Medlar: What A Gem

If you have not yet had the unmatchable pleasure of dining at Medlar you must drop everything and make a booking immediately.

I have been trying to get to Medlar for months. (I am not just saying this because by now everyone has eaten there, written a (glowing) review, and I am trying to catch up.) It has been difficult, however, to persuade my London compadres to voyage to a part of Chelsea where there are no nearby tube stops. So I took advantage Continue reading

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Brunch at NOPI

It’s official: London has discovered brunch. Even two years ago, you couldn’t find brunch anywhere except hotels, and said “brunch” consisted only of fry-ups (coyly masquerading as “English breakfast”), granola bowls, and the occasional forlorn Eggs Benedict. All that has changed, and as an American (i.e., brunch addict) I’m ecstatic about it. So when friend C turned up on an early Sunday morning flight from San Francisco, brunch was the Thing To Be Had. And, judging from the buzz, NOPI was the place to have it. Continue reading

Meat me at Hawksmoor for Brunch

I am meat-drunk. I feel like I have been larded with drippings and slathered on toast. You see, I had brunch at Hawksmoor Spitalfields today.

This is not brunch for the fainthearted or weak-willed. There is no heart-healthy option. Nor is this brunch for vegetarians. No. This is brunch for meat-eaters and boozers, and I love it. Continue reading

Mooli’s!

Although roti is one of my favourite things to eat in the whole world (it’s definitely in the top five and may be in the top three), somehow I didn’t know about Mooli’s until friend J showed me the menu online.

“This is right up my alley,” I thought. A streamlined concept – street food, specifically roti wraps – served six ways, with six proteins, open for lunch. Period. Two days later I was standing before the counter, clutching my fists, wracked with indecision. BEEF, PORK, CHICKPEA OR GOAT? Continue reading

Chor Bizarre: Not so much

As a general rule, I don’t go out to eat in Mayfair unless someone else is buying. This is because it is practically impossible to dine in Mayfair without basically emptying your bank account. But when a Bollywood insider suggests you go to an Indian restaurant, the sensible thing to do is immediately agree, because this particular Bollywood insider usually knows what she’s talking about. On this occasion, however, not so much.

Friend J invited me to Chor Bizarre, a venerable old Indian restaurant on Albemarle Street across from posh five star Brown’s hotel. Chor Bizarre is a successful franchise, with restaurants in Delhi and Noida. In London, it’s frequented by wealthy Indian travelers and suits striking deals. It’s a cute concept: a sly wink at a thieves’ market with tables like jewelry cases filled with found objects. But Chor Bizarre doesn’t deliver, either on concept or on food. Continue reading

Looking for that elusive spark at Corner Room

I really wanted to love Corner Room.

Corner Room is combining flavours in a creative and innovative way. It is affordable(ish). It is the brainchild of a hot chef. The staff persons are sweet and accommodating. But I just liked it. It was a bummer. Continue reading

Alounak – Oh my Halal!

It may be a kind of a cop-out to review a restaurant that I have been enjoying for two years. On the other hand, that means it’s VERY VERY GOOD AND CONSISTENT. I have a tender place in my heart for Alounak. I want to say it is the first restaurant I went to when I moved to London, however I know for a fact I didn’t go until I’d been here for a few days. So I think there were some lost days which I must have spent clutching my cats and weeping on my couch. In any event, Alounak is my first, and most distinct, restaurant memory in London, and quite possibly the reason I am still here. Continue reading

Yalla Yalla – Let’s Go!

I have a new favourite cheap eats destination. (By “new” I mean “new to me.” Yalla Yalla has been open in Soho since 2008 and in Mayfair since 2010. I could weep at all the meals I could have eaten, but did not eat, at Yalla Yalla.)

Yalla Yalla could so easily have been precious. It is in Soho. It is trendy. It bills itself as serving “Beirut Street Food” (showing that it has me, and a whole lot of other people, dialed down). It could serve microscopic portions and charge an outrageous amount for alcohol. But Yalla Yalla is not precious, except perhaps literally, like my precious bottle of barrel aged single batch bourbon Continue reading

Manchurian Legends: Not so Legendary

I admit I am as much of a food fad follower as the next urban foodie. The words “regional cooking” immediately make me start drooling, particularly if they’re paired with words like “pickle” and “spicy.” So of course I had to try the new Dongbei restaurant opened by the group behind the Legends chain as soon as I read the favourable review in Time Out, and enlisted reliable food buddies J & T to join me.

I had high expectations but for the first time ever, I think, Guy Dimond let me down. Continue reading