Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Elystan Street

Brand new chapter


Loin of lamb with pesto roasted aubergine, garlic purée,
green olives and balsamic vinegar

When Philip Howard decided to step down from double Michelin starred, The Square, and sold the restaurant with joint owner, Nigel Platts Martin, to the MARC corporation. He wasted no time to open another restaurant called Elystan Street in Chelsea, on the former site of Tom Aikens. After 25 years at The Square, I think Philip had indeed made a right decision to have a fresh start to focus on something else. I felt that even though the cooking and the hospitality at The Square was outstanding, it had become slightly dated and missing a spark. Philip described the cooking at Elystan Street as modern British in essence and ingredients lead, the menu is the usual a la carte format with mains costing around the £35 mark.

Yosma

All about the lamb dishes


lamb chops, lemon, mint

Yosma is a brand new Turkish restaurant that has just recently launched on Baker Street. While it plays central stage to the classic Turkish grill dishes, it is far from your standard Turkish restaurant. It has a rather big menu containing both hot and cold meze, as well as dishes from using a clay oven. The restaurant itself is fairly big with a dark, modern feel to it. The space is spit into two part, with a main dining room on one side and a full cocktail bar on another. Guests are welcome to dine at the bar and the drink menu contain plenty of raki and raki based cocktail, Turkish's national spirit.

Monmouth Kitchen

Italian Peruvian combo


Lobster ceviche


Located on Seven Dial, Monmouth Kitchen is a newly opened restaurant inside the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel. It has somewhat an unusual theme, it is a tapas sharing concept restaurant which contain both Italian or Peruvian cuisine. Judging from the menu, the Italian side is fairly standard, with dishes such as pizza and pasta. The Peruvian is far more interesting, including plenty of ceviche dishes and skewers. For me it is a rather odd concept of serving two very difference style of cuisine in the same dining room, especially the Italian side of things are all about classic dishes while the Peruvian side focus on modern dishes.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Azurmendi

State of the art 


Azurmendi's greenhouse

A trip to Bilbao can not be complete without visiting the highly praised restaurant: Azurmendi. A fine dining restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars and awarded place no.16 from the World's 50 Best restaurant in the 2016 edition. The cooking is modern Basque in essence, with a touch of creativity and flair. The restaurant also has multiple gardens to grow its own produces as well as a vineyard. What is fun about Azurmendi is that guest won't be taken to the dining from the start, instead, they will be taken to the kitchen with canapes and welcome drink followed by a visit to its greenhouse to sample more snacks first.

Etxanobe

Luxury fine dining, Basque style 


Etxanobe

When I was doing my research on where to dine in Bilbao, Etxanobe really stood out for me, the 1 Michelin starred restaurant has a really impressive dining room, with a strong modern art influence as well as a lovely outdoor terrace which oversee the city. Located inside the Euskalduna Conference Centre, the cooking is a blend of traditional Basque cuisine with a creative and playful twist. Diners can choose between a la carte or the chef's tasting menu. The first thing I have noticed is the heat warming welcoming from the waiters on our arrival, from leading us to the table on the terrace followed by a greeting from chef- owner Fernando Canales, it all made us feel really special.