Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts

25 August 2012

Eat at Zeret Kitchen

A decent little restaurant on little square set back from Camberwell Road, Zeret Kitchen specialises in traditional Ethiopian cuisine, served well and with a smile. Though your author doesn't know a lot about Ethiopian food, of the few such restaurants he has experienced this has been the best.

Happily, for those who find deciding difficult, a Zeret Surprise is on offer, combining various Ethiopian dishes with traditional spongy bread, and if the mood takes you and Ethiopian Coffee Service is available.

For more, see http://zeretkitchen.com/

25 July 2012

Eat at the Seagrass

Housed in a 19th century Manze's pie shop on Chapel Market in North London, the Seagrass is a lovely little restaurant opening Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only & serving fresh and interesting set meals from an open kitchen for a reasonable value. The interior of the restaurant is true to its roots, and has been changed little since the closure of Manze's, with pleasant results.

Your author visited last week for dinner, and had a set three course meal for £30, which sounds like quite a lot, but the results were well worth it, especially given the bring-your-own-drink policy, and the policy of not charging for corkage. The group were especially impressed that when the dietary requirements of one of those present were not catered for, the chef went out to the shops to buy ingredients and made something off menu.

Be warned, however, that for those of questionable self-control, the BYO policy can lead to overindulgence. And if you visit with the same group, come armed with the ability to say no to amaretto.

For more, see http://www.theseagrassrestaurant.com/

13 July 2012

Eat at Robin Hood Zorro

There's something about the Robin Hood Zorro restaurant in Hammersmith which should be awful but is faintly endearing. Friends of your author in West London swear by it, and whilst some remain unconvinced, it is undoubtedly a memorable experience.

Theme restaurants are unusual at the best of times, and many would question the decision both to combine Robin Hood and Zorro in a theme for a restaurant, and to calling yourself an "English - Mexican Eating House". Nevertheless, Robin Hood Zorro steadfastly continues, with its misspelt website and its dayglo 90s cocktails, to do reasonable business.

For more, see http://www.robinhoodzorro.com/

11 July 2012

Eat at the Wapping Project

Your author doesn't eat out that much, but occasionally a more successful friend persuades him out, and such were the circumstances he found himself at the Wapping Project a few weeks ago. The restaurant, housed in Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, takes advantage of its atmospheric surroundings well, and it was surprising to find it only half full on a Thursday evening.

That said, the food wasn't particularly remarkable, with the main course on the wrong side of luke-warm, but the drink, company and setting were pretty special, and the rather bizarre 'art' installation at the back all added to the mix. It was enjoyable, but then with a bill that ended up at £58 per head (including beers which didn't appear on the menu and for which the wrong price was quoted by waiting staff) all in it definitely should be.

For less information, see the frankly incomprehensible website at http://www.thewappingproject.com/

28 March 2012

Eat in the Whitechapel Gallery Library Dining Room

Whitechapel Gallery is a fantastic place, and not just because they have the Tired of London, Tired of Life book right by the till in their bookshop. They also have loads of art and stuff, and even an award-winning restaurant.

A personal highlight, in which your author passed a very pleasant evening last week, is the Gallery's Library Dining Room, designed by Artek furniture, with artwork by artist Christian Boltanski, which is available for groups of 8-14 people to hire for free as long as they are eating. It is a great place for group conversation, and the staff are excellent, meaning you barely have to step outside before the end of the night.

For more information, see http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/venue-hire/the-spaces/library-dining-room

8 February 2012

Eat at Pizza East

Your author is often sceptical of restaurants in trendy areas of town, so for a long while he avoided relative newcomer Pizza East, on the ground floor of the Tea Building in Shoreditch. However, the time came to finally relent last week, and it was actually very good.

Located on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Road, the restaurant has all the exposed brickwork and wood trappings of this area of town, but thankfully backed up with fresh ingredients, attention to detail and about-the-norm-now-for-a-London-pizza prices, meaning if you're in the area and not in the mood for a curry on Brick Lane or Vietnamese on Kingsland Road it is a good bet.

For more, see http://www.pizzaeast.com/

^Picture © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons licence^

30 January 2012

Eat at Simpson's Tavern

Founded by Thomas Simpson in 1757, on the present site on Ball Court off Cheapside given to him by his father, Simpson's Tavern is an old fashioned English chophouse, and a bit of a City institution.

We are told that the buildings were originally two houses, knocked together to form the present building which has nevertheless stood largely unchanged for more than two and a half centuries, and continues to offer reasonably priced traditional English fare each weekday lunchtime - and at breakfast from Tuesday to Friday - to an audience largely made up of those who work in the area.

For more, see http://www.simpsonstavern.co.uk/

29 November 2011

Eat at Dahlak Eritrean Restaurant

You could easily miss a place like Dahlak Eritrean Restaurant, at 256-258 Brixton Rd, and pass on by, and your author would have done exactly that if it hadn't been for a friend's birthday a few weeks ago.

A favourite amongst the London's Eritrean community, the restaurant is also a bar and music club, and even on a Saturday night it was fairly quiet until around 10pm, when diners still awaited their Eritrean coffee ceremony and popcorn. By the time this had finished, the bar and live music were busy inside but shutters outside were firmly pulled down so only the bouncers were visible.

The food was excellent, and your author enjoyed that spongey bread and whilst he was chastised by friends when he compared it to Ethiopian food, Time Out tells us there isn't too much of a rivalry between the two countries at Dahlak.

For more information, see http://www.timeout.com/london/features/1804/London_Lives-The_Eritean_cab_driver.html

18 October 2011

Eat at Xinjiang Style Chinese Cuisine

Found at number 49 Camberwell Church Street, Xinjiang Style Chinese Cuisine is an unassuming Chinese canteen which specialises in food from the autonomous Xinjiang region of North West China.

Your author doesn't pretend to be a restaurant critic, and doesn't usually like to approach these things with a broad brush style review, but the results were thoroughly appetising, and reasonably priced, with enough flavour and spice to mark them out from your typical local takeaway.

For a more detailed review, head over to the Randomness Guide to London.

22 September 2011

Eat pizza at Small and Beautiful

It is difficult to understand how you can make money from selling a decent-sized pizza and a beer or glass of wine for just £5 of an evening, but your author is pleased that the people at Small and Beautiful in Kilburn are trying.

When your author dropped in last Thursday, the restaurant was doing a roaring trade, with people bustling in and out of the actually fairly spacious dining area constantly, and good food and drink being served at a steady pace.

Sure, it wasn't the absolute finest pizza it is possible to imagine but it was prepared freshly, was very tasty and showed excellent value for money, for which the diners seemed grateful.

So if you're in the area, do drop in. For a proper review, see http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/venue/2%3A1292/small-beautiful

7 September 2011

Eat and drink at Souk

Specialising in North African cuisine, the twin Souk restaurants in Short's Gardens and Litchfield Street, Covent Garden are usually a decent bet for a bite to eat in a reasonable theme restaurant.

Sure, it's fairly expensive for North African food, but most of the restaurants round here are pretty pricey, and it is a bit different. When your author last popped in, admittedly some time ago when he was feeling a bit richer, it seemed pleasant and it didn't feel like daylight robbery.

For more, see http://www.soukrestaurant.co.uk

10 March 2011

Eat at the 1901 Restaurant

Your author has written before about his trip to the former Great Eastern Hotel in Liverpool Street, now known as Andaz, at the invitation of the managers. Whilst parts of the hotel are a little too modernised for his liking, the 1901 Restaurant, within the Hotel, was a particular historical highlight.

Opened in its current incarnation in October 2010, the restaurant sits beneath a huge stained-glass dome, and its Grade-II listed interior dates back to 1901, giving the space its name. The food and drink all looked excellent, and whilst in this area of town you are likely to pay handsomely for this sort of experience, a two course lunch is available at £19, and an afternoon tea at £18, making it cheaper than many contemporaries in the West End.

It's admittedly still expensive, and your author still isn't sure why an historic railway hotel needs this kind of facelift, but there was something about the atmosphere, and the live violinist who was playing, which made it worthwhile. That, and they gave him free port.

For more, try here, or visit the official website at http://www.andazdining.com/1901/1901.asp

23 February 2011

Visit the Menier Chocolate Factory

Housed in a genuine old chocolate factory, built in 1870, today the Menier Chocolate Factory is home to a 150 seat theatre, a rehearsal room and a restaurant and bar. It boasts that it has been a full time producing house since 2004, and hopefully this will means something to theatre types.

Inside, original wooden beams, cast iron columns and brickwork have been maintained and the restaurant seems like reasonable value. One of their key sells appears to be a meal deal which includes a two course meal and ticket for the show.

For more information, see http://www.menierchocolatefactory.com/

18 February 2011

Dine at Cafe Boheme

Situated on Old Compton Street in Soho, and operated by Soho House, Cafe Boheme is a pretty little French Bistro which is a very pleasant place to spend an hour or so, escaping from - but keeping an eye on - the hustle and bustle outside.

Your author popped in to catch up with a good friend recently, and took advantage of the three course pre-theatre menu for £15.50, and was very well looked after by the excellent staff.

It is a very attractive spot, operating in the same location since 1992, and offering Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and best of all a special 'After Midnight' menu, as well as live jazz every weekend.

For more information, see http://www.cafeboheme.co.uk

7 February 2011

Eat Italian Food at Su Sazzagoni

The blog is likely to be rather Hackney-centric this week, as your author will shortly be leaving the borough and fancies being self-indulgent, so let us have a look at Su Sazzagoni, an excellent neighbourhood Sardinian restaurant and delicatessen in Lauriston Road, E9.

Owned by Elena Sollai, a native Sardinian who came to London in 2007, the restaurant aims to deliver a chunk of true Sardinian lifestyle to East London, and your author thinks it does very well.

With a menu that is, we are told, 10% Italian and 90% Sardinian, the restaurant makes fantastic dishes, using vegetables, pasta, olive oil, wines and deli produce imported directly from Italy.

Su Sazzagoni is open daily and also offers a reasonably-priced takeaway service. For more information, see http://www.susazzagoni.com/

5 January 2011

Dine at the Wallace Restaurant

Set in a glass atrium that is also home to the Wallace Collection's sculpture garden, the Wallace Restaurant is a French brasserie, which promises seasonal dishes with imported French ingredients.

Part of Peyton & Byrne's extensive museum and gallery cafe arsenal, the Wallace Restaurant is undoubtedly an atmospheric place, even if the main menu is a bit beyond your author's means.

The restaurant is open daily from for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and also for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. For more information, visit http://www.thewallacerestaurant.co.uk/.

27 October 2010

Visit Rules, London's Oldest Restaurant

Founded by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules, on Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, has a claim to the title of London's oldest restaurant. The story goes that Rule had made a promise to his family that he would say goodbye to his wayward past and settle down, and opened the restaurant as an Oyster Bar, serving British Cuisine alongside.

The restaurant has only passed through three families during its history, famously changing hands just before the First World War when a Charles Rule decided to move to Paris and swapped restaurants with Tom Bell, a British chap who owned a Parisian restaurant. It remained in the Bell family until his daughter sold it to John Mayhew, the current owner, in 1984.

During its history, Rules has entertained an array of famous names, including Charles Dickens, John Galsworthy, H.G. Wells, Henry Irving, Laurence Olivier and probably Evelyn Waugh. The fantastic John Betjeman apparently described the ground floor interior as "unique and irreplaceable, and part of literary and theatrical London", and helped save it from demolition in the 1970s.

Your author has been in, and had a few drinks upstairs in the pleasant cocktail bar (but more about that another day) but has sadly never eaten. Perhaps one day someone will treat him.

For more, see http://www.rules.co.uk/

24 May 2010

Eat fish and chips at Fish House

Your author is sometimes sceptical about posh chippies, but Fish House, on Lauriston Road in Hackney, passes the test. It is a family run, independent fish and chip restaurant and takeaway which doesn't fall into the trap of making things too fussy. They just have good, honest, seasonal, fresh fish, all of which adheres to the Marine Conservation Society good fish guide, and is, we are told, eco friendly.

Opened by Gabriel Early and Johanna Nylander in June 2007, the shop focusses on being a good, family friendly, eatery, for people who use or live near Victoria Park. In your author's experience this manages not to mean loads of shouty children, but he should mention he has only ever had takeaway. It's good value, with a bag of chips to take away a budget-friendly £1.50, and it's tasty.

Early and Nylander have been working together running various businesses in and around Victoria Park for 10 years, and in 2006 they appeared in the Egon Ronays guide for their work at The Approach Tavern. Fish House is certainly a good addition to an already solid CV.

It's open daily until 10pm and fish and chips to take away is about £6.50. For more, see http://www.fishouse.co.uk/

17 May 2010

Eat and Drink at the Palmerston, Lordship Lane

Your author is often criticised by his friends for his East London bias, so he took a research bike ride to South London on Saturday, visiting many fantastic places, including a return trip to the Palmerston, on Lordship Lane, East Dulwich.

It's a lovely little pub, with two wood panelled rooms, and a good selection of food and drink. Over at fancyapint, they bemoan its conversion into another gastropub, but your author has never known it as anything else, so he's reasonably at ease about it. Having said that, it is a bit annoying that during some periods they wont let drinkers sit by the window, even when no one is eating.

The Palmerston began its new life as a gastropub and, we are told, dropped the 'Lord' from its name, in February 2004. Since then, the pub and Head Chef Jamie Younger, have won a range of accolades, and is really proud to have been named the ‘Best Gastro Pub in London, Gold award’ at the LBC, Independent Newspaper - ‘Living London’ 2006 awards, have been listed by Restaurant Magazine as 59th Best place to eat in the UK, and having been given a rosette by the AA. Presumably these are all good awards so he has every reason to be happy with his efforts.

For more information, http://www.thepalmerston.net/

1 May 2010

Eat at the Viet Noodle Bar

Viet Noodle Bar, in Greek Street, Soho, is a great little place for a quick bite to eat if you find yourself in the area hungry and looking for good food, but short on time and cash.

Your author visited earlier in the week, and was suitably impressed. A great range of dishes for around £6, or sometimes less, and served hot to your table quickly and with a smile.

Tables are limited and your author understands that at peak times you may have to wait, but its good food and wont make you feel like you've just eaten a bowl of salt like some of the places down in Chinatown.

It is, apparently, bring your own, with a small corkage charge but your author was happy with jasmine tea. For more, see http://londonist.com/2008/09/shoot_eat_viet.php