Pages

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

CHEAP EATS PART I

I set myself a task of visiting London's 'value-for-money' restaurants and seeing if that phrase actually is upholded for the quality of food being served. This is going to be the first of three cheap eats marathons so wait anxiously for the release of the next few posts!

To be honest, this idea came as a slight relief because anyone living in London knows how expensive everything is and it would be nice to have a heavy wallet for a change. The great thing is two of these restauarants are actually a 3 minute walk apart! Lets start off with:

Princi 

I've been thinking about visiting Princi for a while and the opportunity finally presented itself! I was mostly looking forward to the pizza so I dove in straight for that. The place in general has a very light and informal feel with the wooden fans hovering in the ceiling and the display area gracing the consumers with their tantalising presence. 







I was tempted by the Diavola but I didn't want anything too spicy so the Coppa was recommended by the staff. The pizza arrived after about 10 minutes and it looked stunning! Luckily, it passed the second test of tasting good as well! Once I realised it wasn't supposed to be eaten by hand, I started to appreciate the well-baked base and the freshness from the cherry and tomatoes. The Coppa as expected was ironically the 'cherry' on top with the nice flavour and texture that complemented the cheese. It just felt like I had a great healthy pizza overall. 


I was even happier that everything comes down to about about £15 including drinks and service. Definitely worth a try if you're looking for a light, cheap and cheerful lunch.


Princi on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Bone Daddies

So this is is my second encounter with ramen: I had my first encounter in Wagamama's (glorious by the way). Once again I find myself on Wardour Street except bone daddies is on the road off Wardour street. The entrance looked quirky with a half-length black curtain draping the door. That wasn't all that was odd. There were loads of wine bottles lining the shelves above the window (whether they were empty or full... I don't know).





Anyway, I had a good look at the menu and went for the salmon sashimi to start. It's presentation lacked inspiration and so did its taste.


I had the Tanatutara as my main which was also recommended by the staff. The dish came very quickly and teased my senses with the strong aroma seeping from the broth. The ramen was strongly seasoned and spicy without being overwhelming. I like the eggs and the pork mince which both added interesting textures to the dish. One criticism is that the portion is too large; the broth was so rich so I couldn't finish the entire thing.


I could tell the chefs put great effort into making the ramen but I just didn't enjoy it that much. Maybe I'm not a ramen person or I just haven't had the style of ramen that suits my palette. 

Apart from the food, the staff are very friendly and attentive and the service is quick. As for the cost of the meal, it's very reasonable as long as you don't have a starter because the portion of ramen is more than enough.





Bone Daddies on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Flesh and Buns

Interestingly, this restaurant is owned by the same group of people that run bone daddies. However, I only realised that after I had eaten here. What sparked my interest in coming here was 1- the simple and tasty combo of a bun and meat and 2- the affordable prices. 

The restaurant is about a 5 minute walk from Covent Garden Station and is on a small pretty street. The dining space itself is below ground level but the large logo posted at the entrance didn't make it hard to locate. The interior design didn't really blow me away but I liked the bar-like table that extended throughout the restaurant space. Once more, Mr Longs was joining me so that allowed for more dishes to be shared between us (yay!). 





We ordered two styles of sushi: 

The salmon avocado rolls were standard- nice texture from the salmon and blah,blah,blah. 

The tuna spicy roll was made more impressive by a nice kick of spice and sweetness from the lightly 'dotted' sauce on top.


It was time for the mains! What I really wanted to try was the duck confit and Mr. Longs had the pork belly. The duck didn't disappoint; it was tasty, crispy and the sauce it came with was decent. I had a bit of the pork belly as well which didn't do it for me because they were too fatty. Also, I found the natural flavour of the pork to be too intense. The buns that came with each dish looked interesting and tasted great. The subtle sweetness reminds me of the pork belly buns I had at Kurobuta. 




We were both full at this point but still decided to go for dessert. We both went for the ice-cream sundae. Where do I start ...this was just plain nasty. The ice cream tasted of nothing, the fruits didn't taste fresh and the textures didn't work well together. Basically, I regretted having dessert.


Overall, I would say the place has a decent atmosphere and the prices are still reasonable (not to mention the great value for the sushi). However, I don't think I'll be coming back because I wasn't heavily impressed.

PS: there's an amusing video being screened by a projector as you descend into the dining space 


Cheap Eats Marathon Part II coming your way in a bit!

Flesh and Buns on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

No comments:

Post a Comment