I went to London with my family 4 weeks ago. We all had worked very hard for the entire summer this year and we needed a good break and a nice family trip. London is not so far from Oslo, it takes a little longer than 2 hours by airplane. When we plan a family trip, my husband usually checks flights and I check hotels and most importantly… restaurants! Choosing a hotel was easy as we always stay at the same hotel in London, but choosing some places to go and eat was not so easy!! It is like Paris, there are so many good restaurants I like to visit and the restaurant which I wanted to go most in London was closed for the whole month of August because the owner returned to Italy for his summer vacation!! I could not make a reservation ahead of time and it made my planning a bit more difficult but finding out this restaurant was driven by an Italian family that had a strong bond to Italy was good, it was like another assurance that their food should be good! I called the restaurant as soon as the restaurant resumed and I managed to make a reservation. Well, it was the last table available.
So here is the list. As I wrote in my post “Where to eat in Paris?“, again I repeat, food is a matter of personal preference and you might not like the place I liked. I included some personal comments, both positive and negative ones.
● Da Mario ☆☆☆☆☆
63 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9AJ
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
Rie’s comment: This is the restaurant I was talking about. I read about this restaurant on a couple of blogs and wanted to visit. From outside the restaurant does not look so specially fancy but if you enter you will know why this place is so popular. I felt so warm surrounded by people who are really having a good time. Laughters, cheers and good food and wine. What else do you need more at an Italian restaurant? We started with Bruchetta with fresh tomatoes and shared Carpaccio di Manzo and a bottle of Chanti red wine. I had a fish (Seabass) and lemon sauce, it was good but I would like to try a pasta dish next time. My daughter had spaghetti with clams in white wine sauce and it really looked nice. For dessert I had Italian vanilla ice cream with a shot of expresso over it and it was divine. I really recommend this dessert. My husband had a mint ice cream with chocolate sauce. He just LOVED it! I am already looking forward to going back to this restaurant. Reservation is very necessary.
● Super Star (Chinese Dim Sum) ☆☆☆☆
17 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BE
Nearest tube station: Leicester Square
Rie’s comment: It was my husband who suggested this place and both my daughter and I were very happy that he did. (My husband lived in London for 3 years for his work and he loves the China Town in London!) We had Dim Sum and enjoyed good Jasmine tea. The steamed pork Gyoza with chives (do you see it on the photo?) was so good that we had to order it twice. If you are looking for a place to enjoy Dim Sum in London, I can recommend this restaurant. Next to this restaurant there is a big Chinese food supermarket. It was very interesting to go there as well.
● OKA (Sushi and Japanese Robata Grill) ☆☆☆☆☆
14 Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PW
Nearest tube station : Oxford Circus
Rie’s comment : There are so many sushi restaurants in London but I chose this place because they offer some Robata grill dishes on the menu as well and it is located right in the shopping area in Oxford Circus. The food was just amazing, maybe you also can see it from the photos. They create very modern type of sushi and it was different but very very delicious! You have to try their beef Tataki, it is tender beef fillet grilled on the chacol grill and oh boy, it was so good. The place is very small and crowded. If you like to go to a more spacious restaurant, this place is not so recommended. This place is for more a quick and really yummy lunch in between your shopping and sightseeing, I think.
● Balance Soho Society ☆☆☆
187 Kensington High St, London W8 6SH
Nearest tube station : High Street Kensington
Rie’s comment : We were looking for a restaurant near the hotel after a big day and we were too tired to go far away for a dinner. We stopped at this restaurant and saw their menu to find they had a bit of everything. Actually they have quite an interesting menu. Asian, Indian, English, Western and all fusions. My husband and I had Chef’s choice, it was a beef roast. My daughter had Red Curry and everyone was happy. I got interested in their “triple-cooked chips”on the side menu. If you come to this restaurant, please try these chips as well. They are so crisp and delicious!! and please try the ketchup on the table (photo). It goes very good with the chips. The service was very good.
Rie’s comment : Have you had Bubble Tea before? I heard about it from a friend of mine, she is a medical student who had a study tour in Taiwan. She said I had to try it as it is very delicious. Bubble Tea is originally from Taiwan and it is getting popular in many places in the world. It is a tea with chewy tapioca in it. My daughter and I had it for the first time and we loved it!! The flavor we tried was Matcha milk tea and you may see the black tapioca in the cup on the photo, they were sweet and chewy and a delicious dessert!!
Rie’s comment: We went to the Olympic Park in Stratford and this shopping center is right next to the park. The Food Court offers various types of food, I chose this vietnamese restaurant, my husband had a hamburger, my daughter had a pizza. We all bought our lunch from 3 different places and still could eat together in the Food Court. My Chicken Pho was very tasty! Mint Ice Tea was also very refreshing.
34 – 36 High Holborn, London WC1V 6AE
Nearest tube station : Chancery Lane
Rie’s comment : This is a Japanese-style BBQ restaurant in London. Have you tried Japanese BBQ? You sit around the table and there is a grill in the middle of the table. You get meat which is cut in bite size and you grill it quickly over the hot grill. There is usually a dipping sauce and you can dip your meat or vegetables in the sauce and eat it. Popular meat is beef loin and chuck slices, beef short ribs, beef tongues (very thinly sliced), chicken, seafood. Vegetables like onion, pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, green peppers and egg plants are very good too. We had a good dinner at Kintan but it was very expensive. Actually it turned out to be the most expensive dinner we had in London and still I had to cook…. We experienced this Japanese BBQ together and that was fine, we do not have such a restaurant in Oslo so it was fun. The quality of the meat was fantastic, I was rather disappointed with the seafood… Anyway, I think we will not come back to this restaurant.
● Patisserie Valerie ☆☆☆☆☆
27 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4LL
Nearest tube station: High Street Kensington
Rie’s comment : Lovery belgian cafe, our favorite breakfast place. 🙂 Our hotel is a good hotel but the breakfast they offer is very expensive (20 £ per person is just little too much). There is Whole Food right across the street and we often bought our breakfast there. On the last day we were kind of tired of the breakfast from Whole Food and we walked around and found this place. Very lovery cafe and they serve good home cooked-like breakfast. I had Egg Florentine and it was very very good. Coffee they serve here is very good as well. We were so full that we could not try these wonderful cakes, but we should try next time. I am glad we found this charming place for breakfast!!
There are many more restaurants I can write about in London but I have not been there for awhile and am not sure what kind of food they serve now. The list above is my latest list and I visited them in September 2015 with my family. I hope this information will be helpful for someone. Have a good time in London!! xxx Rie