Archive For September 2010

Leon – Naturally Fast Food

Leon – Naturally Fast Food

Leon restaurant was founded by Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and the celebrated cook Ellegra McEvedy. They wanted to open a fast-food restaurant that you would find in heaven. I would expect that to carry cream cakes, chocolate bars and deep-fried cheese sandwiches, and all calorie-free, but these three wise foodies elected to take the noble…

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The Great British Book of Baking

The Great British Book of Baking

This book goes right into my end-of-year Top Ten cookbook reads for 2010. No deliberation and no waiting in case another contender floats through the letterbox. The Great British Book of Baking is, in my opinion, everything that a good cookbook should be. This chunky volume is the companion to the BBC series of The…

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Ching’s Chinese Food in Minutes

Ching’s Chinese Food in Minutes

Heat magazine proclaims “Ching-He Huang is the new face of Chinese cooking”. Fresh-faced and youthful, Ching already has, however, a good few years of successful career behind her. Ching-He is a popular contributor to various UK food programmes and was the presenter of her own series Chinese Food Made Easy. She is the author of…

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Busaba – Eathai – Panton Street

Busaba – Eathai – Panton Street

Busaba – Eathai. Yes it’s a chain of restaurants but it’s a small one. It carries none of the trappings of typical mid-range chain restaurants but rather each of its establishments has the air of a well-loved, well-designed, one-off traditional Thai restaurant. I found the newest addition to the portfolio on Panton Street in London’s…

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India – The Ultimate Sights, Places, and Experiences

India – The Ultimate Sights, Places, and Experiences

This book is large, colourful, and sumptuous and any other superlatives you care to mention. It’s a luxurious encyclopaedia of the subcontinent and covers pretty much every aspect of life, art and culture of this marvellous country. India – The Ultimate Sights, Places, and Experiences is a weighty tome but it’s true to say that…

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Masala Zone Fulham

Masala Zone Fulham

The very first Masala Zone restaurant was the Soho branch which opened in 2000. There are now 7 Masala Zones in London with more to follow. They seem to fill a long-felt gastronomic want for a good-value contemporary Indian restaurant with authentic food and unique ambiance. Masala Zone provides that, with each of its restaurants…

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Mango Lounge – Windsor

Mango Lounge – Windsor

Windsor isn’t the first place one might think to visit when one is struck by an overpowering urge to eat Indian food, not just any Indian food but the most delicious, the most innovative. The Mango Lounge has made its mark over the last couple of years and has won several awards including The Windsor…

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The Sari

The Sari

This wasn’t, to be honest, what I expected. It has a bright and evocative picture on the front cover but this isn’t a book about colourful textiles, it’s about how the sari is worn and the place it holds in Indian society. It’s a simple length of cloth but to suggest that is all it…

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Dishoom for breakfast butties and a cuppa

Dishoom for breakfast butties and a cuppa

For breakfast North Indians usually like to have Paratha which is a type of flatbread, stuffed with vegetables and spices and dry-fried, eaten with fresh yoghurt. In South India, the most popular breakfast dishes are idlis, vadas, dosas and chapatis. These are most often served with hot sambar and chutney. But a sensible Londoner might…

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Tsunami – Charlotte Street

Tsunami – Charlotte Street

This restaurant is the haunt of many regulars who, if they are sensible, will not be spreading the word. Who wants to find their favourite eatery fully booked every night of the week? There is a danger that Tsunami will be… or at least should be. If I was a selfish reviewer (and bearing in…

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Itsu – Notting Hill Gate

Itsu – Notting Hill Gate

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the experience. For me, it’s all about the food: a themed restaurant makes me suspicious. Why is this diner being distracted? Something wrong in the kitchen? Iffy ingredients, perhaps? Yes, Itsu is very definitely themed. It has moving food. Revolving dishes. No, the waiters don’t spin plates…

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Eating Korean

Eating Korean

Food isn’t just about nourishment. It’s not just about flavour. It can more be described as a delicious (mostly) conduit for memories and tradition. We all, no matter what our cultural background, can remember events that have a food association. For me its Sunday lunch and making pickled onions and eating my first pomegranate and…

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Awana for Ramadan

Awana for Ramadan

The breaking of fast for Ramadan traditionally starts at sunset. I had an excuse for starting my meal a while before the prescribed hour. Firstly I am not Muslim so I figured I would be forgiven for my haste, and secondly the weather was so bad that daytime and night had already prematurely merged. Ramadan…

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Quick and Easy Korean Cooking

Quick and Easy Korean Cooking

Korean food has a place in America’s restaurant and recipe book pantheon but it’s a new-comer on the European food scene. There are more and more restaurants to be found but they are not as common as Indian restaurants, or even fish and chip shops, those bastions of traditional British dining that seem to be…

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Nipa Thai Restaurant

Nipa Thai Restaurant

A couple of decades ago a Thai restaurant was rare. It’s the advent of cheaper long-haul flights and more adventurous eating habits that has allowed this exciting and vibrant cuisine a foothold in London. Its flavours combine the whole available spectrum from sweet to spicy and everything in between. There are good Thai restaurants all…

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Satay House

Satay House

The restaurant was opened in 1973 by the late Jaafar A. Shawal with his wife Zaharah Hashim. They had already established one of Malaysia’s first fine-dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur called the Shawal Restaurant, and operated a hotel and beach resort on the West coast of Malaysia. The couple wanted to bring traditional authentic Malaysian…

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Indian Zing

Indian Zing

We might be wooed into the misconception that all the finest restaurants are to be found uniquely in central London. This particular gem is in the somewhat unlikely environs of Hammersmith. Not hidden in a backstreet but in plain view on King Street, and within an Indian cricket ball’s throw of Ravenscourt Park Underground station….

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Easy Japanese Cooking – Appetizer Rex

Easy Japanese Cooking – Appetizer Rex

The author, Kentaro Kobayashi, is a young man with both talent and passion. He started his working life as an illustrator but soon displayed his flair for food. (He gets that from his mum who is an award-winning cookbook author.) His motto has always been “easy yet delicious, stylish yet realistic”. He has featured in…

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Food of Japan

Food of Japan

It’s the winner of a Japan Festival Award ‘for outstanding achievements in furthering the understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom’ in 2000. In the same year it was also short-listed for the World Cookbook Awards and the Guild of Food Writers’ Jeremy Round Award for Best First Cookery Book. The author, Shirley Booth,…

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Tandav Indian Restaurant

Tandav Indian Restaurant

The Kerala Group was started by Mr. Haridas, more than 30 years ago. Often described as impresario, restaurateur and philanthropist, he started his career at the Indian High Commission in London and the Lions Group of restaurants. He now owns 12 restaurants and catering businesses in the UK specialising in Keralan South Indian cuisine. In…

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