Archive for the 'Restaurants' Category

Max’s – Crouch Hill

Reviewed on January 10th, 2015 by Dina

Two figures were sat by the window and as soon as I entered Max’s, I was greeted with big cheery hellos from them. They gave me the choice to pick which table to take a seat at. Soft lighting from the quirky grey mache lampshades, wooden tables with sufficient space between them and cladded walls made up the restaurant. The decor was just right with the colours and a nice touch was the few vases of roses and plants dotted around.

Let’s get onto the main event. Hot sandwiches on a cold winter’s day! There are only four items on the menu, one which is the dessert. For the veggie option, Max told us that he wanted to have something different and just as a main event as if it was a meat option. He said that he did not want the regular mushrooms, goat’s cheese, nuts and beetroot that are normally offered to vegetarians.

Max's The SpaniardMax's Ham, Egg 'n' ChipsMax's PuddingMax's InteriorMax's MenuMax's Interior 2

Instead, there is The Spaniard. Three big sweet onion croquetas together with baby gem lettuce, sweet herbs, lime pickled onions and Morunos mayo. What a wonderful combination, it definitely works! They are called croquetas because the filling is made of Bechamel sauce instead of potatoes that are used for croquettes.

The other two sandwiches went down well too. The Ham, Egg ‘n’ Chips had slow cooked ham hock and the shoestring fries had the same thinness and crispness like crisps.

To call them sandwiches really does seem like an understatement and does not do them justice. It is a real filling meal with quality ingredients. The only way to brace the hot sandwich is with hands as there is no cutlery. No side dishes are needed at all; everything you want is in the sandwich.

The sandwich comes wrapped in paper and it is kept together with an elastic band. If like myself, you can’t finish your meal, it is all ready to wrap back up in the paper to take away.

To end the meal, we did have the Pudding! The choux buns are filled with black sesame ice cream and then topped with delicious caramel and black sesame seeds. The savoury like ice cream works well with the sweetness of the caramel. The ice cream was from Gelupo.

It was really nice that Max took the time out to come and chat to us. He explained the different items on the menu and how he would change the menu whenever he came up with new combinations. All the food is made fresh on the premises including the soft foccacia bread, the fillings and the choux buns. You can tell that a lot of thought has been put into the items on the menu and that Max wants to offer something unique to his customers. The service felt very personal and we felt that we were valued as customers.

Max’s is a fantastic place to go to for his tasty sandwiches. There are cocktails, beers and wines on offer too. Just one thing that we found was that it was a little chilly in the restaurant on the evening we visited. It is exciting to see what other sandwiches are going to make it onto the menu in the future. Once you have visited Max’s, you won’t want any other type of sandwich!

Max’s, 19 Crouch Hill, London, N4 4AP

Rating: ★★★★★

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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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