Finding a good authentic laksa in London is not easy, but I’d heard good things about this place and with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme I felt it was as good time as time as any to give it a try. What with it being named after the namesake dish I had high expectations. I started with a honey duck bao bun. While the filling was pleasant enough, the bun was a bit hard in places and certainly not the soft pillowy bun one would expect. It was also torn, to be honest if I was the chef I wouldn’t have served it, but they did. Not a great start. For the main dish I of course also ordered a laksa. There was several different options but I went for the classic Singapore-style curry laksa. This dish was better, as one would hope for a restaurant literally named after the dish. Was it the best Laksa I’ve ever had no, not the worst either, pretty average overall though. Also afterwards I had quite a nasty stomach ache, which I’m not certain but may or may not have been from the meal. Either way don’t think I’ll be going back. My search for a decent Laksa in London continues.
Omilos is renowned as the best restaurant in Hydra. I tried to get a table there several nights in a row and finally on my last night I managed to secure a spot. Situated in a former fuel depot near the entrance of the port it’s been cleverly converted and is now a chic contemporary restaurant with an amazing sea terrace. I was so keen for a table I even offered to sit inside if that’s all they had, though luckily they found me a lovely table overlooking the ocean. I started with a sea bass carpaccio which was excellent, really fresh and light. Then for my main I pushed the boat out and ordered lobster pasta, which was delicious. As I was having seafood I ordered a carafe of the local Greek white wine.
This was my second time at Blacklock and I’m a big fan. Annoyingly it’s another of those no reservations restaurants however if they don’t have any space they’ll put your name on a list and they give you a time to come back when they can fit you in and thankfully this being Soho there’s lots of nearby bars and pubs in which to grab a drink while you wait. Also most importantly it’s actually worth the wait. This restaurant is a meat lovers paradise. They serve great big platters of grilled meat. Though they do have vegetarian options, I would definitely say this is not really a restaurant for your vegetarian/ vegan friends. Brilliantly they’ve also done away with happy hours and have any time £5 cocktails instead, bargain.
For £20 per person (min 2 people) they do what they call an ‘All in’, which includes pre chop bites, beef, pork and lamb skinny chips all piled high on a charcoal grilled flatbread to share with a side each per person. The pre chop bites include cheese and pickle, pigs head and kimchee, and egg and anchovy. They come in bite size canapés type portions. I had two of each and JP who I was dining with had six egg and anchovy as they’re his favourite. A delicious way to start the meal off and perk up the taste buds. The massive platter of meat comes next and it’s pretty impressive, stacked high on a large serving plate for you to devour, with the flat bread at the base which soaks up all the lovely meat juices and is a delicious treat when you get down to the bottom. By that time we were completely stuffed, but if you do want dessert they do a white chocolate cheesecake which looked great. Highly recommend this place. Pretty good value for all the delicious food you get as well. Apparently they also do a mean Sunday roast as well.
Pre chop bites
I used to got to Quaglinos a lot in the early noughties when I first moved to London, I’d not been for years though. So when my friend JP invited me for Sunday brunch with some of his friends I was delighted to return to an old favourite. We were going to their ‘Soul Sunday’ brunch which for £49 each includes a starter, main course, a pudding and unlimited wine. To start I had a lovely chicken liver parfait with compressed apple. Then for main I had roast beef and all the trimmings. Unfortunately they had completely ran out of roast beef and so gave me a ribeye steak instead, which although very nice and considerably more expensive was not exactly what I ordered or was expecting. however they did very kindly knocked it off the bill without me even asking which was very good of them. For pudding I had a lovely, if a little small, treacle tart. It was lovely and rounded the meal off very nicely though.
Chicken liver parfait with apples
Roast beef, yorkshire pudding
This year for my Terrence Higgins Trust Supper Club I selected Wiltons on Jermyn Street as our restaurant. A very old school restaurant that serves classic British food. We were in their beautiful private dining room, such a stunning room. On arrival we had champagne ready chilled and waiting for us, the service was spot on.
I started with the foie gras served with chutney and toasted brioche. I love foie gras, I know some people have issues about the ethics of its production, but the flavour is wonderful and I only have it very infrequently. For my main course I had lovely venison with blackberries. it was cooked perfectly pink and was so tender almost melt in the mouth.Then for dessert I had a wonderful soufflé. I love a soufflé and it’s not the sort of dish you rustle up at home to often because of its temperamental nature. This was delicious and perfectly risen.
The venue for this years after party was the Cuckoo Club, just between Piccadilly and Regent Street. I’d not been to this venue before but I really liked it. It’s split over two floors and this worked really well for the after party as there was one room which was focused on dancing and then a quieter room which you could socialise in. At the after party we met the lovely Jody Whittaker who has recently taken over as the new Doctor Who. She was utterly charming and I got a photo of her with some of my friends.
Private dining room at Wilton’s Jermyn Street