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May 27, 2011 09:46 AM

Seattle, Washington hound in London for five days

I'm tagging along with my wife who is attending a conference at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel on Edgware Rd. We arrived last night (sorry for the short notice). An initial foray of the immediate Edgware/Paddington area has resulted in a tentative list that includes:

- Alarez
- Abu Zaad
- Satay House

I've heard mixed things about Mandalay Burmese. Any thoughts?

I'd appreciate any suggestions for places in the immediate area of my hotel that are worthier of my limited time here than the places listed above.

I'm also interested in fish & chips (not that Seattle is short on F&C places) and my current list includes The Golden Hind, Golden Fish Bar, and Sea Shell. If I have to choose one F&C place, are any of these worthy? Other suggestions?

For pubs in the area, The Chapel and The Victoria initially seem worthy. Are they? Are there any pubs worth travelling a greater distance to sample, like White Horse, Dove, or Bull and Last?

Finally, are there any places outside the Edgware/Paddington area that I should make the effort to get to because they offer something both delicious and unique that I'm unlikely to get in Seattle. Texture, for example, since there is no Icelandic cuisine in Seattle, that's for sure. There's virtually no type of food or specific food items that I don't like, so there's no limitations in this regard. Price is not irrelevant, but not a significant hurdle. A few other places that popped up during my research are Providores, Locanda Locatelli, Guinea Grill (pies), and Pearl Liang (xlb).

Any and all suggestions will be gratefully received. I'll report back on my experiences. Thanks.

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  1. The Golden Hind is well thought of, but Master's Superfish near Waterloo has better chips and is the real McCoy. Providores is very popular as is Pearl Liang. It's really easy getting around London by Tube, but realize there is lots to choose from near your hotel (an area I don't know at all).

    Mother of Redmond-based son :-)

    Pearl Liang
    8 Sheldon Close, Bromley, Greater London SE20 8, GB

    2 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      Thanks, Zuriga. Tonight, I ate dinner at Al Arez and was disappointed. It wasn't terrible, but I've had significantly better Lebanese food in Los Angeles and Glendale, California. So I'm not off to a great start. When I get back to Seattle, I'll give a virtual wave to your son.

      1. re: Tom Armitage

        I like Ishbilia for Lebanese food here, but you can try that next trip. It's often difficult coming to a city and there is such a preponderance of possibilities and we fly blind a bit. That's why Chowhound is such a help! Enjoy the rest of your days... Limster's tips are tops.

    2. - In Paddington/Edgware Road area

      Satay house is pretty good, as is Bonda Cafe, but lots of hounds that have been (I haven't) recommend the Malaysian student canteen run by the Malaysian embassy in Bayswater.

      Cocomaya is an excellent bakery close to you, on Porchester Place.

      Erebuni - Russian, Georgian and perhaps Armenian food cooked by an Armenian chef, near Lancaster Gate.

      If you're willing to head out to Abu Zaad (haven't been but on list to try), might be worth going to Al Waha in Westbourne Grove as it is closer to you (20mins walk). Ice cream next door at L'Artisan du Chocolat is good, and the chocolate is not bad.

      Dri Dri gelato on Portabello Road in Notting Hill is also worth a stop.

      Have enjoyed Original Tagines (Marylebone) in the past for Moroccan food. But was last there a year ago. I remember the mezze being only ok (apparently Turkish chef), but the bastilla and tagines were good.

      Texture was very enjoyable, but not every dish I had on the tasting menu was good. I remember the salmon being mushy, and the flavour combination in that dish seemed basic (e.g. horseradish being the predominant flavour), relying on pretty plating and novel textures to impress. The Icelandic cod however, was superb -- exceptional texture control in the oven, crispy and tender, and the jerusalem artichoke puree smooth, flavourful and rich.

      For Italian, I was really impressed by the cheese plate at Ristorante Semplice (just south of Oxford Street), and their carpaccio was also excellent. On the expensive side.

      - Beyond

      Worth travelling for is Sedap for excellent Penang-style Nyona on Old Street. Unlikely to find in the cuisine in the US.

      Bull and Last for food. White Horse for beer. I think both are worth the trip. But if travelling is tricky, a slight compromise would be the Duke of Wellington in Marylebone on Crawford Street, which is still very good for the food.

      Hope that helps.

      35 Connaught St, Paddington, Greater London W2 2, GB

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

      The White Horse
      1-3 Parsons Green, London SW6 4UL, GB

      4 Replies
      1. re: limster

        Thanks for the great suggestions, limster. Sedap is securely on the list, as well as Bull and Last and White Horse. I checked the on-line menu of Texture, and have decided to pass on going there. Although I'm sure that some of the execution is very good, the nature of the food is too much like what I can get (or cook) at home in Seattle. Time permitting, I'll also try and check out Dri Dri Gelato, Cocomaya, and L'Artisan du Chocolat.

        Thanks again for your help.

        35 Connaught St, Paddington, Greater London W2 2, GB

        1. re: Tom Armitage

          Tom, I think I am at the same meeting as you- peds radiology?

          Anyway- I also wanted to thank everyone for the reccs. Went by Cocomaya this morning. Adorable place and a quick walk from the conference. I got a delicious pistachio-chocolate croissant from the bakery, as well as some sea salt caramel spread to take back home. Unfortunately, the chocolate shop was not open, which means I might need to go back.

          35 Connaught St, Paddington, Greater London W2 2, GB

          1. re: Tom Armitage

            You're very welcome! Hope to read about what you think and do let us know if you uncover any new finds.

            1. re: Tom Armitage

              Got to say if you can cook Texture standard food at home then middle eastern should 't be a challenge as its not that cheffy and is a home style cuisine

          2. Bumping up an old thread - it's just that the OP mentioned Abu Zaad, which I felt served one of the *best* grilled chicken I'd ever had.

            The starter: a cheese-filled pastry: "fatayer bi jebneh" was also very good. But nothing beats the chicken.

            Address details
            Abu Zaad
            128 Edgware Road,
            London W2 2DZ
            Tel: +4420 7224 8382

            6 Replies
            1. re: klyeoh

              How's the room? (Guessing it's the white side dish in the picture?)

              1. re: limster

                Reminded me very much of Ranoush Juice Bar's actually - when it was in its old location along Edgware Rd, and long before the Ranoush/Maroush chain that it's become part of.

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Argh -- autocorrect messed it up -- I was asking about the toom, not the room. Sorry about that!

                  1. re: limster

                    Oh, the toum - it didn't make much of an impression on me actually (mind you, I'm a total garlic lover) as the roasted chicken was *so* well-marinated and tasty on its own, I did not use any of the dips provided on the side.
                    BTW, Abu Zaad purportedly serves Damascene cuisine - with a Moroccan section of the menu thrown in for variety. I love both.

              2. re: klyeoh

                The grilled chicken (Farrouj Meshwi; called Farrouj Abu Zaad on the menu) was indeed excellent -- very moist and tender, but ours could use a slight bit more charring compared to the one in the photo. Enjoyed it with toom/garlic sauce -- could be less mayonnaise-like in texture but the flavour was there. Tiny bit of kick in the chilli sauce, but good acidity for balance.

                Starters we had were basic - vine leaves/warak inab, moutabal (could be a bit smokier) and tabouleh salad.

                1. re: limster

                  Glad you liked it, limster. I sometimes pack some condiments from Singapore when I travel to London - the next time I visit Abu Zaad, I'm bringing along Lingam's chili sauce!