Monday 28 August 2023


Fire and smoke

8-day aged yellowtail, citrus sauce & Castillo coffee

I have always been a massive fan of BBQ cooking, when things are cooked over an open fire, the charred and smoky flavours, work wonders no matter if it is vegetables, meat, or seafood. Launched in 2023, Humo has taken the fire cooking concept to another level. The open kitchen has a bespoke wood fire device, and its cuisine takes inspiration from Japan, with an injection of international flavours, from South America to Europe. I was lucky enough to secure a counter dining space, watching chefs at work with the impressive open-fire griller.

20 Berkeley

Modern British cuisine Mayfair club vibe

Grilled John Dorey

Part of the Creative Restaurant Group's offering, which also contains Humo and Sumi,  20 Berkeley is a modern British restaurant in Mayfair that offers a club feel vibe focusing on prime British ingredients. The decor has a retro British Embassy vibe for me, and the menu is simple and easy to understand. with no gimmicks, no ground-breaking ideas, just smart-looking British cuisine done in a refined manner. Since launching, I visited the venue twice, the first time I opted for large plates, sharing style feasting dishes. And the second time I ordered from its standard ALC menu.

Mountain Beak Street

 Too much, too little

Spider crab omelet

Mountain in Soho is a brand-new restaurant by Tom Perry, the chef behind the popular Michelin-starred casual dining spot Brat. At Mountain, he has shifted the hero dish Turbot into a lobster stew. Unlike Brat, Mountain is a massive restaurant with 2 floors and can take on more than 100 covers at once, my question is can it maintain a similar level of service and food quality at such a scale? Should I expect to match the quality of Brat? Yes for me given the price is so similar while many things on the menu overlap.

Monday 14 August 2023

Abajo by Humo

Fusion counter dining  

Tuna, smoked artichoke, Amalfi lemon

I always love a good counter dining experience, watching chefs at work, turning out small plates, and having them explain what they are doing is an eye-opener. Abajo is somewhat taking it to the next level. It is hidden downstairs of another restaurant called Humo, and it focuses on European and Asian fusion in a tasting menu format over 5 steps, with each step containing a few dishes which you would end up eating over 12 dishes. It is headed up by Italian chef Giacomo Tranquilli who also worked at La Dam de Pic London in the past.

The Harwood Arms

Remarkable British gastro-pub food

Pork, carrot and mushrooms

I am back again at The Harwood Arms, the only pub in London with a Michelin star, owned by chef Brett Graham who also is the chef patron of The Ledbury, aka my number 1 fine dining restaurant in the UK. The Harwood Arms is much more casual than The Ledbury, with a fixed-priced 3-course alc menu focusing on primary seasonal British ingredients. It has a strong focus on game-based dishes when in season, such as pigeons and deer.

Restaurant St. Barts

Best of great British tasting

Seafood cocktail, Kent style

Located in Barbican, Restaurant St Barts is a newish restaurant that has taken British ingredients seriously to a whole new level. The restaurant would only use seasonal British ingredients and refuse to use anything else beyond. The concept is a long tasting menu of around 15 courses, with each course focusing on a hero British ingredient to champion. With less than 6 months since opened, the restaurant landed a Michelin star in March 2023.

Sunday 13 August 2023

The Midland Grand Dining Room Restaurant

Classy hotel French dining 

House salad, French fries and John Dorey

The Midland Grand is a brand-new restaurant within the stunning-looking, Renaissance Hotel in King Cross. The same space used to be The Gibert Scott by Marcus Wreaing, where I had a very average meal before Covid. So when the news that the super talented chef Patrick Powell (who also heads up Allegra where I had 2 great meals) has taken over and the whole space got a revamp, I was excited to see what has changed, the concept is all about fine dining French cuisine, but in a casual, creative manner.

Sunday 6 August 2023

China Tang Dorchester

Classy traditional Cantonese banquet

Suckling pig bao

Located in London Dorchester, China Tang has long been my to-go restaurant when I seek classic Cantonese food at the more premium end. You won't get creativity or any stunning visual pictures of dishes for your social media. But what they deliver is a great comforting, traditional Cantonese taste that I have nothing but love for. For my 19th visit, I went up a notch and hosted a dinner party in its private dining room, and ordered a traditional Cantonese banquet menu, 10 courses in sharing style. 

Mei Ume

 New era, new energy

Orange spare ribs

When you think of dining at Four Season Hotel Trinity Square, the 2 Michelin-starred French restaurant La Dame de Pic would likely come to mind. But there is also an Asian-themed restaurant within the same space aka Mei Ume, which has somewhat of an unusual offering with both Chinese and Japanese cuisine under the same roof. This was my 5th time visiting but I headed there with an open mind as it had recruited a new head chef with the menu had a complete makeover. Head chef Peter Ho came from Mei Mei Mayfair, who also worked at Hakkasan in the past, so I was interested to see what he has done for Mei Ume.

Park Chinois

Fine Chinese cuisine, Mayfair style 

Xiao long bao, truffle dumplings, scallop dumplings and dried shrimp rolls

Mayfair is full of overpriced restaurants the quality of food can always be questionable, so it is somewhere that I usually avoid. However, Park Chinois is one of the few exceptions. The fine-dining Chinese restaurant is a personal favorite of mine, the restaurant does not shy away from using premium ingredients and uses classic Chinese cooking techniques to create things contemporary while staying true to Chinese cuisine heritage.

Noble Palace

DIY tasting menu

Peking duck with black truffle pancake

Noble Palace is a Chinese restaurant unlike anywhere else in London. The beauty of this place is you can request what you want to eat provided you inform the restaurant in advance. All you need to do is let them know what Chinese dishes you would like (even if is not on the menu), and then they will come back with a quote. So in a way, you can totally DIY your menu to suit your taste and occasion. For my recent 2 visits, I first had a casual lunch visit, followed by a bespoke 8-course tasting menu, in which all dishes were requested in advance.

Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine London

Old-school Chinese with a touch of refinement

Deer puff and wagyu puff

Located just off Piccadilly tube station and not far from Chinatown. Imperial Treasure is a Chinese restaurant that focuses on traditional Cantonese cuisine and shies away from trying to be creative or adapt to local palates. This resulted in it gaining a group of loyal Chinese customers as back in Asia, the group has more than 10 restaurants with some even having 2 Michelin stars. For my 10th time visit, I opted for a selection of dim sum from its lunch menu.