Visit to Imperial China in Teddington

This is my favourite place to eat dim sum. What’s even better is that this restaurant is close to home, so I thought it would write about this place.

I’ve noticed that after a few years of eating at Imperial China, it’s getting busier and busier, especially on the weekends. The last weekend I went, we didn’t book a table and had to wait 40 min. However, a couple of people who had actually booked a table – had to wait even longer, I think it was because they were waiting for a table for 2, which the restaurant has very little of. Ok, so the service fluctuates – as it gets busier, the staff get more stressed and the service starts to go downhill, but the food however, is delicious every time!

The dim sum menu is extensive at Imperial China. My favourite dishes are the pork puff pastries, prawn dumplings and the baby chilli squids.

The pork puff pastries are fresh, flaky and the meat inside is so tasty. The prawn in the prawn dumplings are big, delicious, and the pastry wrapped around the prawns are perfect. The baby chilli squids are on the main menu and are a bit expensive, but are definitely something worth treating yourself too, if you like squid. I love the chilli kick that the crispy squids have.

The standard of food at Imperial China, has always been better than the dim sum restaurants that I’ve been to in China Town. It’s well worth a visit if you like the little parcels of goodness. Just get to the restaurant early!

Which is your favourite restaurant? What are your favourite dim sum dishes?

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Guest post: Visit to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

My boyfriend and his mates went to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which was recently awarded one Michelin Star. After being very jealous that he didn’t take me, I got him to write me a guest post on munch and makeup to make up for it! Here’s what he had to say…

We arrived 10 minutes before our table was ready, the restaurant was located in Mandarin Oriental Hotel in prestigious Knightsbridge. The whole of the first floor of the hotel seemed to be dedicated to the restaurant, rather than the usual hotel lobby. There was a separate bar before you went into the restaurant, which looked really nice, but we didn’t go there.

We booked an early table (6.30pm) on a Sunday, so the restaurant was quite empty and quiet. However, all the tables were full by 7pm! The attentive and very friendly staff seated us next to kitchen, which had a glass wall so you could see the food being cooked. The menus were already on the table, ready for us to analyse and decide what we wanted to eat!

Ordering was the hard part, the waitress had to come back to us a couple of times because we just couldn’t choose!

Before picking what food we wanted, we ordered bottled water for the table and both a bottle of red and white wine, which included the 2007 RieslingTrocken Grosses Gewächs Jesuitengarten Bassermann-Jordan, Germany (£95.00) and 2005 Catena Zapata Malbec ArgentinoMendoza, Argentina (£135.00) and then carried on with bottles of Rioja throughout the night.

We had to order our dessert, the tipsy cake, the same time as our starters, as the chef had to prepare and spit roast the pineapple. A bit strange but well worth it!!

I chose the rice and flesh (c.1390 – saffron, calf tail and red wine) to start (£16.00) and the others chose, meat fruit (c.1500 – mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread) £13.50, salamugundy (c.1720 – smoked calves heart, beetroot, horseradish and walnut) £15.50 and savoury porridge (c.1660 – snails, girolles, garlic and fennel) £14.50.

The rice and flesh was well cooked and had a strong flavour which I can’t describe. For my main dish I shared the wing rib of Irish Angus for 2 (c.1830) which is described on the menu as having mushroom ketchup, red wine juice and fries (£72.00). The meat was quite fatty but you could eat a chunk with a chip and it was really good and so tasty. The chips were also superb. They were three times cooked which made the chips crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

After the mains, came the best bit –the tipsy cake! It was like a fluffy chewy hot sweet bun with pineapple bits. It hit the spot with my sweet tooth! It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten and the custard was out of this world.

To finish, we had a bottle of Tawny Port (£95) I had a great time at Dinner and would recommend that everyone should go at least once! Overall we spent £680 which included a service charge.

Visit to Rock and Rose Restaurant

Last weekend my boyfriend and I went for dinner and drinks at Rock and Rose restaurant in Richmond.

The staff were really friendly when we arrived, the atmosphere was buzzing and the decor was certainly glamorous. There were lots of roses, chandeliers, bright pinks and blacks!

First, we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. It was very busy and took a while to get served, we also noticed that a couple of the bar staff didn’t seem to get along – one told the other his mojitos looked bad in the Asahi glasses! Apart from that, my cocktail was well worth the wait! I had the cocktail of the week which was the chocolate martini, which is supposed to be an after dinner cocktail but I couldn’t wait to try it!

We were shown to our table and ordered a bottle of gewurtztraminer to drink and some bread and olives to nibble on.

To start my boyfriend got grilled halloumi bruschetta, portabello mushrooms and figs which he enjoyed and never knew he liked figs until then! He says the bruschetta was awesome!

I had the chilli salt squid to start, which was wonderfully chewy on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside. The sweet chilli dipping sauce gave it a nice spicy kick.

I had the rock and rose glazed ribs as my main course, the portion was bigger than what I expected and came with hand cut rock fries with coleslaw. I loved the saucy ribs and the delicious tasting chips. I wasn’t a fan of the coleslaw though, it was warm and soft and I like mine crunchy and cool.

My boyfriend had the Angus rib eye steak rare with hand cut chips, but he didn’t really enjoy it. He said the cut was tasteless and was too charred on the outside and his chips were too big and quite crispy but not really cooked through.

We were so full but got tempted with the dessert menu and ordered a white chocolate & passion fruit cheesecake. It tasted heavenly and the passion fruit sauce gave the white chocolate a nice tang.

The meal came to £94.50 plus service charge which is quite pricey for just a normal night out, but will definitely come back and have already recommend this place to my friends. The meal could have cost more if we didn’t check the bill, as two portions of the monkfish curry was added onto it which weren’t ours!

Popping down to Pizza Express

During the week the girls and I met up for a much needed catch up. We decided on going to Pizza Express because its food everyone eats and easy to get to, but mainly because of the 2 for 1 offer on main courses!

The menu looked different from when I last visited, it has a new pink colour splashed over it which I loved. I also liked the stripy tops that the chefs had on! We shared some olives while waiting for our starters. It took a while but the dough balls and garlic butter dip (£2.90) were well worth the wait!

I chose the new De Morire romana based pizza (£11.50) for my main course. The romana base is “bigger, thinner and crispier” than the classic pizzas. The De Morire is probably my new favourite pizza from Pizza Express, it was more flavoursome than any of the pizzas I’ve had there in the past. It’s spicy and topped with mouth watering ingredients including mozzarella, crispy pancetta, caramelised leeks and artichoke.

Unfortunately we couldn’t fit in a dessert this time, but I will definitely like to have one next time.

Pizza Express is always a safe bet for a nice pizza or pasta but I’m not that much of an Italian food fan. It’s not something I crave and if I’m going to a restaurant chain, I will always prefer a Nando’s or noodle bar! However, it was a nice meal out and had a nice atmosphere for catching up with friends.

Disappointing Curry at Twickenham Tandoori

Follow my blog with BloglovinWe had a disappointing meal at Twickenham Tandoori over the (Rugby Double Header) weekend. Our table was booked for 5 people but when we got there the waiter just put an extra chair on the end of a table at the back of the restaurant which seemed to be in the gangway for people who were heading to the toilet or waiting for a takeaway.

There was an alternative rugby menu which had a limited choice of food, but still had the usual favourites. I asked the waiter for a garlic naan bread which wasn’t on the menu but they happily accommodated it.

After our drinks came to the table, we started our meal with poppadoms and various dips which went down really well, after we asked for an extra plate for the 5th person and cutlery for the table.

We had to wait a while for our main courses but we ended up getting our food before other people in the restaurant who had been waiting longer than us. There seemed to be a flourish of food as everyone else in the restaurant soon had their main courses.

I had a prawn bhuna, mushroom rice and a garlic naan bread. Unfortunately the prawn bhuna was lukewarm and didn’t have its usual flavoursome kick. My mushroom rice was tasteless as well, although everyone else’s pilau rice was fragrant and I had food envy at this point! However, my garlic naan was delicious and I could have eaten another one!

During the meal a friendly waiter took another drinks order but was never to be seen again! It ended up being quicker for us just to order and get the drinks from the bar ourselves.

The best bit of the meal was our poppadoms and my garlic naan bread. We didn’t have any of these problems before, but I think it was just because it was a rugby day and admittedly, I don’t usually leave my own house on these days as it’s a nightmare!

Where’s your favourite curry house?