eating out with abby

strangely enough, i spend quite a lot of time thinking about food. increasingly this includes thinking about this blog and different things i’d like to write about.

i do try and make sure that i only write about things which excite or interest me which means that inevitably there are a reasonable number of meals which are never going to be featured. the same is true of restaurants which, for whatever reason, just didn’t wow or inspire me. or where there’s simply nothing particularly interesting to share.

but the fact that i only write about some of the places i eat is only part of the picture and increasingly it feels that i should be sharing more, including the bad, the ugly and the mediocre. it also appeals to my general nosiness – i like reading the minutiae of what people eat.

so, as a trial i’ve been keeping a diary of the different places where i eat when i’m not eating home-made (by me or friends) food. this is what it is looking like, with a few comments.

if people find this interesting i’ll try and do a quarterly update as i'm intrigued to see what patterns emerge . let me know if there is any extra info you’d like. apart from financial that is - i'm not feeling brave enough to add up how much money i spend on eating out!


the mansion, gipsy hill – this is a lovely local pub and the food is a good, if a bit pricey, accompaniment to their wonderfully camp quiz nights.

nandos, covent garden – my first time in a nandos (we couldn’t get into wahaca, which is next door) and i was pleasantly surprised, apparently the quality varies but this branch was fine.

great queen street, covent garden – fabulous meal, this time in the evening. i’d happily recommend gqs and come back.

pizza express, balham

the fat delicatessen, balhamwonderful!

kiraku, ealing – fabulous. this time i got to try the mackerel sushi, which were gorgeous. the deep-fried squid was very uninspiring – almost tasteless.

wahaca, covent garden – mediocre, bland and such a disappointment, i really wanted it to be good.

busaba, west end – a reliable lunchtime favourite.


rose bakery, parisdelicious!

la famille, paris – slow service and unexciting food.

les philosophes, paris - great tomato tarte tartin.

hare and tortoise, bloomsbury – try the chicken wing sticks, which resemble deep-fried chicken lollipops sprinkled with fried garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onion.

chez gerrard, south bank – if it’s chez gerrard, it’s got to be steak and chips. reliably good with a decent wine list.

arisaig and left bank, glasgow – both fabulous!

gazette, wandsworth – lovely but very rich french food in a relaxed setting. this was a first visit, based on a good review, and i’ll be back to sample more of their menu.

7th floor restaurant, tate modern - we had a lovely meal in this buzzy restaurant. fantastic views too.

mangosteen, gipsy hill - this asian restaurant has recently changed chef and is now producing wonderfully flavoured dishes. their seafood is particularly good - fabulously fresh - especially in the pho or pad thai.

galvin bistro de luxe, marylebone - modern french food at its best, a new favourite.

eyre brothers, hoxton - sexy spanish sumptuousness.


indian dining club, gipsy hill - this local indian restaurant serves fabulously flavoured modern indian food and their two courses for £10 sunday-lunch deal is going to make it tough to keep us away.

strada, west end - a reliable favourite with a pasta and pizza menu that is much more intersting than other chain italian restaurants.

carluccio, islington - an easy sunday luch in child-friendly carluccio's which also provided david with the perfect excuse to pick up a panettone, his first, but unlikely to be last, of the season.

konstam, king's cross - i need to go back before making my mind up about konstam. i have a feeling i chose badly and could have enjoyed other dishes on the menu much more.

the goods shed, canterbury - superb food, i wish it was my local.

café mauresque, canterbury - we just had a few plates of tapas but they were delicious and it's definitely worth further investigation when we are next local.

abode hotel tavern, canterbury

black & blue steakhouse, west end - an xmas lunch and a fabulous burger.

le pain quotidien, west end - a last-day-in-the-office lunch of a fabulous mushroom & lentil soup plus an anti pasti platter. not a cheap option though.

galvin bistro de luxe, marylebone - twice in as many months, what a treat! sadly the service was very poor but maybe that was xmas eve fatigue.

still luigi's, gipsy hill - this old-fashioned italian restaurant serves great food and usually manages to provide some aspect of surrealness. previously it has been a drunk waiter and the art on the walls. this time it was the loud hip-hop soundtrack provided by a large group who were celebrating a birthday!

7th floor restaurant, tate modern

le pain quotidien, west end - having first discovered le pain quotidien as a breakfast destination in lyon, it was nice to see how the uk breakfast measured up - i will be going back.

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