Tag Archives: London

REVISITED – Dim sum heaven on earth

Updated 11.02.2015

I thought it has been a while since my last rave about A. Wong and decided it’s time to share a few more dishes I have tried during my last visit. It was our first time and a whole new experience to be seated at the “Chef’s table”, which is the bar with the uninterrupted view of the open plan kitchen. There you can watch the team chopping, frying, steaming, roasting and bubbling away fresh ingredients whilst enjoying your marvelous meal.

Great things about this spot is that their extraction system is so strong that you don’t smell a thing and also, you get to watch Andrew in action cooking and putting finishing touches to every single dish before it goes out.

So here are a few new dim sum dishes I have tasted and loved:

 

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I know it may be enough already for some people in my audience  but I simply will not stop raving about my favorite London restaurant. This weekend I again decided to satisfy my cravings for dim sum at A. Wong (I seriously lost count of how many times I’ve eaten there) – the Chinese place I wrote about before. Click here to view my previous post.

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As always, it’s a very pleasant atmosphere in a spacious room flooded by natural light on a Saturday morning. Warm greetings at the door by beautiful Natalie (Andrew Wong’s wife, the manager) and her colleagues, a big smile and a wink from Andrew himself from his open-plan kitchen, fragrant jasmine tea on our table within a few minutes and we feel like we came back home.

I always have the same problem when visiting this restaurant though… there is just a certain amount of food that fits into my belly and if it wasn’t for my reasonable husband holding me back, I would normally stuff myself with way more food than I should. The selection of mouthwateringly sounding items on the menu is just too tempting, and you want them all. Especially taking into the account that there always are new dishes to try on the menu whilst you still want to go for all your favorites and classics.

To make the long story short here is some of the dim-sums I have enjoyed this time, move your mouse over the picture to see the description of each dish or click to see the full-size images:

My next report from this fantastic restaurant is planned for mid December when I will revisit for a ladies-only pre-Christmas celebration – can’t wait!

A.Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

From West Sussex to Japan via Kings Road

This is one of the many reasons why I love London so much. This city offers an incredible variety of restaurants with cuisines from all around the world. But what’s just as thrilling is the rise of British food. After many decades of rather poor international reputation British cuisine is emerging thanks to a talented generation of chefs who work hard to revive the historic British recipes (e.g. Heston Blumenthal at his restaurant Dinner) or to create new exciting dishes using fresh local produce.

This post is about two London restaurants I visited very recently. I absolutely recommend them both to everybody who lives here or comes to visit London. One is Kurobuta – a Japanese restaurant by an Aussie born chef, and Rabbit – a British food venture run by three brothers from West Sussex. There is a reason why I am writing about them in one post – they have quite a few things in common. First of all, location – both are on the iconic Kings Road in the heart of vibrant fashionable Chelsea. Secondly, the concept of small plates – tapas sized portions designed to share. Furthermore, an extraordinary and innovative approach to cooking, their down to earth hip and rustic interior and last but not least, price level – similar with a total bill of ca. £85-95 for two with a round of drinks. Now to each in more detail.

~ KUROBUTA ~

I’ve been hearing good things about this restaurant from a number of foodie friends for a while, and after having tried for weeks I finally managed to get a table for two on a Sat night on short notice (same day that is). The only table available was at the window with seats next to each other, rather than facing each other. I strongly recommend to book in advance for a proper table, as in winter you will inevitably get the cold draft from the entrance. Before I start virtually teasing your taste buds with food pictures, a bit of a background to the guy behind the venture.

Scott Hallsworth is an Austrialian born chef who had spent seven years working for Nobu in London, first as chef de partie and then as head chef at Nobu Park Lane for 6 years, followed by some years in Dubai. In 2013 Scott started developing the Kurobuta concept which was first set up as a pop-up in Chelsea, which later went permanent and was followed by the second venue in London Marble Arch.

Click through the food pictures with captions below (apologies for the not so great photo quality). I was impressed by almost every dish, except maybe for the aubergines which I found a bit too soft  and squishy in texture. The biggest surprise for me, believe it or not, were the edamame (yes, edamame! hard to believe how delicious simple edamame beans can be if you put some extra thought into it!)

Since the choice of wines by the glass was rather limited we happily decided to go for sake and cocktails instead of which the selection was very good. The decor is simple and hip in style with wooden tables and chairs and graffiti on the walls. Service is very friendly and attentive.

 ~ RABBIT ~

This restaurant I discovered completely by chance on my way back home from grocery shopping. It looked very lively yet cosy inside and I knew I got to try this new place very soon. It has opened its doors this autumn and is the second restaurant of the Gladwin brothers after The Shed in Notting Hill. Gregory, Oliver and Richard grew up on a vineyard and farm in West Sussex where their culinary venture has its roots from. Each of the brothers is responsible for various aspects of the business: Gregory is the farmer and supplies the produce, Oliver is the head chef and the mastermind behind the food (he previously worked at Oxo Tower) while Richard runs the restaurant as general manager.

I saw on their website that the restaurant holds tables for walk-ins so decided to give it a shot on a Saturday night. Not surprisingly, the place was full and we were offered seats in the bar area which runs the same menu as the main restaurant.

First thing that strikes you is the interior. Tractor parts are used throughout as decoration and even furniture items: tractor seats as bar stools, tractor bonnet hanging from the ceiling holds spirits bottles and a tractor door decorates the wall. Self made wall mounted wooden wine racks, fresh squashes of all sizes and shapes all add charm and cosiness of the atmosphere (maybe not so much the fox bum & tail sticking out of a wall but luckily it was behind my back and out of my sight).

As I mentioned already, the dishes come in tapas sized portions and 2-3 dishes are recommended per person. The menu changes daily and is divided into sections: mouthfuls at £1.5 each (these are literally mouthfuls and work like amuse-bouches), cured meats from the house-farm and the mains consisting of slow and fast cooked dishes. The photos below show the items we have ordered while I am certain to be back quite soon to taste more. My two favorites were the lamb chips (pulled lamb meat deep fried in bread crumbs, comes with delicious harissa sauce and melts in your mouth!) and the Brussels sprout hazelnut cheddar apple salad (which you just have to go and try for yourself!) In fact, all dishes were marked by quite extraordinary and refined flavours, which – although they come from rather common ingredients – were very unique in combination.

The wine list isn’t very extensive but offers a very decent selection by the glass, carafe and bottle. Service is attentive and eager to please and to explain the dishes. A request we had in regards to one of the dishes was executed carefully. This is a place I will definitely be coming back to, but next time I will book in advance to sit in the main restaurant.

For addresses, menus and other details visit the restaurant websites: KUROBUTA RABBIT

A Pinot Noir for a special occasion – 2010 Cristom

Cristom pinot 2010 Cristom, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley. I ordered this wine at Chez Bruce, a Michelin star restaurant tucked away in London’s borough of Wandsworth where my husband and I celebrated a special occasion. A very good quality Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley in Oregon, USA – a rising-star region gaining more and more popularity for its Pinots.

TASTING NOTE: Pale ruby with med+ flavor intensity, pronounced red fruit on the nose, especially red currant and cranberries along with floral notes (violets). Very elegant on the palate and has opened up in the bottle over a few days after opening. Smooth silky tannins, medium bodied with pleasant acidity levels making it a food friendly wine.

Cristom pairingIt paired very nicely with venison tartar and côte de boeuf (cooked medium) in the restaurant as well as with homemade pan-fried chicken liver three days later. (To take an unfinished bottle of wine home from a restaurant is a very SweervyWiney thing to do! Always ask the sommelier to keep the cork 😉 ) The wine is ready to enjoy now but will last for another 1-2 years.

However this is a wine that can easily be enjoyed on its own – it will pair wonderfully with a round of good friends and maybe a few light snacks or neutral cheeses (e.g. Emmental or light-medium strength cheddar).

If you are interested in purchasing this wine drop me a line and I will be happy to help you source it.

Coco – “made to remember the legacy she left”

I was wondering if this is something worth sharing and have decided that it is, simply for the sake of this being “off the beaten track” rather than a standard American bar kind of thing.

cocoCoco – a cocktail I ordered at the Beaufort bar at The Savoy hotel in London last weekend. It was created to honor the fashion icon Coco Chanel and to “..remember the legacy she left” as it says on the menu. The cocktail ingredients were: Grey goose vodka, Lillet Blanc, 2006 vintage of Moët et Chandon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape reduction. Served (apparently) in an original glass from 1923, with chocolate caviar on the side and the mysterious house Chanel No.5 in a spray bottle.

Frankly speaking, they had me at Chateauneuf-du-Pape reduction. I was just too curious to try a cocktail that contains a red wine sirup and also tempting – vintage champagne. They say Chateauneuf-du-Pape was Madame Chanel’s favorite wine and she always had it with fish caviar which she also loved – good call to replace it with chocolate caviar to go with the cocktail. (CNDP and fish caviar must have been a terrible food and wine pairing!)

What can I say.. A pleasant drink, not to sweet not too sour not to strong not too… anything really. And actually not that special as it is presented to be. Is it worth £25? God no. The way I see it, it is a lovely marketing attempt to make customers aware that Coco Chanel used to stay at the hotel and to celebrate the fashion icon. And is it rather targeted at a fashionista who had spent a whole day shopping and would like to finish her evening in style and in spirit of fashion. I however, will stick to a proper glass of good old Chateauneuf.

A. Wong – the extraordinary Chinese

Andrew Wong’s restaurant, tucked away in the streets of London’s Pimlico, has been a hidden gem of the capital’s restaurant scene for a while and stands out for its unique and most extraordinary Chinese food experience. Unless you are a foodie following gastroworld-news regularly, you might not have heard of it before. But once discovered, this is a place you will keep returning to.

awHaving long been my favourite Chinese restaurant A. Wong has now turned into my all-time London favourite. It is always a pleasure to see Andrew, an extremely talented and successful yet very down-to-earth chef at work in his immaculate open-plan kitchen; while the manager, his lovely wife Natalie, makes sure your culinary experience is complemented by friendly and professional service.

photoAndrew’s creative process never stops, so make sure you follow this blog as I will be adding more of his new culinary delights to the album over time. Click on text to the right to read my review of A. Wong after my first ever visit to this wonderful restaurant back in June 2013. Browse the gallery below to get an idea of what I am raving about and make sure you get to try this fantastic food yourself.

A. Wong: http://www.awong.co.uk/

Tip: check out the video section for another surprise from Andrew’s kitchen!

70 Wilton road, Victoria
London SW1V 1DE
E: info@awong.co.uk
T: 0207 828 8931

Opening hours:
Lunch, Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 2.30pm
Dinner, Monday - Saturday: 5.30pm - 10.30pm

A.Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato