Great value for money

Location: 

Carousel
71 Blandford Street W1U 8AB
London
United Kingdom

Carousel is such a great restaurant and considering it is so close to where I live, I am really surprised I had not been there before and would not have found out about it probably for a while had I not been invited here by friends for dinner. Carousel is a three floor space in Marylebone that invites guest chefs to cook for around 2 weeks. Each 2 weeks they have chefs from around the world bringing their own cooking style to Carousel. Because of this it is hard for me to give it a ranking, as the menu would change so frequently, but I love the concept and I loved the dinner I had at Carousel.

Maija rated: 

0.00

Location: 

Rex and Mariano
2 St Anne's Court W1F 0AZ
London
United Kingdom

Rex and Mariano is a fish and seafood restaurant in Soho, but in many ways it is very different to your average fish and seafood restaurant. It is named after a Chelsea fishmonger Rex Goldsmith and Mariano who is from Sicily and helping the Goodman Restaurants group (the group who owns this restaurant besides Goodman, Beast and Burger and Lobster) bring the best of the catch from over there. The restaurant is located on a side street of Soho, and to find it, you need to know where to go. The restaurant is big and we booked a table of 6 people (and easily got a table), but I think you can just as easily do a walk in. The décor is quite plain, but generally bright and reminded me of a Southern European fish/ seafood tavern.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

BAO
53 Lexington Street W1F 9AS
London
United Kingdom

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BAO is probably one of the most popular restaurants in London at the moment. It is a Taiwanese restaurant serving a range of Taiwanese dishes but focusing on bao, a “pillowy soft cloudy steamed bun” which at BAO is made using milk. The restaurant is located in Soho and for dinner opens at 5.30. We arrived at 6pm to face a queue and could get into the restaurant at around 6.30. The lady at the door was lovely and explained that each table takes around 45min to 1h and the restaurant is very small, but the queue does move. When we left the restaurant at around 7.45 (more than 1h for us), there was still a huge queue and BAO has had the luck of being loved by food bloggers, since it opened, which has contributed to this craze for BAO and the constant queue at any time of the day.

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Andrew Edmunds
46 Lexington Street W1F 0LW
London
United Kingdom

Andrew Edmunds is such a wonderful restaurant I am really surprised that in my 11 years in London I have not visited it before. I was alerted to it by one of my food critic friends, as I asked him about the restaurants with the best wine lists in London. He said Andrew Edmunds had a good and reasonably priced wine list. I had very close friends visiting me from Latvia – Guna and Arturs – and Arturs is a huge wine fan and he was especially trying to visit restaurants that offered a wide range of wines and had an impressive wine list, hence our choice of Andrew Edmunds.

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Lyle's
56 Shoreditch High Street E1 6JJ
London
United Kingdom

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The Harden’s guide rated Lyle’s one of the top 10 best new restaurants of 2014, so I was always very keen to go and try it out. The owners/ chefs are James Lowe (who used to be part of The Young Turks team) and John Ogier. I booked a table 2 months before our dinner for a Saturday night and could only then get a table for 6.30, showing how popular this restaurant is. It is located in Shoreditch in between the Shoreditch House and Pizza East, and just like a lot of the surrounding restaurants has that modern, minimalistic and a bit industrial décor. The restaurant is just one room, that is not too big and there is a bar on one side of the room. We had a table booked from 6.30 to 9pm and we were running very late and arrived at 7pm (and some of our friends arrived close to 8pm) and they dealt with this very well, bringing the food quickly and not giving us too much attitude, but they were very strict about us leaving at 9pm when the next seating arrived.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

City Caphe
17 Ironmonger Lane EC2V 8EY
London
United Kingdom

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I have been delaying the review of City Caphe for a long time, as I love this place so much and the queues outside it are so long already, I don’t want to contribute to making this place even more popular and the queues even longer. City Caphe is a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant in the city, close to bank station. After travelling to Vietnam I fell in love with their food, and I was so happy when my friend Will told me about this place and I discovered an amazing place where to have delicious Vietnamese food for lunch.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Kimchee
71 High Holborn WC1V 6EA
London
United Kingdom

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I really want to try the new Japanese restaurant Kintan and thought I could easily get a table there on Friday, but was turned away as they were fully booked and I had not booked. This left me in the middle of Holborn on a Friday evening hungry and with no ideas where to go.  As I was walking towards Soho or Covent Garden where I thought I would go as a back up I noticed Kimchee, a restaurant in between Holborn and Chancery Lane tube stations. I love Korean food and kimchi, thanks to my wonderful Korean friend Haewon, so I was easily persuaded to go there.

The restaurant looks very trendy from outside with high ceilings, dark décor, but when we went inside, even though it was relatively early on a Friday, it was packed and with very few free tables. You don’t actually sit by a table by yourself, there are communal tables where you are placed. There is also an open kitchen on one side. Mr Kim opened Kimchee as he wanted to bring his native Korean food to London.

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Tartufo
11 Cadogan Gardens SW3 2RJ
London
United Kingdom

Tartufo is a modern European restaurant with an Italian bias by Sloane Square, in Cadogan Gardens. I decided to go there as I saw their stand in the Taste of London festival in Regents Park and even though I did not try their food it looked really appetising, so I booked a table there for dinner on a Wednesday evening. I was also very surprised I had not heard about it before, but that is because this place is only a year old. My friend Rob also was telling me, before I went, that he really liked it.

 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Pham Sushi
165 Whitecross Street EC1Y 8JL
London
United Kingdom

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Pham Sushi is a Japanese restaurant on Whitecross street, near Old Street and Moorgate. They actually have 2 restaurants very close to each other and at first I walked into their more casual restaurant and was directed to their main restaurant across the street and a bit further along. I was surprised to see how busy the place was. We came here on a Tuesday lunchtime and I had not booked a table and I almost could not get a table and had to settle for a not so good one by the door. The inside of the restaurant is “very Japanese” and done in a minimalistic approach with a sushi bar on one side of the room where you can watch the Japanese sushi chefs make fresh sushi (as well as the Vietnamese owner wth the surname Pham who apparently, I am told by my friend Julian, is also here making sushi).

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

The Palomar
34 Rupert Street W1D 6DN
London
United Kingdom

I had a very good meal here and if you like casual but good food, you should come here. The Palomar is located in between Soho and Leicester Square, close to Mayfair and serves the food of modern day Jerusalem (which is influenced by Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant).

I had booked a table for lunch on a Thursday and when I came here the place was busy. It is small, not easy to notice from outside, situated on a small street. When you walk in there is a 16 seat zinc Kitchen Bar that overlooks the chefs, where you can sit, but we sat at the back in a small dining room which had a nice roof light. Tables are located close to each other, so we actually had a small chat with our neighbors when they waiters brought us their dessert.

Maija rated: 

4.50

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