Now for something a little different – another food entry! I haven’t had really good Indonesian food in a long time, so I decided to go look for a restaurant that could match some of mother’s home cooking. I’d been to Toko Rame before, but wasn’t too thrilled. Therefore, it was time to pay a visit to Chicky, a local venue that participates in a weekly Indonesian food festival outside of the Duarte Inn. I’m impressed with some of their dishes, but I found some of them rather lacking. It’s no home cooking, but considering how rare Indonesian restaurants are, it’s worth a look if you’re in the mood.
A while back I wrote a segment on Plane Food, Gordon’s newest holding in Terminal Five of Heathrow Airport. Well, on the way back to the USA, we decided to stop there one more time. After all, with Europe so expensive we can hardly afford coming back again for a long time. I’m glad that the standards have stayed high, and there’s even been a few changes since we last visited.
And this concludes the European tour. After this, there won’t be nearly as much updating as before, at least food-wise. However, it seems fitting that the last entry in Britain is an Indian restaurant. After all, how could you not have the national food of a country while you’re there?
(In case you don’t know, for Britain the accepted answer to that is ‘chicken tikka masala’)
For this little excursion, Amaya was the first choice due to rave reviews, but it’s a bit out of our price range. So we settled on a not-too-shabby secondary: Bombay Palace.
At the heart of nearly every big city in the world is a vibrant Chinatown, a place with fruit markets, restaurants, and occasionally the somewhat seedy looking bar or game parlor. London is certainly no exception, with a good sized Chinatown tucked away at Leicester and Lisle Streets. According to a tour guidebook, two restaurants in particular stand out in this area: Golden Dragon and Joy King Lau. Since the Golden Dragon had an electrical failure and was closed (they had a sign and everything all set up…this must be a common thing), we pressed our luck and found the Joy King Lau, just off the intersection of Lisle and Leicester Street.
I’ve always said that tours are pretty pointless unless you’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on in a country. Tour guides generally take you to the typical “touristy” joints, say the “touristy” things, and are pretty much useless for anything else. I suppose that’s when you should ask the locals for help, and who knows London better than a cabbie? After asking one for a place with a decent fish and chips, we arrived at The Seashell, the proclaimed “best fish and chips in London”.
The crazy thing about Japan and Japanese culture is how widespread it’s become. Here in London, there’s a Tokyo Contemporary Art Show (that has Sakura from Fate/Stay Night as its poster…), manga cafes, and tons of Japanese restaurants to choose from. Of course, there are the typical high-end sushi restaurants and teppanyakis, but London has also embraced the more…casual dining of Japan, such as noodle bars. This is Wagamama’s little niche in the London food scene, and it promises cheap, healthy noodles for the masses in a trendy and friendly environment.
I have to say, I’m not impressed.
I do love Great Britain. When a country names chicken tikka masala as their national food, you know the British have good taste. Out in Kensington, the Beverly Hills section of London, food comes at a price, but the restaurants have survived ’til now have made it by serving some of the best the city has to offer. Thai food isn’t as big as Indian restaurants or the classic British pub, but if you’re in the mood and have a bit of cash to splurge with, Patara is a good place to go.