Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe: Affordable Classic French Cuisine on Baker Street

Despite walking past Galvin Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street plenty of times, I had never really given much thought to checking it out till I saw a sign outside proclaiming their set course menu: 3 courses for £20 !

I had heard of the Galvin name before; two brothers, both chefs, who’d, opened up a small collection of fine and fancy French restaurants. The restaurant on Baker Street with its casual bistro vibe was the first restaurant to be opened.

Back to the food – the set menu had two options for each course. In a bid to be healthy, I chose to order fish as my main course and then negated any healthy effect by ordering the game terrine with quince jelly as a starter. My friend chose curried parsnip veloute as a starter and the slow cooked shin of veal served with pearl barley and beetroot as a main.

Slow Cooked Shin of Veal

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hakkasan: Glitzy Cantonese Restaurant in Fitzrovia

For my birthday, I was treated to dinner at Hakkasan, a Chinese restaurant in Fitzrovia. Crossing over the mayhem that is Tottenham court road and then going down a dodgy-looking lane that came to a dead end, the last thing I expected was to see the sleek and swanky entrance of Hakkasan.

Given it was my birthday treat – I certainly I wasn’t holding back and we decided to go for their £55 tasting menu which showcased all their signature dishes.

We started with the Dim Sum platter that had scallop shumai, har gau, Chinese chive dumplings and shimeji dumplings. The eight little bejewelled parcels of deliciousness were simply sublime. The Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs that followed didn’t fare so well. While the sweetish barbeque flavour was a winner, the ribs were dry and could have done with a bit more sauce to add moisture.

Then the mains arrived of which the Roast Chicken in Satay sauce was my favourite. I devoured the chicken pieces with crispy skin coated in a gorgeously flavourful peanut sauce. Another highlight was the Stir fry Black Pepper Rib-eye Beef with Merlot. The sauce had a delicate sweet taste though be warned, it is doused liberally with gigantic cloves of garlic.