Archive for the ‘Inexpensive’ Category

The Table – by design!

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

For a late breakfast or brunch away from the crowds, I would recommend The Table.

It is perhaps not somewhere you would find in passing, as it is located a couple of streets behind Tate Modern, housed within an architects‘ head quarters. (I found it while visiting the offices as part of Open House London).  It is a casual venue with shared tables and a small outside seating area.

There is also usually a small selection of Cakes

Marks out of 10 (Visits in 2009 and 2010)

Food 6

Service (Counter and table delivery) 6

Ambience 5

The Table – upping its game!

The Table just gets better and better.  There was a real buzz during my visit today, see video :-

It was  busy when I arrived, but one of the waiters immediately spotted me and found me a space.  The service and the food based on this visit was actually better than I remember from earlier visits.   My sweetcorn fritters (which the waiter advised me would take at least 10 minutes to make) were just perfect. They were served with two lovely runny poached eggs as well – an addition that had not been part of the dish last time I ordered it.  The staff were really on the ball, a glass of tap water was provided within about a minute off asking for it, as was the bill.

The area (Southwark Street – near the Blue Fin Building) is much more lively now too, lots of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating.

Marks out of 10 (Visit in May 2011)

Food 6.8

Service 6.8

Ambience 6.3

The Table on Urbanspoon

UPDATE – October 2011

I think The Table may have peaked, as my last couple of visits have been disappointing.  Slow service and lukewarm food, perhaps it’s just getting too popular.

Marks out of 10 (Visits in September and October  2011)

Food 4.9

Service 4.8

Ambience 5.9

UPDATE – August 2013

The Table’s menu and chef has changed. The interior is slightly different as they have removed the area that used to be used to display cakes, so no longer somewhere to pop in for  just coffee and cake. It’s main focus is still breakfast and brunch type dishes, it is also now possible to make reservations.

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Tapas Brindisa – Me gusta!

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Just been to Tapas Brindisa in Borough Market again.  It’s always reliable.

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You can not book, so it is all about timing. We arrived at 7.00 p.m. to be told that it would be a twenty minute wait (what ever they say always wait – have a drink in the rather cramped bar area), we actually got our table in less that 5 minutes.

The menu is tasty and varied, and service is brisk.

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The charcuterie is always a good option and they do a nice goats cheese in honey.

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The seats are not very comfortable (I guess that is good business practice to ensure a quick turn over), the tables are so close together that you inevitably end up having conversations with the people at the next table, mainly about the food, it’s just that sort of place.

UPDATE – September 2011. Still as good as ever, we sat outside on a warm evening and enjoyed a few old favorites and some tapas dishes I had not had here before. The Ham Croquettes were especially good but the fish plate would have been better with more fish and less apple garnish.

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 7

Ambience 7

Tapas Brindisa on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Miles Cafe Culture in Ramsgate

Monday, July 20th, 2009

One of the highlights on the culinary front, in an area sadly lacking in good places to eat, is Miles Cafe Culture.  It is in a prime location overlooking the harbour.  It is open all day/every day.  It has a very good breakfast menu,  much better that the usual greasy all day breakfasts a lot of the places in Ramsgate do. The handmade sausages being a highlight.

The kitchen is pretty much geared up to provide an opportunity for all day food grazing, should you find it hard to leave!  On our last visit we were especially impressed by the “fresh” Calamari* rings that were made to order.

It’s also a good venue for a relaxed Sunday Lunch too. I would suggest booking for that, as there is limited space in the Restaurant section and this is popular among the more well healed locals and London visitors.

The wines are also of a good standard, from about £40 for the Amerone to about £13 for the Riddle Riesling-Gewürztraminer.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.5

Service 5

Ambience 7

Views 7

UPDATE – December 2013 : We paid another Visit to this vibrant bar, but were very disappointed when we ordered the Calamari*, it had been so lovely on my last visit, I just assumed it would be again. No such luck – something had definitely changed. It was like eating elastic bands. I love Calamari when it is done well and hate it when it is like this. So much as I like Miles Cafe, I think I will restrict myself to just ordering drinks in future.

Miles Bar on Urbanspoon

 

 

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Kent, UK

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No Expert Guide to East Kent/Isle of Thanet

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Updated December 2015

If you fancy a trip to the Seaside or have recently moved to this beautiful part of the UK, here is some guidance to help you find some of the better places to eat, drink and shop in East Kent/Isle of Thanet. The information provided is based on local knowledge and should help you avoid tourist traps.

The Guide focuses on the seaside towns of RamsgateBroadstairsMargate and Deal.

The Guide also covers the nearby town of Sandwich and the village of Minster.

FOOD AND DRINK

SHOPPING

Some of the more interesting independent shops are highlighted in the following sections of the guide, other useful information covers local supermarkets, and where relevant Retro and Gallery shops :-

 

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Pur – urban chic in Lausanne

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Pur is in the Flon, the “trendy” part of Lausanne, “edgy” is a better description, but that is part of the charm. We found it by accident, it was a wet evening and it was next to the Cinema – see www.pur-flon.ch

We never made it to the Cinema as Pur turned out to be rather special. The food is imaginative, the service friendly, the way they light up the terrace at night is superb, you can just visualise this place in New York’s East Village or London’s Soho.

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Marks out of 10

Food 6.4

Service 6

Ambience 7

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Lausanne,Switzerland

Lambeth Pier Fresco Cafe (now Riverside Cafe) – AKA “The Hut”

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Lambeth Pier Fresco Cafe AKA “The Hut” has to be one of my favorite breakfast locations, it is just a hut on the river at Lambeth Pier with views of the Houses of Parliament.

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At first glance you may think tourist trap – they have postcards and cheap trinkets on sale outside. The location is just too good. It’s right next to where the Tourist buses park for River boat trips and Japanese tourists pose next to the red telephone box. Don’t let that put you off, as “The Hut”, which is pretty much a glorified Sandwich Bar with outside tables, does a mean bacon sandwich and is a great place to watch the world go by.

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UPDATE : September 2010 – The Hut is now under new management and called Riverside Cafe. It no longer has the souvenir stand and has extended its menu to cover a larger selection of breakfast options.

Marks out of 10

Food 4.5

Service 5

Ambience 5

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Cuines Santa Caterina – Grupo Tragaluz goes to the market

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Cuines Santa Caterina is housed in the Mercat Santa Caterina , it is great for an informal lunch. You can not book, so get there as soon as you can after it opens at 1:00 to guarantee getting a seat.

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They have an English version of their menu, which is worth asking for as the menu layout is a bit odd.

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It is probably a bit more expensive than a lot of the lunch options in Barcelona, but it’s all about quality and they deliver on that with fresh market ingredients.

I highly recommend the Catalan sausage with foie gras

I highly recommend the Catalan sausage with foie gras

It is part of the Grupo Tragaluz who really know the restaurant business. The other restaurants in the group are always good standbys, and their flag ship Michelin stared restaurant Moo in the Hotel Omm is well worth a visit, for both food and people watching.

Marks out 10

Food 6.5

Service 5.5

Ambience 6

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Barcelona, Spain

El Jardí – see if you can find it!

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

El Jardí is not the easiest place to find, it is in the grounds of the Hospital de la Santa Creu/next to the Massana Art school in El Raval.

It’s an open air bar that does pretty basic meals/snacks. It is popular with students, but be warned the area around it can be a bit edgy .

See video of Buskers at El Jardi from a few years ago:-

We started chilling out here when it was little more than a few tables and a portable loo. Its grown up a bit since then. You may need to wait for a table when its busy, but it’s worth a short wait, table turn around is not too bad.

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Marks out of 10

Food  4

Service 4

Ambience 7

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Barcelona, Spain

La fourmi ailée – cheap and cheerful in Paris!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

On the left bank near Notre-Dame in the heart of tourist territory, just round the corner from a whole batch of these awful restaurants with waiters outside trying to entice you in, you will find La fourmi ailée- the flying ant (8 rue du fouarre 75005), which is an entirely different proposition.

It has been refurbished recently, and I am not so keen on the new decor (changed from looking like a cosy old library to a more modern  diner style),  but everything else is as good as it has always been. The clientele are still mainly students and canny tourists.

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The food is fresh and plentiful, and shock horror for Paris, the staff are friendly. Very suitable for taking your Vegetarian friends.

It is also a Salon de thé, providing you with a good venue for relaxing over tea and pâtisseries.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.5

Service 7

Ambience 6.5

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Paris, France

Wapping Food – Wapping Project at the Hydraulic Power Station

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Great place to go on a bright sunny day, when the sun is streaming in the windows, and lighting up this very unusual venue which incorporates an art gallery. When it’s really hot, they also occasionally serve food in the garden. The food is simple and fresh, they also have a small selection of good wines.

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outside

The restaurant has 1 AA Rosette, which it certainly merits.

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 6

Ambience 6

Wapping Project on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Blue Water Grill – buzzing for brunch

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The Blue Water Grill is in a prime location right in the heart of Union Square.

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It’s an excellent venue for Sunday brunch, with a really good buzz.  You can not reserve the outside seating, that is allocated on a first come basis, but if you do book, I would recommend trying to get a table near the windows.

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 6

Ambience 6

Blue Water Grill on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – New York, USA

Anchor & Hope – Time & Patience!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

When aiming to eat in the Anchor & Hope “gastropub” (36 The Cut, Southwark) you will need time & patience. It is not an ideal venue for pre-theatre, unless you are very lucky.

The tables in the Restaurant section are for sharing.  We found the service was a bit hit and miss but the food certainly hit the mark, with its rustic style and good quality ingredients. My earlier experiences were before the recent change of Chef, however with the kind of reputation the Anchor & Hope has I would expect it to continue to deliver top class gastropub fare.

However if you don’t want the hassle of hanging around the busy bar, you always have the option of Tas on the opposite side of the street.

UPDATE: June 2010 – A recent visit does seem to indicated that the new team are keeping up the good work. I had a beautifully cooked lemon sole with tasty shrimps.

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 5

Ambience 6

Anchor & Hope on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK