Friday, 1 January 2016

The Ninth London

After 5 + City Pig’s Summary


Snapshot
Cuisine:
French and Mediterranean
Price:
Average spend is £45 per head - sharing dishes and service at 12.5%. (Excluding wine)
Healthy:
Healthy scale 3.5/5
Tasty:
5/5 – Food
4/5 – Service
4/5 – Comfort of dining in
3.5/5 – Value for money
4.5/5 – Overall rating
[Scale: 1= Poor; 5= Excellent]
Address:       
22 Charlotte Street, London. Nearest tube: Goodge Street
Opening times
Check out website for more details.
Eat in/Takeaway:
Eat-in
Recommended dishes & drinks
Beef Cheeks, duck breast and smoked dishes.
Vegetarian dishes
Yes
Loyalty card
No
Website

Notes
Simple and flavoursome dishes.

This is the first restaurant owned by Jun Tanaka and a soft launch was being offered which I took up as it entitled me to 50% off. Soft launches can be tricky as operationally a lot of things may not go as planned but sometimes you can get the most diligent service. I decided to go on the third day of opening.

I was very excited to be trying Jun’s food as I had never eaten at Pearl – a restaurant he was head Chef. My sister had told me the joys of Pearl and when it closed I was disappointed I could not try. I also watched his TV shows and enjoyed his style of cooking.

Fortunately, The Ninth London announced its opening on Charlotte Street taking over Nizuni’s spot. I was at Nizuni a few weeks ago and all traces of it left my mind as soon as I arrived. Stepping into The Ninth is a cooler, edgier design that instantly uplifts and gives it a boutique feel. We sat on the ground floor but upstairs is where you want to be if you have a choice. It feels cosier and again the edgier design with the fancy modern light displays are heavily featured.

The staff were very friendly and explained the dishes well and told us the cuisine is a modern French and Mediterranean blend. At first glance, I was immediately impressed with the dishes but also eagerly wanted to know what they would look like and most importantly taste like.
We ordered for starters the cured Sardines tart and the Prawn macaroni. The sardines were cured to perfection it was not too salty and the puff pastry at the bottom was a delight. The Prawn macaroni had an amazing stock that left you wanting to eat every spoonful. The balance of the flavours for me was spot on.

Moving on to main courses, we had the beef cheeks and the smoked duck breast. I couldn’t choose which of these dishes were best as each one of them I enjoyed very much. This is unusual as I don’t often like all dishes equally in many restaurants.

I really liked the use of walnuts in the duck dish to give it texture. The beef cheeks were so tender it melts in the mouth and has all the intense flavours with beef consume.
The sides are not usually a focus but I have to applaud the attention to detail that went into these potatoes – soft and fluffy. We did have room for dessert and I urge all of you to reserve space for it. Although at soft launch, we had limited choices – both of these were made to perfection.
We tried both the French madeleines and French toast with honey comb and vanilla ice cream. The madeleines were light and very addictive. The French toast dessert was crispy and then cakey in the middle. The honeycomb and vanilla ice cream complements the French toast very well and is an interesting dessert.

The coffee served here is Nespresso – and so if you were hoping for a Barista style coffee you may be disappointed. Nevertheless – the focus is on the food and that is where it should be. However, for those picky coffee lovers this is something to note. In this case, it is priced at £2.50 which appears to be reasonable.

The dishes are based on a sharing concept which I love as I always like to pick and share dishes so that I can taste more. In summary, the food is simple and combines flavours well with a focus on curing and smoking cooking techniques that can be seen in most of the dishes on the menu. The dishes are food that I could happily eat any time. I highly recommend this restaurant and I can see this being the next popular hotspot.





Click for Options








Monday, 23 November 2015

Stax Diner

After 5 + City Pig’s Summary



Snapshot
Cuisine:
American Diner
Price:
Average spend is £15 per head including, one course meal, soft drink and service at 12.5%. (Excluding alcoholic drinks)
Healthy:
Healthy scale 2/5
Tasty:
4/5 – Food (based on chicken and waffles)
3/5 – Service
1/5 – Comfort of dining in
3.5/5 – Value for money
3.5/5 – Overall rating
[Scale: 1= Poor; 5= Excellent]
Address:       
 First Floor Kingly Court, London. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
Opening times
Check out website for more details.
Eat in/Takeaway:
Eat-in
Recommended dishes & drinks
Chicken and Waffles.
Vegetarian dishes
Yes but not many options.
Loyalty card
No
Website
Notes
Loving the Chicken and Waffles.

I wanted to come to Stax Diner for one dish and that is the Chicken and Waffles dish I longed craved for. Chicken and Waffles puzzles many of my friends and colleagues as to what this is. Unless you are American or travel to the States a fair bit you are not going to crave for Chicken and Waffles.I have grown up watching many US programmes and so was very familiar with this dish and have been to the States many times. It sounds odd but that sweet and savoury flavours really works,

Fried chicken has been featuring on many new restaurant openings from classic American fried chicken to Korean fried chicken in London for quite some time. I was researching and found a few that have chicken and waffles. In the West, you have Lockhart and Stax Diner. In the East you have Rita’s Diner, Bird and many others.

As I was nearer to the West, I arrived on a Sunday for lunch at 12:30pm and it already was 80% full.
Stax Diner is located in Kingly Court and it is a very small restaurant. The seats are tight and so sitting here and having a leisurely lunch was not the plan. I came here for the food and so despite the cramped conditions the dish speaks for itself. The Chicken is crispy and the batter was just right. The waffles were light and crispy and was not heavy at all. The dish is served with maple syrup and is cleverly served in a pot. I particularly like it that they let you choose how much to pour – portion control.

The maple syrup was bit too thin and lacked the maple flavour I would have expected. Nonetheless, the dish was cooked very well and the portion size was generous. At £12.50 this was a reasonable price for lunch.

As for the drinks – I didn’t think there was much to shout about. I had the sweet ice tea with lemon and that was indeed way too sweet and probably not the best combination with the maple syrup on the chicken and waffles.

There were other options such as burgers and milkshakes but I could also see across the room that many other diners chose Chicken and Waffles. Is this the star dish? I think so but then again I didn’t try all the other dishes.

Come with a friend or come alone – you shouldn’t be disappointed if you choose the chicken and waffles.





Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Murano


After 5 + City Pig’s Summary



Snapshot
Cuisine:
Italian
Price:
Average spend is £90 per head including,  three course meal, alcoholic beverage and service at 12.5%.
Healthy:
Healthy scale 3/5
Tasty:
4.5/5 – Food
4/5 – Service
4.5/5 – Comfort of dining in
4/5 – Value for money
4.5/5 – Overall rating
[Scale: 1= Poor; 5= Excellent]
Address:       
 20 Queen Street, London. Nearest tube: Green Park
Opening times
Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm
Eat in/Takeaway:
Eat-in
Recommended dishes & drinks
Menu varies according to season. My favourite dishes was the beef rib and the pork belly from the Spring menu.
Vegetarian dishes
Yes
Loyalty card
No
Website
http://www.muranolondon.com/
Notes
A well-deserved one Michelin star Italian restaurant. Top quality food and service without the pretentious nonsense.

 

After 5 + City Pig’s analysis


I was recently was taken to Angela Hartnett’s restaurant Murano for an early birthday dinner treat. Having heard much positive comments about Angela’s cooking I was very excited to taste her style of cooking. The restaurant breathes style without trying too hard – and I am immediately relaxed as I enter the restaurant to be seated.

There is generous space between each table that prevents any eavesdropping that you may be used to in some top end establishments. I love how professional the restaurant appears without being pretentious.

We were greeted with appetisers of freshly baked Italian bread, Italian ham and all Italian nibbles! I was pleasantly surprised how much there was and it definitely opened up my appetite. The Spring menu comprises of a selection of starters and mains and is priced according to the number of plates you fancy ordering.

Two courses is £50 and those with a big appetite can choose up to five courses stretching to £85. We started with a portion of scallop ceviche and the hand rolled fettucine. The portion size was very reasonable and tasted fantastic.

Our mains were crispy pork belly and beef ribeye. Pork belly can be tricky to get the right crispiness but this did not fail me! Each crunch was perfect and the fat and meat portion sandwiched together with each bite made this faultless. The cauliflower tempura bits on my plate didn’t impress me much with the pork but overall this was fantastic. The ribeye was cooked to a perfect medium and the smoky grill taste was evident. Both dishes were wonderfully cooked and were all completed.

For dessert we chose the mango brulee and caramelised pear tart. The presentation for the mango brulee was less impressive but the taste was good. The pear tart had more of a buttery taste which over powered the pear or perhaps there was not much pear taste. The desserts were less impressive to my surprise but overall the experience was very enjoyable.

I was not certain what drinks to have with my meal but was offered to try the cherry bellini which was very unique and refreshing. I would recommend asking the waiter or sommelier for their advice as I saw they have a wide wine selection and serve these in fancy glass wine containers.

It certainly is an expensive meal about £90 per person for what we had but a very worthwhile celebration meal! I felt very relaxed even though it is a one Michelin star restaurant and the food was excellent. Modern Italian cuisine presented simplistically which lets the food do the talking.

A happy birthday extra dessert was given to me – City Pig was extra chuffed and stuffed!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 


 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 
 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack



After 5 + City Pig’s Summary

Snapshot

Cuisine:
American
Price:
Average spend is £20 including service and a soft drink.
Healthy:
Healthy scale 2/5
Tasty:
3.5/5 – Food
4/5 – Service
3/5 – Comfort of dining in
3.5./5 – Value for money
3.5/5 – Overall rating
Address:       
332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR Nearest tube: Sloane Square
Opening times
Mon-Thurs: 12pm-11pm; Fri & Sat:12pm-12am; Sun: 12pm-10:30pm
Eat in/Takeaway:
Eat-in
Recommended dishes & drinks
Ribs.
Vegetarian dishes
No
Loyalty card
Yes
Website


Notes
A casual, bustly and full of atmosphere American restaurant and bar.

After 5 + City Pig’s analysis

Big Easy is an American restaurant where you can feast on ribs, lobster and steaks. Portions are large and generous. This is a real lively place to go take your date on a Friday or Saturday night with a live band downstairs.

It gets very busy very early as I found myself waiting a good 40 minutes at the bar for a table. The frozen margarita is like a grown up slushy and all the ladies cannot resist them. The bar men seem very talented and can make drinks fast despite the queues.

Service tends to be friendly although not as fast when it is super busy but I can see couples and friends having a great time.

The ribs are the best dish in my opinion and are very tender. However, the lobster and fajitas are not bad options and less messy to eat.

I could not resist but to pinch some ribs each time! The chips were not as tasty and the potato flesh was not smooth – I recalled it was better last time.

Check out the different deals that are on the black board each day and bring your friends - the ones that can eat!