Strand Dining Rooms

Strand Dining Rooms (1 of 14)
Excuse the photography in this post. Oops
History and Background:

Ex-Gordon Ramsay chef will be taking over Strand Dining Room’s kitchen from April 3, so expect some new dishes!

Serving all day British food, as well as afternoon tea, Strand Dining offers classic and traditional English food at an affordable price. With currently a deal on at bookatable 3 courses with a cocktail at £25.00

The restaurant is furnished with sophistication, spacious and ideal for large bookings, or party bookings.

The meal:

Strand Dining Rooms (2 of 14)
Early Grey Smoked Duck Breast

Strand Dining Rooms (3 of 14)
Slow cooked Pork Belly with Oak Smoked Mussels and Apple Cider Sauce £9.00

Strand Dining Rooms (4 of 14)
8oz Sirloin of Dedham Vale Beef with Chips, Roasted Vine Cherry Tomatoes and Bearnaise Sauce £25.00

Strand Dining Rooms (5 of 14)
Both Matt and Athena ordered this so it must be good!

Strand Dining Rooms (11 of 14)
Poached Corn Fed Chicken Breast with Carrot Puree, Watercress and Potato Dumpling and Poached Egg £15.00
I know my main looked slightly plain and the chicken dry, but it really wasn’t, a main thoroughly enjoyed and cooked well, the poached egg made a nice addition. Maybe Strand Dinings should work on its presentation. Speaking of presentation though, check out the dessert below. Good plating.

Strand Dining Rooms (6 of 14)
Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with Raspberry Sorbet and Red Berry Coulis £6.00

Strand Dining Rooms (9 of 14)
Cocktails came with the offer, and they were so good!

Strand Dining Rooms (10 of 14)
Noone can resist cocktails…

Strand Dining Rooms (14 of 14)
Second visit was a birthday dinner. Green Tea Cheesecake from L’eto
Service: 12.5% service charge.

Bits and bobs:

  • Pretty big restaurant, so you can always walk in, but they do get busy
  • A selection of good cocktails, do try some

Price: ££

Strand Dining Rooms on Urbanspoon

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inamo St James

Highly decorated, elegant and classy at inamo

History and Background:

So I’ve never done a completely negative review, and I am going to try and refrain from doing one. But let me first introduce to you inamo…

the core of inamo is our interactive ordering system

Reflecting on how innovative technology can be in the 21st century, inamo has created a unique and pioneering ordering system whereby you order off the table on an interactive touch-screen. Food and drinks are illustrated and there are bonus add-ons in this app-like programme, where; you can watch the chefs cook through a camera, call the waiter with a single touch of a button, or even request a cab to go home. This is definitely inamo’s unique selling point, along with their core values to serve the most high quality Japanese fusion foods.

I’m slightly relunctant to label inamo as mainly Japanese. It is strongly fusion, with influences from China, Thailand, Korea and other far east specialties.

The restaurant is also the second branch opened after Soho, and has been around since 2010, at least.

The meal:

Looking online, they actually have special offer for 3 courses at £20.00 with a glass of house wine. That’s a steal… but see for yourself if it’s worth it.

Papaya and Pork Belly £7.00

This papaya and pork belly combination was very strange, very strange. It didn’t complement well, and I think the papaya was almost sour. Pork belly seems a little dry and too chewy.

Soft Shell Crab Maki Roll £7.65

I’m practically screaming in my head right now. I actually visited inamo back in September and it’s taken me this long to write about it because I genuinely did not enjoy the food. As you can see above, the texture of the sushi is strange. My usual food photos would show you how grainy it can look, and you can tell when rice is cooked right. Here, it was so mushy. Utterly disappointing. This was not sushi rice either, they did not use Japanese rice. The soft shell crab was definitely over fried or either old, and not fresh. Can you tell?

Hot Stone Rib Eye £18.50

This is probably the tastiest dish there I had, but even then I thought it was overpriced for the amount of meat you were given. A good plaything though, you get to sizzle the meat according to how cooked you want it. We had to change the hot stone once before the dish was finished.

Udon Noodles in Miso Broth £14.25

I tend not to write too much in my posts, because 1) sometimes I’m too lazy, or too busy, or mainly 2) I’m content with the food and there’s nothing more to say than to display the food porn. But when I’m unhappy… heck I can write an essay.

Udon noodles was so-so, slightly overcooked, but the combination of flavours did not go so well. There was too much going on, and too many condiments. Frankly, too much salt, and potentially too much MSG. The portion was also surprisingly small. (Photo does not depict how small it was… I just zoom in. A lot.)

Service: The restaurant is so big you can barely get their attention when you want to. Since you basically communicate with the interactive whiteboard on the table, you have to request for their attention there. But for some reason they’re extremely slow. (Even though we were the only other customer in the restaurant). 10% service charge.

The bits and bobs:

  • You’ll never need to book. Seems like there’s always space.
  • Highly recommend not going for the sushi

Price: £££ (Rather than the literal aspect of the price, its the worthiness of it.)

Inamo St James on Urbanspoon

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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?

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: £££

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

Savoy Grill on Urbanspoon

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