All reader reviews by yany

Singapore Garden

Seriously impressed by the stylish new decor. It's great to see Malaysia / Singaporean cuisine honoured by top notch presentation.

So these days it's relatively straighforward to find a decent char kuay teow, a kang kong belechan, a beef rendang and a rojak in London. But somehow good Malaysian food tends to served in slightly eccentric, umimpressive, amateurish rooms. Not places you could impress anyone, unless they'd been on ipoh hor fun cold turkey and badly needed a fix.

So the fancy new Singapore Garden changes all this. All the favourites coooked well, good service and decor.

Just make sure you have a lot of spare cash that you're happy to give away.

Di I really see Roti Canai on the menu for £8?

Thumbs up from Fatty Lo's Disciple (but he hopes someone else picks up the bill next time).

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 2

Kam Tong

Had a pleasant, simple meal for two here. A portion of roast duck, choi sam with oyster sauce, steamed rice and jasmine tea.

We chose the restaurant as the Four Seasons and the Magik Wok both had vast queues. No chance of a table for at least 45 mins. But we walked straight into a half empty Kam Tong.

I enjoyed the food, but was shocked when the bill arrived. £3.80 just for boiled rice, £1.80 per head for jasmine tea. £6 for the veg dish.

So that's why this place was half empty despite ok food. Dreadfully overpriced!!!

Friday, February 03, 2006
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 2

Karahi King

I've neen eating at Karahi King for more than ten years ago. It's still lightyears ahead of the typical curry restaurant. It's had two intererior decor revamps since taking it from cafe style, to smart but simple. Then they expanded next into the next door premises.

The semi-open kitchen is still appreciated. You never know what happens in those mysterious back rooms places.

The barbecued meat starters have to be experienced, in particular the lamb chops.

Main courses - the karahi, methi, and saag dishes all real winners. Excellent breads here.

But it has to be said, the quality of the food has slightly declined here. You used to take a mouthful and wonder how food could possibly taste better. It's still good, but not quite at the former heavenly level.

Service can be a little disapointing here. Some of the waiters barely speak English. Great to have cultural authenticity in a restaurant, but that's taking it a little too far.

Rumour has it that the restaurant was taken over. Perhaps that's why the quality suffered. But if you want to know what the original place was like, just head over to The Five Hot Chillies in Sudbury. It's said to be run by the founders of Karahi King. And it tastes like it too!

Thumbs up from Fatty Lo's Disciple.

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 9


This is a really great place.

There are two eating spaces here, a very clean simple tiled cafeteria style and an adjoining pub or bar style room which serves alcohol.

The menu is a comprehensive and authentic South Indian offer such as Uttaphams and wonderful light crispy Dosas. There are several thali choices, and many vegetable dishes.

There's also a fresh fruit juice bar. Healthly and delicious.

Saravanas is only a few minutes walk down from the famous Sabras restaurant. I was personally always disapointed by Sabras. But Saravanas is a real winner.

Also worth adding that this place is primarily frequented by South Asians. It's a great testament to the quality, authenticity and value offered here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8

Big China

I thought I'd give this place a try with a friend. So I ordered a portion of roast duck, fish with spicy szechuan sauce, asparagus with garlic, and yang chow fried rice.

The duck was quite tasty, not bad at all. The fish was interesting, quite enjoyable. And the asparagus, fine. However, the fried rice was disappointing, made with entirely flavourless frozen shrimp and tasted slightly stale.

But after all that, neither of us was full so we ordered a plate of singapore noodles to fill us up. There was something not entirely right about the texture of the rice noodles, somehow too floppy. It wasn't horrible, but not great either.

The big disappointment here was value for money. That dinner cost over £40 - more than I paid for a higher quality dinner for FIVE people at the Magic Wok in Bayswater, just the other side of the Park. That means it's at least double the price, and certainly half the quality of the best Chinese restaurants in the area.

If you're looking for good quality authentic Chinese food, don't waste your money here. It's a trap to catch out of town tourists to the Exhibition Road museums and the Albert Hall.

Thumbs down from Fatty Lo's Disciple.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 2

Mangal Ocakbasi

Mangal is one of the true gem's of london eating. It's a small, no-frills affair in an unlikely side street location.

The first thing you'll notice about this place is the ever present queue for a table, something only the best places ever achieve.

The food is centred around the exquisite, bursting-with-flavour kebabs which are charcoal bbq'd in the open kitchen. Chicken, Lamb, chops, and are the mainstay. Also look out for the quails and patlican (augergines slices and minced lamb).

The bbq meats are served with fresh breads and hearty salads.

And best of all, the prices are outstandingly reasonable.

Thumbs up from Fatty Lo's Disciple.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

Magic Wok

A brilliant restaurant. One of the very best in London and exceptionally good value.

My family of five people ate to their hearts' content and the bill was only just over the £40 mark. Astonishing value.

Monday, January 16, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10


This is place is indeed a venerable institution. It's been serving high quality char siu and duck for decades.

In fact, it appears to be one of the only places in ChinaTown that has any culinary credibility.

Great place for the simple favourites with no frills service. Be prepared to share a table with strangers.

Monday, January 16, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 9

Five Hot Chillies

Best Indian restaurant in London?

This place rocks! Apparently started by the founders of the original Karahi King in Wembley and the quality of the cooking is certainly a strong reminder of those glory days.

Like the original Karahi King, it's a simple cafe like set up for diners. It's clean, simple and unpretentious. This is a place where all the effort goes directly into the food. Who could have possibly guessed such an outstanding restaurant would be situated in such a unlikely location?

Look out in particular for the whole leg of lamb which is spiced and steamed until perfectly tender.

Tilipia starter is sensational.

Thumbs up from Fatty Lo's Disciple

Monday, January 16, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

China City

A renowned Dim Sum hotspot. This is where all the North London chinese come for Dim Sum on Sundays. Come early or be prepared to queue for one of the many tables in the vast eaterie.

This place is also very good for a la carte cantonese food. As ever, lobster noodles are a real treat.

Monday, January 16, 2006
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9

Dragon City

This is a quality restaurant in the vast Loon Fung supermarket building.

It's quality is verified by a loyal Chinese customer base.

High quality Dim Sum.

A reasonably decorated room with one small window looking into the supermarket.

This place is something of a hidden secret.

Fatty Lo's Disciple.

Monday, January 16, 2006
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 7

Mandarin Kitchen

Had a good dinner last night at the Mandarin Kitchen. Once again, excellent juicy fresh prawns.

Roast duck is excellent - and they fry the skin to crisp it before serving it, just as they should. I might add that the Four Seasons, famed for its roast duck don't bother with this important step in the process. However, the Mandarin Kitchen's portion was disappointingly small and unconvincingly bulked up by serving it on a bed of tinned pineapple.

But I wish I had realised earlier that the lobster noodles here were so famous and popular here. Almost every table seemed to be enjoying this exceptional dish. I'll definitely be back to sampler this £28 dish.

Also worth mentioning that this restaurant is considerably more spacious and calm than the hectic, rushed and packed in Four Seasons down the road.

Monday, December 05, 2005
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Oriental City Food Court

This is the only oriental food court I know of in London. That's it's greatest strength. However, it misses the point of the real thing as found all over Asia.

Food courts have to offer excellent value for money as well as culinary excellence. Unfortunately, the Oriental City Food Court has some stalls that serve overpriced low quality food.

The chinese stall with Duck and Char Siu hanging in the window is a long way behind the quality found in top london roast duck spots like the Four Seasons in Bayswater or the Water Margin in Golders Green. I once ordered both a fried rice and friend noodle at the same stall. Barely edible they were so dried up and shrivelled. And all of it overpriced.

However, this food court is one of the few places in London you can find a proper roti canai.

The drinks stall is very typical of those found in Singapore and Malaysia. Lots of weird and wonderful favourites like cendol. Just don't try ordering Bobo ChaCha on Tuesdays!

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6

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