Thursday, June 5, 2008

Acorn House

(catching up on posts so this is slightly out of sync and is from Saturday night in London)…

This restaurant came highly recommended (by the same friend who pointed me to flat white, so who am I to argue!), so for my last dinner in London, which was to be with friends who live there, I requested that we dine at Acorn House. It's walking distance from the King's Cross/St. Pancras train station, which happens to be the London base for the Eurostar to Paris.

Acorn House

Acorn House is unique in that the chef makes exceptional efforts to be 'green' about everything that comes in and out of his restaurant. I picked up his cookbook, and the forward is written by Jamie Oliver who goes as far as to call him the "original green chef". A big part of this is purchasing local, sustainable ingredients, and only buying what's in season. The menu is actually updated twice a day to accommodate!

My appetizer was a fantastic goat cheese on toast with a pistachio pesto (!) and a very sticky, very black, balsamic drizzle. It was absolutely divine, and so unfortunately I had to eat the whole thing. Hate it when that happens.

Goats cheese, toasted sour dough, wild garlic & pistachio pesto

Next up was a pan fried sea trout, which was good but honestly a little fishy. I didn't find the dish to be remarkable, although the presentation was very nice. My friend had the pork belly with feijoada which he really enjoyed, so perhaps I'd try that next time.

Pan fried sea trout, zucchini, lemon & ‘Cassini’ olive oil

Of course this was accompanied by a fine bottle of wine. Like the rest of the menu, they go to great lengths to find quality organic wines, but even here there was the 'next level' of organic; biodynamic [wiki link]. It's a holistic approach to growing the grapes, and since everything else about the evening was so green (yes I took the train to get there!), I decided that we had to try one of these special wines. I must say the wine was superb. I won't try to review the wine here as this meal was now several days ago and I didn't take any notes, but again it was absolutely delicious; enough so that I photographed the label so I could track it down later.

Domaine Granges de Mirabel Viognier, Coteaux de L'Ardeche, France

Overall a good meal and an enjoyable, learning experience. I'll likely go again, preferably in a different season just to see how the menu has changed.
Acorn House
69 Swinton Street
London WC1X 9NT

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rating: 4 feet
verdict: I love the 'green-ness' of the place. It's a great idea who's time has come, and the quality of (most of) the food shows it. I'll be back in a different season, and I did buy the cookbook so look forward to trying a few things at home.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

UPDATED: Wagamama in Heathrow Terminal 5!

I loved this funny little noodle place in London. Not so little anymore!

wagamama's menu

UPDATE: Unfortunately I'm less than impressed. Growth, it would appear, has not been good. The noodles were overcooked and mushy, the same for the veggies, and horribly disappointingly, the carrot juice with ginger -- one of my all-time favorites -- appeared to be watered down.

London Heathrow Airport
Terminal 5

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rating: 2 feet
verdict: The only reason it's getting a "2 feet" rating is that it used to be good. Perhaps it still is and I got unlucky. Otherwise, it's just a 1. Sad, sad, sad.

Smart vs Fiat 500

And you thought the Smart car was small! Here's a little perspective.

Smaller and smallest?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wandering London

I used to live in London, so really didn't do the "tourist" thing on my free Saturday. Actually to be perfectly honest, I slept 'till noon, did some email then slept again 'till 2:30. It felt good to finally catch up on my sleep though!

So just for giggles, here's two photos from the short time I did get out that Saturday before dinner.

London Cab

Cute store selling Banksy images. Too bad they weren't open.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I had locked comments so only registered users could leave them, as I found it annoying that people would leave comments and not say who they were -- not to mention the occasional spam message that got posted. But I've been talked into opening it back up, so registration is not required. If spam gets out of hand I'll go back to requiring registration. But for now… comment away!

flat white

A short post for now. I'm in Paris, very tired after a dinner of lamb burger and absinthe, and will catch up on blogs tomorrow. However I'll post this one as I have the photos ready to go.

Back in London, a friend recommended a café called "flat white", which was quite close to my hotel. Claimed it had the best coffee in town. Boy, he wasn't kidding.

You can order the standard fare of cappuccino's, latte's and the like, but of course the top item on the menu is the flat white. There's a "definition" on the wall, which is followed by a lat/long reading (someone later told me that Flat White is also a place in New Zealand), and the definition on the wall reads an antipodean style coffee which is served as a strong shot of espresso served in a small cup with textured milk; a damn good strong coffee. Not quite sure what "textured" milk is, but the resulting drink is pure velvet. Absolutely delicious, sweet on the tongue and entirely too drinkable. It doesn't take much to put away a cup of flat white.

a flat white…

at flat white

flat white
17 Berwick Street
Soho, London
+44 20-7734-0370

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rating: 5 feet
verdict: Perfect coffee. What else can you ask for?

the champagne bar

"the champagne bar" at St. Pancras train station, waiting for the train to Paris.