Google Places Community Blog – getting to know Jason Pinto

To get to know me a little better, read about me here as a featured user on the Google Places Community Blog:

Meet your Google Places Neighbour: Jason Pinto

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | 7:17 AM

Labels: london, user spotlight

Editor’s Note: Now and then we’ll spotlight one of our amazing Google Places reviewers. Both so you guys can start to get to know one another and so we can pull together and share our favourite local places. Today, we introduce you to Jason Pinto from London.
Want to be one of our Featured Users? Sign up for the newsletter to find out how or follow us on Twitter for community activities in London.

Jason has been calling London home for ten years, when he moved here to take on a new job. When he isn’t eating out at new restaurants or making “mean chocolate almond cookies,” he’s reviewing London hotspots on Google Places and dropping by our events. Our latest featured user told us his ultimate London tips, including where to find the very best desserts in the capital…

What’s your favourite thing about writing reviews on Google Places?
Getting to go to fun Google Places events! We had the most amazing breakfast at The Modern Pantry.

Share your ultimate London insider tip:
Great, cheap Malaysian food at Rasa Sayang, near Oxford Street (does the best roti canai).

Which celeb would you love to see reviewing on Places?
Raymond Blanc, just to see if he writes his reviews with a French accent.

Tell us some juicy gossip:
SUSHIsamba is opening in Heron Tower during Summer 2012 — they will do Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese cuisines.

We’ll keep an eye out for it! And what are a few of your favourite London places?

Gauthier Soho – Upmarket feel, great atmosphere and attentive service. Amazing food created by Alexis Gauthier and his team. The tasting menu is highly recommended; in my opinion it is one of the best. Don’t fill up on the amazing freshly baked breads at the start, as you will definitely need to save space for dessert, especially if it is their signature Louis XV chocolate praline — heavenly!!!

Galvin at Windows, Park Lane Hilton – We had the set lunch at Galvin at Windows in Park Lane Hilton. Pleasant service as usual and we got a window table as requested, as it was a birthday celebration — it had great views over Hyde Park. Our relatives from abroad enjoyed the experience and are still talking about it. Enjoyed the pork cheeks for mains. L’Artisan du Chocolat chocolates to end was a nice touch with the coffees. Amazing signature marshmallows — especially love the strawberry and coffee ones!!! We will definitely be going back again.

OXO Tower Wharf – Loved the place and amazing views. Attentive staff and fabulous food. Fish and chips is excellent, as well as the burger, and cheaper than other places in Gabriel’s Wharf which are not as good in my opinion. Will be back to Oxo Tower again soon!!!

The Table – The Table Cafe is a lovely place, very casual with wooden benches and tables. Our NZ server was super sweet and comped us an extra dessert of ice cream; sadly the salted caramel was a bit too salty for me. But on the whole the food is great, with unusual ingredients like black potatoes. The onglet steak was delicious and not at all chewy, as this cut can sometimes be, testimony to good cooking. Also, the wood pigeon and wild rabbit were perfectly cooked — though they had undersold the wild rabbit on the menu, as it came with beautiful roasted root vegetables. Yummy, sticky toffee puddings. Will be back again very soon!

Clos Maggiore — Excellent service and good food, apart from slightly tough lamb. Waiting staff remembered mention of birthday celebrations without having to be reminded on the day — candle in dessert and happy birthday was a nice touch. Also, conservatory is lovely (and romantic), but if you sit near the fireplace you get a cold blast of air. Overall, enjoyed another great meal at Clos Maggiore and we will be visiting again soon.

Posted by Alexandra Sheppard, London community coordinator

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About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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