Sunday, 3 June 2012

Seven big Australians

Seven big Australians by Michelle Rowe lists some places to try when I'm in London, time permitting.
  • Brett Graham: The Ledbury: Two-Michelin-starred Notting Hill restaurant specialising in French classics with a modern twist
  • Bill Granger, Granger & Co: strong Aussie flavour, with airy interiors and all-day casual dining featuring many of his signature dishes alongside more English fare, such as a Sunday roast beef rib with root vegies
  • David Thompson, Nahm: Thai restaurant located in The Halkin hotel in Belgravia district
  • Greg Malouf, Petersham Nurseries Cafe: Garden centre restaurant at the foot of south London's Richmond Hill. A dirt-floor greenhouse doubles as the main dining room, with guests perched on mismatched chairs around antique tables decorated with potted plants. A stone's throw from Kew Gardens and Hampton Court, Petersham is the perfect lunch spot from which to embark on a scenic afternoon stroll
  • Shelagh Ryan, Salvation Jane: Lantana cafe in Fitzrovia is sister outlet of Salvation Jane in Shoreditch, east London. Offers an Australian cafe-style breakfast and lunch menu, plus share plates, beer, wine and cocktails of an evening. As with Lantana, the coffees are a standout
  • Trish Hilferty, The Canton Arms: Atmospheric pub with quirky menus in Stockwell
  • Paul Merrony, Giaconda Dining Room: No-frills neighbourhood bistro on Denmark Street with its bare wooden tables, bentwood chairs and French-influenced menus reflecting Merrony's classic training
Breakfasts:
  • Granger & Co in Notting Hill for a full Aussie breakfast
  • Princi in Soho, for the green olive bread sticks, pastries and espresso. Try Saturday before shopping in the West End
  • The Wolseley for an impeccable full English breakfast. Try the eggs benedict
  • Tina We Salute You is a quirky, humming little place in Dalston. Fantastic coffee and a simple but excellent menu, with all the cakes made by one of the owners
  • E5 Bakehouse, an artisan bakery and cafe in east London, which has the best sourdough bread.
  • Bar Bruno in Soho for eggs and bacon, and a mug of builder's tea
  • Towpath cafe beside Regent's Canal. Very cool
Casual Lunch:
  • Franco Manca in Chiswick for great pizza [made from slow-rising sourdough]
  • Dock Kitchen for Stevie Parle's global home cooking and outdoor barbecue
  • Tom Pemberton's strictly British Hereford Road with its excellent-value set lunch menu
  • Petersham Nurseries Cafe, now with Greg Malouf, gives you a chance to relax in the summer sun, if it's out
  • Barrafina, a bustling tapas bar in Soho that serves simple dishes like sardines a la plancha and cooked-to-order jamon and spinach tortilla
  • Dock Kitchen, where talented young chef Stevie Parle uses impeccable ingredients with some lovely Middle Eastern touches
  • Morito at Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell: a small tapas bar from the people who run Moro, the more formal Spanish restaurant next door. Best dishes are the pork belly, beetroot humous and homemade sourdough bread
  • Koya Japanese Udon in Frith Street, Soho. Fantastic house-made noodles, and the specials board is genius
  • The original Franco Manca pizza place, just off Electric Avenue, Brixton
Dinner:
  • Zuma in Knightsbridge [for Japanese cuisine]
  • River Cafe in Hammersmith. The food is rigorously seasonal, the ingredients impeccable and the room and service flawless
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the Mandarin Oriental. The meat fruit, with mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread, is wonderful
  • The Ledbury. Brett is an Australian chef at his very best
  • Pollen Street Social in Mayfair provides Michelin-starred food without the formality and stuffiness of a fine-dining restaurant
  • Quo Vadis, in Soho: modern British by Jeremy Lee
  • La Petite Maison in Mayfair
To do:
  • Check out Sir John Soane's Museum and Geffrye Museum
  • Walk up Primrose Hill for a London vista
  • An Oyster Card is a must for public transport.
  • Travel the city on a Barclays bike.

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