eating out with abby

it has been a funny few months for eating out. i’ve revisited plenty of old favourites – eyre brothers, my favourite locals, mangosteen and indian dining club (which are sadly no longer local as we have moved), busaba and tas.

i have also found some fabulous new places ranging from the eye-wateringly expensive helene darroze at the connaught to sardo and the roebuck, as well as the much more affordable franco manca pizza and taqueria.

disappointments were cha cha moon, inn the park (previously food here has been good) and vivat bacchus.

so, a mixed bag for me. how about you? where have you been eating that i should try? i need a few recommendations as my list of places to explore is looking a little short.


cha cha moon, soho - alan yau's latest offering which, similar to wagamama, has a menu full of noodles and other side dishes. sadly the service was terrible and the food very mediocre. i was very glad we were only paying £3.50 per dish and have no plans to return.

eyre brothers, hoxton - stunningly good spanish food which continues to press all the right buttons. tonight's star was the jamon iberico bellota with pan tomate which is a very expensive starter at £17.50 but truly delicious.

mangosteen, gipsy hill - a local favourite. i'm working way through the menu and can recommend tonight's choice of thai red curry with duck which was preceeeded by some fabulous steamed prawns served in a spicy coconut milk

franco manca pizza, brixton - cheap and cheerful with fabulous sourdough crust pizzas. this was my first visit to this little restaurant/takeaway in brixton's covered market and i hope to return. sadly it's only open for lunch.

the enterprise, holborn - nice enough pub grub, i had a burger (which was a bit dry) and chips (delicious, they were skinny cut and unpeeled).

inn the park, west end - last time i was here i had fabulous fish n chips. tonight it all went wrong - the salad accompanying my starter was oversalted whilst the salad accompanying my main was gritty; my main course, a slice of a vegetables and cheese en croute, was far too rich given the portion size and was quite greasy. two other dishes got sent back by friends. very disappointing.

baltic, waterloo - wow, having been coming here for years (i like the bar) this is the first time the food in this polish resturant has not disappointed! my starter of polish black sausage was particularly good.

la trouvaille, west end - i've only ever come to this french bar/restaurant for drinks but today's lunch was fabulous and really good value. the outside seating is worth remembering if you're in town on a hot day and fancy somewhere quiet and not part of a chain. i now need to visit and try their cheese/charcuterie boards which look fabulous.

le pain quotidien, south bank

bam-bou, fitzrovia - i love the sexy cocktail bar at this french-vietnamese restaurant. their private rooms are great for groups but be warned, the set menus provide vast amounts of (delicious) food so you will leave more than sated. the upstairs bar is a sexy setting for a quiet cocktail a deux.

pizza express, south bank

busaba, soho

vivat bacchus, farringdon - i was hoping for great things from this south african restaurant but, although everything was nice enough, it just didn’t capture my imagination or make me want to return.


morelli's at harrods, knightsbridge - enormous sundae's at enormous prices! harrods foodhall is worth visiting though.

olley's, herne hill - one of london's top 5 places for fish n chips apparently. i'd return if i wanted a range of fish to choose from (i had hass, other chioces included monkfish, swordfish and salmon) but otherwise i'll stick to my local for cheaper fish n chips.

tas ev, waterloo - i do love tas and the setting here, with its utside tables surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs is wonderful on a mild summer's eve. make sure you pop into the next door deli on your way out, to stock up on turkish delight, breads, olives etc.

ping pong, waterloo

nobu berkeley, mayfair - i much preferred this setting to "the original" nobu on park lane. we had a bento box for lunch which was fabulous. not cheap thought at £25 (and this was the cheaper bento box that they offer!)

strada, clapham

helene darroze at the connaught, mayfair - very special

sardo, bloomsbury - absolutely fabulous sardinian food - i particularly enjoyed my malloreddus and my friend's linguine al garnchio (crab). i need to return to see if it's going to topple locanda locatlli of the top of my "favourite italian restaurant" list.

strada, west end

ego, lichfield

the roebuck, mobberley - this busy pub serves wonderful locally sourced food. if i lived locally i'd love to work my way through the menu as everything i ate was good, especially the sticky toffee pudding.

l'experience, isle of man

the shakespeare, shrewsbury - good pub grub. my steak and kidney pie was delicious and huge, as was david's lasagne.


the indian dining club, gipsy hill

tom ilic, wandsworth - the sunday lunch menu is terrific value at £18.50 for three courses and hints at what sort of wonders mr ilic would create given a bigger budget to work with. i think i’d like to return and eat a la carte to see if this results in more exciting food.

auberge, west end - the mussels tasted bad so i sent them back (i thought they were off, the waitress argued the opposite) but my replacement steak with dauphinoise was truly wonderful.

café rouge, west dulwich

taqueria, westbourne grove – fabulous, good value authentic mexican food, all served as little sharing plates. this restaurant is owned by the cool chile company so you can also stock up on their products if you fancy cooking mexican at home.

armless dragon, cardiff

busaba, west end

abby dyson5 Comments