From the land of the Nawabs…

Comes a restaurant in London. A restaurant so good that I dare say I will never miss North Indian food again. I went to Lucknow 49 today. And for the first time I wished I had company for lunch cause I would have loved to taste the entire menu. A simple no fuss menu, perhaps a 4 person table would cover all the items in it!

Nestled between the art galleries in Maddox street, I walked in at about midday and was seated by a very friendly member of staff. I must admit, I should be a bit chatty with the staff/ front of house, but its always quite awkward for me to walk in to a restaurant to eat by myself. I am new to this, so bear with me.

I am so glad, Indian food has come of age here in London. I am a first generation Indian in London and for years i have struggled with finding actual Indian food. I am sure you have heard this before but once more wouldn’t hurt ha!

I have never been to Lucknow but i have eaten a lot of good Lucknowi kebabs and food to know that this is the real deal. I dont know if they are still allowed to sell beef in Lucknow with the recent ban on it, but if they aren’t and you want the actual deal, come to London! And go to Lucknow 49.

Since i dine alone, I always tend to ask the restaurant to name their 2 best things on their menu, 2 dishes that would blow my mind. They did and the 2 dishes did blow my mind.

I was recommended the Galawat Kawab (Kebab) and the Gosht Barrah Chops.

This is Indian food at its best. Both starters were melt in your mouth and so easy on the palate that despite of being assured that if I couldn’t finish my 2 dishes, i could always take them away, that i ate them all. I wasn’t going to share this! It would be wasted on my 2 dear children and the husband was at work anyway!!!

The Mocktail was good, I will leave it at that.

Ambience- 7/10

Service- 9/10

Food- 9/10 (Only because the drink didn’t deserve the standing ovation that the actual food got!)

Price- Let’s just say I am going back again.

Not extensive, but I prefer it. This way its all about the food.
Beef Galawat Kebabs. Have no teeth? Eat these! You dont need them 🙂

So succulent and tasty! (GOSHT BARRA CHOPS)
Didn’t bother me so much!

Sorry kids, I may have shrunk your inheritance a bit.

One of the main reasons I am writing this blog is so I can build a list of my happy places. Unfortunately todays restaurant is not going to be a contender for my happy place. Dont get me wrong it had everything right- the ambience, the serving staff (especially) and perhaps the Shrimp popcorn (soft and fluffy, dipped in a mayonnaise based sauce) but it kind of stops there.

Chai Wu Is based on the 5th Floor of Harrods and I am not sure if their clientelle are mostly tired shoppers who want a breather from wandering around the extensive halls of Harrods. I must admit that among all the lovely department stores that London has to offer I have recently begun to spend more and more time at Harrods. This is solely based on the fact that the last time I went to another one of these stores, I felt a bit underwhelmed by their service and this is yet to happen to me in Harrods.

I was ushered to a table as soon as I got to the restaurant. The very friendly (in the most unassuming way) hostess on my request for recommendations for their best (seafood/ fish) dishes helped me pick what she thought were the best 3. She did warn me that I may have too much but I went ahead with it anyway.

All I can say that being new to the world of blogging and its ways this has been a massive learning curve for me and some thoughts I have come away with…

A bit overwhelmed so i stuck to ordering from the same page of their menu.

  1. Always only order 2 dishes Cause anything more then that is just gluttony in my case.
  2. One can have too much seafood. Ordering the Alaskan King crab and Avocado Salad, the Shrimp popcorn and the Tempura soft shell crab might have been a mistake on my part.
  3. Mayonnaise is ok but when 2 out of 3 of your dishes are served with a mayo based sauce, your taste buds start thinking it is the same dish.
  4. Unless it is Indian chai, stay away from drinks with condensed milk in them. The sweetness kills the other flavours, especially when it comes to flavours which are special to you.

For a price of almost £100 for 3 dishes and 1 (non alcoholic) drink, i really do believe that better meals can be had if one ventured out of Harrods, but this is Knightsbridge!

A very quick summary of what i ate- (Based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest/best)

The Shrimp Popcorn: Possibly the best of the 3. Soft and fluffy served with a mayonnaise based sauce. 6

Alaskan king crab and Avocado salad: Not very inspiring on a bed of greens leaves, with the fresh crabmeat and avocados on top drizzled with a sweet dressing. 4

Tempura soft shell crab: 4

Worth mentioning are the portion sizes, which even for a small plate would easily feed 2 so i did come back home quite full and my wallet just a little bit lighter!

My one and only, dimsum that is…

On Thursdays when i am childfree i do stuff which makes me happy. What more then looking for places to eat, places I’d like to go back over and over again. I seriously doubt this as i tend to find so many of these places that i don’t think i would ever be able to do justice to the rest of the places and frankly I don’t want to miss out either. Saying that this particular place might be an exception for me, cause, well they are simply put, brilliant. So much so that my friend who is Chinese and who had actually recommended this place to me was a bit jealous that i had been there and actually eaten in peace sans kids.

Dont they say that the first sign of a place being authentic and awesome at the same time is when you see people of the same nationality as the cuisine itself flocking to the restaurant?! I should have known just then that i was not to be disappointed. It was midday on Thursday and ok i get it they are situated in busy Covent Garden but even so, the first/ ground floor part of the restaurant was already quite busy. I did however get a table as i walked in so problem there. It might have helped that i was by myself. Also, full marks to them for getting me a table right next to another lone diner. I think there was a little nod of appreciation between this other lady and I as if to say #wegotthis

Just realising that i am yet to give up the name of this fabulous restaurant, i really dont want to cause i left it loving the little I ate so much that i want to keep it all to myself. But if I must it is Din Tai Fung in the heart of Covent Garden.

The menu itself isn’t massive, but when you are a lone diner and of course one is paying of their own pockets, you have to be very careful with what you really want to eat and what you actually end up ordering eventually. I eventually ended up ordering One, yes one Dimsum (the pork xiao long Bao), pork wonton noodles and they had run out of the tea i wanted so a glass of coke (i know, but hey)

Anything more then that would be pure gluttony for me. The dimsum arrived and yes I have had similar tasting dimsums in the past but there was something to this. Fragrant, not dull and the little endless folds. I wished i had ordered more. Next were the noodles. I loved how they folded them like a little cushion and laid the wontons on top. I am in noodle heaven! Period. It was flavoursome and meaty and just plain tasty.

Just go!

EDIT- 2 dishes, 1 Drink around £20 and worth it!

World book day 2019

Today is world book day. A week ago, on a very short holiday to Dubai I realised that I had not bought an Elsa/ Princess/ Harry Potter/ whateverthehellitiscostume not made a costume for my daughter and that I wouldn’t panic buy this one time in life. All this while I put about 3 different costumes in my Amazon Prime basket.

I have to be honest, after running around both kids all day and sneaking in an arduous amount of social media time on my phone, i am pretty much done come bed time. So i tend to pick the shortest books possible to read with them and thank god for my sister in law who introduced us to this one particular book, my life has been so much easier. ‘I want my hat back’ is this brilliant book by Jon Klassen, about this Bear who has lost his hat and is looking for it. I am not entirely sure which age it is targeted for but my 3 year old thinks its brilliant and my husband and i always have a chuckle.

Anyway, not to ramble on too much about it, Jon Klassen to the rescue again, and I know what to do for World Book Day.

Here’s my little one in her ‘costume’, although I must admit some of the photos on my social media feed do put me to shame. Next year, perhaps. What did yours dress up as? Promise not to steal your ideas!