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Entries in Casual (40)

Wednesday
Mar282012

Istanbul Dining - Mangerie and Bebek

The Sunday of our long weekend in Istanbul culminated with a lazy day in the sunshine. Desperate to escape the hectic world of Sultanahmet, Bebek was our chosen location, The Boyfriend's favourite neighbourhood in the city. Located right on the Bosphorus between the first and second Bridge, it is a neighbourhood with a village like feel centred around a square.

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Wednesday
Mar282012

Istanbul Dining - Hamdi Restaurant

March 22 saw the beginning of my fourth trip to Istanbul, but despite three previous trips all at least three days long, I had never eaten at a proper Kebab place. This was to be the trip that changed. The Boyfriend, instructed to find me the best kebab the city had to offer settled on Hamdi, a restaurant that caters to both tourists alike so that Friday, The Boyfriend, five friends and I decided to try it out.

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Sunday
Mar042012

Burger & Lobster & The Failure of Capitalism

The free market seems to be failing in London's restaurant scene. The incredible lack of decent places to eat - combined with a population of seven million people, means that the good restaurants now fall into two distinct categories. 1) The ones that accept reservations, and require booking a month in advance to secure a table on a Saturday night 2) The ones that don't accept reservations, and require showing up at around 6pm to ensure being able to eat that night. 

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Monday
Jan302012

Dinings

 

When people ask me what my favourite Japanese restaurant is - my reaction is always Dinings. This answer is always met with the same response - "Where? What about Zuma? Or Nobu? Or Umu?" Nope, as much as I love all three, there is something nice about the utilitarian approach of Dinings, where one gets the impression, that this place is serious about their food. There is little in the way of atmosphere, and the decor is bland, although service is perfectly acceptable. 

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Wednesday
Dec072011

Da Mario- a neighbourhood find

 


Good neighbourhood restaurants aren't easy to find at the best of times. In Central London, its a bloody nightmare. In Covent Garden I assumed it wouldn't be possible. Surprisingly, I found one.  Da Mario is an unassuming little place, from the outside and from the inside, but with an almost perfect Urbanspoon rating, it seemed to be worth a shot. 

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Monday
Nov282011

St Moritz - Where a fondue is a fondue

Last Tuesday, The Boyfriend and I, attempted to go to MeatLiquor, only to find out they had run out of hamburgers. How this happens in a restaurant dedicated to burgers, I'm not sure. Disappointed, freezing and starving, we headed to Soho, hoping to head to one of the many great reservation-less restaurants. Instead of heading to our usual haunts (Princi, Barrafina, Polpetto etc.) we ended up at St. Moritz, a place I'd wandered past at least a dozen or so times and always been intrigued by . It turned out to be the solution to all our problems that night. For just over an hour we left London and ended up in Switzerland, in a kitsch, rustic chalet. Everything, seemed authentically swiss including the music, but thankfully not the wine.

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Wednesday
Nov022011

Providores - Brunch

 


The Brunch Buddy and I were on a hunt for the best breakfast in London, and over a two month period we visited a significant number of places. We started the experience with Providores. Having visited Kopapa a couple of months earlier and having loved it, I assumed the original Peter Gordon restaurant was to be just as satisfying. In terms of food it was. Providores is situated on Marylebone high street, and divided, as is so fashionable these days, into two parts - the downstairs being more casual and accepting no bookings and the upstairs being a slightly more formal dining room. The Brunch Buddy and I sat upstairs being too lazy and lacking the mental capacity too queue.

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Wednesday
Nov022011

The Breakfast Club


The Breakfast Club has been on my “to-eat” list forever - they have four branches, the Soho one not too far away, but always I’ve been put off by the lack of reservations and the threat of the queue. Okay temperature, sunshine, and only a slight hangover made it a feasible option for The Brunch Buddy and I. When we arrived at 11am, the queue outside was already snaking up the street, and we waited about 15 minutes before grabbing a table outside next to the ever growing queue. 

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Sunday
Oct302011

Nizuni

22 Charlotte Street is  an unfortunate address for a sushi restaurant, opposite Roka, the constantly packed and incredibly scene Japanese restaurant. It's a bit like being a normal person forced to stand next to a supermodel in a group picture. In this case the normal person was actually rather good-looking. 

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Monday
Oct242011

Vapiano - Italian food organized by Germans

It is a dream combination. Italian food, created in an incredibly efficient way. This is what Vapiano is all about. There is no messing about wasting time trying to work out who pays what, as every person is given a card, that they then "charge" food and drinks to at a selection of various stations. Your food is made to order at one of each station whilst you watch (pasta, antipasti), or just collect them (dessert or drinks), or order and get a buzzer (Pizza). It works out perfectly. Each person gets what they want, charged to them and can edit their dish to their particular liking - no basil, no issue, no garlic, no problem. Even better, you can get it to go (their pasta makes a very good breakfast), and their takeaway boxes are perfectly lunch sized Tupperware. In fact, this is possibly one of my favourite casual places to go. It is great place to meet up with old friends, as the lack of service means no-one really cares if you sit there for four hours, as I did last Tuesday.
Pasta, my personal favourite from Vapiano, is from a list, divided into four different price categories and can be combined with any of their six fresh made pasta. Antipasti include things like beef carrpacio or bruschetta.

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