Will be heading to London for about 8 days or so during the next couple months and would like some current guidance regarding restaurants there. Have done some homework on this board and also checked out some guidebooks. Will be staying in the Earl's Court area (will be limited to something readily accessible via tube or bus), will be hitting the major tourist sights and areas (the major museums and some of the smaller ones, Whitehall, The City, etc.), and will likely be eating later in the evening after evening museum closings (ca. 8-9-10 PM). While I can't afford to eat out every meal, I'd especially like to consider a few things you can't get in Boston (with some possibilities listed):
1. a fish and chips place (North Sea? Livebait?). Apparently pubs are not the way to go.
2. a pub for traditional British pub grub (Cheshire Cheese?), no gastropubs.
3. a good Indian place or two (Veeraswamy? Zaika? Mela? Randa? Cafe Spice Namaste? Bombay Brasserie? Gaylord's? Moti Mahal?)
4. a place to get traditional British food like spotted dick, treacle pudding, traditional main course pies, mushy peas, roasts, and the like (Porter's? Rules? Ivy? Simpsons in the Strand? St. John?)
5. will be having continental breakfasts where I'm staying but would like to have one traditional heavy duty English breakfast, preferably at a spot that opens early, say 7 AM or so (Cock Tavern? Fox and Anchor--has this place closed? Simpsons in the Strand?)
Also, are the Gay Hussar (Hungarian) and Jenny Lo's (inexpensive Chinese) worth considering? Are there any don't-miss Chinatown places?
I'll also of necessity be traveling extremely light -- will be dressed in nice jeans, a dark t-shirt covered with a sweater, and dark leather shoes, no sport coat. How formal are London restaurants? In Boston, you can eat almost anywhere dressed at this level of informality. Also, how necessary are reservations past 9 PM or thereabouts?