Quality Chop House

Written by admin on . Posted in

Quality Chop House

This charming dining room/wine bar/wine shop does the modern seasonal British thing on crack. Think a hunk bone marrow swimming in an uncontrollably delicious soup of garlic oil and snails or perfectly-cooked sweetbreads delicately arranged round smooth and creamy chicken liver pâté and interspersed with pickled onions. If you’re feeling less adventurous, simple dishes like roast beef or lamb chops are bloody good too. Sit in the bar and gorge on a selection of (generously-proportioned) “small” plates or take advantage of the opportunity to reserve one of the cosy wooden booths in the dining room and tuck into the daily-changing menu on offer. The only downside is that the place is a bit of a nightmare for big groups. They can only accommodate groups of more than 6 in the private dining room, which has a minimum spend of £500, a bit steep when the set menu’s only £30 a head.

 

Paesan

Written by admin on . Posted in

Paesan

The Italian ‘cucina povera’ (literally, food of the poor) and stripped back, exposed brick on show at Paesan are a far cry from the burgers and bling you could get at Dollar Grills and Martini which used to occupy this big-windowed space on the cusp Exmouth Market . We’re not quite sure about the concept of peasant food when you’re most likely to be sat next to a a large group of yuppies, but we still enjoyed the hearty, Italian dishes, especially the deep fried pizza, because, come on, what’s not to like there? Some of the plates are a bit hit and miss, but the place still has a good buzz to it and we thoroughly enjoyed hitting the downstairs bar for a little aperitif. Think of it as a bigger, noisier Polpo. Where they take reservations. With space for big parties. We can get on board with that.

Sushi Tetsu

Written by admin on . Posted in

Tuna Nigiri at Sushi Tetsu in London

London’s holy grail of Sushi, this titchy 7-seater in Clerkenwell run by ex-Nobu chef Toru Takahashi is the closest you’ll get to the cooking of sushi masters without leaving the U.K. That explains why bookings come so hard, and boy should we know. Lines open on the first day of each month and take reservations for the following month. Prospective customers have been known to call hundreds of times before getting through – but don’t let that put you off; this place is a must-go. Guests sit at the sushi bar and watch Takahashi do his stuff, gently crafting each piece of sushi or sashimi before placing it on the banana leaves that act as plates for guests to eat with their hands. There’s no extra soy sauce, no wasabi, no ginger, but the fish – carefully selected for its freshness – never needs more than what Takahashi’s already given it. Order a la carte or go for the omikase set menu for a meticulously-paced sampling of the best seafood of the day. So, put the first of next month in your diary, cancel your plans, take the day off work and make a reservation. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Modern Pantry

Written by admin on . Posted in

Modern Pantry Restaurant in Clerkenwell London

Gloriously white and fresh, the decor in this charming Antipodean Clerkenwell restaurant sings of summer all year round. The menu, too, is bright and zesty summer days. In fact a trip to Modern Pantry is a bit like a summer mini break, without leaving rainy London. The little square outside makes for a lovely setting on those rare days of British heat as well. A real fusion of world cooking, there are clearly influences from East to West on this menu, and they taste good. The staff are friendly and very smiley, the service is relaxed without being lazy and the place is pretty buzzy round the clock. Brunch is certainly the most popular meal (make sure to book on the weekends) and jugs of Bloody Mary are enough to pull anyone through a weekend hangover. Word of warning, choose carefully because you’re sure to have food envy when you see all the dishes coming out that kitchen.

Polpo Smithfield

Written by admin on . Posted in

PolpoSmithfields

With the third iteration of his highly successful Polpo brand of restaurants, Russell Norman seems to be targeting the business lunchers – that means you can reserve for lunch, halle-bloody-lujah. You’ll still have to take your chances at dinner though. Never mind, it’s actually a great spot for a business lunch. There’s the usual slick “polpo-style” interior – all exposed light bulbs, artful floor tiling and conspicuous beams – with none of the stuffiness of many city spots. Then there’s the people-pleasing food. Polpo’s Venetian bacaro formula is well tried and tested now and all the favourites are here; giant meatballs that melt in the mouth, addictively moreish pizzette draped with irresistible toppings and a range of other small plates, perfect for sharing.  The place does great drinks too, maybe something to do with the downstairs negroni bar. Be warned, these pack a mean punch; two of these suckers will send you back to work after lunch a very happy bunny.

Caravan

Written by admin on . Posted in

Caravan

From the décor to the service, this New Zealand coffee-shop-cum-all-day-café/resto oozes laidback shabby-chic charm. Don’t be fooled though, these folks sure know what they’re doing – and I’m not just talking about the brew, the food’s beaut too. Dishes like pickled mackerel with corn and avocado and smoked eel with a curry powder mayo earns Caravan its place among the other foodie havens dotted along Exmouth market. The menu is split into small and large plates, but why go for one big thing when you can have lots of little ones. Bypass the bigs and order as many littles as your belly can take. Come for brunch, lunch or snacks but don’t leave without sampling the coffee – the best Exmouth market has to offer.

Moro

Written by admin on . Posted in

Moro

The now legendary Moro sits comfortably ensconced at the top of the charmingly gentrified Exmouth Market. The atmosphere in the voluminous dining room is distinctly low key, but the food is high octane. Husband-and-wife chef team, Sam and Sam Clark, curate an exciting weekly-changing menu that draws on Mediterranean and North African flavours and makes full use of the wood-fired oven and charcoal grill tucked away in the kitchen. Sit at the bar for some tapas and sherry, or grab a table near one of the giant windows near the front of the restaurant for some prime people watching. This place is super-popular with locals and commuters alike – it’s just a short hop, skip and jump away from the city – so make sure to book in advance. If you’re lucky, they might be able to squeeze you in at the bar even without a reservation, or try your luck next door at the offshoot tapas bar.

Morito

Written by admin on . Posted in

Morito

A teeny-tiny corridor of a restaurant at the top of Exmouth market, this little sister to the legendary Moro knows how to do nibbles. The décor is minimalist, with the focus on the orange bar that runs the length of the restaurant. There are a couple of other tables to one side and even some outside seating (weather permitting), but really you want to hop up on one of the bar stools and get a good eyeful of all the action. The flavours are Moorish – a blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern – and the menu changes daily with a never-ending cycle of mouth-watering bites. A recent visit featured cicharrones de Cadiz (that’s pork belly with cumin and lemon), chicken with harissa and olives and baby squid with lemon. And that was just for starters. Inevitably, there are no reservations at dinner time and this is a neighbourhood fave so keep the groups small and expect a bit of a wait; it’s worth it.

Bistrot Bruno Loubet

Written by admin on . Posted in

Bistrot Bruno Loubet

Star chef Bruno Loubet has created the neighborhood bistrot dreams are made of in Farringdon’s stylish and boutiquey Zetter hotel. Frequented by a well-heeled mix of all sorts, the atmosphere is convivial and easy going, much like the seasonal and pitch-perfect French food on offer. Carefully-crafted dishes, with artfully arranged vegetable pairings are much more substantial than the delightful presentation suggests, while the interesting dessert selection is not to be missed. Giant windows look out onto super-cute St John Square and let streams of sunlight into the airy dining room, while the open plan bar that dominates one-side of the room makes for great people watching. When the weathers good there’s also a dinky outdoor space for a touch of al fresco. Pop round the corner afterwards for some confections in the Zetter’s den of a cocktail lounge.

Tinseltown Farringdon

Written by admin on . Posted in

Tinseltown

The staple stomping ground for armies of glazey-eyed, post-Fabric partiers, this cavernous all-American diner opens well into the wee hours. Don’t expect friendly service; bouncers guard the door fiercely against the late night crowds and the staff are always frazzled. Still, the greasy comfort food (made with halal meat) hits the spot hard after a night of heavy partying. Beware before you attempt to take on the challenge burgers (just irristible after a drink or 10), you’ll regret it in the morning! Ginormous milkshakes are a speciality and there are over 50 to choose from, but will likely leave you feeling the same way.