I'm always a little bit suspicious of posh Indian restaurants. It seems like an oxymoron: Posh Indian. No disrespect towards the Subcontinent, but it is generally thought of as a relatively poor part of the world. Your average local curry is generally a cheap affair. So do you really get that much more by paying a premium? In this case, the answer is yes. The Dockmaster's House is to your average curry house what a villa on the Mediterrean is to a council flat in Wandsworth. It's in a whole different league. Beautiful , expensive surroundings. Renovating a listed Georgian building, no expense has been spared. The food is very detailed, with top notch ingredients and beautifully presented on the plate. Servers know their stuff and there is a classy wine list. It is expensive, but it's also a great dining experience-which is enjoyed even more when someone else is picking up the cheque. K.Hoosan
Who says you have to travel outside London to receive proper fresh food coupled with country charm ? You only need to make your way to the Isle of Dogs and the Mudchute Kitchen. Hidden away near the stables at the Mudchute Farm, this is the real thing. Eggs are collected fresh from the hens, smoked bacon used to roam free on the farm, and cheese and meat are smoked in their own smoke house. Much of it cooked on a wood-stove for a proper smoky flavour. Homemade baking is worth lingering over. Phillipa, the manager, and her team of volunteers, out perform many a professional cafe. Make a beeline. It's kiddy-friendly too.
Mudchute Kitchen Open Tuesday-Sunday 9-5 020 75155901 Mudchute, Island Gardens DLR Stations
Yes, It's really called the Gaylord. Once you're done snickering in the back there, we can get on with singing the praises of this little hole-in-the-wall Indian in the deepest depths of the Isle of Dogs. Ride the DLR to the very tip of the Isle, just before you would cross under the murky Thames to come out in Greenwich, and you'll find the unassuming pistachio green surroundings of the Gaylord. Apparently it's Enrique Iglesias' favourite Indian in London, although one questions how much time he really spends amongst the council flats at the bottom end of Tower Hamlets. But if it's good enough for Enrique, then it's good enough for you.
The Gaylord 141 Manchester Road London E14 3DN 020 75380393
Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant Lotus restaurant is like one big happy family. The servers pop around to your table to exchange pleasantries and you might even get a joke or two. Many of the customers are regulars and have been coming here for years. Their Sunday Dim Sum is legendary and the lines snake out the door. No reservations, so you wait like everyone else. But it's certainly worth the wait. Made fresh to order. And there's no 'mystery' to any of it. Chicken tastes like chicken. Beef is really good quality. There's no wondering if the neighbour's dog or cat has strayed too close to the kitchen like at some Chinese restaurants. Just save some room for custard buns at the end. You'll be glad you did.