I have a great job which required me to travel to London from Boston for one little meeting. I added a weekend on and had a fabulous time in your city. Arrived on a Saturday early in the morning. Had a quick nap at my hotel and then hit Harvey Nick's and Harrods for some shopping. Grabbed a quick bite in the Harrod's food hall which I thought was great. I ended up at a little bar that had a variety of cured meats which I can never pass up. I ordered a glass of rose' champagne and a plate of Serrano ham. Appetite now sated, I could move on with my day. Met some friends Saturday night for dinner at a new (I think) restaurant called Zetter on Clerkenwell Road. It was a great spot with a back patio, a pretty big bar area and plenty of tables. We had a drink at the bar before going to our table. I had a decent Ketel Citron cosmopolitan though it was a bit sweeter than I prefer. Once we sat, I ordered a lovely pea soup served over duck confit and celery salad which was smooth, creamy and delicious. For my main course, I ordered the roasted cod served with some kind of shrimp risotto (though I think it was fregola not risotto but my memory is fading). The cod was a wee bit bland but when mixed with the buttery risotto, it was quite good. I think my meal that night including cosmo + several glasses of wine came to about 50 pounds.
Sunday grabbed a quick breakfast at Pret a Manger before hitting the V&A. I have to say, I'm a fan of Pret. I got a ham, cheese, mustard and salad on brown bread which hit the spot. It may not be the biggest sandwich, but it was fresh and just the right amount for me. I ate a late lunch at Al Dar Lebanese restaurant on King's Road. I ordered the Lebanese salad which was a basic salad with tomatoes, cucumber and a lovely lemon and olive oil dressing. Then I had a chicken shawarma sandwich that was chock full of pickles which I loved and some kind of garlic sauce or something. I had a decent martini at my hotel bar before dinner on Sunday night (I stayed at the Sheraton Park Tower) then made my way to Zuma for some sushi. I sat at the robato grill bar which was a little hot but I persevered! I had an appetizer of sea bass sashimi with yuzu and truffle oil which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I ordered the otoro sushi which was somewhat of a disappointment as it was kind of stringy. I also had the yellowtail with rock chive maki which was very good and the shrimp tempura maki at the recommendation of my waiter. All in all, decent sushi but by my standards overpriced (I think around 65-70 pounds though I did have at least a couple glasses of wine) for what it was though I think London in general is just more expensive than I am used to especially with the USD/GPB exchange rates.
Monday was the highlight meal of my trip. I had lunch at Gordon Ramsay at Claridges. There were three different menu options. The regular menu which is three couses for 65 pounds, the special chef's menu which is six smaller courses for 75 pounds or the lunch prix fixe which is three courses for 30 pounds (though you have fewer options from which to choose). I ended up doing the lunch menu since it was lunch and I certainly didn't need a HUGE meal in the middle of the day and I have to say it was still plenty of food for me. First they brought an amuse bouche of celeriac veloute with granny smith apples and horseradish cream. It was sublime and a great start to my meal. My first course was the poached sea trout with creme fraiche, greens, herb puree and dill bread. Then I had the pan fried lemon sole with capers, almonds and parsley pappardelle with lemon butter sauce. I can't say enough about this. The pasta was fresh and had these perfect, full parsley leaves within. I can't forget to mention the bread. Three types; a sourdough, a granary and a brown. I tried all three and all were delicious and served with both salted and unsalted butter. The finale of my meal was the cheese course for dessert (which cost a bit more though I don't remember how much extra). My darling waiter wheeled over what must have been at least 40 different cheeses to choose from. Since I've never met a cheese I didn't like, I told him to give me a variety. He gave me five generous pieces of English and French cheeses. I remember especially enjoying some kind of cheese with truffles and at this point in the meal after two glasses of wine and one very generous glass of port, my memory fades. This whole meal put me back in the neighborhood of 65 pounds and was worth every penny.
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