Creative food

Location: 

L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon
13-15 West Street WC2H 9NE
London
United Kingdom
GB

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L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon together with La Petite Maison are my two favourite French restaurants in London. I always say French food is not my favourite type of Food, but having said that I could survive on meals from these two restaurants. Joël Robouchon behind this restaurant is seriously impressive and he has restaurants in London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong as well as other cities, and has a total of 25 Michelin stars among his restaurants, more than any other chef in the world, and his Paris based restaurant is the 12th best restaurant in the world according to the St Pellegrino awards. L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon used to have 1 Michelin star and they recently were awarded their second one (I think very well deserved).

Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Bo London
4 Mill Street W1S 2AZ
London
United Kingdom
GB

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Bo London is a Chinese restaurant created by Alvin Leung (aka the Demon Chef – how he likes to call himself but don’t worry he is not a demon, and this apparently comes from the Greek word "Daimôn", meaning "good-spiritedness") and in Bo London which opened in December he showcases his X-treme Chinese food. The restaurant has been getting more negative than positive reviews but that is because of the price, as for dinner you are supposed to order Bo’s tasting menu which costs £138 and at the moment is the most expensive tasting menu in London (despite the fact Bo London at the moment does not have any Michelin stars it is more expensive than Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin star restaurant tasting menu). But considering Alvin has apparently invested 1 million in his restaurant (which you can’t really tell when in the restaurant) I can see why he would want to charge the customer a lot to get his money back.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

HKK
Broadgate West Worship Street EC2A 2DQ
London
United Kingdom
GB

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I love Hakassan so when I heard that they opened a new Chinese restaurant HKK and Fay Maschler, the restaurant critic, said it served the best dim sum outside of Hong Kong, I was super keen to go. I actually managed to go twice during the same week (by coincidence) for dinner and for lunch (see all pictures below) so I feel like I have truly experienced HKK. HKK is like a more upscale Hakassan, and the dim sum and the duck dishes I think are better, but the problem (for some and also for me) is that during dinner they only serve a 15 course tasting menu (during lunch you can have smaller and different tasting menus as well as order a la carte). I personally don’t like to be forced to eat tasting menus and whilst I sometimes have them, I don’t like the fact that I don’t have a choice and I must have it when going to a restaurant.

Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Sola
12 Rue de l'Hôtel Colbert 75005
Paris
France
FR

This is such a gem of a restaurant. Sola has 1 Michelin star and serves fusion French and Japanese food for very reasonable prices (EUR50 for a lunch tasting menu which has 6 courses that could easily be served in a top Michelin star restaurant and for a price you don’t usually see in any Michelin restaurant) it is an absolutely bargain and just wonderful. The main chef is Hiroki Yashitake and he comes from south of Japan and he has worked in many French restaurants around the world before starting in Sola in December 2010 at the age of 30.  Sola is located in the 5th district close to Notre-Dame Cathedral and it is located on a side street so unless you know where to go, chances are you are not going to walk past this place.

Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Ducksoup
41 Dean Street W1D 4PY
London
United Kingdom
GB

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I was a bit disappointed by this recently opened place that has been generating big publicity and got good reviews by the FT and evening standard and the concept of cool, european type tapas in Soho is great, but there were a few problems: 1) there was no room in the restaurant, it is cute to have small places but this was so small, and the tables put together so close, I had no place where to put my bags and I could not move, 2) the concept of the food is good - european cool tapas (see menu in the picture), but for some strange reason a lot of the dishes just did not work … octopus and lamb chops that I had were amazing, but the meatballs, mozzarella, mushrooms and papardelle pasta with beef ragu were a bit tasteless. I give this place 3 Ms.

Date: 03/02/12

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Restaurant Sat Bains
Lenton Lane NG7 2SA
Nottingham
United Kingdom
GB

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The following day was my birthday so my boyfriend surprised me and took me on a Friday night to Nottingham to eat in one of the top 100 restaurants in the world (at number 97), and it is the only restaurant in the world’s top 100 that is not located in London or up to an hour’s drive from London. I am very glad he took me there as I probably would not have gone there at least for a while, and it was a super thoughtful surprise as he knows how obsessed I am with ticking off the top 100 restaurants on the list. Restaurant Sat Bains has 8 bedrooms, so it is a small hotel, and in the same place there is also a 2 Star Michelin restaurant (they won their first star in 2003 and then the second one in 2011) serving modern British cuisine.

Maija rated: 

5.00

Badges: 

Location: 

Kitchen Table
70 Charlotte Street W1T 4QG
London
United Kingdom
GB

Bubbledogs is a champagne and hot dog restaurant which I have already reviewed but 2 months after they opened the hot dog restaurant, Bubbledogs also opened “Kitchen Table”, a totally different type of restaurant where the owner and a famous chef James Knappet (I have discussed him at lengths in my Bubbledogs review) cooks his tasting menu with 2 other chefs every evening. James Knappet is an amazing chef (see his picture below) and has worked in Marcus Waring, Per Se and Roganic and he runs Kitchen Table with his lovely wife Sandia, a sommelier, who has worked at Noma and Per Se. Kitchen Table is located behind the buzz that goes on in Bubbledogs, behind a black curtain at the back of the room, so if you did not know it was located there, you could easily miss it.

Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, IL 60614,
Chicago
United States
US

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Alinea is the only 3 Michelin star restaurant in Chicago and when I went there it was ranked the 7th best restaurant in the world by the St Pellegrino restaurant awards (now Alinea has dropped to number 15). I went to Alinea a few months after I had been to Noma (1st best restaurant in the world at the time), and whilst the food that both restaurants served was excellent, the two restaurants are very different. The main chef at Alinea is Grant Achatz and people say he serves “food of the future” and is known for his preparations and deconstructions of classic flavours. The restaurant is located in Chicago in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and opened on May 4, 2005.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Noma
Strandgade 93, DK-1401
Copenhagen
Denmark
DK

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Maija rated: 

5.00

Location: 

Duck & Waffle
Heron Tower 110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
London
United Kingdom
GB

This is officially the tallest restaurant in Europe. Duck and Waffle is located in the Heron Towers on the 40th floor, one floor above Sushi Samba but contrary to Sushi Samba, Duck and Waffle does not have an outside area, but that does not change the fact the views of London from this restaurant are impressive. I went there for lunch with my friend Paul and before going there I had had a sneak peak at the menu, which I thought was extremely creative and contained dishes I had not seen before in similar type of restaurants that offer “seasonal food”. The menu is a one page A4 piece of paper and consists of smaller dishes, plates to share, plates from the oven and then larger 3 dishes for the table, which includes the mysterious “duck and waffle” dish.

Maija rated: 

2.50

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