Tangawizi is a small Indian restaurant located in East Twickenham, just over the bridge from Richmond. As a rule I don't eat Indian food - not that I don't like it, but because is doesn't agree with my delicate constitution. However, after reading a rave review by a professional reviewer that I have met (who said it is one of the best Indian restaurants in London at the moment) I decided to give it a try. Oh, and did I mention that living only a ten minute walk away made it too hard to resist.
Set in a small, narrow restaurant, Tangawizi is kind of dark and very purple. We were given a table at the front of the restaurant, so we "wouldn't be disturbed by the large group" at the rear. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful - can't remember the last time I had such lovely service. We felt so welcome….ok, I know that is not as important as the food, but it helps to make the meal an even more enjoyable experience.
Favorite Dish: To start, we enjoyed the complimentary papadams, which we dipped in a sweet mango chutney. Then we moved onto the Tangawizi aaron platter - which included a selection of tasty treats such as chicken tikka, juicy lamb chops, tiger prawns, paneer tikka, seekh kebab and chowk ki tikki.
We then shared a Koli curry (mild chicken and coconut curry) with some basmati rice, and side dishes of Saag paneer (soft cottage cheese with spinach) and Dal makhani (urad dal and red kidney beans cooked with cumin seeds). And of course some Naan bread to help mop up that delicious coconuty sauce. I loved every dish we had, though the Dal makhani was particularly special.
Serving sizes were generous and we had ordered way too much - no problem, the wonderful staff just packaged up the left-overs for us to take home.
One of the loveliest places I have ever had morning tea is at the Petersham Nurseries Tea Room, which is located a short walk from the river in Richmond.
The nursery itself is a beautiful place, with all varieties of plants for sale, laid out in ramshackle green houses. At the nursery there is the relaxed Tea House and also a Café/Restaurant that serves up fine dining cuisine.
The nursery is a 10-15 minute walk from Richmond Bridge. You can walk along the river for a bit and then cut across Petersham Meadows, dodging the resident cows.
You can sit inside or out. Outside you will be sitting on little mis-matched chairs and tables amongst the foliage. It is a really pretty setting. We visited on a Sunday morning, arriving right before the 11am opening time. Within 10 minutes almost all of the tables were full.
Favorite Dish: Alex queued up to order our food, while I chose a nice little table outside. We both had a coffee (mine decaf) which came in individual plungers and was pretty good.
To eat, Alex had a slice of apple cake and I have a lamington (an Australian cake). Yum - I do love a lamington and hadn't had one for ages.
If you are looking for an authentic British afternoon tea after a visit to Kew Gardens, close to Richmond, then pop across the road to The Original Maids of Honour. This quaint tea room is the perfect place to relax and soak up the traditional atmosphere.
The Original Maids of Honour has been operating in the area for nearly 300 years. It is home to the delicious Maid of Honour cake - which is kind of like a light custard tart, but the recipe is a family secret that has been passed down through the generations.
Favorite Dish: The café is open for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. At lunch time you can choose from a selection of home made pies and sausage rolls, quiches, sandwiches or the Roast of the Day.
Stop by in the afternoon for the Maids of Honour set tea, which includes tea (or coffee), 2 scones with jam and clotted cream and a Maid of Honour cake. Delicious!!
There are also a selection of freshly made cakes and pastries that you can eat in or take away.
Monday 9.30 am - 1.00 pm
Tuesday - Saturday 9.30 am - 6.00 pm
Morning Coffee 9.30 am - 12 noon
Luncheon Sittings 12.30 pm & 1.30 pm
Afternoon Tea 2.30 pm - 5.30 pm
A mid-week dinner with friends was on the agenda, and the venue was the Naked Turtle in East Sheen, South West London. It is located just two train stops from Richmond, or a short bus/taxi ride.
This unusually named restaurant is a little gem. Their cuisine is South African influenced and delicious. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and the service is great.
You can have a drink before your meal, and weather permitting there is a terrace where you can relax and watch the passing commuters. They even have a happy hour each day.
There is a jazz pianist who plays throughout the evening, and the best part - singing waitresses!! Don't worry, they don't sing to you as they serve your food, instead, at stages through out the evening, the girls take it in turns to sit at the piano and sing some jazz classics.
Favorite Dish: So, the food. Well, it was pretty good. For starter, Alex had the Confit Duck Salad, Nik had the Seared Diver Scallops and Tandor had the Calamari rings with Lime butter. I may have sampled all of them, and they were all tasty.
For the main course Tandor & I had the Beef Rump, and Alex & Nik had the Blesbok (a type of Antelope). The boys certainly made the right choice, although the Rump was good, the Blesbok just melted in your mouth.
Desserts all round. Alex had the Bitter chocolate mousse, raspberries and kirsch. Nik had the Lime Creme Cataflan, caramelised orange. Tandor and I both had the Cape Malva pudding with vanilla pod ice cream - this was kind of like a Sticky Toffee pudding, but better!
To drink we had a couple of bottles of a very nice South African red wine from Jordan Estate.
This was a great evening with good friends, and it was a celebration as well - it was Tandor's birthday and they announced their engagement! Cheers!!
Hidden away on a cobbled lane just off Richmond High Street, is a charming restaurant called La Buvette. It is a little bistro with a very cosy feel, serving up typical French cuisine.
Having walked by it numerous times we decided to try it our one night with some friends. There is a terrace for alfresco dining in the warmer months (the perfect place for Sunday lunch!) and a small dining area inside, which is was on the night we dined.
Favorite Dish: The food was mostly good. To start, Alex & Gerri both had the King scallops a la nantaise with braised celery and bacon, and Kristian had the Escargots de Bourgogne. Unfortunately the scallop sauce was a little burnt, and Kristian was disappointed that his snails weren't served in their shells.
For main course, Gerri had the Fillet of seabass with a fumet of braised gem lettuce, basil and tomato which she loved. Alex, Kristian and myself all had the Roast Duck with red cabbage - it was really delicious!
Desserts were yummy too. Kristian and I had the Crème Brulee - it was tasty, but too rich for me to finish. Alex had the evil Chocolate & Prune Mousse.
The service was efficient and friendly and there was just a lovely (non-smoking) atmosphere. We all really enjoyed the evening.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a chain of fancy burger restaurants that originated in New Zealand. They have a branch in Richmond, located close to Richmond Bridge.
The restaurants are modern and clean and the staff are usually very friendly and efficient. When you arrive you will be seated and given a menu. Once you have decided what to eat you will need to go up to the counter to order and pay. Your meal will then be bought over to you when ready - and it is guaranteed to look and taste delicious.
Favorite Dish: We have eaten at Gourmet Burger Kitchen numerous times, mainly at lunch on the weekend, and have never been disappointed with the food.
Alex normally has the Satay Burger, which has 100% Aberdeen-Angus Scotch beef, spicy satay sauce, salad & relish. I am a bit of a fussy eater and like to 'create' my own burger, often having one with 100% Aberdeen-Angus Scotch beef, sweet potato, streaky bacon, aged cheddar & salad.
But even better are the GBK Fries - they are well worth it, but you will only need one serve between two - the burgers are so big that there are only so many fries you can fit in!
We met up with some friends one night and they took us to Chez Lindsay, one of their favourite French restaurants, located in Richmond, close to the Richmond Bridge.
It is a small "local" style restaurant, and the food was excellent, along with the service. They specialise in French cooking from the Brittany region - with a focus on seafood and galettes (buckwheat pancakes).
Favorite Dish: We started with a couple of different galettes to share - incredibly delicate and delicious. We also helped our dining companion eat his seafood platter (as pictured).
For mains I had the lamb shank and others had duck and rabbit dishes. Desserts sounded so delicious that we managed to force down a creme brulee, a chocolate pudding concoction and a banana parfait or the like.
It was a really enjoyable meal - we will be returning one day soon.
The Marlborough is a friendly Gastro Pub located a little off the beaten path on Richmond Hill. It has a welcoming bar area with some tables and comfy leather sofas to relax in with a drink. There is also a heated conservatory at the rear, with plenty of space for dining.
Best of all, The Marlborough is home to the largest beer garden in the area - it has a garden at the rear of the pub with plenty of big tables - perfect for those Sunday lunches with the kids - there is even a small playground at the end of the garden.
Favorite Dish: The food menu is not extensive, but there should be enough variety to keep everyone happy. So far I have only been for lunch, but am sure we will be back again soon as we now live very close by. For lunch, Alex and I both had the Sirloin Steak with vegetable skewers and wedges. I enjoyed the meal and found the wedges quite tasty, though Alex wasn't a fan.
This is not high class cuisine, just honest pub grub, best washed down with a pint or two.
***DEC 2006 - the pub has just been renovated - we went back for lunch and it was much better***
Nosh is a family run restaurant in St Margarets, which is located between Richmond and Twickenham. We went there one night for dinner and initial impressions were good - I liked the feel of the room, it felt and looked a little like a gastropub, which is a plus in my book. Service (for us anyway) was friendly and efficient.
Favorite Dish: We started the meal with a glass of Prosecco to wash away the working day. Food wise, Alex started with the Garlic Mushroom Crostini which he seemed to enjoy. I didn't bother to taste any as I don't like mushrooms and garlic doesn't like me!
For main course we both opted for the Five Spice Pork Belly - the pork was perfectly cooked and the flavours of the dish were delicious. We shared the Chocolate Fondant for dessert, which was nice and rich and chocolatey, though the ice cream tasted cheap.
Although we enjoyed our meal and liked the space, there was something about Nosh that will probably keep us from returning in a hurry. Perhaps it was the poor way that staff handled a query about nut allergies from a neighbouring table, or that they felt the need to garnish a nice looking serve of Pork Belly with a piece of parsley. Fickle aren't I!
An impromptu visit one Monday evening to friends who live in the lovely area of Richmond lead to a meal at the Lass O' Richmond Hill, a friendly pub with good food, not far from their place.
The Lass O' Richmond Hill looks like a pretty typical London pub - cosy feeling inside, with plenty of wooden ceiling beams and a good selection of beer on tap. The staff were friendly and there was even non-smoking areas!
**We have since returned for lunch one Sunday. The atmosphere was great but the food wasn't too good. Oh well, sure we will be back as it is a great pub**
Favorite Dish: There was a huge selection of food to choose from, from the printed menu and also a large specials board. So, Chris and Nik ordered the Gammon Steak, Tandor had the tasty looking Beef & Speckled Hen Pie, I had a special of Duck Breast with crushed potatoes and Pak Choy, and Alex had the Halibut with vegies and a yum sauce. All the meals were quite good, except for mine which was below average.
We had 2 desserts between us - a Sticky Figgy Pudding and a Treacle Sponge. Both disappeared very quickly. Drinks consisted of some beer and various glasses of wine.
An enjoyable evening with great friends.
One mild autumn Sunday after a walk by the river in Richmond, Alex and I stopped by The Roebuck for lunch. Located on Richmond Hill, The Roebuck is a traditional pub which has recently been renovated and can now be labelled as a Gastro Pub, meaning that it serves food better than traditional pub grub.
The Roebuck has a lovely homely feel, with separate nooks for a romantic rendezvous, perfect on a cold winters day. When the weather is fine you can take your pint outside, cross the road and have a drink while enjoy the lovely view over the river.
The upstairs is smoke free, so this is where we headed. Service was very friendly and I really liked the atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: It was a Sunday, so we both decided to have the Sunday Roast - Beef with vegies and Yorkshire Pudding.
To be honest, the food was a bit disappointing. However, we are keen to return one evening and try something else from the usual (non-Sunday) menu, as it sounds good.
Wagamama is a hugely popular chain of noodle bars, that first opened in London in 1992, with the Richmond branch opening in 2004. They are clean, neat restaurants, offering big plates of noodles and bowls of ramen.
There are large communal tables, so if it is busy you may find yourself sitting close by some strangers....but no one seems to mind. In fact Wagamama is a favourite of celebrites - so maybe you will be rubbing shoulders with one of them here!
We have eaten at Wagamama several times. I am never overly-excited about the food, but it is always fresh and not too expensive, so we keep returning if we are in need of a quick meal.
Favorite Dish: They do have some tasty side dishes - I like the Duck Gyoza best. For main course I have had the Salmon Ramen which is a big serve, and have also tried a couple of the noodle dishes. Alex doesn't mind the Chicken Katsu Curry.
Best advice is to wash it all down with an Asian beer and keep and eye out for those celebs!
Carluccio's is a fancy chain of Italian cafe's with food stores/deli's attached. Really modern looking, they are a great place for lunch or dinner, or even just to meet up with a friend for coffee and a treat.
They have stores popping up all over London, all based on the same formula and with pretty much the same menu. Their deli and shop section is excellent, with plenty of tasty treats and gifts on offer, with some particularly nice Christmas gift ideas.
They have quite a large menu, with italian style breakfasts, pastas and meat dishes to tempt all.
Favorite Dish: I am a regular at Carluccios in Richmond. It is one of my favourite places to go for a coffee and a little treat. I will pop in there by myself if I am out shopping, and love to meet up with friends there too for a coffee and a gossip.
Their coffee is normally very good, and they have some great cakes - I do love their Lemon Tart and the Orange & Polenta Cake is delicious too
If we go for lunch I am usally tempted by the Lasagne or the Milanese di Pollo, and perhaps a cheeky glass of Italian red or just a mineral water.
Service is normally friendly but can be slow at times and mistakes happen.
The Diner is an unusual place - part café, part bar, part restaurant, part American diner - not really sure exactly what if classifies itself as, but who cares - it is conveniently close to my place and is open from morning to night!
It is small, with some tables at the front and small wooden booths towards the back of the room. Unfortunately there is no non-smoking area (bring on the smoking ban in summer 2007!), and it was a bit smoky the night we dined there.
Service was quite friendly, though very relaxed, with staff chatting to regular customers and ignoring our attempts to get the bill.
Favorite Dish: The menu is filled with good comfort food - full breakfasts, sandwiches, steaks, giant burgers and so on.
For dinner I had the Fish & Chips with minted peas. It was quite tasty and I would have it again. Alex had the Death Burger which he said was delicious - it was filled with everything you would want on a hamburger and more. He only order the 'small' size....hate to see how big the large serving was!!
A couple of nice cold American beers washed down the meal nicely. We will definitely return to The Diner - probably next time I don't feel like cooking ; )
Zizzi is a(nother!!) chain of Italian/Pizza restaurants in England. It feels slightly more up-market than the other similar chains, though I'm not sure I like their pizza's as much as Pizza Express.
Service is generally fast and friendly, though last time we ate at the Richmond branch we had issues with trying to get the bill.
Favorite Dish: The menu consists of mainly pizza and pasta, plus some healthier salad options. I always have pizza. My favourite is the Sofia Pizza, with Marinated chicken, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella and tomato.
Alex is rather partial to the Con carne piccante Calzone, which is filled with Marinated chicken, meatballs, bolognese, mushrooms, chillies, mozzarella and tomato.
They have reasonably priced Italian wines and ok desserts if you've still got room.