Ten Ten Tei

Come to Ten Ten Tei for a true sushi dining experience.

History and background:

Ten Ten Tei, the small and ancient looking exterior can easily be overlooked on the bustling streets of Soho. Situated on Brewer Street, a road lined with Japanese and Asian cuisines, diners tend to opt for the more popular Kulu Kulu or Mr Taro.

Nevertheless, Ten Ten Tei attracts its fair share of customers, young and old alike, who are in the know-how about authentic, Japanese food.

Upon arrival, I was met by a waitress bringing me to the forefront of the restaurant, met by a small row of tables accompanied by bar style seating, my first instinct was how small this place was. I was soon ushered into the lower ground floor to a more cosy interior, peaceful, with a feel of subtle elegance to it.

The meal:

Una-don £10.80

This is so frustrating since I was having battery problems  with my Sony Nex-5r and thus food photos were taken from my Samsung Note 3 instead. *cries* (really, I cried.)

Una-don, i.e. Unagi don, (eel) was what I ordered. It was good, you can really taste the soft texture alongside the barbequed smell of the eel. But to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with unagi dishes.

Plain presentation, and abundant amount of rice serving with it. I made the fatal mistake of eating most of the rice… and getting full on that before I properly started on the other dishes…

Super Deluxe Sushi set £19.80

This is a main itself really, but Daisy and I ordered the Super Deluxe Sushi set to share, 15 pieces of assorted super nigiri sushi.

I am not a big fan of raw fish – sashimi style, but I love raw fish in nigiri style. This was a beaut.

Makunouchi Bento £13.80

Daisy had the Makunouchi Bento (top of the photo – sorry I didn’t quite get one of her bento..). It is a mixed Japanese foods bento box with vegetable, rice, mis0-soup. No ice cream with this one, but the other Set Dinners will give you that as an extra. She said this was quite average. It looked like it too. (Salmon sashimi looked good though.)

Service: It wasn’t great. We arrived at 8.30 pm, and the restaurant closes at 10 pm, we got a warning to leave soon at 10.05 pm. We were almost finished, but trying to hurry us out just after closing time doesn’t give diners a great impression. There was 10% service charge.

Bits and Bobs:

  • Opening hours are 12pm-2.30pm, and 6-10pm, not open for very long.. and I’m not sure how accurate this is, since I went on a Monday evening before and they were closed.

Price: ££

Ten Ten Tei on Urbanspoon

OnTheBab

Grace, one of my frequent eating partners

History and Background:

Onthebab is a trendy, chic restaurant situated between Old Street station and Shoreditch. Opened in late 2013, the restaurant made headlines for its quirky interior and menu style.

Chicken, beer and traditional Korean street food.  

The meal: 

Having been here on a few occasions, I tried something different than what I usually have. Below is the Kimchi bokeumbab, this is Korean style kimchi bacon paella with a fried free range egg on top.

Presentation is quite simple. Different to the bokeumbaps that I had in Korea, but nevertheless it was a good dish. They give you a very, very, generous portion of salad, and small amount of rice… but a dish with egg makes everything better!

Kimchi Bokeum Bab £8.50

Grace had the bibimbap, this is normally my usual, and it’s one of my favourite dishes. Please check out the #yolkporn.

Bibimbap £7.50 (with meat, an extra £1.00)

Again, I feel that Onthebab gives you a very large amount of veg… compared to the rice/ meat. But it is a very filling main.

Kimchi Jigae £7.00

Grace ordered the Kimchi jigae, very flavourful. This is kimchi & tofu stew in pork stock.

On the buns (2pcs) £6.50

Honestly, I was so full from my main, I really struggled to finish this! But this is my absolute favourite! Very juicy, succulent and meaty. *dribbling*

For this hirata bun, I opted for spicy pork, Grace was so full she didn’t even have any, and I ended up eating both… BOTH.

Service: tends to be slow, but I wouldn’t say it’s due to lack of staff, they have enough, but it’s slow. Service charge is 10%

Bits and bobs:

  • No reservations. (Expect queues)
  • No place for your coats, small tables, but it’s cosy.
  • They do takeaways!
  • I would also recommend trying the fried chicken. Try it, honestly.

Price: £

 
On The Bab on Urbanspoon

Winter Garden at the Landmark Hotel

A diner’s paradise, the hotel restaurant with a view. My accompanies Lydia, Shaneel and Dola

History and background:

Awarded 2 AA Rosettes.

Another very traditionally British dining experience with Winter Garden, a restaurant hotel set in the midst of an eight-storey atrium. The backdrop and interior design is idyllic with a true elegant feel to it. The calming atmosphere and exquisite design just leaves you in awe. It was such a shame I wasn’t able to photograph the interior design properly! One of the best restaurant hotels in London. Worth a visit, particularly for afternoon tea. Oh and celebrity spotting! (We saw Peggy from Eastenders.)

The Landmark hotel owned by the Thai company Landmark Group is ranked amongst the finest luxury hotels in London.

The meal:

Galician Style Octopus £13.00

One of the starters, braised octopus, smoked paprika, potatoes and rocket salad. As this meal was for my 21st birthday, I’m afraid I didn’t try most of these dishes! But general consent was that these all were good. Visual appeal certainly helps..

Orkney Hand Dived Scallops £15.00

Here another starter, this was by far the most popular starter, with Boey, Dola, Joey, Lizzie, Lydia and Hannah all opting for the lovely scallops! This dish consisted of roasted cauliflower, crispy chicken and fennel.

Warm Terrine of Denham Estate Pork £12.00

I’m not really sure what the popcorn-y bits are, I never asked but from the menu this was Pork with crackling and heritage carrot salad.

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Wild Sea Trout £27.00

First of the mains! Above, the sea trout came with chive gnocchi, caviar, baby turnips and water vinaigrette.

Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod £24.00

This was Lizzie’s main, olive and pine nut crust, salt cod potato, grilled baby artichokes and lemon.

‘Teriyaki’ Short Rib of USDA Beef £27.00

An Asian fusion dish, most of these dishes do have some element of a Middle Eastern or Asian twist to it, though, some are very subtle. This came with pearl barley, watercress, ginger and spring onions.

Free Range Devonshire Chicken £23.00

Chicken with leg croquette, sweetcorn, baby gem and seasonal mushrooms.

(I did two angles with this one – the camera’s favourite.)
A visually appealing dish, Owen’s, Boey’s, and Joey’s main.
Vanilla Cheesecake £8.00

Prash’s dessert less the nuts (allergy), with apricots and white chocolate

Lemon Meringue £8.00

Owen had this, looks good doesn’t it! All butter shortbread and lemon thyme.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla cream £8.00
Millefeuille £8.00

I had this one! Pretty good, preeetty good. Textures of Yorkshire rhubarb and ginger.

English Strawberries and Chocolate £8.00

Boris’ one, had a touch of earl grey ganache, strawberries and Cornish clotted cream.

It was a very good meal overall, but pricey. Worth a trip for a special occasion, but for the average person, don’t go too often…

Service: service was great but I think it was because 1. we were basically the only other people in the restaurant, 2. we were a big booking and thus, required particular or special treatment I would say. There is of course the 12.5% service charge.

Bits and bobs:

  • Parties over 10 requires a pre-order before 48 hours of the meal.
  • It can be quite echoey, probably due to the glass roof atrium being 8 storeys high..

Price: £££

£680 pounds for 11 people.

Winter Garden at The Landmark Hotel London on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Duck and Waffle

Go at dawn, go at dusk, it’s open 24/7!

 

Duck & Waffle (85429), London Reservations

History and background:

Duck and Waffle is situated on the 40th floor of the Heron tower (the third tallest building in the UK). As UK’s highest restaurant, it also boasts a 24 hour opening, offering breakfast, brunch, an all day menu and late night.

It is a fairly new restaurant, having opened in the summer of 2012, however it has garnered worldwide attraction. (Mostly Asian diners I must say.) 

The floor-to-ceiling windows designed by CetraRuddy architects have been an a major feature to the dining experience, which overlook the Gherkin and the City’s financial district.

Duck and Waffle takes fine dining to new heights

 The meal: 

Below is the foie gras crème brûlée is served with butter roasted brioche, and Scottish lobster. This dish, is an absolute beauty. I wasn’t a big fan of foie gras before this, but I loved it. The texture was just right, foie gras creamy, spread over brioche, just melts

foie gras crème brûlée £16.00

Below we have the bacon wrapped dates which came with linguiça, manchego, watercress salad.

Linguiça is smoke cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika, (Portuguese dish). Manchego is a  cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed, (and yes these are Wikipedia definitions).

These were okay, just slightly oily. The creamy cheese were a good addition.

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bacon wrapped dates £9.00

Here we have the Duck and Waffle, the Duck and Waffle. This time round I don’t think I liked it as much to be honest. The crispy duck gets smaller and smaller each time I get it..

The signature dish

This dish consists of crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. Duck egg is chewier than usual chicken eggs, they’re more elastic, maple syrup and waffle too, were standard.

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duck & waffle £.17.00
whole roasted shropshire chicken £35.00

Above and below, by far the best dish hands down. Loved it so much I would probably come here by myself and order just this.

It is a whole chicken with the supplements ratte potatoes, wild mushrooms and truffle. It is a 40 minute wait for them to roast the chicken though, so don’t order this if you don’t have time. It is also for 4 people.

Highly recommended dish

Desserts were okay, I couldn’t enjoy it because I was too full from the chicken..

Torrejas (Hungarian dish) comes with maple caramel apples, and cinnamon icecream. Very sweet, verrryy sweet.

torrejas (serves two) £11.00

Service: It’s always been on a good level, there’s a coat rack to take the heavy load off of you, and they serve you with full attention. You do pay 12.5% service charge, and if there is a cancellation 24 hours before a booking you may have to pay a discretionary charge..

Bits and bobs: 

  • Extensive cocktail menu, there is a bar area
  • Private dining in a separate room is available
  • Executive and head chefs Daniel Doherty and Tom Cenci were graduates from Michelin star 1 Lombard Street.
  • Daniel Doherty’s signature dishes are the Foie Gras Creme Brulee, and fan-favourite Spicy Ox Cheek. (I have not had that yet)
  • Booking in advance is recommended, not to mention hard to park near, since it’s bang in the middle of corporate buildings.
  • Can I also say, that Tom Cenci has retweeted and liked my food photos on Instagram *fan moment*
  • **UPDATE** Tom Cenci and Dan Doherty read this review!! #starstruck #foodstruck

Price: ££

(£113.05 for three)

Duck & Waffle on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Savoy Grill at The Savoy, Gordon Ramsay

The epitome of what fine dining is, Savoy Grill
The epitome of what fine dining is, Savoy Grill

History and background:

Savoy Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels globally, with a traditional 20’s British theme. There is a very, quintessentially British feel that lingers over the Savoy Grill.

“The Savoy Grill is dripping with history; from old Hollywood starlets to celebrated political figures it has always been the place to see and be seen. Amongst the glitterati who frequently dined at the Savoy Grill was Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. To this day, the table plan has been carefully preserved ensuring this history is not lost.”

Hanging from the ceiling are Art Deco inspired Swarovski chandeliers. Lucite walls lined with antique mirrors and luxurious mohair velvet coverings  which bring a new level of elegance to the room whilst at the same time restoring it to its former glory. 

The meal: 

Scottish lobster bisque with poached lobster and brandy butter £16.00

The lobster bisque was good. It had the taste and although strong in flavour, it wasn’t fishy. Worth trying.

Steak tartare £15.00

This was Chris’ dish, looks tasty no?

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Confit Herdwick lamb shoulder with crushed potatoes and black olive jus £26.00

I would say the best dish of the night, I didn’t have much of it since it was Louise’s main, but it wasn’t dry. That’s a very good sign. I hate dry meat.

Roasted Orkney scallops with English peas and saffron velouté £26.00

Dan and Mel ordered this, I did not try this, but it looks like it would just…melt in your mouth.

Below is my dish, the Calf’s liver. It was okay, I’m not a big fan of liver, so I’m not sure why I ordered it…

Calf’s liver £26.00

We also had side dishes, these were:

Mashed potatoes £4.50, Creamed or sautéed spinach £4.50, Cauliflower cheese gratin £4.50, Sautéed mushrooms with shallots £4.00

I loved the side dishes. Loved them. (Probably because I love cheese and mushroom. I eat them with anything)

Service: Top notch. At these places waiters can be over friendly or too in your face when you just want to talk to your friends, but at Savoy it was just right. 12.5% service charge + £2.00 cover charge per head

Bits and bobs:

  • There is cloakroom service.
  • Bookings strongly recommended, via toptable, bookatable or through its own website.
  • A good place for celebrity spotting!

Price: £££

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Louise and Dan (eyeing up her food)
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Melanie and Chris (who is also not looking into the camera)

Savoy Grill on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Coming soon…

On The Bab_ Hirata Buns
On The Bab_ Hirata Buns

And so I have finally done it. Paid and registered my own domain, so watch this space!

Having had a food blog before, I decided to take it to the next level and do this properly. Those who know me may see a transfer of some of the old material! You will see familiar places.. but also familiar faces…. So eat with me!

Steph