Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for Restaurant Reviews

Dishoom Restaurant, Kings Cross 

Where: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB

What better way to spend a Saturday walking from Maida Vale via the Canal to Kings Cross and back again. 

That total six mile journey makes me feel less guilty about stuffing myself with the best Indian food that I’ve sampled in London. 

The restaurant is so popular that we had to queue for half an hour, but the staff were very pleasant booking us in, and handing out free drinks while we waited.

As you enter, there’s a big bar area downstairs. Upstairs we sat on a small table, and ordered the calamari which was amazing. They didn’t sell Coca Cola, but they did have the Indian version, Thums Up, which is very fittingly named.

We shared dishes, highly recommend trying the spiced potato dish. Then to finish it off, the dessert reminded me of mini milks as a kid. Their pistachio kulfi on a stick was just a perfect way to end a meal.

The last time I was in Kings Cross was when I was 18. My uni friend, Helen, took me to a club. On the streets were a lot of drug pushers, and I never ventured back since today. 

Really loved this restaurant. Five stars for food and service. It’s definitely worth the wait. 


Five Guys Westfield White City

When I’ve been a good girl, the boss treats me to burgers from the best place in London. I think it’s better than Honest burgers. Love the snacking on nuts while you’re waiting.

The Prince Bonaparte, Westbourne Park, W2

This could be one of my favourite pubs, not pretentious. Mix of bat**** crazy Notting Hiller’s. Second time I’ve been here for a Sunday roast. Delicious food. The barman came and chatted to us, gave me and my bestie a free dessert and randomly kissed the top of my head. Very friendly bunch! 

Highly recommend. Supposed to be working but slacking off for once, now back to my spreadsheets 😦

Hakkasan Mayfair

It’s taken two and a half years of grieving to finally get used to wanting to be around people again. 

A good (platonic) friend, sort of a influencing mentor, gets me out for the first time in four years. I think he was genuinely shocked, but when I heard his driver’s dad passed away, I knew I had to pay my respects. 

Me: “Why do you keep wanting to see me, even after all this time?” Him: “Because you’re a respectable, genuine woman. I’m extremely fond of you.”

Me: “What’s it like to be unmarried and no kids?” Him: “Marriage doesn’t necessarily make you happy. I was married for three years, she divorced me and tried to claim £20million from me, in the end she got £5million, but we didn’t have children, she never paid for anything. She was the one having an affair. It’s not as if she was poor, she was a Goldman Sachs banker on a 6 figure salary. Abi, I would marry again, it could have been you all those years ago, but you made it clear that you didn’t want to.”

Me: “I’m not a gold-digger, the age difference is too significant. I’d be no better than your ex-wife, marrying for money. I want to marry for love, even if it means I have to struggle financially. All I can offer is my friendship, I’m still figuring out in my head who I want.”

Him: “Don’t get married in haste. On the surface you’re a complex person, but underneath it all, you’re very simple to understand. You’re bored of life. No one can help you find happiness, that’s a journey you will need to make on your own.”

Me: “I know clearly what I want. Marriage and children. That’s what life is all about. I have limited time on my side, I don’t intend on wasting it.”

Him: “You’ll make a great mother, but don’t rush. Being in an unhappy marriage with children is worse than being single. Trust me”

Deep conversation over amazing food. I’m lucky to have such a good friend looking out for me, and helps put my life into perspective…

All Star Lanes Bayswater

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

My last couple of posts have been rather serious, but for a change, I had one of the best nights in such a long-time. I laughed so much it hurt.

Given that I’ve been rather anti-social of late, I sometimes am known to make an effort on occasion. One of my colleagues is leaving to move to be with his girlfriend in Australia, he’s saving money and so I told the office that I thought it would be nice to treat him to a night out together, but I insisted that it didn’t involve spending all night in the pub! Instead, we opted for a competitive game of bowling, then dinner and finally I left the boys to go and get smashed (the language I pick up from the youngsters) in the local pub 🙂

As I tend to opt out of social gatherings, Hugh was happy to see I came; he knows that he must be special! The atmosphere in All Star Lanes is fun, the bowling alley is rather narrow and restrictive, but you soon forget about that.

The food was American, my burger was good but the sweet potato fries were amazing, I’d love to be able to make them that perfectly crisp.

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes, Bayswater

All Star Lanes Waitress Uniform

All Star Lanes Waitress Uniform

The fifties retro style outfits worn by the waitresses were cool, I want one 🙂

At eight years, I’ve been working in the office the longest and have seen many people come and go, so it’s always sad to see someone fly the nest. Hugh is definitely a character; hard-working, good fun, and an absolute pleasure. I admire his youthful confidence and his care-free attitude; I’m not sure I could move to another country without knowing I have a job in place even if it was to be with the love of my life, I’m more cautious and crave stability. Despite the fact Hugh’s only in his early-twenties, he can give good advice, if I mention I like someone, he’ll tell me to be careful and take things slowly as he knows I’m quite excitable and soft-natured. He’s very sensitive.

I’ve made him a special card with photos of the office on moonpig.com (really good website for all types of cards), I started off with a sweet message and then the rest of the boys have added filthy humour to it – typical! I will also buy some cake for us to all share on his last day.

It’s always nice when ex-colleagues keep in touch and tell me that they’re getting married, having children and are happy and successful. My office nickname is Aunty A, the boys know if they keep me happy, I’ll look after them 🙂

Going back to All Star Lanes, I’d definitely recommend it for friends, work and even a date; sometimes going for just dinner can be boring, adding an activity like bowling just makes it more fun.

The Arts Club, Dover Street

Courtesy: The Arts Club, photo by Ed Reeve

Courtesy: The Arts Club, photo by Ed Reeve

I went here a few weeks back for a friends engagement party, the décor is gorgeous, very elegant dining area. I had a drink called little women followed by baby chicken with a side of carrots and apple tart as dessert – simple and delicious.  Then went downstairs to watch the live band, there was this crazy couple dancing away in front of me, really made me chuckle. There is also a bar upstairs but didn’t end up going to see. The venue was superb, had a really enjoyable evening. I was happy to see my friends celebrate their engagement, hopefully the start of a long and happy future 🙂

the cowdray in Sussex

Made the most of the warm weather, and ended up in Sussex for a roast Sunday lunch at the cowdray. Pleasantly surprised, lots of space to park, outside seating area as well as indoor, went for the roast lamb, didn’t have to wait long for my order. Very generously sized portion and struggled to finish it, but enjoyed trying. I was too full to consider dessert. The service was good. Unfortunately, I don’t live in the area, and it was a random spare of the moment trip, so probably won’t visit that often, but I’d recommend it to someone who was in the area.

Sunday Roast lunch at the cowdray

Sunday Roast lunch at the cowdray

the cowdray

the cowdray