In an attempt to document more of the places I’ve been (and would recommend) I wanted to write about a few restaurants I’ve been to this spring. (As established in earlier posts on eating that this is what I mostly seem to get up to):
An old friend is getting married and as I’m not able to go to her hen party, I wanted to take her out to celebrate. I had a feeling she would like Roka as she is a big fan of Japanese and fish and was wanting to try here for her 30th (but Roka weren’t keen to accommodate a big party). Sadly for me (I’m told) I detest fish. I can only manage to eat fish which is deep fried and served in newspaper whilst on a beach – anything else turns me into a total child. So my affliction made it slightly hard to share all of the sushi and sashimi on offer, which Roka is famous for. But we managed. I loved the Japanese grill (and the theatre of being able to watch the chefs in action), and of course, the cocktails…But we ended the night in a proper British pub with a bottle of pinot, as every (alternative) hen night should…I think Roka is a great , but perhaps best enjoyed by people who actually eat sushi…
There is something of the Orient Express about Simpsons on the Strand (as you’d expect of the Savoy) – an old fashioned gentility and oak-paneled tradition that provides such a sense of occasion, even I am tempted to shun my Northern roots and say I went there for ‘supper’. I’ve always wanted to go, but you need a reason. So we went there for my friend’s 30th, with her family, which made the experience fittingly grown up. Simpsons has a lovely menu – but the stand-out order is the roast beef, which comes complete with two carving chefs who are generous with insights and (importantly) slices of meet. Its the kind of place you expect to spot a politician. Like Winston Churchill.
I don’t often go to East London – I’m definitely not cool enough (and practically, I just live too far away). But I do have some trendier friends and a group of us we went for a lovely dinner in Clerkenwell to the Modern Pantry. I’d describe the menu as elegant. Just like my friend whose birthday/engagement celebration it was. So it was a perfect place to raise a glass to her by fairy light.
There is a lot of buzz about the latest restaurants with ‘sky-high views’ currently…(and I am very excited about my first trip to the Duck and Waffle for a birthday dinner in May, and will inevitably join the throngs and visit the Shard and Sushi Samba as soon as I can). But the fact is these places are wildly popular and almost impossible to get into. So for an early Mother’s Day treat we went for Sunday lunch at a rather forgotten favourite – the Paramount restaurant at centre point. It was very pleasant – lovely food, peaceful and private (we even spotted a few celebs) and had great views of London (which I’m sure are just as beautiful, whether you are on the top of a crane, in an office block or at the top of the Heron Tower).