Welcome to Louis WAGS It! A monthly review of Zahra and Louis’ top restaurant picks from the WagIt platform.
After studying cookery and food sciences for over 5 years, Zahra decided to settle down with someone who has impeccable taste when it comes to dining out. That someone is Louis. On this blog, they will combine their food expertise to review WagIt’s restaurants and give you the lowdown on where to eat and what to order.
Each month, they will break down a selection of venues with Louis’ WAGS.
W for Where – All you need to get there
A for Atmosphere – What makes this place special?
G for Grub – Zahra’s passion and domain
S for Service – Louis tells all.
Louis WAGS It L- Value for money
This month, let’s make an effort to support our industry friends and community who saw their restaurants quieter than normal during the summer months. Why not take your favourite furry companion and treat yourself out to a meal filled with love, laughter and most importantly, good food? We’ve even managed to find a few spots where you can do this on a budget!
We kick-started this month’s reviews with a visit to the much talked about Fallow. Known for its excellence in creativity and sustainability, this fine establishment has been on my list for many months now. Fallow has quickly become one of the city’s leading kitchens in nose-to-tail and root-to-stem cooking. When I spotted it on Wagit’s ever-growing list, I knew I needed to give it a try. I was surprised to hear that the restaurant is open to fur pals and even more surprised to find out that you don’t have to break the bank to sample their delicious menu. They offer a three-course set lunch menu from Monday to Friday for £34 per person which is hard to resist.
Where: Just a few streets off Piccadilly Circus you’ll find the new location of Fallow restaurant. After attracting much attention as a pop-up restaurant at 10 Heddon Street, Fallow has opened up bigger, brighter and is here to stay.
Atmosphere: Big glass windows let light fill the large modern dining room and bar which surround a spacious open kitchen. The ambiance is busy and sleek, filled with city workers meeting over business lunches. I would never imagine this elegant restaurant allowing a dog to visit, yet there Louis and I were in the middle of it all.
Grub: Although costing more than what I would normally budget for a meal, I would pay the price all over again just to twice tantalise my tastebuds with some of the menu’s highlights. A standout from my three-course meal was the mushroom parfait, a menu staple. It was earthy, creamy and perfectly balanced with the sweet, pickled mushroom accompaniment. My other courses were both high in quality and generous in portion. A slight disappointment came from my friend’s crab starter (£5 supplement) which the waiter explained was handpicked and massaged by the chefs. The delicate crab meat taste was stolen away by too many other flavours going on in the dish. A better option might have been the sea bream crudo instead. Luckily, the meal was turned around with my tender rump steak main and the raspberry ripple dessert finished with a lovely touch of thyme. The three-course meal may be quite enough to satisfy the stomach but I couldn’t resist trying the caramelised cauliflower croquetas as an amuse bouche. Two little croquettes for £7 seemed rather steep but I didn’t regret this order one bit. They were two little bites from heaven. Definitely the dish of the day.
Service: That was a big and busy place Mummy. It was nice of the waitress to bring me some water, but I thought it best to just take myself off to the corner and sleep there till the restaurant quieted down. I heard the owner has dogs but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my friends to come here, maybe at quieter times. It seemed more like a place for little chihuahuas in designer bags than bigger furiends like me.
Mum seemed pretty happy with the service and our waitress’ recommendations. She did find it rather odd though, that for a restaurant that focuses on sustainability, it took three waiters to find out which, if any, of the wines they serve are organic. They had to check online and could only recommend one. The staff all seemed relatively new and were friendly but looked like they were still finding their paws.
Louis WAGS It – 4/5
Londoners absolutely love a bottomless brunch. Rightly so, who doesn’t? This year, I was kicking myself that I didn’t make the most of my summery Saturdays trying to drink as much Prosecco as humanly possible in 90 minutes. I figured I would rather be hanging out with my BFF Louis instead.
Then, last month I heard about M Restaurants. Vibey bar by night, upmarket restaurant all day and guess what?… They also do dog-friendly brunches on Saturdays. Not only can you gorge on high-end brunch dishes whilst enjoying unlimited cocktails in your time slot, but you can also opt for the Six-legged Brunch menu where you and your posh pooch can both indulge in three-course meals. Even better, the menu (for all 6 legs) comes to £35 in total. Now that’s a bougie bargain if I’ve ever seen one!
Where: M restaurants has three branches in London, with their newest restaurant having just opened this month in Canary Wharf. We visited the branch in Victoria which is a basement restaurant right on the high street.
Atmosphere: I must say we were rather disappointed with the atmosphere for a bottomless brunch. The dining room is very dark and mysterious which isn’t quite the brunch energy you’d expect. This may be a nice vibe when filled with guests feasting and chatting but on this particular day, the venue was rather empty as they had to cancel an event in respect of the Queen’s passing. The staff told us it’s normally busy with tails wagging.
Grub: I was extremely impressed with the Six-Legged Brunch menu at M Victoria – what great value for money! M restaurants are known for their steaks and we got to see what all the fuss was about with the steak and egg main course. Quite literally, this dish consisted of a fried egg on a sirloin steak, which sounded simple but delivered big in flavour. Both components of the dish melted in our mouths like butter. The dish was paired with a chimichurri sauce providing the right acidity to cut through the fattiness of the beautifully cooked sirloin. For dessert, a pancake stack presented like a party on a plate. Two thick pancakes with vanilla cream cheese, berry coulis, brûlée banana, caramel popcorn and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Everything about this dish made me feel like a child again. It was fun, creative and sent us into a sugar high. The only thing I’d point out is that the pancakes were much heavier than they looked so I’ll make sure to share this with the table next time I visit.
Service: Mummy, I really liked it there! They saw me for who I am, a prince! They brought me water on arrival and then I had three courses of food which I woofed down. First a bowl of chicken feet, wings and hearts (Mum didn’t let me eat them all at once but the nice waiter packed them into a doggy bag for me) followed by a delicious bulgar wheat risotto with biltong and lastly a scrumptious bone shaped, bacon and peanut butter cookie. I’ll be bragging about this to all my friends in the dog park!
Mummy said the service was top notch. They were so accommodating about mum’s allergies and offered to swap the starter on the set menu for any other of her choice. The manager even came to check in on me and have a chat with mum and dad during our meal.
Louis WAGS It – 4.5/5
Sticks n’ Sushi King’s Road
This is our go to restaurant for a special occasion. In the 60’s, my grandfather spent a few years working in textiles in Japan which led to my mum being born in Kobe. It’s for this reason that I’ve been extremely lucky to be exposed to some exquisite Japanese food in London. The only downfall of eating Japanese these days, apart from paying the price for it, is that there’s rarely anywhere that allows you to bring your dog. I was over the moon when I found out that Sticks n’ Sushi Chelsea welcomes dogs in the downstairs seating and even more excited to hear that they joined the WagIt movement just this month. If you haven’t been already, please go on and treat yourself to a party with your pooch!
Where: Sticks n’ Sushi now has 7 locations across the city of London and another two in Oxford and Cambridge. Unfortunately, not all are dog friendly. If you’re looking to take along your furry pal, you should visit the branch on King’s Road. Here, they’re all smiles for humans and dogs alike.
Atmosphere: I love everything about the atmosphere here. It’s light, lively and everyone seems to be living the life of leisure! We must be in Chelsea. The downstairs area has a central open kitchen where you can see the chefs rolling the sushi, preparing the yakitori and looking the part in their sleek black chef uniforms. Upstairs is another large dining room but who needs to go there when all the dogs are downstairs?
Grub: I must admit that even though the restaurant is called Sticks n’ Sushi, my favourite dishes on the menu are the starters and salads. Whereas you can find the same sushi rolls in most other sushi restaurants in London, dishes such as the crab croquettes, scallop kataifi (scallops wrapped in a string flour and cornstarch pastry then deep-fried) and green bird chicken salad are so unique and are bang on with the flavour combos. The sushi has, of course, always been delicious but has never offered any surprises to the palate. The yakitori sticks appeal to the eyes but apart from the black cod miso, are nothing major to rave about.
Service: I know this place very well, in fact, it was the very first restaurant I ever visited. I remember coming here in a little bag when I was all but 12 weeks old to meet my great grandpapa. I still love coming here every time mum brings me and the staff welcome me back with lots of cuddles.
Mum seems to love the staff too and always has a smile on her face.
Louis WAGS It – 4.5/5