Esarn Kheaw – Shepherd’s Bush

Reviewed on May 5th, 2011 by Dina

Thai cuisine is one that I am very fond of and I can never resist a good Thai meal! Unfortunately, Esarn Kheaw was a huge disappointment. Apart from the friendly staff, we really did not enjoy our meal and time at Esarn Kheaw.

For the starters, we had the tempura; deep fried mixed vegetables and prawns. The batter was thick and didn’t have much flavour. It was a big portion but not at all tasty and very greasy. The vegetarian spring rolls were tiny and looked like they were overcooked. I’m not sure what they were filled with but it tasted really salty.

We asked the waiter if the chicken wrapped in pandan leaves was made from frozen or fresh chicken. He told us that fresh chicken was used. Another member of staff served us the chicken. When we asked her the same question, she told us that the chicken that they used was definitely frozen. It was bad that we had been misinformed.

Pad Thai was ordered for the main dish. My expectations of a great tasting dish, full of flavour were not met. The rice noodles were rubbery and tasted very stale. It was like the dish had been cooked a while ago and then reheated. This main meal was not at all enjoyable.

For the drinks, the orange and lemonade tasted very watery and wasn’t fizzy. When we ordered the second drink, it only came after we asked the staff several times through our meal.

Esarn Kheaw seemed like a nice restaurant when we entered. It had a huge mirrored wall which made the restaurant look quite big. Also, it felt like it was a family run restaurant. It is a real shame that Esarn Kheaw did not produce good quality food.

Esarn Kheaw, 314 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 7LJ

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

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Frontline – Paddington

Reviewed on January 13th, 2011 by Dina

Frontline prides itself on making food from locally sourced produce. The menu is quite small but has sufficient choice.

On this cold winter’s day, there was no doubt what was needed; a bowl of hot soup! On the menu was celeriac, Bramley apple and whole chestnut soup. The combination sounded a little strange, but I thought that it was worth a try! Whole chestnuts, chunks of apple in a creamy celeriac based soup! Surprisingly, the sweet and savoury flavours worked well together. It was not too sweet with the apple.

A small brown crusty roll was served with the soup. It tasted like it had fennel seeds in it!

I skipped the main course and went straight for the dessert! Crumble has always been a favourite of mine so I was happy that Frontline had Autumn fruit crumble on the menu!

The crumble was served in a ramekin with a small jug of custard on the side. Chunky fruit was topped with a nut based crumble. The vanilla custard had not been overdone on the sugar side of things. The whole dessert was lovely and the taste of the fruit was great!

Frontline had lots of artwork decorating the brick walls. The dining area was made of dark chairs and also seating along the walls. The waitress gave us lots of time to decide on our meal, to eat and to chat! The staff did not bother us throughout the meal, even though we were there for a good few hours! At the same time, it was easy to get the attention of the waitress if we needed anything.

Frontline is a great place to catch up with friends as well as having quality food! The restaurant was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday afternoon!

Frontline, 13 Norfolk Place, Paddington, London, W2 1QJ

Rating: ★★★★★

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Jom Makan – Westfield London

Reviewed on October 22nd, 2010 by Dina

This Malaysian restaurant has a fairly extensive menu, but as we were there at lunchtime, we decided to go for the Spring Set Lunch!

The Mee Goreng Sayur was supposed to be an egg noodle dish but it was nice that I was able to have rice noodles instead. The thin rice noodles, together with the fried beancurd, bok choi and spring onion made a filling main dish. It could have had a few more vegetables but apart from that, it had a light flavour to it.

For the side dish, I chose the Begedil. This was two potato and spring onion cakes and it came with a coconut and chilli sauce. The potato cakes were fairly big and tasted good with and without the sauce.

The staff were friendly but the service was extremely slow. Our order and food were brought out quite fast. It was at the end of the meal that the service really disappointed us. It took the waitress so long to bring us the bill. Then, it took her even longer to come again to take our payment. There were a few staff working that day and the restaurant was not that busy.

Jom Makan has an additional floor and also some outdoor seating. The restaurant was fairly spacious and felt quite light and airy!

Jom Makan, Southern Terrace, Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London, W12 7GA

Rating: ★★★½☆

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