Posts for the 'West Central London' Category


Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club serves a refined style of modern Indian cooking, and is widely regarded as one of London’s best Indian restaurants. The Cinnamon Club recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and to mark this special occasion, the restaurant underwent a £1 million refurbishment. Set within the grand Grade II listed Old Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club’s book lined shelves and traditional features have been updated and elevated with dashes of colour, contemporary furnishings and unique artworks. The result is a refreshed a convivial backdrop for what is a secluded and comfortable fine dining experience.

Chef Vivek Singh is one of the most successful and respected modern Indian chefs in Britain, and he also owns similarly named restaurants such as the City’s Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho. His elevated approach to Indian cuisine has resulted in a number of media appearances including a regular guest slot on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen as well as the publication of five cookbooks,

His menu at The Cinnamon Club is diverse and engaging, and also includes a selection of celebratory sharing dishes and sharing platters for between two and eight guests. As for the two of us, we went for the lazy Sunday menu (£40 for three courses, including a champagne cocktail – £35 from between 5.30pm and 6.30pm).

Our meal began with the Chef’s selection of canapes which were all delicious. These included an Indian mango purée in semolina shell which was sweet and tangy, a cumin and ginger flavoured lentil dumpling with tamarind chutney which was wonderfully spiced, and a delightful steamed rice cake with coriander chutney and curried yoghurt.

Cinnamon Club - London Food Blog - Chef's pre-starter

Cinnamon Club – Chef’s pre-starter

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Bombay Brasserie

Bombay Brasserie, a fine Indian restaurant, looks to the cultural diversity of Bombay, or rather Mumbai, for its menu inspirations. As well as being India’s financial and entertainment capital, the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai draws on the diverse cooking styles of Goa, Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan, as well as bringing in Portuguese influences.

Bombay Brasserie is located in the Millenium Hotel on Gloucester Road, with the main entrance to the restaurant being through The Bombay Bar, a stylish Raj-inspired bar that champions the exoticism of old Bombay. It’s a gorgeous place to unwind, particularly before lunch or dinner with plush sofas and photos of India from a bygone era defines the mood.

The restaurant is also a delight. Owned by the luxury hotel chain, The Taj Group, no expense was spared when it came to the décor at Bombay Brasserie. Heading through the double doors which separates the restaurant from the bar, one’s immediate reaction is one of awe. It sings of opulence, with grandiose chandeliers, stucco walls with inbuilt flickering lanterns and a spacious space laid out with comfortable banquette seating.

As for the food, this was a delight. We began our meal with the seafood platter (£24), a wonderful plate consisting of tasty soft shell crab, a perfectly cooked grilled scallop, pleasant monkfish, and a grilled prawn that gave way to a slightly smoky flavour.

Bombay Brassiere - London Food Blog - Seafood platter

Bombay Brassiere – Seafood platter

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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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Kanada-Ya Panton Street

In December 2015 the well-known ramen bar Kanada-Ya on Giles Street opened a second, bigger branch on Panton Street near Trafalgar Square, offering the same selection of authentic tonkotsu ramen made famous by the Holborn flagship restaurant. The noodles are made on site using a special machine imported from Japan and many of the tonkotsu broths have been slow cooked for 18 hours for an authentic intense flavour. Along with the tonkotsu ramen noodles, Kanada-Ya Panton Street has introduced several new dishes such as chicken karaage and Japanese spicy kale. There is also a reasonable drinks menu including bottled cocktails, Japanese beers, wines and some rare Japanese Whiskeys. Moreover, Kanada-Ya Panton Street offers reservations on a limited basis. Therefore no more queuing!!

We tried some truffle edamame (£4) with black truffle salt. The edamame was a little oily, but overall they were pretty tasty with a fresh firmness to them, helped in no small part by the deliciousness of the truffle aroma.

Kanada-Ya - London Food Blog - Truffle edamame

Kanada-Ya – Truffle edamame

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The Little Yellow Door

One of London’s longest standing pop-up bars, The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill is back with a vengeance. The quirky pop-up bar is based on a fictional flatshare, and is decorated in such a way that makes you like that you are in someone’s cosy and quirky London home. Think very East Village New York! Since opening its doors in October 2014, The Little Yellow Door has rapidly become a West London institution. Its infamous house parties have seen long queues, and The Little Yellow Door’s Friday Dinner Party has achieved widespread fame, selling out every week since it opened.

The flatmates have secured an extension to their lease extension, and with it they are bringing on a new all American housemate, Hank. This means that The Little Yellow Door will be able to continue their infamous house parties, retro gaming nights, kitchen suppers, Thursday takeovers and supper clubs with the chef-in-residence, The Wandering Chef.

Hank, the newest housemate, will be the inspiration behind the latest food and drinks menu at The Little Yellow Door. This means that the Wandering Chef will be serving up an array of American classics such as Philly Cheesesteaks with pulled beef shin, Swiss cheese and pickled chilli and onions and Buffalo wings.

P and I popped along for a bloggers event recently, to taste their all American Friday supperclub menu (four-courses including a welcome cocktail for £35). Starters included a wedge salad with burnt ends, grated egg, ranch and tobacco onions; thick cut bacon with red eye mayo; and chilli apple and pickled watermelon all of which was really tasty and robust with flavour.

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - Starters

The Little Yellow Door – Starters

Also delicious was the soup course, a New England clam chowder with Shrimp and Corn. It was rich and creamy with a healthy dose of clams.

The main course was a veritable feasting board of bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends, served with pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad, mac ’n ’cheese, watercress and pickles and burnt onion ketchup. The meat was succulent and meltingly tender. Also moreish were the salads. The mac ‘n’ cheese was also really enjoyable.

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - Bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends

The Little Yellow Door – Bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad

The Little Yellow Door – pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad

To finish off the evening there were some tasty desserts of an oreo, banana and bourbon hard shake and a brownie with malt cream and raspberry.

I loved the vibe and the energy of The Little Yellow Door. The concept is truly unique and inviting and fun, and I can see it as a place to easily make lots of new friends. What’s more, the food at the Friday night supperclub was homely, extremely tasty and very well executed. Great venue, great vibe, tasty food – all of which makes for a really fabulous supper club.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:
Likes

1) Love the venue – its fun and quirky.
2) The food, although simple, was tasty and well executed.

Dislikes:
1) As an overall experience – couldn’t think of any.

Food rating: 3.75/5
Ambience/vibe rating: 4.5/5

Price: £35 a head for the Friday supperclub four-course tasting menu. Includes one cocktail but excludes other drinks and service.

Website: http://www.the-little-yellow-door.co.uk/

The Little Yellow Door Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Rivea London

RIVEA LONDON

The Rivea London Restaurant at the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge draws its inspiration from the vibrant food markets of the Italian and French Riviera. Therefore what you see on the table is a blend of French and Italian dishes drawn up from the freshest seasonal produce. Executive Chef Alexandre Nicolas worked with Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse both in London and Paris for ten years. As such, he brings a touch of refinement to a menu that focuses on simple, yet bold flavours.

We booked the ‘Star Deal’ menu at Rivea London through Bookatable.co.uk which comprised of four plates and a glass of wine for a very reasonable £35 per person. The starter selection offers a varied choice of six options, and accordingly we each chose different dishes and were able to try four items. The Star Deal menu is very much designed for sharing, as is the a la carte menu, which is something that I love to be able to do.

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Bread Selection

Rivea London – Bread Selection

We began the meal with a selection of breads (lemon, focaccia and sourdough) accompanied by a tasty selection of nine, mostly vegetarian dips such as beetroot and horseradish and pumpkin and nutmeg. This was a really colourful way to start the evening before we moved onto the glorious starters. The ‘Rivea’ niçoise salad wrapped in a socca (a thin chickpea flour pancake which originates from Nice) was one of the best niçoise salads I have ever tasted. All the ingredients were delicious, but it was the dressing that set the dish alight, as it was lovely and delicate, and it showed off an incredibly skillful touch. Also well conceived was the mozzarella with puntarella (chicory).

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Salad (l), mozarella (r)

Rivea London – Salad (l), mozarella (r)

A tuna tartare was also wonderful, boasting of precisely cut pieces of tasty tuna which had been lovingly marinated. We also enjoyed the marinated line-caught sea bream with citrus. The sea bream was delicious and the accompanying citrus dressing proved to an eclectic pairing. The dressing was rich and creamy, and perhaps a little overpowering against the fish, but overall the dish very tasty.

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Tuna & sea bream

Rivea London – Tuna & sea bream

We thought both of our main courses to be delicious if a little small in size. The scallops with accompaniments of Jerusalem artichoke puree, pieces of pancetta and hazelnuts proved to be a fabulous dish, abounding with lots of umami flavour. The scallops were perfectly cooked with a nice caramelisation, the puree was delightfully creamy, and the pancetta and hazelnuts added another dimension to the dish.

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Scallops

Rivea London – Scallops

The second main of veal fillet was a simple dish, yet nicely executed. The veal was tender and paired warmly with some potato gratin and spinach. To finish off the dish was a lovely, flavoursome veal jus.

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Veal fillet

Rivea London – Veal fillet

Moving onto the desserts and we found the tiramisu to be somewhat of a disappointment. It was bland, with too much cream and not enough coffee or vanilla flavour. The house dessert of a ‘St Tropez’ cake, a brioche sponge with orange blossom and sandwiched with a vanilla marscapone cream faired better and was more enjoyable with its light, airy texture and delicious creamy filling.

Rivea London - London Food Blog - Dessert

Rivea London – Dessert

The ‘Star Deal’ set menu at Rivea London put on an impressive display of cooking talent and wonderful produce. Everything that we ate and the house wine that came with the set menu demonstrated quality. Furthermore, we were also charmed by the extremely professional and welcoming service. To round off the experience, Rivea London made for a truly glamorous venue. The décor was wonderfully stylish with a chic ambience, yet it did not overwhelm the diner so as to still maintain a sense of relaxed elegance.

At £35, the ‘Star Deal’ at Rivea London proved to be really great value for money. I was really impressed and I would go again.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:
Likes

1) The niçoise salad wrapped in a socca.
2) The tuna tartare.
3) The veal dish.
4) The scallop dish.
5) The wonderful service.
6) The ambience.
7) The great value star deal menu.

Dislikes:
1) The tiramisu.

Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 4/5

Price: The ‘Star deal’ menu on Bookatable.co.uk is £35 and includes one glass of wine. Excludes other drinks and service.

Website: http://rivealondon.com/

Rivea London - Bulgari Hotel & Residences Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal


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The Shed – Visit No. 2

Last week I paid a repeat visit to The Shed, a restaurant by The Gladwin Brothers. My first visit was great and you can read about that meal and the background to The Shed here. I also visited The Rabbit recently, the sister restaurant of The Shed and loved that experience too. Sadly this second visit to The Shed was somewhat underwhelming. There were a couple of poorly executed elements in the food. The service was slow as well. Clearly there are some consistency issues at The Shed.

We’ll start with the service which was disorganised. We ordered some wine which failed to arrive as and when it should have. We had to repeat our order three times before the wines finally showed up which meant we had to wait, wait, wait. The restaurant was busy, but not so busy that this couldn’t have been avoided.

The concept of the menu at The Shed continues to centre around a variety of different sharing plates that the restaurant refers to as fast cooking and slow cooking. There are also mouthfuls, the idea of which centres around canapé sized morsels of food which are ideal for getting a mouthful of something tasty.

From the fast cooking section, we tried the pan-fried goat’s cheese (£6.30) with a drizzling of honey and a touch of thyme which tasted warm and good. To round off the dish was a topping of hazelnuts. The idea of the nuts worked with the cheese, but disappointingly, they did not taste as fresh as they should have.

The Shed - London Food Blog - Goat's cheese

The Shed – Goat’s cheese

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Rabbit

The Rabbit in Chelsea is the second venture by the Gladwin brothers who brought us The Shed in Notting Hill. I adored the food at The Shed, the fabulous restaurant founded on fresh, foraged and farm-reared sustainable principles by the brothers Richard, Oliver and Gregory, and Rabbit is no different. Richard went into hospitality, Oliver is a chef and Gregory is a farmer; and the three have therefore managed to form a perfect triangle of what it takes to produce a winning restaurant.

The interior at Rabbit also has a touch of country to it and is wonderfully rustic with reclaimed British furniture being a key feature at the restaurant. As with its sister restaurant The Shed, The Rabbit is supplied with reared livestock and wines from the family farm and vineyard in Sussex which is run by Farmer Gregory. Known as Nutbourne, references are often made to ingredients from Nutbourne in the menu. Other seasonal produce come from local Sussex suppliers.

Head Chef Oliver Gladwin previously trained at Oxo Tower, Launceston Place, Just St James and with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage. His passion for foraging and seasonality is evident in his daily changing menu, which is divided into distinct sections: mouthfuls, slow cooking and fast cooking. The menu is designed for sharing with Rabbit recommending about 4-5 plates for two to share.

We began our meal with one of the ‘mouthfuls’, a squid ink cracker filled with sea bass roe and dill (£1.50) that was really tasty. The cracker was crunchy, the squid ink flavour in the cracker was delicately poised, the mellow saltiness of the filling worked well with the cracker and the dill added great fragrance.

Rabbit - London Food Blog - Squid ink cracker

Rabbit – Squid ink cracker

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