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The Anchor – Bankside, Southwark, London SE1 9EF
Dec 15th, 2009 by Olivier

The Anchor
34 Park Street, Bankside, Southwark
London SE1 9EF

The Anchor

The Anchor

The Anchor

It is a large building

It is a large building

The Anchor is a historic pub located near Shakespeare’s Globe. It was cold outside and the pub looked nice from outside so we decided to try it despite knowing it is in a very touristic area… Inside, it was still nice and large too. The restaurant is located at the second level and the room isn’t that big compared to the rest of the pub.

Inside

Inside

As starters we ordered the spicy carrot and lentil soup served with half baguette and butter (£4.25) and a chicken liver and pancetta pâté served with toast and damson and elderflower chutney (£4.45). Other starters were the potted brown shrimps served with toasted fingers of bread (£4.85), the smoked scottish salmon served with toast and sour cream (£5.65) and the prawn cocktail (prawns in marie rose sauce served with toast, on a bed of salad – £5.65).

As main courses we chose the grilled seabass fillet (with sautéed Mediterranean vegetable couscous drizzled with herb olive oil – £12.75) and the baked cod fillet (wrapped in pancetta, served with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes, finished with herb olive oil – £12.75). Some other interesting main courses were the tornedo rossini 7oz fillet steack (£16.75) or the traditional steak and kidney pudding (£11.75). We also had a pint of Stella (£3.80) and a glass of water.

The starters

The starters

Chicken liver and pancetta pâté

Chicken liver and pancetta pâté

The chicken liver and pancetta pâté was average and quite small/thin compared to many places I have been but also compared to the chutney. It looked more like a light mousse than a pâté, like if it was very processed. It tasted ok, not great but not bad either. The little slices of toast were good and served warm.

Spicy carrot and lentil soup

Spicy carrot and lentil soup

The soup was very poor – it was salty to the point it was inedible, and generally seemed like something that came out a can, had salt added, and then had been reheated 8 times. I would not have been surprised if my spoon could have stood up on its own in this muck. The bread it came with was fine – but the soup went back uneaten.

Baked cod fillet

Baked cod fillet

The baked cod fillet was a little smelly (smelling fish, not the pancetta) but fortunately it was firm… It was a little overcooked and dry on the outside. It tasted mostly blend, despite the pancetta’s help. More sauce would have been welcome and ironically it needed more salt as well. The vegetables were good.

Grilled seabass fillet

Grilled seabass fillet

The sea bass with couscous was also disappointing. The fish, whilst firm, had no seasoning at all and no flavour and had several burnt patches where it had got a bit close to the grill. It was a bit like eating cardboard (though it improved slightly after I added my own salt). The couscous also was poor – it had little flavour, except for that provided by a few bits of aubergine and rubbery mushrooms. Worse, it was swimming in a nasty olive oil that did little for the dish except make it greasy. Overall, a decided disappointment.

Before leaving the pub, we stopped by the bathroom. Finding it was easy – just follow the strong smell of urine. In the men’s bathroom, there were two cubicles and no light in them. Another client was complaining about it when I was there. I did not spend much time there since I am not good at holding my breath very long. A toilet should always be checked, it is not acceptable to have that kind of toilet in a restaurant.

Cost and conclusion: it was £38 and there is no service charge. They still charged for the soup despite the fact we did not touch it after a spoon of it. The service was ok, but the food was bad. Most of the clients there were tourists. This place is not going to improve the reputation of English food to say the least.

Anchor Pub on Urbanspoon

Qantas/BA lounge in terminal 1 – Singapore Changi Airport
Dec 11th, 2009 by Olivier

Qantas/BA lounge in terminal 1 – Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore 918141

Waiting for my Qantas flight from Singapore to London Heathrow, I went to the Qantas/BA lounge in terminal 1. With such hot and sticky weather in Singapore, my priority was first a shower before the flight, and second a light snack that would hold me over to breakfast – so I could get straight to sleep on the flight.

Snack

Snack

Happily, I had time for both. The shower facilities at Changi airport are excellent and refreshed, I had time to grab a quick snack before the boarding call. I had a couple of tuna/cucumber sandwiches and a small carrot cake. Both were freshly made, and tasted better than they looked. Perhaps not the best airline lounge food I’ve ever had, but quite reasonable for a person in a hurry and the freshness made up for the limited imagination.

Long Bar Raffles Hotel Singapore
Dec 10th, 2009 by Olivier

Long Bar Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
Singapore 189673

Long Bar Raffles Hotel Singapore

Beautiful Raffles Hotel Singapore

Beautiful Raffles Hotel Singapore

Another interior view of Raffles Hotel

Another interior view of Raffles Hotel

Anyone visiting Singapore should make at least one visit to the historic Raffles Hotel. I’ve been here before, but was travelling with some colleagues for whom it was the first visit. Finding ourselves nearby after the end of a business meeting, we decided to make a short visit to the Long Bar. The Long Bar is the birthplace of the Singapore Sling cocktail. Actually I don’t much like them – they’re too sweet for my taste, so I had a tiger beer instead. But despite the heavily touristic nature of the drink, it is still worth trying once.

Inside the Long Bar

Inside the Long Bar

Another view

Another view

Big box of peanuts

Big box of peanuts

Another feature of the Long Bar is the tradition of serving peanuts in their shells. These have a nice flavour, quite unlike ready-roasted peanuts we’re more used to. At the Long Bar, peanut shells are just tossed onto the floor, which is a freedom difficult to get used to! Should you resist the custom though, and make a neat pile on your table, the next waiter to visit your table is just going to brush them off onto the floor in spite of you though, so you might as well just do it yourself.

Brizo Restaurant Singapore
Dec 9th, 2009 by Olivier

Brizo Restaurant
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street Singapore 237893

Brizo Restaurant

Our room rate at the Park Hotel Clarke Quay included a set three course lunch at the hotel’s Brizo restaurant. Sadly, we were not able to take advantage of that on more than one occasion. I say sadly, because (much against expectation for an “included” set meal), it was actually very good!

Seafood velouté

Seafood velouté

As starter, I chose a seafood veloute (the other option was a sort of pancake with kimchi – and I hate kimchi, so steered well clear of that). The veloute was very good, very creamy and smooth and served with just the right amount of seasoning.

Sirloin steak

Sirloin steak

The main course was a sirloin steak served with a balsamic sauce. What looks like mashed potato in the picture is actually humous – and a surprisingly good accompaniment. The steak, although not especially large, was tender and very nicely cooked.

New York cheesecake

New York cheesecake

Dessert was a New York cheesecake. Unlike the sort you get in London (which is the worst place on the planet for cheesecake, I think) this was not an overprocessed, sweet and gooey mess, but instead was textured and not overly sweet. A very nice end to a very decent meal. Service was friendly and efficient – what more to ask?

Cost & conclusion: There was no bill as the meal was included in the room price. Very recommended that you take advantage of this should you happen to stay in this hotel. Click here for a previous review of the Brizo, when we chose from the a la carte menu as lunch was not included on the day of check in.

Cafe Supunsa Thai Cuisine
Dec 7th, 2009 by Olivier

Cafe Supunsa Thai Cuisine
30 Robertson Quay
Singapore 238251

Cafe Supunsa

Supunsa Cafe Thai Cuisine

Supunsa Cafe Thai Cuisine

The Cafe Supunsa is locate near Clark Quay, in a passageway leading to the restaurants behind Robertson Walk. It is a small and unimposing place, more diner than restaurant. It was clean, however, and the menu looked good – so we gave this a try.

There were four of us for dinner and we chose Pad See Ew (thick rice noodles fried with vegetables and chicken), Gang Keow Wan (traditional hot green curry), Gang Dang (milder traditional red curry) and Panang (a thicker red curry). Each of the curries was available with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, prawns or vegetables and priced between SG$ 10-12. We also took some spring rolls to share, and plain rice to accompany the curries.

Pad see ew

Pad see ew

Gaeng Keow Wan

Gaeng Keow Wan

Gang Dang

Gang Dang

Spring rolls

Spring rolls

Well, the food in this little diner was very good indeed. Despite being “mild” the red curry was much spicier and flavoursome than the more westernised versions you find in London (whilst still being smooth and creamy). My colleagues reported the same with the green and penang curries, which led to us all leaving the restaurant as happy campers. As drinks we chose a variety of fruit juices, all of which were served nicely chilled. Service was friendly and quite quick (the place was not at all crowded).

Cost & conclusion: It was about SG$ 65.00 for the four of us (though I was not the one paying the bill), which I found to be excellent value within a touristic area. It is possible to eat much more cheaply in Singapore, of course, but compared to others in this area, the quality and value was very good. Definitely recommended if you like Thai food and are in the area.


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