TigerBites: Kanada-Ya, St Giles High Street

Kanada-Ya restaurant

Kanada-Ya | Original Ramen with extra order of Hanjuku Egg

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twelve months, you’ll be aware that London is currently swaying in the onslaught of a non-stop, full-fat Ramen Attack.

So far, there have been a few newcomers worth a quick doff of the cap to (e.g. Bone Daddies), a few that are better left unnamed (I can make my own overly-salty instant noodles, thanks), but none that have you [...]

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TigerBites: Grain Store, King’s Cross

Grain Store

Finding your way to Grain Store sounds simple enough: get yourself to the road that runs between St. Pancras International and King’s Cross, and walk north until you hit the snazzied-up Regent’s Canal and a set of pavement-level fountains designed to soak absent-minded tourists.

Only problem is, the amount of recent building work at King’s Cross means that the station layout seems to change every five minutes, so your best bet is to get out into fresh air and grab a passing arty-looking student and ask them the way to Central St. Martins, housed in the same building — incidentally, a grand old brick storehouse which used to store, yup you-got-it, grain.

At first, the menu at Grain Store — is it me, or does the name cry out for a long-lost ‘The’? – appears worryingly vegetarian. There’s an abundance of words like ‘chamomile braised heritage carrots’, ‘cauliflower ‘couscous” and the thoroughly wholesome-sounding ‘bean & pototo salad’. Sprouting seeds, millet and ‘multi-grain porridge’ also make appearances befitting of the restaurant’s name.

But carnivores, fear not. After a careful reading, various seafoods and meats can be picked out of the jumble of multi-ethnic combinations. There’s squid, hake, roast rabbit saddle, even some lamb. In fact, only two of the eleven main dishes are vegetarian, and only one of these vegan: the somewhat unexcitingly named ‘chilli con veggies with mixed grain rice, sour cream’. The meat is there; you just have to wade through a long list of vegetables to get to it.

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TigerBites: Bar Boulud, Knightsbridge

Bar Boulud Review

It took me a long time to put two and two together and realise that the restaurant ‘Barbooloo‘ that everyone kept going on about and Daniel Boulud could possibly be linked. I’d read his short book Letters to a Young Chef while at cook school and was suitably in awe of this veteran Frenchman-made-good-in-NYC.

Bar Boulud, the London outpost of his NYC bistro of the same name, is famous in foodie circles for one thing: the BB burger. Here’s how the website describes it:

beef patty, foie gras
red wine braised short ribs
truffle, frisée, horseradish mayonnaise
confit tomato, black onion seed bun

‘Nuff said, really.

Bar Boulud Restaurant Review London

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Restaurant Review: The Shiori, Bayswater

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of some food blogs, this equation is a bit of a moot point, when the pictures are so blurry / orange / flash-exposed that you feel sorry for the chef, and the words are a listing of What-I-Ate peppered with adjectives in the vein of ‘delicious’, ‘tasty’,  ‘yum’ and ‘nom-ilicious’.

Previously tiny sushi bar Sushi of Shiori has re-opened in a new incarnation, The Shiori, with at least double the seats and a [...]

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TigerBites: Bone Daddies Ramen Bar, Soho

Bone Daddies Review

Queue at 7.30pm

The one good thing about London restaurateurs’ current obsession with not taking reservations is that 5.30pm is now a perfectly acceptable time to meet for dinner. Whether your boss will think so or not, as you scoot out the revolving door at 5pm, is another matter entirely.

Thankfully, both my dining companion and I are our own respective bosses (at least on a Friday), so we dutifully turfed up outside Bone Daddies at 5.45pm, and prayed for our early-bird keeness to be rewarded. As we left, almost two hours later, our prayers were answered with a queue that snaked round the inside and out the door.

Bone Daddies review ramen

So is it worth the queue?

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TigerBites: Burger & Lobster, Soho

You know a new restaurant (or mini-chain of restaurants) has blown its way out of the trend-seekers-only bracket when your parents, down in the deepest depths of Surrey, have heard of it. Not only have they heard of it, their friends (also in the deepest depths of Surrey) are Facebooking about it.

To anyone who grew up with the idea that love is communicated via food, and especially seafood, Burger & Lobster doesn’t bleep your radar because it’s yet another funky dining concept [...]

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TigerBites: Kerbisher & Malt, Hammersmith

Kerbisher and Malt review

Everyone should have a Kerbisher & Malt within walking distance of their home. Unfortunately, at least for now, London will have to be satisfied with just two branches of this modern no-fuss fish-and-chips joint: the original, just north of Hammersmith, and the recently opened second branch in near Ealing Broadway tube.

Chips are double-fried, made in shop, and rather good. The fish, on the other hand, is simply the best: cooked to perfection and no further, in a thin and crispy batter, [...]

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My Top 5 “Return Anytime” London Dinners

An entirely random picture of a stuffed wild boar (?) wearing reading glasses

A few months ago, I came down with a nasty bout of restaurant fatigue.

No, I hadn’t traded in the day job for the life of a commis. Rather, it was a weariness from chasing down the latest ‘must-eats’; ennui from flavour combinations designed to elicit lofty thoughts instead of smiles; and wallet exhaustion from a few too many good-but-not-great meals where the final bill vastly exceeded the [...]

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In Brief

Culinary school graduate.
Umami addict.
Wine junkie.
Londoner.
Writer.