Back in London

Saturday, August 06th , 2016

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Jia in South Kensington serves unusually good dim sum at surprisingly low prices. Green chive dumpling was particularly good and the scallop cheung fun avoiding the greasiness that can so often afflict this classic dim sum. The standard was pretty consistent and Jia certainly seems to represent excellent value for money. The level of dim sum here is up with the better places in London, and I would certainly recommend it if you are in the area. It seems completely off the media radar, whether that be social or otherwise.

Bernardi's is an Italian restaurant run by Australians with Italian heritage, in a quiet street just north of Marble Arch. I found the menu slightly less appealing than many Italian restaurants, though service was very friendly. The food itself was a rather mixed affair, with good bream (pictured) and a nice pizzette but also one or two less successful things such as a curiously disappointing peach dessert. It was doing well but it seems to me to be quite a lot of money given the somewhat erratic cooking.

The Chipping Forecast is, not surprisingly given its punning name, a chippie, and in this case one that seems to take some trouble to use sustainably caught fish from Cornwall. Salmon fishcakes were good, and although the food overall is not earth shattering it is certainly better than my local chippie, albeit at a higher price. As a bonus, there is a nice garden tucked away at the back for use in good weather.

The very successful Bao in Soho now has a sister in Fitzrovia. The format is the same – no reservations, fluffy Taiwanese steamed dumpling plus assorted dishes such as excellent fried chicken. Not everything is to the standard of the dumplings, but prices are reasonable and doubtless the queue outside the new restaurant will soon be as long as the one outside the Lexington Street branch.

Tangawizi is a regular haunt, serving excellent north Indian food from modest premises in a parade of shops at the Twickenham end of Richmond Bridge. The rich curries here have plenty of flavour, and the vegetable dishes are just as good as the meats – they serve a fine aloo gobi here, for example. The waiters are particularly friendly and welcoming, and although the décor will not be winning any awards, the cooking speaks for itself.