Wednesday, February 25, 2015

London: Sketch

Sketch Club
Serrano & Paris ham, shrimps, Emmenthal,
Thai mayonnaise, sweet & sour onions, beetroot jelly

Sketch afternoon tea
Silver needle white tea
Light, delicate, fruity flavours underpinned by cucumber and melon

Sultana scone, clotted cream, fig and strawberry homemade jam

gingerbread macaroon, blueberry éclair,
Cranberry chestnut choux, Cassis meringue
ricotta vegetarian comté croque monsieur egg sandwich
mayonnaise, quail egg, caviar sandwich

Bourdaloue pear and nougatine tart,
smoked salmon sandwich
Jacob’s cream cucumber sandwich
mayonnaise, quail egg, caviar sandwich

Flavored Marshmallows

Afternoon tea in London is a must-do. Instead of having traditional afternoon tea at the many historic hotels, I opted for something more whimsical. Sketch was conceived by French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz. We were seated in the parlor room and the decor was quirky with posh Louis XV furniture. I couldn't wait to see the restrooms. Some were egg-shaped pods and others had floor-to-ceiling mirrors with Swarowski-clad toilets. This restaurant inspired me to redesign my own powder room.

While the afternoon tea set up was standard (e.g. scones w/clotted cream, sandwiches and pastries), the decor and comfortable feel made it worth the trip.

9 conduit street
London W1S 2XG

+44 (0) 20 7659 4500

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

London: Kitchen Table @ Bubbledogs



Crispy chicken skin, rosemary mascarpone, bacon jam



Sea Trout







Blood Orange



Kitchen Table is a 19-seat restaurant hidden in the back of Bubbledogs, a bar that serves gourmet hot dogs and champagne. The kitchen counter format resembles Brooklyn Fare in New York minus the aggressive attitude. I didn't have a problem reserving seats as I planned my food itinerary a few months in advance. There are two seatings per night and the menu is written on a chalkboard with a single noun that best represents the main ingredient of the dish. While food allergies are accommodated, this is not a place for individuals who are "picky eaters" or lack worldly palates.

I think it's refreshing to see chefs prepare dishes and explain it while serving it to its guests. Too many times I've experienced the "angry chef" which makes these interactions awkward. Chef James Knappett and sommelier Sandia Chang are a husband-and-wife team who created the Kitchen Table with a comfortable feel while being reasonable priced. Surprisingly, Sandia and Hubs are both Cal Poly Pomona alumnus. Go Broncos!

Overall, I thought the dining experience was pleasant. I liked the fact that Chef Knappett does his best not to make the same dish twice. He also mentioned that he doesn't always know how the dish will come out until it's served. It's gutsy but if you're that good, it doesn't matter. With one Michelin star on his belt, it's upward bounds from here. I hope a cookbook is in the works because I seriously need that recipe for the mango dessert.

Kitchen Table
70 Charlotte Street
London, W1T 4QG, UK
+44 20 7637 7770

Friday, February 13, 2015

London: Burger & Lobster

Lobster roll, salad and fries

BL Iced Tea
Earl grey tea, watermelon, lemon

Lobsters and burgers...who wouldn't like this combo. The best lobster roll I've had was from a food truck in LA. Lobster rolls are not easy to find in Southern California. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the rolls here.

Burger & Lobster
Fifth Floor Harvey Nichols
Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Travel Log: London, UK


I took my first trip to London when I was 15 years old. I spent 3 weeks out of my summer and it was the best family vacation. I'm not sure why it took me 20 years to come back. The one thing I noticed that was different from before was the smog. There's less of it. As the food scene has started to evolve, I can see myself coming back again.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

London: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Bread basket

L’Amuse Bouche
Royale of foie gras, aged port reduction, parmesan foam 

Le King Crabe
King crab, avocado in a heart of romaine seasoned with coral-virgin olive oil

La Lotte
Pan seared monkfish, leek, ginger and saffron foam

Potato Puree
Mash potatoes, butter, heavy cream

Passion fruit cream, caramelised banana compote and passionata sorbet 

Le Menthe
Chocolate cake, light cream and fresh mint sorbet  

I'm trying my best to visit every country that has a Joel Robuchon restaurant.The London location has three restaurants within the same building. I noticed the decor has a similar feel to the L'Atelier in Roppongi, Tokyo (e.g. red apples). As with every L'Atelier, you can't go wrong with any dish. The execution is the same but the menu selections differ per location.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE, UK
+44 20 7010 8600