Seven big Aus­tralians

Where to find our high-fly­ing chefs in London, and their in­sider se­crets for the Olympic tourist

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

BRETT GRA­HAM, THE LED­BURY Gra­ham’s two-Miche­lin-starred Not­ting Hill res­tau­rant was the high­est climber in this year’s San Pel­le­grino World’s 50 Best Restau­rants rank­ings (jump­ing from 34 to 14). Quite an achieve­ment for a boy from New­cas­tle, NSW, who started work in a fish shop at 15. The Led­bury spe­cialises in French clas­sics with a mod­ern twist and the chic and so­phis­ti­cated fine diner has been at the top of foodlovers’ must-do lists since its 2005 open­ing. Per­fect for a big night out. On the menu: Flame- grilled mack­erel with smoked eel, celtic mus­tard and shiso; par­fait of dried flow­ers with gariguette of wild straw­ber­ries, white choco­late and warm tapi­oca with vanilla. More: theled­ BG’s favourite London break­fast: Granger & Co in Not­ting Hill for a full Aussie break­fast. Ca­sual lunch: Franco Manca in Chiswick for great pizza [made from slow-ris­ing sour­dough]. Slap-up din­ner: Zuma in Knights­bridge [for Ja­panese cui­sine]. Tip for Olympic tourists: Visit Hamp­ton Court Palace. It’s a step back in time and amaz­ing to see a place so steeped in his­tory. BILL GRANGER, GRANGER & CO For­mer Syd­neysider Granger opened his sev­enth res­tau­rant, in trendy Not­ting Hill, last Novem­ber. It has a strong Aussie flavour, with airy in­te­ri­ors (de­signed by Aus­tralian firm Meacham Nock­les McQual­ter) and all-day ca­sual din­ing fea­tur­ing many of his sig­na­ture dishes along­side more English fare, such as a Sun­day roast beef rib with root ve­g­ies. The big­gest de­par­ture from Granger’s usual win­ning for­mula is the name — Bill’s, rather in­con­ve­niently, was al­ready be­ing used by an English res­tau­rant chain. On the menu: Ri­cotta hot­cakes with ba­nana and hon­ey­comb but­ter; chilli pork ribs with onion salad. More: BG’s favourite London break­fast: Princi in Soho, for the green olive bread sticks, pas­tries and espresso. I love tak­ing the chil­dren in on a Satur­day be­fore a day of shop­ping in the West End. Ca­sual lunch: It’s a toss up be­tween two of my favourite chefs and their West London restau­rants. Dock Kitchen for Ste­vie Parle’s global home cook­ing and out­door bar­be­cue, or Tom Pem­ber­ton’s strictly Bri­tish Here­ford Road with its ex­cel­lent­value set lunch menu. Slap- up din­ner: River Cafe in Ham­mer­smith. The food is rig­or­ously sea­sonal, the in­gre­di­ents im­pec­ca­ble and the room and ser­vice flaw­less. Olympic tip: London’s parks are its great j oy, par­tic­u­larly in sum­mer. Make the most of the morn­ing and evening light by vis­it­ing for a pre-break­fast or post­din­ner stroll. DAVID THOMPSON, NAHM It was the first Thai res­tau­rant in Europe to win a Miche­lin star and, with its lo­ca­tion in The Halkin ho­tel in cen­tral London’s posh Bel­gravia dis­trict, a tiara’s toss from Buck­ing­ham Palace and the up-mar­ket Knights­bridge shop­ping area, som tam never looked so chic. More than 10 years af­ter its open­ing, the res­tau­rant is still go­ing strong, though Thompson has hinted he will step away from his Bri­tish flag­ship to con­cen­trate on the newer Nahm Bangkok, in the Thai cap­i­tal’s Met­ro­pol­i­tan Ho­tel. On the menu: Crispy noo­dles with prawns, pick­led gar­lic, bean sprouts and co­rian­der; salted chicken in wafers with lon­gans and Thai basil. More: DT’s favourite London break­fast: The Wolse­ley — the pas­tries are good, the tea im­pec­ca­ble and the at­mos­phere, well it’s on Pic­cadilly. Ca­sual lunch: Peter­sham Nurs­eries Cafe, now with Greg Malouf, gives you a chance to re­lax in the sum­mer sun, if it’s out. Slap- up din­ner: Din­ner by He­ston Blu­men­thal in the Man­darin Ori­en­tal is the ticket. The meat fruit, with man­darin, chicken liver par­fait and grilled bread, is won­der­ful. GREGMALOUF, PETER­SHAM NURS­ERIES CAFE Skye Gyn­gell put this gar­den cen­tre res­tau­rant at the foot of south London’s Rich­mond Hill on the map, earn­ing it a Miche­lin star last year. Now an­other Aussie has stepped into her soil- flecked shoes, and it’s no sur­prise Greg Malouf has had rave re­views. The Melbourne chef has con­tin­ued Gyn­gell’s use of fresh, lo­cally sourced pro­duce, but has added Mid­dle East­ern flair. There are no airs and graces here; a dirt-floor green­house dou­bles as the main din­ing room, with guests perched on mis­matched chairs around an­tique ta­bles dec­o­rated with pot­ted plants. A stone’s throw from Kew Gar­dens and Hamp­ton Court, Peter­sham is the per­fect lunch spot from which to em­bark on a scenic af­ter­noon stroll. On the menu: Spiced rab­bit with chorizo, parsnip sko­rdalia and tre­visano; pavlova with lemon pos­set and gin­ger caramel pears. More: pe­ter­sham­nurs­ GM’s favourite London break­fast: I al­ways en­joy The Wolse­ley for an im­pec­ca­ble full English break­fast. My wife, Chal­ice, loves the eggs bene­dict ( which are usu­ally served with a smat­ter­ing of vis­it­ing celebri­ties). Ca­sual lunch: Bar­ra­fina, a bustling ta­pas bar in Soho that serves sim­ple dishes like sar­dines a la plan­cha and cooked-to-or­der ja­mon and spinach tor­tilla. Also Dock Kitchen, where tal­ented young chef Ste­vie Parle uses im­pec­ca­ble in­gre­di­ents with some lovely Mid­dle East­ern touches. Slap- up din­ner: The Led­bury. Brett is an Aus­tralian chef at his very best. Olympic tip: Plan your jour­neys very care­fully as public trans­port will un­der­stand­ably be stretched [for the du­ra­tion of the Games]. SHE­LAGH RYAN, SAL­VA­TION JANE Lan­tana cafe in London’s trendy Fitzrovia was opened in 2008 by Queens­lan­der Ryan in re­sponse to the dearth of de­cent cof­fee out­lets in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. Since then it’s notched up a string of best cafe awards and the suc­cess has led to the re­cent launch of sis­ter out­let Sal­va­tion Jane (also named af­ter a ram­pant Aus­tralian weed) in Shored­itch, east London. Sal­va­tion Jane is far more spa­cious than Lan­tana, seat­ing about 65, and of­fers an Aus­tralian cafe-style break­fast and lunch menu, plus share plates, beer, wine and cock­tails of an evening. As with Lan­tana, the cof­fees are a stand­out. On the menu: Maple french toast with ba­con, grilled ba­nanas and can­died pe­cans; beef burger with beet­root rel­ish, stil­ton mayo and leaves. More: sal­va­tion­ SR’s favourite London break­fast: Tina We Salute You is a quirky, hum­ming lit­tle place in Dal­ston, run by two of the nicest men in east London. They do fan­tas­tic cof­fee and a sim­ple but ex­cel­lent menu, with all the cakes made by one of the own­ers. Ca­sual lunch: Morito at Ex­mouth Mar­ket in Clerken­well — a small ta­pas bar from the peo­ple who run Moro, the more for­mal Span­ish res­tau­rant next door. Best dishes are the pork belly, beet­root hu­mous and home­made sour­dough bread. Slap- up din­ner: Pollen Street So­cial in May­fair pro­vides Miche­lin- starred food with­out the for­mal­ity and stuffi­ness of a fine­din­ing res­tau­rant. Olympic tip: Avoid the over­crowded tubes and travel the city on a Bar­clays bike. TR­ISH HILFERTY, THE CAN­TON ARMS This at­mo­spheric pub in a lessthan-trendy part of south London was once a tired Ir­ish boozer. With a spruce up and the ar­rival of Aussie chef Tr­ish Hilferty two years ago, it gained a new lease of life. Hilferty or­ches­trated the food at Clerken­well’s ac­claimed The Ea­gle, among other gas­trop­ubs, and has had sim­i­lar rave re­views for her quirky menus at The Can­ton Arms (her foie gras toastie is one of the most talked-about bar snacks in the city). This Stock­well pub won a Miche­lin Bib Gour­mand in its first year, but per­haps Hilferty’s great­est achieve­ment has been in retaining the venue’s soul; the pub’s orig­i­nal clien­tele still flock to the un­pre­ten­tious front bar, while a whole new au­di­ence pops into the din­ing room to pore over the eclec­tic carte. On the menu: Roast Swaledale lamb, lemony roast pota­toes and romesco; steamed syrup sponge and cus­tard. More: can­ton­ TH’s favourite London break­fast: A good cof­fee and toast is plenty for me so I go to E5 Bake­house, an ar­ti­san bak­ery and cafe in east London, which has the best sour­dough bread. Ca­sual lunch: Koya Ja­panese Udon in Frith Street, Soho. Fan­tas­tic house-made noo­dles, and the spe­cials board is ge­nius. Slap- up din­ner: Quo Vadis, in Soho. Jeremy Lee’s food is right on the money — mod­ern Bri­tish, truly sea­sonal and very tasty. The room is beau­ti­ful and is steered by one of London’s best maitres’d, Jon Spi­teri. Olympic tip: Walk. The best way to the sta­dium is via Re­gent’s Canal. You can hop off the tube at Beth­nal Green and join the canal in Vic­to­ria Park. Walk down to Hack­ney Wick and have a cof­fee or a glass of wine at The Hack­ney Pearl or The Counter Cafe, and dis­cover the many new gal­leries in the area. You’ll ar­rive with­out feel­ing crushed by the London Un­der­ground. PAUL MER­RONY, GIACONDA DIN­ING ROOM The orig­i­nal Giaconda in the West End’s theatre and mu­sic dis­trict was a mecca for mu­sos in the 1960s. To­day, Syd­ney chef Mer­rony’s no-frills neigh­bour­hood bistro on Den­mark Street is at­tract­ing a whole new crowd for its mod­estly priced but im­pres­sive food. Giaconda, with its bare wooden ta­bles, bent­wood chairs and French-in­flu­enced menus re­flect­ing Mer­rony’s clas­sic train­ing ( un­der the fa­mous Roux broth­ers, among oth­ers), has at­tracted a loyal fol­low­ing. With what the chef claims is prob­a­bly the small­est kitchen in London, that’s no mean feat. On the menu: Sauteed veal kid­neys with pota­toes, grain mus­tard and chicory salad; iced nougat with rasp­berry sauce. More: gi­a­con­da­din­ PM’s favourite London break­fast: Bar Bruno in Soho for eggs and ba­con, and a mug of builder’s tea. Or the Tow­path cafe be­side Re­gent’s Canal. Very cool. Ca­sual lunch: The orig­i­nal Franco Manca pizza place, just off Elec­tric Av­enue, Brix­ton. Slap-up din­ner: La Pe­tite Mai­son in May­fair. Olympic tip: Sir John Soane’s Mu­seum and Gef­frye Mu­seum are great gal­leries to check out. Skip the London Eye and in­stead walk up Prim­rose Hill for a London vista. And an Oys­ter Card is a must for public trans­port.

She­lagh Ryan’s Sal­va­tion Jane in Shored­itch, east London, of­fers cafe-style break­fast and lunch menus, plus evening share plates and out­stand­ing cof­fee

Peter­sham Nurs­eries Cafe, where Greg Malouf is head chef

Plat­ing up at The Led­bury

Tr­ish Hilferty at The Can­ton Arms


Bill Granger

Nahm’s salted chicken wafers

Brett Gra­ham

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.