The Diner (Soho)

The Diner has many branches in London that serves American style food. We visit the Soho branch which is located in Carnaby Street area.

Baby back ribs (£13) comes served with fries and slaw.

The Diner (Soho)

The diner has a large range of burgers to select which are all under £10. Each one don’t come with sides and you will have to order this separately. This does give you the options on the choice of sides you want or none at all.

The Diner (Soho)

I went for the most healthy option that I could find on the menu, a Cheeseburger salad (£10). This was a bunless beef patty where the bun is replaced by salad. The salad consisted of lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, croutons, shredded cheese with Diner burger sauce and mustard.

The Diner (Soho)

As well as the original fries, The Diner also has other fries to choose. I found the Wet Fries (£3.40) disappointing as for me the gravy was too water down and did not have much flavour.

The Diner (Soho)

The Chilli cheese fries (£5) was better the the wet fries but it was not the best version I have had in London.

The Diner (Soho)

For drinks, I tried The Diner’s super berry iced tea (£2.20). It was a refreshing drinks but not sure how natural it was.

The Diner (Soho)

Overall, the food was okay but nothing special. It would not been a place I would choose to dine but considered this dining evening as an opportunity to add on to the places visited in London.  When I looked around that evening, I felt like I had a mirror of seeing myself dining here in my younger days. For me this would had been a restaurant that I would had gone in thoses days.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

The Diner (Soho)
18 Ganton Street,
London,
W1F 7BU,
UK

http://goodlifediner.com

Bukowski (Soho)

Bukowski recently opened their third branch in Soho and offer modern American inspired food. I got the opportunity to visit Bukowski when I was looking for a restaurant to cater a large group to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

The Soho branch is a spacious and is suitable for large party. They also take reservation which is another added bonus. It is a casual restaurant with large variety of dishes to choose on the menu and it is not just all burgers and ribs. You will find duck, lamb and salad on the menu.

We started off with the Puck nuggets served with Kimchi remoulade (£5.95) – These were deep-fried confit pork and duck with Korean spices. These were gorgeous nuggets with a soft creamy meaty centre, but it is on the spicy side.

There are a selection of chicken wings including a smoked chicken wings in barn burner sauce XXX HOT XXX (£6.25). They are free if you can finish them all and that is exactly what one of our brave friend did that evening. He managed to finish these burning chicken wings.

The rest of us kept on the safe side with the smoked chicken wings in bourbon BBQ sauce (£6.25). The chicken wings are moist and succulent in a smokey tangy sauce

Bukowski

For main, I shared the special of the day, 900g 28 day aged Longhorn wing rib steak (£48). This was aimed to be for two person, which came served with a range of sauces and tobacco onions (thinly sliced onions floured and sprinkled with their spice mix).

The wing rib steak is quite chewy and is similar to a rib eye steak. We ordered two portion on the table and one of the wing rib steak was mainly fat. There was not much lean meat to eat and the fat was too unhealthy to eat. So for me, it is not worth the £48 and I would had preferred one of the dish on the main menu which I thought had some good choices.

Bukowski

I enjoyed two of the sides we had that evening, one is the tabacco onions which tasted like onion rings but with a slightly different texture. The other side was the chilli cheese fries (£4.95) which is chips with chilli con carne, grated cheese and sour cream. The portion size is for sharing, although I could enjoy this as my main.

Bukowski offers spiked milkshakes (£5.95 each) which is milkshakes mixed with alcohol. There are three different flavours to choose – Dulce de leche and kahlua/Peanut butter, banana and bourbon/Chocolate and rum.

The dulce de leche and kahlua tasted like a coffee milkshake. The peanut butter, banana and bourbon was strong in bourbon flavour. Both milkshake tasted nice and I do recommend to try.

The service at Bukowski was friendly and the staff were patient with answering our queries about their dishes. I felt they did well in serving a group of 14 people.

Bukowski

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Bukowski (Soho)
10 D’Arblay Street,
London,
W1F 8DS,
UK

http://bukowski-grill.co.uk

Meat Liquor (London)

If you looking for a greasy burger where the grease drips from your hands, Meat Liquor will be just one of these places that will offer you that dirt. This place is not for the healthy soul.

The music is really loud in every part of the restaurant. It is definitely not the place to go if you want to have a conversation where you do not need to shout.

I have heard from others how long the queue but when we visited there not a long queue. In minutes we got through the door in to the dark and noisy restaurant to wait at the bar. We waited around 15 minutes for a table of two people. But it could be that it been around many years and there are so many burgers restaurant to choose in London.

All the food is served on a tray lined with a grease paper.

Meat Liquor

The burger was not very pretty in presentation and it does make McDonald’s burgers look better. The beef patty at Meat Liquor is moist and I love the melted cheese. But it was greasy and messy to eat.

Meat Liquor

As well as a burger we shared a selection of sides – portion of fries, onion rings and deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese. The onion rings were the biggest onion rings I have seen. Each one was in a crispy battered coating but I prefer my breaded onion rings.

Going once for the experience is okay, but I don’t intend to return. Mainly due to the loud music more than the food.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Meat Liquor London
74 Welbeck Street,
London,
W1G 0BA,
UK

http://meatliquor.com

Wing Zone UK

American fast food chain Wing Zone has landed in UK, opening its first store in Finsbury Park. It is less than a minute walk from Finsbury Park. A fellow food blogger friend invited me to join him to attend the grand opening of Wing Zone. A great opportinity  to find out more about what it brings to UK.

Wing Zone specialise in serving chicken wings and it is about their range of signature sauces. There are nine different flavours to choose, although in America there are many more. In the UK there are currently the choice of Buffalo Bliss, Hot Shot, Nuclear Habanero, Liquid Gold, Honey Q, Sweet Samurai, Thai Chili, Mango Fire and Garlic Parm. Six out of the nine flavours are spicy. But my favourite is actually one of the non-spicy flavour, Honey Q.

The most deadly one has to be the Nuclear Habanero which is the flavour for the brave and for those who can stand up to firey spice. The one that took me and many by surprise has to be the Mango Fire. It started off with a fruity mango flavour and not long before you realise a spicy sensation appears.

Wing Zone UK (Grand Opening)

The chicken wings comes in the option as original (with the bones) or boneless. I actually prefered the bonless version which was tender and less messy to eat and it went well with the Honey Q flavour.

As well as chicken wings, Wing Zone also serves beef or chicken burger with the choice of Wing Zone’s signature flavours as mentioned above. To go with all the meat, there are a range of sides and my favourite of the evening were the chips and potato wedges.

Wing Zones has a few tables for those who want to eat in. But they also do takeaway and delivery service. It is the place that you need to visit for a box of chicken wings. Just as if you go to Kentucy Fried Chicken for a bucket of chicken. One is about the disntinct flavour of the batter coating of the chicken and Wing Zones is about their sauces.

Wing Zone UK
4A Clifton Terrace,
Finsbury Park,
London,
N43JP

http://www.wingzone.co.uk

Crab Tavern

As the name gives it away, Crab Tavern serves crab as the focus of their menu. The restaurant is near Liverpool Street station and is part of the Boardgate Circle family member.

Crab Tavern

Although the restaurant speciality is crab, you will find non-crab dishes such as chicken, steak and fish. This caters diners who prefer other choices than crab. I wanted to stick to what was the focus of the restaurant and that was the crab. Between me and my friends we started with the Crab Tavern Platter (£10 per person, minimum of 2 people).

We ordered the platter for two people and each person gets one of each item, which consisted of crispy soft shell crab, crab tartare on toast, king crab, crab caesar sub. I thought this was nice platter that showcase the different ways that you can serve crab.

Crab Tavern

Following from our sharing appetiser we went on to a sharing main, West Coast Bucket Boil (£35 per person and minimum of two people). The dish contained Crab claws, mussels, lobster, potatoes, sausage and corn on the cob.

It was nice and you have to prepare to get your hands dirty. But for what we got in the pan for £35 per person I thought it was expensive, even though it is seafood. There was loads of potatoes that lined the bottom of the pan and mussels was the main seafood that dominated.
Crab Tavern

However, I felt the West Coast Bucket Boil was better than the Best Legs In Town (£39), which is the King crab legs served hot or cold with a choice of herb mayonnaise or hot garlic butter. I thought this was expensive for three crab legs which was bigger than the usual crab, but each one did not have a lot of meat. It definitely would not be a dish I would re-order.

Crab Tavern

A more resonable priced crab dish on the menu would be the Soft Shell Crab Burger (£15). This was quite a favourite with a few people on our table.

Crab Tavern

There are sides that you could order to go with all the dishes, including fries and salad. Although we probably did not need it, but we wanted to try and ordered the King Crab & Bonito Mash (£8). This was mash with sprinkle of king crab on top.

Crab Tavern

Crab Tavern offers a range of drinks and if there isn’t one on their such as mocktails the bar is happy to create one to suit your taste.

Crab Tavern

I visited Crab Tavern when they were doing a 50% soft launch during Summer of 2015. Although we had half price from the original prices that quoted above, the bill for each person was still expensive. I probably would not return on full price as it was not special enough for me to pay the original price.

(Prices and menu correct at the time of dining)

Crab Tavern
Unit 7,
Broadgate Circle,
London,
EC2M 2QS

http://crabtavern.co.uk

Hotbox

Hotbox is a casual restaurant located near Spitalfields market that specialise in serving smoked meat. Its definetly the place to go for those who like their ribs and pulled pork.

HotBox

The menu is not long but enough to give people choice. Some time a short menu can be a good sign as it gives a restaurnt to concentrate on just a few items and provide it at its best.

HotBox

The smoked dishes is considered as the main and all are severd with house pickles. If you can not decide which one of the smoked meat to choose than you can opt for the Hotbox smoked selection (£21) which comes with all the different meat that Hotbox serves on their menu. The smoked selection will consist of Beef Short Rib, Pork Rib, Chicken Thigh, Hot Link Sausage, Pulled Pork.

HotBox

If you like your carb than Hotbox also serve the meat as a sandwich.

HotBox

You will need to get sides separately to go with any of the smoked but this allow you to share across the table. There are various selection of sides to choose and the two of my favourite are the mac & cheese (£6) and the sweet potato fries (£4).

HotBox

Although Hotbox serves what you could call as “dirty” food, the bill can add up depending what you order. I actully did not feel it is cheap to dine at Hotbox and it is defintely only a place to come once in a while. But don’t get the wrong idea that this is some classy resturant because it not, the place itself is like diner and very casual.

(Prices correct at the time of dining)

Hotbox
46-48 Commercial Street,
London,
E1 6LT,
UK

http://hotboxlondon.com

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (London)

American chain Bubba Gump arrives in London and it is living next door to Trocadero. The restaurant serves mainly seafood dishes, especially shrimps, which is what the restaurant is all about.

When I visited last week they were not taking reservation. We arrived to a reception on the ground floor and advised that it would be a waiting time of 15-20 minutes for a table of three. Instead of giving our name for the table, they wanted our favourite film. New but not a very practical way, as the receptionist had to go through the list to ensure no one have already used the same film name.

The ground floor is a gift shop filled with Bubba Gump goods that you could browse and/or purchase while you wait for your table to be ready. Finally after standing round browsing the menu, our favourite film was called and we were directed to go upstairs to the main restaurant where “Mama” (a Bubba Gump staff to be exact) would take us to the table. But when you go upstairs, we had to queue again and there was another reception. It was like queuing at a theme park!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

We got a table at one of the booth and a staff came to explain to us about the sign on the table. If it we display blue then it means we are fine, but if it display red then we need service.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

The menu has a range of shrimps dishes, along with seafood such as lobster, and some interesting fishes that I have never heard – Tilapia and Mahi Mahi.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

There are range of Bubba Gump speciality drinks and some of the drinks you can take the cup home. But the drinks are over priced as they were just flavoured slash ice (it reminded me of my childhood days of Slush Puppies).

We ordered a Strawberry Mango Chiller, Blue Lemon-Up and Mango Lemon Up (all £7.40 each). These came in a lite-up cup that you can take home. They were printed Bubba Gump plastic glass cup with a flashing base. When you lift the cup up there is a mini projector that projected the Bubba Gump logo.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

“I’m Stuffed” shrimp (£17.50) is made up of seven shrimps. Each one individually wrapped in minced crab meat and baked in cheese and served with Jasmine rice which was a medium size ball (less then a rice bowl size!). It definitely look like a larger portion on the photo in the menu.

The dish was also served with a piece of garlic bread baguette, which look like was some pre-frozen bread that you could just buy cheaply at a supermarket freezer. Not considering the size and the garlic bread, the dish itself was okay, but it did get quite salty.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

Lobster linguine (£16.75) for the price, you can get it better at some of London’s Italian restaurant. The dish had a few pieces of lobster meat but they were like rubber which imply they were not very fresh lobster.

Babba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

The surf and turf (£19.50) comes with ribs and grilled shrimp skewers served with fries. The ribs look like it has been starved and we came to the conclusion it was ribs from a package. The only thing we thought was good on this dish was the grilled shrimp skewers. But overall not a price worth paying. It makes TGI Friday better value and better quality!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

We spent around £30 per person (including 10% service charge) for three non-alcoholic drinks and three main dishes. The service was relatively okay, although I was taken around the whole restaurant to find a credit machine that will work. The restaurant has so many credit machine and they could only find two that were working to be able to pay the bill

My experience at Bubba Gump was like being at one of those holiday resort. This place will attract mainly tourist more than locals, as I feel there are better restaurants in London to dine.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (London)

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (London)
13 Coventry Street,
Piccadilly Circus,
London,
W1D 7DH