I am seeking advice on restaurant suggestions for our trip for late September, 2014, please.
I know this is a lot to read, so thank you for your patience.
We are a family group of four: myself, my husband, my aunt, and her (adult) son. We will be in London for eight days, coming from the States, and then in Paris for 11 days. My husband and I were in London about a decade ago; it will be the first visit for my aunt and my cousin, neither of whom have been to Europe before. We live in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio and Chicago.
We are renting a flat in SW1 near the Pimlico Tube station. Owing to schedule loaded with sightseeing, museums, and theatre, we will have limited time for proper meals.
My cousin is a semi-vegetarian who eats dairy and eggs but no seafood or shellfish. Otherwise, we have no dietary restrictions. My husband is our most adventurous eater and enjoys game. My aunt loves seafood. They have also requested, variously, fish and chips, Indian, Thai, gastropubs, Spanish/tapas, small plates, modern British, farm-to-table/market driven cuisine/whatever that’s called in the UK (enlighten me). There’s interest in Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner and any Ottolenghi restaurant. I’d prefer to avoid French as we are going on to Paris. I’m a huge fan of small plates but don’t insist on it. I think the city, and the food scene, has changed a great deal since my last visit and I’d like to get at least a taste.
Budget guess: for lunch below £25 per person, without alcohol and dinner below £45 per person, without alcohol. Cheaper is fine but I will pay for quality and experience. A couple of more expensive meals are fine. I’m open as to location but realistically we won’t travel out of Zones 1-2 much, if at all, in terms of sightseeing and theatre-going.
Fish and chips: I’ve turned up Masters Superfish, Poppies, Golden Hind, ?Geale’s, ?Rock and Sole Plaice. Any thoughts?
Thai: My cousin had a recommendation for the Churchill Arms but this looks to me like a pub with Thai food, perhaps good but probably not excellent. I would like excellent and if this is not something London excels at, please tell me. The Heron? 101 Thai Kitchen? I’m betting the best options are further afield.
London does, of course, do Indian well, and I’ve found so many options I don’t know what to think. I want Indian food I can’t get here at home, and we certainly don’t have Michelin-starred Indian. On the more causal end, I like the look of Dishoom. Gymkhana is also appealing, partly because my husband would like the game menu (am I correct that game will still be available in late September?) and partly because it just looks…interesting. But so do the seafood/coastal Indian restaurants (Trishna, Quilon) and so do places like Amaya and Benares. The Cinnamon Club breakfasts look interesting (I’ve never had kedgeree). I do have access to chaat. I am not sure how to narrow this down. Please help!
Spanish/tapas: I am considering Jose (heeding warnings that it’s small and crowded); Barrafina; and does anyone know about a place called Tozino? My husband and I have been to Barcelona and good Spanish/tapas is hard for us to find in the States.
Places I would like: 10 Greek Street looks good; any feedback? The Clove Club? Mayfields? I also am interested in St. John and St. John Bread and Wine. And Anchor & Hope, if I can fit it in.
Seafood: J. Sheekey is mentioned often and looks good to me. I must look up what potted shrimps are. I see they even have vegetarian options. Other ideas?
Finally: Thoughts on pre- and post-theatre dining? So far we’ve booked plays at the National, the Globe, and Richard III at Trafalgar Studios.
If you got this far, my thanks, and thanks in advance for any advice, comments, or suggestions. I appreciate your help.