at Smokehouse, I instantly have fallen in love with his cooking style. Fast forward to 2019, he has moved on to set up Temper. Now 3 sits strong, its Covent Garden site followed a similar format like the flagship Soho site, with a real focus in meat and taco, but with woodfire pizza on top. What I really like about all the Temper concept is its open kitchen, with open fire and robata grill taking central stage, diners get the chance to see the fine cut of meats cooked in front of them.

Saturday 13 July 2019

The Ledbury


raspberry millefeuille, olive oil ice cream

I have almost lost count on how many times I have been to The Ledbury, The 2 Michelin starred restaurant is simply the best fine dining restaurant in London for me. It has everything you want from a top restaurant. Great service, relaxing decor with stunning food from the kitchen. Chef-owner Brett Graham has been maintaining the restaurant level at such a high standard for many years now, it has held 2 Michelin stars for 9 years and without a doubt, it will keep its 2 stars for the 2010 guide. For lunch, it offers a no choice 4-course set menu, as well as an a la carte and tasting menu. The beauty about The Ledbury is that the cost of the menu covers the service charge so actually, it is one of the cheapest 2 Michelin star restaurants in London.

Duck and Rice

Chinese weekend brunch

Sha Cha lobster clay pot

This is my fifth visit to Duck and Rice, the Chinese pub in Soho is one of my personal flavourite place for a comforting Chinese meal experience. Chinese food and beer is such a beautiful match and I am wondering why not more places offer such a combination. In the weekend, Duck and Rice offer a brunch menu, with a wide selection of dim sum and some classic Cantonese and street food items. The benefit of being a pub, it also has a great range of beers, cocktails, wines, as well as Chinese teas, which make Duck and Rice one of the most unique pub and restaurants in London.

Duddell's London

Cantonese feasting

Peking duck

Haven eaten at Duddell's five times, I have slowly managing to eat through the whole menu. The Cantonese fine dining restaurant has a slick interior design inside a former church, and it's contemporary Chinese cooking are some of the finest you can find in London. For my sixth visit, head chef Chris Tan has provided a special menu for my table, offering some classic Cantonese dishes with a touch of his personal adaptation, based on a recent trip to Hong Kong. Classic Cantonese cooking, but done in a refined manner, is not easy to find in London so I was really excited about what chef Chris has got in store.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Arros QD

Spanish gourmet rice in London

Smoke ‘dashi’ eel, katsuobushi, white sesame seeds, black garlic aioli
& Wood pigeon breast, wild mushrooms, rosemary, porcini aioli

Spanish cuisine is easily my flavourite European cuisine, fresh taste, great ingredients, and simplicity: are everything that top Spanish food is all about. When top Spanish chef, Quique Dacosta decided to launch a paella focus restaurant in London, I was buzzing with joy. Quique is regarded as one of the modern great Spanish chefs, with his restaurant near Valencia has 3 Michelin stars. At the same time, it is never easy for a Spanish chef to get it right in the UK. Ametsa and Street XO are two perfect examples, opened by other famous Spanish chefs but failed to win over the locals. Would Arros QD suffer similar faith? The hero items on the menu are its traditional Spanish rice, cooked over a wood fire. 


Contemporary French dining at Fitzrovia

Cornish Cod, Pan Roasted, Artichoke, Confit Fennel, Olives, Dulse Aioli Sauce

Mere, the fine dining restaurant by wife and husband team Monica Galetti and David Galetti, has been recently voted to be one of the top UK restaurants by the National Restaurant Awards. Monica was the sous chef at double Michelin starred Le Gavroche and one of the judges in the popular TV show Masterchef Professional. Mere is located in Fitzrovia, a place that is already packed with excellent high-end restaurants such as Kitchen Table and Pied a Terre. Mere positioned itself as a modern restaurant of mixing French cooking with South Pacific essences. It offers a short a la carte menu with less than 20 dishes to pick from, along with a 6-course tasting menu.


Italian and French flair in Notting Hill

Seared mackerel, roasted gem, beetroot, parsley

Operated by the husband and wife team Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari, Caractere is a new restaurant that champions modern European cuisine, in the mood of French and Italian influences. Diego was the head chef at the legendary 2 Michelin starred Le Gavroche and Emily is the daughter of the chef-owner Michel Roux. So clearly they know a thing or 2 in how to run top restaurants. The restaurant has gathered some very positive media reviews since launching back in 2018, with a menu that has about 16 dishes on offer per day, using prime British ingredients from across the UK, such as Cornish fish and Lake District lamb.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Moncks of Dover Street

Mayfair brasserie

Raw loin of tuna, watercress puree, black sesame

Moncks of Dover Street, a brand new brasserie launched by the same team behind Park Chinois, is an all-day French dining affair. Menu-wise, it has nothing related to Park Chinois at all, for all-day dining, it has a selection of classic brasserie items, such as steak and bourguignon. On top of that, it has some international dishes such as truffle mac & cheese and roasted leg of lamb with spiced couscous. Without a doubt, the price is Mayfair level, with a main of sloe costing almost £40 a plate. The deco is wonderful, it has a classic luxury feel to it, without being over the top, with a blend of light blue and wood colours in the mixed. 


Yakitori in Covent Garden

Tsukune: Minced chicken and egg yolk

When you think of Japanese food, you most likely will think of sushi and ramen right away, but there are so much more than that. Yakitori is a type of Japanese grilled style of cooking, using a range of sauces such as soy sauce and teriyaki sauce for marinating meats or vegetables. Yakitori is a popular choice to pair with beer and sake back in Japan. Located in Covent Garden, Jidori is a Yakitori specialist by Brett Redman, who is also the founder of the brilliant British restaurant Elliot. The menu has a selection of Japanese small eats, ranging from raw seafood to comfort food such as fried chicken, or with an injection of an Asian twist. The main event is the yakitori skewers, with a heavy focus in the chicken.

Monday 1 July 2019

Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine London

£100 duck meal

Signature Peking Duck

When Imperial Treasure was first launched in late 2018, it was one of the most anticipated openings in London, as the restaurant group itself is a big deal back in the Far East, with over 20 fine dining restaurants, and some has gathered Michelin stars status. The London site has since gathered mixed reviews from the UK media, some label it as overpriced and soulless, while some has rated it as one of the best Chinese restaurants in London. I have eaten at Imperial Treasure already once and was not overly impressed with the cooking, 6 months later, with an updated menu and time to settle down, I was hoping for improvement.

China Tang London

Comfort Chinese food at its best

Pumpkin rice

Located inside the luxury 5 stars Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair, China Tang is a classic Chinese restaurant, headed up by the talented head chef Fong. If you are looking for stunning presentations or creative concepts in Chinese cuisine, this is not the place to you. China Tang is all about good old fashioned Cantonese food, with a few regional classics along the way, such as Peaking duck and braised tofu. I have been to China Tang more than 7 times now and slowly managed to try most of its dishes from its a la carte menu. However, chef Fong provides seasonal special every once a while so I got the chance to try some exciting new dishes for my 8th visit.