Wine Dine and Play: April 2018

LTI Top London Restaurants

London, England, United Kingdom
April 29, 2018
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

On the 19th of April 2018, CNN Travel released an article from Luxury Travel Intelligence on the best eclectic London Restaurants. LTI is a global members-only luxury travel rating organization for the discerning traveler as they have advertised and charge $700.00 per year to be a part of there organization. Though I have not been to there website since you have to pay the fee to go on it, I take their rates like a grain of salt as I would other big company review sites like San Pellegrino’s Best 100 Restaurants, Elite Travelers top 100, yelp, OAD, and many others.  

Here is that list:

Smith & Wollensky, Located in the Adelphi Building, in Covent Garden Riverside, at 1-11 John Adam St, London; Smith & Wollensky is an American Steakhouse with three branches in Chicago, Columbus, and New York with this being their first international location.

Mere is located at 74 Charlotte St, Bloomsbury, London and is pronounced Mary, is overseen by former Le Gavroche duo Monica Galetti and her husband David Galetti.

Locanda Locatelli is an Italian restaurant, with an emphasis on letting the natural quality and flavors of the ingredients shine through, with many elements imported directly from Italy. They are located at 8 Seymour St, Marylebone, London.

Henrietta is an experimental cocktail cub come together to create a French hotel restaurant with real personality located at14 Henrietta St, London. 

Benares is an innovative, sophisticated and modern Indian cuisine restaurant using British ingredients located at 12a, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London. 

Barrafina A tapas and robust Catalan cuisine restaurant located at 26-27 Dean St, Soho, London.

The Ivy is one restaurant on this list that I did dine at back in 2012 before the refurbishment and rates at #56 on my top 100 best restaurant experiences.The Ivy celebrated its 100th year in 2017 and is a city icon in the theater district of London. With countless accolades over the years that include the Best Buzz award by Tatler Restaurant Awards 2016, Timeless Classic Restaurant of the Year by Food and Travel Magazine, Best restaurants Eater London, and previous award for best London restaurant by the Harden’s restaurant guide, this hot spot is a place to mark for a visit like other actors, singers, and politicians do. They are located at 1-5 West St, London.

Scott's is a seafood and champagne restaurant located at 20 Mount St, Mayfair, London. 

Chiltern Firehouse covers 4,000 square feet, the hotel restaurant accommodates 120 people with André Balazs's hot entrée into the London hotel and dining scene from 2013. They are located at 1 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London.

StreetXO is run chef David Munoz (Diver XO) has brought his Avant-garde style cuisine to London, complete with a lot of artistic showmanship. Located 15 Old Burlington Street. Mayfair, London 

Zuma is a contemporary Japanese restaurant with locations in Dubai and nine other countries, that focuses on Izakaya style of dining, where the food is served to share and is a casual after-work Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the main highlight…drinks. Rated in the top 100 restaurants on San Pellegrino from 2014-16, and #44 best bar in the world out of 50 on the Forbes list, with a hefty price tag, this is a spot to add to your list. I dined at the Dubai location in 2016 and it sits on my best 100 restaurant experiences list at #20. They are located at 5 Raphael Street in Knightsbridge, London. 

The Colony Grill Room is at the Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, London and is inspired by grill rooms of the early 1900s that offered gentlemen a welcome respite from the constraints of formal evening dress and dining, the atmosphere at Colony Grill Room is quietly cozy and relaxed, even when the dining room is full.

Spring is a seasonal menu British restaurant with a daily changing menu in a beautiful contemporary space with chef Skye Gyngell at the helm. Located at the
Somerset House, Lancaster Pl, London 

Park Chinois pays homage to 1930s Shanghai glamour whilst serving the finest dim sum and Chinese cuisine. Alan Yau's high-end Chinese restaurant is a sight to behold located at17 Berkeley St, Mayfair, London 

Sexy Fish sounds like a fun name but gives away part of cuisine style by the name.
It is a super glamorous addition to the Richard Caring empire, with Asian-inspired fish and seafood and German chef Bjoern Weissgerber in command. Located at the Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square 

Hakkasan Mayfair is a contemporary Cantonese cuisine with a twist, this second London outpost of the now international Hakkasan brand located at 17 Bruton Street, London 

The Delaunay is modeled on the grand cafés of Vienna and Budapest, with Old World charm in spades. Imposing chandeliers and leather banquettes add to its grandeur. The menu is split into lots of sections, from soups, starters, and wieners to crustacea, caviar, cakes, and coupes. They are located at 55 Aldwych, London 

Duck & Waffle sounds like a play on an American Southern brunch menu of Chicken and Waffles. Bringing 24/7 dining to new heights, Duck & Waffle is based on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. This modern British cuisine staple feature crisp duck confit, fried duck egg, and waffle, accompanied by mustard maple syrup which is among the restaurant's most popular dishes. Located in the Heron Tower, at 110 Bishopsgate, London 

Coya is a restaurant I first heard about in Dubai that I am planning to visit in August of 2018. With other locations in Abu Dhabi and now London this modern Peruvian restaurant offers fresh, contemporary cuisine from one of its three kitchens -- the ceviche bar, charcoal grill, and central kitchen. Its extensive menu requires lengthy perusal before ordering, but the fun and lively atmosphere helps keeps things casual. They are located at 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London,

Elystan Street follows two Michelin star chef Phil Howard With the menu not being too complex as but still very innovative, adventurous and fun. They are located at  43 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London

Other Noteworthy Top-Listed Articles and Restaurants:
Top 100 best Restaurants This list covers the experiences on Wine Dine and Play from 5 continents in fine dining
Alinea Highly creative new American molecular gastronomy tasting menus in Chicago, Illinois
Aubergine Restaurant Innovative East meets West in Cape Town, South Africa
Attica Innovative and eclectic tasting menu restaurant in Ripponlea, Australia
La Colombe Country-Style local ingredients w/French flair in Cape Town, South Africa
La TABLE de Joël Robuchon Haute French restaurant in Paris, France (Now L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon)
McCrady’s Tavern Acclaimed high-concept inspired farm-to-table tavern in Charleston, South Carolina 
Quay Restaurant Quintessential modern Australian cuisine in Sydney, Australia
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud Impeccably prepared French & Irish fine dining in Dublin, Ireland
Tetsuya’s Eclectic French-Asian tasting menu restaurant in Sydney, Australia
The French Laundry French-American fine dining restaurant in Yountville, California 
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français African-French tasting menu in Franschhoek, SA
The Test Kitchen Modern eclectic and Nouvelle Latin cuisine in Cape Town, South Africa
Vue de Monde Elegant modern Australian with molecular gastronomic dining in Melbourne, Australia
Zuma Contemporary Japanese restaurant, sushi, and cocktail mixology in Dubai, UAE

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other London restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Modern British cuisine in Art Deco Space
Theatre District, London, UK
Medieval-style British cuisine banquet plus 2-hour dinner show 
London, UK
1800s warehouse dockside style British pub
London, UK
Vibrant Pan-Indian Cuisine
Colnbrook, Slough, England, UK

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?



A Modern Twist On Culture, Heritage, And Hospitality
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Cuisine Style: Emirati 
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 3/5
Dined in March 2018
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Aseelah - Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Uwe Micheel

The true flavors of Dubai are how Chef Uwe Micheel calls Aseelah, the 6th restaurant in Dubai serving Emirati cuisine that I have dined at over the years, and by far, finally a good experience. Emirati cuisine is a reflection of Arabian heritage and the dishes are usually prepared in the fashion of stews, which goes back hundreds of years, to cook everything in one pot. Typical spices used in the preparation are the same you will find in most Yemeni, Jordanian, Levant, and Iraqi cuisine styles. Those selections being saffron, cardamom, turmeric, and thyme, which make up the core flavors used in Emirati cookery. In recent decades as UAE has taken center stage in the world for travel and business, catering to many cultures, especially Indian, the spice profiles have increased. You can find one of the largest spice markets, called the Spice Souk in all Western and Central Asia in Deira, a suburb of Dubai.

Dubai numbers over ten thousand restaurants from cuisines around the world, yet it is difficult to find those that cater to traditional Emirati cuisine and those that do have been a greater disappointment versus pleasure. Whether it is through service, quality of food, or standards of food safety, the marks have been lower in the other Emirati restaurants I have dined in, until Aseelah, one of eleven restaurants at the Radisson Blu Hotel near the Dubai Creek. 

    • Salads and Starters
    • Soups
    • Main Courses
    • Bread
    • Desserts
The dining room is very elegant and neat, a far change from two other Emirati restaurants I had dined in previously.  The entrance and main hall leading to the Maître d was a bright white adorned with exotic lamps of Middle Eastern design, opening to a desk with large trunk-like wood legs. You are then escorted to the main dining room to see a large tiled wall behind a food bar with a half moon opening of the Italian stone oven, followed by the main seating area. 

I was seated at a group of banquet booths along the wall facing out to full booths and tables adjoined by chairs of straw and cloth along with separations of open wood shelves containing pottery, camels, and other Middle Eastern themed chotskies. The menus were presented on light wood clipboards with a smaller wine collection, and a few liquors, shooters, and cocktails. This was the first Emirati themed restaurant in Dubai I had been to that served any alcohol, so that alone was a bonus. 

I chose a glass of Antares Sauvignon Blanc to go with the meal, which according to the tasting notes offers aromas of mint, melon, and pineapple with refreshing citrus, lime, and passionfruit. The palate is soft and fruity with a medium body and a well-balanced acidity. Ideal as an aperitif or with salads, white meat, and seafood dishes. My notes on the wine were of a caramel and honey taste. I did get the melon flavor and liter body but felt it had a very strong aftertaste. 

The meal began with some Arabic bread cooked in the stone oven and served with a locally made ghee and a much sweeter taste than other ghee selections from other restaurants. My server Sayid was from Egypt, and he spoke of different ghee flavors and other profile items of Middle Eastern dishes. 

Arab Breads
This was then followed by an amuse of a cream cheese pastry filled with local dates that were very sweet, also cooked in the stone oven.  The amuse and the bread would set the course for the remainder of the evening as both focused on the sweet versus the savory. The menu sections were broken down into two columns, the first being traditional dishes, followed by dishes made with local ingredients. 

The salad and starters included options such as a pan-roasted quail salad stuffed with pistachio, served with pumpkin puree and cinnamon jus, or a Maleh salad of preserved UAE fish on a bed of local lettuce and green mango. My choice for the evening was a kale salad with dates, white wheat, cherry tomatoes, red radish, halloumi cheese, raisins, and candied walnuts. The salad was mixed with a honey-lemon dressing, adding to the sweetness that the date offered. The amuse theme was continuing. Other selections included a beetroot carpaccio, Rocca, and tomato salads. For soups, they offered an Arabian seafood soup, chicken vermicelli soup, and a local spiced parsnip and almond soup served with a beef veal bacon and saffron oil garnish. 

Kale Salad
For main courses, the list is extensive going beyond that of the UAE, but in keeping with local tradition. These dishes include marinated shrimp called rubian, chicken or lamb biryani, jarish wheat with tomato and chicken or rack of lamb. The signature dishes include chicken roulade, assorted thareed stews, vegetable margoogat, and harees. The jashid or baby shark is a common UAE dish, but unlike other Emirati restaurants where the dish is dry and not the best of flavor, Aseelah cooks the shark in fish stock, then sautéed with onion, ginger, garlic, and local ghee. The local signature dishes continue with poached Arabian lobster, fish Samak filet, seafood risotto, and a few camel dishes that include stew, kofta, and kebab. 

I chose the trio of camel sliders served with different toppings and a side of sweet potato fries. The first was a date and lime jam slider topped with halloumi cheese. The second was with a BBQ sauce and an onion jam. It was a very sweet slider, though the BBQ tamed the sweeter flavor. The meat themselves had a lite salt flavor, and the taste was less gamey then I expected, but also with less of a flavor than beef or pork meats. The third slider was a cheese, onion, and tomato, which was like a typical beef slider, that did not have any excitement or surprise for flavor, and focused more on the camel meat flavor instead.

Camel Sliders

There are six desserts on the menu starting with luqaimat which is a fried Emirati sweet drizzled with date syrup, and coated with sesame seeds. Then they have aseeda bobar which is a warm sweet pumpkin mousse flavored with cardamom and saffron. The sago is an edible starch that is obtained from a palm and is a staple food in parts of the tropics. The pith inside the trunk is scraped out, washed, and dried to produce a flour or processed to produce the granular sago used in the West. This leads to the sago dessert flavored with rose water, cardamom and saffron as well. They have a date pudding, a chocolate cardamom cheesecake, and an Arabian nutty cake made with camel laban mousse and passion fruit jelly to finish. 

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

South America:
Chile: Chilean wine

Other Noteworthy Emirati Articles and Restaurants:
Al Fanar Restaurant and Café Authentic Emirati Cuisine, Festival City, Dubai, UAE
Asail AlSham Sweets “Mastic” ice-cream in Deira Dubai, UAE
Qwaider AlNabulsi Sweets and Restaurant Kunāfah specials and restaurant in Deira Dubai, UAE
Red Shrimp A Japanese / Emirati cuisine beach-style restaurant at Bur Juman Mall, Dubai, UAE 
Safar Restaurant Arabic and Emirati blended buffet at the Dubai International Airport (DXB), UAE

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

A Few Dubai Favorites:

Contemporary Middle Eastern and Levant buffet at Hyatt Park Hotel
 Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE
Stylish modern Spanish and global cuisine
Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE
Upscale fine dining global cuisine
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE 
 A Top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Turkish culinary journey with an eclectic European twist
Plaza Versace Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Authentic churrascaria-Style dining
Palm Island, Dubai, UAE
Contemporary Japanese restaurant, sushi, & cocktail mixology
DFIC, Dubai, UAE
A Top 20 on Wine Dine and Play

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience, and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Aseelah a 3 out of 5 stars, meaning that they exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants.

Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage — less the Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
3 of 5 Stars: 
80% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
Exceeded All My Expectations in a Dining Experience
Wine rating:
5 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Italy, Spain

New World selections: 
Argentina, Australia,  Chile, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa
Corkage fees:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Conservative dining
Cuisine Style:
Arabic, Emirati, Middle Eastern
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Gluten-Free, Halal, Local, Low Carb, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian Options
Not Required
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
 Conservative to Smart casual attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Modern, Business parties, Good for special occasions, Beautiful décor, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Private lot
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

Emirati Dirham (AED)
United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

48.00 Emirati Dirham (AED)


4 Baniyas Road 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+971 4 205 7033
Online reservations
Email contact:
Serving hours:
Emirates Local Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - BST Offset + 2:00)
Lunch: Mon-Sun
12:30 am - 4:00 pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Social Media 
Facebook link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
Esteemed old-school steakhouse with gospel brunch
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Modern British cuisine in Art Deco Space
London, England, UK 
Traditional and classic Italian plates
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Other Pictures:

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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