Bone Daddies (High St Kensington)

Location: South West London

Cuisine: Chinese/Japanese

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Ramen is a common comfort food, re-kindling memories of student hall kitchens, oblongs of dried noodles and sachets of MSG. London has come a long way from that kind of ramen thankfully.

So ramen specialists, Bone Daddies, have been highly successful and are almost a mini-chain in London. Can their standards be maintained? LFM is glad to report that the ramen served in the High St Kensington branch is spot on. The 20 hour pork broth was rich and luscious. The cherry on the top, or in this case, a deep fried soft shell crab, perfected the dish. LFM also sampled the Korean deep fried chicken wings starter which was satisfying and tasty although we’ve had better elsewhere with a less ‘industrial’ taste.

The restaurant is based in the top floor food court of Whole Foods which gives it a rather casual vibe. This is perfect for bringing the little ones with high chairs available and plenty of room for buggies. Nice (and slightly odd) touches were the additions on the table of bibs, hair ties and garlic crushers.

Extremely happy with this opening in SW London and hurrah, no need to trek into central London with the bulky buggy for that ramen fix.

http://www.bonedaddies.com/restaurant/high-st-kensington/

Advertisements

197 Chiswick Fire Station

Location: West London (Chiswick)

Cuisine: Modern European

Price Range: £££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

London Foodie Mama was delighted to attend the soft launch of 197 Chiswick Fire Station. The former All Bar One bar (and previously an old fire station as the name suggests) has been gorgeously transformed into a restaurant/all-day-café/bar. The décor is chic yet laid back and would not look out of place in Chelsea or Mayfair. We particularly liked the different types of seating arrangements guests can choose from – cosy sofas, group tables, booths, stools around the bar or alfresco dining in the garden. Edison filament lightbulbs  a plenty and numerous cactus plants scattered around finished off the swank look.

On to the food. We settled for the beef brisket roast (bit dry sadly but generous portions) and the chicken and ham hock pie. The latter was beautifully presented, with a ceramic black bird figurine poking out of the perfectly cooked puff pastry, however the saltiness of the ham hock overpowered the entire dish leaving us gasping for hydration. Speaking of hydration, try the home made elderflower lemonade. For dessert, we opted for the banana crumble which was wholly executed with a crumbly topping, however the fruit was cooked in maple syrup which was achingly sweet, even for our sweet tooth. Perhaps serving with custard instead of the ice cream would have neutralised the sweetness.

Overall, our experience was lovely. Excellent place to chill and read the Sunday papers. Staff was attentive and the spacious nature of the restaurant meant plenty of buggies could be accommodated. High chairs were provided and the kids menu was prepared at £7.50 for a main course and dessert – only criticism was that all  main meal choices were unbalanced with no serving of vegetables (not that the little one would touch it but at least they can  be teased with the green stuff).

197 Chiswick Fire Station – we welcome you to Chiswick with open arms (now if only the prices were a bit more unemployed mama friendly, then we would be a regular).

http://www.no197chiswickfirestation.com/#home-197

Maitre Choux

Location: South Kensington (South West London)

Cuisine: Sweet (Patisserie)

Price Range: £££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 1/3

Macaroons were sooo 2014. Now Eclairs have well and truly overtaken the patisserie scene in London. Maitre Choux has set up shop in the high end district of South Kensington to catch the well heeled clientele. Beautifully decorated eclairs are lined up in the shop window which draw you in subconsciously.

London Foodie Mama is on a budget (nappies are expensive did you know)-  we couldn’t justify forking out £5-6 for just ONE eclair! So we dug deep in our empty pockets to try out the (cheaper) freshly baked Chouquettes which had just come out of the oven – think choux pastry balls covered in crunchy sugar crystals…tres bien oui oui. My Parisian plus one agreed that these were as good as they get.

The tiny cafe houses 2 tables with VERY little space for buggies (to manoeuvre our buggy to one table we had to disturb other guests and request they move their chairs – tres embarassing). So best to take home your eclairs (hide them from your sprogs!)

http://www.maitrechoux.com/

Chooks (Ealing)

Location: Ealing (West London)

Cuisine: Modern European

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Historically, Ealing in West London has been the home of ‘safe’ chain restaurants and not a destination for foodies. However, things are changing with the recent opening of Chooks which would not be out of place in more hip areas such as Shoreditch. Chooks opened in Autumn of 2015 in Ealing, previously having a successful pioneering branch in Muswell Hill. We were surrounded by cosy booths, Chooks branded arcade machines, shabby chic lighting, and polaroid camera toilet roll holders – tres cool!

The majority of the menu is based on chicken – mainly grilled but we opted for the buttermilk deep fried kind (with deep fried sweet potato fries and deep fried popcorn shrimp – OK OK the diet starts next week, honestly). The food is above average; tasty but missing that WOW knee knocking sensation (we’ve had better chicken at Bird@Old Street and ChicksnSour@Haggerston), however, we do prefer the ambience of Chooks and the spacious feel which is great for buggies. High chairs and baby changing is available and the staff were super obliging to our little one.

Definitely one to try if you find yourself in the area.

http://www.chooks.me/

Paesan

Location: Clerkenwell (Exmouth Market)

Cuisine: Italian

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 2/3

I took a risk and brought my Italian sister-in-law to an Italian restaurant in London. But am so glad I took her to Paesan as this place is amazing (and apparently rather authentic). Forget boring pizza  – this place does proper Italian food! The fresh breads are superb and stand out dish was the Pasta Vongole (clams).

We’ve been here for lunch and early dinner ; families are a common site at Paesan – the staff are great with the kids! Plenty of high chairs (we once had 4 toddlers eating at our table). Only negative is no baby changing facilties but hey, this is central London.

http://www.paesanlondon.com/