MissRachelle's Qype reviews
50 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9JL
MissRachelle wrote on 8 October 2010
I was treated to quite the introduction at Belgo's recently. I was invited to a tasting for their Oktober Fest 2010 menu, 3 courses each with a specially selected Belgian beer to go with it- for £33.
Great concept, perhaps a bit too ambitious to ask us to try all 3 options for each of the 3 courses though. I hear you counting up those beers... it was one between two with another before it all kicked off and tasters aftwards (it's like a math riddle isn't it?). Basically I had 5 1/2 beers in the end, but I know some others did better than I!
So what can you expect from the menu?
A choice of starters:
Parsnip and ginger soup served with Juniper Pilsner
Moules mariniere served with Belgo Witbier
Champagne, duck and truffle terrine served with De Koninck Blonde
I found it hard to choose a favorite here, all of them struck me in a different way, well balanced flavours and great accompaniments of the beer variety. If pushed I think I would choose the terrine as a narrow winner.
Beef carbonnade served with Witcap Stimulo
Mushroom Bouchee served with Palm Amber
Moules Portugaise served with Bruges Zot Blonde
The beef was a little too sweet for me, but hearty and very filling. The muscles have roast chorizo in them, which was too strong for me (I'm not very good with very meaty flavours) so my winner was the tasty and well executed bouchee.
Poached peer served with Floris Apple
Belgian chocolate pudding served with Westmalle Double
Belgian waffle served with Mort Subite Gueuze
The pear was good, the pudding amazing, but I have to say I was properly blown away by the perfect waffle, sitting in white chocolate sauce with ice cream (I was totally full by this point- and ate it anyway).
Staff were really great, attentive, knowledgable, and you did get the feeling not only do they know their stuff, but they are eager to learn more.
One thing I learned- some beers are fermented using coriander! That is a little hidden secret fo those of us that despise that particular herb- and explains why some beers just dont sit right with me- for that gem I will be eternally grateful.
4A Upper St. Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NY
MissRachelle wrote on 3 September 2010
It is quite cool to see Upper St Martin's lane getting some action, with neighbors like Dishoom and Jamie's Italian it seems this area is finally getting some quality food options into the area.
Kyashii defiantly falls into the high price end of this road though. It is really beautifully presented, both the interior and the food, but heavy on price and small on portions. Which is a shame, because they do know what they are doing when it comes to the food. Fantastic flavours in everything, even the edamame beans had a little kick to them. The sake was really good too, and the traditional warmers were really cool- little stone vessels of perfection.
The place is quite surreal, like a honey comb maze, but all black and lacquered and reflective. Add to that some inbuilt fish tanks, a karaoke area and some very robotic efficient staff and your done!
12 Upper St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9FB
MissRachelle wrote on 29 July 2010
I have to admit to be one of those people confused by the idea of an Indian breakfast. All I can think about is rice and spicy dishes and cold beer- and this was a pre-work breakfast we had planned.
So I wandered out of Leicester Square station and virtually landed in the large restaurant bright and early (kudos for location). I do have a soft spot for a bit of original design, and even with my bleary eyed morningness I could see this was somewhere that had a personal touch. Later on, when chatting with the genuinely lovely owner, I discovered that he has portraits on the wall of his grandfather, that he organised for a selection of about 50 handpicked medicinal containers to be sourced in India and brought over by a bemused friend so that he could create identical fake medicine cabinets in the bathrooms, and that he still believes there is a lot more that can be done. Personally I think a lot has been done!
I tried the breakfast lassie of mango and banana and oats- I don't normally like these but it has a subtle flavour, not too tart from the yogurt either which has normally been a problem for me. I also got myself a spiced coffee, it is slightly sweet and really good for those that like it black.
We were also given the House Chai to try, and it was so lovely- a bit of a kick, not too milky, and then you find out it must be tried daily by at least two people to make sure the batch has a well balanced flavour batch is right... perfections to the core.
The breakfast options we chose included a bacon nan, an off menu item of bacon and sausage nan and a fruit roomali. Just to let you know this is far too much food for two people so be more decisive than we were!
The bacon or bacon and sausage nan idea is a clever one. They make the dough quite thin, fresh and flip it by hand (you can see this happening too- think pizza dough spinning) then layer it over a large round protruding hot top (like a steal bubble rising out of the cook top). This is your nan. Then there is a generous helping on bacon, or bacon and sausage of your ordering creatively, and enough coriander to supply Greece since the second millennium (look it up!). I am not a fan of the devils herb- but they are good enough not to chop it into wee bits so removal was no issue.
I have to say the winner- by a monsoon flood- was the fruit roomali. They use a light roti (thinned pancake but not so sweet) with fresh fruit mixed pieces, and layer it with vanilla pod infused mascarpone and drizzle with honey.
This is a must visit as far as interesting flavoursome breakfasts go!
25 Rose Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9LH
MissRachelle wrote on 30 June 2010
Oh Hamish! I now know why it is called the Rose and Crown, I came out all rosy and the creation was deserving of some kind of tiara type crown.
The salon itself is a cute quirky space slipped into Rose street, a quiet little haven in the city.
Add to that a chatty, not too chatty, hairdresser who was personable and attentive, and highly skilled. Great magazines, endless drinks and a comfy chair.
All I can say is thank god I finally found a hairdresser to pin my loyalty to!
5 William IV St, London WC2N 4DW
MissRachelle wrote on 10 May 2010
Terroirs is one of those venues that is smart enough to serve proper french posh nosh in a clean and understated environment. You can feel the hobnobbing bouncing off their antique postered walls, with every name under the sun dropped all over the wooden floors, but with comfortable buzzing surrounds you don't really care (and if you do, you'll love it).
We spend a good twenty minutes ogling the wine menu, this is the wine lovers paradise (aside from the obvious- living in a vineyard, in a barrel) we got some great recommendations from the staff, and had a great glass of house champers. Stars all round, and we hadn't even got to the tasties yet.
We had a selection of Charcuterie to begin, including Duck Rillettes and Pork & Pistachio Terrine. This pretty much set the high standard for the rest of the meal. And these pass as bar snacks? Dear Lord.
We also ordered some small plates, intent on trying as many dishes as possible. We ordered the Whole Dorset Crab which had us cracking claws and dropping cutlery like bombs (totally undeterred) and the King Prawns a la Plancha, tasty tomato grilled delights. We also got the delightful Clams, Vermouth & Aioli dish, and slightly too salty Snails in pesto with cured meats.
After all of that we normally would have taken to sleep for a good 2 years in pure happiness, but the birthday girl gets what she wants- and on this night I wanted blue cheese! Enter Fourme D’Ambert who I wish I could scrub form my memory, or else replace every other blue cheese ever served. Seriously.
I can't rate this place highly enough and would recommend it to anyone after a taste of France right in the thick of London.
1 Bedfordbury, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4BP
MissRachelle wrote on 26 March 2010
Straight up and down Thai joint, right in the thick of things.
I dropped in (for a table of 3) on St Patrick's Day, and was seated within ten minutes, when every other place we put our head into along the way was estimating an hour wait.
Service was stellar throughout, and although the interior lacks warmth (as in it is is a bit sterile, Ikea cut out type styling).
We had starters of Poh Pia Tod (spring rolls) which were pretty standard, an Toong Tong, which is Money Bags to most of us clueless Westerners. I would be keen to return for the Toong Tong alone, not least of all because on the menu they are listed as Golden Sack.
The Pad Thai is traditionally my testing point for any Thai place- everyone makes it, and coming from Australia means everyone makes it well (so I've been spoiled!).
They kept me happy with this dish- I didn't win best in London, but it was fresh, well balanced and authentic.
A happy accidental discovery!
5 Great Newport Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7JL
MissRachelle wrote on 18 March 2010
Conveniently located right near Leicester Square you could easily walk by without thinking you were missing much, in amongst the glittery lights of movie preview land. You would be wrong though.
this is a great space for hire, with a private meeting room available separately or as a part of the whole space.
I saw it as a picnic themed space for Courvoisier- fake grass and twisted branches with flowers, perfect mood lighting and happy staff. Notably they have a ramp entrance- not a step in sight, thoughtful for many reason, not the least of which is helping you exit their tidy bar area in style.
24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HQ
MissRachelle wrote on 1 February 2010
"It's all about the hype though ain't it?"
That is, in a nutshell, why the Hospital Club rocks. It is pretentious and a bit exclusive allusive, but it is also a beautiful building, with interesting people milling about, and some great facilities. It is exactly what it set out to be.
Private cinema, cool bar with wee beer garden, corporate meeting rooms and media types, all the media types... what's not to love?
13a The Piazza, London WC2E 8HD
MissRachelle wrote on 18 December 2009
There ain't no cookie in London more famous or addictive or worthy of the praise than Bens!
Milkshakes, peanut butter cookies and ice cream as a side? There's no reason to resist the potent smell of Bens that would be worth the cookie goodness you're missing out on
3 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9BF
MissRachelle wrote on 18 December 2009
Cyber Candy is saving the sugary tooth needs of a world of expats. Considering the size of the store I'm not surprised that I have never seen it empty- and somehow I've never seen it understocked... hmm there's magic in this spot I tell you!
Thanks to Cyber I've been able to introduce peopel to all kinds of gems, Reeces Peanut Butter Breakfast Cereal form USA- teh breakfast of diabetics I imagine! Timtam's, Cherry Ripes, Twislers... actually have to stop here lest I drool on my keyboard.