Category Archives: Culture

QP LDN Restaurant

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Mayfair’s Quattro Passi will re-launch as QP LDN with a revamped menu and the highly anticipated opening of its new late-night bar and lounge located beneath the restaurant, QP Lounge.

Situated in the heart of Dover Street next to the Victoria Beckham and Christian Louboutin boutiques, Quattro Passi originally opened its doors back in September 2014, as the sister restaurant to the two Michelin-starred Quattro Passi in Nerano, Italy – widely considered to be the Amalfi coast’s top restaurant.

With fresh, high-quality ingredients flown in daily from Italy, and perfectly executed simple dishes inspired by the signature flavours of Southern Italy, the restaurant quickly gained a reputation as one of London’s top Italian restaurants – much loved by royals and celebrities alike including Prince Andrew, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Kofi Annan, Valentino, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Grant and Anne Hathaway.

QP LDN will continue to remain under the culinary direction of two Michelin-starred Italian chef Antonio Mellino and his two sons Raffaele and Fabrizio, staying true to its roots in Amalfi coast inspired cooking. Mellino is the chef owner of Quattro Passi in Nerano, who received recognition and praise for his artisanal freshly-made pasta and simple seafood dishes. Mellino is considered to be a master in pasta making, and his freshly-made then dried pastas will continue to be made on premises by the QP LDN kitchen staff.

Menu highlights include Risotto Con Scampi E Pesche (langoustines risotto with peach), Gnocchi Con Gamberi, Pomodorini E Rucola (gnocchi with prawns, cherry tomato and rocket), Capesante Su Salsa Di Aglio Selvatico E Rapa Rossa (scallops with cream of wild garlic and beetroot), and a selection of fresh fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean including Di Zucchine E Salsa Mediterranea (fillet of line caught Sea Bass with Zucchini cream and Mediterranean sauce), and Misto Crudo Di Pesce for two persons (a visually stunning mixed seafood platter beautifully presented on dry ice).

For dessert the restaurant is renowned for its signature Gelato Al Pistacchio, freshly made Pistachio ice cream made in-house using Sicilian Bronte pistachios – an essential ingredient in many Italian delicacies.

A must, for full information visit

34 Dover Street,
Mayfair,
W1S 4NG
www.qp-ldn.com

 

 

 

 

 

Gyoza Bar – London

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Located in the heart of the ever popular Covent Garden,  Gyoza Bar offers some of the best Japanese cuisine in the capital.

Gyoza Bar offers a limited menu, but it consisting of just Gyoza, Ramen, Bao Bun and a few selection of small plates.  Only local organic ingredients are used and the Ramen and Gyoza are all made on site using original Japanese equipment and all made to a traditional recipe.

On a recent visit we got to try out some of their lunch menu for ourselves.

Upon entering the restaurant you are met with stripped back interiors –  wooden floors, simple tables and open brick walls, with dimly lit low hanging lighting, modern but with a Japanese twist.

Like its interiors the menu too is on the minimal side with each dish having 6 or less varieties to choose from.

For those not familiar with Gyoza they are small dumplings filled with a choice of meats, salmon or vegetables and all featuring a delicious array of chilli oil, garlic vinegar and usami soy to name a few. They come deep fried, pan fried or steamed and can be combined.

To start off we opted for the deep fried  Salmon Gyoza (£7.50), they were delicious, with a crisp casing and fluffy salmon centre, dipped in chilli oil they are a dream.

Next up was the ramen selection, in the end we went for the Char Siu variety (£11) which come Served with Japanese char siu pork, shoyu tamago, spring onion, broccoli stem, beansprout, Japanese fish cake. The dish portion is very generous and perfect if you are after something comforting and hearty to eat. The broth was delicious and pork full of favour (I ordered an extra portion of Pork Char Sui), one of the tastiest ramen dishes we’ve had in London.

If you still have room I recommend the Crispy friend ice cream for dessert (£4.50) the vanilla ice cream ball is covered in batter and deep friend and comes served with maple syrup, sounds a bit odd but believe me it was delicious, tasty but light.

Gyoza has a wide array of drinks from sumptuous wines, bespoke cocktails mixed to perfection and for those wanting an exclusively Japanese experience you can of course have either Japanese beer or Sake.

If you want to see the Gyoza chefs in action then just book yourself a ringside seat at the restaurant as all the food is prepared and made right in front of you in a open plan kitchen.

A delicious menu, hip interior and all at pocket friendly prices… a must.

Gyoza Bar
63-66 St Martin’s Lane,
Covent Garden,
London
WC2N 4JS

www.gyozabar.uk

Buddha Bar – London

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Located a stone’s throw from the famous Harrods department store in London’s Knightsbridge district is one of the capital’s most lively sushi restaurants, Buddha Bar.

The restaurant serving and extensive  dinner, brunch and afternoon tea menu along with vast bar options, with top notch mixologists prepare delicious cocktails. 

The split level restaurant offers pan-Asian cuisine, though its sushi options are its highlight. Dinner is a must with a huge selection of handmade sushi and sashimi. The fresh fish selection includes Blackened Cod and Roasted Chilean Seabass or alternatively the Wagyu beef fillet with truffle butter is the ultimate treat. All dishes are delivered to the highest standard and expertly cooked with an Asian twist by the team of chefs lead by Ravi Vydya.

On a recent visit we were able to try some of the dishes ourselves.  Designed to be a sharing experience we opted for a few dishes to get a feel for the menu with the guidance of the very helpful and friendly waitress.

To kick things off we opted for the , Chilli salt crispy baby squid , Rock shrimp  and the restaurant’s signature Buddha-Bar chicken salad.  The rock shrimp is served with a tasty creamy sauce and were perfectly cooked, crispy batter exterior with a soft flesh inside.

For mains we opted a selection of different sushi and sashimi, including the spicy tuna and salmon, the sushi rolls came beautifully presented, a feast for the eyes as well a the palette. The fish was fresh and rice delicious.

The more adventurous rolls include the spider, soft shell crab which was a highlight, a full roll with light and crispy crab.  We also opted for another signature dish, the Buddha-Bar roll, mixed sashimi wrapped in cucumber with a creamy sesame sauce

Alongside food Buddha Bar  is knows for its comprehensive cocktail selection which we also got to try, each priced from £15.

Favourites include the Blue Knightsbridge – Hennessy Fine de Cognac, Diplomatico reserve, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, peach bitters and angostura bitters. The mix was fresh and strong with the ht of ginger making it very memorable.   Another favourite was the Bubble Wap – a strawberry & raspberry puree, rose liquor, elderflower liquor, touch of Belvedere vodka and topped up with Champagne, a refreshing and strong option.

Dinner was a truly wonderful experience with every  dish a delicious experience, the restaurant is winner of the Best Restaurant Bar at London Club & Bar Awards in both 2014, 2015 and 2016, this shows in the high quality food and great friendly service.  Atmosphere is offered in heaps and bounds with live music entertainment available during the weekend, a perfect venue to take friends and loved ones, a must visit.


Buddha Bar & Restaurant
145 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7PA
http://buddhabarlondon.com

Savini At Criterion Restaurant London

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Bringing a touch of Milanese glamour to London’s picadilly is Savini at Criterion, a restaurant with a rich 150 year history.

Dating back to 1867, Savini is Milan’s most famous restaurant, a dazzling venue where Verdi, Puccini, Callas and Sinatra all came to dine.  Owned by the Gatto family, who also own the 5 successful branches of Gran Café in the city, decided on picadilly as the perfect location to migrate the restaurant from Milan to the English capital.  The striking Grade II-listed The Criterion building houses the restaurant against a backdrop of timeless opulence designed by Royal Albert Hall architect Thomas Verity, this neo-Byzantine dining room and bar, with its gold ceiling and marble columns, a truly opulent setting.

The Italian restaurant offers an all day menu, catering to diners from breakfast to dinner with a menu of seasonal and traditional Italian fare, all produced and handmade on site from scratch.

On our visit we were able to try dishes from their dinner menu.

To kick things off I started with the 18 months cured Parma ham and melon (£16.50) , a simple but tasty dish, a light option to allow for a more indulgent main. Beautifully presented the dry cured ham is rich and salty, balanced out perfectly with the sweet melon segments.

Mains include Pasta, rice, salads, meat and fish options, my eye immediately wondered to their risotto selection – opting for the Squid ink version which comes with sautéed tub gurnard and fresh basil (£21.50) . At first glance the portion seemed small but it is deceiving as it is very filling, the glossy black rice is paired with the tub gurnard fish for a hearty and delicious meal.  Accompanying this I opted for the grilled vegetables from the comprehensive selection of sides.

To finish things off Savani offers a wide selection of Italian classics for desserts, as well as an Italian cheese board option. On this visit I went for the Guanaya chocolate Panna cotta and salted caramel (£8.50) , which is as delicious as it sounds, a perfect ending to an enjoyable dining experience.

A visit is highly recommended for some good quality Italian dishes, beautiful surroundings and a helpful and friendly staff.

Savini At Criterion
224 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HP

www.saviniatcriterion.co.uk

Kanada-Ya – Panton Street – London

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With Japanese food hotter than ever we recently visited Kanada-Ya in London’s Hyamarket to give their take on the cuisine a try.  The are has seen a recent resurgence in popularity thanks in part to its recent opening of Dover Street Market, the major fashion store has acquired a huge space, a mere’s stone throw from the restaurant.While sushi has become the go to staple for those wanting a Japanese meal, Ramen is catching up as a more comforting and satisfying option.  Kanada-Ya specialises inKanada-Ya specialises in creating traditional tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, with a recipe created by Kanada Kazuhiro, founder of our restaurant in Yukuhashi, Japan.

This second location joins its first in Soho, interiors are minimal but feel authentic with friendly staff on hand to get you seated and serve. Exposed brickwork is pared with stripped down seating and the ceiling adorned with hanging lamps.

Much like its interiors Kanada-Ya’s menu is also quite bare bones, with 3 ramen options available and a handful of sides and extra toppings.

We went for the Chashu- Men (£12.50) which comes with Chashu pork collar, noodles are made to order  (firmness) and added a Hanjuku egg to the dish. The dish was tasty and very filling, with the broth rich in flavour and noodles firm (as requested) the thinly sliced pork was particularly delicious.

If you fancy sticking around for dessert then they have a very limited option, in fact just one when we dined, matcha ice cream. The desert was pleasant, but not particularly exciting, the restaurants main selling point is its ramen, and it shows.

The small restaurant can get very busy during lunch peak hours so go just before or after for a shorter wait. Kanada-Ya is a great place for a quick pit stop if you are in the area, a satifying meal with friendly staff though rather spartan surroundings.

Kanada-Ya Haymarket
3 Panton Street,
SW1Y 4DL
London
www.kanada-ya.com

Heliot Steak House – London

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Being housed within the Hippodrome Casino may not sound like the ideal venue for a high end restaurant but Heliot Steak House certainly comes highly recommended – being judged the “Best Steak Restaurant in London” by the customers of Bookatable last year.

The 150 seater restaurant is located inside the casino in Leicester Square, perched on the balcony overlooking the main room in the casino, perfect for a pot of people watching.  The Hippodrome  itself has become a premiere entertainment destination with drinking, dining, live entertainment and gaming all under one roof.

We recently visited the restaurant to sample their dinner menu, which was created by Head Chef Ioannis Grammenos and his team.

We were sat down at an ordered a gin and tonic to get us settled, the place has a very comprehensive section of drinks available.

The  menu is small but features plenty of classic dishes for you to choose from.

With starters I opted for the smoked salmon (£8), which comes with green apple, mint salad and sour cream, the fish was delicious and perfectly accompanied by the mint salad and sour cream.

As the name suggests the restaurant’s real strength is its steaks,  boasting USDA prime steaks, all aged for between four and six weeks to develop tenderness and flavour, less than 2% receives the USDA certification.

The steak menu is split up into 3 sections depending on size small (200g), medium 250-350g) and large (500-650g) each with different varieties of cuts.  I opted for the medium rib eye (£20)   – ordered medium rare. with a lobster tail on top (£8) and a side of triple cooked chips (£3). The steak was well cooked, with a brown outer and pink centre with a Chimichurri  to accompany, the lobster tail added a luxurious touch and the chips were a highlight, crispy and delicious.

Though quite full after the steak we decided to give the dessert menu a try – we went for the chocolate torte (£6.50) made from dark chocolate it was very rich but not sickly, a sweet ending to an enjoyable meal.

Heliot Steak House was surprisingly good, don’t be deterred by its tourist trap location for inside you will find a very good restaurant and at a good price point. So pay them a visit.

Heliot Steak House
The Hippodrome casino,
14 Cranbourn St,
London
WC2H 7JH

Click here for more information 

House of Peroni Returns

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Summer pop up – The House of Peroni – returns to the capital this summer with a residency at Proud East in Haggerston, East London. Entitled ‘Amare l’Italia’ – meaning ‘For the love of Italy’ the pop up celebrates all things Italian, offering guests a menu of experiences to take their fancy, from sit down dinners to cocktail making master classes.

On board are an innovative and influential Italian talent to create the experience this year, the Residency will be an immersive journey for consumers to discover how some of Italy’s most successful and creative ambassadors are inspired by their love for their home country.

A highlight of the experiences on offer is the Private Dining Experience, which takes place as form of a sit down dinner in a secluded open space room at the top of the venue. Heading up the experience is acclaimed chef  Francesco Mazzei (Chef at Mayfair’s Sartoria and previously L’Anima. Central to the theme of the menu is ‘For the love of Italy’ with the  five-course ‘feasting’ using the best flavours and ingredients from Italy.

Priced at £65 per person plus booking fee, the event will take place three evenings a week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Guests will be invited to sit together and enjoy a sumptuous Italian feast, inspired by the family gatherings Francesco grew up with in the southern Italian region of Calabria.

Francesco commented, “The plethora of beautiful ingredients unique to Italy have long inspired me to create sumptuous menus inspired by my love of Italian Feasts. The ritual of family gatherings and local celebrations that are so integral to Italy’s heritage will be celebrated this summer at The House of Peroni Residency and, as the Master of Taste, I am pleased to share the ‘Mezzogiorno’ style of enjoying life with our guests.” 

The feast features Francesco’s  ‘Mezzogiorno’ signature cooking style and includes an impressive array of antipasti dishes, including Salame all’Anatra (home cured duck salami with cherries), Battuta di Salmone (a salmon dish, akin to a tartare) and Insalata di Carciofini (artichoke and pea shoot salad). Tortellini filled with the burratta is followed by liquorice-cured baccala (salt cod) and magnificent roasted lamb. Dessert is a Crema al Bergamotto (bergamot cream) served with cherries and a selection of handmade Italian pastries.

On our recent visit the experience did not disappoint, dishes are full of flavour and portions perfectly sized for this tasting menu experience. The experience is given the immersive touch with the open plan setting which centres around the chef’s table so you can see the team preparing dishes in front of you which was most impressive when the huge rack of lamb as presented and dished out in front of all diners, which by the way was  our favourite dish – served with artichokes, broad beans and peas.  All washed down with of course – Peroni – or a selection of carefully created cocktails by mixoloists Simone Caporale.

Situated right by the canal the pop up is a great space for the summer with a experiences on offer for all tastes and budget, so head east and pay it a visit!

The House of Peroni
Proud East, 2-10 Hertford Road, London, N1 5SH

The pop up runs until  Friday July 1st, for further information and bookings please visit www.thehouseofperoni.com

STK London Restaurant

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STK is a fresh take on the traditional steak house, with modern sleek interiors complimented to an updated menu for more diverse options.

The brand’s London branch is housed on the ground level of the ME Hotel, joining locations in New York City, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Milan.

With a modern take on the steak house experience the restaurant also offers a superior experience with stylish decor and dimly lit space for a more intimate experience to enjoy with a special someone or with a group of friends.

Seating is arranged in booth form surrounding the large metallic architectural sculpture in the centre of the room. On our visit we got to try out some selections from the newly launched pre theatre menu for the summer.

Upon arrival we were seated by a warm and friendly host, we got there for an early dinner at 6pm so it was on the empty side with few other diners.

Our waiter was very helpful and went through the menu with us, answering all our questions with precision and knowledge.

We opted for the signature mini burgers to start with which have burgers made form Wagyu beef beautifully presented in mini sesame seed buns. They were delicious with he burger perfectly cooked and the ‘special’ sauce adding a tangy kick.

Now to the highlight and as you might of guessed is the steaks, while the menu offers non steak options it is the meat dishes were it shines. Steak cuts are predominantly USDA prime, the highest grade of American steak. I opted for the large T Bone which comes in at 600g and ordered it medium rare with a tasty bernaise sauce. Alongside we opted for the mac & cheese and Parmesan truffle chips, the later of which comes beautifully presented, stacked up jingo like. The steak was incredible,, perfectly cooked and very satisfying, highly recommended.

If you still have room then I suggest you give one of the dessert options a try, we were unsure which to pick so our waiter recommended the fairground themed option which is recommended to share. Candy floss, toffee popcorn, donuts and chocolate milk all feature and come presented in a ferris wheel like sculpture, a fun way to finish your meal.

So for an modern and upgraded steak meal (and many other choices) then STK is a must, a delicious high quality menu with cool stylish interiors and friendly staff. Go!

For more info and bookings  visit www.stkhouse.com

Skylounge’s New Summer Menu

hl_skylounge001_677x380_fittoboxsmalldimension_centerLocated on the 12th floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton London – Tower of London, Skylounge offers breathtaking views over the capital with a delicious menu of food and drinks to enjoy the scenery.From the 12th floor you get uninterrupted views of some of London’s most iconic sights – ower Bridge, The Shard, The Gherkin, The Walkie Talkie and the River Thames.With summer arriving Skylounge has created a brand new summer cocktail menu curated
by their team of talented team of mixologists, which we recently got to try for ourselves.

On our visit one Saturday afternoon we managed to get a seat in the balcony area directly overlooking the Tower of London.

To start we selected some food items from the drinks menu, going for the Sticks and dips selection sharing plate (£15). The large dish comes contains  breadsticks with cut up carrots, cucumber and celery sticks with olives and a selection of house dips. Perfect for summer the dish is great to share with friends on a hot day. If you’re still hungry then we recommend the mini salmon tacos (£10), that come garnished with corn salsa and tomatina sauce.

Next up we tried one of the cocktails from the new summer menu, going for the Lavender Fields Forever (£12) . As the name suggests the cocktail has lavender syrup  mixed with Beefeater Gin and Limoncello with grapefruit and  lemon juice for a delicious and refreshing concoction.

Another must have is the fruity Hunters Brew (£13.50) – a mix of Absolut vodka, midori melon liquer and Chambord topped with a shot of jagermeister served in a passionfruit cup.

So enjoy the summer (while it lasts) and head over to Skylounge for a cocktail to two.

Skylounge at DoubleTree by Hilton London – Tower of London,
7 Pepys St
London
EC3N 4AF

Afternoon Tea at The Drawing Room – Flemings Mayfair

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Luxury hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room,  offering its visitors a luxurious setting for drinks and afternoon tea.

The new launch is part of the hotel’s £14 million refurbishment and is an ideal location to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape into a tranquil space that mirrors the design of a traditional Regency drawing room with high ceilings, opulent furnishings and an original fireplace from 1851, from when the hotel first opened. Exquisite de Gournay hand painted wall panels depict early images of India as well as artwork by painter Eileen Schaer and crockery by Bernardaud.

Designed as a space for afternoon tea it is served daily between 12.30pm to 5pm and serves a selection of varieties from traditional, chocolate indulgence through to  its signature is the Rose Royal Afternoon Tea, priced at £48 per person for a minimum of 2 people.  Tea offerings have been created in partnership with the world famous East India Company for a selection of delicious teas.

We were able to try Rose Royal Afternoon Tea for ourselves on a recent visit.  Beautifully presented on a tiered serving plate the experience kicks off with a selection of beautifully cut finger sandwiches – Egg and mayonnaise, Ham and Mustard, Salmon and dill sauce and the classic cucumber and cream cheese, my personal favourite of the four. All were tasty and delicately cut, a tasty way to begin the meal. Alongside the finger sandwiches we also opted for a glass of Jacquart Rose Mosaique before opting for The Flemings Breakfast Blend tea, which came recommended by our friendly and helpful waiter.  The robust flavoured tea was created especially for the hotel which combines teas from the misty hills of Ceylon, lush estates if Assam and the Kenyan highlands.

Nest was a selection of homemade plain and raisin scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, the most ‘classic’ component of afternoon tea did not disappoint with the flavoursome jam being a particular highlight.

To finish of we had a selection of petit fours, small sweet pastries and cakes – raspberry delice, opera cake, pineapple choux and strawberry macaroons – a delicious way to end the tea, small but full of flavour and looked beautiful on the plate.

Overall we had a wonderful visit, luxurious surroundings, delicious menu and ever so helpful staff – a must.

The Drawing Room at Flemings Mayfair
7-12 Half Moon Street
London
W1J 7BH

To make a booking please visit  www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk