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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Japan is one of my favourite countries in the world and I am very fortunate to visit that country three times in the past ten years of my life. While I was in Tokyo in July, I stumbled upon a lovely home made udon eatery in Shinjuku and ever since the temperature dropped in England, I found myself craving a traditional piping hot bowl of udon. And boy, am I glad I found such a place in London…

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The crowd – before and after (completely full!)

I was looking for a nice restaurant in Soho a few weeks ago, to have a pre-theatre dinner before my ballet at the Royal Opera House (Swan Lake was amazing. I’m not sure if there are any performances left for the season. If there are tickets available, I’d definitely recommend it – it was completely sold out the last time I checked). Having dined at her sister restaurants (Le Deux Salons (review in the new future) and Wild Honey – review here), I thought I’d give Arbutus a try! Arbutus was the first of the three restaurant to be opened by Anthony Demetre and Will Smith. It serves modern European cuisine (just like Wild Honey) and earned it’s first Michelin star in 2007. The restaurant is spread over two rooms. The first consisting of a long marble tabled bar and the second with regular tables and black leather seats.

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The first thought that will pop in your mind when you walk past this restaurant is probably “Why is there a massive queue?!”. The second thought would probably be “What is the name of this restaurant? I have to try it!”. Barrafina is one of those places that you-either-know-it-or-you-don’t. Nothing on the outside gives any indication to what the restaurant is called, nor what they serve. Well, it is a Spanish tapas restaurant bar located in the heart of Soho. It seats 23 people around it’s L-shaped bar with chefs cooking up a storm behind the bar. Barrafina does not take reservations so you’ll definitely be able to get a table…if you’re willing to wait. The picture above was taken at about 5pm, 30 minutes before the restaurant opened for dinner…

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Having dined at its sister restaurants previously (Le Deux Salons and Arbutus – reviews in the near future), I was keen to dine at Wild Honey, which has been said to be best restaurant among the three. Wild Honey has one Michelin star to its name and it sits on Saint George Street in Mayfair, which transforms into a quiet area in the evening after the Bond Street shoppers leave for the day.

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The Square opened its doors in 1991 and has held its two Michelin stars since 1998 (almost 15 years!). One would be definitely be surprised to know that Phil Howard, the chef and co-owner, has had no formal culinary training. He started his culinary career as an apprentice at Roux Restaurants and worked under Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s as well as under Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum before opening the Square with Nigel Platts-Martin. The food at this Mayfair eatery has been described by Phil as “modern French”, and after having a meal at the restaurant, I completely agree. The deco of the restaurant is sleek and simple. And every dish is unique and carefully crafted by Phil and head chef, Robert Weston.

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Kinki is one of those places that is understated, funky and cool. Kinki is definitely not what you’d expect from a Japanese restaurant. The moment the doors of the elevator opens, you’ll be welcomed by a large floor mural of a fish at the entrance, designed by Chris Garver of Miami Ink. With its edgy urban murals and pop-culture anime menus, Kinki reminds me of a night out in Harajuku — fresh, young and exciting. The food was no exception…

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