I'm lioncub from London. I've been Qyping since 05-01-2011
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189 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1RQ
My firend and I are a fan of anywhere that serves cocktails and we weren't disappointed. My friend went for their namesake cocktail and was certainly not disappointed (I can confirm it was yummy!) while I went for one of the more traditional options.
Starters - I went for the duck pastilla while my friend went for the crab borrik. When they arrived, my first thought was that they smelt delicious, and they tasted it too!
Mains - We both went for tajines, although there is lots of other choice on the menu. Mine was lamb with pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts. There was lots of it, especially meat and it felt a bit like a bottomless pit - nevertheless I was disappointed when it came to an end! If I had one complaint it was that I could ahve done with slightly more sauce than I did have to make it even nicer. My friend had the venison tajine and really rated it (she didn't have the sauce problem I had).
Dessert - for once I wasn'y overly full, despite the big portions and so was able to really enjoy my desert. We both went for the more unusual choices on the menu - mine was a white chocolate terrine while hers was a pancake with a honey and almond sauce (it tasted very unusual, she really enjoyed it, but my taster was enough for me). The white chocolate terrine was nice but perhaps missing a little something to make it a really special dish - perhaps some fresh raspberries to go with the accompanying sauce.
The service was fantastic. My firend asked if she could borrow a plug socket to charge her phone and this was no problem at all, they even reminded us during the meal not to forget it! The waiter who served us was very friendly and was happy to have a joke with us.
The bill was slightly more than I was expecting from the reviews - but then again we did have more than one cocktail each and mint tea, so 3 courses and drinks came to about £40 each. Worthwhile for the delicious food and a lovely evening!
141-143 Whitfield Street, London W1T 5EW
110 Whitfield Street, Firzrovia, London W1T 5ED
The decor in the restaurant is novel, but not tacky. Nothing matches and all tables are different which we loved. The menus come as scrolls and the dessert menu in old fashioned books which is a really nice touch.
We both had a cocktail, complete with gold leaf flakes which we both enjoyed - A couple of people have commented on how expensive they are but actually I think at £7.50 I think they're fairly in line with other places in London.
The food was beautifully done, for starters I had the zebra while my friend had the duck. For mains, I had the bison steak - I was not asked how I'd like this cooked and so I got it on the medium side of medium rare and as a result it was a little tough but tasted beautiful. My friend had the alpaca which she thought was pretty amazing.
We had ordered sides - though on reflection these weren't really needed. The chilli and garlic potatoes were very scrumptious. We also ordered the pak choi vegetables but to be honest I didn't think they were very special. Since we were there, we decided to go for the love bug salad. I enjoyed the novelty of the crickets and locusts but to be honest they just tasted overwhelmingly of lemongrass.
For desserts I went for the chocolate pudding and my friend went for the baby bee brulee, again both very nice dishes.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant as somewhere that does good food in a nice atmosphere and has a lot of novelty factor if you like trying exotic foods.
So why did I decide to give this restaurant only a three star review?
Service and Price.
Our waitress was very nice but her English was poor, as a result when we were debating ordering the love bug salad and whether we wanted the palette cleansers, my "Why Not?" comment was taken that we didn't want them. I had to ask for the love bug salad while we were eating our mains. Also, we had asked whether sides were necessary and we were guided into ordering them even though they really weren't needed. Service did get a little slow while waiting for our bill but this did co-inside with a rush of new people arriving so that didn't matter too much.
The other issue we had was with the price.
We expected it to be expensive however:
There is a £2 cover charge each for the 'complimentary' bread.
We were charged £1 for 'food in action', 'food aid' (or some such thing - i can't remember the phrasing now, nor do I have any idea what it was for).
And then a 12.5% service charge on top.
This worked out £21 of extra costs on top of the food and drink. On reflection, we should have refused to pay this and left a tip we were happy with.
Oh, and watch out for the palette cleansers they're an extra £2.50 each...
I have no issues with the price of the food and drink, a three course meal and sides with one cocktail and bottled water cost £53 each - The exotic meats and insects must be pretty pricey for them to get in, it's the ridiculous number of extra costs which really spoilt a great night for me and the main reason this restaurant did not get 5 stars.
4-6 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 8LN
We arrived about 30-40 minutes before our table was booked but we were seated right away - Granted, this was fairly early in the evening and it wasn't busy.
My friend and I started with a cocktail each, I went for the 'Rose Petal Martini' while my friend chose the 'Silver Fizz', they were both really very tasty. With the meal we decided to go for a bottle of wine - there is really only one wine choice for a South African type steak restaurant and the Pinotage really didn't disappoint! It was quite reasonably priced too.
For starters my friend went for the springbok, which was delicious (I sneaked a bite), while I got the cured meat platter. I have to confess, I was a little disappointed with mine - based on the other starters on the menu (the springbok and the crocodile) I was expecting something a little bit unusual but what I got was more in line with an Italian salami selection pack from the supermarket and a dish of olives. The main course more than made up for it though!
I ordered the rib eye steak while my friend chose the fillet. Both were cooked perfectly! (rare). We ordered the french beans as a side and a portion on chips on the advice that this would be enough for 2 and it certainly was. The chips were lovely and fluffy but crispy and the beans very tasty. The only fault to be found with the mains was that it was all fairly salty (but in a tasty way). Fortunately there was tap water on hand.
Desserts were a very difficult choice, they all sounded so nice on the menu. I went for the chocolate fondant which was perfectly cooked and my friend went for the pannacota which was less well done but I'm told still tasted very nice. We suggested them doing a dessert platter - I hope they take up this suggestion so we can have a small portion of each next time we go!
The male waiter who served us was very pleasant, flirty but not overly so. He was very helpful especially when we were deciding which sides to order with our mains. The restaurant got very busy during the time we were there and there was a high turn over of tables, despite this we were not rushed. In fact, if anything service became a little slow by the end of the night, having to ask again for another jug of water - Though the waitress was very apologetic when we did.
A very good evening. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the restaurant to fans of good steak - hence the reason for this rather lengthy review! I will certainly be going back.
18 Charlotte Street, Marylebone, London W1T 2LZ
I've been to Curry Leaf twice now for lunch. They have a lunch special, from which you choose one starter and one main course and this is served with rice, nan and a bit of salad for £5.95.
I went for the onion bhaji and chicken tikka massala both times and thoroughly enjoyed it. The onion bhajis are very nice, and it's a great meal for the price.
However, I think the food does reflect the price. Lunch is fine, but I'm not sure if I would take someone there for dinner, though perhaps this is unfair. I've only seen the lunch menu, I would imagine there is a lot more varaition on the full menu.
Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9PY
A great pub tucked away in the small village of Ings near Kendal.
They have a microbrewery on site where they produce just delights as 'colliewoobles' beer and 'A bit of ruff'. they also specialise in selling other beers brewed locally.
The food is really good and reasonably priced, I would especially recommend going on their steak nights where you get to select your piece of steak to be cooked.
It's a dog pub though, so expect furry friends under tables or at the bar (most are very well behaved though). I look forward to a meal here every time I'm in Cumbria.
Private Bag, Nanyuki, 10400 Nairobi
I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks here undertaking a volunteer research project.
The conservancy is situated about 4 hours drive from Nairobi near the town of Nanyuki. It is half nature reserve and half cattle ranch and they specialise in Black Rhino conservation (they have also recently been made home to 4 of the 8 remaining Northern White rhinos).
There are a number of places to stay in the conservancy, and the staff are all incredibly friendly and helpful; and one of the great things about it is that because it is a lesser known national park it's quiet, meaning you can park your car and watch animals without 10 other vehicles watching the same one. This means you're likely to see more.
I can not descibe the feeling of your arrival and suddenly seeing gazelle and warthogs all around you or of spotting your first elephants, giraffes or that glimpse of a hippo at the Hippo Hide. The fact that I got between 2-3 metres from a wild cheetah is something I will never ever forget.
The only thing I didn't see while I was there were lions; which is highly unusual - they acually have one of the highest density of lions there.
It was an incredible two weeks of my life and if you're in Kenya, I fully recommend you go for even just 2 or 3 days. You will not regret it.
67 Old Highway, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 0LT
The Highway has unfortunately now closed and looks like it's going to be turned into a housing development.
Although not the nicest pub in the world, there were a lot of friendly regulars and often events going on there.
A loss to the community.
82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6AF
Another one of my favourite bookshops. They have a a specialist medical section, including a great section on Epidemiology and Medical Statistics which is where I spend a lot of my time (yes, I admit it, I'm a geek), and you can find most books from the LSHTM reading list in stock.
They have quite a big fiction section as well though and although it's a little disorganised and hard to find things, due to lots of little cubby holes and secluded parts of rooms, there's actually a lot here if you have the patience to look.
If you don't have time, the staff are very helpful, and can quickly tell you if a book is in stock or not. I really like the personal comments that waterstones' staff write about various books around the store.
I've spent many a lunch break in this shop.
51 St Andrews Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1HZ
I went to this Indian for a Christmas night out with a very large group and I must confess I wasn't overly impressed.
The Christmas menu was limited,we had a mixture of starters which included onion bhaji and chicken tikka - this would have been nice if it hadn't been cold.
The serving of the starters was also very weird. They first gave us all plates with the token gesture of salad which all restaurants seem to think is compulsory, so of course people started nibbling on the odd p[iece of tomato waiting for the real food. They then took the plates away again a few at a time and served up the starters (which were now on hot plates in the same room as us) and returned the plates - not necessarily in the places they started in.
For main, I went for the save option of Chicken Tikka Masala, but I also tried the Prawn Bhuna. While pleasant enough neither of them particularly rocked my boat, neither did the side dishes.
We had to ask several time for drinks, getting a jug of water for the table seemed impossible. In defence of this, as I mentioned we were a very big group (30+) and service would probably be much better if there's only a few of you.
While the decor and facilities looked nice and the atmosphere was good, I'm slightly concerned by the loose cabelling hanging down from the ceiling in the ladies toilets...
I would go back if someone organised a big gathering there again but to be prefectly honest, I'd be organising dinner somewhere else.
- Fitzrovia, London 3 reviews
- Bloomsbury, London 2 reviews
- Islington, London 2 reviews
- Camden, London 1 review
- Marylebone, London 1 review
- Manchester 1 review
- Soho, London 1 review
- Holborn, London 1 review
- Broxbourne 1 review
- Hertford 1 review
- Hoddesdon 1 review
- Nairobi 1 review
- Ings, Kendal 1 review