Beiträge von thecattylife
24-26 Baker Street, Mayfair, London W1U 3DP
thecattylife am 8 März 2010
Full post and photos @ www.thecattylife.com
Not to be confused with Royal China Club (its more expensive and less screaming-dimsum-orders-in-your-face sibling) Royal China has been a favourite amongst my pals for a while, but I don’t know why I never went. Maybe it’s the queues. Because if you show up any time after midday, there’s a queue. Alternatively, you can be clever like my friends and send an anally-retentive-super-punctual friend (me) to get a ticket and commence the waiting.
Used and abused, I tell you!
Anyway, we ordered a bunch of the usual suspects – no wait, we diverted from the dim sum menu and ordered braised asparagus, which was perfectly crispy and soft (I realise them are oxymorons but they were crispy and soft, all at the same time) – har gow, siu mai, lo mai kai, wu kok, low bok gow, xiao long bao, and all kinds of cheong funs. Oh and a Singapore noodle because anally-retentive me had a craving.
Everything was very good ~ fresh, tasty and light (as opposed to gruesomely glutnious which can be the norm at some substandard dim sum restaurants). I also remember that the law bok gow (turnip cake) was delicious with perfectly gelatinous consistency and beautifully fried a golden brown on each side. We also ordered I think five serves of cheong fun, which, well I think that means we liked it. Just a little bit.
The desserts were a little bit bland but really, aren't we there for the dim sum?
66 Baker Street, London W1U 7DJ
thecattylife am 8 März 2010
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is but one member of the Galvin group of restaurants, an enterprise launched by Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff. Spanning the restaurant vertical’s breadth of wallet sizes, the Galvin group offers the affordable Bistrot de Luxe right through to Galvin at Windows, which has just earned a Michelin Star in 2010.
Well, clearly we went the way of the paupers because not only did we dine at Bistrot de Luxe, we flexed our GFC muscles and went for the £17.50 set dinner, a three course (dual option) menu which although thrifty, I’d heard was very very good.
Starter choices were between a velouté of Brittany cauliflower (aka cauliflower soup) and a œuf sur le plat à la Basquaise (aka baked eggs).
The baked eggs were very tasty – not quite so Lantana breakfast-style, a little more exotic with caramelised onions and sweet peppers. And the soup was a rich, creamy concoction of well, cauliflowers (just callin’ it like I see it).
Main options were poached chicken, turnip choucroute & juniper beurre blanc or roast pollock, tomato fondue, clams & mussels.
Most of us chose to have the pollock because we thought the chicken would be all breast and y’know, breast meat, yuck. But actually the chicken turned out to be surprisingly tender and the butter sauce was just sinful. Sinful.
The pollock was also a good option, thick, meaty, soft but with a crispy skin. The tomato fondue with clams and mussels was a perfect sauce.
Onto dessert and our options were buttermilk panna cotta with poached rhubarb or brie de Meaux with walnut & raisin loaf.
The panna cotta was, in my humble opinion, very effing delicious. The right amount of gelatinous wobble married with thick creamy custard/cream/ buttermilk-whatever. I’m not a pro but I loved the panna cotta, and paired with the tartness of the rhubarb? Divine.
The cheese was cheese, I didn’t actually taste any, but the cheese person – my friend Loreen – sat and smiled and munched on her cheese and bread very happily.
We finished off the meal with pots of tea, served in uniquely painted little tea cups. Totally cute.
So all in all I thought it was a good meal. Wow factor? Hmmm, even for a bistro, it doesn’t really compare to the likes of Eastside Inn Bistro, but then again, it was also less than half the price.
You get what you pay for and here, you get good, simple unpretentious food. Can’t really complain for under £20 a head.
22 Harcourt Street, London W1H 4HH
thecattylife am 8 März 2010
And while places like Roka are brilliant and all that, what I really love about Dinings is its unpresumptuous façade ~ a tiny little Japanese restaurant with a simple sushi bar and a small, brightly lit restaurant area that seats I don’t know, 30 at most, serving up in complete modesty what I think is up there with the best Japanese food in Londontown.
Big call, little one.
Big call, but trust me, they deliver.
I’m not going to go into a clinical dissection of every dish in this post, because frankly, you should just go and experience this yourself.
But I do have to point out the seared wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa & ponzu jelly which at £9 for two portions, is definitely the most expensive sushi to have ever passed these lips. But they’re that ridiculously good that despite the expense, they’ve passed these lips quite a number of times. In fact I did say to Panu that I’d be quite happy to pay £36 for eight portions and call that my dinner. And honestly, I would.
But I’m greedy, and I wanted to try other stuff.
Every single dish is a star in its own right. The wagyu beef tataki, foie gras sushi (which I’ve heard others not liking because the foie gras is served warm but I, for one, relished it), grilled scallops with creamy wasabi sauce… the winners just kept on coming.
And they don’t stop there. Dinings has a small but quality dessert menu, including green tea crème brulee which OMG I didn’t order! I was itching to try the hoji tea pannacota (delicious, not too sweet with a distinct tea bite) and Panu had the black sesame crème caramel topped with coffee froth because I was raving non-stop about that.
So there you go, a too-well-kept London secret unveiled and now y’all just have to go and check it out. And whatever you do, whatever you order, just don’t be stingy. Go for the seared wagyu beef sushi, I promise you won’t regret it.