Posts for the 'SE1' Category


Jose

Jose on Bermondsey Street is the first solo restaurant from critically acclaimed chef Jose Pizarro who was previously the driving force behind the Brindisa Group. .

The restaurant exudes a warm cosy feeling, but is so tiny that it’s basically standing room only with a smattering of stools. We spent our first hour and a half at Jose on our feet, squeezed into a tiny corner with plates and glasses being handed to us over the heads of other diners. We eventually found more space, but (alas) with only one stool even though there was two of us. This was not a comfortable dining experience, especially as Jose has a no bookings policy.

Nevertheless, the food was outstanding and very reasonably priced. Tortilla (£4) filled with chorizo was scrumptious, and the meaty flavour of the chorizo gave the dish a fantastic lift. The accompanying aioli oozed lots of garlic-y goodness and worked a magic on the tortilla.

Tortilla

Tortilla

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Zucca

Italian restaurant Zucca made waves when it first opened last year and no wonder. Not discounting the fact that the restaurant looks great, the prices are also staggeringly reasonable. The modern and stylish dining room is sleek and shiny, and backs onto the open plan kitchen where you can watch the chefs beavering away at their work.

The menu was neat and succinct, and sounded incredibly appetising with the touches of Italian authenticity running through it. Taglierini with peas and peashoots (£7 for a starter, £9 for a main) was cooked al dente. The peas had a nice crunchiness to them, and there was a lovely earthy freshness coming through from the peashoots. Finished with a touch of aromatic mint, the flavour of the dish was good, but it was also very rich as it had been finished with a heavy dose of butter.

Taglierini with peas & peashoots

Taglierini with peas & peashoots

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Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour

We had lunch last Friday at Le Pont de la Tour and I was ever so grateful that despite the freezing cold we’ve had to endure thus far this winter, at least this day turned out to be one of lovely sunshine beaming down over London. One of the endearing features of Le Pont de la Tour is that it has secured a prime location overlooking Tower Bridge, and so a sunny day makes for fine viewing indeed.

Le Pont de la Tour at lunch time is a place for the suits, if the attire of those dining at the three other tables at the restaurant were anything to go by. Certainly, it can be enough to make you feel uncomfortable if you are wearing anything but. And the price tag attached to the lunchtime menu (£19.50 to £25 for mains) might warrant most people to only lunch here if they’re on an expense account. I suspect Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and the three colleagues he was dining with a few tables down would have been doing nothing but. Unfortunately they were seated a little too far away for me to be able to eavesdrop on any noteworthy gossip on the state of London’s affairs that I could share with you. But his presence paved the way for us to spend a good 10 minutes having a nice giggle (oh yes we did) about the sort of shenanigans we could potentially get up to involving Boris that might secure us a spot on the 6 o’clock news and a chance for our 15 minutes of fame.

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Champor-Champor: Are menus the new porn?

Some say cookbooks are the new porn. I personally find them quite entertaining, if, and only if, there are lots of photos, and only if the photos are all of hot and steamy dishes. Visually stimulating, they can arouse my senses and heighten my desire for that nourishing-looking morsel on the page, immediately transporting me into a heavenly world of exquisite comfort eating.

As I scanned the menu at Champor-Champor, a fixed-price affair (2 courses, £25; 3 courses £29.50), I also wondered whether menu porn could be considered the new porn too. A good menu can be a titillating promise of the tasty things to come. It can occasionally be a tease too, making you want all that is offered when all the while you know it won’t be possible. On this menu, sandwiched in between the starters and the mains were the interestingly entitled inter-courses (with a £2.80 supplement). Porn anyone?

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