Category Archives: UK restaurants

Salt + Pickle, Crystal Palace

IMG_20170629_080550_284If you live in Crystal Palace and are a daughter of the gentrified masses such as I am, you will probably at some point have bought some fine cheese or charcuterie at wonder-deli Good Taste Food & Drink on Westow Hill, winner of a coveted 2015 Time Out Love London Award. So it is only better news that Good Taste owner Manish Utton Mishra, local legend and purveyor of all things delicious has now opened Salt + Pickle, a cosy, welcoming restaurant across the road showcasing some of their best products, alongside home-cured and pickled treats and a tidy list of craft beers and wines. Continue reading

#meatporn at Temper

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Perfect, perfect Elwy Valley lamb.

*Vegan spoiler alert – y’ain’t gunna like this*

Meat. Oh Meat! Oh bloody, dripping, dirty, dirty meat – she cries! Steak me up, throw me wantonly in the direction of the hog roast, slather me with bacon and sacrifice me on the alter of the Filet Mignon. Good things may come and go, but NOTHING remains as constant and perfect as wonderful, wonderful meat. Enter Temper – the latest beefy-brawny venture by the ‘Geek of Meat’ Neil Rankin, he of Pitt Cue Co and Smokehouse fame. Secreted away in an unlikely looking basement on Soho’s media agency-crammed Broadwick Street, overseen by a centrally placed, temple-sized charcoal barbecue, Temper is what the saliva in your mouth was made for drooling over.

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Lamberts, Balham – Seasonal British

20170113_213911Balham is pretty low on surprises and superlatives. Not as up-and-coming as Tooting. More nappy-plains to Clapham’s nappy-valley. It’s the Dulux Magnolia of South West London. Safe, steadfast, boring. Then 8 months after moving here, I discover smack 4 doors down from my humble abode, LAMBERTS, a delicious gem of a restaurant – unassuming and reticent.

Lamberts is in its 13th year, run by Joe Lambert – whose monthly changing menu is a love letter to bold British ingredients, sourced from a list of regional suppliers as long as my arm, each with a fascinating story to tell. This is all the clichés that made “seasonal British” a cliché in the first place, and I could not be happier. Even our server has the air of an suburban Valentine Warner – like he might just have birthed a lamb or speared a mackerel out of the sea before scrubbing up into Chinos for dinner service. Continue reading

Padella – Borough Market

20160428_184239From the most excellent dudes and dudettes who brought you Trullo in Highbury & Islington comes London’s latest stupid-buzzy, Insta-meltdown, no-bookings sensation. Located on the edge of the main entrance to Borough Market, Padella – an understated white tile and marble pasta bar has a queue round the block, come rain or shine. Having opened in March, its “pici cacio e pepe” pasta looked like the month’s most Instagrammed food item – and where this kind of plate obsession normally has me bitching like a 2 year old whose ice-cream fell onto the pavement, I can see why. Continue reading

Duende – Covent Garden Tapas

IMG_20160411_205013A lot of romance has been written surrounding the spirit of the word “duende” – a Spanish concept for which there is no direct English translation – relating to “having soul” (thus perpetuating that great stereotype that us Anglophones are inferior to the fiery Latins when it comes to this department)…

Well… Covent Garden is not usually where I go to “find soul” or even Latin passion (although a few Margaritas at Benito’s Hat Mexican has claimed a few souls for sure) – and sadly both of these are a tad lacking at newly opened Duende. Small, suitably dark and ever so slightly cold, the few high chairs facing the bar offer diners a spanking shiny copper top from which to eat whilst a scatter of black wood tables line the opposite side of the very tight room. It is slick and chic, rather than quaint and rustic – and I picture City suits rather than trendy, creative Madrileños. Continue reading

Wine Bar – The 10 Cases, London

The 10 Cases - Covent GardenLocated in rather an unassuming corner of Covent Garden, tucked at the Freemason’s Hall end on leafy Endell Street is the 10 Cases – effectively two locations; a Bistrot a Vin, where you can eat a full dinner (in tiny but cosy surrounds) and enjoy a myriad wines by the glass and the Cave a Vin – which showcases a range of wines which have proved most popular from the menu next door or are simply carefully selected and which include a good choice under the £10 bracket. Continue reading

Toasted, Wine Shop and Restaurant – East Dulwich

Wine Vats

Wine Vats

The lovely Toasted opened to rave reviews from the likes of Fay Maschler and blogger Cheese & Biscuits back in 2013. Chef Michael Hazelwood was previously in the kitchens at emminently, consistently high quality French Man and Green Horn and Soif restaurants – both rustic, cosy temples to French wines and seasonal small plates, with a heavy penchant for the organic and biodynamic. Manager Alex Thorpe still answers the phone for reservations and bustles around the tables fussing over diners – like a proper host should. Together, they have brought a real gastronomic Christmas stocking heaving with lip-smacking treats to this little corner of East Dulwich’s vibrant Lordship Lane. Continue reading