Category Archives: London

nopi in london

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breakfast at st. john hotel london

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heston blumenthal’s dinner

ever since i got my hands on heston blumenthal’s cookbook (the fat duck cookbook), i’ve wanted to eat at one of his restaurants.  (the book itself is amazing and to date, the most spectacular cookbook i’ve ever read cover to cover.  in addition to his exacting  and beautifully photographed recipes, he’s got a brilliantly illustrated section on his biography and then another hefty section about the science of food. it’s a book which i think very well communicates the mind of the man.  whenever i find myself in conversation with someone else about cookbooks, this is the one that i always recommend. )

digression aside, about a month ago, i found myself in london with some spare time.  so, i rung up heston’s latest restaurant, dinner by heston blumenthal, located inside the newly renovated mandarin oriental hotel in knightsbridge, and managed to get a table for a late lunch.  i had a very lovely seat with a rainy but green view of hyde park. Continue reading

patara thai in london

patara thai in london shares owners with the patara in bangkok.  the one in london is absolutely delicious, although my friend who introduced me to patara  london says the one in thailand is even more amazing. until i board a 20 hour flight to bangkok, patara london will do, very well and nicely that is.

hubby and i have been to patara several times now in the past few years, and always to the one on maddox street — london friend tells us that it’s the best one and we haven’t eaten any of the other locations to advocate on their behalf.  while we sometimes try new dishes, like the grilled beef salad in the first picture, we invariably find ourselves drawn to the gang kua goong–prawns stewed in a curry of kaffir lime, tumeric, scented coconut with betelnut leaves–and nua tom kati–beef, slow braised in a coconut milk reduction with fresh lime, lemongrass and chili.  hubby detests coconut milk, but he makes an exception for patara, where he literally drinks the herb-laden coconut milk based sauces in which the prawn and beef have simmered.  there’s just something so surreal about the flavours — at once tangy, refreshing, spicy and harmoniously rich.  i’ll usually tack on a steamed mango sticky rice to the end of the meal — my sweet tooth can’t resist.

Patara Thai
7 Maddox St.
Tel 0207 499 6008
Mon-Sun: Noon – 2.30; 5:30pm – 10:30pm

(Note: they also have locations in Soho, Knightsbridge and South Kensington)

covent garden japanese kit kat sighting

a few weeks back, i found myself wandering down garrick street headed towards the paul bakery covent garden branch.  i wanted to get a slice of their apricot tart. while en route, i passed by a store window featuring of all things — the japanese kit kat.  it felt not too different, i suppose, from a chance meeting utterly unplanned with an old friend, who lived on the other side of the world, while vacationing in bora bora.

“oh hello! konnichiwa!  is that you?  what are you doing here? what’s been going on in your life?”

“what? you’ve been busy i see!  two new flavours? soy mochi and vegetable!  how delightful!”

well, i better sign off now before they drag me off to the looney bin for having a conversation with a candy bar.

here’s the address in case anyone is interested in picking up the dialogue:

3 Garrick Street
London WC2E 9BF, United Kingdom
0845 838 0958

dim summin’ at yauatcha

whenever i go to london, i find myself eating a lot of asian food (hakkasan, bar shu, pathara thai, chachamoon, four seasons). it’s been my working hypothesis that asian food is prepared with a lot more care and dignity in london than new york city.  most recently, my mom visited london with me, and to test out my hypothesis, i dragged her to some of my favorite asian restaurants in london.  she concurred with my general hypothesis. in particular, she absolutely raved about yauatcha.  being someone who generally esteems “value” above all other things, i was rather surprised that she loved yauatcha.  at around £4-£10 for a small plate of dim sum, my mom remarked that the prices at yauatcha were on average 5x the typical chinatown dim sum menu item.  there is, however, no comparison between the two in terms of quality, creativity and ambiance — and even she walked away from lunch thinking that the dim sum was something really special and well worth the price.

we ordered a smattering from the extensive dim sum menu. from those,  our favorites were the winter melon dumplings shaped into carrots  and the shrimp toast (top 2 pictures).

as a side note, yauatcha used to feature a pastry counter filled with amazing petit fours and exotic macaron flavors.  during my latest visit, the pastry counter seems to have been converted into a tea utensil and chocolate shoppe.  i asked the hostess about this and she didn’t really provide a reason for the conversion.  she did say that the desserts are still available to be ordered from the menu.  assuming that the quality of the desserts is still consistent, the dessert menu is worth a gander as well.  there’s a mango pudding i tasted on a prior visit, which is really quite well executed.

15-17 Broadwick Street
Soho, London, W1F 0DL
Tel: 020 7494 8888
Mon – Sat: 12pm – 11.45pm
Sun: 12pm – 10.30pm