All posts filed under: West London

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Gluten Free Options at Big Easy, King’s Road Chelsea

Big Easy brings a taste (and the portion sizes) of the USA to London town. The crab shack was born on the King’s Road in Chelsea, but they’ve now opened a newish version of the same thing in the tourist wonderland that is Covent Garden. We traipsed along the alarmingly fancy King’s Road to try out the very first Big Easy for a girls dinner one evening in February. We could never have fully prepared for what was about to happen. On first impression the restaurant looked great; buzzing, lively and fun. It smelt of fried food and calories. People were smiling, some were wearing bibs. All was good.     We wandered downstairs to find a table before ordering all the margheritas. When in Rome etc.   The waitress gave us our menus, we were pleased to find the Big Easy team had good gluten free knowledge, and can provide a menu which clearly marks which dishes are suitable for gluten free diets. You can view the Big Easy gluten free menu here.   …

Poached Line-Caught Sea Bass, served with Mussels, Braised Fennel, Spinach and Green Olives

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, Fitzrovia

Londoners have been stuffing themselves so full of dirty burgers and greasy American nonsense lately that they’ve almost forgotten about the Great British Seaside. Bonnie Gull are putting that right, setting up shop in a fully themed beach shack in Fitzrovia. There’s bleached wood, a map showing the catch of the day and a treasure chest full of langoustines. What more could you want? It’s the latest in a long line of pop-ups gone permanent. Originally Bonnie Gull was just a seafood street food offering in Hackney. Now they’ve laid down some roots in an incredibly small Fitzrovia restaurant, where there’s only room for about 26 seafood lovers within. Make sure you book or you may be bitterly disappointed as you head to the Dominos opposite. The menu changes daily depending on what’s available, and focusses on fresh British seafood at fairly reasonable prices. We started with Beetroot Cured Loch Duart Salmon, served with Baby Coloured Beets and Horseradish Cream (£7.50) – absolutely delicious, unusual and rich, and the Dressed Paignton Crab Tian with Slow …

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Churchill Arms, Kensington

The Churchill Arms looks, to any unsuspecting human being, passerby, tourist or house pet, like your average pub. Possibly above average actually, for the owners have decorated it lovingly in the flowers of a thousand gardens. Food wise, though, it is something out of the ordinary. Read on for mysteries revealed… The Churchill Arms does not serve burgers. It does not serve chips. It does not even serve steaks. It is (shock horror) a Thai Food Establishment. But before you go off shaking your head in disgust at this Proper British Pub sacrilege, I urge you to give the little public house a chance. The Thai food here is not an afterthought. It is the star of the show, the centre piece, the be all and end all of The Churchill Arms. Begin with prawn crackers because they come with sweet chilli dip which is lovely. These are King of crackers – homemade and tasty and all in all much better than your usual pub crisps and nuts and rubbish of that ilk. Then pick …

Brown Bread Ice Cream (c.1830)

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge

I am a big fan of kitchen wizardry. I can’t get enough of food frozen by liquid nitrogen. It’s just so unnecessary, and thus, great. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you of my love for Heston Blumenthal. The man is fantastic. He makes dinnertime more exciting than playtime. He makes food that looks like other food that it isn’t. Wow. I’ve wanted to eat at the Fat Duck since the dawn of time (or since I heard of its existence) but unfortunately until I sell a kidney I’m unlikely to do so. I settled for Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental instead. A worthy compromise. The restaurant is beautiful, as to be expected. Dim lighting, polished everything, loads of that ambience all swirling about the place. There’s some rather interesting design features too, notably the lampshades which aren’t even lampshades at all – they’re jelly moulds. Mental. The menu is pretty, isn’t it? Every dish is inspired by cookery books of times gone by, all of which are listed on the …

Blue Elephant, Imperial Wharf

I’d never been to a Thai restaurant until last week. Nuts I know. My horizons needed some serious broadening, so off I went to the Blue Elephant for my first experience of fine dining, Thai style. Recent reviews have claimed the Blue Elephant is about as close as you can get to being in actual Thailand, whilst still in London. Nonsense, I thought – no eating will transport me to a faraway place. ‘Tis the stuff of fairytales and Disney movies… but upon arrival I knew exactly what they meant. You’re greeted and treated like royalty from the moment you arrive at the Blue Elephant. As I was dining with the boyfriend our server was terribly concerned that we should be seated in a romantic area, and found us what she described as the ‘lover’s bench’ so we could ‘gaze longingly into eachother’s eyes’. She was keen to continue the myth, telling us that we were ‘in Thailand’ and offering us cocktails to begin. Presumably this charade was designed to trick us into imagining we …