Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House in Soho W1 – sublime

Step out of the bustle of London’s Soho into the low-lit, pristine and calming ground floor restaurant Floor 58 in Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, for some truly tasty posh-nosh

Come on in…

Seated at a table for two (space was restricted) we started with a refreshing drink from the cocktail menu. A Banana Sazerac for me @ 11.00 (Monkey Shoulder scotch, Martell VS cognac, banana, pineapple, aromatic bitters, absinthe rinse and orange oils) and an Eldflower Sour for J @ £10.00 (Beefeater gin, elderflower, peach, lemon and marjoram).

We’d provisionally booked a set menu of two/three courses and a cocktail @ £29.50/£34.50. Take a look at the set menu side by side with the a la carte menu – the a la carte menu is too full of exciting options to resist, right?

 

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Jerusalem artichoke, Iberico de Bellota, Arlington white egg, Langres, dandelion + Spring truffle

 

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Mackerel and tartare, Skyr, pickled walnuts, apple + chicory

 

And so we ordered from the a la carte menu. For starter, I had salt-baked Jerusalem artichoke, Iberico de Bellota, Arlington white egg, Langres cheese, dandelion, and Spring truffle @ £13.50. I don’t think I’ve eaten dandelion before and it looked stunning. So visually pleasing it was almost a shame to tuck in and spoil the design. Almost. The mixture of flavours was sensational – the word sublime was going through my mind right throughout this meal.

J had scorched south coast mackerel and tartare, Skyr (yoghurt-like dairy product), pickled walnuts, apple and chicory @ £12.00.

 

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Set menu Vs a la carte menu – click to enlarge

 

For main course, J had baked Cornish hake, hispi cabbage gratin, Salcombe crab, Tokyo turnip and saffron @ £28.00, along with a mug of cidre Breton @ £6.00.

 

I had coriander seed roasted turbot, green sauce, white Wye Valley asparagus, fennel salad and crispy Pyefleet oyster @ £32.00, and drank a Vinha dos Santos 2013 red wine from Portugal’s Douro region @ £9.50 a 175ml glass. Here’s a photo of the turbot (as served) – beautiful. The photo below shows the food disassembled so you can see inside the crispy (breaded) oyster, and the detail of the meaty turbot with asparagus and fennel salad.

 

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Hake, hispi cabbage gratin, Salcombe crab, Tokyo turnip, saffron

 

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Roasted turbot, green sauce, white Wye Valley asparagus, fennel salad + crispy Pyefleet oyster

 

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Americano @ £4.00, Financier (almond cake) + petit fours @ £3.50

 

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Social Eating House on Soho’s Poland Street – Floor 58 on ground floor, Blind Pig on first floor

 

The verdict: Food here is on another level. It’s sublime, sensational and blew me away. I can’t wait to eat here again. Service was good too.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
– Type: British, ‘contemporary bistro’
– Address: 58 Poland St, Soho, London
– Postcode: W1F 7NS
– Nearest station: Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly
– Website + menus: Social Eating House website
– Photos on flickr: of Social Eating House
– Location: Social Eating House map

The Social Eating House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Roka Mayfair – Japanese fine dining W1

Robata at Roka – fine dining for treat times

For a special occasion this evening, K and I headed to Roka for some seriously special Japanese robata (charcoal grilled) food. We chose this branch for its menu (see Roka Mayfair menu) which includes black cod, a favourite of mine.

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Tuna tataki, beef gyoza, tenderstem broccoli + chicken skewers

We ordered a bottle of dry white wine by La Croix Belle wine estate @ £34.00 – appropriate for a mild Spring evening, and spicy dishes and fish.

While the premium tasting menu looked quite appealing (10 set dishes @ £88.00 each) it seemed like a lazy option. We preferred the enjoyment of reading all of the menu and ordering exactly what we wanted.

As food was arriving at the neighbouring table, it was quite a challenge not to simply copy what they had – it smelt amazing. We took their recommendation for the fried aubergine salad, and were glad we did.

For starters, we shared these plates:

Age nasu no goma-ae @ £6.60
fried aubergine, sesame miso and katsuobushi

Yakitori-negima yaki @ £5.90
chicken skewers with spring onion

– Broccoli no shinme, shoga to moromi miso @ £5.60
tenderstem broccoli, ginger and moromi miso

Beef gyoza @ £9.30
with pickled cucumber and a soy based sauce

Nigiri unagi @ £6.90
two pieces of freshwater eel sushi

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Fried aubergine salad with sesame miso + katsuobushi (tuna flakes) –  @ £6.60

This fried aubergine with sesame miso was a recommendation worth sharing. Absolutely gorgeous. And the eel nigiri (pictured below) was the best I’ve had in the UK – we ordered two portions.

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Two pieces of nigiri unagi – freshwater eel sushi @ £6.90

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Yellowfin tuna tataki – with apple mustard dressing @ £12.60

For main course, we shared:

Kihada maguro no tataki @ £12.60
yellowfin tuna tataki with apple mustard dressing

Gyuhireniku no pirikara yakiniku @ £24.30
spicy beef fillet with chilli, ginger and spring onion

and, saving the best ’til last…

Gindara no saikyo-jaki @ £37.60
black cod marinated in yuzu miso

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Spicy beef fillet – with chilli, ginger and spring onion @ £24.30

Just divine. This black cod may seem a bit pricey @ £37.60 but it absolutely blew me away. And you can’t put a price on that.

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Black cod marinated in yuzu miso @ £37.60

The kitchen is open plan in the centre of the restaurant, so you can see the food being cooked on the robata grills. It’s a bit like posh BBQ-ing really.

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Men at work: robata grills in the centre of the restaurant

 

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Roka Mayfair interior

Our total bill for two came to £185.21 including service.

 

The verdict: Perfectly prepared and beautifully presented food that’s so incredibly tasty, it blew me away. Full marks to the kitchen. Service was at odds (either too much – we went from different servers descending on us one after the other, to non-existent). If you like Japanese food, you’ll love Roka.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
– Type: Japanese, Robata
– Address: 30 North Audley Street, London
– Postcode: W1K 6ZF
– Nearest station: Bond Street, Green Park
– Website + menus: Roka Mayfair website
– Roka Mayfair photos: Roka Mayfair photos on flickr
– Location: Roka Mayfair map

Roka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bocca di Lupo – classy Italian in Soho W1

From cheesy balls to Grandpa’s balls, Bocca di Lupo specialises in obscure, regional Italian cuisine and the menu changes twice a day. 

The first tip is to book well in advance. For our reservation for two this Friday evening, the only availability (having booked a couple of weeks beforehand) was at 7.15pm, perched on high stools at the counter.

On arrival, I was disappointed to see how little space there is for those dining at the bar overlooking the open-plan kitchen, with high stools close together.

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Sea bream carpaccio starter @ £9.00

J had an amaretto sour cocktail @ £10 and I had a glass of Malvasia Nera ‘falo’ San Marzano @ £6.60 (see the red wine list here) while reading the enticing menu. Some dishes needed an explanation from our waiter, whose descriptions made them all the more exciting. It’s not a traditional Italian menu by any means – there’s definitely no pizza but there are plenty of appealing seafood options (if you like seafood). And the Italian region is given for each dish, to show where it’s a speciality.

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Deep fried mozzarella bocconcino balls

We chose six small plates to share, tapas or cicchetti style:

Sea bream carpaccio with orange + rosemary @ £9.00
Buffalo mozzarella bocconcini deep fried in bread crumbs @ £2.50 each (tip: get two each!)
Ricotta ravioli with wild garlic, served with butter + hazelnuts @ £8.00
Octopus, roast tomato, celery + basil salad @ £9.00
Caponata – aubergines, celery + tomato in agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce) @ £7.00
Orechiette di gran arso (burnt grain pasta) with cime di rapa (a variety of sprouting broccoli) + pecorino (hard sheep’s cheese) @ £7.50

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Ricotta + wild garlic ravioli 

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Octopus, roast tomato, celery + basil salad

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Caponata – aubergine, celery, tomato in agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce)

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Orechiette di gran arso with cime di rapa + pecorino 

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Tonight’s menu – 24 March 2017

All of these dishes were stunning, and I’d happily have all of them again next time. Being seated at the end of the bar next to the serving station, it was a busy thoroughfare. But on the plus side, it was easy to get service and great for eyeing up other dishes to try in the future (the roast wild turbot with lentils and salsa verde @ £24.00 served whole, got my attention).

From the dessert menu, we shared a bonet – chocolate, coffee, amaretti, caramel + rum pudding @ £7.00 (I’m not a huge chocolate fan and I don’t like coffee flavouring in food but this was gorgeous – you could really taste the amaretti almond bits in it; it’s perfect for sharing and not as sickly as it looks) and le palle del nonno or Grandpa’s balls – ricotta with chocolate, deep-fried in a light batter and sprinkled with icing sugar @ £7.00 (so good; take a closer look inside here).

We both had a 70 ml glass of Moscato d’asti Adriano sparkling dessert wine @ £3.50 – sweeter than I normally like, but it went really well with these desserts. So well in fact, I had another when J had a coffee…

Check out the dessert wine and grappa menu.

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l: Le palle del nonno ‘grandpa’s balls’ – deep-fried ricotta
r: Bonet
– chocolate, coffee, amaretti, caramel + rum pudding

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Moscato d’asti Adriano sparkling dessert wine – cosy, perched on the counter by the serving station

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Bar seats at the counter – it’s a small space if you’re sharing a few plates

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Open plan kitchen

The verdict: The quality of the food and drinks compensated for the discomfort of the tiny bar space. While this place isn’t cheap (our bill for two was £126.90 including service) you do get what you pay for – it’s more of a place to go for a treat than every day dining (you need to book well in advance anyway).

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Italian
– Address: 12 Archer Street, Soho, London
– Postcode: W1D 7BB
– Nearest station: Piccadilly
– Website + menus: Bocca di Lupo website
– Bocca di Lupo photos: pics of Bocca di Lupo on flickr
– Location: Bocca di Lupo map

Bocca Di Lupo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cow + Pig Bromley – best Sunday roasts

How often does a Sunday roast really satisfy your desires? A really great roast takes time and effort to prepare. It’s tricky to get everything ready to serve at the same time – making sure the Yorkshire puddings are perfectly risen with a crispy shell that’s soft in the middle; that you got the best cut of beef and it’s pink and not over-cooked; that the roast spuds are crispy and not under-cooked, and that the veg is neither mush nor too raw.

All too often I’m disappointed with Sunday roasts served in pubs and restaurants that don’t live up to my expectations (nostalgic memories of mum’s perfect roasts, perhaps through rose-tinted glasses…) particularly if the cuts of meat used aren’t the best.

So for me, the thought of a good old Sunday roast is often better than what you get.

Our first visit to Cow + Pig was for Sunday lunch (well, all Sunday afternoon as it turned out) a few weeks ago. As the name implies, Cow + Pig specialises in meaty dishes and there are a lot to choose from.

We were warmly greeted and seated, and started with these cocktails (white lady @ £7 and whisky sour @ £8 from the cocktail menu here) while reading the wine list and menus:
– starters and grill menus
Sunday lunch
grazing lunch and dirty dogs
the rest, salads and sides
pudding and dessert wine
after-dinner drinks menu

For starters, we shared cheese + onion doughnuts @ £3.50 (six cave-matured cheddar and onion doughnut-shaped puffs with garlic mayo – so tasty, and lighter than you might expect) and gin salmon @ £7.50 (oak-smoked gin-cured salmon, pickled cucumber and brown bread – really good but surprisingly not as exciting as the cheese and onion doughuts).

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Cheddar and onion puffs – starter @ £3.50

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Oak-smoked, gin cured salmon – starter @ £7.50

At Cow + Pig every Sunday boasts the best roast.
This bold statement appears on the Sunday lunch menu, along with “all our meats are hand-picked, locally sourced and served with lovingly made week long gravy, Covent Garden vegetables, roasted potatoes and Yorkies your nan will be proud of.”

Can you resist?

It’s a thoughtfully crafted menu that is beautifully branded, lets you know that meats and produce are carefully and locally selected, and appeals to the reader’s desire for perfect food with direct questions such as: “why not try the best you can possibly get – a roasted 500g fillet steak served with all the trimmings @ £60 to share between two”.

Why not indeed? We could think of no good reason not to try the best you can possibly get. It was K’s birthday after all.

And so we ordered rare fillet steak (perfectly pink, melt in your mouth beef) with Yorkshire puddings (exceptional Yorkies, on a par with Plum + Spilt Milk or  Crocker’s Folly), mixed roast veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, squash), crispy roast potatoes with rosemary, cauliflower cheese and gravy (gorgeous).

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Sunday fillet steak for two – roast dinner @ £30 a head

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Fillet steak with gravy

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Cauliflower cheese

To accompany ‘the best’ Sunday lunch option, we chose – as a birthday treat – a bottle of Rioja Roda I Reserva @ £75.00.

This was all very pleasing, filling and relaxing. We were served by a few different people, most of whom were outstandingly helpful, friendly and chatty and came across as knowing the menus (both food and drink) inside out, and happy (proud, even) to be working here. Good.

The restaurant design is appealing, from the clean, simple Cow + Pig logo and clearly laid out menus, to the playful pictures and cow and pig themed furnishings (cow skin chairs and wooden pig decorations). Tables are arranged spaciously and with some privacy making it a comfortable place to eat leisurely and while away a few hours (we arrived slightly early for our 1pm reservation and didn’t leave until after 4.30pm).

Cow + Pig playful pictures
Branding and humour

We attempted a sharing platter of cheese and biscuits with tasty chutney. Cheeses included: Ellie’s goats cheese from Kent, Lord London from East Sussex, Mayfield Swiss style cheese from East Sussex, Winterdale shaw cheddar from Sevenoaks, Kentish blue (gorgeous), Lancashire bomb and Baron brie from Suffolk.

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Cheese and biscuits with chutney @ £12.00 to share

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Cheese selection – includes Baron brie, Kentish blue, Winterdale shaw cheddar

Cow + Pig birthday cake and cognac
‘Happy birthday’ and cognac

I’d brought some birthday cake and candles (see the LardButty homemade recipe for apple and cinnamon cake) which I’d slipped to our waitress earlier. She brought the lit cake out, and got a rendition of Happy birthday going. Others joined in. It seemed like nothing was too much trouble.

To prolong this enjoyable afternoon a bit more, we ordered Remy Martin XO cognacs @ £12 each and coffees. A birthday afternoon well spent.

When the bill arrived, something was missing. We questioned that we hadn’t been charged for something we’d had. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise this but it was such a nice gesture: we’d been given some complimentary drinks by way of a birthday treat and a thankyou. How nice, and unexpected, was that?

This is somewhere to come for a celebration and be assured you’re in safe hands, for a reliably good meal.

It’s also a great place to come even if you’re not celebrating and splashing out. For food of this high quality, it’s reasonably priced.


We were back just over a week later. On this mid-week evening visit, I had a Gentle Ocean Breeze alcohol-free cocktail @ £2.50 (absolutely gorgeous with cucumber and elderflower and other mystery ingredients left to the barman’s creativity).

We ordered these starters: cheese and onion doughnuts (K enjoyed them so much last time, he couldn’t venture to try anything different; and you get six rings for £3.50) and salt and peppered calamari @ £7.50 (again, a big portion).

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Salt + peppered calamari rings with garlic mayo @ £7.00

We shared a bottle of Les Puits Neuf Chateauneuf-du-Pape @ £35.00 (note that there’s a good choice of wines, starting from £14.00 a bottle) and, for main course, both had the Cow + Pig plate of meat – a hugely filling plate of seven meats, chips and slaw @ £18.00 a plate (if I have this again, I’ll skip the starter).

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Cow + Pig plate of meat – with chips and slaw @ £18.00
L-R (ish): Pork belly with crackling, black pudding, burnt ends, Orchard sausage, steak, lamb chop, beef in tomato ragu

We added half a grilled lobster with garlic butter @ £15, making it surf n turf and shared this.

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Half a grilled lobster @ £15.00

On this visit, we had a window seat under a canopy of twigs and leaves:

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Interior – bringing the outside in

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The cow theme extends to the furnishings

The verdict: Best Sunday roast I’ve had in a long time. Extensive menus with an interesting twist. Great service and reasonably priced. If you like great quality meat and are handy for Bromley, give this restaurant a try. It’s one of those rare occasions where a restaurant scores five out of five in the LardButty index.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
– Type: British, steakhouse
– Address: 39 East St, Bromley
– Postcode: BR1 1QQ
– Tel: 020 8464 8877
– Nearest station: Bromley North
– Website + menus: Cow + Pig website
– Photos on flickr: Cow + Pig photos
– Location: Cow + Pig map

Cow & Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Firezza fire baked pizza – various locations London

Perfect pizza – fire baked and super fast

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time in south west London recently. So we’ve been enjoying perfect pizza from Firezza Battersea too.

Firezza sell themselves as delivering pizza that is “fire baked and super fast”. And that is exactly what they do.

 

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Salsiccia –  *new* White pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli

 

Firezza currently have about 20 branches around London (none in south east London yet… please take the hint @firezza) and are expanding to other UK cities like Milton Keynes and Exeter too.

Last week – making the most of being somewhere that Firezza will deliver to – we ordered:

  • a spicy piccante @ £9.25 – ‘nduja (spicy, soft calabrian sausage), gyulai pepperoni, fresh basil and green chilli with tomato and mozzarella, and
  • a porcini Di bosco @ £9.75 – white pizza with wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartuffata (truffle cream), creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia (Hard Cheese) shavings, cream and tarragon

Ordering through Just Eat, the estimated delivery time was 45 mins. It arrived within 30 – we were happy customers.

This is seriously good pizza made with fresh ingredients. It’s fire-baked and everything Firezza claim it to be, and some. It’s not the thinnest base Italian pizza but it’s a great freshly baked bread base. It’s simply all-round great.

 

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Piccante pizza – nduja (spicy, soft calabrian sausage), gyulai pepperoni, green chilli with tomato and mozzarella

 

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Porcini di bosco – wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartuffata (truffle cream), creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia (Hard Cheese) shavings, cream and tarragon

 

This week, we would probably have ordered the same but the menu had changed. That’s either a frequently changing menu – from week to week – which would be exciting and impressive, or an updated menu for the season change from summer to autumn. I suspect the latter. The oh-so summery spicy piccante was no longer listed.

On the plus side, Salsiccia was new to the menu – white pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli @ £9.95 for a quarter metre. And so we tried it. It seemed that the kitchen made a mistake so we received that too – half a metre instead of a quarter. Hey ho, accidents happen.

 

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Top: Salsiccia @ £9.95 – *new* White pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli

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Porcini di bosco @ £9.75 – porcini mushrooms, field mushrooms, Tartuffata, Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia shavings, tarragon

 

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Capricciosa @ £9.65 a quarter metre – Prosciutto cotto ham with fresh field mushrooms, Gyulai pepperoni, black olives, fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella – so good!

 

The verdict: Perfect pizza, made with fresh ingredients that arrives ‘super fast’. As far as I can tell, Firezza are achieving what they set out to do (keep opening more branches pleee-ease). So I’ll follow their mantra – demand proper pizza.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pizza
– Address: 40 Lavender Hill, Battersea, London
– Postcode: SW11 5RL
– Website + menus: Firezza website
– Photos on flickr: Firezza photos
– Location: Firezza Battersea map

Firezza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Duck and Waffle – Bishopsgate London

Great views over London from the city’s highest restaurant, offering “a playful take on traditional British cuisine with broad European influences”

A light and bright space with tables sufficiently spread out, the Duck and Waffle just makes you feel good. Given its prestigious reputation (for this Friday evening reservation, I’d booked two months in advance) I wasn’t sure if service would be a bit stuffy. It wasn’t at all.

 

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Light and bright restaurant space 

 

Following ‘Artistry in Alchemy’ gin cocktails at SushiSamba (on a floor below) to get the weekend off to a good start, J and I arrived at Duck and Waffle for our 7pm reservation, only to be told we were 15 minutes late and the table had been let go. There’s a strict two-hour turnaround on tables that you’re informed about when you book – this was completely my mistake. We were asked to wait in the bar (not really expecting a table to become available any time soon). Before we’d even decided what to drink, we were warmly intercepted and shown to a table in the window with a great view. Service was informal, prompt (but only when we wanted it to be) and I felt very well accommodated for my oversight.

 

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Great views over London to Stratford and the QEII Olympic Park and beyond
Top l-r: aubergine bread, miso glazed rabbit, smoked eel
Bottom l-r: ox cheek doughnut, homemade biscuit

 

The overall dining experience aims to be informal and easy, by offering a menu of sharing plates to sample leisurely. We chose five. Each dish was a beautiful design; art on a plate.

There’s an extensive wine list which is quite pricey, in comparison to the reasonably priced food menu. We chose an Esporao white @ £33.00 (I’m a big fan of Esporao, returned from Portugal this week and it was on the budget end of the wine list).

 

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Puy lentils – spinach, sweet onion, yoghurt, miso + nasturtiums @ £11.00

 

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Miso glazed rabbit – roasted cauliflower, suet biscuit (suet pie crust) and crispy cabbage @ £13.00

 

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Aubergine bread – charred aubergine, sumac yoghurt, flatbread @ £6.00

 

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Spicy ox cheek doughnut – apricot jam, smoked paprika sugar @ £10.00

The spicy ox cheek doughnut was the stand-out dish for me. It’s not something I would normally have ordered (I don’t especially like doughnuts, and ox cheek sounds, well, a bit rough…) but it had been enthusiastically recommended to me. It lived up to the recommendation and some… It’s a heavy dish, very filling and definitely one to share. It has a lovely warming spicy coating, the meat inside was like pulled beef (really tender) and the apricot sauce rounded it off perfectly.

 

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Smoked eel with creme fraiche, horseradish and samphire – beautiful bite-size servings @ £10.00

 

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Home-made biscuits @ £4.00 – served in style, of course

 

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Open kitchen 

 

Despite there being a two-hour limit on tables, it was a very leisurely meal. We weren’t at all rushed. I was so slow eating the hearty ox cheek doughnut (I omitted to mention J doesn’t eat meat, yep I ate it all!) that J had plenty of time for a coffee.

 

The verdict: Best restaurant with a view.

Fantastic all-round experience, from the comfort and atmosphere of the restaurant space itself, stunning views (you can see for miles on a clear day) to tasty food with a novelty factor style. Service can vary.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: British, international
– Address: 110 Bishopsgate, City of London, London
– Postcode: EC2N 4AY
– Nearest station: Liverpool Street
– Website + menus: Duck and Waffle website
– Photos on flickr: Duck and Waffle images
– Location: Duck and Waffle map 
– Anything else: open 24/7

 

Duck & Waffle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Plum + Spilt Milk – King’s Cross N1

Sunday roast perfection – faultless dining experience in tastefully designed space 

 

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Carefully sourced ingredients turned into beautifully presented dishes

 

My in-laws were returning to the north east by train this Sunday afternoon, so we wanted to eat somewhere convenient for King’s Cross station. A quick restaurant search by location using the Open Table app showed Plum + Spilt Milk as a hot contender. It’s situated in the Great Northern Hotel on the Kings Cross St Pancras complex, was highly rated by Open Table users and seemed likely to have the level of comfort and ‘treat’ we were looking for. It’s currently ranked #378 out of 17,000+ London restaurants on TripAdvisor. Booking made.

The hotel has a classy feel without being stuffy, with lovely decor and art work (see Debbie Smyth’s textile art that lined the hotel staircase) and this feel of comfort and relaxation continues as you enter into the restaurant, Plum + Spilt Milk, where service was prompt, informed and attentive when required.

 

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Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant interior

 

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Cosy booth-style seating and low-hanging, soft lighting

 

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Fresh bread + butter

We began by ordering a bottle of Izadi Rioja reserva @ £40.00, while nibbling on fresh seeded bread and butter and decided to order from the two-course Sunday lunch menu @ £26.50 a head.

Like everything else, the menu is beautifully designed. This intro is worth sharing: “Fresh, seasonal ingredients create cuisine of the highest quality. Using small suppliers of free-range and rare-breed produce from around the British Isles. Our fish is sourced daily from the historic ports of Brixham on the English Riviera and Hastings and Rye on the South Coast. Adding a unique barbecue flavour to our meat, the kitchen’s Inka Charcoal Oven grills at high speeds and temperatures of up to 500° C producing an unrivalled tenderness.”

 

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Menu – beautifully designed

 

For starters, G and M ordered Cornish fish soup with herb mayonnaise, croutons and Gruyere while K and I had marinated beets, plums, Shropshire blue and walnuts – a gorgeous mix of flavours.

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Cornish fish soup

 

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Marinated beets, plums, Shropshire blue and walnuts – perfection

 

For main course, the others had roast sirloin beef, Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy while I had crispy roasted Suffolk pork belly, pickled red cabbage, apple and mustard chutney – all served with roast potatoes and seasonable vegetables (multi-coloured root vegetables that were as tasty as they were visually appealing).

 

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Roast sirloin beef with red wine gravy – amazing Yorkshire pudding too

 

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Crispy roasted pork belly – as served, on a bed of pickled red cabbage with apple and mustard chutney – so visually appealing

 

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Crispy pork belly with crackling – along with colourful seasonal vegetables

 

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Inside the Great Northern Hotel – comfort awaits

 

 

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Travel-themed cocktail list – including Mind The Gap and Release The Brakes

 

Thankfully, we didn’t have time for a pudding (we were all full but that may not have stopped us!). Our bill for four came to £164.25 including service (£41.00 a head).

The verdict: Everything about this restaurant was excellent. I’m restrained when it comes to giving 5 star ratings as there’s usually some room for improvement but I don’t see how our experience could have been better in any way. The restaurant (and hotel) was elegant and comfortable without being stuffy, service was excellent, and the food was stunning – in presentation and taste. And it was reasonably priced for such quality. I’ll be coming here again.

 

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Hotel bar 

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
– Type: British, International
– Address: Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross St Pancras Station, Pancras Rd, London, UK
– Postcode: N1C 4TB
– Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras
– Website + menus: Plum + Spilt Milk website
– Photos on flickr: Plum + Spilt Milk images
– Location: Plum + Spilt Milk map

 

Plum + Spilt Milk - Great Northern Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato