|Fine Dining in London
One of London’s greatest
attractions is its amazing range of culinary delights. You can sample
genuine dishes from around the world, from Vietnam to Ethiopia. No trip to
London would be complete without enjoying some of these gems.
first sampling of foreign cuisine was at the famous Jade Garden Restaurant
in Chinatown. While The Jade Garden may not be the most upmarket
establishment in London, it is one of many Chinese restaurants in London
famed for its Dim Sum, the crispy Chinese dumplings filled with anything
from shrimp and garlic to stir-fried vegetables.
range of Dim Sum is impressive and there is a separate menu for this
wonderful Chinese specialty. Dim Sum is an inexpensive, tasty and
surprisingly filling meal with prices ranging from £1 or £2 for four large
dumplings. Be warned, though, the menus are mainly in Chinese with only
limited English descriptions like "chicken" or "beef".
at 15 Wardour Street in Central London, The Jade Garden's service is
efficient if a little less than friendly and the cuisine is authentic as
supported by the number of Chinese customers that visit the restaurant.
you're looking for fine dining in the heart of London, you can't get much
finer than Simpson's-in-the-Strand, located in Strand Street, of course.
Famous for its rare roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and its refined decor,
Simpson's gives new meaning to the phrase "haute cuisine". From
its succulent roast chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms to its absolutely
sinful steamed chocolate pudding, Simpson's is a food connoisseur's idea of
suitably attired gentleman takes your coat and gloves -- luckily I left the
jeans at home and opted for a bottle-green velvet dress instead -- and
ushers you into a hushed dining room, the walls of which are adorned with
Renaissance art and Mahogany paneling. Waiters and waitresses, both dressed
in tuxedos, cater to your every wish and no sooner do you say "I'll
have the mushroom soup, please", it is there.
evening was one of magic and romance as we walked down the Strand to the
Savoy Hotel Concierge desk to pick-up our tickets and then on to
Simpson’s. The quality of service and cuisine that we enjoyed at
Simpson’s was top-class.
|| From the cloakroom attendant who took my coat to
the waiter who showed us to our table and placed our napkins daintily on our
laps, the staff of Simpson’s-in-the-Strand exhibited an elegance and
efficiency that is unsurpassed at any dining establishment I have visited.
food… We dined like royalty, starting our meal with a rich cream of wild
mushroom soup. This was followed by tender chicken breasts stuffed with
those same wild mushrooms and served with a variety of vegetables.
opted to pay an additional fee to taste the delights of Simpson’s dessert
selection, I nibbled on a moist chocolate pudding that defies description
while my husband tucked into “the best bread and butter pudding I have
while Simpson's may not be the cheapest dining experience you'll ever have
– an entree at the Grand Divan can set you back £22.50 – The Savoy
Group, which owns the restaurant, has made is accessible to those on more
limited budgets by putting together a dinner and theatre package. The
package, which costs anything from £30 to £65 per person, includes a
two-course meal plus coffee and top class seats to a West End show of your
you're looking for something a little spicier, try Soho Spice (www.sohospice.co.uk),
a trendy traditional Indian establishment where the clientele is hotter than
the curry. Don't be fooled however, the spice does pack a mean punch and is
definitely for curry-lovers only.
their pre-theatre menu, which is a two-course meal with tea or coffee for
only £7.50. The Luckhnowi Seekh Kebab combines interesting eastern flavors
of ginger, garlic and cheese for an innovative take of the traditional lamb
main course, I would definitely recommend the Chicken Tikka Marsala. The flavors
in the dish, which hint at ginger and a variety of spices, marry well
together and the saffron rice, tomatoes and subtle blend of honey round the
dish out fully. Be warned, though, it is a very spicy hot dish.
you're adventurous try the Seasonal Colors Cuisine of the Month, which
features a three-course meal of dishes from one of Indian's
"gastronomic regions from red hot Goa to cool Kashmir."
makes Soho Spice such a great place to dine, apart from the genuine
Indian-Western mix food, is the hip, fresh atmosphere. Bright colours in
orange, reds, greens and purples and trendy design make this restaurant a
wonderfully upbeat place to eat and a great place to party.
selection in an exploration of London's ethnic cuisines would be the
Dionysus Kebab House in Tottenham Court Road. Though the restaurant is not
in the class of Simpson's or even Soho Spice, its food is wonderful, homely
and genuine. The pita bread alone is enough to keep you coming back for
more. Try it with the Tsatziki sauce or the Tarmosalata.
kebabs served on a bed of rice are fantastic and the portions are large and
satisfying. If your normal size kebab is not enough for you, why not try a
piece of the "biggest lamb or chicken kebab in the country". A
giant spit turns a mammoth quantity of meat over a fire and lucky patrons
can sample a piece of this bit of history.
staff is very friendly and helpful and the décor is fascinating with
makeshift torches and Greek artwork adorning the walls. It is ideally
situated and is within easy access of major shops and tourist attractions.
is a melting pot of styles and tastes and nowhere is that more apparent than
in its cuisine. Sample some of its many treasures, which while not
necessarily the most expensive the city has to offer are definitely among
# # #
is a freelance travel writer based in South Africa whose passions include fine dining and even finer theatre, preferably of the
musical variety. Her travel writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Wedding Solutions, Brides and Homes and ComputorEdge. She also specializes in
business and marketing writing. (More about
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bianca Wright)