London Journals

London Eats

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A May 2002 trip to London by food&fun

St. Pauls Cathedral Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: British food long has had a bad reputation, but it's getting better. We were on a mission to find good food without paying a fortune, and had some success.

London Eats

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Overview

St. Paul's Cathedral Photo, London, England
Quote:
*Wandering through Chinatown (near Leicester Square) looking at all the menus posted outside, trying to pick a restaurant for dinner. *Browsing the food halls of Harrod's (Knightbridge). If grocery stores are the museums of food, then this is surely the Louvre. *Shopping the street markets. Enjoying the cuisines of the many different nationalities and cultures who have made London their adopted home.Quick Tips: *The street markets are a good source of food for a picnic lunch, or even a "picnic" dinner in the hotel. *Ethnic restaurants often offer relatively inexpensive, good food. *A full English breakfast is enormous -- eggs, sausage, bacon (c...Read More

Quality Chop House

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Restaurant

Quote:
Located in a run-down looking warehouse district that seems to be picking up as clubs move in, Quality Chop House itself looks run down inside and out. The narrow, high backed wooden booths ae not terribly comfortable, and a large person might have trouble squeezing in beside the table. However, any resemblance to a dive ends here. The chef obviously knows what he's doing with meat and fish, simply prepared. My husband had a very good French-style fish soup with rouille, followed by nicely cooked lamb rib chops with mashed potatoes. I started with fresh sardines with tomato salad. The tomatoes were surprisingly flavorful, and there were plenty of sardines in a sweet vinegary dressing. I had cal...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2002

Quality Chop House
94 Farringdon Road
London, England EC1R 3EA
+44 20 7837 5093

Champor

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Restaurant | "Champor Champor"

Quote:
We had read some excellent reviews of this little restaurant and thought we'd give it a try. It was very unusual food, with odd and exotic flavoring, but expensive (more than $100 for two, not including wine). It is Malay cuisine, with its pan-Asian influence. Unlike many Asian restaurants, the service is traditional, one-plate-one-person, not family style shared dishes. My husband started out with a hot squid appetizer, which he liked, then had a Kingfish in unusual spices. It was a lot like a halibut. He ended with a rice flour "truffle" filled with coconut, a little fried ball of pastry. I started with an unusual dish of finely shredded chicken and coconut, which was placed on kaffir lime le...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2002

Champor
62 Weston Street
London, England
020 7403 4600

Thanh Binh

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Restaurant

Quote:
Vietnamese pho (noodle soup) can be as comforting as chicken soup. The menu here, as in all other pho restaurants, offers a wide variety of meat combinations in the pho. It is served with fresh bean sprouts, a slice of lemon, and some sawtooth. Usually fresh basil leaves also accompany it, but not here. You add the fresh items as you eat, to flavor the broth as you wish. If you have a cold, nothing beats a healthy dose of hot pepper sauce in the pho to clear up the stuffies. Unfortunately, there was none offered here, nor was there any hoisin sauce, which is also usually on the table. Maybe U.S. Vietnamese restaurants are just different. A mom and a son run the restaurant, and speak a lit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2002

Thanh Binh
14 Chalk Farm Road
London, England
(020) 7267 9820

Patara

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Restaurant

Quote:
This elegant little restaurant is more upscale than most Thai restaurants, and more expensive as well. However, it was one of the best meals we had in London, and we'd go back again. We started with green mango salad with shredded chicken, and shrimp in a mildly spicy dressing. We always order pad Thai (Thai noodles), using it as the "gold standard" to compare restaurants. It was a little gooey and more sweet than we like, but it was served with humungous butterflied prawns, which set it apart from most. We also tried the prik khing (green bean curry), another Thai stand-by. It was unique -- it had what seemed like deep fried English bacon in it, which was coated with a mildly spicy barbecu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2002

Patara
181 Fulham Road
London, England SW3 6JN
+44 20 7351 5692

Bombay Brasserie

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Restaurant

Quote:
We’ve always heard that London has wonderful Indian food. I am not fond of Indian food, and my husband hasn’t had much experience with it, so we decided that the well-known lunch buffet at Bombay Brasserie would be a good introduction to what London had to offer. The dining room where the buffet is situated is stunning. It is like a garden conservatory, with glass ceiling and plants everywhere. It is quite the tropical setting. Service is classy, especially considering this is an all-you-can-eat buffet. The waiter placed our napkins on our laps, and ice water was poured from silver pitchers. The table had a little advertising tent on it that touted the fact that this is Tom Cruise’s favorite In...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 3, 2002

Bombay Brasserie
140 Courtfield Road
London, England SW7 4UH
+44 20 7370 4040

Mr Kong

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Restaurant | "Mr. Kong"

Quote:
Mr. Kong is one of the more well-known restaurants in Chinatown. It is a cramped place, with two floors of small dining rooms. We were seated in a corner in the basement dining room. Unfortunately, a large party near us was smoking heavily, and the ventilation system couldn't handle it. Fortunately, they finished their dinner and left before we were served. The food was mostly pretty good, with a few clinkers. We ordered a lot because there were many tempting descriptions on the menu. (We were staying in an apartment, so the left-overs came with us and, with a few additions, made a good dinner the next night.) Steamed chicken in dark soy was salty, without another flavor dimension. Oyst...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 3, 2002

Mr Kong
21 Lisle Street
London, England WC2H 7BA
+44 20 7437 7341

Borough Market

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Attraction

Borough Market Photo, London, England
Quote:
On Friday afternoon and Saturday, the Borough Market is open the the public. It is located under the railway, and is one of London's oldest and largest. The design is Victorian. We were staying in an apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen, so we made good use of the market, buying organic lamb chops, the thinnest asparagus I'd ever seen (smaller than a pencil), and tiny yellow potatoes to make for dinner. But even if you don't have the use of a kitchen, you can still enjoy the fresh baked goods, fruits and vegetables, and prepared meats, such as pate and dry sausages. Besides, it is always fun to look at unfamiliar produce, fish and meat. Just outside the market's roof is Neal's Y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2002

Borough Market
West of Borough High Street
London, England SE1