The Gramaphone is a great find. It’s on Commercial Street about 5 mins along the road from the Truman Brewery. Upstairs, there’s a bar with very friendly staff and great wine (cheap at around £13-15 a bottle), which serves good Thai food during weeknights and is quiet enough you can get a seat and have a natter. Last Thursday, I was there with my friend Pip and had yummy dumplings and spring rolls as a bar snack.
On Fridays, there’s various DJs playing good tunes – I’m afraid last time I was in on a Friday, its all rather hazy thanks to the 2 for 1 before 7pm offer at Scarlett Dot in Spitalfields market, but I think it was hip hop, there were tons of people there and everyone was having a good old dance. Very relaxed atmosphere - I seem to recall falling over a sofa, which they were fine with. Downstairs, there’s a club where I ended up after The Luxe two weeks ago – they have various DJs on during the week and weekend and club nights like Electrotherapy, where you listen to house, dress up in neon and swap clothes, apparently. So, weeknights for nice thai and chat, weekends for crazy DJ rave up with someone else’s clothes on.
Went to Isarn with my friends Amy and Mathieu last night. Been there before and can’t recommend it enough. Fantastic decor which gives it the air of a really high class place, but the prices (£8 for a main) mean that its a very good value Thai. Service is always friendly and unassuming, and little things like having your glass of water topped up repeatedly is really nice. In the summer, it has an open garden at the back. We ate duck red curry, steak, braised duck with shitake and swordfish – all perfectly done, delicate, intricately spiced. Wine list is great and the viognier (£20 a bottle) went really well with the food. The exotic fruit desert (£10 for two) is worth it – incredible fruits that you don’t get to eat often. Apparently a lot of crappy restaurants on Upper Street, but this one’s definitely worth a visit.
I’m lucky enough to have gone to both the Paris and London versions of the Buddha Bar. Although the Paris version is somehow more grand (there is a certain level of snootiness that Parisiennes can do far better than we can), but I really like the London version. I’ve been twice, both times with girlfriends, and have had a good night out. The decor is great and the music is fantastic (I’d forgotten how good the Buddha Bar sound is) . The wine list is really good and the food is very nice, although not amazing. Its Asian fusion in a sort of posh-Thai kind of way. Sadly, I note that the toptable half price set menu offer is over as otherwise it is a bit on the pricey side, but if you’re celebrating something and want a bit of an occassion, then it would be a good choice. Alternatively, just go upstairs for cocktails.
Posted in 2. CONNECT - Bars, restaurants, pubs, supper clubs, coffee shops, Best after-work dinner places in London, Best for date night in London
Tagged bar, Buddha Bar, restaurant, Thai, toptable
Went to this gorgeous little Thai place by the Truman Brewery, opposite Spitalfields market, with my friends Lottie and Alice. Started with salt and pepper squid and prawns which showed a really light touch, and followed with stir fry duck and vegetables and rice. Good honest cooking and excellent service which is a cut above most thai places I’ve been to. Shared bench tables, but actually feels very intimate even though you’re sharing with other people. Highly recommended!
UPDATE: Rosa’s opens in Soho on Thursday 11 March 2010. I can’t make it – gah – but if it’s as good as the Spitalfields version then I’m sure it will soon become a favourite for good value and delicious food in central London!