Expats in London

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by mtw, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. splbound

    splbound Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    London / Sydney
    Yeah that me. I fkin hate the district line. Slow as F going anywhere past hammersmith with 10+ minute waits between trains while watching 3-4 Picadilly line trains fly by!
    Nice it has air con but hell its cold here anyway 9 months of the year so moot point. Nicer carriages, yep nice to stand in but the damn carriage designer decides not to put sufficient overhead bars to hold on to at each carriage join. Don't get me started on tourists at South Kensington. Been hell since the company moved out to Hammersmith a few years ago.

    I disagree and believe this is utter garbage. You have not been trying hard enough to find the good eats or not spending enough. E.g. good fish here is £££ as we are next to the Atlantic and fish stocks nothing like the Pacific. So Cod, Skate, Plaice, Trout, Salmon, Haddock is the game here anything else is exotic.

    Sushi - some fantastic places with quality stuff though you will have to pay a £££ for it. e.g. Oka Robata, Chisou I have been to and loved. Sushi samba haven't been here yet but its rated very highly. Eat Tokyo, Kulu Kulu or Taro, Japan Centre if I want some cheapish japanese.

    Ramen - Shoryu, NanBan, Kanada Ya - Love these joints. Seens to be a new ramen popup happening every year.

    Thai - Try the pubs around Hammersmith - Latymers & The old city arms , also like the Thai Square restaurantes dotted around london. - All great thai and close to some of my favourite Sydney joints. The pubs hold the good thai places.

    Burgers - No Fkin way! Honest Burgers, Cheeky Burger, Patty and Bun, Meat Liquor and Even byron. My favorite is Bleeker Street Burger. Medium rare greasy, sloppy and beefy goodness I wanna rub all over my face because they fkn taste great to me. GBK WTF!! They were ok when I first got here but not even on the burger ladder nowadays.. not my thing.

    BBQ - F no! You have Zelleman meats, Black Lock, Goodmans and Hawksmoor. Perfect steaks and more importantly consistent. If you want something like smoked BBQ you need to hit up the food popup markets once had a an excellent smoke pichania sandwich at at Argentinean market on southbank couldnt find them again... Some market popups have restaurants e.g. Pitt Cue and SmokeStak both ace for smoked BBQ.

    Indian - London is indian heaven. Good places all over the joint so I know you definitely have not been trying hard enough making such a frivolous comment on Indian in london ;). I lived in tooting for a few years and there was a whole street of restaurants. Best Indian I have had. Another level better than *any* indian sydney joint I have been to.

    Kebabs - Just take a walk down Edgware road from marble arch. Choose a restaurant or open takeaway joint there will be lines where the good stuff is. My favourite is Maroush. I agree not all are good but most that I have been to are. I always look out for joints that cook over open charcoal as they usually know what the fk they are doing.

    Mexican - I'll give you this one but really haven't been looking for the good ones. I liked a shop called Benito's Hat I tried once though.

    Coffee - I don't drink coffee but there are a lot of Aussie inspired joints that have opened up. Aussies are real coffee snobs, one of my friends was berating the coffee in Italy for gods sake and the Italians love their coffee.

    Heads up on other places.

    Chinese - Four Seasons in Chinatown or Bayswater - Char Siu and BBQ Duck with their special sauce. Hutong @ the shard for the Schezuan stuff and Peking. Though I like the peking @ Imperial China as it has more traditional skin. Also Dumplings Legend, Royal China, Yauatcha and Shikumen for Yum Cha.

    Also check out Smoking Goat, Franco Manca and especially BarraFina (loved the food here).

    Also heads up .. there is a new Korean market opening up "Mee Market" Today (4th December) Definitely worth a gander since its near Picadilly circus.

    So many places! Yes London has made me happy and fatter. Though it took me a year to begin uncovering the good joints, most likely as I have settled more and started earning enough £££ for a decent meal out.

    So yeah "does not even come close to sydney" ... F sake!
  2. splbound

    splbound Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    London / Sydney
    I agree Spain is fkin amazing! Barcelona, Food! South Coast East of Malaga more food! Tapas free with every round of beer oh yeah. One thing I love is the Secreto Iberico it blew my tastebuds on the simplicity and how a piece of pork can taste like crackling. Omg yes the women are beautiful too but don't tell my wife that ;). Have to hit up San Sebastian one of these days though heard its the holy land for food.

    Did visit Lisbon, Portugal recently. Has changed and reminds be of a small Barcelona in regard to the up and coming food there. Wood\Charcoal Grilled fresh sardines are my favourite here.

    As much as i love spain by heart says Tuscany. People are the friendliest, the scenery and drive is fantastic, little walled villages small town local osterias, bars and restaurants. The food is simple tasty and blew my mind! Love the Truffles, Sausages, cured meats, OMG tasty tomatoes, Porchetta, Risotto and Bistecca Florentina.

    Did a driving trip in the Loire valley in France. The scenery there rivals Tuscany in Italy. People not as friendly (probably due to my crap french) and found the food good but not as epic as Spain and Italy.

    If you travel and have the time, take an adventure and venture forth to the country's smaller town and villages. My most memorable travels lie in these small places the people, food and journey. When my Italian Sydney friends harped on how beautiful their country was I didn't get it when I first got to Rome, city busy.. yadda yadda. It was only when I stepped out into the countryside that I truly understood and got the full measure of the land they are so proud of.

    So many places still to visit for me especially around eastern europe. Got to get there in Springtime though it's always nicer in springtime.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  3. seefarr

    seefarr Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Great stuff - all of the ones on that list I've been to I rate very highly and you've got quite a few new ones to try. Let me have a go:

    Ramen - I'm a simple man and love Bone Daddies tonkotsu. I think it's as good as ones I've had in Japan.

    BBQ - I was at Pitt Cue's new restaurant in the City on Monday night and they really know what they're doing with meat and pickles - we had a baked pigs head that was insane. Barbecoa St Paul's has some lovely meat and looks over St Paul's - we always take visitors to London there for the view. The Lord Wargrave pub in Marylebone do great ribs, The Union at Westbourne Park does some decent stuff too and both do lots of craft beer. Dukes Brew and Cue was great, but I've just seen that it closed today!!

    Indian - I love The Punjab on Neal St. near Covent Garden - food is good but the enormous old sikhs that run the place are what makes it. Not Indian, but in a similar vane Hoppers in Soho (there last night!) does great sharing Sri Lankan food. Temper in the City calls its Indian but does lots of smoked food too and is lovely.

    Mexican - I enjoy the Wahacas chain if I'm in a hurry. Taqueria in Notting Hill does similar street-food stuff but better.

    Coffee - Taylor Street is a great chain that advertise "Australian Trained Baristas" and I use their house beans at home. "Department of Coffee and Social Affairs" is another good one. Don't go to any UK chains for coffee - it is burnt and terrible.

    Spanish: Brindisa were the first to bring proper Spanish ham to London and they still have some fantastic tapas places around. Any restaurant in the Salt Yard group (Dehesa, Ember Yard, Opera Tavern) are all wonderful and do lots of grills that you don't see in a standard tapas place.
  4. splbound

    splbound Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    London / Sydney
    Definitely have to try the ones in your list out.

    Bone Daddies I have tried a few times. It was good when they started out but a bad batch at the store in Whole foods High St ken put me off. It wasn't the same thick rich broth they usually served, really watered down at the time. Complained to them and the just shrugged their shoulders. Boo...

    Barbecoa I have also tried twice. First time was great, second time I felt it lost its lustre. Still ok but compared to the new places that have opened up I would leave it further down my priority list for BBQ.

    Wahacha been there a few times as well. Definitely good tasting food to me. Haven't been to mexico yet so cant vouch for authenticity.

    Brindisa - Oh hell yes! I fucking love their Chorizo. The best I have ever tasted... even better than the ones I have had in Spain to date. Makes me not want to go back to Sydney if I cannot get these Chiorizo's there. Tapas has been more of a miss for me in London, I mean there are great places here but when you have been to Spain I just find it hard to swallow the London price hike on Tapas. I mean c'mon they are the definition of a cheap eat in spain! Barrafina is the best one I have been to so far paid the price for it but by god it was fantastic. I want to go back but it will probably be better to use the £££ in a cheap flight to Spain instead.

    Adding some more to the list:

    Ngon @ Hammersmith Broadway for Vietnamese - Their special Bahn mi is closer to what I am used to in Sydney (Mascot!!). Fresh and fried spring rolls good here too. Haven't tried the Pho yet.

    After some Pho - I usually hit up Bhan Mi Bay, Cay Tre and Song Que Cafe. If I am slumming it the Pho chain does ok as well.

    In fact if you are after Vietnamese head down Kingsland road between cross streets Waterson and Cremer. A ton of good Vietnamese joints all located in one place. Reminds me of Cabramatta joints back in the day.

    Padella near Borough Market - Pasta good enough to remind me of Osterias and Restaurants in Tuscany. Lines are long but when I went the pasta was ace!

    Lobos Meat and Tapas neat Borough Market - Been here one and it left a good impression. Tasty tapas here and they also served Secreto Iberico here when I went. It was just as good as the ones I had in Spain. Pricey though.

    Roast in Borough Market - Ate at this restaurant for Sunday Lunch. Was good but I thing the Jewel is their Roast Pork Belly Rolls they sell out of their Takeaway shot just outside the restaurant entrance. I buy one without fail every time I am at the market. I can cook a better one myself but this is 95% there without the hassle.

    A stall in Borough market BREAD AHEAD sells some killer cream filled Doughnuts. I cant put my finger on it but it's like a slightly lighter butter cream. Expensive @ £3 a pop but heavenly!

    Another stall sells Borek not sure what its called but if you can catch some fresh cooked ones it's worth it. Filo pastry was heavenly and the cheese used yum!

    If you ever find yourself in Beckenham somehow on a Saturday and love Jam Doughnuts try Coughlans Patisserie. Best Jam dougnuts I have tasted.
    I cant explain it but the dougnut bread has a hint of sourdough taste. Excellent texture not too soft but not to hard. These sell out pretty quickly so you got to be early for it.

    Brindisa @ Borough market - Chorizo sandwich... enough said.

    Borough Market is full of "good looking" food. Have been let down by so many places here where the food looked good but tasted average.
    Good places usually have queues but even that isn't a good indicator. Food is expensive here as well.
    Go early as you can as it is fucking rubbernecking touristville at lunch. Bad when all you want is some lunch and those hard to find ingredients for dinner.

    Have also wanted to try out this Turkish charcoal grill place near Dalston called "Mangal 1". When I walked past there they had a heap of meat cooking over their charcoal grill. Looked delicious so if anyone has happened to have been there I'll appreciate a heads up!

    If I remember more I'll brain dump it later.
  5. colinskies

    colinskies Member

    Aug 17, 2009
    NSW, 2153
    I got sent to Birmingham for work... Been here 3 weeks, 1 more to go!

    Spent only 2 days in London, feels like there is so much more to do!

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