Kentish Canteen – Kentish Town

Reviewed on December 20th, 2014 by Dina

Arriving at Kentish Canteen on a Sunday for a friend’s birthday, it was jam packed. An eye catching collage on one of the walls was a great feature. Various breakfasts and lunches were being brought out as we waited in the entrance for the table.

There were salads and cakes on open display right where the customers were asked to queue for a vacant table. This meant that people were basically having their coats and clothes touching the open food as the customers were leaning on the display table. It is a shame as the food looked fresh and if it had been covered, it would have been a lot better.

Kentish CanteenKentish Canteen SmoothieKentish Canteen Collage WallKentish Canteen Food DisplayKentish Canteen Veggie Bean BurgerKentish Canteen Interior

The Tropical Popical smoothie was a thick fruity concoction of passionfruit, papaya, mango and pineapple. The Veggie Bean Burger with all its sides was presented on a wooden platter and there was enough to share between two people. The bean burger was dense and the bun had a brioche taste to it.

The skin on chunky chips were very moreish. The combination of sides went well together with the tasty bean burger. The sides included sweetcorn with star anise and coleslaw. A small dish of button mushrooms was also added to complete this filling meal.

The dining area was made up of wooden tables, chairs and some cushioned seating. The staff seemed to be rushed off their feet which resulted in the service been a bit hit and miss at times. A few times we had asked the staff for things and we had to ask again after a while. On a couple of occasions, even by the end of the meal, the requests had not been met.

Kentish Canteen does stock the local Kentishtowner newspaper and also did seem a popular place with the locals.

Kentish Canteen, 300 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2TG

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Royal China – Bayswater

Reviewed on December 4th, 2014 by Dina

Sundays are a great time to see friends over a spot of brunch. This time it was brunch with a difference – a dim sum one!

Royal China is a popular place and luckily as we had got there before noon, we didn’t have to queue. But by the time we left, there was a long line of people waiting for a table.

A dark interior with decorated marble walls, coloured soft lighting and many round tables made up the restaurant area. There was a bar adjacent to the waiting area at the front of the restaurant.

It was nice not to have to decide which dishes to order as friends placed the order for the food selection. Bamboo baskets of steamed dumplings, buns, noodle dishes and dipping sauces graced our table.

Royal China EntranceRoyal ChinaRoyal China InteriorRoyal China DumplingsRoyal China Cheung FunRoyal China Roast Pork BunsRoyal China Braised NoodlesRoyal China Turnip CakeRoyal China Egg Tarts

Fluffy white buns were filled with the sweet char sui roast pork. The fried dough cheung fun were topped with sesame seeds. The crispy interior of the fried dough was encased by the soft white outer layer. It was not until after the meal that we realised that the sauce that had come with it had not been tried.

Big flat black Chinese mushrooms topped the braised thin noodles. The sauce was flavoursome. The noodles came with some cooked greens on the side. Other dishes were turnip cake and also tasty prawn and chive dumplings.

The staff and service were wonderful at Royal China. They were professional and efficient, swiftly cleaning away empty plates throughout the meal.

It had to be tea to go with the dim sum brunch. It was served by the pot and was refilled when asked.

To end the meal on a sweet note, baked egg tarts were had. A creamy egg custard filling in a soft light pastry was delightful.

Royal China had a wonderful buzz about the place and a great atmosphere. The dim sum was absolutely perfect, all fresh and tasty. A good start to the Sunday with lovely chats amongst friends and all set for an afternoon at the park!

Royal China, 13 Queensway, London, W2 4QJ

Rating: ★★★★★

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Chutneys – Euston

Reviewed on October 22nd, 2014 by Dina

Towards the upper end of Drummond Street, there is the big burgundy sign of Chutneys. It is an Indian vegetarian restaurant. The interior is fairly simple with wooden chairs and tables and lime green walls. The restaurant was very popular and got really busy as the evening progressed.

Lots of starter dishes that were coming out for the other diners looked freshly cooked and the aromas were wonderful. The temptation to have starters had to be resisted as there would be no room for a main dish. There is a good range of street food starters on the menu including bhel puri, pani puri, samosas and dahi vada. For the drink selection, there are freshly squeezed juices, coconut water, lassis and hot drinks.

The staff were attentive and polite but they seemed to hover around the tables. On a positive note, this meant that service was efficient and it was easy to ask for extra items and drinks.

ChutneysChutneys Gujarati ThaliChutneys Interior

The Gujarati Thali was the perfect complete meal for the evening. Five small silver bowls filled with the mouthwatering delights came in the classic stainless steel tray.

The portion of rice was quite big and was enough to have with the curries. The mixed vegetable curry had lots paneer in a thick tomato based sauce. The slightly sour and sweet flavour of the sauce was great. The dal was just like a homemade one and nothing goes better than dal and rice together. There was also the yogurt raita and salad for added freshness to the meal.

Even though the menu stated that the thali came with either chapatti or pooris, the staff did not mind changing it for a paratha. The paratha was flaky, soft and buttery.

Chutneys is a no nonsense Indian restaurant with good quality food. Further up the road, Massala Hut had been reviewed previously but Chutneys seem to have better cuisine.

http://www.ratemybistro.co.uk/masala-hut-euston/

You can take your pick from the array of Indian restaurants on Drummond Street but Chutneys is a good pick from them.

Chutneys, 124 Drummond Street, Euston, London, NW1 2PA

Rating: ★★★★☆

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