We had to catch a fairly early flight back to Paris, so we got to London Heathrow airport early and without having eaten breakfast. Once past the airport security, we saw a sign that read “Traditional English breakfast served”. So we decided to check it out. I ordered the small portion of the English breakfast, which upon seeing my plate, I couldn’t imagine anybody polishing off the normal portion. The English breakfast came with three eggs, thick cut bacon, Cumberland sausage, Heinz baked beans (yes the ketchup brand!), half a roasted tomato and a roasted portobello mushroom.
I have wanted to eat at Giorgio Lacatelli’s Locanda Locatelli ever since I bought his cookbook “Made in Italy”. We arrived to the restaurant early and since I had mentioned when making the initial reservation that I was a fan of chef Giorgio’s cookbooks and BBC series “Italy Unpacked”, the hostess went and brought the man himself to meet us. Chef Giorgio was super cool and down to earth. We talked about his BBC series and he told me he was working on a new cookbook based loosely on the series. He even gave me a signed copy of the menu and took a picture with my wife and I. The restaurant has a no cell phone/photos policy, so unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the food. Here’s what we ordered:
Fava bean & arugula salad with Pecorino cheese
Crispy fried calf’s head with peppers, capers and pickled red onion
Linguine with crab, garlic and chili
Potato Gnocchi with morel mushrooms
Roasted John Dory filet with asparagus, potatoes, egg and shallot butter sauce
Pan fried calf’s liver with balsamic, Swiss chard, pine nuts and sultanas
Sicilian cannoli with orange sauce and pistachio gelato
Gorgonzola panna cotta with chocolate crumble, pear foam and honey gelato
Amoretti cookies, vanilla marshmallows and chocolate truffles
To drink we got a bottle of Trebbiano white wine from Lombardy. This was the best meal we’ve had to date. Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked. To start they bring you a bread basket with five varieties that are all baked in-house. Instead of butter they give you some delicious olive oil from Sicily. The service was absolutely impeccable. Water and wine were filled without having to ask. All the staff were friendly and welcoming. Locanda Locatelli holds one Michelin star. Based on my experience it easily deserves two Michelin stars. An amazing experience.
We trekked over to Notting Hill today to check out the Portobello Market. We grabbed a jerk chicken pita sandwich and a German hamburger. Both were tasty and cheap (not much in London is cheap). We also visited Jamie Oliver’s store and grabbed some delicious meringues.
Jerk chicken pita sandwich
Inside of Recipease (Jamie Oliver’s Market)
We arrived in London yesterday afternoon and after spending an hour and a half going through customs and taking the metro into the City of London, we arrived at our hotel around five in the evening. The London restaurant on the top of my “must go to” list was Barrafina. Barrafina is a Spanish restaurant/bar with two locations in London. They don’t take reservations, so we showed up to their Covenent Gardens location around 6pm. The place was already packed with diners, so we took a window space while we waited for some seats at the main bar area. They offer a small bites menu while you wait, so we ordered some bites while we waited. We ordered some Padron peppers, crab croquets and tomato bread. Everything was delicious. The crab croquets and tomato bread were the best I’ve ever tasted.
Inside of crab croquet.
After about 20 minutes we got our seats at the bar and the show began. Here’s what we ordered: fried artichokes with aioli, tortilla Española, grilled calamari bocadillo with caramelized onions, fennel & pear salad with radishes, arroz de mariscos (rice with shellfish), roast suckling pig, mil hojas (mille feuille) and a flan. Everything was absolutely delicious! The arroz de mariscos was the best dish we’ve tasted on our trip to date. Barrafina delivered on all levels. One of the best restaurant experiences we’ve ever experienced. An absolute must go in London.
Fried artichokes with aioli
Fennel & pear salad with radishes
Grilled calamari bocadillo with caramelized onions
Arroz de mariscos (we served ourselves before taking a picture)
Roast suckling pig
Chef Henry holding down the fort!