February's Top Eats
12 Upper St Martin's Lane
Opening Hours 8am-11pm
The restaurant which currently has 4 chains dotted across central and East London pays homage to post-colonial 'Irani cafés' that were found in Bombay. When reading up about the interior inspiration for the restaurants I was more keen to try the food than to comment on the 1960’s bombay inspired interior.
Whenever I have come across someone who has gone to Dishoom I have always been told about the black lentil daal. And after my first visit that was all I was thinking about. No other dahl could match up to it. Not my mum's, not my boyfriends, not my aunt's, not even my friend Sonia’s mum who is known for this authentic dish. All of them in their different style make excellent daal but nothing like the one at Dishoom and I never thought I would say that especially about a chain of restaurants.
I had brunch at the Covent garden restaurant on Sunday and there was a queue. But you could tell they were ready for this as members of staff politely greeted and reassured hungry customers that they would be seated shortly. I enjoyed the dishes we had and am very keen to try more on the menu. The price was surprisingly good as sometimes I find you can pay a lot for good quality indian cuisine. However despite all that people have said, I would probably see this restaurant more as a pit stop/take out place rather than a date night. This might be because we sat outside and didn’t absorb the full ‘ambiance’ but after seeing that they offered take-out via Deliveroo I was slightly relieved and I have no idea why.
32-34 Monmouth St,
Opening Hours: 8.00am-11.00pm
I only went to this spot for brunch but it gave me a great indication of what the other dishes would be like. I really liked the layout it made me feel as if I was in a restaurant in New York, sophisticated but welcoming. Located in the heart of Covent Garden it is the perfect pit stop for post theatre chats and catch ups after battling through the sea of people in central London.
Offering fantastic coffee and fresh juices, energising and hearty breakfasts, small plates through to main courses, a concise and exciting wine list and the most delicious fusion food in the West End. Kopapa is run by co-owners Peter Gordon, Michael McGrath, Adam Wills and Brandon Allen. Peter and Michael own and run the phenomenally successful The Providores & Tapas Room restaurant on Marylebone High Street, launched in 2001. Brandon and Adam were two of the founders of the much replicated Gourmet Burger Kitchen which also opened in 2001.
I started off with a Mango and banana smoothie which was delicious then was stuck with what to have as a main. Everything looked so tempting thought all the dishes looked like they were missing something especially the fry ups. I can see how your bill could grow without you noticing as they offer ‘add ons’ or sides starting form £3.70 up. I had the Chorizo hash with sriracha glazed fried eggs. It was absolutely delicious however I found myself munching on my friends toast as the void that I call my stomach was yet to be filled.
Despite my bill coming up to £20 I didn’t feel full and that was a little disappointing. I would definitely try it out again but maybe go there for dinner and not when you are really hungry.
Balls & Company
58 Greek Street,
Mon - Thurs 12-3pm / 5-11pm
Fri & Sat 12.00pm-11.00pm
Closed on Sunday
This charming and unassuming restaurant offers one thing on the menu and dang are they good… meatballs.
Specialising in meatballs of different kinds means this is also a very friendly veggie establishment. All ingredients used are seasonal and all meat is sourced locally from family run farms. Owner and head chef Bonny Porter was a finalist in the Australian Masterchef back in 2012. So she offers a very international take on the meatball. The menu is basic and to the point with just 4 meatballs to choose from accompanied by a choice of 4 sauces.
Me and a friend went for the ever so popular Wagyu beef topped with a rich tomato, basil sauce. And a vegetarian option of the Quinoa, beetroot and feta served with a Bechamel sauce of creamy ricotta and parmesan. Both presented beautifully in a sizzling copper pan. With a side of a delicious potato gratin with an extra crunchy top there was more than enough food for the two of us. The balls and sauce are £9 total and the sides £5 each for a generous portion.
Another hidden gem is tucked away in the basement. ‘Company Below’ is a speakeasy style bar that you could very easily leave without hearing about. Luckily we overhead a couple next door to us talking about it so we popped down to see what the fuss was about. It’s a very intimate space but perfect for a quick drink whilst waiting for a table or even for a nightcap as we did. The cocktails start at £8 and a glass of wine from £5.
The decor is basic and simple, and service very friendly and attentive.