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22 August 2014

Restaurants & Bars

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Blog Reviews from ytTastes

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Reviews of Restaurants, Food & All That Tastes - by Yvanne Teo


  1. Published : Tuesday, 5th August 2014

    City Caphe | City Caphe – Vietnamese Cafe

    Quite an unexpected find as I met a friend of mine near St Paul’s Cathedral for brunch – City Caphe a very authentic Vietnamese Cafe on Ironmonger Lane just off Cheapside. The suggestion to go was mainly because of my fussiness due to lack of sleep, so I really was in the mood for comfort food. But what comfort food can you find near St Paul’s amidst all the tourist orientated offerings? Apparently they serve the most authentic banh mi outside Vietnam which is kind of a Vietnamese baguette...

  2. Published : Monday, 9th June 2014

    City Social (bar) | City Social Bar

    My determination to try Jason Atherton’s new City Social, the City Social Bar was my first opportunity, so the restaurant will have to wait till a later date. Not having managed to meet up with friends since my Bhutan Photographic trip with Amala Destinations the pre-arranged meet date was made without settling on a venue – so it was my luck that we decided on (or perhaps I did) City Social Bar. Being 24 stories up Tower 42 in the City of London, I looked forward to the sunset views over London that would be enjoyed while catching up and trying out the various cocktails. The City of London is very quiet over the weekends so I had hoped the City Social Bar would not be so busy...

  3. Published : Tuesday, 27th May 2014

    Inn the Park | Inn the Park – Peyton & Bryne

    We gave up our intention of a calm stroll in the end, and settled down on the covered terrace at Inn the Park to start our lunch early. A lovely and very polite waiter was at our attendance – perhaps almost too polite… you will read about this later! The menu for Sunday looked interesting. As per usual my friend and I decided to choose separate dishes that we both wanted to try and agreed to swap half way through. So for the starters it we ended up choosing their: English asparagus, toasted hazelnuts and soft garlic; and Devon crab and avocado with crisp ginger bread. The mains, well, we couldn’t quite swap on that one, my friend being a pescatarian, so she decided on the Salt baked root vegetables, caramelized fennel, radish and St. Tola (as we were curious what St Tola was), and I chose the typical Traditional Sunday roast beef. The Skinny fries with caramalised chilli was also spotted and ordered by my friend, but I refrained from anything else as at the back of my mind I reminded myself that there was dessert to come!...

  4. I couldn’t have chosen a better day weather wise to try lunch at The Magazine Restaurant in the Serpentine Galleries. I haven’t been round Hyde Park in a while, so while the sun was shining, a gentle stroll through from Lancaster Gate to the Galleries and finally The Magazine Restaurant. My interest in The Magazine Restaurant was two-fold: the food of course which is by Oliver Lange, but also the architecture, a Zaha Hadid creation. But as you can see from the image above, how could you not be interested in visiting whether you like the architecture or the food...

  5. Having said I would try Jason Atherton‘s other establishments after my experiences of breakfast then lunch at Berners Tavern, I had the opportunity to try out tea at Pollen Street Social by chance. I was meeting a friend for catch up and we were struggling to find a quiet place from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. By chance my friend was walking close by Pollen Street Social, so I guided him to check it out and we ended up having coffee/tea there at their Social bar. As I was running slightly late, it was very pleasant to rush out of the shopping crowd and into the side street where Pollen Street Social sits, into their cool exterior and collapse into their comfortable armchairs in their bar area. I had a good feeling about the place, partly due to a picture message sent by my waiting friend below, saying “you’ll be happy with the water glass”...

  6. Published : Tuesday, 11th March 2014

    Sake No Hana | Sake No Hana – Tasting Dinner

    A little reunion gathering that was difficult in the planning to seemingly complicated time schedules, so an interesting dining location was sort after… Sake No Hana had the final blessing! The weather wasn’t with us, torrential rain, so making my way to Sake No Hana was a very wet experience. There are two entrances to Sake no Hana, the first one you encounter leads to the bar, the second, to the reception of the restaurant. Having deposited my rather wet rain coat with the “meet & greet” ladies, I was shown to the bar area to await the rest of my guests. Sitting alone in a bar isn’t one of my favourite past times, but it was interesting that the rest of the clientèle seemed to be overly absorbed in their own little group, almost afraid of observing what was happening around them...

  7. Having tried the breakfast, I was back for the lunch menu. Strictly speaking the menu, other than breakfast, is available all day as Berners Tavern is an all day dining establishment. I have to say, I love the decor in the Berners Tavern, it is one of the few places that draws me to look around the dining room instead of giving my dining companions my full attention. As far as I could see, there were a lot of people there for a business lunch/lunch meeting rather than on a purely social dining experience...

  8. Published : Tuesday, 25th February 2014

    Olivocarne | Olivocarne

    I finally get to try Olivocarne, after many meals at Olivomare which is one of their other restaurants serving seafood. Besides belonging to the same group of Olivo Restaurants, what makes the experience so enjoyable is the attentive and friendly waiting staff. I love the Italian mannerisms and their love for food. Olivocarne’s interior is also designed by Pierluigi Piu who designed that of Olivomare. He actually won the award, The 11th Modern Decoration International Media Awards, the RESTAURANT & BAR SPACE AWARD 2013, for his interior design of Olivocarne...

  9. Several opportunities to experience the Berners Tavern at The London Edition. Situated off Oxford Street on Berners Street just down the road from The Sanderson Hotel, Berners Tavern offers all day dining and by the looks of it, is at the time of this post, quite THE place to entertain. The place from what I could see, seemed constantly buzzing with people – business entertaining, social gathering, and just to be seen. Berners Tavern is under the direction of Jason Atherton, and following the trend of late, offers extensive British Cuisine...

  10. Published : Tuesday, 3rd December 2013

    Mon Plaisir | Espresso Martini… Mon Plaisir

    Catching up with a good friend… but trying to find a less crowded bar with the Christmas Shopping crowds in London, we ended up at Covent Garden Hotel Bar for my favourite cocktail… the Espresso Martini. If you know me, I really don’t drink much alcohol; I taste a lot but drink little. Exception to the rule is the espresso martini and the Covent Garden Hotel Bar in Monmouth Street does a rather nice one. Unfortunately my eagerness led to a lack of actual image of my drink but I am sure you will get a good idea with this one. We had a highly skilled bartender who seemed to have hit it well with my friend who is extremely particular about his dry martini. So we were still happily catching up, observing the other clientèle, and discussing the ever so favourite topic of food and wine after several cocktails later. I definitely do recommend this bar...

  11. Published : Friday, 27th September 2013

    Sedap | Sedap – Malaysian / Singapore Cafe

    Sedap – Malay for delicious! :) An unassuming cafe located on Old Street opposite St Luke’s (home of the LSO). What’s great about this place? It’s one of the places I go for some “local” food from Singapore/Malaysia. Food from this region is really a mixture between cultures of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and a little European, also known as Nonya food. And how authentic is it? Well the chef/owner used to work in a the Copthorne Kings Hotel in Singapore famous for it’s grand buffet of Nonya food from Penang. How do I know? A good friend of mine was recommended this cafe while in Singapore by the owner of the Hotel!...

  12. My late night visit to Kings Cross one Friday evening reminded me that I had yet to visit and check out the Great Northern Hotel. So when my friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while suggested meeting up, I checked to see if there was a restaurant or bar on the offering at the hotel since it was an ideal meeting point for the both of us – both of which exists, the bar, GNH Bar, and the restaurant, Plum & Spilt Milk. Not having read much about it, but the words on the website caught my eye “Elegant yet relaxed…” this was what we needed! So reservations made, and I looked forward to my first outing after a bout of illness.,,

  13. Published : Monday, 29th July 2013

    Pham Sushi | Pham Sushi

    Another sushi or Japanese restuarant? Yes but with a slight twist. When recommending Pham Sushi I always say it is not quite what you would call a traditional sushi restaurant as the owners are Thai I believe, and there is a slight Thai twist in the dishes that they create. It is always hard to find a reasonably priced restaurant in the City of London, so this one though not extremely cheap, does serve good sushi, so long as you keep in mind that it is not the traditional sushi style that they offer. I think it is always good to go in a group of four to six people so that you can try the different dishes they offer… unless of course you have a very good appetite and can consume large quantities of food!...

  14. Published : Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Roka | Sushi Dinner at Roka Charlotte Street

    A very impromptu dinner: my friend had just flown back into London and was craving some sushi. Where better to go than her favourite restaurant – Roka on Charlotte Street. Luckily as my friend is a regular, we managed to get a reservation without a problem and even managed to arrive early for a drink in the Shochu Lounge downstairs (as our table was not quite ready, they would call down to collect us when it was ready). I haven’t been to this bar in ages, but I always remember their cocktails… both alcoholic and non, and the requisite block of ice to chip on. I must organise another trip here for the cocktails! I like their manga wall that they have now and I’ve included some images of it...

  15. Published : Wednesday, 10th July 2013

    Savoy Grill at The Savoy | Savoy Grill

    Having spotted a Time Out special deal for a set menu deal at the Savoy Grill, a friend and I were rather keen to try this out especially since we had heard so much about the renovations that had taken place and the time that it took. The deal turned out to be quite popular and we found it hard to make a suitable booking, but eventually a date was found and finally we were to try the Savoy Grill. We went for an early evening meal, but the evening didn’t start off well with the traffic against us, a late arrival was expected… not good!...

  16. Published : Thursday, 4th July 2013

    Hawksmoor Air Street | Hawksmoor Air Street

    n’t sure if Hawksmoor Air Street would be completely child friendly, as I would say the decor was more of a gentlemen’s club feel, but I thought the booths would be something the two girls would be partial to. So upon my arrival, I had my friend with his two little extremely well behaved girls sitting in a booth having an animated conversation. One of my thoughts in choosing Hawksmoor Air Street is the Special express menu that they offer, and with the Englishness, an interesting experience for the girls who are daughters of a real foodie father, this was their first time in London and the UK...

  17. Published : Monday, 24th June 2013

    Royal China | Dim Sum at Royal China Queensway

    Dim Sum is always enjoyable when you have a reasonably large group of people and so one Saturday a group of us arranged to meet up at the Royal China in Queensway, London, to partake a dim sum meal together. The choice was also made in part that most of us there went to the same taiji class, and that we all also enjoyed our food very much! What better combination, lots of taiji to combat the food that we love to eat! Well that is my reasoning… Royal China is one of the best places to experience dim sum in London, more for the better quality of traditional dim sum food rather than creative alternatives as other places may offer...

  18. Published : Tuesday, 18th June 2013

    The Ledbury | Lunch at The Ledbury

    Booked way in advance, my friend and I were eagerly looking forward to lunching at The Ledbury. Our various friends have recommended it highly, so with the advance booking, we were really looked forward to the experience. However as the day approached both of us were rather worried, for we had individually caught, for myself a cold and sore throat, and my friend the beginnings of a cold due to a heavy workload. But we were still determined, so slightly drugged up with paracetamol we made our way to The Ledbury. The Ledbury is based in Notting Hill and just a stone’s throw away from Portobello market. The dining room is actually not particularly large, but with one wall fully mirrored in a tasteful way, it gives the impression of a very spacious restaurant. I can see in fine weather there may be the opportunity of opening the terrace doors to include some of the outside space as a dining area. What I love the most is the casual yet formal and friendly atmosphere they have, from your arrival to your departure – a fine balance that The Ledbury have definitely achieved...

  19. Published : Friday, 7th June 2013

    Burger and Lobster Soho | Burger & Lobster Soho

    Seems like everyone has been talking about this place, Burger & Lobster, even as far as Singapore, and all I hear is that people would queue for ages, over an hour, just to get into this place. So I had made a mental check to try this place but when I did, it wasn’t quite how I had planned to try it. It happened when I was running an errand through Soho, I was rushing through an alley and popped out onto Dean Street just in front of Burger and Lobster Soho, it took me by surprise but I did remember registering… “So this is the famous Burger & Lobster I had heard so much about” then the next thing that occurred to me, there was no queue!...

  20. This was an unexpected treat. On visiting family in the Cotswolds to then have a family meal at The Feathered Nest Country Inn, in the village of Nether Westcote, Oxfordshire. We were a large party of 11 people, so it would be interesting how they would accommodate us. The decor in the pub/inn is eclectic, with some saddles as bar stools, a bit of taxidermy around, a bit pub like, a bit more restaurant like, cosy and yet slightly decadent.saddles as bar stools at the Feathered Nest It was also possible to BYO, which as a large party, we did – a mixture of Rhone wines, Hermitage, Condrieu… definitely on the favourite list. And as we were shown to our table I realised that all the waiting staff were of French origin… I did have to remind myself that I was in the middle of the Cotswolds, in United Kingdom! And to stop dropping into English with a slight French intonation!...

  21. Published : Wednesday, 27th March 2013

    Zuma | Omakase Lunch at Zuma London, Knightsbridge

    Finally we get to try Zuma London - it was by luck really as after being told that it was difficult to get a table at short notice, we actually got one for lunch within 48 hours! All excited after being told by some that they thought it was far better than Nobu, I hurried along to meet my lunch companions, family, to see what all the buzz about Zuma London was about. I thought I’d put a picture up of what you would not normally see, the wall full of bottles which was one of the views I had at my table, as an interior shot of Zuma London...

  22. Published : Saturday, 23rd March 2013

    The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell | Brunch at the Modern Pantry

    Cold, snowy & sleety… must be mad to go out to brunch with the girls and make it down to the Modern Pantry which is not in my neighbourhood. However a very quick & efficient over ground train to Farringdon gave me my usual first to arrive at the designated meeting place. I was a little apprehensive as I was considerably early and knowing that it had been difficult to book a table at the right time I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the staff, very welcoming (perhaps helped that I looked frozen despite being totally wrapped up), and I was escorted to a very nice table on the first floor, promptly asked if I wanted anything to drink, and my caffe latte was immediately placed on order before I could disrobe myself of my rather excessive wintry attire...

  23. Published : Friday, 22nd March 2013

    Andrew Edmunds | Sunday Lunch at Andrew Edmunds

    I was introduced to Andrew Edmunds by a good friend as we were walking around Soho one Saturday afternoon. I think I was spoilt from the beginning as I liked the fact that there was no business card, and that we were given a menu to retrieve contact details from that was also hand written. If you were not specifically looking for the Andrew Edmunds, it can be easily missed as it has a discrete dark frontage. My first memories of the place was the wonderful smell of food when you entered the restaurant. On this occasion we were a large party, and were accommodated in their basement dining area (it was like a private dining room for us). I think there was a slight apprehension from my party about dining “modern English” especially after the few days of Asian cuisine. But I thought, it’s Sunday, so how about an “English” Sunday lunch?...

  24. Published : Friday, 15th March 2013

    Roka | Omakase at Roka Charlotte Street

    The Omakase continues… this time at Roka, Charlotte Street. Being a rather cold and rainy/sleety day, it didn’t take much to persuade ourselves to go somewhere to keep warm and enjoy what we enjoy doing most… eat! So on this ocassion we turned to Roka. Having mostly experienced their Shochu lounge, I was glad for the opportunity to try their restaurant again and this time without a doubt, we didn’t look at the menu in detail, but made the decision of – let’s go omakase!..

  25. Published : Tuesday, 12th March 2013

    Mandarin Kitchen | Lobster Noodles at Mandarin Kitchen

    It is traditional for Chinese families to gather round for a meal on the eve of Chinese New Year. For 2013 it was the first time in a long while since I was able to do this with my sister and her family (minus one) so weeks in advance when my sister found out that she would be in London, I booked a table at Mandarin Kitchen in Queensway for our Chinese New Year Eve dinner. Why the Mandarin Kitchen? We consider it the best place to eat lobster noodles Chinese style! And the early booking? Well the Mandarin Kitchen tends to get booked up especially by visiting Singaporeans to London over Chinese New Year...

  26. Published : Tuesday, 5th March 2013

    Nobu London at the Metropolitan Hotel | Dinner at Nobu

    Ah Nobu… the occasion to dine there? Just as a lead up to Chinese New Year 2013 and part belated birthday celebrations of two family members! The Old Park Lane, one of the notoriously difficult areas to find parking, I found myself rushing and cursing to meet the rest of my family there on time. However, much to my relief, I wasn’t the only one delayed, so had time to sit by the bar to recompose myself. So while waiting I decided to try the Olympus OM-D in low light (no flash) and took the candle & menu below. I am still undecided about Nobu as I watch the guests enter. The bar is a nice relaxed area but the rest of the restaurant too busy and noisy with people seemingly trying to over compensate for one thing or another....