Tag Archives: 食堂

Leila’s Shop Delicatessen / Café @ Shoreditch

Shoreditch(ショーディッチ)のArnold Circus(アーノルド・サーカス)近くにあるLeila’s Shop。野菜や果物、パスタ等の食料品を売るお店の隣に、カフェを併設している。店内には、よく使い古された、懐かしい感じの家具が置かれ、天井から鍋ややかんが吊り下げられたキッチンは、フランスの田舎の食堂のよう。メニューはごくシンプル。トーストや目玉焼き、Comtéチーズとピクルスのサンドイッチ等の他、ポーランドのハムのサンドイッチ、Polish Platter(ポーランド料理の盛り合わせ)もある。注文した目玉焼き(セージ入りとセラーノ・ハム)は、トーストしたライ麦パンとともに、木のボードの上に置かれたCast Iron製の小さなフライパンにのせられて、熱々で運ばれてくる。ミッド・センチュリー風の食器類も可愛い。

落ち着いた雰囲気のインテリアはとてもいい感じだし、ちょっと油でギトギトしているけれど、お料理も、Monmauth  Coffeeのエスプレッソも問題はないんだけれど、何か気に障る。理由の一つは、その素朴な外観と裏腹な、安くはないその値段。しかも、高級エリアのケンジントン&チェルシーではなく、生粋のイーストエンド、ショーディッチだ。目玉焼きは、卵2個にセージの葉を数枚のせたもので£5、スペインの生ハム入りで£6。もちろん、オーガニックだか産地直送の新鮮食材だか使っているのだろうけれど、高級食材店で有機飼育の卵と品質の良いパン(1人分スライス2枚)、生ハム数枚を買って、Mの実家から送られてきた無農薬のエキストラ・バージン・オリーブオイルを使って自分で作っても、コストはせいぜい£2か。自分の家で簡単に作れるようなものを、仰々しい値段で出しているのが、何となく気に食わない。あの値段だから、もっと凝ったものが出てくると勘違いして、頼んだ自分も悪かったけれど。。。そして、ネットでも何人かが指摘しているけれど、最低限のことだけしていれば充分という感じの、無愛想なウェイター&ウェイトレスたち。この手の、独立系の食材に凝ったカフェにありがちの、スノッブさが鼻につく。ネットでこのお店の評価を見てみると、賛否両論(好評価している人の方が多いけれど)。好きな人は好きだし、批判している人たちは私と似たり寄ったりの意見。でも、この手のお店が好きそうな典型的な中流階級のお客たちで賑わっているので、何人かに批判されても、商売は安泰だろう。


最近このエリアは、Shoreditch High Street駅が建設中(4月に開通予定)で、コンラン卿がてがけたブティック・ホテル・The Boundary過去エントリー参照)等、どんどんお洒落な店が増えている。もっと猥雑だった頃のショーディッチも味があって面白かったんだけれど、ここら辺もじきに、第二のノッティング・ヒル化するんだろうな。カフェ好きの私としては、嬉しいやら寂しいやら。

Leila’s Shop, with its picture-perfect grocery store and a cosy café side by side, is located near Arnold Circus in Shoreditch. Its interior with well-used wooden furniture and the kitchen where pots and pans hanging from the ceiling, is like a homy diner in French countryside. The menu is quite simple and short; toast & jam, fried eggs, sandwich with Comté cheese & cornichon (pickles), as well as polish ham & cornichon sandwich and Polish platter. We ordered eggs fried with sage, and eggs fried with Serrano ham. The dish is served on the pipping hot cast-iron small frying pan on a wooden board, with 2 slices of toasted rye bread. Their mid-century style dishes and cutlery are very cute as well.

Although their warm and rusty-chic interior is really nice, and their food, although the eggs are bit too greasy, and Monmauth  Coffee espresso are decent, something bothered me slightly. One thing is their rather expensive price, contrary to its plain appearance  – it is not in posh Kensington & Chelsea, but in London’s East End! Their fried eggs with 2 eggs and few sage leaves is £5, and with Serrano ham costs £6. They probably use fresh organic eggs directly from selected farms, but I can make it £2 at most, grabbing organic eggs and good quality bread (2 slices) and few hams from a posh grocery store, and cooking with organic Tuscan extra virgin olive oil from M’s mum. What bothers me is that the fried eggs are quite simple dish that you don’t have to be a trained chef to cook, and charge us overprice for it. I can bet that many women who cook agree with me! It is my fault that I ordered the dish, but I thought the it would be a bit more elaborate, considering the price. Another thing I don’t like is not-really-friendly waiter & waitresses, like at many other independent ‘sophisticated’ and ‘stylish’ cafés. They do minimum job, and don’t bother themselves to give us a little smile (or they are just shy??). I checked people’s reviews online and it was divided, though more people love Leila’s. The complainers say more or less the same things as me. But Leila is full of loyal crowds, typical who go to that kind of cafe – liberal middle class with some money (or pretending that they are), and seems to be all set. By the way, the owner has a stool in Borough market as well – that tells everything. Probably they wouldn’t care about the criticism from not-as-good-as-them customers like me!

I might be too critical as I went there only once. I have to admit that Leila is a very nice cafe, perfect for a cup of tea in the sunny afternoon. I will try something else next time, like Polish ham sandwich, and see.

In this area in Shoreditch, more and more cool venues opened recently, including The Boundary (Sir Conran’s boutique hotel), as the new Shoreditch High street railway station is about to open in April. Probably Shoreditch will soon be another Notting Hill. The change is good for us as café and design maniacs, but at the same time I feel a bit sad the area is loosing its good old edgy feel.

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Ba Shan Chinese Restaurant @ SOHO

チャイナタウンからShaftesbury Avenueを北に渡ってすぐ、SOHO(ソーホー)のRomilly Streetにあるチャイニーズ・レストランBa Shan(バー・シャン)。斜め向かいにある四川料理レストランBar Shu(バー・シュー)やカジュアル・チャイニーズのBaozi Inn(バオジ・イン)の姉妹店だ。伝統的な中国スタイルととモダンさがミックスした、落ち着いたインテリアはBar Shuと同じ。一番最初にオープンしたBar Shuは、オーナーのShao Wei(シャオ・ウェイ)氏曰く、「ヨーロッパで最大の四川料理店」で(イギリスは、香港が植民地だっただけあって、広東料理店が多い)、本格的四川料理と批評家の評判も高い。チャイナタウンにあるBaozi Innはもっとカジュアルで、店内は共産党のプロパガンダや毛主席のポスターで飾られ、古き良き革命時代の食堂をお洒落にした感じ。メニューには、麺類や肉まん、餃子等、北京や四川の屋台で食べられるようなストリート・フードが並び、お値段も他の2店に比べて安い。

Ba Shanの料理は、四川河南陕西省の小皿料理や麺類、餃子類がメイン。でも、野菜や肉類のメインディッシュもある。量・値段とも、高くもなく安くもなく、多くもなく少なくもなくという感じで、何だか中途半端。味も同じで、可もなく不可もなく。ちなみに水餃子はまあまあだったけれど、ちょっと冷めていて残念。

Bar ShuもBaozi Innもそうだけれど、小さなスペースに置けるかぎりテーブルを置いてるので、狭苦しいし、テーブルも小さく、何皿か注文したら置く場所がなくなってしまう。サービスは、まあどこのチャイニーズもそうかもしれないけれど、良くも悪くも早い。特にお皿を下げるの等は、あんまり早すぎて、急かされている気がした。この3店は雰囲気がいいのが取り柄のお店かな。Bar Shuはまあまあ美味しいけれどね。

Chinese restaurant Ba Shan is located on the Romilly Street in SOHO, just across Shaftesbury Avenue from China Town. It is a sister restaurant of Sichuan Chinese restaurant Bar Shu, across the street, and Baozi Inn in China Town. The interior of Ba Shan is a mixture of traditional Chinese and contemporary style, similar to Bar Shu. Bar Shu, the first restaurant opened by the owner Mr. Shao Wei, is “the biggest Sichuanese restaurant in Europe” according to the owner, and has a good reputation among food critiques as authentic Sichuanese food. Baozi Inn is a casual restaurant decorated with chairman Mao and Communist propaganda posters and is like a people’s diner during the good old revolutionary time in the countryside of China. It offers Beijing-style snacks and the Sichuanese street food such as baozi, dumplings and noodles, and the price is cheaper than other two restaurants.

Ba Shan specialize in small plates, called xiao chi or “small eats”, roadside snacks like noodles and dumplings sold by street vendors, from the Sichuan, Henan and Shaanxi provinces. The price was not expensive but not cheap, and amount of the food was not a lot but not too little, and the food is the same – not great, but not too bad. Their pork dumplings were OK, but it was not hot enough – one another thing to mention.

Like other two restaurants, the space was so small but crammed with as many table as possible, and I felt a bit claustrophobic. The table was tiny as well, and there was no space for several dishes. Their service was quick, good and bad, like any other Chinese restaurants, and I felt rushed. Ba Shan, Bar Shu, and Baozi Inn have nice decor in compare to most Chinese restaurants in London, but that’s it for me, though the food at Bar Shu is quite decent. The place is too small!!

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