Eating out in London is expensive and is considered one of the highest in the world. Unfortunately, paying more does not mean nicer food all the time. While the equation might or might not hold, what if you have a limit amount of time in London and only that much stomach capacity? Here, I have a list of tasting eating places that is affordable to most people out there, including students.I am assuming four meals, two lunches and two dinners. Most of these places do not open before 12pm, so grab something for breakfast instead. The list is created based on my own tasting experiences on top of a price-tasty index that I use.
Burger & Lobster
I chose the whole lobster option, not Burger & Lobster (if you get the pun). You have the choice of steamed or on the grill. I had mine grilled.
The famous Burger & Lobster is one of the must-try in London, there is a number of branches in the city but the one on Dean Street is the biggest. I have heard heaps of students talking about it, notably Asians. Apparently, it is like a big gastronomy thing for people from the East. Now that I have tried it and I think it deserves the hype. The menu is downright simple and get people what they came for. It has three options for the main; The Burger, The Lobster Roll and The Whole Lobster. For £20, you get to choose one of the mains, they come served with fries and salad. The greens are refreshing and are good complements with the lobster. The fries are good as well, as English as they get, potato-lovers will not be disappointed. They do not take reservations so be there early if you don’t wait stay in line for long. I went there on a weekday lunch right before opening and got a seat immediately when it opened.
36-38 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 4PS
Price: £20 + discretionary service charge of 12.5%
A closer look at the juicy lobster meat.
If you ever get steak cravings, or even when you don’t, head to Flat Iron. At this steak joint, you get a serving of steak, a salad side and popcorn for £10. It is definitely one of the best steak around for its price. You can get your steak fix without going on a bread diet for the rest of the week. The steak is slightly seasoned with salt and comes with a juicy tinge of milky fragrance in the mouth as you chew it. You need to eat it to believe the sheer delight in its flavours. Once again, this popular joint does not take reservations. My experience is that once you get there and if there is a queue, the host will get your name and mobile number. You will then receive a text when your turn is up so that you can hang around the area instead of plainly waiting and watching people chew on their steak.
9 Denmark St, Soho, London WC2H 8LS
Price: £10 + discretionary service charge of 12.5%
This is one serving of medium rare steak. It does not look like a big serving but a second serving might get you tired of the taste. Hence, they do a good job in determining the serving size over there.
There is a beefy taste in the popcorn, might have something to do with beef oil.
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant has one of the best roasted duck around in the business, at least in London, probably UK. There are four outlets in London and the oldest one being at Queenway, it is located a few steps away from Bayswater tube station. Literally, it is a Chinese restaurant that is outrageously famous for roasted duck. I did not see any tables without a serving of roasted duck during my visit there. The pure roasted duck dish comes in three portions; whole, half, per portion, £22, £12.50 and £9.50 respectively. In my opinion, this is a very reasonable price, especially in London. If you compare it to the roasted duck at the Four Seasons Capitol Piazza in Singapore, the ones over there are about 50% more expensive. The signature roasted duck comes with the bone or boneless option, they cost the same though. The meat is smooth and well marinated. It comes with sweet soy sauce which is a perfect complement to the slightly salted roast taste. The skin is crispy but not to the extend of being crackling crispy and dry. Originally, we wanted a vegetable side dish but a hefty £8 price tag for just vegetables did not justify it. I recommend the crispy pork belly which is of utterly delicious standard. Add a quid more for mixed combination of barbecue meat. We had the combination of Char Siew and crispy pork belly which set us back by £9.50. The portion was very generous, hence making the price very reasonable.
84 Queenway, Bayswater, London W2 3RL
Check out their website for opening hours at the other outlets
Price: About £15 (depending on the orders) + discretionary service charge of 12.5%
Four Seasons, Queenway
This man looked disgruntled probably due to his cravings for roasted duck. He turned out to be a regular who did not even look at the menu and quickly devoured his plate of Hong Kong noodles with roasted duck.
The roasted duck comes with the sweet gravy which you can have it over your rice for best tasting experience, truly asian. £12.50.
Man, don’t just look, come in and join the eating party.
Crispy pork belly and barbecue meat (Char Siew). £9.50.
Total bill for two. Ridiculous pricing for rice but there is no way of getting around it. This was more than enough meat for two full-grown man. A meaty feast indeed. Thanks for Ray for the treat though! In any case you guys are wondering what is the discretionary service charge, in the UK, it is usually added to the total bill at restaurants. There is no need to leave additional tips unless you are really happy with a particular service. Having said that, it is optional to pay the discretionary service charge though you need a valid reason to not pay it.
One of the best take out for fish and chips is Fish! Kitchen at Borough Market. There are a few selections of fish such as haddock, hake and cod. Prices are the same for each kind of fish, £8.95, just that they vary in sizes. Different fish have different meat texture so it depends on individual preferences. Personally, I like haddock the best. The price is inclusive of chips. Both the fish and chips come in huge portions. All the fish are bought daily from the market to ensure ultimate freshness. The crispy batter takes the whole experience to the next level. You will be guaranteed to feel satisfied with the fish and chips at Fish! Kitchen. For the price, this is a complete steal.
Cathedral St, London SE1 9AL
Different sizes of the fillets but they are of the same price, £8.95.