HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Nov 21, 2007 05:05 AM

Help me finish my London plans please

I have most meals and the itinerary planned, but I need a bit of help. This will be the last big trip before the baby is born. My wife will be 6 months pregnant at the time of the trip. We are adventurous eaters and love ethnic food. We are San Francisco ex-pats living in rural Canada with almost zero ethnic choices, so ethnic is the direction I prefer to go. Here is the general game plan so far, but it is open to change:

Saturday: Early arrival. Heading to Renaissance Chancery Court near Holborn tube to drop bags and then on to Borough Market for lunch. I know it will be crazy by the time we get there, but the market looks too good to pass up. Lines will be long so what should not be missed? Supper at Fryer’s Delight. Which fish is the *best* for fish and chips?

Sunday: Doing the Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guards. Need a lunch recommendation in the area. Afternoon tea at the Wolseley. Snack at Fortnum and Mason for later in the evening. Any ideas of the best snacks to go?

Monday: Trying to get discounted tickets for Chicago in Leicester Square. Was thinking Chinatown for lunch. Any suggestions? Pre-theatre supper at J Sheekey. What are the standout dishes here?

Tuesday: British museum in the morning then off to Gordon Ramsay’s Maze for lunch. My wife has fond memories of Wagamama’s and I love yakisoba so we plan on that for supper. What else stands out here?

Wednesday: Natural History museum in the morning and then off to Bombay Brasserie for lunch. Is the weekly buffet as good as the weekend, or should be be ordering off the menu? Shopping at Harrods and the like in the afternoon. Need an interesting supper spot, but not necessarily around Harrods.

Thursday: Tate Modern in the morning. Lunch spot nearby? Have zero plans for supper. Any ideas?

Friday: Back to Canada early.

I am looking for breakfast suggestions near the Holborn tube. I would like at least one proper English breakfast, but the rest can be quick things to go.

One lunch spot needed near Buckingham Palace, one Chinatown lunch and one lunch near Tate Modern.

Two supper spots and we are open to almost anywhere the metro can take us.

I like the look of Bleeding Heart for a supper. Is that place worth it? I would like to have a meal in a gastropub like Anchor and Hope. We really like Vietnamese. Any suggestions there? Price is important, but I am willing to spend for a great meal. Ideally, I would like entrees to fall around 20 pounds or less.

Thanks for the help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: foreignmuck

      Quilon looks great. What are some of your favorite dishes there?

    2. People here on the board have been recommending Haozhan in Chinatown, and I'm looking forward to trying that one out soon.


      The Tate Modern has a pleasant dining room if you are already there and don't have another restaurant in mind. IThe Tate is also close to a small cafe in the Globe Theatre. or head over towards the Borough Market for a lunch in one of the spots in that area.

      3 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        The link for Haozhan is either down or is just a place holder. I did find many positive reviews though.

        1. re: JonH

          Yes Haozhan and yes quail starter. The tofu in the tofu/scallop clay pot dish was also very good, creamy, fluffy and light. Everything else above average (including surprisingly the house red) although dining companions who ate the vaunted wasabi prawns weren't particurarly blown away by that dish, I didn't sample. Malaysian head chef, menu is a bit of a tour around SE Asia and China, not exactly modern Chinese as billed. Fair prices.

        2. re: zuriga1

          Haozhan is nice. Get the quail as a starter.

        3. Wow your plans sound fun. We like wagamama too... its simple and delicious. We love the Tate Modern as well and I think it is my favorite Modern Museum in the world so far. I don't have a recommendation for anything around the Tate. I do have a recommendation for Breakfast though I don't know if its near your metro stop. It was an excellent English breakfast and if and when we go back I'll definitely go back. Its called Smiths of Smithfields.
          See http://www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk/s...

          1. good to see you've done some homework.

            now. the bombay brasserie no longer has buffet lunch during the week - its now only a eekend thing. so scratch that - but do go to quilon and get the veg thali. (i posted a review very recently).

            the renaissance holborn has a pretty good breakfast - its where we used to have early morning meetings. good spa too.

            do NOT eat in chinatown. if you need to be in that area, try bar shu on frith street for good sichuan. or go to snazz sichuan on chalfont st for excellent sichuan. my current favouries on that meu: fish flavoured pork, twice cooked pork, braised beef, sauteed green beans.

            go to mohsen on warwick road for iranian kebabs, rice, bread, daily specials. outstanding stuff and not terribly far from harrods (say 15 minutes by bus + short walk). one of the best cuisines london offers is lebanese: try ishbilya on william street, about a 5 minute walk from harrods. if you do go there, order chicken shis taouk with plenty of toom (garlic sauce) but above all order foul muqqala (broad beans in olive oil with garlic, lemon + coriander). heaven.

            vietnamese aint great (i wouldn't bother much). if you want a terribly brit experience, check out st. johns in smithfields mkt, the grand daddy of the anchor & hope style.

            finally, combine the tate modern visit with borough market if you can - they're about 5 minutes apart.


            4 Replies
            1. re: howler

              Is Borough Market open any other days other than Friday and Saturday? I am suspecting it will be too crazy for my wife since we will have flown all night and she will be very pregnant. I put it on for the for Saturday because I thought that was the only day it was open, besides Friday.

              Should I do New Tayyabs for Indian instead of Bambay Brasserie? Is there anything to visit in that area so I can combine the meal with something touristy?

              I'll start researching the other places that were mentioned. Thanks!

              1. re: JonH

                the mkts open thursday from 11 to 5 and you'll do well to combine the tate visit with lunch there.

                new tayyabs is going to be well out of your way and frankly isn't worth it. spend a bit more and go to moti mahal on great queen street (look up my review). get the butter chicken. now you're torking.

                i'd combine a visit to the nat history museum with lebanese lunch at either ishbilya (william street) or maroush (beauchamp place). maroush is within walking distance and has excellent chicken shish taouk and toom (i partially moved to london so i could get an unlimited supply of this dish).

                if you have the time, go to snazz sichuan. outstanding. or mohsen in warwick road.

                1. re: howler

                  Borough Market is open on Thursday - but with probably half the stalls that are there on Saturday, probably less than half actually. For the full experience go there on Saturday (I understand why you might not make it) then go again on Thursday and have something different for lunch!

                  I'd probably be tempted to do the Anchor and Hope for lunch the same day as you do Tate Modern anyway... They are maybe 15 minutes walk apart.

                2. re: JonH

                  Tayyabs is great, but it's a trek. I take many people there, but I won't take my parents there or pregnant ladies because it's just too-off-the-beaten-path.

              2. One more and then I'll stop--afternoon tea can be HUGE. We're talking little sandwiches, scones and clotted cream, plus cake. I would be physically unable to have have lunch, high tea, and then dinner. I think I would die. (I would die very happy, but I would die.) I would check the tea times at the wolseley and see what the earliest you can get is and do that for lunch. (Ok, I just did this and tea starts at 3:30 and there is a cream tea option which is just scones so maybe this is not a problem. http://www.thewolseley.com/DocsAndMed... )

                Fryer's Delight is cute and retro, but maybe not super atmospheric? I have never eaten there, to be honest, but walk by a lot. Golden Hind in Marylebone has more atmosphere. And you can BYOB--for yourself, of course. There's a Nicolas (French wine shop) around the corner, and I'm sure they must sell half-bottles. Must book.