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Where to take my wife for her 30th birthday?

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Hatori Hanzo Dec 20, 2008 10:47 AM

My wife and I are about to move to London for three months and I want to book a reservation to celebrate her 30th birthday while we are in London. We are both foodies and I am tempted to try St. John or Fat Duck (if I can even get a table), however I was told that both places feature a lot of offal, which we are not really big fans of. What other places should I look into? We love all types of ethnic food and we would prefer to go someplace that is not overly formal. It would be nice to make a night out of it so anyplace that would be fun to have some drinks at or close by to would be a plus. Thanks.

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  1. zuriga1 RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 20, 2008 10:36 PM

    Since it's your wife's birthday, it would be nice to go somewhere a bit special. If you are coming to London soon, I fear The Fat Duck will be booked up, but it's always worth a try. I'm guessing you know it's not in London proper.

    Just a few names you can check out... Maze (nice ambiance and service but not formal at all), Corrigan's in Mayfair (getting very good reviews since recently opening), the list goes on and on. Great Queen St. has very good modern, British food....lots of drink places close by in the Covent Garden area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1
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      Hatori Hanzo RE: zuriga1 Dec 21, 2008 05:37 AM

      Thank you for your response. A friend of mine recommended the following, what do you think?

      Petrus
      Zuma
      Maze
      Any of the other Gordon Ramsey places

      1. re: Hatori Hanzo
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        DollyDagger RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 21, 2008 06:00 AM

        Maze would be ideal, and Zuma is good - if a little over-rated / over-priced.

        Petrus is now known as Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and is no longer a Ramsay restaurant. It would be a wonderful treat but it is quite formal.

        1. re: Hatori Hanzo
          zuriga1 RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 21, 2008 06:15 AM

          I think you'd enjoy Maze... we did. You can check out the menu on its website. One can eat as little or as much as one likes....much to choose from. Everything was delicious. I love the 'subcontinent' restaurants here and for a birthday you could choose something a bit upscale like Amaya or Tamarind. Everyone has their own favorites.

          1. re: zuriga1
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            foreignmuck RE: zuriga1 Dec 21, 2008 09:31 AM

            or somewhere like Roka? Maybe a bit pricey for what it is , but nice nevertheless... There's the Shochu bar below, too.

            www.rokarestaurant.com

      2. limster RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 21, 2008 09:42 AM

        How about a tapas crawl - Brindisa (for cured meats), then Barrafina (grilled stuff) and finally Salt Yard (sherries). Allows you to optimise your meal by getting the best dishes from more than one place.

        Of course this approach would work with a series of izakayas (Kikuchi is very good, Donzoko is not bad) as well, or you could mix and match since you like a a variety of cuisines. Throw in Italian small plates at Bocca di Lupo i Soho or hand made dumplings at Super Star in Chinatown for example. If you plan it well (e.g. do it on a Tues, where you can get in without reservations), you could end up sharing something like 20 courses for not very much.

        1 Reply
        1. re: limster
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          Hatori Hanzo RE: limster Dec 21, 2008 03:26 PM

          I love your idea but I might defer it to a different occasion. I love most any type of "crawl" that involves food and/or drink. When we were in San Sebastien my wife and I did a tapas crawl which involved a beer and a game of backgammon at each stop.

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          FriedClamFanatic RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 21, 2008 03:52 PM

          Why not make it a full night and go some place special outside the city? Gravetye Manor near Gatwick has spectacular food (or at least did a few years ago) and is a lovely place to stay.

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            mr_gimlet RE: Hatori Hanzo Dec 22, 2008 01:50 PM

            Depends when you are planning to come and when the birthday is. Fat Duck books three months out I think, and Ramsay is one(or is it two?). Anyway, depending on the date you want, you could score either.

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