Monday, 13 December 2010

Food for Thought

Today, I have no appetite. A rare state of affairs, but I appear to have picked up some kind of seasonal bug that has put me off my food. I have managed some Lucozade, two digestives and a couple of Pringles, but have yet to build myself up to a couple of slices of toast.
Although feeling all achy and feverish isn’t much fun, not eating much probably won’t do me any harm. You see it has been a rather foodie (and therefore calorie-ridden) kind of a week. From bargain basement noodles to a Ramsay recommendation, London has, as always, been able to offer me a range of culinary delights to suit any budget.
Soho can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to good nosh at a reasonable price, but I went to one of my favourite cheap and cheerful noodle bars on Thursday, Mr Taro’s on Old Compton Street. I had my usual Ramen, a huge bowl of noodle soup that has never failed to satisfy my hunger, and a cup of cleansing green tea. At just under £8 for the seafood option (chicken is about £7), you can’t go wrong. My veggie friend went for the meat free Bento Box, which at £12 looked to be enough food to keep you going for an entire week. For £3 we could have indulged in one of their unusual flavours of ice cream (ginger was particularly tempting) but didn’t quite have room. Darn it.
On Friday I went out to quite a different eatery, Fino’s on Charlotte Street. It took my fancy after seeing in on Gordo’s Best Restaurant, so Him Indoors treated me for a belated birthday present. It was pretty smart to say the least, but I have to say I would expect nothing less for that price! Don’t get me wrong, the food was lovely but the small plates were very small. We came to the conclusion that it was definitely only for special occasions and was probably a good 10-15% over-priced. Having said that our waitress was incredibly knowledgeable and personable, but the food was very slow to come out. However, the extensive cocktail menu (try the Dark and Stormy), cava by the glass (oh, go on then) and a range of Spanish wine and sherry kept us well lubricated. Food-wise, the squid with pancetta, chorizo and potato chips and black pudding tortilla were particularly nice, and the Turron (nougat) rounded off my meal nicely, washed down with a rather lovely dessert wine.
One of my mates from Derbyshire commented on London’s range of eateries when he came down last month. It is true, we are spoilt for choice down here, but, be warned, when you are in Central London a lot of places cash in on their location and over-charge tourists for sub-standard food. But you could do a lot worse than the above.
Bon App├ętit.

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