Burger & Lobster London

According to urban lore a.k.a. TripAdvisor, this is the dining spot to hit when in London. In fact, it’s considered sacrilege if you visit London and miss out on the glorious lobster. Unless you’re allergic to lobster, in that case I understand. Actually, I don’t really understand how allergies work, but I’m trying to be nice. And funny. Except I’m not. Funny, that is. I really am nice.

Joking aside, there is a huge deterrent between you and the scrumptious crustaceans – the insanely long queues. When we tried the Soho branch (which was nearest to our Airbnb appartment), we were told that the estimated wait time would be around 2 hours 45 minutes (?!?!).

The next day, we tried our luck at the Knightsbridge branch, and were seated right away – score! It helped that we had arrived around 6pm, ahead of the dinner crowds.

BL1 BL2

Cheers!

BL3

TIP: Always, always opt for steamed lobster over grilled. This ensures moist, juicy flesh and a slurptastic experience.

BL4

In case you want someone else to do the digging, the lobster roll is another delectable option. The bun was perfectly buttery with just the right amount of crisp. It may be calorie hell, but it tasted like heaven.

You know what really put it up there? The fries. Sure, the star of the dish was the lobster, but the fries weren’t shabby at all. It’s like being a supporting actor, but working real hard and gunning for Best Supporting Actor.

Also, there’s a salad! I don’t suppose you’d go into a burger and lobster joint with a desire to nibble on salad, but I really appreciated its presence. At least I could make a feeble attempt to feel healthy.

And this is the very last post of our European vacation! I hope you haven’t been bored to tears. The next post I’ve got planned is an exciting one, at least for me. After that, there’ll be more travel and dining posts, featuring Melbourne, Singapore, and of course, Hong Kong!

One last thing: how did the first people who ate lobster know that they were even edible? They must have been really hungry, and lucked out big time when these scary-looking creatures turned out to be delicious!

Burger & Lobster
Fifth Floor, Harvey Nichols,
Knightsbridge
London SW1X 7RJ

http://www.burgerandlobster.com

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Salt Yard Tapas London

This was one of our last meals in London. I’m just going dive headfirst into the food commentary:

SYT1

Patatas fritas with bravas sauce and alioli. Basically, “fried potato wedges with tomato sauce and mayo” in English, which doesn’t sound as sexy as its Spanish counterpart. But hey, it was delicioso, however you want to put it!

SYT2

Risotto with salmon and tiny baby mussels. Actually, I’m not sure if those were actual baby mussels or just really tiny. Anyway, we ordered risotto partly because we were craving for rice, and I refused to pay 8 pounds (or some ridiculous price) for a plate of rice in Chinatown.

SYT3

Sautéed chorizo, baby squid, and peas. Edwin isn’t particularly fond of chorizo, but I quite like it. Well, since he doesn’t care much for food, we usually order what I want. Hehehe…

If for some bizarre reason you decide to order just ONE item from the menu at Salt Yard, let it be this:

SYT4

Courgette flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese and drizzled with honey.

So. Much. YUMMMMMMMMMMM.

To be honest, this has ruined all other courgette flowers for me. I’ve since tried similar dishes at a couple of other restaurants, but they couldn’t measure up to this. Not even close. Now I’m on a personal mission to eat every courgette flower in my path, like some intrepid cow with cutlery.

Salt Yard Tapas was recommended by Edwin’s colleague’s friend’s wife, so I figured it’d be a credible source. Well, we weren’t disappointed, so the moral of the story is to work that six degrees of separation as far as you can!

Salt Yard
54 Goodge Street, London W1T 4NA
Tel: 020 7637 0657

http://www.saltyard.co.uk

Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay, Knightsbridge

Since our Europe trip was a little like a second honeymoon, Edwin and I decided to spoil ourselves with lunch at the Michelin-starred Pétrus. We had dined at plenty of other nice establishments over the last couple of weeks, but this was by far the fanciest of the lot. Talk about livin’ it up in London!

Also, I feel like I need to clarify that the trip took place in the fall of 2014. No, I haven’t been in Europe recently, and no, we don’t feast like kings on a weekly basis. Although it’s been so long, the memories are somewhat fresh, and I really want to share the experiences with all of you.

I started blogging about the trip in November 2014, and apparently 2015 wasn’t enough time for me to tell you all about it. So not only am I one helluva procrastinator, I’m also long-winded and the worst storyteller. (Do people even use helluva anymore? Add “out-of-touch” to my list of charming traits.)

Okay, don’t doze off just yet! I’m wrapping the series up (soon-ish), and here are some pretty food pictures!

Petrus 1

Tomato Gazpacho. Incredibly tasty! It’s literally just a couple of spoonfuls, but it packed a lot of flavour.

Petrus 2

Complimentary bread, olive oil, and butter. There was some over-the-top ritualistic presentation when they served it, but I guess that’s what you’re paying for. Oh yes, and the bread tasted good too.

Petrus 3

Confit Shetland island salmon, bergamot emulsion and almond crumb. This is the description I’m least sure about, because the menu is seasonal and I may have checked at the wrong time. In any case, the salmon was delicious. Edwin raved about it, and he rarely gets excited about food.

Petrus 4

Cod brandade, chorizo, caper berries and seasonal leaves. A brandade is “an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil eaten in winter with bread or potatoes”. (Thank you Wikipedia!)

Petrus 6

Fillet of sea bream, cuttlefish, crushed potatoes, seared cucumber and red pepper jus. This was my main course. The textures were interesting and overall I quite enjoyed the dish.

Petrus 7

Wood pigeon, puy lentils, Alsace bacon and blood orange endive. Edwin actually bit on a tiny shot pellet. The restaurant staff told us that it’s more common than not to bite into one of these, since pigeons don’t come from farms and apparently it’s impossible to take every last pellet out without literally shredding the meat to pieces.

Okay, they didn’t say it in as many words (I’m long-winded, remember?). They basically shrugged it off, and I felt like it marred the experience a little. But hey, a souvenir!

Dessert time! We each picked an item from the set menu, and together we ordered one more from the à la carte menu, so there were three desserts in total.

Petrus 8

Chilled melon salad with lemongrass, vanilla, Regent’s Park honey and lavender ice cream. In one word: aromatic. The components read like notes of a perfume, and there was a lovely and refreshing balance of flavours.

Petrus 9

Salted caramel doughnuts, crème anglaise with chopped green apple, and cinnamon sugar. You know they had me at “salted caramel”.

Petrus 10

Chocolate sphere, milk ice cream and honeycomb. Unfortunately they served it too quickly and I didn’t have the opportunity to capture it while it was still in its spherical form. Two seconds for the Asian tourist to snap a food picture would’ve been nice, just sayin’.

Well, it tasted too good for me to stay mad. See, chocolate solves everything!

As usual, this turned out longer than I planned, so I’m calling it a day. Till next time!

Pétrus
1 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8EA
Tel: +44 (0)207 592 1609

https://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com/petrus/

Golden Union Fish & Chips, London

Hi again, just thought I’d share a super quick post about our experience at Golden Union in London. Just like afternoon tea, fish and chips is another one of those quintessentially British thingamabobs, so it was definitely on the must-try list.

Try Googling “best fish & chips in London” – the results are seemingly endless! I wasn’t about to try ten different fish and chips places over five days, so it was quite difficult to narrow down our options.

In the end we went with Golden Union because of a few reasons: a) consistently good reviews; b) convenient location – near Oxford Street, and near where we were staying; and c) they opened at 11.30am. We wanted to have an early lunch before hitting the shops. Nothing like fried food before a shopping spree!

Golden Union 1

We were the first ones there, and the next group of diners to arrive were six Japanese ladies. Maybe tourists are the only ones to have fish and chips before noon.

Golden Union 2

The fish was MASSIVE! It was also sitting atop a king-sized bed of fries chips. Good thing we ordered just one dish to share! We also had a chocolate milkshake, but I forgot to take a photo.

Golden Union 3

With Edwin’s hand, so you get some kind of idea just how big it was.

Service was excellent. It could be because there weren’t many diners at that time, but the guy who served us was really warm and friendly. He took the time to explain to us the differences between the few types of fish that they served. He was just as friendly to the Japanese ladies, who spoke little English.

Prior to our Europe trip, Edwin and I had expected that we might encounter bad service, but we were pleasantly surprised at almost every turn! I guess this is a good example of how travel can turn some misconceptions around. 🙂

Golden Union
38 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LY, United Kingdom
http://www.goldenunion.co.uk

 

Tea & Tattle Afternoon Tea in London

It is said that the practice of having afternoon tea was started by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, around the early nineteenth century. She later invited her friends to join her, and soon it became popular among upper class folks. (Read more about it here.)

Since afternoon tea is so quintessentially British (in my books at least), I really wanted to experience it for myself when in London. There was no shortage of cafes, lounges, and hotels offering this treat, but the prices – oh my! Most of them were between 30 to 50 pounds per person, and way over our budget.

I later came across Tea & Tattle while doing research for the trip. It was the most reasonably priced afternoon tea, with prices starting from 17 pounds, and it had excellent reviews. Also, it’s situated across the street from the British Museum, plus one could make reservations online – we have a winner!

Alright, enough talking, it’s picture time!

T1

The tea room is in a basement under Arthur Probsthain, a bookshop that has a vast collection of books featuring (among other things) art, culture, and history from Asia and Africa.

T2

There isn’t a long list of teas, just the classics. I opted for Ceylon tea.

T3

Crab and avocado sandwiches, if I remember correctly. What I do remember, is that they were delicious.

T4

Amazing scones with clotted cream and – get this – strawberry and black pepper jam. It might sound bizarre, but it tasted so good.

T5

Chocolate cake, rich and moist, as cake should be.

T6

Aside from tea, they serve other drinks like fresh coffee, smoothies, and lemonade (pictured).

That’s all! I now have less than 20 minutes to get ready to leave for class, and figure out what to do for dinner in between. Meanwhile, all I can think about are those scones…

Tea & Tattle
41 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3PE (opposite the British Museum)
http://www.teaandtattle.com/

Bread Street Kitchen London

As of now, I’ve already dined at Bread Street Kitchen in Hong Kong twice, but Bread Street Kitchen in London was what started it all.

BSK 1

Slow-roasted pork belly with spiced apple sauce. That crispy crackling is <3.

BSK 3

Lamb cutlets. This post is a little skimpy with the descriptions because this dinner happened a long time ago – as you can see, I’m trying to catch up with the overdue posts!

BSK 2

Macaroni cheese with garlic roasted crumbs. I didn’t have mac and cheese as a kid (shocker!) so I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time.

Alright, that’s all for now. It’s time for me to get back to doing my homework. And I’m supposed to be on holiday! Oh well. Now I’m hungry…

Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread Street (hence the name)
London
EC4M 9AJ
Tel: 0203 030 4050

Jamie’s Italian Piccadilly Circus

This was one of the “must-go-to” restaurants for me while we were in London. Some people said that it’s overrated, but I wanted to try it all the same.

Jamie 1

Crispy squid with crushed garlic mayo, chopped chilli and lemon. Crispy anything + mayo = a winner in my books!

Jamie 2

Pork scratchings with spiced fennel salt & orchard dipping sauce. Loved the taste, but these were on the verge of rock hard and had me worrying about my molars.

Jamie 3

Calves’ liver and bacon Italian-style, served with mashed potato, smashed squash, pine nuts, raisins & onion gravy. I hadn’t really had liver before (other than foie gras), and I really enjoyed this.

Jamie 4

Prawn linguine with fried garlicky prawns, fennel, tomatoes, chilli and rocket. For the pasta, you get to choose from two sizes. The small portion really was tiny!

Jamie 5

Fresh crab spaghettini with capers, chilli, fennel, parsley, anchovies and lemon. One more pasta dish for the seafood-loving Edwin!

Jamie 6

Chocolate, pear, and honeycomb pavlova. Light and fluffy meringue served with poached pears, whipped mascarpone, honeycomb and a drizzle of dark chocolate. I like chocolate, honeycomb, and meringue. Edwin likes poached pears. Ordering this dessert seems fair.

Looking back, I can’t believe just how much we ate back in Europe, but there’s still so much that we hadn’t tried. Hopefully, we’ll get to travel this year, and sample more good food! Meanwhile, I’ll be dreaming of that pavlova tonight…

Jamie’s Italian, Piccadilly
17-19 Denman Street
London
W1D 7HW