Business Trip to London
I will be in London in July for a week's business trip. I have some restrictions that make it hard to decide on where to eat and I definitely don't want to leave it to chance or my co workers. First we will be staying on Gracechurch Street in The City and the office is near Liverpool Street Station. So close by there for most evenings since they do expect we will be working hard. It is on the expense account so moderate in price. One of my co workers is a picky eater so no place really exotic. I don't like Indian and he doesn't like Chinese but I might be able to get him to try Thai, Vietnamese, Malyasian or other Asian cuisines. We are planning a trip to The Gun which is I guess traditional for this trip. I probably need to give more parameters but I am not sure what would help, TIA.
I am back from my trip and this is my report.
On Sunday evening (which was the evening we arrived) my manager and I went to Giraffe in the Spitafields Market. He had a burger and I had the Hot "Thai" Duck Stir Fry. It was ok and inexpensive so the manager was happy. If I had known that the office was across the street from the market I would have gone in another direction for dinner. The tab was ₤32.23 for two mains, a glass of wine and a beer.
Monday evening a colleague from the London office pointed out two tapas places in the market-one a chain and the other a small place called Meson Los Barriles. We had a very good relaxing meal there. We shared a pitcher of sangria and each order two tapas plates. I chose artichokes with serrano ham and the special chicken, the other choices were chicken livers, chorizo, scallops in bacon and another dish that I can't remember. All were very good as were the desserts- flan and a lemon meringue tart. The bill was ₤69.70 for the three of us.
Wednesday evening we splurged and went to Coq d'Argent. We weren't expecting to splurge that much but since the manager didn't have a problem with it we were ok. The fun part of the evening was watching a nearby table interact with the sommelier. Wines were opened, decanted and refused-very amusing. For our meals, two of us had the Joue de porc glacee aux petits pois braises which was excellent and the third had the Assiette de saumon fume au raifort, vinaigrette de capres citronnee. I had the Roasted rabbit loin stuffed with slow cooked leg rillette, poached apricots and spring vegetables, the manager had the Roasted and confit duck with gingerbread, buttered Savoy cabbage and poached baby pear and the third had Grilled yellow fin tuna seasoned with mild spices, sweet and sour aubergine compote. We were all very happy with our meals. Two of us had desserts- I had the peach melba which was stacked so it was a little difficult to eat but the flavors were good. The other dessert was the Warm bitter chocolate fondant with coffee sorbet and white chocolate marshmallow. The only odd note was the port that the manager (who was born and raised in Lisbon) ordered arrived chilled. The sommelier insisted that was the way it was to be served but when the waiter who also was Portuguese brought the check he agreed that it wasn't correct. I thought that ₤159.82 was reasonable for this restaurant. The only other comment I have is that it was terribly noisy where we were sitting near the bar. If noise is a factor for you ask to be seated in the area away from the bar.
Friday evening two of us tried St Swithins and had an excellent meal. I started with grilled gambas and for my main course had the lamb chops. Both were excellent. Unfortunately I lost my notes which tell what my co worker had but he was pleased with his meal. The total came to ₤75.78 which included two drinks, appetizer, mains and one dessert and a glass of port. The thing that confused me here was that there were two different menus posted outside. Inside the room was tiny (maybe 25 seats) and the menu was totally different.
Yes: Boundary on the corner of Boundary and Redchurch St, just off Shoreditch high St. It's French influenced British cooking and very good, and part of a complex that also includes Albion, a very good cafe for breakfast or lunch, a deli to pick up cheeses, cakes etc and a rooftop terrace and grill (only open on sunny days). About a ten minute walk from Liverpool St station and very good.
Thanks for the great information. I especially like the idea of the East Room and going to a private club. Since the company's office will be moving in June this is a new area for us.
Limster, glad to see you are thriving on the London boards. I always enjoyed your flair for food writing on the Boston board.
If you'll be working late, and you like steak, you could try Hawksmoor on Commercial Road. It's not too far away from Liverpool Street. The cocktails are great and even the non-steak items were not bad. They have a burger lunch menu as well, which, apparently, isn't bad. You'll probably need to make reservations.
157 Commercial St, Poplar, Greater London E1 6, GB
Try Sedap for Penang-style Nyona/Peranakan cooking, a cuisine specific to Penang in Malaysia. The best dishes there are probably the curries to be taken with rice, and definitely nyonah kueh for dessert.
Incidentally, Threadneedles Hotel in the City has a very pleasant afternoon tea.
I would second the East Room if you can get in. Alternatively, I had a business lunch at Le Bouchon Breton, in Spitalfields in the City a few months ago, and while it wasnt amazing, it was pretty good and perfectly catered for all tastes (there were 8 of us) and is moderate in price. It's French so shouldn't offend the more picky eaters.
you could also head to the Rivington in Shoreditch, not far at all from the City - good British food, and once again, pretty reasonable.
5-10 mins walk from Liverpool street try the East Room it is a private members club but if you make a dinner booking you are fine to get in - food and wine is excellent and reasonably priced and you will impress your coworkers with your "inside" London knowledge!
If you are ok with fish, then Swithin's in St Swithin's Lane is unbeatable. Best fish in London, I think. The ground floor is the fish bit, and it's open in the evenings which many places in The City are not.
In Gracechurch St (are you staying in The Club Quarters?) you will find The Gaucho Grill steak joint under The Cross Keys pub, which is fine. Entrance in side alley.
Another nice place is The Coq d'Argent with its roof garden on top of 1 Poultry near The Bank of England.
For inexpensive Thai try Thai Square tucked behind Mansion House tube. It's part of a chain but really quite ok.
All these 5-10 mins walk from Gracechurch St.