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Mar 4, 2009 05:03 AM

My London list

This is the shortlist of restaurants that I've made for London in May, any comments are welcome.

Indian : Mela, Moti Mahal, Bombay Brasserie
Chinese : Pearl Liang, Shanghai Blues. I would have liked to try Bar Shu but there are issues with spicy food so that's out.
And tea at the Covent Garden Hotel (after reading the rave review for Brumus I'm hoping that the CGH, being another Firmdale hotel, will be equally good).

All suggestions gratefully accepted. Thank you!

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  1. Firmdale run very smart operations, a great friend of mine oversees all 5 hotels.

    however, for tea you can't go past the Lanesborough.

    3 Replies
    1. re: batfink23

      Have a great trip Afds. I would suggest swapping one of your Indians for Tayyabs (which is actually Pakistani but anyway). It gets a lot of press on this board and all of it is favourable. Just get there early or be prepared to queue for up to an hour.

      1. re: Gourmet Chick

        I was there last Sunday at around 2.30pm and only had to queue for about 10 minutes

        1. re: pj26

          You can book a table at Tayyabs too, thus skipping the queue.

    2. Thank you very much for your replies. The Lanesborough is on my "someday" list, but this time it has to be the Covent Garden Hotel because the next thing on the itinerary is a performance at the Royal Opera House. I will definitely consider Tayyabs, hubby hates queuing but will try to convince him.

      7 Replies
      1. re: afds

        We ended up going to Pearl Liang which was good and Shanghai Blues which was better, although we still feel that so far Kai is the best we've had. I was hoping to try the Dim Sum but the choice was really limited. Maybe the problem is we went for dinner and dim sum is more a lunch thing? Shanghai Blues had a mango mousse which was just out of this world. For Indian restaurants we went to Moti Mahal, again good but not superlative, and Mela which was so-so, with the exception of truly outstanding gulab jamuns. One nice thing about Mela is that though I had a Toptable booking which I changed at the last minute to a direct booking with the restaurant when some friends decided to join us, they decided to apply the 50% off Toptable offer anyway. The afternoon tea at the Covent Garden Hotel was a disappointment. I think the sandwiches at Brown's were much better, but my real issue is with the scones. There were four, one plain, one fruit, and two chocolate chip. I ask you, chocolate chip scones, the horror, the horror. The jam was fantastic and the tea itself was very good, there were free refills, but I didn't find the ambience appealing either.

        1. re: afds

          Yep - dim sum is more of a lunch thing. Pearl Liang's is probably the best I've had in London so far, but I haven't been to some of the better ranked places like Royal China.

          1. re: limster

            The best dim sum i've had was at Hakassan by a mile

            1. re: Nii

              Nii - have you noticed a drp in quality since Yau sold up? Recent reports (World Foodie Guide) indicate Yauatcha has dropped a bit. On my last visits (last year) Yauatcha was significantly better than Peral Liang (which was good), we felt that the food was fresher.

              1. re: Nii

                I totally agree Hakkasan is the best dim sum ive had in London and surprisingly reasonably priced (unlike going for dinner where the good quality dishes on offer do not compare with the stratospheric prices but its always packed for dinner, and has been for many years now , so i suppose they can charge what they want) . And yet i frequent royal china far more often , i think it must be that on a sunday lunch sometimes we just want a simple affair whereas Hakkasan requires wearing ones 'sunday best ' and praying our 2 year old behaves .

                1. re: millema

                  Totally agree - Hakkasan's dim sum is as good as any you'd find in HK or Singapore. This is a pic I took of my dim sum appetiser at Hakkasan the last time I was there.

                  Hakkasan Restaurant
                  8 Hanway Place, London, Greater London W1T 1HD, United Kingdom

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    great picture !
                    and it must be the northerner is me but i love how bursting and chunky each dumpling is at hakkasan .