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If you visit Borough Market (which you should) definitely check out From Field and Flower, an artisan honey shop.  We really enjoy the Castagno, a raw Italian honey made from chestnut flowers.  It's honey but with a underlying bitterness, almost a smokey char flavor.  So good.   

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On 10/29/2016 at 6:37 PM, Rieux said:

Anyone been to Nopi or Ottolenghi Islington lately?  I am an admitted Ottolenghi fan, and have enjoyed meals at the Islington location near my friend's house.  Have not been to Nopi.  In an upcoming trip after christmas, should I stick with my tried and true Ottolenghi, or is it worth it to "experience" Nopi, even though it seems more expensive and not necessarily "better"?

Thanks!!

Have you made your trip? Did you stick with Ottolenghi or give Nopi a try? Any other new finds/recommendations?

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We went to the original Ottolenghi, which was delicious.  It's kind of cramped so if you want luxury/space and a newer feel go to Nopi which we walked by and is nice in a white/gold theme.  I kind of like sticking to the original though (and it is walking distance to my friend's house).  

We also went to Dishoom again (I previously had been to the one in Shoreditch - this time we went to the one near Carnaby Street).  It was great (again) and I love the turn of the century Indian railway vibe they have going on (and the cocktails).

One night before the theatre we went to Sputino near Soho - it is a wine bar/small plates restaurant with a vaguely Italian menu.  Reminded me of Cork in DC.  The food and drink were very good and it is tough to find a good, reliable casual place in that area full of tourist traps.

Our other meal out was at a small Chinese noodle place near the Arsenal stadium (and a block from my friend's house) which was also good but not worth any kind of detour.

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Check out....Osteria Basilico

It is in the Notting Hill area (which is pretty cool as well).  It is some of the best Italian food we have ever had and kid-accommodating as well.  The challenge?  Getting a table no matter what day or time.  I would advise you just show up, even if you call to make a reservation, and they are booked, they will try to fit you in.  Have them recommend wine to pair with your meal, you will be VERY pleased.  Owners are very gracious and accommodating - I think we ate there 4 times in 14 days.

Awesome Italian food in London

Also - a chain-type restaurant in the UK, but very good and consistent for breakfast, lunch or dinner - ironically they opened a location or two in the US recently Carlucci's.  

Carlucci's (if you need a fall back)

Have fun.

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If the weather is nice, grab some picnic fixings, a bottle of wine, and enjoy a picnic in Kensington Garden/Hyde Park or pop over to Regent's Park.  Plenty of others will be doing the same and there's nothing better than a long summer night in one of London's Royal parks. 

I'd also recommend a late lunch at Palomar, Soho/Theater District, sit at the counter and the chefs will be cooking in front of you.  The food is Middle Eastern/Modern Israeli   

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1 hour ago, mr food said:

In London this week-staying in Kensington. Any recs appreciated!

Kensington Wine Room (just off Notting Hill tube stop) is good and just up the street.

Churchill Arms is a traditional pub with Thai food in the back room restaurant - it's a few doors down from Kensington Wine Room.  Was one of the first gastro-pubs years ago.  Spicy means spicy here though.

Mazi is Greek in the Notting Hill neighborhood.  Mezze portions for most items.

Hansom Cab is a good upscale pub just down Earls Court Rd from Kensington High Street.

Dragon Palace in Earls Court has some very good Chinese food.  The Mapo tofu is the best I've ever had.  

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Going to be in London for three days next year - just starting to do some research for lunch and dinner places. One of the places we will hit for sure is St. Joh. I had a memborable meal there in 2010.

Anway, I thought I would post some initial places under consideration for any recent feedback before I read through this thread.

TIA!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I can recommend these two as we just dined there in the pat week--


Elystan Street is more high end but I went in jeans at was fine. Really excellent meal. #1 of the trip.
Quality Chop House is more casual but the food was great, the service super, and more interesting wine list and cocktails program. We loved it. Probably #3 meal of the trip.

Sadly, our experience at St. John this go around was a disappointment. It was not bad at all, it was still a tasty meal. But I thought a couple of the dishes was a bit out of balance (think ratios/proportions of things to each other more than anything). Nothing really wowed me except the desserts. <sigh>

Separately, we had breakfast twice at one of the Dishoom branches - really fun and delicious. Next time we will absolutely make time to get here for lunch or dinner. Very much recommended.

I will post pictures hopefully tomorrow.

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Recently was in London and a highlight was the Quilon.  Perhaps London's finest Indian restaurant. http://www.quilon.co.uk/ Located in the Westminster area we treated ourselves to the 5 course Seafood tasting menu.  We started with a Ginger, Coconut and crab soup then moved on to the middle three courses.  Each course consisted of 3-5 sub courses each about two to three bites.  Phenomenal and then some.   This was amazing..  They have received one Michelin star in the past and the food and service are in line with this award.

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On 9/26/2014 at 8:40 AM, Pool Boy said:

We discovered that a 10-year old (our niece) in a pub for (even an early) dinner is a no-no. Who knew? Fortunately, a regular patron referred us to a good place down the street that was great.

This isn't universally true, btw.  Our local was extremely accommodating for our children (11 and 3 at the time).  We ate dinner there regularly.  I think the distinction comes down far more to the pub's focus (food and drinks or mostly drinks) than anything else.

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Due to an early arrival (6:30 a.m) with alcohol induced sleep, my body clock is all jacked.  It’s 1 a.m. now but I just woke up up after a 4 hour nap.  I was soooo tired but why can’t I sleep thru the night.  Nothing is cold in the mini-bar so I’m in a darkened hotel bar at St. Martins Lane Hotel in my Barça jersey, cotton shorts and Gucci slippers while everyone else is dressed up and grooving to the loud music.  Other than the non-functionioning minibar, St. Martins Lane is great.  Notwithstanding its Leicester Square location, my 6th floor room is remarkably quiet.

So starting around 8 a.m., after dropping my backpack off at the hotel (my room was not available and I declined for an upgrade at 60 pounds a night to a room that is available), I started Rick Steve’s City of London walk.  As I went east on the Strand, I observe many variety of restaurants, but many are chains.  After touring St. Paul’s Cathedral, I took a break from sightseeing to go to St. John, the restaurant opens at noon but the bakery and bar opens earlier.  I arrived just before noon without a resrvation.  Who would’ve thunk that I’d need a reservation for lunch on the Friday before Xmas? But I was able to eat at the bar area, ordering food from a blackboard directly from the bar.  Ferguson Henderson was there, smoking a fag outside and then having a glass of bubbly inside.  

I declined to order the bone marrow parsley dish.  Instead I had skate and salsify with green sauce, egg mayonnaise with anchovy, and deviled kidneys.  I didn’t know what I was getting and I ended up ordering what I think gave British cuisine a bad name.  The skate was a cold fish salad.  Who eats cold cooked fish other than Brits? The eggs were soft-boiled and when served with anchovy, had a bizarre flavor.  The best dish was deviled kidneys - cooked medium rare, but kidney was not one of my favorite offals.

In the afternoon, I walked thru Cheapside and finished the walking tour at London Bridge.  I then proceeded to the Tower of London.  I’ve been to the Tower some 18 years ago and remembered taking the Beefeater tour.  It’s more comprehensible this time and I enjoyed my jaunt through the complex.

After walking 13 miles, I ended the night in Chinatown.  The many variety of restaurants made me salivate but my chosen restaurant, Leong’s Legend, was a bust.  I had a spicy beef tendon salad, typhoon shelter crab, and garlic pea shoots.  The pea shoots had too much garlic, making the dish bitter.  The tendons were large rather chewy chunks - should’ve been shaved thin.  The crab was served in a pile of appealing fried garlic but ended up being rather flavorless.  

I meant to stay up and watch Liverpool play Wolverhampton but I kept falling asleep, which led to my present predicament.  

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16 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I then proceeded to the Tower of London.  I’ve been to the Tower some 18 years ago and remembered taking the Beefeater tour.  It’s more comprehensible this time and I enjoyed my jaunt through the complex.

Do a find on "Beefeater." :)

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I woke up at 3 a.m. on day 2.  Idiotic loud neighbors might’ve caused my issue.  Maybe I should’ve worn earplugs after all.

So the day started with me strolling through Chinatown hoping for dim sum or a northern Chinese brunch (like A&J’s) around 10 a.m.  Nothing’s open except one cash-only restaurant with a limited menu.  Only after I was seated did I find out that they don’t serve you-tiao (fried crullers) until 11 a.m.  So I ended up with some wonton soup and spring-rolls, all of which were mediocre at best.  

Afterwards I tubed to Westminster, one of many to swarm the Abbey.  I listened to the Jeremy Irons voiced audio guide and read Rick Steves’ book.  I envision that virtual reality tours will be made in the future of all great sites where I can click and point for a wealth of information, instead of looking for each item being described in a guide amongst a horde of barbarians.  Especially annoying are the ones who don’t follow the path who end up creating even more obstacles than centuries old relics.

Big Ben is covered in scaffolding 🙁

Then I frolicked from Westminster Bridge to Trafalgar Square listening to Rick Steves’ narration.  I took a drink break before tackling the National Gallery.  Just the highlights and Canaletto took me 2 hours.  I took another drink break before going back to Chinatown.  I actually just wanted dinner at any place with WiFi other than my hotel.  My hotel uses its own VPN which doesn’t allow me to use mine, so I can’t watch Barça.  My first choice would’ve been Fumo, a nearby Italian joint, but they were already packed at 5:15.  So I went back to Chinatown knowing there’s free WiFi in Chinatown - it covers the area and not restaurant specific.

I ended up at Feng Shui Inn, a Cantonese/Sichuan spot.  I had some spicy beef and tripe cold app (husband/wife lung slices), a vegetarian casserole, and deep-fried intestines stirred with hot chili peppers.  My waitress commented on one person ordering 3 dishes....but I finished everything (decent food).  

Then I trotted over to Enbankment for London Walks Xmas lights and pub walk.  For only 10 pounds, I was entertained with a tour for 2.5 hrs with 2 pub stops.  

 

 

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8 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I woke up at 3 a.m. on day 2.  Idiotic loud neighbors might’ve caused my issue.  Maybe I should’ve worn earplugs after all.

So the day started with me strolling through Chinatown hoping for dim sum or a northern Chinese brunch (like A&J’s) around 10 a.m.  Nothing’s open except one cash-only restaurant with a limited menu.  Only after I was seated did I find out that they don’t serve you-tiao (fried crullers) until 11 a.m.  So I ended up with some wonton soup and spring-rolls, all of which were mediocre at best.  

Afterwards I tubed to Westminster, one of many to swarm the Abbey.  I listened to the Jeremy Irons voiced audio guide and read Rick Steves’ book.  I envision that virtual reality tours will be made in the future of all great sites where I can click and point for a wealth of information, instead of looking for each item being described in a guide amongst a horde of barbarians.  Especially annoying are the ones who don’t follow the path who end up creating even more obstacles than centuries old relics.

Big Ben is covered in scaffolding 🙁

Then I frolicked from Westminster Bridge to Trafalgar Square listening to Rick Steves’ narration.  I took a drink break before tackling the National Gallery.  Just the highlights and Canaletto took me 2 hours.  I took another drink break before going back to Chinatown.  I actually just wanted dinner at any place with WiFi other than my hotel.  My hotel uses its own VPN which doesn’t allow me to use mine, so I can’t watch Barça.  My first choice would’ve been Fumo, a nearby Italian joint, but they were already packed at 5:15.  So I went back to Chinatown knowing there’s free WiFi in Chinatown - it covers the area and not restaurant specific.

I ended up at Feng Shui Inn, a Cantonese/Sichuan spot.  I had some spicy beef and tripe cold app (husband/wife lung slices), a vegetarian casserole, and deep-fried intestines stirred with hot chili peppers.  My waitress commented on one person ordering 3 dishes....but I finished everything (decent food).  

Then I trotted over to Enbankment for London Walks Xmas lights and pub walk.  For only 10 pounds, I was entertained with a tour for 2.5 hrs with 2 pub stops.  

 

 

It's been a few years, but I understand Barrafina is as excellent as ever, and as busy as ever. I've been to the Frith Street location, but I understand there are locations on Adelaide St and Dean St. Not inexpensive, but well worth it. 

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On the turd day of my trip, and two days before Xmas, I went to Wan Chai in Chinatown for dim sum.  I was there around 10:30.  I ordered my favorites - spare ribs, chicken feet, black bean/pepper tripe, no-shark fin dumpling, a plate of veggies and xo turnip cake.  The dim sum was good, but priced similarly to DC except in pounds.  So 27 percent more expensive based on current exchange rate.

The breakfast joint I went to yesterday is named Far East.  I don’t expect it to last though.

I did a walking tour of Covent Garden, Soho, and the shopping areas from Oxford to Picdilly, with a stop at the British Museum, where I saw the rest of the Parthenon.  I went to Athens last year so this completed my Parthenon viewing.  Incidentally, I didn’t see many people donate the suggested entrance fee at any of the free museums.  In the mean time, the free museums were packed probably beyond capacity.  

For dinner, I had a nice meal at Bocca di Lupo, a very Italian joint.  I had a chunk of fried salted cod, a piece of fried artichoke, and a delicious plate of tripe parmigiana.  The only thing that sucked was their bollito misto.  

On Xmas eve, I strolled the south bank of Thames.  The Borough Market was packed but I didn’t really find many exciting prepared food vendors.  I had a nice meat pie, some freshly cracked sea urchin, and a couple of glasses of cheap champagne.  Then it’s time to go across town for more shopping at Harrods and Harvey Nichols.  

Dinner was at Dumplings' Legend in Chinatown. Their water boiled fish was a tad fishier than I liked, and not  battered like usual.  I also had some Chinese watercress stir-fried with fermented tofu.  I am surprised by the small portion size - compared to the U.S. - of the Chinese restaurants.  I guess it’s because Chinese restaurants aren’t as ubiquitous as Pret and don’t need to be cheap and filling?

Flying home on Xmas day.  No tube but plenty of Ubers.

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The first two pics are from St. John.

The third pic is from Leong's Legend (tendon and crab).

The 4th (XO turnip cake) & 5th pics are from Wan Chai.  I thought the dim sum was decent at Wan Chai, but our local Vinh Kee is better.

The 6th pic are the sea urchins I got from Borough Market.  

The 7th pic is Scotch Egg and Deviled Whitebait from The George Inn.  The food was awful but it's a place of historical significance.

The last pic is from Dumplings' Legend.

An observation on the Chinatown restaurant scene - almost all of them offer dim sum, Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine.  Trying to do too many things.  

 

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