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Blog Reviews from Nuzy Sayani's reviews

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  1. Published : Tuesday, 21 July 2015

    Balthazar | Review of Balthazar London by Nuzy Sayani

    Since it opened two years ago, Balthazar has become a firm favourite in Covent Garden. Its location is perfect for those visiting the Royal Opera House or the theatre and the restaurant’s dramatic flair emulates the character of the area. The décor seeks to recreate a French brasserie (mimicking its older sister in New York). As the doorman welcomes you in, you cannot fail to be impressed by the magnificent room with its double height ceiling, black and white mosaic floor and deep red leather banquettes...

  1. We all know that the ladies of Sex and the City were partial to a cocktail or two, as are the Catwalkschoolgates Team, this and the fact that we are well into the festive season we are all very excited to hear how Nuzy got on at the London Gin Club!

    Some rules are not meant to be broken – and the “two martini” rule certainly falls within this category. However when I booked a table at The London Gin Club in Soho which serves over 130 types of gin and boasts the best Gin and Tonic in London, I knew that I was at risk of testing my resolve to the limit! To make matters worse I was joined by my cousin Jabir who has managed some of London’s top bars and my husband Hassan, a gin aficionado, who mixes a mean martini. Let the games begin…………....

  1. “Give the lady what she wants.” Harry Gordon Selfridge

    With the glorious weather that we are currently enjoying, all thoughts turn to al fresco dining. This year we have seen a number of great pop ups and Vintage Salt is no exception. The roof terrace of Selfridges has been converted to a Cornish sea-side themed bar and restaurant. The Drift Bar even has beach huts – perfect for those who want a bit of privacy! But don’t let the fishing nets and beach balls fool you – the atmosphere is pure London and there is a great vibe...

  1. I had heard positive things about the newly opened Portland restaurant, so it seemed the perfect venue to try for a recent girls’ night out. Great Portland Street has improved steadily over the years but is still under represented by good restaurants so I was interested to see whether Portland would help to redress that.

    Portland occupies the site of a former shop and has good frontage with floor to ceiling windows. It seats forty five and was almost full when we visited. At the back is a theatre style kitchen that was a hive of activity...

  1. “Life is a flower of which love is the honey” Victor Hugo.

    The opening of Salt and Honey, sister restaurant of the much acclaimed Manuka Honey in Fulham, has been so eagerly awaited that it is fully booked in its the first week. I was therefore delighted that they were able to offer me a table for lunch – and on my birthday so it was an extra special treat.

    Situated in the elegant Connaught Village, Salt and Honey is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. The simply decorated restaurant has 50 covers set over three levels, although it will initially start off with the ground floor dining room. The mezzanine is perfect for a group of ten...

  1. Published : Monday, 13 July 2015

    Hixter Bankside | Hixter Bankside

    Nestled behind Tate Modern is Mark Hix’s steak and chicken restaurant. Whilst the South Bank is a magnet for culture, it has taken a while for the restaurant scene to catch up making the south side of the river a vibrant and essential part of London.

    I visited Hixter on a Thursday evening and the former metal factory was busy but not overly crowded. The décor reflects its industrial past with exposed brick work and metal but is warmed up by Tracey Emin’s brightly coloured neons and an eclectic selection of contemporary art...

  1. The Savoy has special significance for me- my now husband and I had our first date at the American Bar almost two decades ago. Romance flourished over martinis and the rest, as they say, is history. When we were looking for somewhere special to take my mother in law for her birthday, we decided to book the Savoy Grill for Sunday lunch.

    London has many luxury hotels but I have always loved the glamour and character of The Savoy. The extensive restoration has freshened up the grande dome whilst retaining the opulence of the Art Deco and Edwardian era...

  1. Published : Monday, 13 July 2015

    Sushisamba | London's ultimate Kobe Experience

    When you step inside the panoramic glass elevators that whisk you from street level up to the 39th floor of London’s Heron Tower you can’t help feeling a bit like Charlie Bucket travelling to the chocolate factory. However I think that even Willy Wonka would have been hard pressed to conjure up a feast as exquisite as the one that I was lucky to partake in at Sushisamba.

    We started off with some cocktails whilst we enjoyed the evening sun and the spectacular views of the city. Even though it was a Sunday night, the bar and restaurant was full and we imbibed the great vibe that this restaurant is rightly lauded for. The leaves of the sculpted orange tree glistened in the light and created a wonderful glow...

  1. I recently enjoyed a return visit to Jinjuu, Judy Joo’s Korean restaurant that is sandwiched between Regent Street and Carnaby Street. When people think of Korea, kimchi, soju (Korea’s version of vodka) and Gangnam Style come to mind, but there is a lot more to discover.

    Jinjuu’s street level bar and dining area has a great vibe and was teaming with people during my visit. Sample the Korean inspired cocktails and nibble tapas style on the Anju (small plates). As the music and chatter can be loud, I booked a booth in the basement dining room that is more conducive to conversation and affords you a view of the theatre style kitchen...

  1. Published : Monday, 13 July 2015

    Ibérica Marylebone | Love Tapas then you will love Iberica

    We used to live around the corner from Iberica and were one of its early customers, when it opened in 2008.

    It brings back memories of having a baby at home and sneaking out to meet my similarly sleep deprived girl friends for a glass of wine and a semblance of a conversation that didn’t involve weaning and the merits of local playgrounds and schools!

    I had not been there for a while but recently enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch with the family. When you walk into the refurbished Marylebone restaurant (there are now branches in Canary Wharf and Farringdon) you are immediately struck by how bright and airy it ihe blue and white tiles and large Moorish lamps together with lots of natural wood and leather furniture create a warm ambiance that reminds me of Seville...

  1. We are lucky to live in a city that has so many new restaurants to whet our appetite. The Colony Grill Room, the latest offering from Corbin and King, housed in The Beaumont, their first hotel, is one of them. I am a great fan of Fischers and The Wolseley, so I was looking forward to trying The Colony and it certainly exceeded my expectations.

    From the moment I walked into the elegant Art Deco inspired lobby of The Beaumont, I knew that I was in for a treat...

  1. Published : Friday, 9 October 2015

    Bernardi's | Catwalk School Gates: Bernardi's

    I regularly walk past the site that is the just opened Bernardi’s and am delighted that a butterfly has emerged from the chrysalis that has been under construction for several months. Perched on the corner of Seymour Street and Seymour Place, this is the latest offering from the Italian-Australian Bernardi brothers.

  1. Published : Monday, 19 October 2015

    The Truscott Arms | Catwalk School Gates: The Truscott Arms

    The term “gastro-pub” is much over used and often under delivers. Not so in the case of The Truscott Arms, the independently owned pub in Maida Vale. I was introduced to The Truscott Arms by the lovely Lucy, my partner in crime on many a gastronomic adventure, shortly after it opened in 2013.
    They have hosted a party for me in their spacious function rooms and I have enjoyed many leisurely Sunday lunches, peaceful breakfasts (mainly when my son has been at a nearby activity or party) and have even stumbled across the weekly pub quiz!

  1. Published : Tuesday, 17 November 2015

    Café Murano Covent Garden | Catwalk School Gates: Cafe Murano

    I am a devotee of Angela Hartnett and some of my most enduring food memories are of memorable meals at her restaurants. The Chef’s table at the Connaught over fifteen years ago stands out; as do casual Sunday lunches at the York and Albany and many wonderful meals and the Chef’s table at the fabulous Murano, Angela’s one star Michelin restaurant in Mayfair.

  1. Published : Tuesday, 11 August 2015

    Social Wine & Tapas | Social Wine & Tapas - The Review.

    I am a huge fan of the talented and seemingly unstoppable Jason Atherton. I have had many great meals at Pollen Street Social, Little Social and my favourite Berners Tavern – be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I was fortunate to meet Jason at a charity event that he was hosting and was struck by how down to earth and approachable he is.

    I have been looking forward to trying Jason’s latest London venture, Social Wine and Tapas, that is conveniently located in my local Marylebone and think I may have found a new Atherton favourite!

    The beautifully designed wine bar and shop is set on the ground and basement level with a theatre kitchen on both floors. We were seated on the tapas bar that afforded us a panoramic view of the restaurant, the passers-by on James Street and the sommeliers in action...

  1. There is nothing more delightful than a good neighbourhood restaurant and I am fortunate to be a stone’s throw away from Twist at Crawford. I have to warn you that this review will be saturated with superlatives as I have been raving about the food following my visits over recent months.

    Twist is the creation of Chef Eduardo Tuccillo who opened his industrial chic Kitchen and Tapas bar late last year. Eduardo has an international pedigree. A native of Naples, he trained under Alain Ducasse in Paris and was head chef at Tavern on the Green in New York before making London his new home.

  1. Pre-theatre supper can be a bit ‘hit and miss’ as eating with one eye on the clock is never a good idea.
    I was very busy at work so was delighted when my husband offered to book somewhere for a quick bite before going to see the wonderful Felicity Kendal in Hay Fever (a must for Noel Coward fans) provided that I did not micro-manage him….

  1. Published : Monday, 11 January 2016

    The Ivy Café Marylebone | The Ivy Cafe Marylebone a

    Read Nuzy Sayani’s review of The Ivy Cafe, Marylebone’s hottest new restaurant.
    I am a great fan of The Ivy and have been looking forward to the opening of its sister restaurant on Marylebone Lane. Nestled behind the trendy high street, Marylebone Lane has itself had a makeover and with the road works finally complete, it is another lovely pocket to visit in the area.
    The former Union Cafe has been beautifully transformed into an elegant and inviting room. The brass covered bar plays the centre stage and is the focal point of the room. There are shades of its older sister with dark wood panelling and walls adorned with art and mirrors but it has a more casual feel. The linen dressed tables, spacious leather covered chairs and silverware give the ‘cafe’ a smart edge. I especially liked the mosaic floors and the pendant lighting that bathes diners in a warm glow.