Sunday 21 November 2021

Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms

Restaurant of the year?


Within less than 4 years, Moor Hall restaurant has started off life from an unknown restaurant (When Mark Birchall took over) to become what suppose to be the best restaurant in the UK. The restaurant is located within a stunning grade 2 listed 5 stars country house hotel of the same name. The restaurant landed a Michelin star in its first year with another one followed the next year, along with 5 AA Rosettes. The restaurant is also the current holder of The Best UK restaurant at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, an amazing achievement from Mark who once was Simon Rogan's executive chef at L’Enclume, another legendary restaurant in the UK. The restaurant offers a fixed-tasting menu for dinner, with about 15 dishes in total in a proper fine dining manner with plenty of tableside services.

White Swan at Fence

 Gastropub as it should be

John Dory, dashi, maitake

One of my favorite thing to do when traveling across the UK is without a doubt stopping by at a local high-quality gastropub. From my recent visit to Manchester, I made a special trip to head north a little bit more for a dinner at White Swan at Fence, which is not far from Burnley. The Michelin-starred gastropub is owned by a local brewer called Timothy Taylor’s brewery so you can bet they offer a great range of classic British beers. The pub also came 35th in the latest National Pub of the Year award by the Restaurant Magazine. For dinner, it offers a fixed short 5-course tasting menu in the manner of modern British cuisine, with an optional cheese course on top which is sourced mostly from the UK.


Casual yet classy

Ceps and Cotswold White Egg

yle's is an interesting place for me. When I first encountered it back in 2015, I was not a fan of its fixed short-tasting menu. It was a casual fine dining experience but a rather underwhelming one as I found the cooking quality was pretty standard, nothing spectacular. However, I paid a revisit in 2019 and it greatly improved. The lunch occasion is a totally different experience at Lyle's, with small sharing plates which proven to be a really enjoyable experience and that changed my view about the venue. Lyle's has since been featuring regularly in the World 50 Best restaurant list, as well as landed a Michelin star.

Sessions Arts Club

Fashionable fool-house

Scallop, mandarin & turnip

Sessions Arts Club is the most talked-about restaurant launch of 2021. It is already one of the hardest restaurants to score a table in London and it only opens Wednesday to Friday. It is housed in a grand Grade II* listed building with a hidden-ish door, along with a classic old lift that takes you to a beautiful classy dining room. It also has a celebrity chef in charge of the kitchen in the name of Florence Knight and the venue has gathered overwhelming positive reviews from all the major news media. The menu has an Italian feel to it, and most are in small plates format that encourages the guests to share.

Sunday 7 November 2021

The Pem

Premium British fine dining 

Fallow Deer Roast red cabbage, pickled blackberries, black figs

I am a fan of The Harwood Arms, the super informal, Michelin starred gastropub turns out exceptional British cuisine and it would easily be my regular hangout joint if I live a little closer. When I discovered head chef Sally Abe has left and opened up a brand new restaurant in Westminster inside the Conrad hotel, I took great interest as the hotel's fine dining environment should allow Sally to go for something a bit more refined and upmarket. The dining room of Pem is somewhat unusual, with a deep pink colour and feather theme, the feather element even appears on the plates. It offers a classic 3-course ALC menu, in the mood of modern British fine dining with French technique. 

Plum Valley

Contemporary dim sum joint

Dim sum selection


Inside London China Town, you are spoiled of choices with so many Chinese restaurants, even when you narrow it down to places that serve Cantonese dim sum, we will still be talking over 30 places to pick from. Plum Valley had long been one of those places I am keen to try as besides the standard traditional dim sum, it also offers some modern items with a creative touch. The restaurant clearly tries to make itself stand apart from its neighbors, with a dark, temple-like decor which is unusual for a Chinese restaurant. It also offers an afternoon tea deal with you can enjoy dim sum with bubbles and tea.

New Fortune Cookie

Greatest hits reboot

Wonton soup

Proper traditional Chinese dishes are a dying art in London, while there are still many great Chinese restaurants around the capital, many old school dishes are left behind due to labor reasons and are not as popular in the UK vs back in China. Some traditional dishes require days of preparation by a very skilled chef and high-level chefs are hard to come by these days. New Fortune Cookie in Bayswater has been around since 1995, it was shut down for over a year. It had recently reemerged with a revamp along with a website, and what interested me is its chef's menu that contains plenty of old-school dishes, which is not in its standard menu or listed on the website.


Hippy wine club restaurant

Lobster tartine

Haggerston surely is going to be the next hipster dining destination. Many modern fine dining restaurants are popping up there, the none tablecloth, staff wearing trainers types place... places that look 'cool' and 'edgy' but easily set you back over £100 per person. Planque is a wine club that has a restaurant offering with the same name, it serves modern French-style food in the mood of Bright and Leroy. Headed up by chef Seb Myers. It is hard to go wrong with quality wine and fine French food, given the early positive reviews it has gathered, I opted to give it a go and was lucky to get a table, as it appears it is starting to become rather popular with all the praises it has been getting on social media.

Saturday 6 November 2021

Gold Mine Chinatown

 Chinese BBQ kingdom

BBQ trio, soy chicken, duck and char siu

A typical Chinese restaurant's menu is big and easily can have more than 100 dishes, ranging from dim sum, starters, mains, to rice and noodles dishes. It is hard to decide what you would go for and when a restaurant has such a big menu, it is hard for the chef team to really master every single dish. Gold Mine in China has a big menu just like many other classic Chinese restaurants in the UK, but having been there 4 times now, the quality across the board is great and they have the rare ability that does really good dim sum, as well as small chow dishes and the infamous Cantonese BBQ meat.