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Jul 14, 2010 09:10 AM

London/Kingston/Richmond report

Just a few days spent in/around London with no special agenda. London highlights were L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (sit at the counter and get the tasting menu with wine pairings--the sommelier paired some really unusual wines that really worked well), Borough Market (as usual--saw a Tyler Florence sandwich program that included Northfield butcher inside the market--fantastic sausage and bacon sandwich. Fantastic.). Also met a friend at Ping Pong, a dim sum place near Waterloo station. Good and convenient.

Usually stay in Kingston when we go so always looking for some local options, which can be few and far between. Carluccio in Kingston is reliable for a good antipasto plate. Sitting in the sun with a nice glass of wine.....Also tried Jamie's Italian (as in Oliver) for the first time. One of the worst meals I've ever had. Fresh mozzarella that was literally drowning in peso (no moz flavor could survive), the smallest, thinnest portion of salami for GBP5 (a crime), not great pasta bolognese and tiramasu with orange peel? Really bad.

Richmond can be challenging to. Adesso on Hill Rise street has really good Italian. Binghams (overlooking the Thames with outdoor terrasses) just got a Michelin star this spring. Nice tasting menu. Wine matching good. Would go back despite the fact that it was really difficult (ok, impossible) for me to eat the squab course as it came with the thigh and leg that still had a claw attached.

Forget the chain The Slug and Lettuce even though they have tables on the Thames. Vile sandwiches.

If you get a chance to go out into the countryside, there's a fantastic restaurant near Shere called Kingham's. Wonderful to have a lazy lunch under the trees on a warm afternoon...Multi course for a steal.

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  1. Cool, thanks for your report! Any particular dishes or wine pairings at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon that were most memorable?

    1. You are one of many who have panned Jamie's Italian in Kingston. A friend of mine warned me away when it opened, and I agree that Carluccio is a much better choice in that town.
      I usually just grab a fast lunch when shopping in Kingston and have found nothing stellar, but a hamburger at Byron is always a decent choice... or a gelato from Bentall's. :-)

      We used to love The French Table in Surbiton, but it disappointed on our last visit. I'll return and give them another chance. I'm sure the chef was absent the night we were last there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1


        I think the best bet is to go get seafood pancake in New Malden!

        Good tip on Adesso, Tangawizi is also good as an Indian / Kenyan - just across the bridge.

        1. re: kidtofu

          I had a meal at Tangawizi last February. Thought it OK - pity they don't really feature anything from their East African background.

          Some more details at post #54 on this thread:

      2. Bingham thumbs up heartily seconded. And it's SUCH a beautiful setting. Lovely place to stay too. We had a cute as a button attic room, and you could see the Thames from the window (if you stood on tiptoes and leant far out ;))

        2 Replies
        1. re: helen b

          It's an extremely well-deserved Michelin this year. Shay Cooper is a fellow Cestrian and it's good to see a local lad do good. I came across it not long after it opened, on a TopTable 50% discount deal. Those were the days, my friends.

          1. re: Harters

            Yep. 50% discount would have been nice...but full price I still thought the VFM was OK. But then I wasn't paying ;) And it is soooooo beautiful. We were there on a very balmy evening and sat on the terrace looking at the river. Someone even landed a fish while we were there!

            Herewith brief report: