Posts for the 'South West London' Category


Mamounia Lounge Knightsbridge

Mamounia Lounge Knightsbridge, bar and restaurant, is situated across the road from Harrods on Brompton Road and offers a chic Middle Eastern drinking and dining experience. The key behind Mamounia Lounge is its plush décor. Lavishly decorated with gold and red drapings, Arabic motifs and exotic Middle Eastern cushions, Mamounia Lounge has a sense of the opulent to it.

Gracing the entrance to Mamounia Lounge is an outdoor shisha lounge which morphs into a dining area. This leads into the bar/lounge, and beyond this is a more formal dining area that backs onto the open kitchen. Mamounia serves a comprehensive Lebanese and Moroccan menu. But make no mistake. Mamounia Lounge is very much about the ‘lounge’ experience. It feels very much like the kind of venue where you go for drinks and have food to go with the drinks.

That said the food was very good. A starter sized pastilla of chicken (£9.50) wrapped with filo pastry was really delicious. Freshly baked, the pastry was crispy and the chicken filling was moist with a hint of almond nuttiness to it. The pastilla was finished with a dash of icing sugar and some cinnamon, both of which added a touch of fragrant sweetness to the pastilla.

Mamounia Lounge - London Food Blog - Chicken pastilla

Mamounia Lounge – Chicken pastilla

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London House

With London House, Gordon Ramsay ventured out of his usual central London locations to set up in Battersea. London House is a neighbourhood bar and restaurant and resonates with suburban chic. The restaurant overlooks the lovely Battersea Square and boasts of a décor that is modern and classy, yet intimate and welcoming. The menu offers a comprehensive range of modern British dishes, but also boasts of a cocktail lounge bar and a beautiful garden for al fresco drinking (and dining) for those who simply want a tipple.

I recently visited London House as part of a bloggers dinner, and the evening began with some tasty canapés of ham hock and Keen’s cheddar croquettes with mustard mayo and veal Scotch eggs with homemade piccalilli. Both were abundant with flavour, well seasoned and perfectly crisped.

Dinner consisted of three courses including some delectable sourdough bread to nibble on before our starter of Wye Valley asparagus with kale pesto, poached duck egg, wild garlic and hazelnuts. This was an accomplished dish, with each element being extremely well executed. The asparagus maintained a nice crunchiness and the kale pesto was alive with freshness. The poached egg was soft and runny, but had not been seasoned. The wild garlic and the hazelnuts were also lovely and added a nice dimension to the dish.

London House - London Food Blog - Bread basket

London House – Bread basket

London House - London Food Blog - Wye Valley asparagus

London House – Wye Valley asparagus

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Koji

KOJI

Koji Japanese Restaurant in Parsons Green is a joint collaboration between Nobuhisha Takahashi, the former sushi head chef at both Nobu London and Nobu Cape Town, and Mark Barnett, the former proprietor of the now closed Mao Tai Chinese restaurant. The Koji concept centres around contemporary Japanese dining, ranging from fresh sushi and sashimi being carved out at the beautiful sushi bar, to meats and seafood caramelising sweetly on the robata grill. On the a la carte menu is an array of modern Japanese dishes that draw influences from South America and Europe.

Koji offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. Towards the front of the restaurant is a cocktail bar offering light snacks and the sushi bar where diners can choose to eat their meal whilst watching the sushi craftmen at work. In the restaurant proper is a buzzy restaurant where diners can relax in well-appointed surrounds.

We started with the summer roll with soft shell crab (£15) which was gloriously fresh and summery. The crab was sweet and meaty with a crunchy coating, and it had been paired with seasonal asparagus, tangy pickled ginger and some fragrant shiso leaf. To hold together all the deliciousness was an outer roll of beautifully made soft Vietnamese rice paper. A yuzu dressing added a citrusy and refreshing touch to the roll.

Koji - London Food Blog - Summer roll

Koji – Summer roll

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Boqueria Market

BOQUERIA MARKET

Boqueria Market on Queenstown Road is the second branch of Boqueria, a Spanish tapas restaurant group. I visited the original Boqueria on Acre Lane in Brixton about 18 months ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The food was fresh and wholesome and the service was lovely. So once again I found myself south of the river to discover what Boqueria Market had to offer.

Boqueria Market is a really smart looking restaurant. The setting is intimate and the lighting is soft. The restaurant feels relaxed, yet there is a buzzy vibe to it that makes for an engaging dining experience. The menu is similar to the Acre Lane branch and includes a selection of traditional and contemporary tapas as well as a lovely variety of Spanish wines and sherries.

We began our meal with the premium jamón ibérico puro bellota (acorn-fed pure breed Iberico ham – large plate for £18). This was delicious with an intensely sweet flavour and earthy, nutty overtones. The pieces of fat running through the jamón were delicious too, with a melting, soft quality.

London food blog Boqueria - Jamón Ibérico

Boqueria – Jamón Ibérico

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Bibo

Bibo is the latest venture by Rebecca Mascarenhas, a restaurateur known for the Michelin Starred Kitchen W8 and the acclaimed Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes, both of which are collaborations with Philip Howard of The Square. With Bibo, Rebecca has gone Italian. Head chef Chris Beverley, previously at Theo Randall at the InterContinental, has created a modern Italian menu that focuses on seasonality, freshness and simplicity. The wine list is Italian as well and includes a list of approximately 60 bins covering regional Italy.

Located in Putney, Bibo goes about bringing a sense of warmth to its interior. The long painted brickwork dining room and bar has been fitted with a mixture of artworks, bespoke light fittings and comforting oak wood furniture. Bibo is informal and relaxed with an inviting neighbourhood feel to it, made all the enjoyable with its welcoming and friendly service.

We started with an antipasta of prosciutto di San Daniele (£8.50) which was wonderful with a robust yet sweet flavour. It came with some juicy and ripe Sicilian melon that paired perfectly with the prosciutto.

Bibo - Prosciutto & melon

Prosciutto & melon

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Blue Elephant

Blue Elephant is one of London’s most iconic Thai restaurants. It opened its doors over 25 years ago on Fulham Broadway but moved to Imperial Wharf in January 2012. The new space is luxurious and beautifully glamorous and was refurbished based on ‘Saran Rom’ Palace in Bangkok, previously the seat of Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Décor aside, another strong selling point is that the restaurant is positioned on The Thames, offering those who sit outside on a nice sunny day wonderful views of the river. As an extension to the Blue Elephant restaurant, the Imperial Wharf location also runs a newly created Thai cookery school.

The menu is vast and diverse and is divided into three key sections: Thai cuisine of the Past, Thai Cuisine of Today, and Thai cuisine of Tomorrow. There are also a number of tasting menus including a vegetarian option.

Chef Nooror’s Ma Auan, steamed minced chicken with crab (£14) yielded a good crab and chicken flavour. It had been flavoured with foie gras although this was difficult to detect in the dish. Accompanying the dish was a very tasty sweet and spicy sauce.

Minced chicken with crab & foie gras

Minced chicken with crab & foie gras

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Rossopomodoro

Rossopomodoro is a chain of restaurants serving Neapolitan cuisine and pizzas. A global operation, Rossopomodoro had its origins in Naples and is a well-recognised brand name in Italy. It has seven branches throughout the UK and in a string of other countries throughout the world.

At the invitation of Rossopomodoro I ventured to both the branches in Wandsworth and Covent Garden. My visit to the Wandsworth branch coincided with ‘RossoMusica’, a singing competition sponsored by Ferrarelle where London-based Italian singers perform and compete for the chance to win the prize of RossoMusica champion. The last of the heats was last week, and the final will be held on Thursday, 26 September 2013. For £10, RossoMusica promises you not only get some good music, one drink and a buffet of pastas and salads, but a night of frivolity as well.

The Wandsworth branch is split over two floors. It is a spacious area with a modern industrial look, and the floor to ceiling glass windows on the ground floor allow in oodles of natural light. On the first floor there is a fabulous terrace area that is perfect for al fresco dining.

The Covent Garden branch by contrast is a little bit more compact and less spacious than the one in Wandworth. Being in Covent Garden, its more hustle and bustle. There is a rather hectic feel to it, but it is also more conveniently placed for the attractions of the West End. There are also some tables outside which allow for a spot of people watching.

Rossopomodoro stays true to its Neapolitan heritage by impressively importing all its ingredients from Naples including items such as the flour used in its pizza bases. The fresh buffalo mozzarella (£15.45) that we ordered came in that day and was delicious, especially with a drizzling of olive oil and fresh basil. Accompanying the mozzarella was some bruschetta with a yummy cherry tomato topping that was fresh, ripe and sweet in that superb Italian way. However, the bread was less appealing as it was a tad bland.

Buffalo mozzarella with bruschetta

Buffalo mozzarella with bruschetta

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Boqueria

There’s no shortage of tapas restaurants in London and Boqueria on Acre Lane is another. It’s a charming looking restaurant perched on the Brixton borders with a relaxed feel to it and a modern décor. Roughly L-shaped, the section towards the back has glass-paneled ceilings overhead that allow in lots of lovely natural light. The menu boasts a reasonable range of choices with both a traditional and contemporary approach.

As is standard at a tapas restaurant we tried a large variety of dishes starting with some marcona almonds (£2.30) to nibble on that were crunchy, nicely seasoned and gloriously delicious. These nuts were a delicious way to being our meal. From the specials, innovative suckling pig croquetas boasted of some lovely sweetness from the suckling pig filling (£6.30) and were really yummy.

Marcona almonds & suckling pig croquetas

Marcona almonds & suckling pig croquetas

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