It’s really hard to find a good restaurant that really ticks off all the boxes especially with so many restaurants springing up everywhere and most of them being run by people who’ve got no clue about food and even worse kitchens full of supposedly ‘chefs’ who aren’t actually passionate about food but are just doing it because it is a job and they want to make an earning.
I’ve been on an adventure for the past few months, really going round to explore some restaurants around neighbouring towns , in and near London. I was really impressed with these five restaurants that I am going to recommend in this blog post. I just love visiting places where the service is super excellent, the food is ridiculously phenomenal and the vibe is top notch. Bear in mind, this is based on my own review after I had visited, so if you’ve visited and wasn’t very impressed it might have been one of those days.
Middletons Bar & Grill
The first restaurant on my list, is The Middletons Bar & Grill http://middletons-shg.co.uk/ which is in Milton Keynes and also other branches include Leicester, Kings Lynn, Watford, Norwich. As you enter this (Milton Keynes Branch)restaurant you are welcomed warmly by the professional staff and they’ll whisk you off to a table, normally of your choice if its not a busy time.
The atmosphere is very chilled with an orange and brown colour theme that sets you into a happy mood. Within no time, drinks are served as you browse through the menu. I really loved the menu as there’s plenty of choices, my favourite dish being the Middletons Grill. The Chicken breast is so succulent and so perfectly marinated and seasoned, and the rib-eye so tender and perfectly cooked. I always order a side of their sweet potato fries and their Caesar Salad that is so tasty as it comes with a mix of anchovies.Most of their grills are served on brown heavy boards creating that rustic feel to the dish. Their prices are very reasonable and for me, the most satisfying part about this restaurant is, whilst you sit, you can simply see what is going on in their kitchen and if you want, you can simply go and have a peep through the glass windows and watch how the chefs are working and I love that.This is my go to restaurant anyday anytime. Out of 10 I will give it a 10✅
The Little Viet Kitchen
This little Restaurant situated in London Islington is the ‘heart of flavours’ for those with strong taste buds that do not just bow down to food so easily. It is owned by Thuy who is originally from Vietnam http://www.thelittlevietkitchen.com/menu/. The food is Vietnamese and I can assure you, it’s mindblowingly cooked to perfection. As I pointed out, it’s a very small restaurant but as you enter, the staff is very warm and welcoming.
The menu is very straightforward and easy to understand, giving you an idea of what you will be ordering. When I visited, I ordered the Coconut & Lemongrass Curry which came in a large bowl and very rustic spoons. It had noodles that were swimming in this sort of whitish curry sauce with a crab, egg and lots of herbs and a whole lot of other good things in there. Its really amazing to see how it’s assembled in the bowl and the curry just oozes with all these flavours that keep your mind so interested and in anticipation because every bite comes with a unique hearty flavour. By the time you finish the bowl, you will be so full and satisfied and just bamboozled by how good this dish is. The only downside is it’s the only one in UK at the moment and also you cannot do a walk in, you have to book in advance as its really small but extremely busy. Out of 10 I will give it an 8.✅
This Vintage decorated Thai restaurant is situated in the heart of a small village of Berkhamsted near Hemel Hampsted.Other branches are Wokingham, Stratford, Marlow, Billericay , SevenOaks and quite a few more branches across the UK https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=giggling+squid&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari.The one in Berkhamsted is a very clean and neatly decorated restaurant, on arrival, you are welcomed by the lovely staff who get you sitted as soon as you step in.
The menu is slightly confusing and if it’s your first time, you’d need at least 5 minutes to read through it. My Favourite dish on the menu is the Giggling Squid 2 ,which came on a white platter with four divided compartments. A portion of white rice , a bowl of the massaman chicken curry, salt & pepper squid on a sweet and chilli dressing and a beef salad. I ordered another side of the massaman lamb curry and to be honest, words cannot empress how good this food tasted. They top the curries with toasted the cashew nuts and my goodness it’s just ‘the perfect combination’, infact the best Thai food I’ve ever tasted. You just have to visit to understand what I’m on about.The prices are very reasonable and the vibe in there is so chilled with very calming feel good music playing in the bacground. Perfect spot for couples to unwind & dine. Out of 10 I will give it 10.
I really love how jazzed up this restaurant line is https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=turtle+bay&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#istate=lrl:xpd. I love anything Caribbean and this place just makes you feel like you are on a holiday somewhere in Jamaica or St Lucia. It’s always very packed in the evenings and it is no doubt because its just got a great vibe and very jolly atmosphere. The staff is wonderful and the menu is short but interesting. If you are going to dine in the evenings, you’d rather book in advance as this place is very packed most nights. I always order either the Jerk Chicken with rice and peas or the Double Dipped Steak. They used to have a whole Seabass or is it tilapia or bream sometime back, but they’ve since removed it on the menu and replaced it with some filleted fish.
I always order their coconut drink too, I really enjoy that. The prices are reasonable and the food is very well cooked. I love how they serve their one-pot dishes in little enamel basins with lids, so rustic and very homely. I took my uni classmates there, it was their first time, they can’t get enough of this place and have gone by themselves several times since.Out of 10 I will give it a 7✅
It will not be a complete list without a restaurant from Africa right? Situated in the heart of London Camden market in a basement, at first you aren’t so sure what to expect as the entrance is very hiddenhttp://www.shaka-zulu.com/restaurant/a-la-carte. But as you enter into the restaurants you are short of words as to how it looks and the cool African deco in this huge space.
Although ShakaZulu restaurant prices are rather high and maybe unrealistic for some, I think for the type of food that they serve, it’s really worthy every penny. Mind you, these guys serve Game meat, like buffalo, zebra, ostrich and even crocodile meat which is not cheap meat and after all it’s all organic. When I visited Shaka Zulu, I really felt like I had gone back to Africa, the walls are decorated with African carvings and the atmosphere is just unique and pleasant. I ordered the King Shaka Game Board to share, which came with ostrich meat, Boerewors etc. The meat is so tender and very tasty. I really enjoyed every bit of this meal, the quantities are a bit of a let down but overally it’s amazingly put together. The drinks are pricey and again it depends with what you are ordering. I would definitely recommend this place if you love bbq/ braai and are willing to spend at least £100 or more on food and drinks. It is really worthy it and a great place to visit now and again. Out of 10 it I will give it an 8✅.
So there you go guys, my top 5 favourite restaurants right about now!! Unfortunately I tried to visit more African -Owned restaurants like Memlings http://memlings.co.uk/ or Braai Shack http://m.braaishackrestaurant.com/ everytime I wanted to visit it’s either they were closed or something. Hopefully I can visit these places soon. Hope you will enjoy reading, like, comment and share.