Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Vinoteca - Soho

Vicoteca Soho


I was looking for somewhere relaxed with some good old fashioned grub.nothing fancy, just good food and good wine.
 I have this fear of choosing somewhere lame, I like to think (especially since I work in the food industry) that I can pick the diamonds from the rough when it comes to restaurants, on this occasion I used not only my knowledge but also the not so trusty tripadvisor reviews to give me some false confident in tonight's selection.

Lets start with the positives, I know that Vinoteca sources good quality produce, that's for sure, I also know that the Farringdon branch is extremely highly spoken amongst foodies in London, the restaurant is relaxed and their range of wine is fantastic, there's a massive selection and some good value wines included, we paid only £19.00 for our bottle which was delicious, sadly the positives end there.
  I started with a spring vegetable salad with quails eggs pleasant enough but tight on the good bits, I only had one quails egg which just wasn't enough to compliment my vegetables. Nice but not going to remember this one. For main I had the Dover sole with Caper butter with sides of spinach and new potatoes, now I can't knock the caper butter it was tasty and rich and the sole was cooked well and obviously fresh, my partners Lamb was okay but again very dull, so you may now be wondering what my big issue with Vinoteca Soho is right? well it was just all so meh, excuse my lack of vocabulary,just can't think of a better way of describing the overall feeling.I couldnt help but think how I could make this all at home just as good and for a fraction of the price, now I appreciate the rustic-ness, I was quite looking forward to it! And I'm aware Vinoteca aren't selling themselves as fine dining, but if so why did I pay £120.00 for a very average meal?! The other issue was the service,don't get me wrong our waitress was very efficient, drinks were topped up, orders were taken swiftly but so much so that she seemed rushed and a bit panicky, it was a bit off putting when you're trying to relax.

I feel slightly guilty as Vinoteca didn't do anything majorly wrong, but they also didn't do anything majorly right.
Go to Picture as a reliable option for wholesome food at decent prices or Apero at the Ampersand hotel.

Wine: 9/10
Food: 5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 5/10


Monday, 7 July 2014



Chicken with Apricot and Tea 

                                                              Chocolate and Pistachio
                                                   Teriyaki Halibut and Spring vegetables
                                                     Strawberry Panna cotta and meringue
                                                                    arrrrrrrrrr romantic.....
                                                                     My bags chair

Ting Lounge :

Go here if : You are celebrating something special - want delicious classic cuisine- love a room with a view - would like to go to the toilet in front of London.

Don't go here if: You're on a budget.

Tips: The view from the Ting lounge is better than in Ting restaurant and is more laid back, you can request the Ting restaurant menu in the lounge, so you don't miss out!
When you go to the bathroom wait for the window toilet , its pretty special. I spent a lot of time in the toilet that night. (you'll see what I mean).

2 mains
2 Desserts
1 bottle wine
2 cocktails


Food: 10/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8/10 (it is worth the prices, I promise you)

This place really is a treat, but exactly that for us folk with normal wages.
Take someone special here as a surprise, it will not fail to impress, they have all the special touches of 5 star hotel service, and you don't feel out of place just because you're not in the rich bracket of custom.
The food pleasantly surprised me, just because many places with a view in London are said to be a bit crap.
My dish of chicken,tea and apricot will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Another great thing about Ting is that we wasn't rushed at all, many popular places in London have a 1.5/2 hour turn around which to be booted out your seat when you've just parted with £200.00 is a bit bloody rude in my opinion. Somehow London doesn't seem to have cottoned on to Ting. I haven't seen any write ups fro the top reviewers ... seems we're not being told my the Evening standard that this is the hottest new place to be seen,no pr machine or trendy owner to drag the celebs in. Oh well, lets keep it all to ourselves.


Sunday, 6 July 2014



All the main reviewers have just been banging on about Corbin and King and how if anyone can pull off Austrian cuisine in London they can ... they owned the Ivy and ... blah , blah , blah
Can't be arsed to tell you the back history of the owners and I'm sure of you aren't to fussed about hearing it either
What we really should be talking about is Fischers as its own restaurant and the food!

It really feels like you are somewhere else in here, I would say Austria but I've never been so how would I know, just feels foreign , in a good way, also slightly like you've gone back in time, again in a good way.
 At first the room was really quiet, until it started filling out, it has this opulent yet relaxed feel about it , luxurious without being stiff. The staffs demeanour is attentive but not involved, they don't talk current affairs and the weather with you. Can't be a bad thing can it.

As always I knew what I was having before arriving , and I didn't change my mind.
The beef broth with cheese dumplings for starter and the grilled spatchcock chicken with Tarragon for main with buttery mash as the side.
The Beef broth was ridiculously good , really rich and well, beefy. Very generous too, there was a surprise lump of braised beef at the bottom, I'm drooling a bit thinking about it. Choose this as your starter, you can't go to Fischers and not have this, my partner had the kaestpatzle which is mac and cheese, it was delicious but he blatantly wanted my beef broth, unlucky.

They had already provided us with some complimentary soda bread, which I'm thankful for, however its not needed. I'm already starting to feel full  and I'm no food pansy, I have a BIG appetite.
Next the mains, if you don't like Tarragon I wouldn't opt for the chicken, its smothered in it. No problem for me as I love it but just be warned as it is overpowering. My side of  buttery mash was also yummo.

My partner had the Braised beef, on this occasion although my chicken was good, I was feeling slightly jel of his selection, it came with a caramelized carrot which was delicious, how these chefs make simple veg taste so bloody amazing is just inspiring, an apple sauce sat on top of the beef and a jug of gravy accompanied, they also asked if we'd like any sauce , mustard etc .... how brilliant is that, you'd get slapped in most restaurants for even asking. well maybe not but they would if they was allowed I'm sure, just for the crack.

The wine was chose by no logic apart from it being French , had the word Macon in it and was three down on the list and cost £24.00 . How we got to the decision doesn't really matter as the main thing is that it was a good one.

Now I'm so full its silly, but I had to go one last hurdle for the apple Bread and butter pudding.
It came with Meringue on top, not needed , it was sweet enough, it had Calvados in the filling which was lush and it was more like layered crepes than bread , very tasty but I just long for someone to give me a standard old fashioned bread and butter pudding, I don't think classic puds need sexing up, hey, that's just my opinion it was still very good and if I wasn't so full I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more.

sorry about this one........

So to conclude ,I think this place is fantastic . I really do like it and considering the food that I'm used to eating (non-exotic cuisines) generally fail to impress me in restaurants that means a lot. 
The bill came to £104.00 including service, so that's two three course meals with wine for a oner , thats bloody good value for this type of venue in London, I promise you. 
I really want to go back to Fischers, and considering even if I like a restaurant going back is not as a rule on the agenda as there are so many new places in London to try. 

Fischer's is Classy, informal and brilliant, a bit like me :0 well that's what I'm aiming for.  

Service 7.5/10
Food    8/10
Ambiance 9/10
Value for money 9/10