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Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Hi, I'm coming to London! I'm staying in this place - what's nearby?
This is a really bad way to pick restaurants. By staying within a .5 mile radius of your hotel you're missing out. Just get on that tube and go to Soho/East London/etc where ever!

Otherwise, check out our recommended food and coffee maps.

***

London is an amazing place to go out for dinner, (though English food has an unfairly bad reputation) - some of the highest quality restaurants in the world are here in the capital, complete with Michelin Stars, epic expensive winelists, breathtaking food and proper fancy-pants waiters and waitresses and all that pomp and spectacle.

But if you know what you're doing, you can also enjoy a fantastic meal out for much less - there's a really huge range of menu-prices. Additionally London's had a spate of small ultra-casual-but-trendy places opening in the past year which most people LOVE,(Spuntino, Polpo etc), which offer a sort of rough-and-ready, sit-at-the-bar vibe where you can't book in advance. The sudden popularity of small plates (£3/£5/£7 sort of prices) kind of go along with this as well.

But there's every type of cuisine available and for most price ranges too if you know what you're doing. Tayyabs in Whitechapel is astoundingly cheap and delicious curry, for instance.

Because the city is so massive though, that without a good knowledge of where to eat in London, you can find yourself paying £25 for a badly cooked piece of pork with a fancy name, or wind up in a terrible Brick Lane curry house or a Bella Italia eating poo poo pasta or the infamous ANGUS STEAK HOUSE (ugh) full of tourists munching away on their revolting steak and greasy chips nodding in agreement at how terrible British food is.

Blogs worth reading
London's got a great little blogging network of people who regularly review and write up places to eat in London, from the high-end to the low-end which is handy to find something on the spot or just to keep up with generally. Naturally, if you want to find the best way to get a handle on what's good and what isn't, it's good old social media, like the following blogs (and their twitter feeds) - I'd say one of the best dining experiences of my whole life was after finding out on twitter about the supper club that Ben Greeno, formerly chef at Noma, was running in his home.

Supper clubs, where eat in the host's home and enjoy a set menu around a table with strangers, are also super popular at the moment and definitely worth trying at least once, they're so much fun and really memorable! The best way to find out which ones are near you, or where you'll be staying, is through the list on this site.

A few of the more popular blogs that I reckon are worth reading:
Gourmet Chick- she's now moved to Australia but the archives are organised really helpfully for people looking for a restaurant to suit an occasion and postcode.
A Very Unusual Chinaman - really great for little, unheard of places, and Chinese/Malaysian food in particular
Eat Like a Girl- a bit more recipe-based but still a very interesting blog on food in general rather than just restaurants
London Eater- quite a critical, experienced blogger, great photos
Cheese and Biscuits - Great all-round food blogger who rounds up restaurants, usually in the mid-range.
Hollow Legs - quite lively and fun reviews of restaurants and the occasional recipe or off-topic post.
Hot Dinners - Not a blog but a really useful aggregate site that rounds up professional reviews and pits them alongside user reviews. It's amazing how different they can be sometimes. Great for finding a specific type of cuisine in a specific location.

Edit: adding my own blog because why not. Hungry In Camden - Where I put up occasional reviews and recipes.


I'm not going to list restaurants in the OP because there's so many, but some of my favourites recommendations for a nice all-round proper dining out experience are Bob Bob Ricard, for special occasions, Lemonia, for awesome Greek mezze, the Hawksmoor who do the best burgers in London imo, and the Riding House Cafe, one of those small plate ones.
Or to go a bit cheaper and casual, I love Seoul in Finchley Road for cheap delicious Korean BBQ, Bodeans for American-style pulled pork and ribs, Yum Cha in Camden for dim sum and Maoz for quick amazing falafel in central.

Neris fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2013 around 12:10

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Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Actually the Meatwagon has shut now, they're opening a proper restaurant again under the name of Meat Liquor I think, though no idea how long this one will last. But I had one of their burgers while they were around.

OH YEAH!

I've been meaning to go to Byron actually, especially because I hear their milkshakes are legendary, and to be honest, it is worth knowing which chains trump other chains, I'd still go to a Wagamama in a pinch. And my mates love Wahaca (I'm not too taken though).

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Too many good places I want to check out

The big thing at the moment is the Young Turks who're doing a three month residency at Ten Bells - I have a reservation for next week. Given their reputation I think it's safe to say it's going to be awesome. £39 for four courses and a cocktail - I think they might have some late spots left for November if there's anyone else looking to go.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

^^^ Whereabouts, and do you mean proper sit down courses and the rest or a place that you can have a quick mid-week lunch in?

Young Turks at the Ten Bells was AMAZING. It's only until January, so if you are keen do get in. Four courses, with a free cocktail, and four little snacky starters which were all unbelievably delicious. Fully recommended - they're very booked up but for £39 per person, and chefs that are this amazing, you really should just go for it!

We had pork belly that was to die for with a garlic milk puree and beetroot, but the table's favourite was definitely the slow roast pheasant with oats and parsnip. Fell off the fork. Plus, lovely atmosphere, very friendly with the chefs, and there's a supper-club-chat-to-randoms vibe.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Hm, really it was good? I'm so skeptical of places like that. What did you have?

In other news I was taken out for my birthday to Bocca Di Lupo and I ate a MALLARD. And it was amazing. Seriously, a whole little duck. I love ducks - they are adorable and taste great (lol im going to hell)

Bocca Di Lupo was absolutely and completely wonderful so book a table for the next thing you need to book for okay

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Da Polpo is right in the middle of Covent Garden, doesn't take reservations.

Similarly, but in Soho is Polpetto on Dean Street, and Spuntino on Rupert Street, by the same guy. I've heard great things about Duck Soup also on Dean Street, plus Meat Liquor is supposed to be amazing, but its on Welbeck Street behind Oxford Circus so a bit of a stretch.

Also Mildreds does great veggie food on Lexington Street. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope that's useful!

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

therattle posted:

I've never made it but intend to - it's just about walking distance from me.

Does anyone know any good Ethiopian restaurants in N London? There's a fantastic one on Shoot-Up Hill, but it's a bit far.

There's one in Kentish Town right near where I work, the Queen of Sheba, though I've never been, it gets pretty good reviews from a cursory glance!

But, there is apparently a legendary one in West London that does epic tibs so I hear, but I'll need to get forums user Lady Gaza or Kaiho to say what that's called..

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

The thing that really puts me off is my hatred of queueing - I know the Meatwagon's food was DELICIOUS though. How long was the queue and when did you go?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Lucky chip is apparently awesome as gently caress although the burgers aren't supposed to be as nice as Meatwagon's (whose are the best in London, I guess?).

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

sharktamer posted:

Anyone know any good Korean restaurants in the NW area? Been watching some Korean TV shows and the food looks gooooood.

Yes! Seoul is a restaurant that does amazing korean BBQ in Finchley, there's some pics and a write up I did here.
Also, in central there's a cafe called Bibimbap on Greek Street in soho which does great cheap bibimbap (funny that) which is the meat, rice and veg in a hot stone bowl, like £11. So tasty. I totally love Korean food

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Good luck! At least it's not a weekend or Friday night...

I still haven't been arsed to go to Meateasy. I hate queuing for restaurants with a burning passion.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Oh yeah I've been to the Opera Tavern. I really need to go back on a special occasion and order all the stuff I want! Doing tapas with your other half's family is so awkward with all the sharing...

I kind of want to try the Salt Yard as well.

Incidentally Zucca in Bermondsey has a huge like, back-up long waiting list usually I find with reservations, but finally went in January and it was just so loving good. Lovely wine as well.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

RazorBunny posted:

We can get Strongbow (my personal favorite), Blackthorn, and Magner's (which I know is made in Ireland ), and there are lots of really good American brands popping up, but I've always heard that there's a lot more to be had in England. I think there's only one ginger beer from the UK available here, Idris, which neither of us really liked, but I'd be interested to try other brands and in-house brews.

I like the sweet ciders that you've just listed - but as therattle mentioned, they are not really considered to be nice, good ciders. Strongbow in particular is pretty cheap and chavvy and far down the list - though I'm not a snob about it and definitely drink plenty of the stuff, and if I'm going to a festival I'll be bringing a case of it. If your husband likes them sweeter than Magners, make him have some Kopperberg or Rekorderlig. They are both WAY too sweet for me to drink, especially Kopperberg, ick. Make sure you both try Crabbies - alcoholic ginger beer and it is loving lovely.

I actually kind of suck because there are a LOT of really excellent proper cloudy ciders out there, that people really rate, but I hate them. They are way too sour and alcoholic for me and I cannot drink more than a small glass of them.

But in any case, the Green Man is well known for having a BUNCH of ciders on tap. The Southampton Arms is just up from where I work and will delight you with how small, quaint and British it is. Go for a nice walk on Hampstead Heath first, up to Parliament Hill.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

pointsofdata posted:

I second Chili Cool, great restaurant. It's also right next door to the shop used as the storefront for "Black Books" if you're into that.

Jesus. How did I not know this? :o

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

I think I ordered pasta with tripe in Bocca Di Lupo and it was actually excellent. That's the problem with offal though - unless it's done perfectly the first time you have it you'll be put off forever. That said I probably will always probably be a bit fussy about liver and kidneys. (That's where the stuff that's in your piss is made, etc. )


But it's kind of like with squid/calamari. Took me ages to realise that when it's done well, you won't have to chew it for half an hour.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Went to Morito a few weeks ago, they don't take bookings, and was in Farringdon (it's in Exmouth Market). Strongly recommended. The spiced lamb thing was amazing and totally delicious, as was the pork belly type thing. And all pretty goddamn cheap. Also the cheeseboard was £9 and SO MUCH CHEESE.

Bit cramped though, sitting on the bar! Plus my boss walked in halfway through my dinner which was funny (even though our office and both our houses are nowhere near there.)

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

I can't remember which restaurant it was, but I recall when I was trying to pick a place for my graduation dinner, there was one that was recommended to me but every time I tried to use the website to find out menu, prices, location I got so angry that I shut the tab a few moments later!

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

I don't think Anteplier is THAT good - the one in Islington? It was okay and good value but I don't know it's all that amazing. Maybe though!

Anyway the one in Dalston is called Evin. Nice review here. . You HAVE to order the sucuklu menemen if you're not a veggie that is!

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

therattle posted:

If you want to splash out, Vanilla Black is rather good.

Man, I have heard nothing but bad things about Vanilla Black. Have you eaten there yourself? What did you reckon?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

therattle posted:



El Parador on Eversholt St is a tapas place with an extensive and fairly imaginative veggie menu (although I have not been there for years, to be sure).

Have eaten there a few times, and I used to bloody love it but the last time I went I was so disappointed, most of the food was pretty bland.

I need to go back to Asa Kusa, sushi place next door. The service put me off but EVERYONE seems to love it.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

EvilMoJoJoJo posted:

I went to Ed's in Soho once, horribly hung over on a Sunday afternoon, and the barman told me about how he was still right that minute climbing out of a K-hole.

lmao.

Anyone been to any good supper clubs recently?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

(Hello girls fashion thread goon!) The one piece of advice I give to people who come to London and want a good restaurant near where they're staying (though I know that's not specifically what you're asking) is: travel into central. Our public transport is awesome, and unless you get lucky, most of the time you won't be fortunate enough to be near something pretty fantastic.

That said, I don't know the area at all but I had a look around and this place looks yummy.

Additionally, a Thai place called Esarn Kheaw has had very mixed reviews but might be worth a look in. If you go a little bit further to Notting Hill, you have the astounding Ledbury which is michelin-starred but with fantastic lunch deals, then there's Cafe Anglais by Bayswater (get the anchovy custard - sounds gross but is amazing) which is perfectly good, and plenty of good Chinese/Szechuan places.

But seriously, there is so much wonderful food in central London. The Riding House Cafe, Bob Bob Ricard, Polpo, the Opera Tavern, etc etc etc. It's worth the trip! Try to pressure your husband

And have a look through those food blogs I posted earlier in the thread. Gourmet Chick in particular sorts restaurants by occasion/price/area which might be handy.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

What's the word on Stroud Green/Crouch End - have just moved there.

I've heard good things about that Thai place - Cat's - or something. And there's apparently an amazing pizza place, a fairly hipsterish coffee place opposite a Tescos which was full of curly-haired glasses-wearing types and the smell of coffee coming out the door was divine.

Any suggestions?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

AMAZING. Thank you so much! The coffee place is really near to me, so I will absolutely check it out as I am a coffee fiend. And keep an eye out on all these other places too.
I went to the Faltering Fullback yesterday and loved it too. Seems like a great area.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

therattle posted:

I really like FF as I really love rugby and it's a rugby pub, and it has a very nice atmosphere. The garden area is great too, and the Thai food pretty decent for a casual night out. Where exactly are you?

The greengrocer just before Tollington Park/SGR on the left going up the road is newish and very nice.

I'm down off Oakfield road, so not too far, though I'm having to adapt to not having a bus a 3m walk from my door. Totally spoiled by living in Camden! What's the greengrocer called? Because I know Tollington Park, but I have been living here less than a week! (Moved in saturday)

I'm always, always skeptical of "lovely old pub" + Thai food. For instance the Pineapple in Kentish Town is a BEAUTIFUL pub but my god the thai in there is pretty rank and underwhelming, which is a shame.

I had totally amazing Mee Goreng noodles from Eatzone Noodlehouse (also in Kentish Town) for lunch yesterday. For £6.50 it is really one of my favourite lunch treats. I really recommend the place!

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Lady Gaza posted:

If it's that pub off Stroud Green Road that does Thai food I'd recommend it too, it was fairly decent. The pub and garden were spacious and it wasn't too busy either. I don't remember the road or the name but yeah it might be the one you are talking about. The garden had multiple levels of decking and such.

Yeah, that's the one! The Faltering Fullback. I really liked it in there, and the big back room with the benches and the pool tables really reminded me of Ireland, which many Irish pubs fail to do.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Double Happiness posted:

Has anyone ever been to "The Diner" in Camden? I'm seeing very mixed reviews online. Their website is http://www.goodlifediner.com/.

Also, not sure if it really counts as London but does anyone know any good places to eat in Kingston-Upon-Thames? Just moved here and dying to find somewhere good to eat!

Actually was chatting to someone about the food in Camden quite recently, who's not really a proper veggie but the only time they were craving a good burger meal, they actually travelled to Camden for the Diner, so might be worth checking out! (though if it is a good burger in camden you're after, i personally think Haché is awesome)

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

It's not steak tartare but the yuke (Korean-style steak tartare - so raw beef + egg) in Seoul on Finchley Road is AMAZING. I had dreams about it afterwards. It's slivers of raw beef, raw egg, pear and sesame oil and it is so, loving, delicious.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

You could give Morito a go in Exmouth Market, plenty of restaurants/bars around there, only downside is that there's no bookings, but they take your number and you tootle off to a nearby bar and they ring you when it's time. It was cheap, and totally delicious.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Oof, looks like someone else has had a poo poo time at Vanilla Blacks. I really wish there was at least one, stand-out great veggie restaurant in London (that isn't Mildreds which doesn't take bookings.)

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Okay, am totally avoiding that Thai place now

In other news, VEGETARIAN FOOD apparently very nice in this place Orchard, in Holborn.

quote:

You'll rapidly notice, however, if you pay attention to that bowl of soup, that there's a lot more cooking going on than you might expect. The ingredients are listed as potato and parsley, but that makes it sound plainer than it is, with the potato tasting rich and creamy, and the wonderfully lavish parsley playing a leading role – more dishes should use parsley as their star. On the side was the daily selection of three salads: red onion with sultanas and a sweet vinaigrette; pickled heritage potatoes; and cool, crunchy batonettes of kohlrabi and celery. The potato was genuinely interesting, not least because "heritage", a silly word, turns out here to mean "a weird shade of blue". The spuds were tangy and cooked to just the right degree of yielding resistance (I mention that because restaurant potatoes are often overboiled). A main course dish of savoy cabbage came wrapped around a savoury filling of milk-soaked bread and cheddar, with blue spuds on the side, a red wine reduction and a celeriac purée. This was a very happy plateful, the cheese and potato and celeriac both hearty and subtly various – a meat-eater's idea of veggie food, maybe, but that was part of the reason I liked it.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Seconding Han Kang - very central and pretty delicious.

I also LOVE Seoul in Finchley Road and bang on about it all the time in this thread. The staff brought a bunch of us loads of free tasty treats, the entire BBQ menu is perpetually set to 50% off, and the food was absolutely wonderful. It's a bit out of the way but the overground runs to Finchley and Frognall and it's a short walk from there.

This thread needs more pictures of tasty-looking food!

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

mynameisbatman posted:

Either way food is just way too expensive in London for what you're getting. I'm going to have to find more time to cook my own food in the future.

I dunno man, the £5 falafel from Maoz with the amazing refill salad bar is pretty excellent value for money. You just have to know what you're doing, and you can eat really well.
What sort of prices are you used to?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Pfffffffffffffftlol this fake press release is too loving spot on.



Off twitter, some dude called @markcoflaherty

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

I went to a french restaurant called Le Mercury last night, on Upper Street in Islington (between Angel tube and Highbury & Islington) for someone's surprise birthday dinner and I was very surprised at how cheap it was, how nice the waitstaff were and how reasonable the food was!

Very good ambiance. I had lobster and crayfish ravioli on spinach in a cream sauce (just the 1 ravioli but it was bursting with nice pink and white meat) for £3.45 , and a good pink roasted duck breast on savoy cabbage with garlic potato mash, for £8.75! So CHEAP.

House wine starts at £11. Puddings were similarly good.

I think this would be a great restaurant for a date as the ambiance was fantastic and it's kind of like what restaurants were what you imagined them to be when you were little - candles, small tables, chatting, plants as decoration, waitstaff in black uniforms. Really nice.

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Out of interest, why are you going back to somewhere insanely expensive that didnt impress you, when there are so many other insanely expensive potentially-amazing restaurants in London?

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

I went to Vagabond's, behind Finsbury Park with my mate on Sunday and we tried the americano, latte, hot chocolate and mocha and all of it was divine. I also had a piece of their fruit bread, which came with butter and it was yummy.

Great little coffee shop.
Bad pic, but look at the foam! And it was super cozy in the rain. Lovely staff as well. Will definitely be returning.


I am way too poor atm to indulge my love of fancy dining so reading about Roganic and Navarros and anywhere that is more than £10 a head is killing me

Neris fucked around with this message at May 3, 2012 around 12:29

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

theunderwaterbear posted:

Has anyone been to Gilgamesh recently/ever? I don't live in London but it's being suggested for a birthday for someone who does. The reviews seem to be amazing or awful.
I havent been but from what i know it's almost 99% likely to be terrible - if it was me, I wouldn't go

Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

Popcorn posted:

Anyone know of any good, authentic ramen joints in London? I've been craving a good bowl since I left Japan.

vvvv sounds promising! thanks!
This might be good!

quote:

Soho gets a new ramen bar Tonkotsu on Dean Street.

It's been a long time coming - with months and months of pop-ups and dish refinements - but the owners of Tsuru sushi are almost ready to open the doors on their new ramen bar in Soho. Tonkotsu, which means ‘pig bones’ and is also the name of the richest, porkiest ramen dish on offer - will serve a variety of authentic, short-menu ramen with various starters, sides, artisan Japanese beers and whiskies to complete the menu.
There will be three ramen dishes on offer: London Ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen and Tokyo Spicy which has shredded pork and their home-made chilli oil. In addition to the ramen, there'll also be fresh, hand-made gyoza (dumplings) and a crab cream korokke (Japanese croquettes).
Tonkotsu will open at 63 Dean Street in late June, but if you want to try the dishes before the official opening, they'll be running a final pop-up on the new site on Saturday 19th May. Keep an eye on @tonkotsulondon for more details.

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Neris
Mar 7, 2004

don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop

They're opening a pizza east in Kentish Town, ha ha! Up and coming area or what. Conveniently, I work a 5 minute walk from where it will be (opposite the Vine pub where the Grand Union used to be if that helps anyone.)

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