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Staying in West end. Need some good casual lunch/dinner spots [London]

grandgourmand Mar 16, 2011 08:19 AM

Hi,

I'm staying in London for 2-3 nights. I'll be arriving this Sunday (the 20th) and staying in the West End (Langham hotel).

I like pretty much any kind of food, but my preference is for something casual, fun atmosphere, reasonably priced, with good food. Is there anything nearby (walking or short public transit ride) you could suggest?

thanks in advance.

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  1. k
    ksuxa4 RE: grandgourmand Mar 16, 2011 10:15 AM

    Hi, I'd suggest Seaport restaurant (http://www.seaport-restaurant.co.uk ), which is seafood mainly, but really good food and value for money. It is about 15 min walk though from Langham.

    Otherwise, if you just go towards Goodge Street station (5 min walk) you will come across Charlotte Street, which is full of good restaurants. Actually, there's also a great tapas bar called Barrica in Goodge street, very Spanish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ksuxa4
      h
      helen b RE: ksuxa4 Mar 16, 2011 02:07 PM

      Barrica's good, just past it is Saltyard which is even better, and then Fino is round the corner so if you sit up at the bars you can do your own little tapas crawl.

    2. p
      pj26 RE: grandgourmand Mar 16, 2011 10:40 AM

      If you do a search of the board you will find loads of places, but for starters try: Great Queen St in Covent Garden, Polpo or Polpetto in Soho for Italian, Dean St Townhouse for cool British dining, Arbutus do some great pre-theatre and lunch specials, as does their excellent sister restaurant Les Deux Salons, which has more of a buzzy atmosphere.
      for cheaper eats, try Chinatown - there's lots of suggestions on other threads for this. Or get on the tube to Brixton Market - one again another thread.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pj26
        m
        marcus james RE: pj26 Mar 17, 2011 02:14 PM

        Gourmand - you could also try:

        Yauatchua in Soho or the Royal China Club (note Club, not Royal China ordinary) on Baker Street for dim sum.

        I know locals think it a bit passe, but there's no denying Momo's on Heddon St still serves decent couscous in a very vibrant atmosphere.

        Bar Boulud in the Mandarin in Knightsbridge has been drowned out by Heston's recent opening upstairs, but it's definitely one of the best casual dining venues in the capital right now.

        I don't know what the demand is these days, but you can't go wrong with the Ivy or it's sister Le Caprice. And, of course, The Wolseley from former Ivy owners Corbin & King remains a hotspot.

        Finally, although neither are cheap, both Zuma and Nobu (but more the Mayfair one these days) continue to hum.

        -----
        Royal China
        13 Queensway, Paddington, Greater London W2 4, GB

        The Wolseley
        160 Piccadilly, London, Greater London W1J 9EB, United Kingdom

        1. re: marcus james
          w
          Winkypedia RE: marcus james Mar 17, 2011 03:54 PM

          As Chinese, I would not recommend Royal China Club at all. I used to be a fan but they changed the chef recently. The food qualilty has dropped significantly - not the price though. I went recently in February, I would not go back again. What a shame, it used to be so good.

          Yauatcha is bad. Appauling service and the food's average for the price. It does not deserve one Michelin star.

          -----
          Royal China
          13 Queensway, Paddington, Greater London W2 4, GB

          1. re: Winkypedia
            zuriga1 RE: Winkypedia Mar 17, 2011 11:45 PM

            What are your favourite places In London for dim sum?

            1. re: zuriga1
              m
              miss chicken wing RE: zuriga1 Mar 18, 2011 02:03 AM

              Phoenix Palace, just by Baker St tube, is my favourite place in London for dim sum. Huge selection, all very tasty and amazingly good value. Only let down is the xiao long bao which invariably arrive torn so there's no broth inside.

              Also impressed by Leong's Legends (great xiao long bao), though much smaller selection and less atmosphere than PP.

              Agree Royal China Club is a waste of time (I actually think Royal China - not club - is better. Yauatcha is okay, pricey but the surroundings are fun,

              Try Phoenix Palace, it will not disappoint.

              -----
              Royal China
              13 Queensway, Paddington, Greater London W2 4, GB

              Leong's Legend
              4 Macclesfield St, London, Greater London W1D 5, GB

              1. re: miss chicken wing
                w
                Winkypedia RE: miss chicken wing Mar 18, 2011 05:09 AM

                I agree. Phoenix Palace is a good place for dim sum. But not for dinner as it's over-priced and very small in portion.

                I don't think the xiao long bao at Leong's Legends are good at all, nor the group's other venture- Dumplings Legend. And as already discussed at another thread here (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7642...), stay away from Beijing Dumpling. It makes me crossed that there are so many restaurants in Chinatown claiming they are dumpling experts when they are not!!

                -----
                Leong's Legend
                4 Macclesfield St, London, Greater London W1D 5, GB

      2. m
        miss chicken wing RE: grandgourmand Mar 18, 2011 02:10 AM

        Reasonably priced:
        Yalla Yalla for good value Beriuty street food
        L'Autre Pied for a good value MIchelin-star lunch menu. Restaurant is a bit pokey, but the food is fab.
        Tapa Room at Providores for creative brunch. really nice spot and it's on Marylebone High Street, which is also nice for a stroll.
        Busaba Eathai for very casual (sharing tables) Thai food.
        La Fromagerie for great coffee, cheese and ham plates. It's a cafe in one of London's best cheese shops. Beautiful produce all around. A lovely spot. If you still have room, pop into the Ginger Pig for a sausage roll after.
        The Wallace (which is in The WAllace Collection museum). Soaring ceilings - great for afternoon tea or lunch. A plum spot.
        La Petite Maison is one of my fave London spots. But it's pricey. Superb Provencal food, sparkling atmosphere. Worth every penny.

        Hope that helps... many more I could suggest! All of the above are within 1km of The Langham.

        1. grandgourmand RE: grandgourmand Mar 18, 2011 07:44 AM

          Many thanks. I will report back.

          Appreciate the Dim Sum recommendation. That could come in handy. Usually when I've had a lot to drink the night before, Dim Sum is the only thing that hits the spot.

          I know I could have searched, but it's easier to have "fresher" recommendations and more pleasant to engage in discussion.

          I might try L'Autre Pied. I'm a Michelin * virgin.

          2 Replies
          1. re: grandgourmand
            w
            Winkypedia RE: grandgourmand Mar 18, 2011 10:46 AM

            As a Micelin virigin, I suggest L'Atelier for a resonably priced and enjoyable meal.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7728...

            Enjoy! :)

            1. re: Winkypedia
              p
              pj26 RE: Winkypedia Mar 20, 2011 12:36 AM

              As I have just poster on another thread, be careful if you head to L'Atelier - might be good value if you stick to the set menu, but stray and it will get very pricey.

          2. grandgourmand RE: grandgourmand Apr 1, 2011 07:51 AM

            I'm sorry to report that I have missed the opportunity to use your suggestions. There is a valid reason, though. On my first day, I developed food poisoning, likely from the food on my flight. So, I was bed-ridden for the best part of two days, which was terrribly disapointing. Next thing you know, I was out of London.

            The silver lining, I will be in London in a few months, probably and will re-visit this thread and give you a proper review.

            Thanks again for your input.

            2 Replies
            1. re: grandgourmand
              k
              klyeoh RE: grandgourmand Apr 1, 2011 08:49 AM

              Sorry to hear that you were ill, but thanks for posting back. CHs do appreciate hearing back from posters about their eventual dining experiences.

              1. re: grandgourmand
                zuriga1 RE: grandgourmand Apr 1, 2011 09:39 AM

                Maybe it was a stomach virus? It's hard to tell that apart from food poisoning. Geez - I hate to think it was airline food. Sorry it happened, but it's great you'll be returning before too long.

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