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Nov 29, 2001 08:08 AM

London bottom of the European dining league

  • j

Worse even than Warsaw, according to Zagat's.

But then maybe it's also the second best...



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  1. Worst dining city in Europe is ludicrous.What it possibly is,though, is the least good value.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Tony Finch
      Simon Majumdar

      I wouldn't argue about how difficult it is to find "good value" in London, but the worst?!

      Rome, anyone?!!


      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        OK, is this based on a recent visit? Or solely on Zagat's? I don't get the gist of your message.

        In any event, I couldn't disagree more. I have been to London off and on for years, and in recent years what has happened to dining there is nothing less than a revolution. Every where I went were modest bistros and gastro pubs with exquisitely fresh, beautifully prepared meats and fish, and none of the overcooked vegetables of yore. The markets have the most unbelievable dairy products, and cheese is exquisite. Local produce is beautiful. Yes, everything is expensive, but compared to the swill that I have shelled out big bucks for in Paris, yes Paris, as well as Brussels and Stockholm, not to mention New York, I will take London anyday.

        1. re: alwayshungry

          Well, don't keep us in suspense! Which gastro pubs, which bistros?? My son lives there and I'd be grateful to have your recommendations. Thanks. Pat

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            Oh God, Pat, I'm afraid I've a problem typical of Chowhounds, where I can describe the places, but seldom know the names and locations. I ate at 4 memorable gastro-pubs, 1 in Mortlake, behind the railroad station (the best rabbit in mustard sauce ever, plus good salmon and skate), and then another in Clapham. Also a bistro on the main street of Clapham. Another gastropub on the Thames near blackfriars (this incredible salad w/ mustard greens & a mustard sauce- the brits know mustard). I'm going to pull out my A-Z tonight and at least give you street names, if not restaurant names. Also, have you checked out Jeff's Eating in London feature? I ate at the pub where he had the bangers, and they were super. Also, for more upscale dining, both the Times, and the Rebecca Mead for the New Yorker have written articles in the last year about how good the food has gotten in London. Really. I'm not kidding. I dream about it.

            'Till tomorrow.

            1. re: alwayshungry

              I'll be watching and waiting. Yes, I have Jim's report tucked away, among many other notes. A trick I'm finally getting better at is to take (or ask for) business cards to places I've enjoyed. A quick note on the back as a reminder is all that's necessary. You know, if you mention something good around here, without name or info, we're going to "hound" you! Pat

        2. re: Simon Majumdar

          Oh, come on, you could have picked, say, Frankfurt...or Prague even...but as far as major European cities with bad food go, Rome is a really bad example. I've had a couple of mediocre mistakes, but certainly never have I been ripped off the way I have in London at a restaurant that parades itself as something that it is not (i.e. most of Conran's)...and most of it is not only oustanding but good value!!