In a nutshell: delicious modern Japanese pop up in Chelsea
Cuisine: modern Japanese
Kurobuta is a temporary pop up on Kings Road (Chelsea), but based on how delicious the food was I really hope they’ll consider to stay permanently. However, they will open a more permanent space in Marble Arch in the new year so follow their twitter to stay tuned. The restaurant on Kings Road will remain open till end of December, so hurry up before they close! Food was really delicious, Japanese Izakaya style with small plates (not too small, good size) designed for sharing for the whole table. Food combinations were very creative, I tried an interesting mix of grilled mushrooms with Gorgonzola and was amazed by how beautiful all the elements went together. The Chilean sea bass from the blackboard was rich and creamy with a beautiful ponzu shiso dressing. They also do modern Japanese desserts like yuzu tart with matcha buttercream cookie! So what are you waiting for!!
In a nutshell: veggie centric restaurant with clever and delicious dishes from chef Bruno Loubet
Grain Store has been on my list for a while, mostly because some people really like it and some didn’t. I’m a huge fan of healthy restaurants, especially those using vegetables in a creative as well as delicious way. When I read the menu from Grain Store, everything sounded creative and decision was really tough, the ‘vegetable’ chorizo scotch egg, the wild mushroom croquettes, the chargrilled endive and hazelnut crumble. If that’s not delicious enough, the meat dishes were just as tempting, braised beef with root vegetable puree and tea soaked golden grapes with wood pigeon. Food certainly didn’t disappoint and I also loved the restaurant space with bright nature light.
Really enjoyed breakfast at Balthazar, can’t wait to return for dinner service soon!
In a nutshell: amazing steaks for £10 in Soho
Price: £10 for steak, including salad (tiny)
Those of you who read my previous Flat Iron post would know the horrible queue system I mentioned before. After a few months, I went back to Flat Iron again and absolutely loved everything. There is a normal queue system (get there and queue), which normally starts around 6pm. I went at 5ish and got a seat no problem (I know, who eats at 5..). Steak wise, portion was small but still makes the £10 very cheap.
In a nutshell: Hawksmoor’s new restaurant at Farringdon didn’t wow like the original
I was really excited to dine at Foxlow because I’m a massive fan of Hawksmoor's steak, especially the beautiful porterhouse and their great value Sunday roasts. Foxlow didn’t disappoint but it didn’t have anything so special to remember afterwards either. The menu was short with nothing too eye popping apart from the 8hr bacon rib with maple & chilli and the 10hr beef rib with kimchi. Flavour was ok but I prefer their steak more. Foxlow also serves steak, but then I may as well just go Hawksmoor.
In a nutshell: Angela Hartnett’s latest Italian restaurant was decent
Angela Hartnett’s latest Italian restaurant opened on 33 St James’s Street (close to Green Park stn) with 75 covers and a 12-seater dining bar. I went for lunch on their first opening day and it was already packed. Service was occasionally slow between courses but overall impressively smooth on their first day. Food was decent across the board, pasta was great, meat was cooked perfectly and I loved the truffle arancini!
In a nutshell: one of my favourite meals of the year, perfect from bread to dessert!
Price: 3 courses for £45pp, tasting menu for £65pp
Cuisine: Modern European
Dinner at The Five Fields was unexpectedly amazing, so good that I’d make sure to return as many times as possible, especially I now think it’s the best restaurant in my neighbourhood. If they don’t get a Michelin star I’d be surprised. The restaurant opened in May 2013 and has already received many great reviews from bloggers and critics. It remains a very local neighbourhood restaurant, all the guests were local, no business suits anywhere in sight and non of the posh Chelsea vibe. I was however, the youngest person in the room (I’m 26), 90% of the people were over 50s, who all praised how great the food was!
In a nutshell: 3 of my favourite dim sum restaurants in HK
High end dim sum - Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Man Wah serves amazing high end dim sum (and dinner), such as the abalone taro puff and black truffle siu mai. The beef tenderloin puff with black pepper sauce has an incredible 96 layers giving a super light texture. It’s better to go on weekends when a longer dim sum menu is available. They also do great traditional Chinese desserts like glutinous rice balls (tang yuan), else you can head down to the Mandarin Cake shop which has way too many mouthwatering cakes (they also have Cronut). Prices are high, around $78-108 (£6-8) per plate (3-4 pieces in
In a nutshell: super inventive cooking from ex-Roganic chef Ben Spalding
I’ve been following Ben Spalding since that amazing dinner at John Salt, where the dishes were so full of surprises that my friend licked a brick (I chickened out..)! Sadly, Ben left John Salt soon after but he continued to work on his own projects, in particular, ‘Stripped Back' at Broadway market has received great reviews. Now comes No Rules, which was like a supper club / chef’s table catered to a small group, no menu and dishes were spontaneously based on what each guest brought as their love and hate ingredients. Ben incorporated those into his dishes and everyone loved their most hated ingredients (such as brussels sprouts and dried cuttlefish). It was a great experience that I’d highly recommend!
In a nutshell: excellent Peking duck at the Grand Hyatt, Beijing
Price: RMB 200pp (about £20)
Made in China serves northern Chinese cuisine on the ground floor of Grand Hyatt Beijing. The name ‘Made in China’ doesn’t giveaway much on their speciality since it sounds more like a Chinese buffet in the US than a place that serves one of the best Peking ducks in Beijing. They should just use their Chinese name ‘No1 Chang An’ which fits the restaurant’s image much better (Chang An is the longest street in Beijing, where the Grand Hyatt is). This restaurant has great reputation on many guidebooks and since it’s considered an expensive place, the clientele tend to be more foreign than local. But locals have also rated it highly on the popular restaurant app called ‘da zhong dian ping 大众点评’, which is incredibly useful - if you can read Chinese. Apart from duck, the wu liang ye 五粮液 (Chinese liquor) ice cream is simply to die for, I’d come here just for the ice cream!