Monday, January 29, 2007

London Gastronomy

Business luncheons and catered buffet lunches in London were very good, but it wasn't convenient to take photos of my meals, seeing as I was surrounded by very important people that I was trying to impress.

I did manage to meet up with some old friends for meals, and do some fun things on my own over the weekend, so here is a summary of the things that I ate in London this past week:

DAY 1

arrived in London at 8pm and had dinner at Harry's brasserie off Picadilly Circus. Quite a rowdy place. The penne carbonara I had was too salty, with a lot of bacon bits. Too hungry, no photos.

DAY 2

Conference. Breakfast was good, and so was lunch.

Dinner with a friend at a Moroccan restaurant - Cous Cous - at South Kensington. I tried quite a few interesting typical mediterranean dishes that my friend recommended:

We had turkish bread with 2 dips - chickpea hummous, very creamy and delicious, and labne made of capsicum and tomatoes, which was mouthwateringly tart and also very delicious.

Then cous cous, with lamb sausages for me, and I also tried some of his lamb and chicken stew. The sausages were rather salty but the rest of the dishes were very nice. The cous cous was served with a steaming bowl of gravy filled with vegetables (but it seemed more like soup to me).

Then a platter of very sweet pastries, one of which was baclava, a sweet mediterranean dessert which is made of layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and soaked on honey. It was very good.
We ended the meal with sweet mint tea, a typical moroccan drink.

I really enjoyed meeting with this old friend of mine. He is tremedously smart and nice. I am glad that we managed to meet.

DAY 3

Conference. Breakfast and lunch were again catered, and also very good.

Dinner was a party at a well-known restaurant called Bentley's on Swallow Street, off Picadilly Circus. There were many important people there, top management and leadership bigwigs and my conference teammates.

The food was, needless to say, excellent. I will post separately on this meal.

DAY 4

Business Meeting. Lunch at the Plateau Brasserie at Canary Wharves. It is a pretty well-reviewed restaurant, popular with the corporate types around here. I saw many well-dressed people lunching here.

I had the French onion soup and the grilled salmon. Very nice, but no photos obviously.

Dinner and drinks with my colleagues at a bar in the area, where I met another lot of people. Very informal setting, so it was quite nice to chat.

DAY 5

Business Meeting. This time, I decided to use the lunch hour to wander around the mall here. I tried some Krispy Kreme donuts, and then had a steak and mushroom pie from Pie Square, a shop which had a long queue of people.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant alone. I need some respite from meeting all these people.

French onion soup, very hearty. I love the floating crusty croutons with melted gruyere cheese on it. This soup is traditionally made with beef stock and lots of onions, which makes it so sweet.

Then grilled scallops, with mash and black pudding. Yes, black pudding. It's a very british thing to eat, isn't it? It tasted of mince meat with spices (not the hot type, more like the cinammon type of spices). I asked the waiter what exactly was in black pudding, and he said minced pork, minced innards and blood. At which point, I stopped eating it, since I am not a huge fan of blood (the rest of the ingredients are fine with me).

Alright, and then more eating during the weekend. I will blog more about the weekend when I have the chance.

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