Bilas Tandoori: Indian
A good value Indian a little out from the centre of Teddington. The service is good, and it must be popular with the locals because Mo Farah has been seen eating there (he's from Teddington). I don't remember anything that special about it, but then again there's so many good restaurants in Teddington it's easy to get complacent.
King's Head Brasserie: Spoilt by a simple thing.
As I have mentioned in numerous other tips, specifically restaurant tips, I am a great believer in local knowledge and it was due to a local friend that we visited the King's Head Brasserie in High Street Teddington recently. Jonathan, a good friend who has lived in the area for some time, recommended it and specifically mentioned the service. Jonathan owns the excellent Middle Cottage bed and breakfast nearby and he told me that he had directed many of his guests here with excellent results. He even gave us a lift there, delightful host that he is.
As the name suggests, it is a former pub and still also serves that function with a delightful drinking area at the front of the premises. Had we not been dining, a couple of drinks here would have been most pleasant and this is an area with some very comfortable pubs, as I have proven on more than one occasion.
The Brasserie boasts the name of Raymond Blanc, an internationally renowned chef whom I greatly admire and several of the menu items boast a BB symbol on the menu signifying Brasserie Blanc as their provenance. Having done a little research I feel it is more of a franchise operation and the great man is rarely there, although at least the management are completely upfront about it and I know it is common in the restaurant trade. We attended on a midweek Autumn night and had no trouble getting a table which we were shown to by an extremely charming waiter. I should say here that the service, as my friend Jon had suggested, was exemplary throughout so full marks for that.
The menu is quite extensive and the choice was difficult. My companion and I opted for the Fisherman's board to share as a starter. This comprises Hot smoked Loch Duart salmon, potted smoked Cornish mackerel, crab mayonnaise and, although not mentioned on the menu, some delightful pickled cucumber. The whole was served with a warmed baguette and was simply delightful. A great start.
For mains we diverged. My friend ordered one of the most strangely named dishes I have ever seen on a menu, namely Priest Strangler pasta with a parsley and walnut pistou. Two things here. Why exactly this particular farinaceous dish leads to the strangulation of Christian clerics I have no idea and I had never heard of pistou before. A little internet research shows that pistou is a sauce made from garlic, olive oil and fresh basil, so like a pesto without the pinenuts really. As for strangling priests, apparently it refers to the type of pasta employed which is called strozzapreti and is supposed to resemble a rolled towel. I didn't investigate any further but I did try a mouthful and it was extremely tasty.
For my part, I had opted for Mr.s Keen's gammon steak, fried duck egg and creamy mash as opposed to the more usual chips (fries). As you can see from the image, it was presented delightfully and I was really looking forward to it. the mash was amongst the creamiest and tastiest I have ever had and I know a thing or two about potatoes being from Northern Ireland! I love duck eggs and this one was cooked to perfection. Now we come to the problem. I fully appreciate that gammon is likely to tend towards a salt taste and therefore I had not seasoned it at table but it was incredibly salty. This was a shame as it was nicely cooked and the texture was excellent. I do not know if this was just a one off, a bad batch of gammon steaks or whatever but it really was so salty that I could not finish it. I cannot believe that any cook worth the name would have salted it in cooking so I can only conclude it was like that when it reached the kitchen.
This was such a shame as everything else had been so good. I would probably give it another go but I would steer clear of the gammon. I do dislike writing negative reports but I also like to write honest tips so here you have it.
To the logistics. The pub / restaurant is open Mon-Sat: 11am to 11pm and Sunday: 12 midday to 10pm and the brasserie Mon-Thurs: 12 midday to 10pm, Fri & Sat: 12 midday to 10.30pm, Sunday: 12 midday to 9pm. There is limited parking at the premises.
Favorite Dish: The fisherman's board starter was absolutely superb.
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Charm Thai: Amazing Thai
It's cramped and it's busy but it's the best Thai food I've ever eaten. They offer a wide variety of options on the menu, with plenty of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The service was really friendly and efficient. There was nothing to complain about, except they probably need a bigger place to handle all the people who want to eat here.
The King's Head: Top Notch Pub Food
It's not pub food, it's a brasserie. The King's Head in Teddington has a strong reputation with the locals for great food in a cozy Victorian pub setting. The food is simple, traditional fare, with a dash of elegance that makes it just a little bit special. Instead of chicken and potatoes, you get "half a roast free range corn-fed chicken, served with smooth mash, Chantenay carrots and rich gravy or green salad, french fries" And it tastes as good as it sounds.
We went back for seconds.
The Anglers: Pub Grub and Famous Names
Sitting on the Thames and next door to Pinewood Studios Teddington, this is a great place to grab some lunch or dinner and try and spot a few famous names down by the river. The likes of Johnny Depp, the cast of the Office and members of the Six Nations rugby teams have all had ales poured for them here. The food is really good for pub fare, and it can get quite busy in the evenings.
The Wharf: Thamesside Restaurant
For a riverside location in Teddington, this is excellent. For food and service it's just pretty good. The staff were excellent, just overworked, so struggled to deal with any request that wasn't routine.
Shambles: Excellent Italian
Teddington has some great restaurants, and we ate out at a different one each night of the week. This one was the best of the first week, so that's saying something. I had delicious ricotta pancakes while several others in our large group (all handled expertly) shared sizzling fresh lamb plucked straight from the slopes of Snowdonia. It looked amazing.
Trattoria Sorrento: Friendly welcome, good food.
Update February 2011.
Regular readers will know that I like to keep my tips up to date, especiaally regarding restaurants, so it is with considerable sadness that I have to report that this wonderful place is now shut. I shall leave the tip as a memento of a great little restaurant.
Whilst looking for somewhere to eat in Teddington on a Thursday night, I was somewhat surprised to find out that by just before ten in the evening virtually every kitchen had already closed. More or less by default, we went into the Trattoria Sorrento which, it transpired, was still serving. Ordinarliy, I am wary of places that are empty, as this was, although I am now at a loss to know why.
Possibly understandably the welcome was warm from what appeared to be father and daughter. The decor is very typical, almost retro, trattoria style, as you can see from the photo, very clean and tidy. My companion and I opted for the set menu which at £14:95 per head for three courses represents good value in what is a fairly affluent part of greater London.
I started with sardines, simply but perfectly panfried,and obviously very fresh. I followed that with quail in wine sauce served with potatoes and beans, which was very flavoursome. As a side note, the quail was better presented than it appears in the photo. I had started to dismember the bird before I remembered to take the photo. Not much of a sweet eater, I finished with a simple ice cream.
My companion started with a simple mozarella and tomato salad, followed by a veal escalope in a tmato sauce. I snaffled a mouthful of this and it was very tender and tasty. Orange slices in a warm sauce brought up the rear.
Whilst no expert I found the house white wine (a Piemontese 2008) very drinkable.
Whilst certainly no Locanda Locatelli, Trattoria Sorrento, on the basis of my one visit, serves good simple Italian food at prices that won't break the bank. what more would you want?
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