(More) Recent Eats in LondonPosted: January 8, 2013
I’m lucky that I live near Maroseika, a major Moscow dining street, which has many diverse restaurants. But it’s funny–anytime we’re likely to start talking about Indian restaurants someone says, “oh, Maharajah.” Yes, been there, done that. Oh, Thai food at Thai Thai? That too. In a city of ten million, surely there must be more than one restaurant of each cuisine. While Indian and Thai may not be so popular (“too spicy,” I’ve heard) sushi is huge here, and hopefully it’ll be only a little while before we see other Asian cuisines become equally popular. In the meantime, there are some super-luxe creations to contend with. Just take a walk down Tverskaya and you’ll see what I mean. None of what I ate over the holidays was super luxe, really, but most of the time that’s the way I like it. Simple and delicious:
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 13-15 West Street, Soho : My colleague suggested this one ages ago. Any time he had a special occasion coming up, he said, he liked to book a place at L’Atelier. With good reason; this branch has garnered two delicious Michelin stars and has reasonable prix-fixe prices for the pre- or post-theatre crowd. Robuchon has been doing well in nine countries, and I see no reason to stop him. Indeed, I quite enjoyed my foam-laced amuse bouche and the most beautifully cooked salmon. Not to mention the darling French waiters and even more darling mango dessert.
The Dove, 24 Broadway Market, Bethnal Green: My sister’s friend lives in the area, which is so cool it might have already become ironic. She said that at one of the ATMs nearby she was asked if she wanted service in English or…Cockney. We made fun of those damn hipsters all afternoon–their beards, Ray- Ban glasses, plaid shirts, open-whenever-they-feel-like-it speakeasies, and the way people sighed after her flat, which used to be council housing–but I don’t know…I like a high-quality wine and an all-arts bookstore every now and again. And, obviously, brunch. This place served it up nice. I’d like all eggs florentine all the time, thanks. Later on we went to The Book Club in Shoreditch, where (case in point) there were no actual books, though there was, I believe, a ping pong tourney going on in the basement. Oh, and a good Aperol spritzer.
Recipease, 92-94 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill: There are lots of restaurants around, but I’m not sure I need Jamie Oliver’s name slapped on all of them. I’ve eaten at one of Jamie’s Italian places in Oxford, which was nice, but this one seems more necessary; it’s different because the ground floor is done pantry-style with prepared foods: fresh soups, pastries, even lasagnas and whole chickens, and then the upstairs is more of a traditional cafe: brunch offerings and sweet homemade (read: £3) sodas.
Princi, 135 Wardour St., Soho: For a good catch-up session, my friend Kasia and I ate giant buffalo mozzarella pizzas and sipped on fresh juice in this bustling shop. I wish I had taken my own pictures of their fabulous pastry section, but you can see the website for that. Highly recommended, with extremely good Yelp reviews.
Rossopomodoro, 50-52 Monmouth St., Covent Garden: OK, not our absolute first choice, but it was the 28th of December, and beggars can’t be choosers. This place proved nice indeed, and my olive oil pasta was simple and tasty. I also appreciated the giant portions of bruschetta and the sweetest and most humble Italian waiters.
Thai Rice, 42 Crawford St., Marylebone: I also like Two Point down the street, but this one is probably a bit better, though with strange lighted tabletops. Luckily, on those crazy tables as you enter are free wasabi peas to nibble on and clear the palate. Everything was really well prepared, especially the pad thai and its jumbo shrimp.
Zayna, 25 New Quebec St., Marylebone: Somewhat hilariously, my Yelp review of this excellent Pakistani/North Indian restaurant was featured in their digest a while back. How proud I was! I’m also glad to know that this place is still going strong since the first time we first visited a few years back. Zayna, La Porte des Indes and Woodlands form the perfect trifecta of North Indian, French-influenced, and South Indian dining.