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Yum Cha, Quo Vadis and Odettes.

m
ManInTransit Jul 31, 2013 07:20 AM

Few quick reports on recent dinners.

Yum Cha

I have eaten here a lot recently as they are right by Primrose Hill. Superb dim sum particularly har gau and also a brilliant pork and peanut dumpling. Brilliant, greaseless dumplings whatever you order. Elsewhere on the menu we've tried battered prawns and my wife's enjoyed noodle dishes too. It's the dim sum that is outstanding here. Custard buns are a nice end to the meal, nothing outstanding. though
This place reminds me of Pham Sushi, not the best dim sum in London but arguably up there on the price/quality ratio, highly recommended.

Quo Vadis

Jeremy Lee has done something quite special here since moving in. All-day theatre menu is great but we went ALC. Love the smoked trout, cucumber and horseradish sandwish (summer seasonal version of the famous eel one), middlewhite pork with girolles was outstanding and had arguably the best pate I've ever eaten. Not cheap but certainly decent value and highly recommended if you're going to Soho and don't want a 7-hour queue for Barrafina, Koya or Pitt Cue.

Odettes

In Primrose Hill this is a very neighbourhoody restaurant clearly aiming at michelin level. It was perfectly decent but definitely falls short. Little things like advertising pigeon and fois gras as a dish but the fois just being tiny shavings, barely possible to taste. Crayfish lasagna was very generous and tasty, lacked the finesse and elegance of Philip Howard's crab version but a nice dish. Otherwise the seafood mains Cod and Sea Trout respectively were very solid with good cooking, flavour and balance. Heritage tomato salad as a side was lovely.
Didn't try desserts. Overall a nice room and service and a good dinner out when you live two minutes away. It's not nearly michelin 1* level but then that is reflected in really quite generous pricing for ingredients and cooking of this quality.

  1. Paprikaboy Jul 31, 2013 02:31 PM

    Thanks for the report MIT.
    I was excited when Jeremy Lee went to Quo Vardis. I've seen conflicting reports but always liked his cooking style, Haven't been yet (combination of finances and the fact that I really want to try the pies and it's not really the weather for it at the mo) so good to have a recent report that it's good.Not having a huge wait is also a bonus.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Paprikaboy
      m
      ManInTransit Aug 1, 2013 01:38 AM

      It's not the sort of cooking that blows your mind - so reminiscent of Fergus Henderson I thought but it was beautiful ingredients superbly executed. Not somewhere to drop everything and rush to but three courses for £20 all-day is a very good deal.

    2. k
      klyeoh Jul 31, 2013 06:34 PM

      "...don't want a 7-hour queue for Barrafina, Koya or Pitt Cue. "
      ==============================================

      There's actually an art towards avoiding queues at those hyper-popular places - I'm still trying to figure out Barrafina's (endured a 1-hour queue even on a supposedly quieter Monday evening), but it was a breeze getting that rare seat at Pitt Cue on a Sunday afternoon. Not attempted Koya.

      2 Replies
      1. re: klyeoh
        m
        ManInTransit Aug 1, 2013 01:40 AM

        I absolutely agree - was mostly said in jest. Sometimes you do just have to endure it at Barrafina but my favourite trick on weekends is to have an early brunch and then head to a Soho no reservation place mid to late afternoon when you walk straight in. Then go to chinatown for dumplings at 11pm and there are your three square meals!

        Koys is highly recommended by the way.

        PS Klyeoh I was hoping to pick your brains on India as I've seen lots of helpful posts from you on that board.

        1. re: ManInTransit
          k
          klyeoh Aug 1, 2013 09:29 AM

          Sure - will try and help whichever way I can :-)

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