London restaurant itinerary - thoughts?
Thank you all for the help you gave me in planning my trip to London in February. I've made several reservations, but still have a couple of dates open.. I'd appreciate your thoughts and advice again - thanks!
Feb 2 - arrival day
Dinner: will be making reservations at Great Queen Street
Lunch: probably Borough Market
Dinner: Wild Honey (pre-theatre)
Lunch: somewhere in Greenwich
Dinner: This is open. I was thinking of Moti Mahl because I love Indian food, but I'm not sure now - it gets good, sometimes very good reviews, but there must be a reason I've held off on making a reservation.
Lunch: Noura (?) - I believe it's a Lebanese place not far from the Palladium (I have matinee tickets this day).
Dinner: I have no idea - I'm going to have to have a relatively quick meal after the show because I have a tour starting at Tower Bridge area at 7:30. If anyone can recommend someplace in that area that is decent , that would be fantastic.
Dinner: J Sheekey
Dinner: Launceston Place
Lunch: Rasa Samudra
Dinner: Pizarro (? ) I put a ? there because it has not been reviewed a lot - it is new. The reviews have been great, but this is a place I'd have to show up probably pretty early as it doesn't take reservations. I do LOVE tapas, though.
Dinner: St. John (I do consider myself a carnivore, but I do not eat offal; I thought the menu they had on their website as of a few weeks ago had enough items that I would eat - I hope it's the same thing when I get there, lol).
I was thinking at one point about Pollen Street Social - and I had also thought about Bocca di Lupo, but I figured that get alot of Italian food in NY and that I already had Zucca on my list. I'd also been thinking of Bistro Bruno Loubet.........
Any thoughts would be appreciated - I take my food and restaurants very seriously as I just love to eat. Thanks again!
Had a poor experience a couple years ago at Great Queen Street followed by a very good one more recently. The latter meal was quite beef heavy, don't know if that's what they're better at. For this type of gastropubby food, Bull and Last is easily superior (had an outstanding cod just last week).
If you want to go to Pizzaro, you could do that on your Tower Bridge day, just get there around 6pm. Will be easier to get a spot. Should say that Pizzaro is not a tapas place, the menu is in the 3 course format. For tapas, I'd go to the nearby Jose which has a tapas menu. Chef Jose Pizzaro has been sighted more at Pizzaro than Jose, so it might be worth getting a 3 course meal instead of tapas. Plus Pizzaro serves secreto iberico, while as of yesterday, Jose only had an iberico fillet.
Pollen Street Social falls into the good not great category for me, absolutely fantastic technique, but somehow the end product isn't earth shattering.
My most recent meal at Bistrot Bruno Loubet a couple of months ago was the least delicious of the ones I've had, but also noticed that the chef wasn't cooking that day. But have been consistently outstanding the rest of the times, so unless there's a real downhill alert, I'd chalk it up to a bad day.
If food is a priority, I would put other places on the list. Like Mohsen, Sedap, Kateh, Trinity etc. If yakitori is an area of interest, Jinchi for torikawa, Tosa for shisomaki. Dim sum (expensive-ish) at Min Jiang. Handmade udon at Koya. Roast pork (siu yuk) at Gold Mine. See also the various posts on East Ham for Indian. Also worthwhile to check out Ethiopian places like Lalibela or Queen of Sheba; and finish up with their coffee ceremony. Had a great Nigerian meal at 805 a while ago, probably worth following up as well. London's extremely diverse foodwise, do take advantage of that.
Hmm, the September menu for Bull & Last looks pretty interesting - but I don't think I want to trek all the way to Hampstead on my first night in town since I want to try and make that a relatively early evening. Then again, maybe I'm overestimating the travel time via the underground to Hampstead?
Oops, lol. I do love tapas, but I'm just fine with the 3 course meal. Jose didn't appeal to me for some reason I don't remember - I believe it just didn't seem like a comfortable place to dine. I'll get there by 6 or so no matter what day I go - if I think I can get there after the Palladium by that time, then that's when I'll go as long as they are open on Sundays. I'd hate to really rush my meal, though.
I have to say that I don't really like Japanese food and Chinese food is not a priority, but if I decide not to do Moti Mahal, I'm ok with trying another interesting ethnic cuisine. There are no (to my knowledge) Ethiopian or any African restaurants in NYC; if there are, they are few and far between. I do want to take advantage of London's diversity to be sure - I find it fascinating. I don't drink coffee, but nonetheless, what can you tell me about Lalibela, Queen of Sheba and 805? I will research them on my own, but since you have personal experience.......
Bistro Loubet is sort of "out there" for me as a possibility, but I can't help keeping in mind that I can get that type of cooking where I live and also in NYC.
I think I might add Maltings Cafe to my lunch list - arrival day, I plan to go to St. Paul's and Tower Bridge and so this would be right up my alley.
Thanks so much!
Noura's an excellent choice for Lebanese. Originally recommended by a Palestinian friend of my partner, I think we've visited all of their branches (4?) in recent trips to the capital.
In general, I think you've got a good balance of restaurants. All too often, I see tourists post here with such a diverse list that they leave the country not really having sampled British cuisine. Such a shame.
Harters, I think I got that recommendation from you - I'm really glad you mentioned it as it sounds delish and it's not the kind of food I can easily find where I live.
I specifically wanted to have a decent selection of British restaurants on my list because after all I'm in London. Maybe people still have the notion that the British don't do food well? In any case, I had to be careful not to overload my list with TOO many British restaurants - it was easy to do as the food is appealing to me anyway.