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29 July 2014

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Blog Reviews from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide

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A food blog on restaurants, culinary adventures, cookery school & more!


  1. Published : Wednesday, 9th July 2014

    Brasserie Chavot | Brasserie Chavot

    Chef Eric Chavot is best known for his ten-year stint at the two-Michelin starred restaurant at The Capital Hotel where he offered some of the finest French haute cuisine to be had in London. The French born chef trained with some of the most famous names in the culinary world including the likes of Pierre...

  2. Published : Friday, 27th June 2014

    Coya | Coya

    Coya is a super cool Peruvian Restaurant and Bar which has a touch of the theatrical to it. Brought to us by restaurateur Arjun Waney who is responsible for other famous restaurants such as Roka and Zuma, the décor is a mixture of sumptuous furnishings and a fabulous colour scheme that combines vibrancy with a...

  3. Published : Friday, 20th June 2014

    El Pirata De Tapas | El Pirata de Tapas

    El Pirata de Tapas in Notting Hill, sister restaurant to El Pirata de Tapas Mayfair, came to fame when Gordon Ramsay named it one of his ‘Best Spanish Restaurants in the UK’ in 2010 on his Ramsay’s Best Restaurant TV programme. That recognition belonged to a time when El Bulli trained Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy...

  4. Published : Friday, 13th June 2014

    Berners Tavern at Edition Hotel | Berners Tavern

    2013 saw Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton open three restaurants, the third of which was Berners Tavern at the Edition Hotel. All three restaurants – the other two were...

  5. Published : Friday, 6th June 2014

    Chiltern Firehouse | Chiltern Firehouse

    Chiltern Firehouse is THE hottest restaurant in London at the moment. It's so much of a sensation that it has become a regular on the celebrity circuit. Barely a day goes by where there isn’t a press mention of an A-lister passing through its doors. Chiltern Firehouse is owned by property magnate...

  6. Published : Friday, 30th May 2014

    Café Murano | Cafe Murano

    Cafe Murano is the latest venture by Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett. Located on 33 St James Street, it occupies a site that has played host to a number of restaurants including the original Pétrus by Marcus Wareing, Fleur, Fiore, and most recently Brasserie St Jacques. Far from being a café, Cafe Murano is a...

  7. Published : Tuesday, 20th May 2014

    Scarfe's at Rosewood London (bar) | Scarfes Bar

    The luxurious 5-star Rosewood Hotel located at 252 High Holborn, previously the Chancery Court Hotel, reopened last October after an extensive refurbishment. The hotel’s launch also brought along some new dining options, one of which was Scarfes Bar. The bar was named after Gerald Scarfe, a London born satirical cartoonist who worked for Punch magazine...

  8. Dieci Restaurant is the house restaurant of Ten Manchester Street Hotel, a stylish boutique hotel located at (yes you guessed it) No. 10 Manchester Street. The location reigns supreme as it’s within walking distance from Marylebone High Street and Oxford Street. It’s a rather small restaurant but comfortably designed with a stylish look that exudes...

  9. Lanes of London pays tribute to the great multiculturalism that is the hallmark of the English capital by drawing from its many and varied culinary pockets for inspiration. Head Chef Anshu Anghotra trained at Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc’s culinary school at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and cooks an all day menu designed for sharing with four key sections, each of which have been named after a well known London Lane. There’s ‘Brick Lane’ for some fiery, spicy flavours; ‘Edgware Road’ for some Middle Eastern exoticism; ‘Kingsland Road’ for the fragrant aromas of Asia and ‘Portobello Road’ for a touch of eclectic comfort dining. Its an interesting menu and extends to British classics including fish and chips. What’s more, there’s also afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones and pastries (£23 or £29 with a glass of champagne ...

  10. Published : Saturday, 26th April 2014

    The Only Running Footman | The Only Running Footman

    The Only Running Footman is a wonderfully quaint pub/gastropub whose name pays homage to the footmen who were in service to the households of Mayfair in Georgian times. The role of the footman included such tasks as carrying lights after dusk, paying toll-keepers and generally paving the way for safe passage for his aristocratic master’s carriage. It was here at The Only Running Footman, known as The Running Horse during those times, where the footmen congregated for drinks after their duties. The pub’s full name is actually ‘I Am The Only Running Footman’ and has been the venue for many a pub crawl, mystery tour, etc. Most notably it served as the inspiration for a novel of the same name by detective fiction writer Martha Grimes...

  11. Published : Saturday, 19th April 2014

    Restaurant Michael Nadra | Michael Nadra Chiswick

    Chef Michael Nadra has an impressive list of restaurants under his belt including time as Sous chef at Chez Bruce and La Trompette and stages at The Square in Mayfair and The Glasshouse in Kew. His first solo venture was a restaurant called Fish Hook in Chiswick which he opened in 2005. Many readers may not recall Fish Hook, but I remember it to be a quaint little restaurant serving accomplished and wonderfully tasty seafood at reasonable prices. With Restaurant Michael Nadra, Chef Nadra continues to delivery really good quality contemporary cooking at reasonable prices in a relaxed and comfortable setting. For dinner, two courses from a prix fix menu are only priced at £30, and three courses are £36. There are two branches of Restaurant Michael Nadra, one in Chiswick, and the other in Primrose Hill...

  12. The Head Chef of Caxton Grill at the St Ermin’s Hotel, St James Park, is none other than Adam Handling. Remember him? If like me you were a big fan of Professional Masterchef, you would have probably been devastated when Adam failed to win the 2013 series. The ambitious and highly inspirational Scottish chef was probably the most deserved of the title, but unfortunately he failed to pull through on the day of the final. But onwards and upwards as not winning Masterchef hasn’t held Adam back. Not only is Adam the head chef of Caxton Grill, he was listed as one of the ‘30 under 30’ to watch in The Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s 2013 Acorn Awards and recently crowned as the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year, 2014. Adam started his cooking career at the age of 16 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland...

  13. Published : Saturday, 5th April 2014

    Smokehouse | The Smokehouse

    he Smokehouse in Islington is the latest venture by the king of BBQ, Chef Neil Rankin, previously of the critically acclaimed John Salt and Pitt & Cue. My last visit to John Salt proved to be a dazzling affair with the meal showcasing dishes that were not only delicious, but which demonstrated great skill and originality. Also particularly inspiring were the Korean influences incorporated into some of his creations. The Smokehouse opened in August 2013 and has similarly been well received. The Smokehouse is backed by the same group that runs The Pig and Butcher, Princess of Shoreditch and The Lady Ottoline, and so it should come as no surprise that it has a lovely gastropub feel to it. The lighting is intimate, the tables are cozily positioned and the ambience is warm and relaxed. There’s also a generous area devoted to outdoor seating, which would come in handy on those days when the sun shines bright...

  14. Published : Friday, 28th March 2014

    Wahaca | Wahaca Westfield White City

    Wahaca, the Mexican street eat restaurant chain started by the 2005 Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers, is one of my favourite cheap eats in London. Wahaca do some key things really well. Their vibe is relaxed and chilled, the ingredients they use are always fresh, and the dishes are refreshingly appetising. You can also expect a general level of consistency in the food no matter which branch you visit as most of the prep is done in the centralised Wahaca kitchen on Charlotte Street before being distributed to the various Wahaca branches. And best of all the food is really reasonably priced. And did I mention the yummy cocktails? We visited the Wahaca at the very smart Westfield White City, perfectly located for a bite to eat after a spot of shopping. We kicked of with some drinks, heading straight for the interesting Tequila Experience (£10.65) which consisted of three separate tequila shots...

  15. Published : Friday, 21st March 2014

    Amico Bio Holborn | Amico Bio

    It’s not often that I blog about vegetarian restaurants. But the concept of Amico Bio is rather unique and seemed worthy of a visit. Not only is Amico Bio vegetarian, it is an Organic Italian vegetarian restaurant. Head Chef and owner is Pasquale Amico who trained with the likes of Gary Rhodes, Bruno Loubet and Giorgio Locatelli. Prior to Amico Bio he also owned the successful Via Condotti on Conduit Street which held a Bib Gourmand. There are two Amico Bio outlets in London – one in Holborn and one in Barbican. There’s also a third restaurant in Naples, Italy...

  16. Published : Tuesday, 11th March 2014

    L'Eto Caffe | L'Eto Caffe

    L’Eto Caffe operates a string of six venues in London, all of which serve a pre-prepared display of savoury items, sumptuous looking cakes, baked goods and a variety of hot and cold drinks, all of which are available for either take out or eat in. The savouries are sold by weight (about £2.80 per 100gm) and include the likes of Georgian aubergines with pomegranate, walnuts and coriander, and baby spinach salad with goat’s cheese, dried cranberries and nuts. The Kings Road and Belgravia branches also have an à la carte selection of starters and mains for those seeking something prepared to order. We were in the Kings Road branch after a spot of shopping and we found it to be an inviting location with bright colours and mouthwatering salads on display...

  17. Published : Monday, 3rd March 2014

    Medlar | Medlar

    Medlar Restaurant is a rustic little number on Kings Road occupying the site that was once Vama Restaurant. It serves French ‘style’ food, but as the Medlar website states it also draws inspiration from “all over”. The restaurant was founded by a couple of experienced old hands of the restaurant trade. Head Chef and owner Joe Mercer Nairne honed his skills at Chez Bruce, The Savoy Grill and the big hitting Sydney restaurant Rockpool, and front of house is run by his business partner David O’Connor who was previously at The Square and The Ledbury. A reading of the Medlar menu suggests food that is warm and satisfying, and the simplicity of the soft greyish tones of the restaurant décor goes a long way in supporting an experience of comfort...

  18. Published : Monday, 6th January 2014

    Flesh and Buns | Flesh and Buns

    Flesh and Buns is the latest Izakaya restaurant by the people from Bone Daddies, the successful ramen restaurant founded by chef Ross Shonhan who previously worked at Nobu and Zuma. The concept of Flesh and Buns centres around hirata buns, folded steamed buns commonly filled with pork. Here, you have a choice of different fillings, all of which are accompanied by salad, a sauce and pickles. You create your own buns here, filling them however you wish. And as a precursor to the buns, there are also a choice of raw dishes, snacks and small dishes. Flesh and Buns has a common appeal. Not only is its concept of ‘flesh and buns’ original, the décor is funky and appealing with a buzzy vibe...

  19. Published : Monday, 30th December 2013

    The Marquess Tavern | Marquess Tavern

    Marquess Tavern is a cozy local pub located on Canonbury Street in Islington. The main focal point of the pub is the central bar, and circling the bar are tables where customers can sit and enjoy a drink or have a bite to eat. Marquess Tavern won the Time Out Gastro Pub of the Year award in 2006, however the current layout of the pub (where there is no dedicated separate dining area) suggests that Marquess Tavern’s focus has shifted from gastropub to boozer. We tried the quail wrapped in smoked bacon (£7.25) with beetroot and orange...

  20. Published : Sunday, 22nd December 2013

    The Thomas Cubitt | The Thomas Cubitt

    The Thomas Cubitt, named after London’s legendary master builder, is a gorgeous and inviting pub located in the heart of Belgravia. On the ground floor is the pub itself with the dining room located on the first floor. The Thomas Cubitt is owned by the same group who also own The Grazing Goat, and they do a fine job of providing rustic British gastropub food in an inviting setting. In the upstairs dining room we sat down to a chicken liver and port parfait (£8.50) which was well made, flavoursome and wonderfully creamy...

  21. Published : Friday, 29th November 2013

    Great Queen Street | Great Queen Street

    Great Queen Street is owned by the same group that also own Anchor and Hope, a gastropub which has carved a name for itself with its inventive British cooking and its use of head-to-tail ingredients. Great Queen Street’s menu plays less reliance on offal cooking, but it is similarly classically British. Its makes good use of seasonal ingredients, and as such the menu is ever changing. Great Queen Street is a rustic looking venue – the furniture is dark, and the lighting is kept low. Located on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, it’s a perfect spot for a bout of casual central London dining. A starter salad of ham, egg, beetroot and horseradish (£7) was absolutely scrumptious...

  22. Diciannove at the Crowne Plaza Hotel is an Italian restaurant, and a reincarnation of Refrettorio, a Giorgio Locatelli outlet that was well known for its accomplished cooking. Giorgio’s influence is still visible in Diciannove as Head Chef Alessandro Bay spent over 10 years under Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli, working his way up from chef de partie to sous chef and finally as head chef. As such, pasta is king at Diciannove, all of which are homemade daily. Diciannove translates to 19 in Italian and represents the address of the hotel, number 19 New Bridge St. ...

  23. Published : Thursday, 14th November 2013

    Angler | Angler Seafood Restaurant

    Angler seafood restaurant is part of the D&D Group and located on the seventh floor of the glamorous South Place Hotel. The dining room is elegant, yet unimposing with a relaxed sophistication to it, and its floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terrace provides exciting views of the city. The executive chef is Tony Fleming who previously worked with Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and the three Michelin-starred Oak Room. Tony has also cooked at Oxo Tower, The Great Eastern Hotel and at One Aldwych. Seafood has always been his specialty, and at Angler, this has translated into a British seafood menu with a contemporary twist that saw it awarded a Michelin star in September 2013...

  24. Published : Thursday, 7th November 2013

    Palm Restaurant | Palm Restaurant

    The Palm Restaurant in London is an American steakhouse that first opened in New York in 1926 and which has since grown to several dozen restaurants throughout the United States. The London branch feels American through and through, and is located on Pont Street in Belgravia, right next to the Belgraves Hotel, a destination hotel for many American tourists. It is therefore unsurprising that most of its clientele are Americans, like the ones we spoke to while we had a drink at the bar. It’s a classic American steakhouse through and through with its white-linen tablecloths, soft lighting and booth seating, and it suits the well-healed clientele of Belgravia well...

  25. Published : Monday, 4th November 2013

    Buddha-Bar | Buddha Bar

    When Buddha Bar opened in Paris in 1996 it took the city by storm. A visionary ultra-chic designer restaurant, bar and lounge serving contemporary fusion Asian food to the stylish set, the blend of East meets West set a new trend in design unseen elsewhere before. Since that illustrious opening, the Buddha Bar brand has gone global with restaurants and bars throughout the world. The brand has also extended to hotels, resorts and spas, as well as downloads of the funky DJ tunes played in its venues. The London branch of Buddha Bar is located in the equally chic Knightsbridge, and is headed by Chef King Dey who spent three years at L’Etranger as the Head Chef and has also freelanced at Noma and Zuma...

  26. Published : Saturday, 2nd November 2013

    Umu | Umu Japanese Pop Up -€“ Frieze Masters

    Umu Japanese Restaurant is a one Michelin starred venue located in the heart of Mayfair. It’s a favourite of those who work at the Japanese Consulate, and understandably so as the food is divine. Chef Yoshinori Ishii previously spent nine years at Japan’s three Michelin-starred Kyoto Kitcho, and his haute cuisine approach to Japanese cooking means his food at Umu is graced with a touch that is both elegant and precise...

  27. Published : Friday, 6th September 2013

    Ametsa with Arzak Instruction | Ametsa

    As the name suggests, Ametsa by Arzak Instruction draws its culinary inspiration from the famous three-Michelin starred Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. Arzak made its name by introducing Nouvelle Basque cooking to the world. By taking the traditions of this fine food region and overlaying it with an inspired modern touch, the imagination of Arzak caught the world’s attention. In 1989 it attained its three-Michelin star status, an accolade that it continues to hold to this day. And so it is that the philosophy behind Ametsa is also one of ‘New Basque Cuisine’, a matching of the traditions of the Basque region with modern techniques...

  28. Published : Friday, 30th August 2013

    Kai | Kai

    Kai Chinese Restaurant opened in 1993 and was awarded its first Michelin star in 2009, a star that the restaurant has maintained to this date. It has also won a string of other accolades including Best Chinese Restaurant in the Zagat Survey, the Highest Ranked Chinese Restaurant in The Sunday Times Food List 2012 and a placing as a finalist in Restaurant Magazine’s UK Best Dishes Awards. Celebrity chef Ken Hom also recommends Kai as his ‘go-to’ restaurant in London for dinner. Kai is situated in Mayfair and is beautifully and tastefully decorated...

  29. Published : Tuesday, 27th August 2013

    Roast | Roast Restaurant

    Founded in 2005 by restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab OBE, the man behind the famous Cinnamon Club, Roast Restaurant sits within the iconic Borough Market. It’s a beautiful looking restaurant with its high ceilings and tall windows that usher in lots of lovely natural light. The arched window panels high above the dining room add a sense of the angelic to the restaurant, and there’s a sense of serenity and calm to it that makes for a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the famous foodie market...

  30. Published : Tuesday, 20th August 2013

    Blue Elephant | Blue Elephant

    Blue Elephant is one of London’s most iconic Thai restaurants. It opened its doors over 25 years ago on Fulham Broadway but moved to Imperial Wharf in January 2012. The new space is luxurious and beautifully glamorous and was refurbished based on ‘Saran Rom’ Palace in Bangkok, previously the seat of Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Décor aside, another strong selling point is that the restaurant is positioned on The Thames, offering those who sit outside on a nice sunny day wonderful views of the river. As an extension to the Blue Elephant restaurant, the Imperial Wharf location also runs a newly created Thai cookery school...

  31. Published : Wednesday, 14th August 2013

    Fifteen | Fifteen

    The original Fifteen is in Shoreditch and it is a handsome looking restaurant. Split over two floors, the décor is dark; dark tables, dark floors, etc, made even darker as the sunlight goes down as the lighting is kept very dim. But it sets the tone for an intimate atmosphere made buzzier by the constant chatter of the guests. Tables are closely positioned, but the space works...

  32. Published : Wednesday, 7th August 2013

    Shoryu | Shoryu Ramen Soho

    Ramen noodles are all the rage at the moment. In the last year or so London has seen the opening of such ramen houses (or ‘ramenya’ as the Japanese like to call them) as Bone Daddies and Tonkotsu. I can’t work out whether these openings have either fuelled the ramen craze or were in response to the craze, but competition can only mean standards remain high and that translates to good news for the diner. Another addition is Shoryu Ramen which is owned by the same people as those who own the Japan Centre on Regent Street. Now these people know a thing about Japanese food, and the success of the first branch of Shoryu Ramen on Regent Street has led to the recent opening of their second branch in Soho...

  33. Published : Saturday, 3rd August 2013

    Rossopomodoro Chelsea | Rossopomodoro

    Rossopomodoro is a chain of restaurants serving Neapolitan cuisine and pizzas. A global operation, Rossopomodoro had its origins in Naples and is a well-recognised brand name in Italy. It has seven branches throughout the UK and in a string of other countries throughout the world. At the invitation of Rossopomodoro I ventured to both the branches in Wandsworth and Covent Garden...

  34. Published : Thursday, 25th April 2013

    Naga | Naga Restaurant & Bar

    Across the road from Kitchen W8, on Abingdon Road, is Naga, an Oriental restaurant that draws its influences from both Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. There is also a Pan-Asian twist to the menu, and Head Chef Syarief was recognised as the Best Pan Asian Chef in 2011 by the Asian Curry Awards. Naga also won Best Chinese Restaurant 2012 from the Asian Curry Awards...

  35. Published : Monday, 8th April 2013

    Novikov - Asian Restaurant | Novikov

    The restaurant is owned by Arkady Novikov, a Russian millionaire restaurateur with more than 50 restaurants throughout Russia. Novikov is his flagship London restaurant, in fact his first outside Russia. It is located on Berkeley Street in Mayfair, across the road from that pretentious celebrity haunt, Nobu Berkeley. Novikov is split between two restaurants, one serving pan-Asian food, and the other serving Italian food. There is also a lounge area in the basement for those just wanting drinks, plus a smallish bar area that graces the entrance to the venue...

  36. Published : Thursday, 28th March 2013

    Blue Boar | Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar

    The Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar is a newly opened restaurant and bar that forms part of the also newly opened Intercontinental Hotel on Tothill Street in Westminster. The Blue Boar’s décor is understandably very five-star hotel-esque – there’s lots of strong oak panelling throughout, and it has been styled to cater to the suits working around the corner at the Houses of Parliament...

  37. Published : Tuesday, 12th March 2013

    Duck & Waffle | Duck & Waffle

    Duck & Waffle opened in the summer of 2012 and it has made an indelible mark on the London dining scene. With a name like Duck & Waffle, how could it not? But the name is not its only draw card. Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower near Liverpool Street, it offers glorious views over the City of London, the kind that could perhaps only be matched with vouchers for an exciting helicopter ride. Before you hit enter the restaurant proper, there is the funky stylish bar that serves a range of cocktails. It’s very cool...

  38. It’s been about a year and a half since Alyn Williams opened his self-named restaurant at The Westbury Hotel on Conduit Street, during which time the restaurant has increasingly grown in fame. And no wonder. For five years Williams was the head chef at Marcus Wareing’s restaurant at The Berkeley Hotel where he was instrumental in helping Wareing win two Michelin stars. Foodie establishments have also acknowledged Williams’ prowess, with Michelin awarding him a one star and The AA Three Rosettes...

  39. Published : Friday, 9th November 2012

    Donostia | Donostia

    There are some incredible Spanish tapas restaurants in London at the moment. The ones that immediately spring to mind are José, Pizarro and Barrafina all of which are fabulous in their own way. The latest tapas restaurant to burst onto the London scene is Donostia, named after the Basque word for the Spanish foodie mecca that we all know and love as San Sebastian. Head chef is Tomasz Baranski who use to run Barrafina and Fino, both of which are owned by the hugely successful restaurateur brothers Sam and Eddie Hart...