London trip report
Just back from a long weekend and thought I would report back. Went to two Yo Sushi's one in Brent Cross the other in Harvey Nicks, both were good the Harvey Nicks slightly better.
Had some Pho at Pho in Islington. I thought the broth was flavourful and they give you some herbs to garnish which allows you to create the taste you want. More dissapointing was the Bahn Mi which was pretty bad. They filled it with sliced chicken and bean sprouts and that was it! No pate or spring onions or fresh chilli. The last Bahn Mi I had was from Mott St in New York so it had tought memeories to live up to and failed..
Had dinner that night at Moro which I was looking forward to as I have both the cookbooks. Again, I was a bit disappointed. They have a tapas menu which you can only order at the bar- jamon, aceitunas, pimentos de padron.. I later chanced my arm and ordered some whcih they brought to our table without batting an eyelid. My starter of mojama with rocket was tasty but a bit on the small side, my partners Molokhia (spinach soup) was under seasoned. The mains were better, the wood roast middle roast pork was one of the tastiest things I have eaten with great crackling but I have to wonder if it tasted so good because of all the lovely pork fat that it was dripping with. My partners lamb was uninspiring, similar dishes have been had elsewhere. Pudding wise I had the raisin ice cream whihc was good but I did not expect it sitting in a bowl of rum. I guess I must be a bit child like in my ice cream tastes.. He had the chocolate and apricot tart which was very light but not rich enough. The atmosphere had a buzz and it felt like a cool place to be but I suppose I expected more. Saturday saw dinner at La Trompette in Chiswick, which had a very decent 3 course menu for 35 pounds.
I had a Ravioli of rabbit with spring greens, cèpe purée and a thyme velouté, then
Rump of lamb with confit shoulder, dauphinoise potatoes, braised peas, lettuce and for pudding the Valrhona chocolate fondant with milk ice cream
All of it was great, my only disappointment was that they ran out of tart tatin by 9pm..
Sunday lunch was at a place called Goodness* I don't think I would go back. It was very expensive and not that good. I think they hike up the prioces by calling it orgainc and seasonal..Don't mind paying money for good food but when you leave a place thinking you could have had tastier from a Pret..
Rekha, what exactly did you like at Yo Sushi? I've not been living in London for a while but nowadays I wouldn't be inclined to touch that place with a bargepole. The only kaiten I have fond memories of is K-10 off London Wall but I haven't been there in a while. As for London Japanese/sushi generally, I have checked out a fair few places this last month and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety on offer, I will post separately on this subject shortly.
Agree with you about the quality of Banh Mi in and around Mott/Grand Mott/Broome in NYC, 3 or 4 excellent places and dirt cheap. I'm going to explore Mare St (Hackney) to see if there's anything worthwhile on offer in London, I don't recall finding anything on previous visits to Kingsland Road Vietnamese places.
La Trompette sounds like a winner and West London friends enthuse over this place too.
Good to hear that some of the Yo Sushi branches are still worth visiting. I've been disappointed a number of times over the past year or so by the one in the N1 centre in Islington (uninteresting selection, mainly; the service and surroundings were fine — the only reason we kept giving it another chance was that it's handy for the cinema!). Also tried the one near Waterloo earlier this year and was quite surprised at how shabby it looked inside and how clueless the service was (I know you don't expect great service at Yo Sushi; I'm talking about clueless _for a Yo Sushi_) — though the conveyor belt selection was better than at the Islington one.
I've heard good things about Pho but not tried it yet; thanks for the warning about the Banh Mi. I do wonder if there's anywhere in London to get a good rendition.
I have also had some good meals at Yo Sushi - I know it is nowhere near the best place for sushi/Japanese in London, but I can't help loving those self-serve water taps ; )
Glad to hear La Trompette is still going strong - have had a few very good meals there over the past few years.
Have heard mixed reviews about Goodness* - thanks for your input.
Just to clarify about Yo sushi. I know its pretty low end as far as sushi goes and compared to the sushi I have had in New York and the Tsujiki fish market is nothing to write home about. I live in Glasgow which is very poorly provdided for for so Yo sushi seems like heaven! I liked the miso, tuna tataki, tuna gunkan and the aubergine in harasume dressing...
Thought as much as I've seen you post about Yasuda in NYC and Daiwa in Tsukiji before so you've obviously sampled some top quality stuff globally. Hopefully you'll get some better options locally in the not too distant future - I've only been to Glasgow once for a long weekend but it comes across as a food loving and style conscious city.
In the meantime if you find yourself in London again needing a sushi fix, check out Edokko (Red Lion Street), Ribon (Holborn Viaduct), Sakana Tei (Maddox Street), Kiku (Half Moon Street), Saki (West Smithfield), Cafe Japan (Finchley Road), Sushi Hiro (Ealing Broadway) and, if you fancy a splurge and an extensive sake list, Umu (Bruton Street). At the other end of the spectrum is Atari-ya (James Street, W1) which is a sushi cafe/takeaway with decent nigiri/rolls for very reasonable prices.
I'll let you know if I find any decent banh mi in Hackney.