Thursday, December 21, 2006

Miscellaneous Food: London

I'm too lazy to do a day by day review of the restaurants I went to in London, since there weren't very many of them, so I'm just going to put them all in one post.

Restaurant Zilli

Dinner one night was at Signor Zilli, an Italian restaurant that was reputedly very good for their seafood. They also run a bar next door where you can enjoy a postprandial tipple. The restaurant itself occupies two floors; the somewhat more active and noisy ground floor, and the quieter basement, which was where we sat.

Seared scallops

We started with some seared scallops, which were well-executed, if uninventive. The scallops were plump and firm and fresh though, so the restaurant's reputation may have been well-deserved.

Tagliatelle alle bolognese

I decided to be boring and ordered a plate of tagliatelle alle bolognese, which I was pleased to find was both al dente and extremely tasty. While a pasta with bolognese sauce is not the hardest thing in the world to cook, it did show that Zilli's could handle more than just seafood.

Lobster Linguine

I could see why it was known for its seafood though, when Bjorn ordered the lobster pasta. A huge dish of spaghetti, drenched in a rich seafood sauce and served with the meat and shell of half a lobster, this was incredibly fragrant and mouth-wateringly sumptious. At GBP 21 though, it was clearly a meal for special occasions.

Signor Zilli
41 Dean Street
Soho, London W1D 4PY
Tel: 0871 2238054

There seem to be an increasing number of Singaporean restaurants in London, which isn't all too surprising, considering that there is quite a sizeable Singapore and Malaysian expatriate community living in London, so it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cater to their dining needs.


Bjorn and I, after a jaunt round Portabello Market in the morning, decided to have lunch at Nyonya, a Peranakan restaurant nearby. While the seats were not particularly comfortable, being nothing more than glorified stools, I liked the rest of the restaurant's design; lots of glossy white surfaces and plenty of light. Rather modern for a "traditional" Nyonya restaurant.

Nasi Lemak

I had a Nasi Lemak, which was also not extremely traditional, since it was served with curried chicken and a boiled egg. Still, it was quite delicious and very comforting to have some local food after having to subsist on poor hall food for so long.

Char Kway Teow

What was really good though, was the char kway teow. The sauce was thick and rich and it was really incredible, better than lots of char kway teows I've had in Singapore. It even had an authentic wok hei that gave it depth of fragrance and just a hint of smokiness. Seriously good stuff. Though at GBP 7, I suppose it had better be good to be worth it.

Four Seasons

Of course, what trip to London is complete without an obligatory dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant at Bayswater? While service is invariably indifferent, and you always have to wait for a table (reservations are a must), there's one and only one reason people come here to eat, and it explains why the restaurant is always fully-booked.

Roast Duck

Just as Hong Kong has Yung Kee's famous roast goose, London has Four Seasons' equally famous roast duck. The roast duck here is really good. I've yet to come across another restaurant that does a better roast duck. I don't know what their secret recipe is, but the duck is juicy and succulent, sweet and tender, yet not disgustingly fat and oozing with oil, as some other roast ducks tend to be. The consistency of Four Seasons' roast duck is just as impressive; you will never find a dry or chewy morsel of duck here. All the other dishes, unfortunately, are not as laudable, but help to fill you up.

Four Seasons Restaurant
84 Queensway
W2 3RL
Tel: 020 7229 4320

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