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Restaurants & Bars 10

London, trip report...

ooglewoogle | Dec 22, 2010 04:02 AM

Had a fantastic few days in London sampling some really great noms! Due to the weather and getting caught up in the travel chaos, we never made it round as many places as we'd hopes....but most of those we went to thoroughly impressed.

The star of the holiday: The Hawksmoor burger. Just wow. I have been following London's quest for burger nirvana for some time and despite a few decentish burgers from those "on the list" last year, my expectations were still pretty low for the Hawksmoor. I have reflected on this for days now and can honestly say this was the best burger I have ever eaten...anywhere. Mrs Oogle and I sat perched on a high table at Seven Dials eating the last burgers of the day from the closing kitchen, with that blank stare of awe you get when you find exactly what you seek. We tried so hard to fault the burger...and the best we could come up with is the smallest tweak to the buns.....but omg....that burger ruled. The beef mix was exquisite, and cooked medium left vast puddle of juice dripping from every nook of the burger. We tried one with the oggleshield and one with the colston basset - both with their own merits, but it's the oggleshield for me. Great Heston inspired triple-cooked chips completed the ensemble. If you haven't been (and I'm sure you have) go now!

Alternate star of the show: The Kappacasein Toasted Cheese. How (HOW) have I been to Borough a handful of times and never had this before. Socks. Blown. Off. Didn't think comfort food could come that good...and not in the shape of an unctious, oozy, perfectly sourced square of delishousness.

Bargain of the week: A tie between L'artisan du Chocolat and Franco Manca @ Brixton Mkt. Manca because the £5.50 for an amazing sourdough crusted Margharita and £6.50 for an exquisite Old Spot topped version has to be good value in anyones book....really loved this. L'artisan, because they are selling their awesome chocolate salted caramels (we are addicted) in bags of misshapes for £2 a throw at Borough Mkt. Our suitcase barely made the required weight! ;)

Other places:

Nordic Bakery: Those cinnamon buns are something, aren't they! Had a short wait, but managed to nab the last one from a batch cooking as we passed. Another comfort food great. Coffee here was really good too. I would be very fat if I lived near here.

Tayyabs: Probably my last visit here. It was still really nice and I still ate way too much dry meat curry and sizzling lamb chops. I love how zingy everything is spiced here and I would probably go every other week if I lived close.....but for my very occassional trips to London I feel it is time to search out fresher authentic fare.

Indian Zing: Just ok we thought. We were both happy with our food...it just wasn't as 'wow' as I had read. Perhaps I ordered badly.

Gelato: We preferred Oddonos to Gelupo. Again, I forgot to try the lauded sorbet at Gelupo...doh! Staff at both places were great.

The Sampler: I just love moseying round the enomatic machines schlurping away! Tried their new Kensington branch this time and it was really good fun. Fave purchase was a crazy bottle of Pedro Ximinez Triana 30yo....literally like liquid fruit cake. Amazing.

Arabica Food & Spice Falafel: Another I had never tried at Borough. Loved my salad falafel wrap....will def. be back for more.

Espresso Room: Not overly enthused about ER, although staff were really friendly. The espresso was bitter and the cap. only ok.....nice rosetta on top though! ;) I was more keen to seek out Tapped and Packed as I liked the sound of what they were up to with vac-pots and aeropresses etc....but alas it was closed for whatever reason. Hope they are still in business?

I am sure I have missed some out...it all seems a blur now. Just really glad to have made it home through the travel chaos....and hope all you guys a can get to where you need to be for Christmas/Holidays.

A big thanks to everyone for their recommendations, they were a great help...and I still have a substantial list of places to visit next time!

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