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London Trip Report, July 2013

msiangal | Oct 14, 201307:14 PM

How did it get to be October already?? We're *finally* getting around to reporting back on our trip to London in July. London is a beautiful city and we had a great time (and ate incredibly well). Thanks again to all of you who provided suggestions/feedback.

Afternoon tea at The Rubens: Overall, a pleasant experience. They had a nice selection of teas and we enjoyed the sandwiches. The cakes and pastries weren't bad, but nothing special. The scones were the highlight--so much better than what are called scones in the US.

Quilon: Unfortunately, we were so full from afternoon tea that we weren't able to try very many items. We enjoyed the mango curry; tried to order the baked black cod but they had run out, and can't remember what we ordered instead. Not having had Keralan food before, we can't really say how good a representation this was, but we thought everything was delicious.

Kowloon Bakery: We've had our fair share of char siu buns, but the ones here were truly excellent. The bun had great texture and the char siu filling wasn't overly sweet. We also had a char siu pastry (叉燒酥) and a pineapple bun (菠蘿麵包) with custard filling. I've only had buns/pastries this good in Asia. H/T to klyeoh and Paprikaboy for the recommendation.

The Ledbury: There's nothing we can say about the Ledbury that hasn't been said before. We had the tasting menu and the food was exceptional. Many of the plates had flavor/ingredient combinations we've never had before, and every single one was a delight. Service was, as expected, impeccable.

Cafe Spice Namaste: We did not see Harters' review from Dec. 2012 until after we returned from our trip, otherwise we might've ordered differently and focused on the Parsee dishes. We had the frankie lamb dosa, murgh pasanda makhani, and vegetarian thali. All were pretty good, but paled in comparison to the meals at Quilon and Trishna. Also, the restaurant was completely deserted at noon on a weekday, which made for an odd dining experience.

Rules: Our overall favorite dining experience this trip, hands down. We had the fish pie, swiss chard gratin, braised short rib of beef, sticky toffee pudding, and golden syrup sponge pudding. Everything was superb, from the atmosphere to the food to the service. We're still talking about how good the puddings were! And speaking of pudding, is a golden syrup sponge pudding the same thing as a treacle pudding?

Trishna: We took advantage of their multi-course lunch menus, which provided a ton of food for a very reasonable price. Can't remember all the dishes we had, but everything was delicious. The hariyali bream, seafood biryani, and spinach corn were standouts. The only downside to the lovely meals we had at Quilon and Trishna is that, after 3 months, we still haven't been able to bring ourselves to eat at our local Indian restaurants.

Harwood Arms: This was, to our surprise, a bit of a disappointment. The food was pretty good, but after the Ledbury and Rules (okay, so perhaps these were tough acts to follow), this one just didn't wow us.

Masters Superfish: Absolutely the best fish and chips we've ever had...for what that's worth. The batter was perfectly crisp and not greasy at all, and the cod was flaky and flavorful. The chips were very tasty as well, without the grainy texture of thick-cut fries in the US.

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