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trinity vs medlar and other questions! [London]

c
curiouseater Jan 1, 2012 11:28 AM

Hello, I am looking for some help please.

Just to give a bit of background, we visit London twice a year from Glasgow and are planning a trip at the end of March. We will be staying in Islington and plan to go to Byron, CayTre, Hawksmoor and the Wolesely for lunch, primarily as these are all places we have been to before, with our now, 2 and a half year old son.

I need help to decide our dinners. We won't have our son with us and for one of the meals there will be 5 of us.

Places we have eaten at before are 

The Square
RHR
Marcus Wareing
The Ledbury
St John
hakkasan
Roka
Harwood Arms
Maze
Claridges
LaTrompette
Goodman
Hawksmoor
Cay tre 
Vietnam Grill
bob bob Richard
The Providores and tapa room
Moro
Tayaabs 
Delhi grill

This is not an exhaustive list but gives an idea of what we have tried. Since having our son our eating habits have changed, we no longer are able to tolerate sitting for three hours for tasting menus and our stomachs seem to have shrunk. We find small pates are good and we like our cocktails and seem to prefer less formal environments than before.

So my questions are:

1. has anyone been to both Medlar and Trinity? The menus look similar but I don' t know if that holds true for execution. For us Trinity would be easier to get to but we would make the effort to go to Medlar. 

2. Any suggestions for the group meal? As a group we have eaten at La Trompette, Hawksmoor and Goodman.  I was thinking of Bar Bouloud as I like the menu but have not read great things about the service. I am hesitant about this choice and almost tempted to make it Hawksmoor again or would Medlar be an option? We have a friend who lives in Clapham so he might join us for the Trinity meal, and we could do Medlar as a group of 5...

Other dinners we were thinking are Meatliquor and Mishkins for the other two nights. Both are a bit trendy for my liking but we do like our burgers and cocktails.

Any other suggestions for any of the dinners would be greatly appreciated. In fact if there was another toddler friendly option that served good food for one of the lunches we could then do Hawksmoor for one of the dinners instead..

Sorry if the post is a bit garbled. Thanks!

  1. limster Jan 1, 2012 02:12 PM

    re:1 - Medlar's French cooking is very similar to La Trompette's, pleasant and on the classical side. Trinity is a bit more modern, but without being too showy -- flavour wise, dishes are mostly robust and to the point; also perhaps more of a British presence in terms of dishes at Trinity. Foodwise, I like Trinity more by a fairly large margin. Medlar has a very good sommelier that provides exceptional pairings; Trinity has a chef's cellar with some fairly grand wines that can be fairly close to retail prices and thus a tremendous bargain compared with places that charges 200-300% markups.

    re: 2 - if you like small plates, might as well go for a selection of Lebanese mezze at Ishbilla or Al-Waha; eating with a group would allow you to sample lots of their menus. If Kateh wasn't somewhat out of the way, I would have recommended it highly as well. For something more casual, Yalla Yalla is also good for Lebanese.

    If you want cocktails in the same place, I can say that the food at Duck Soup in Soho was very good, but haven't tried the cocktails.

    I'd also consider Kipferl(Austrian) in Islington. On the Northern Line, obvious places are Sedap (Penang Nyona), Bull and Last (gastropub), as well as Lalibela or Queen of Sheba (last 2 Ethiopian).

    4 Replies
    1. re: limster
      limster Jan 1, 2012 02:19 PM

      P.S. Brixton Village/Market are also worth a visit, especially since they house a fair number good places. See this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/698606 -- should add that Casa Morita is an excellent Mexican place in Brixton Market that's worth a stop (don't know how good the cocktails are next door at Seven at Brixton, but might be worth exploring).

      1. re: limster
        c
        curiouseater Jan 2, 2012 01:21 AM

        hello, thanks for your suggestions.
        I had never thought of Lebanese, and it's certainly something we can't get up here (like many other cuisines). We like Malaysian food though oddly enough there is a decent place here ( Asia style) that serves good roti canai and nasi lemak etc so although it would be right up my street I think we would have to use our meals for something we can't get here.My husband really likes Mexican and we tend to cook at home, again as there are no 'authentic' Mexican places up here ( I know some people will say there are none in London either) so if you rate Casa Morita then it's worth a look into. Thanks!

        1. re: curiouseater
          c
          curiouseater Jan 2, 2012 11:28 AM

          hello, Limster, you like the Bull and Last don' t you? Just had a look at the menu, it looks great. I think that with all the burgers we will be eating that I might pass on meat liquor and go there instead!

          1. re: curiouseater
            limster Jan 2, 2012 11:35 AM

            Yes, a fan of Bull and Last. I do need to go again soon, would appreciate an update, but lots of people on the board seem to like it too.

            BTW, Sedap does serve a bunch of Malaysian dishes, but I think the best stuff on their menu are the small selection of Penang Nyona dishes, which are a specialised genre that not every Malaysian place makes e.g. dishes lik e the superb curry tumis fish, buah petai prawns etc. The nyona kueh (varieties of little "cakes") are excellent for dessert.

    2. m
      millerla Feb 21, 2012 02:30 PM

      We ate at both Trinity and Medlar in December. Our meal at Trinity was "Sunday dinner" so perhaps different from what you might see, but we enjoyed. The setting was more informal than Medlar, and the service better. That being said, I did have a wonderful squash ravioli at Medlar that I still think about. I would go with Trinity if it's easier transport wise for you. It was quite a schlep for us and that still didn't turn us off. Have you considered the Ottolenghi "NOPI" restaurant for your group meal? Downstairs there are 2 communal tables. Small plates, good cocktails.

      1. zuriga1 Feb 21, 2012 10:24 PM

        We had an excellent meal last week at Bistrot Bruno Loubet. I am still dreaming about their beetroot ravoli, which was the best thing I've eaten in ages. It's casual and I'd think a good place for a group. Don't go with a group to Meat Liquor... it's very noisy. The Bistrot is walkable from Islington, which is where we had started out. Another plus is their very good service.

        1 Reply
        1. re: zuriga1
          c
          curiouseater Feb 23, 2012 11:56 AM

          hello, as it turns out our friends can't meet us Thursday so we had to do some shuffling about. As a result our schedule looks like this

          wednesday lunch- Byron
          dinner- trinity
          Thursday lunch the Wolseley
          dinner bar bouloud but am now thinking of Bistrot Bruno Loubet as have heard good things about it not just from Zuriga1 but also my sister.
          Friday lunch Bull and Last
          dinner Hawksmoor Guildhall in the bar to try the beef rib sandwich and have a burger and cocktails
          Saturday friends wedding but then Gilbert Scott at night for a drink
          Sunday Cay Tre for lunch
          Mishkins for dinner

          am really looking forward to our trip!

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