Reccos for London & Amsterdam

We’re going to London and Amsterdam for about four days each stop.
Could use any reccos for maybe a favorite hotel that is just below the very most expensive. Always looking for restaurant ideas across the cost spectrum. Indian place in London? Also, we know the main sights, but any special reccos would be helpful. I haven’t been to either city in decades.

I really liked the Amstel in Amsterdam, and even if you don’t stay there, the restaurant there, La Rive, served my best meal of the year (and I was on Rome that trip, including La Pergola). I think Blake also loved it.

Cafe Daalder in Amsterdam was a board recommendation that I loved and was a great value (not cheap but great value). I enjoyed the Indonesian food at Restaurant Blauw.

In London, high end, I love Fera in Claridge’s (been once). Also Pollen Street Social (been a few times, sometimes twice in one trip). Of course, there is The Ledbury, I actually prefer Fera and PSS.

For Indian and not expensive at all is Dishoom Covent Garden. Less options, but more intimate and maybe even a hair better (based on one visit) is Talli Joe’s. Both near the theater district. After 5:45 Dishoom doesn’t take reservations, by 6 the line is a block long. But you can make a 5:30 or 5:45 reservation! Perfect for the theater.

For expensive Indian, my personal favorite closed last winter (Rasoi) as did the location of Moti Mahal (for traditional Indian) so I’m interested in hearing what others think. I’ve enjoyed both Tamarind and Zaika for prix fixe lunch (a deal) but it’s been a while. Cinnimon Club I didn’t care for although it’s all the rage (mayonaisse on Indian food?). Here’s Time Out’s list of 3* and 4* Indian - Search | Time Out London.

And for seafood lovers, J. Sheekey (the main restaurant, not the annex) is fabulous for super fresh, straight ahead fish. Get the razor clams if available. Sheekey, along with Dishoom and Pollen Street Social are my musts when I visit London(and will likely add Fera to that list if it’s as good when I go back).

Gymkhana is our current favorite in London for Indian fine dining, followed by Trishna. I, too, was sad to see Moti Mahal close.

My favorite restaurant in London is Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs. Other favorites are Hedone, Pitt Cue (for tasty animal parts), St John (for more tasty animal parts), Goodman for grass fed English steaks, any of Jason Atherton’s places (Pollen Street Social, noted by Barry is one). The Ledbury is always great for fine dining.

Wait . . . Moti Mahal has closed? I had a pretty sensational meal at a few years ago. OTT, they have a location in NY now; I haven’t been.

There is a second Moti Mahal location in London (South Kensington) but I haven’t been - the one in Covent Garden closed.

I’ve been wanting to go to Hedone, but I couldn’t face the schlep and switched to Alyn Williams at the Westbury, which was very good but not uniformly exceptional (fairly priced though).

Do Gymkhana and/or Trishna put mayo in some of their food? I thought I remembered that from Gymkhana, but can’t be sure.

I haven’t been to the Moti Mahal in South Kensington, either. No mayo at Gymkhana or Trishna (ate at Gymkhana again last month, Trishna last year). Tamarind is doing a total remodel and is supposed to reopen soon.

The owner/chef at Hedone is a weird guy, but a good cook. Not that bad of an Uber/Taxi ride from the west end. We went on a rainy Friday night and it took 30 minutes to get there and 15-20 to get back to our hotel.

In London, I stayed at the Chesterfield a few times, though it’s been at least 15 years. Mid-priced hotel, classic “london” style, good quiet location in Mayfair, though you do have to walk a bit to get to where things are happening.

In Amsterdam.

Foodhallen for street-food dishes, shared tables, in a large indoor food-hall.

Good tasting menu, very reasonable pricing (imho) at Wolf Atelier in a converted railroad bridge.

Right with you on that Mark, though I’d probably use even stronger language than “weird.” Jonathan found him so distasteful that he refuses to go back, even though we loved the food.

Was in London in June. Gymkhana’s duck egg bhurji with lobster was one of the best things I’ve eaten in recent years.

Also went to Hedone on the basis of board recommendations here and its proximity to Kew Gardens. I found the food boring, the service pretentiously poor, and the overall experience bad value.

If you happen to be around Paddington or Edgeware, Patogh has some of the best Persian kebabs and fresh made breads I’ve had.

Do not miss Cafe Daalder in Amsterdam. Beautiful tasting menu. We were there last week after being there 4 years ago and if anything it’s better. As Barry mentioned above Daalder is a great value for the refinement of food you receive.

For a fun place with excellent cocktails be sure to go to Tales and Spirits. Voted one of the top 50 cocktail bars in the world and I agree :slight_smile:.

Restaurant Blauw for Indonesian is very good and a new discovery this trip was Krua Thai which we enjoyed.

The Kimpton DeWitt hotel was a very nice hotel, rooms and bath were good size and you won’t break the bank. Best of all it is centrally located which for us is a nice bonus.

Love Amsterdam and try to get back there often.


Dukes Hotel in a hidden side street in St James is a great place to stay. Then you need to find a way into 67 Pall Mall just round the corner.

I love Kit Kemp’s Firmdale hotels. We’ve stayed at The Soho Hotel once or twice a year since it opened in 2004. The others are very nice, too, depending on the neighborhood where you want to stay. Be prepared for some sticker shock, as London hotels aren’t inexpensive.

Also check out the Pulitzer in Amsterdam. 25 canal houses cobbled together between two canals into a cool hotel.

Some ideas I sent someone else the other day.

Kricket (trendy and quirky Indian food)
Andrew Edmund (bistro, great wine list, service can be grumpy but it’s always fun)
Xu (Taiwanese style Chinese - best to call ahead as they’re popular).
Cay Tre (Vietnamese Pho)
Gelupo (or Scoop) for Ice cream

Mayfair/Oxford St:
28-50 for great wine and simple food.
Blandford Comptoir - similar but Italian focussed food.
Homeslice - excellent and inexpensive pizza (various locations)
Scandinavian Kitchen - great sandwiches and baked goods.

A Wong - incredible Michelin starred Chinese. The duck feast is fab. Book now if you want to go.

Padella - beautiful pasta dishes at Borough Market. Usually a queue. Worth heading down there for a look at the market too, though much is closed Mon/Tues - loads of food stands.
Portland or The Quality Chophouse- Jancis’s Robinson son’s restaurants
Bao (a couple of locations!) - Chinese buns and other bits. Great value lunch menu!!
Anchor and Hope (near Waterloo station, just south of the river) - good modern English- book ahead.
Wahaca- various - Mexican. Good value for a quick bite. The South Bank one is and has great views.
Masters Superfish (Waterloo) - Fish and Chips.
Chez Bruce/La Trompette/The Ledbury - all owned by the same chap, different chefs - fabulous classic food. They are very pricey but the food is amazing at all of them.
Brunswick House Cafe - great food and nice list in a quirky antique shop. Unlikely location by Vauxhall bus station but worth a visit.
Roti King - Behind Euston Station. Looks grim but food is excellent. Spicey Singaporean/Malaysian food. They do corkage.
Ole and Steen- various - great baked goods.

Others I’ve not tried but which other wine-lovers I know rate highly:
-Sager + Wilde
-Leroy (Shoreditch) - see Leroy, London: ‘Give me a noisy, naughty bar like this any day’ – restaurant review | Food | The Guardian
-The Other Naughty Piglet

Rijsel or De Scheepskameel

Also check out the India Club on the Strand for curry. It was the seat of the Indian Independence movement in the UK and hasn’t changed much since 1947. No-frills but cheap and tasty. They also do corkage.

I can second 28-50 and the Quality Chop House (and Andrew Edmunds for the great atmosphere and wines definitely as well - I do not have a recollection of being wowed by the food).

The restaurant I would most recommend in London is The Noble Rot, a real wine lover heaven with very knowledgeable and down-to-earth staff and simple high quality food that complements the wines very well. In addition to the superb list they also offer fantastic stuff btg with Coravin, I remember enjoying the 2005 Trevallon during our visit after emptying a very affordable bottle of Cotat’s Les Caillottes.

Another place I would gladly go again to is The Medlar. It’s way less hipster than the Noble Rot but with very good cooking and a wide, very high quality selection of wines.

Check Blake’s thread on AMS. He lives there a couple of months a year, although we never were able to make it there at the same time.

Not much help for restaurants (can never remember), but I stayed at the Pulitzer hotel in Amsterdam. Quite nice and centrally located and a short walk to Anne Frank museum. Indonesian cuisine is a must while there.

Also heading to London shortly.

Any feedback on Jamavar for Indian in London? Considering it vs. Trishna.

+1 on J Sheekey. If you like shellfish, get the shellfish tower. Had it 3 years ago and dreamed about it ever since. Went back this spring and it was even better than the first time. Enough for 2 people, but I go it alone, other than a few shrimp and mussels I share with my wife.