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UK Lunch Reviews - Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, Polpo, Tapas Revolution, St John Bread and Wine, Opera Tavern, Zucca, Dinner by Heston

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fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 09:46 PM

Although I did not post up my proposed itinerary, many thanks to everyone who contributes to this board for giving me ideas in planning my first trip to London in January. I hope these brief reviews can help other travellers in the future.

  1. f
    fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 09:46 PM

    Gordon Ramsay Plane Food– London

    Heathrow Airport

    The Good
    Surprisingly good food and service in an airport at decent prices.

    The Meal
    Antipasti Platter (good)
    Crispy Duck Salad (good)

    Photos can be seen on the blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

    3 Replies
    1. re: fatmanthinwallet
      Bill Hunt Mar 16, 2012 06:31 PM

      Thank you.

      I have wanted to try Plane Food, but we seldom fly out of Terminal 5 at LHR, as we often fly UAL, out of Terminal 1. Maybe we need to take the BA PHX-LHR flight, so we can dine there. Maybe you have talked me into switching airlines?

      Hunt

      1. re: Bill Hunt
        f
        fatmanthinwallet Mar 16, 2012 07:16 PM

        It certainly is not a "destination" restaurant, but I paid a more for worse in the UK (see Mishkins) during the trip and it is a lot more comfortable than sitting by the gate waiting for the flight. That said, I would have been in the BA lounge if not for a dispute between my carrier and BA about reciprocal lounge access.

        1. re: fatmanthinwallet
          Bill Hunt Mar 16, 2012 09:51 PM

          Once, we loved United International First Lounge, but now it's the Star Alliance Lounge, and leaves a ton to be desired.

          Maybe a change in carriers is in my future, as nice food and wine is always appreciated, at least by us. Going to try Virgin Atlantic's "Upper Class," to see how that goes.

          Thank you, and another good set of reviews,

          Hunt

    2. f
      fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 09:47 PM

      Polpo – London

      41 Beak Street
      Soho, London W1F 9SB
      United Kingdom

      www.polpo.co.uk

      The Good
      Good Italian small plates served fast. Standouts included the Anchovy & Chick Pea Crostino and the Cuttlefish & Ink Risotto with gremolata.

      The Okay
      Even eating at the 10-person bar getting one’s order taken and requesting the bill took awhile.

      The Bad
      12.5% automatic service charge but no one refilled my water – what is up with that?

      The Meal
      Arancini - excellent
      Anchovy & Chick pea Crostino (excellent).
      Mozzarella, Proscuitto and Basil Crostino (good).
      Cuttlefish & ink risotto, gremolata (excellent).
      Pasta with a Duck, Olive & Tomato Ragu (okay).
      Roasted Pork Belly, Radicchio & Hazelnut (okay).
      Ricotta & chocolate crumble (good).
      Chocolate salami (okay).
      Affogato (good).

      Photos can be seen at my blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

      1. f
        fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 09:48 PM

        Tapas Revolution - London

        Westfield London
        Shepherd’s Bush
        London W12 7SL
        United Kingdom

        www.tapasrevolution.com

        The Good
        Excellent Spanish tapas at decent prices served in a Westfield of all places. The Chorizo and Iberico pork cheeks were fantastic.

        The Bad
        None.

        The Meal
        Chorizo al horno
Oven roasted spanish sausage (excellent).
        Boquerones
Marinated anchovies in olive oil, garlic and parsley (good).
        Carrilleras
Braised iberico pork cheeks cooked in sherry (excellent).
        Paella de marisco
Spain’s famous rice dish with prawns, squid and mussels (good).
        Seleccion de ibericos
a taste of the best Spain has to offer (good).
        Churros tossed in cinnamon sugar and served with dipping chocolate (good).

        Photos can be seen on my blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

        1. f
          fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 09:50 PM

          St John Bread and Wine - London

          94-96 Commercial Street
          Shadwell, London E1 6LZ
          United Kingdom

          www.stjohnbreadandwine.com

          The Good
          Good nose-to-tail cooking; the best chicken pot pie I have ever had; decent desserts.

          The Okay
          That feeling you get when you have had too much nose-to-tail cooking.

          The Bad
          The indifferent service and long waits between courses.

          The Ugly
          None.

          The Meal
          Crispy Pig’s Tail (good).
          Grilled sardine (good).
          Fried lamb tonue and sweet breads (good).
          Chicken pot pie for two (excellent).
          Bread pudding (excellent).

          Photos can be seen on my blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

          1. f
            fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 10:00 PM

            Opera Tavern - London

            23 Catherine St
            City of London, Greater London WC2B 5JS
            United Kingdom

            www.operatavern.co.uk

            The Good
            Good to excellent small plates served quickly by knowledgeable staff.

            The Okay
            None.

            The Bad
            12.5% automatic service charge but no one refilled my water, even when sitting at the bar – what is up with that?

            The Ugly
            None.

            The Meal
            Crispy Iberico Pigs Ears (good).
            Courgette Flowers stuffed with Goats’ Cheese and Drizzled with Honey (excellent).
            Pan Seared Scallop with Jerusalem Artichoke Purée, Truffle Dressing and Morcilla de Burgos (excellent).
            Chorizo with Piquillo and Marjoram (good).
            Crispy Sand Eels with Alioli (excellent).
            Confit of Old Spot Pork Belly with Rosemary Scented Cannellini Beans (good).
            Pannacotta with Clementine Sorbet and Blood Orange Granita (good).

            Photos can be seen on my blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

            1. f
              fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 10:01 PM

              Zucca – London

              184 Bermondsey Street
              London, UK SE1 3
              United Kingdom

              www.zuccalondon.com

              The Good
              Generally good food in a nice environment together with good service. The complimentary frittata, the extensive bread selection, and the after-dinner treats that demonstrate this restaurant is actively seeking accolades.

              The Okay
              The pastas lacked the flavour of the starters and the dessert.

              The Bad
              The way our server tried to up-sell us on ordering more dishes when it was not necessary. Despite “under-ordering” there was still more than enough food.

              The Ugly
              None.

              The Meal
              ‘Zucca” fritti (excellent).
              Aubergine Norma (excellent).
              Ravioli (good).
              Casarecce (good).
              Pannacotta (excellent).

              Photos of our meal can be seen at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

              1. f
                fatmanthinwallet Mar 11, 2012 10:02 PM

                Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - London

                Mandarin Oriental Hotel
                66 Knightsbridge
                City of Westminster, London SW3 1
                United Kingdom

                www.dinnerbyheston.com

                The Good
                Excellent food. A great way to experience Heston Blumenthal’s cooking without having to leave London. Friendly and generally attentive service.

                The Okay
                The absence of an amuse bouche at a restaurant with these prices. The lack of a tasting menu.

                The Bad
                None.

                The Meal
                Meat Fruit (c. 1500)
- Mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread (excellent).
                Savoury Porridge (c.1660)
Snails, chanterelles, garlic and fennel (excellent).
                Black Foot Pork Chop (c. 1820)
Spelt & Robert sauce (excellent).
                Buttered black cabbage (okay).
                Triple-cooked chips (excellent).
                Tipsy Cake (c. 1810)
Spit roast pinapple (good).
                Lychee Frozen Ice (c. 1590)
Rosehip jam, barberrie granite and red current (excellent).
                Chocolate Bar (c. 1730)
Passion fruit jam and ginger ice cream (good).

                Photos can be seen on the blog at http://fatmanthinwallet.wordpress.com...

                1. m
                  MiniMonster Mar 21, 2012 05:23 AM

                  Thanks for the report on London.
                  Headed to tapas revolution tonight.

                  Read your blog - gunshot pellet in the rabbit terrine (Paris)?
                  That' s a keeper of a story. :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MiniMonster
                    f
                    fatmanthinwallet Mar 21, 2012 02:20 PM

                    Cheers for the kind words. I made sure the keep the gunshot pellet as a souvenir! As someone else said, it is a sign of true freshness!

                    1. re: MiniMonster
                      Bill Hunt Mar 21, 2012 06:42 PM

                      Going way back, my step-F-I-L used to hunt squirrel with a 12 ga., filled with bird-shot. He then did squirrel stew, and I cannot recall any pot, that did not have way, way too much shot in it. I wished that he'd have used steel shot, as I could then have run a magnet through my bowl, to save a crown, or two.

                      Not THAT long ago, we were at Restaurant Daniel, NYC, USA, and in a crab dish, there was a tiny bit of shell. I called the service captain over, and whispered to her, about the shell, as I assumed that most of their patrons that night, might not be from South Louisiana, and used to shell fragments. Without a word, she departed, only to return with a special extra dish, and even a wine pairing to go with it. I protested, but she insisted, saying that they would NEVER serve a dish with crab shells, even tiny pieces, and greatly appreciated my bringing it to her attention. That prep chef was admonished, and instructed to be a bit more careful - Imagine several shot pellets!!!!!

                      Hunt

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