All posts tagged: review

Searcys One New Change relaunches as Champagne & Meatballs bar

It’s all-change at Searcys as the bar launches a new ‘bubbles and balls’ menu. Who would have thought it? A champagne bar we could actually afford to go to on a daily basis has emerged. Well, the bar and Champagne has always been there but a fresh Italian injection to the food and drink menu has made Searcys at One New Change a much more accessible destination. It’s now all bubble and balls (Cham-balls doesn’t quite have the same ring) galore with more Italian serves on the side, and all things considered, it’s very reasonably priced. Enjoyed amongst sleek interiors with grey slate walls and aqua, copper and monochrome tones, this place oozes industrial-come-luxe appeal. The step-by-step food menu is simple but efficient – just pick your meat, followed by the sauce and then your choice of carbs. The toss-up between a neat bowl of pasta (£9) and a hands-on ciabatta (£8) is easily made if you value what you’re wearing. With the meatballs, choose between punchy beef or slightly milder beef and pork balls. …

Spring blossoms at Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana recreates springtime Japan with a bit of help from its ‘sakura’ cherry blossoms. When the blooms come out at Sake no Hana, it can only mean one thing – the turn of ‘hanami’ where picnicking is enjoyed under flowering but fleeting cherry blossom trees to see in spring in full glory. Under a canopy of white and pink blossoms with a grass carpet underfoot and projection of falling petals above the bar, the scene is beautifully set for the bar’s limited edition spring sakura menu. And what a way to begin, as the cocktail brings with it a multisensory experience. A mix of gin, yuzu sake, cherry liqueur, grapefruit juice and agave is guaranteed to please sweet-toothed drinkers. But then the three curious atomisers that accompany the drink up the ante. In the first instance, dousing these onto your wrists would be a great waste so do refrain as an alcohol base of vodka tells you all you need to know. There’s a fitting cherry and cinnamon fragrance, a delicate elderflower and …

The Lanesborough launches charity afternoon tea

The Lanesborough marks Mother’s Day with a special afternoon tea in support of charity mothers2mothers. In the fine, elegant surrounds of its Celeste restaurant, The Lanesborough hotel is hosting a special charity afternoon tea throughout March in partnership with mothers2mothers, a charity that aims to educate and support HIV-positive mothers on how to protect their babies from HIV infection and keep them and their families healthy. For each tea served, the hotel will donate £5 to the charity. It’s a fitting time for a worthy cause and all the more reason to treat your own mothers, not just on the day but throughout the month. Start the experience by picking from an extensive choice of teas – the Rose of the Orient’s floral notes is irresistible. That and the beautiful (and extremely hot, so mind your eager fingers) silver teapot that houses it. Then go straight in for the bite-sized sandwiches. There are five classic fillings including a wake-up-the-palate Coronation chicken and a brilliantly simple but tasty ham, honey mustard and aged Cheddar cheese variety. …

HKK brings tradition to its Chinese New Year menu

Diners celebrating Chinese New Year at HKK this year get to delight in both the tasting menu and the stories and traditions that accompany the occasion. Resplendent in red with vibrant uplighting and a ribbon fanfare of a central display, HKK makes for a pretty fine dining spot for intimate Chinese New Year celebrations. Greeting you at your table is a beautifully designed menu-come-story book featuring embossed pages and pastel-coloured hand-drawings (illustrated by Emi Ueoka) that represent each of the eight courses you’ll soon be presented with, as well as details of the history and rituals that surround each dish. It’s thoughtfully put together and if you enjoy a bit of story-telling with your meal, the bound book (which you can take away as a memento) is the perfect accompaniment. The first part begins with a Prosperity Platter – a light and crunchy salad of jellyfish, salmon skin, pomegranate and sesame that you ought to toss as high as you can as a signifier of good luck. This is accompanied by an oyster and Parma …

Hakkasan celebrates Chinese New Year with limited edition menu

To mark the Year of the Monkey, Hakkasan restaurants have created a special Chinese New Year menu and are bringing the Chinese wishing tree tradition to diners. Hakkasan have laid on quite a feast for diners in their restaurants this Chinese New Year and have lit up their dark interiors with celebratory flashes of red and gold to mark the occasion. Look a little closer and you’ll find handwritten notes on each of the coloured ribbons, inspired by the tradition of writing wishes on paper tied to citrus fruits that are tossed into the branches of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. You’ll be presented with your own to inscribe your hopes and wishes onto which will be duly hung up in the restaurant before your meal begins. First, whet your lips with a fruity 9 Hou cocktail, an Eldorado three-year-old rum, Amontillado sherry, banana and guava concoction or stick with the equally refreshing Sheng Fizz mocktail, a mix of mandarin, guava, peach and ginger ale. The golden monkey cocktail stirrer is a …

Have a pizza this: Pizza Pilgrims

This street food favourite has added a new base to their shop offering. Now, ravenous locals in Clerkenwell can pick up one of their seriously moreish Neapolitan pizzas, or even slurp it, as ‘pizza soup’ is also available. Think tomato soup blended with all your favourite pizza ingredients alongside a dunking pizza dough roll. Delicious. And if you’re not in a rush, marvel at the pizza box artwork on the wall as you head for warmth downstairs. Pizza Pilgrims, 15 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QD.

Pho & Bun

Whilst the name isn’t representative of the whole offering here, it certainly is an accurate portrayal of the restaurant’s tastiest dishes. They do more than hold their own to compete with the long-established joints around the corner in Chinatown. The rare beef pho noodle soup is chin-drippingly delicious and packs a fragrant punch, whilst fluffy steamed buns housing beef patties and pork belly make for a truly indulgent alternative to the traditional burger. You can even team them with wine and if you fancy experimenting, Vietnamese beer for a more authentic experience. Pho & Bun, 76 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 6ND.

Steak out at Manhattan Grill

If you’re ravenous and don’t care who knows it, you’ll do well here. This is not the place to be exercising calorie-control. Expect American-sized portions with meals you can never grow old of, however much you persist. The steaks top everything else on the menu, and they themselves can be topped with molten cheese and mushrooms if you can handle the extra flavour (yes, you can). Start as you mean to go on with extra-sweet desserts like the whippy chocolate sundae or zingy key lime pie. Manhattan Grill, 22 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 4ED.

Bottomless Brunch at Asia de Cuba

All hail the bottomless brunch, for there isn’t much we’d rather do than indulge in a two-hour feast with a plentiful supply of cocktails or champagne. And there aren’t many places where you can gorge out and still feel completely civilised. It certainly has more style than your average and loaded with feel-good flavours of the Orient via Cuba to match. When your cigar box of treats arrive, nab the slow-roasted pork and cheese roll, a sandwich to rule all sandwiches, then continue the pulled pork pleasure with Cuban eggs Benedict. Finally, load up with unlimited Mexican doughnuts before concluding that no sugar-free resolutions will be made come New Year. From £48 per person. Asia de Cuba, 45 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HX.

Drake & Morgan at King’s Cross

You know you’re onto a good one when you start thinking about how the restaurant’s colour scheme and furniture might look in your own home. Aside from the sleek interiors, the menu is a good draw, consisting of familiar, home-cooked favourites like lamb chops with mint sauce and duck breast with chilli glaze that lure you further into ‘this feels like home’ territory. You’re onto a winner with any of the steaks, which come out nicely charcoaled whilst desserts like hot fudge sundae with liquor-laced cherries make you squeal with glee. Drake & Morgan, 6 Pancras Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AG.