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    Thursday, 23 July 2015

    80 TASTES, ST JAMES HOTEL - A #ZOMATOMEETUP

    They say when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life - but how can you ever tire of London when there are so many beautiful and interesting places out there to discover?

    Just a stone's throw away from Buckingham Palace, hidden away behind the Taj hotel, St James Court you'll find a decadent courtyard of red, gold and blue bricks and the starting place of my recent culinary adventure courtesy of Zomato.

    Known for their infamous 'meetups', the Zomato team had promised to whisk me away on a culinary adventure through the stunning grounds of the luxury St James Hotel and four of its nine resident restaurants.

    With my passport firmly in hand, I arrived at the courtyard in search of a drink and ready for adventure. After a few introductions from my travelling companions, we got stuck in with a flight of Laurent Perrier champagne alongside perfectly matched canap├ęs.St-James-Courtyard
    St-James-Champagne
    Champagne-Tasting
    A delicious scallop and avocado ceviche to be paired with the LP brut champagne....
    scallop-ceviche
     Smoked salmon, creme fraiche and caviar suited best for the rose...smoked-salmon-blini
    and a ratatouille crostini which matched beautifully with a glass of vintage. So far, so very very good.rattaouille
    Once the last drops of champagne were drained from our glasses, we were sashayed across the hotel reception and into the first of our eating destinations - Bistro. Known for its timeless elegance and sophisticated decor, Bistro's waiters presented the first course: a seseame crusted tuna (cooked beautifully rare) with a pink grapefruit and wasabi potato salad.Bistro-Tuna-SteakIf this was a sign of things to come, we were in luck. Moving across the hotel, we also flew across the continents to taste the flavours of South West India at Michelin stared Quilon. Staying true to its South Indian coastal roots, Head chef Sriram Ayhir keeps seafood central to the menu, adopting cooking techniques which favour lighter, healthier tastes opposed to the greasy, butter laden styles you might have tried at your nearest curry house.

    The 'Fisherman's catch' offered up a selection of pepper shrimp, crab cake, lentil fish and grilled scallops to showcase Sriram's masterful hand when it comes to spices but it was the Quilon curry that stole my heart. Thick chunks of halibut in a creamy yet spicy coconut sauce, ready to be mopped up with hand-made Malabar paratha bread.Quilon-Curry
    Finally onto the home-stretch and with belt buckles notably looser, we made our final trip across the hotel, arriving in Kona to sample the innovative Southern Eastern cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the Riviera, the chef served up a delicious parmasean and red pepper crusted chicken, dotted with garlic, basil and a panzanella salad. 
    Kona-chicken-dinner
    Just when I was ready to burst at the seams, I heard whispers of pudding. Now, it's a scientific fact that we actually have two stomachs, one reserved just for dessert so naturally I was able to find just a little room to wolf this down. I am a massive chocolate fan so the manjari parfait served with a chocolate ganache, chocolate sorbet, a tangy orange gel and edible flowers put the perfect cap on a wonderful evening for me.
    kona-dessert-review
    The St. James hotel is a beautiful find, right in the heart of South West London and somewhere I would never have discovered without the help of my lovely friends at Zomato (so thank you!). The Courtyard is perfect for drinks on a sunny Summer evening -I've already got my eye returning for the 24 Karat Gold afternoon tea! To find out more about the hotel, take a look at the website!

    * I was a guest of the Taj Hotel, my meal was complimentary but all views are my own

    If you liked this post, you may also like: The Crazy Bear
    Click to add a blog post for Quilon - 51 Buckingham Gate on Zomato

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