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Mar 22, 2011 10:32 PM

Your input please for my upcoming trip to London!

Hi there,
I'll be travelling to London April 4-7 with my husband and his brother. We will be staying at the Hilton London Metropole (Edgeware Rd tube). We arrive London Monday afternoon and leave on Thursday evening. We all love food and are particularly excited by cuisines from around the world. I am of Goan ancestry but grew up in HongKong and now live in Vancouver. We get great Asian cuisine here in Vancouver but I'm not opposed to trying something great in London. I'd like to take a well-rounded approach to our dining options and after researching this board, I've come up with a tentative itinerary. Monday dinner - British fare: St. John's or Bread and Wine (what is the difference between the two)
Tues lunch - a fancy meal to take advantage of the lunch specials- Luanceston Place (was also considering the Ledbury and Viajantes....but their price point is a little higher)
Tues dinner - Ishbilia
Wed lunch - pub fare at the Bull and Last ( I will be visiting an uncle in Hamstead)
Wed dinner- Quilon ( I would love to try Thattukada but I think it might be too far of a trek)
Thursday lunch - Master's superfish
I was also hoping to visit the Borough Market and I guess thurday is the only day we have to do this.
Another place i'd like to try for a snack is Battersea Pies in covent Garden.
Silk Road and Chili Cool are two chinese places I'd love to fit in but just don't think I will have time unless you think I definitely should.
Your comments/suggestion would be most appreciated!!

Silk Road
49 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, Greater London SE5 8, GB

41 Buckingham Gate, London, Greater London SW1E 6, GB

St. John
26 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY, GB

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  1. Your Monday dinner might be dictated by which of them you can book but St John is the more formal dining version and the flagship restaurant. I'd go there if you can get a reservation although it's likely to be around £50 a head with a bit of wine rather than a little less (perhaps £35-40) at bread and wine.

    I actually really love B&W, it is much less formal and they encourage group ordering and sharing which at somewhere so unique is always fun. If you're dining the once go to the flagship but if it's booked out I wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending B&W.

    St John
    26 St John St, Islington EC1M 4AY, United Kingdom

    5 Replies
    1. re: ManInTransit

      Your itinerary sounds really good, so well done for doing your research! You're lucky you're doing Borough Market on a Thursday as it might be relatively quiet (Sat is like a daytrip to hell) - with 3 in the party you can divide and conquer so someone MUST get the raclette or the cheese toast from the cheese place on the right in the open air bit, and then someone else can have the chorizo sandwich in the covered bit...also the grizzled oyster man, and the venison burgers. And there's a stand outside Roast which does sandwiches with roast pork, apple sauce and cackling. Gorgeous.

      Haven't heard of Battersea Pies? If you're after somewhere in Covent Garden try Dishoom, new Bombay style cafe, you may well hate it and find it desperately unauthentic given your ancestry, but I love it! Opera Tavern round the corner is a fab tapas joint too, both places are buzzy and fun.

      1. re: helen b

        I was set to try your roast pork sandwich for lunch today but was overtaken when I saw a duck confit sandwich. I'd never tried that so gave it a go, and it was delicious. A French couple seem to be doing them (close to Ginger Pig), and it was a £ less than the pork.

        Next visit... pork.

        1. re: zuriga1

          I had the duck confit for lunch today too, actually. Agree it was pretty nice (if not just slightly overseasoned for my liking.)

          1. re: deansa

            I don't use a lot of salt, so it did taste pretty salty to me, but not too bad. I had a chance to practice my French a bit. :-) I also liked the mustard, and although I don't usually like rocket too much, it tasted really good with the duck. Well, I think it was rocket.

          2. re: zuriga1

            The porchetta sandwich at Gastronomica is excellent. Also good, their coppa di testa.

      2. Just had another read and I would certainly recommend going for Viajante or the Ledbury, the two most exciting restaurants in London in my view and both are absolutely excellent value at lunchtime.
        Battersea Pie is awesome, I haven't had one for ages but they are much better than the more feted Square Pies for me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ManInTransit

          Thanks for all your help. I will get cracking on my reservations and see what I can manage.
          Yes, I'm really looking forward to Borough Market. We leave on the 5:30pm Eurostar to Paris so I'm planning to bring our dinner meal from the Market on the journey.

          1. re: GoaGirl

            I highly recommend The Ledbury. I went there for lunch on a Tuesday during a 3-day stay in London. I'd say go for it!:) The price for the quality (2 Michelin stars and 3 Rosettes) is excellent. I was impressed with the food and service.

          2. re: ManInTransit

            I just had dinner at the Ledbury tonight and it was one of the most spectacular meals I have ever had (I've been to many Michelin 1,2,3 stars in the US, France, Spain, Italy). The dishes are very creative and everything just works. Service and atmosphere are tops.

          3. Chili Cool is nothing special, but you should get to Silk Road if you can fit it in.

            Silk Road
            49 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, Greater London SE5 8, GB

            9 Replies
            1. re: JFores

              Thanks again for all your suggestions. i am a member of the Vancouver Chowdown chapter of Chowhound......
              We regularly do group dinners to try various new restaurants. It's Alaskan King Crab season here in Vancouver and in fact, I'm going to a spicy Hunan group dinner featuring Alaskan King Crab.
              What's the best way to get to Silk Road from central long would it take?

              Silk Road
              49 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, Greater London SE5 8, GB

              1. re: GoaGirl

                Since you're in London for less than a week, Silk Road is rather off the beaten track. I'm not sure it's worth a special trip when you have limited time. Finding some good Chinese restos in central London would be better time spent.

                I'm from Canada myself (Toronto), and I generally find Chinese food is better in Toronto than London, no doubt because the Chinese form a higher percentage of the local population in Toronto and Vancouver than in London. And Chinese food is better in Vancouver than Toronto. So just be aware of that when looking for Chinese in London.

                That said, the high-end Chinese restaurants have good reputations, as well as non-Cantonese options such as Sichuan or Malaysian.

                1. re: Lake

                  Thanks......I think I'll focus on the non Chinese food this trip.
                  One question about the I'll be heading to Paris after London and will be having some good French food there, would i be better off with maybe Launceston Place or Viajantes for my fancy lunch? I've read that maybe the Ledbury has more of a French influence.

                  Launceston Place
                  1 Launceston Pl, Kensington, Greater London W8 5, GB

                  1. re: GoaGirl

                    viajante and launceston place aren't really comparable: viajante is adventurous, which means it can over reach while launceston place is very solid modern british in what is an exquisite part of town that tourists never get to see.

                    i hope its clear what my bias is (grin)

                      1. re: GoaGirl

                        Slight glitch in my plans......tues lunch would need to be around the Bond St tube station as I'm meeting my brother-in-law there after his meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine. Is there a restaurant similar to Launceston Place around there?

                        Launceston Place
                        1 Launceston Pl, Kensington, Greater London W8 5, GB

                        1. re: GoaGirl

                          You could try The Square, grown up sister to the Ledbury, on Bruton St. Set lunch for £35 would be quite a treat!


                          Or Le Gavroche does one for £48 including a half bottle of wine.

                          1. re: helen b

                            The Square is excellent. I would not hesitate to have a meal there.

                          2. re: GoaGirl

                            you are no more than 15 minutes away from launceston place - take the tube to notting hill and then either walk down ken church street or take the district/circle line one stop to ken high street.

                            if you must be near bond st, consider scotts on mount street for seafood. expensive, but you might catch nigella lawson there - she's religiously there every sunday afternoon.


                            another tip: try and catch a movie at the electric in notting hill - book ahead and request a seat at the back. such enormous luxury.

              2. Definitely Sedap for Penang-style Nyona. Haven't been to Viajante or Launceston Place, but a recent 8 course tasting lunch at The Ledbury fell into the category of good not great -- very pleasant and refined, but nothing came across as exceptionally delicious.

                Launceston Place
                1 Launceston Pl, Kensington, Greater London W8 5, GB

                102 Old St, Islington, Greater London EC1V 9, GB