WembleyWonderful #30: English Chain Restaurants

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Comes winter (well, autumn actually, but it really feels like winter to me!) and I become absolutely obsessed with eating… After last weeks’ recommendations on supermarket chains in England, it occurred to me that you may not feel like cooking all the time, so here is a guide to restaurant chains.

Although chains have a bad reputation in France, where people tend to prefer “boutique” restaurants, I have often found that here they guarantee good quality food at a reasonable (on London’s standards) cost. Very often, they also cater very well for children, with cheap and cheerful children menus. And contrary to France, they give you the option to eat a proper meal at any time of the day!

Here are what they WembleyWonderful family has tried and liked:

  • For a taste of France, we like to go to Caf é Rouge , which has traditional French staples on the menu that I can’t be bothered to cook at home, such as soupe à l’oignon, escargots, confits de canard, etc…
  • On the Italian side, there are many chains available. Our absolute favourite is Pizza Express , where the pizzas are delicious, the menu is regularly updated and the children menu is a real treat. We also love Carluccio’s for non-pizza food, they also have a deli, quite pricey but with lovely products to take home. We recently tried Prezzo and that was fine too, they have a good selection of pizzas and other dishes, and the children loved the traditional oven!
  • As for Asian food, we love Itsu for takeaway sushi – they may not be the most authentic but they are very appropriate for the European and children’s palate; and the sashimi is always super fresh! Yo’Sushi is quite similar in terms of taste and the conveyor belt bringing the sushi to you adds some fun to the process. For Chinese food, our favourite it Royal China , especially the one in Canary Wharf with its view on the river. Massala Zone offers Indian food, here as well adapted to the European palate.
  • For burgers, Byron is a great option if you’re not counting the calories. Burger&Lobster offers both burger and lobster options with great quality.
  • For simple yet always fresh takeaway food, I always go to Pret-a-Manger – the food is freshly prepared; they offer sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups – what else would you need; the staff is nice and efficient; and I love the name!
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