Restaurants & Bars

London - Hampstead/NW3 - Some Notable Places

oonth | May 15, 200803:18 AM

Goldfish - this might be just about my favourite restaurant in London at the moment, helps that it is 2 doors down from where I live. Billed as "modern Chinese and dim sum", the Singaporean Chinese chef uses superb quality ingredients and has a light, deft, skillful touch with fish, seafood, vegetables and [house made] tofu. There are some concessions to "modernism", nay follies, on the menu (anyone for deep fry chicken fillet with strawberry and chilli sauce?) but these seem to be mere blips. Wonderful house made XO sauce. Exemplary service. Not cheap but I am beyond caring, it's the first restaurant serving excellent food in Hampstead in a long, long time. There's a weekend lunchtime dim sum buffet which I plan to try at some point.

Goldfish, 82 Hampstead High Street, 020 7794 6238

Ikura - I've briefly mentioned this place in the long running sushi thread. I like it, I like it a lot. Extensive sushi and izakaya menu, everything I've tried so far has been a hit. At lunchtime for £10 you can get various set lunches including a sashimi plate that consists of 10 slices of wonderfully fresh sashimi (5 different types of fish), good miso soup and a decent green salad with sesame dressing. Better still, I was introduced to the Chinese chef (his Malaysian wife runs the front of house) and, with a few days' notice, he can get supplies of Japanese sea urchin, alfonsino (kinmedai) and certain other items from his supplier, I'm definitely going to check that out one evening with a group of friends.

Ikura Japanese Restaurant, 91 Haverstock Hill, 020 7722 8999

Giacobazzi's. I never knew that I had such a good Italian deli within walking distance of my house until I googled for a favourite balsamic vinegar (Acetaia Dodi) and came across this place selling it (£9.99 for 40ml, it's high grade, syrupy stuff from Reggio Emilia). I also sampled a cross section of other items and was very impressed with the walnut and raisin loaf, the home made salads (tuscan bean, broad bean etc), the dried pasta (need to sample their fresh pasta at some point) and their range of cheeses which includes the delectable La Tur and La Rochetta, both from Piedmont and each made from a blend of goat, cow and sheep milk. Prices seem fair.

Giacobazzi's Delicatessen, 150 Fleet Road, 020 7267 7222

Gail's. An upmarket bakery with an impressive selection of breads (so far I like the pain de mie and the blue cheese loaf, a lot more breads to try), sandwiches, pastries, desserts, biscuits. They also have a good selection of home made dips, I enjoyed a beetroot one a few days ago. Mediocre coffee though. Also a branch on Portobello Road.

Gail's Hampstead, 64 Hampstead High Street, 020 7794 5700

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