London Restaurants: Souk

There are so many different restaurants to try in London that it sometimes seems silly to go back to the same one. Ever time I go back to Souk Medina in Covent Garden, though, I never regret it. 

Souk

I went with J for dinner a few weeks ago and there was a hen night, a man breaking out his best belly dancing moves (which were surprisingly bordering on professional) and a rowdy atmosphere whereas other times it has been quite seductive with real belly dancers or quite chilled out. Either way, the atmosphere is excellent. It’s a bit like a cave walking in with pretty, colourful Moroccan lights. Then when you get inside, think cushion-covered couches, dim lighting, low tables and pleasant staff. Prices are pretty good as well. With cocktails, starters and dinner, we spent about £30 each.

Last time, I started with a mango daiquiri but I always order the mint tea at some point. It’s delicious, sugary, refreshing, comes in a  lovely Moroccan teapot and it’s fun to watch the staff pour it from an impressive height. If you want to try something that tastes like heaven, find the friendly waiter Rasheed and ask him to have them make you a “chicken and olive tagine”. J asked for a recommendation last time and Rasheed smiled, said “Do you like chicken?” and when J nodded, scooped his menu away and said it would be a surprise. The chicken and olive tagine was the surprise and absolutely delicious. I have no idea if it’s on the menu or not. My lamb tagine was good too, but next time it’s the chicken and olives for sure. Meals always come with a free plate of delicious baklava at the end so be sure to save room.

SOUK MEDINA
1a Short’s Gardens
WC2H 9AT
www.soukrestaurant.net/index.asp

London Restaurants: Blue Elephant

After checking out Sherlock Holmes (excellent) at Vue cinema in Fulham last week, K treated me to dinner at the lovely Thai restaurant, the Blue Elephant around the corner.

Image from Blue Elephant website

“Sawatdee,” we were greeted at the door where we could leave our coats before walking through a welcome blast of warm air into the main area of the restaurant. There were Thai handicrafts and rustic roodwork, a small bridge we crossed over a pond full of huge koi fish. We were seated next to the fish pond and the sound of a trickling fountain with lush green plants trailing down the walls. (In case you’re interested, they feed the fish most days around 6pm.)

It was pretty, relaxing, with friendly professional staff and, most importantly, excellent food. Pricey drinks, but the main courses were only an average of about £15. Their website has a lot of information on main dishes (I had tamarind duck and royal fried rice; K ordered crispy lemongrass chicken and morning glory) and more about the restaurant itself. Check out their classic menu and the rest of the site for more details.

Definitely worth a visit or two for the whole experience.

BLUE ELEPHANT LONDON
3-6 Fulham Broadway
London SW6 1AA United Kingdom
TEL: +44 20 7385 6595
EMAIL: london@blueelephant.com