Sunday 18 October 2020

The Ritz London

Classic hotel fine dining charm

Langoustine, Á La Nage and Bronze Fennel

Ritz is surely the most classy and elegant hotel in London. Since it was first opened in 1906, it has since become the venue for the rich and famous. It is highly popular with royal families, celebrities and wealthy tourists. You will be mistaken if you are in France if you take a step into its stunning dining room. The Louis XVI style decor makes you feel like you are in a royal palace than in a restaurant. In charge of the Michelin 1 starred restaurant is chef John Williams, he has modernized Ritz's Haute cuisine offering while still maintain the traditional charm. You will see classic sharing dishes such as the pressed duck and beef wellington, and John is especially renowned for his seafood cooking. To fully experience what Ritz is all about, I opted for the 8-course epicurean menu.

The Clove Club

Britan's finest?

Spider crab tart

In the latest World's 50 Best restaurant guide, The Clove Club was the highest-ranked UK restaurant, coming at 27, ahead of places like The Ledbury and Core. The first question that came to my mind was, is The Clove Club really the best restaurant in the UK? The Michelin starred restaurant inside the Shoreditch Town Hall champions local ingredients and offers modern British cuisine in a casual setting. I have been there two times before, while I found the place to be enjoyable, it was far from anything that I would consider it to be right up there with the very best. Two years on, I headed back to The Clove Club to see if much has changed, and opted for its longest tasting menu.

Wednesday 14 October 2020


 Seafood fine dining in the City

Newlyn cod Scottish girolles, new season onions, Cornish squid

Since the spread of COVID 19, the City of London has been such an empty zone. With many city workers still working from home, restaurants are clearly struggling in that area. Angler, the seafood specialist restaurant is in the heart of the City and I did wonder if it could survive. I have been to the fine dining hotel restaurant back in 2014 when it was newly awarded a Michelin star, it has since kept it ever since even after a change of head chef in 2018. The restaurant has a big focus on seafood, you will see plenty of local fishes and shellfishes on the menu, such as Cornish mackerels and Scottish scallops. Like many high-end restaurants, it has a short al la carte menu, as well as a good value set menu and a tasting menu.

Sunday 11 October 2020

Davies and Brook

 US fine dining import

Grilled duck with Kohlrabi, Poppy Seed, and Apple Dumplings

You can not get a name that is so unoriginal than US chef Daniel Humm's London restaurant called Davies and Brook, purely because the restaurant is located by Davies Street and Brook Street in Mayfair. Serious foodies would know Daniel Humm's New York restaurant was once voted the best restaurant in the world by the 'World's 50 Best' guide and held 3 Michelin stars to these days. His London outpost was launched in winter 2019 and quickly become one of the hottest tickets in town. Fast forward to 2020 on the back of COVID 19, the restaurant has reopened with more or less the same menu, which is modern European in principle but with many international influences. Diners can pick either the 4-course alc menu or a long 8-course tasting menu. 

The Grill at The Dorchester

Refined modern British cuisine 

Middle White suckling pig, pumpkin, bitter leaves, sherry sauce

The 5 stars Dorchester hotel is blessed with some excellent restaurants, there is the top-notch classic Cantonese restaurant China Tang, as well as the 3 Michelin starred French restaurant Alain Ducasse. However, the one that got me most excited about is The Grill, a modern British restaurant headed up by chef Tom Booton who was once the head chef at Alyn Williams. The menu is all about transforming British cuisine into something modern, fresh, and exciting, using a range of top-notch British native ingredients. I have eaten at The Grill once already when it was relaunched under Tom back in winter 2019. 1 year later, I headed back to see what new dishes he has in store and was just pleased that it has opened again after the tragic COVD-19 challenge that has made such a horrible impact on the restaurant industry.

Park Chinois

 The peak of Chinese fine dining in the UK

Hida wagyu stir fry rice

Since I have discovered Park Chinois 2 years ago, I have become a massive fan and have since dined there 8 times. I have pretty much eaten its entire menu, from set lunch, dim sum to luxurious dinner dishes such as whole lobster and Peking duck. The beauty about the cooking here is no matter if it is just a basket of classic dim sum or a plate of wagyu, everything is done in such a refined manner, putting classic Chinese cooking in center stage and deliver exceptional Chinese fine dining experience. For my 9th visit, I was lucky enough to be given a bespoke 8-course banquet-style, and I just know it was going to be a really special evening.

The Game Bird

 Still the game champion

The Game Bird pithivier, truffle bordelaise sauce

Located inside The Stafford Hotel, The Game Bird is not your typical hotel restaurant. The elegant yet cozy space offers British fine dining with a focus on cured fishes and game dishes. In game season, you will find many game dishes on offer, all done in a refined, classical manner. This is actually my second visit, I was really surprised by the fine quality of its cooking quality. Thanks to COVID 19, the menu is not as big as it was and all the magic of tableside service has been removed, and I was a little gutted as those classic tableside deliveries are part of the overall dining experience which are rare these days.

Thursday 1 October 2020


Benchmark of fine dining

Cep tart

I long considered Core one of the finest restaurants in London, right up there with the like of The Ledbury and Greenhouse (both now shut down for good, unfortunately). The 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Nottinghill is owned and headed up by Clare Smyth, the then chef-patron of Gordan Ramsay's 3 stars flagship restaurant in Chelsea. Many in the trade rated Clare as the best female chef in the UK and having eaten her cooking before, I agree. At Core, it offers an alc, as well as a classic and a seasonal tasting menu. I had an amazing experience from my last visit when I had the seasonal tasting menu which centered around prime luxury, seasonal ingredients. For my 3rd visit, I opted for the same again.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

British historical cooking

Meat Fruit

I recalled Dinner by Heston when it was launch in 2013, it was the talk of the town, the first London restaurant by Heston Blumenthal, no less is inside the stunning 5 stars hotel Mandarin Oriental in Knidgebridge. I caught into the hype and dine there in its early days of launching. I found it's British themed cooking, based on historical recipes was playful, creative and produce top-notch flavour, which I would rate is around the 1 Michelin star level. However, the restaurant has become such a hit, and gained 2 Michelin stars in the end and was rated within the top 10 from the World 50 Best Restaurant Guide, which I found was a little overkilled. The cooking was cook, but far anything truly memorable for me.