Howdy gang. How’s it going?
It’s mid-morning while I’m writing this and I’ve just had avocado on rye bread, washed down with a dandelion, nettle & milk thistle tea.
I mean what even IS milk thistle?
I know, I don’t recognise myself either and rather than feeling like a smug vegan goddess, I feel disappointed. Disappointed that I’ve thrown caution to the chai tea loving (have you seen how many spoonfuls of sugar are in that bad boy!!), sausage sarnie snaffling fat girl inside me and drunk a teabag from a box with the word detox on it.
But swings in roundabouts (is that the saying? I don’t even know what it means but I’ve heard people say it in a similar context so seemed appropriate to use it here) as my healthy little brecko got me thinking about which restaurant I’d like to go to next and overindulge considerably.
And to be honest there are a lot of places piquing (<<< using that word makes me feel hella sophisticated) my interest at the moment which is both great and terrible in equal measure. Great because ummm HIYA FOOD and terrible because woof I’m so indecisive and not rich enough to go to them ALL with immediate effect. Sad face for me.
Anyway – I thought I’d put all the ‘restaurants I wanna go to’ together in a post as a kind of update on The Restaurant List I did last year…(or was it the year before?) whichever it was, you can read that amazing post HERE.
So yeah I thought I’d update the list and share with you guys – in the hope that if any of you have already been to some of the places listed below you can feedback to me like…oh babez the 49523 hour cooked short-rib beef with truffle mac & cheese and bacon and bernaise sauce and lobster is a MUST TRY.
Or you know, mayyyyyybe you’d take pity on me and take me along and pick up the bill…?
Don’t all shout at once!
Right enough rambling…here is my current restaurant lust-list.
1. Walter & Monty
If meat is your thaaaang then the new Walter & Monty restaurant is the place for you, you carnivorous little cutie. It’s definitely one of the places I’ve been absolutely desperate to visit after stumbling across their delightful stall at Summer Tales last year…
(For those of you who don’t know Summer Tales was a popup food & drink market near Old Street with a killer dance-floor and Dj sets as well as a loads of street food vendors (inc. Walter & Monty obvs) and more gin than even I could drink. You can read about my visit here and also, good news – they’re back again this Summer too, for more info check out their website here.)
…anyway the waft of Walter & Monty’s beef wraps lured me over and it was love at first bite. I immediately demanded to know when they intended to open a permanent restaurant and the lying little buggers told me they’d have a permanent spot open in September.
September came and went and STILL there was no sign of the Walter & Monty restaurant. Devo’d didn’t even begin to cover it. I know I’ve already told you I’m an indecisive little fecker but did I mention I’m impatient too…especially where food is concerned.
Anyway…S e v e n long months later and finally W&M have stopped breaking my heart and opened their restaurant in the heart of the city, right, slap bang underneath the Gherkin.
The only problem for me now is that they’re currently only doing a lunchtime service AND only from Monday to Friday…which is great for all those lovely wankers bankers who work in the area but for poor little me all the way over in Soho, well it’s a bit of a trek for a lunchtime bite.
Luckily Walter & Monty have promised to start doing a dinner AND breakfast service in the near future and as soon as they do I am in there like swimwear (do people say that anymore?) and ordering everything off the menu.
…That is if my FOMO doesn’t make me pull a midweek sicky before then so I can sample a one of their grilled boneless legs of lamb covered in a home-made rub of coriander, smoked paprika, garlic, chilli and cumin.
My mouth is actually filling up with saliva RN as I type that. Uhhh get me there now.
If you are lucky enough to be able to get your butt into the square mile between Monday & Friday then lunch service is from 11.30am-2.30pm at the moment. I don’t think you can book tables and from the looks of their Instagram you may have to join in a good old fashioned British queue (yay!) but I can definitely assure you that it’ll be worth the wait.
For more info head the Walter & Monty website is HERE.
One word: Pasta.
Okay two words: Fresh pasta.
Okay here’s another three: Fresh pasta bar.
alright then, another six: nduja & parsley hand-rolled, fresh tagliatelle.
Are you drooling yet? Coz, I sure am.
Padella is on my list for all of those words and a few more which include: £6 Aperol Sprtizers and Burrata with Puglian Olive Oil. Oh baby – keep talking!
No, but seriously they had me at Pasta because I never don’t want a plate of the stuff, I could eat it day & night. Penne, parpadelle, tagliatelle, rigatoni, ravioli – it doesn’t matter the shape I am a big fan, huge. And here they make it fresh. Yip they roll it out themselves every day right in restaurant before opening. So if you’re in the area you can catch the show and see them do their thang!
Oh Padella you are a little bit of me you are.
I mean even your Pici cacio e pepe which is sexy simple little number – basically just cheese & pepper on pasta – sounds utterly babin’.
…And don’t get me started on the pappadelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu! That lil dish has got my salvia ducts in full flow even though I don’t have a clue who Dexter is and nor have I seen his shins.
Dishes are cheap – all mains are under a tenner and they have red wine on tap. Plus one of the owners, Jordan, is Lulu’s son – so who know’s she might be in there giving a rendition of “you know you make me wanna…
…go and commit carbacide immediately”
Visit the Padella website HERE.
3. Som Saa
Little confession; I’m someone who often gets swept up by the hype of a restaurant. If somewhere is being heralded as the ‘new’ hot place then, man do I want a table for 2 this Friday at 8pm please, thanks, k, bye.
And often that’s not even slightly possible because haha, you can’t book a table duh – booking tables is so 2008.
Ok so at Som Saa you surprisingly can book tables for 4 or more people but a little look at their online reservations page reveals that, LOL that still won’t be happening for at least the next three weeks because Som Saa is THE new hot Thai place to eat – in fact it’s probably the only ‘hot’ Thai place to eat in London because Thai food doesn’t get a great wrap in this big city (apart from Ritas, I LOVE Ritas).
So yeah Som Saa is the hot name on every foodies lips at the mo and it’s got itself a bit of a cult following thanks to the guys behind it – I’m not too sure on the full details, something about a restaurant called Nahm and a stint in Bangkok’s best restaurant; read Bitten & Written’s review here for a bit more background deets. But basically people are cray cray to get into Som Saa, me included.
The good(ish) news is that they keep a lot of their tables free for walk-ins so if you don’t mind waiting (potentially up to 2hours as my friend found out when she attempted to go the other week) then you can swing by on the off chance they’ll be able to squeeze you in.
Once inside you’ll be able to enjoy the small and perfectly sounding menu which offers such things as pork belly shoulder curry with ginger & pickled garlic – mother may I? Or perhaps the prawn, pork and peanut salad as well as my old favourite a panang curry with braised salted beef and thai basil.
I’ll also add that Grace Dent gave it a rave review in the Evening Standard and she is basically the gospel on good restaurants. In fact I reckon she’s the gospel on most things and if she gave me a good review I could probably die happy.
Som Saa website here.
4. Dalloway Terrace
Every blogger worth her Olympus Pen and contour kit has been to Dalloway Terrace in the last month or so it seems. My instagram feed has bursting with beautiful shots of marble table tops, eggs benedict galore and a charming looking alfresco terrace decorated with dainty fairy lights, plenty of greenery and beautiful mint green pillows.
It just looks dreamy and as such I needed to go yesterday for the perfect long leisurely lunch with my gal pals or a romantic meal with Bae – someone tweet Nicky with a link to this blog so he gets the hint. Ta very much.
It’s centrally located, hiding away in Fitzrovia or Noho? I’m never quite sure what that area is called but basically it’s 1min walk from Tottenham Court road.
It’s an all-day dining spot so you can pop in for the aforementioned eggs benny or perhaps you can enjoy an spot of afternoon tea. There’s also a grill offering some tasty sounding Tiger Prawns and on the mains menu are things like Aborio risotto and beer-battered sea bass. Plus, truffle parmesan fries can be ordered to share (read: eaten by me and me alone.)
It’s one of those beautiful menus that will have something for everyone and I can’t wait to book in and try it all.
Head over to the website for more info: here
5. The Chinese Laundry
The quirky, kitsch-ness of this place is what drew me in – specialising in 80s Chinese family food it’s a retro affair that is sure to give you a real taste of China.
And the outside of the restaurant just looks pretty fucking cool – not that, that is a reason enough to visit (lesson learnt at Rasa Travancore – damn that sassy pink exterior). Of course the food, cocktails & service should be on point too.
Now I’ll have to admit half of the menu doesn’t sound all that appetising – duck eggs in a mixture of clay, ash & salt anyone? – but that is half the charm…it’s weird and wonderful and a real step outside of your comfort zone which is something I love to do with food. Like, you know when you read something on a menu and you’re all ewww no, nu-uh chef, you can keep your chocolate potato hash brown…and then you try it and it’s the most incred thing you’ve put in your mouth – well I reckon the Chinese Laundry would give you a lot of this.
And if you’re not the adventurous type then don’t panic because some of the dishes sound downright dreamy – Old Beijing Lamb Skewers with lots of cumin & chilli – for one, and – the Dumpling stir-fry which is dumplings fried with garlic, bacon & peanuts – is another.
Finally – sealing the deal for me is the fact that if you click on the ‘all day’ menu on the website it’s just their booze list which (whether on purpose or not) is a bit like YES CHINESE LAUNDRY DRINKING IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY, so thanks for that.
I don’t reckon you need to book in advance (from what I’ve seen on trip advisor reviews) but if you just wanna peruse the menu then you can do so: here.
6. The Barge House
I first came to know about the Barge House when my friend tagged me in the above picture on Instagram a few weeks ago and I actually nearly came out in hives because – WTAF – how do you know about a new place to eat at in London before me.
THE ALL KNOWING, ALL EATING LONDON GAL ABOUT TOWN!!!
Oh the shame of it.
Anyway, when I’d finally calmed the fuck down, I took another look at the image and knew The Barge House was well deserving of a place on my 2016 restaurant list. The ludicrously amazing looking dish known as breakfast IN bread. (Lol. Well played on the pun-tastic name guys.) comprises of a full English breakfast INSIDE a loaf of bread…and is carbacide at it’s finest.
The other selling point of The Barge House, for me personally, is that it’s in that there East London or more specifically Haggerston so it’s practically walking distance from my humble abode. It’s also nestled alongside the sludgy green beauty that is Regent’s Canal so one can be on duckling watch whilst eating cumberland sausages out of a loaf of sourdough. Talk about hashtag living the dream.
My only reservation about making a reservation is the likelihood they’re all booked out forever and ever amen. And even a walk-in booking would result in a long-ass wait because this place in summer looks like a weekend brunch dream.
Still, I’m willing to give it a go!
Check them out over HERE.
7. Blacklock Soho
When the seedier parts of Soho first fell victim to good (or bad, depending who you ask) old gentrification I was a bit sad. There’s something ever so slightly charming about the secret and definitely not secret sex shops or Soho, the brash neon lighting and the promise of naked ladies behind a blacked out window.
However one make-over I’m not so sad about is the once-illeagal basement brothel that is now home to charming, charcoal chop-shop: Blacklock.
Offering expertly seasoned hunking great chops on a platter for two with sides and pre-dinner nibbles for only twenty pounds a head who wouldn’t be taken by this Soho newbie? (I say newbie, it’s been open a fair few months now). Oh and did I mention, five pound cocktails.
They also do a helluva roast dinner – or so I’ve been told via my friend who selfishly went without me after I told her about it in the first place. I mean, honestly, the cheek of some people!!
But anyway, as I said I’m kinda glad this place took over the basement brothel on Great Windmill street and who knows maybe some the old clientele will still be heading there for a porking…albeit this time the kind of porking that their wives probably won’t divorce them for.
Book a table over HERE.
Proper fan-galz of my blog might remember that a place called Gymkhana featured on the last restaurant list I wrote. It was under the category ’something special’ thanks to having a fancy little Michelin-star.
Sadly I’m not the sort to wine and dine at high-end Michelin star restaurants on the reg, so I’m still yet to have crossed old Gymkhana off the last list I wrote. And checking out my sad looking bank balance (it’s literally the 3rd day of the month, where is all my money?! wahhh) it’s unlikely I’ll be dining there anytime soon which is sad state affairs for me.
Or maybe not.
Because the bloody lovely lot that run Gymkhana have opened a new much more purse friendly and informal reso in Soho called, Hoppers.
Okay so it’s not exactly the same, it serves Sri Lankan cuisine instead of colonial Indian BUT if you can get a Michelin star for one restaurant then you obviously know a thing or two about serving people food right?
I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what any of the things are on the menu but after a quick scoot over on instagram all of the dishes have left me salivating. See what I mean HERE (I always check out the ‘place’ tag rather than the official insta page) – lots of rich, tasty looking curries which are totally my bag
(my boyfriend and I love a curry; we literally lost our shit in Mauritius when we realised the local cuisine was a mix of Indian, Creole & Sri Lankan food – and the hotel buffet was visited at LEAST 5 times each sitting, #couplegoals!)
I have tried to go to Hoppers once already but sadly arrived at 2.46pm and they close between 2.45pm-5.30pm in the week. Those few minutes I spent wearing through the window and inhaling the smells coming out of the door were some of the greatest of my life so I am adamant I’m going back at the earliest opportunity.
And there you have it gang…all the places I’m absolutely gagging to go to and gorge myself on grub. Of course the list itself has a top spot which I think Padella has nabbed for the time-being, what can I say I LOVE pasta. Then I think it’s Blacklock followed by Dalloway Terrace but if you fancy taking me out then any of the above would do.
What restaurants are you swooning over at the moment? Are there any oldies but goodies I should try before hopping on the young, hot, fresh bandwagon?
Thanks for reading!