So I took the opportunity while my friend was visiting to eat at a few places I liked, and a couple of places I've been meaning to try. I am unfortunately very bad at taking pictures.
First place: dinner at Canteen, at the back of the Royal Festival Hall. It's a small chain, and I've heard good things about it. They serve "great British food" or, alternatively, "Great British food". And it actually was quite good. This branch is right near Waterloo, so it'd be good for grabbing a bite before hopping on the train home.
Next up: a late dinner, after hearing the London Philharmonic, at the Anchor & Hope on The Cut (after snacky-type things all day, and, okay, I admit it, after I took us on a huge trek out to Cafe East only to find that it was closed, or closed for renovation). I've been meaning to try this place for ages. I guess it's gastropub, and it does beautiful down-to-earth food. My visitor and I had John Dory with salsify, and The Limey had braised venison shank. They were all absolutely lovely. We shared a table with three other people, and they had ordered the roast of shoulder of lamb, which arrived in the tray it'd been roasted on. It was accompanied by a whole tray of potatoes. The waitstaff arrived with carving knife and fork and a stack of plates and let them at it.
It was supposed to be for five people, but you could have fed twice that many. I don't know what they were going to do with all the leftovers. It'd be great to go there with a bunch of friends on a Sunday afternoon and just eat and eat and eat.
Next: lunch at Asadal, right next to Holborn tube (we walked to the British Museum afterwards). Korean food. They've got a good, quiet dining room and the food is always really good. I like their veggies, very fresh and beautifully done. There's an Asadal in New Malden, but I don't know if there's any connection. I want to try that one, too.
Next: dinner at Song Que. I love this place; it's at the end of a stretch of Vietnamese restaurants. I tell you, the masses of hipster youth you have to fight through in that area of town. Jeez. I had a seafood noodle soup (a seafood version of bun bo Hue) and my friend had a classic beef pho. Lots of greenery came with the huge bowls of noodle soup, and they did not stint on the meat. We also had a plate of soft shell crab. I haven't had soft shell crab in ages (The Limey is slowly getting to like seafood, but this is so far beyond him) and they were excellent. I would have maybe liked a little less batter, or a lighter batter. They were still great. I should also have ordered shrimp spring rolls, but in the hurry to order, I forgot. (The place was packed, and the waiters were rushing around like crazy.)
The only thing we couldn't fit in was dim sum. Well, that just means I can plan a dim sum outing soon.