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

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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