We’re back with another edition of the Elite Spotlight series. This time, we’re taking a little trip across the pond to hang with a London Elite who’s always up for adventure. May we present to you, the fabulous Andrew M!
London Community Manager Alex S. describes Andrew as, “a man of the world.” Jumping from Bombay to Saudi Arabia to the U.S., Andrew finally settled in London to take on what Alex describes as his “lifelong goal”: eat every burger in the city and write about it.
From the moment Andrew stepped into his first Yelp event years ago, he was hooked on being part of the vibrant London community. Since that first event, Andrew “pounds through more reviews than Londoners drink tea, sets up his own UYEs (Unofficial Yelp Events), including the legendary Burger Quests, and is a well-loved part of the site.”
We could go on all day about this passionate local, but we’ll pass the mic to Andrew to share some of his favorite local spots and what it means to be Elite.
Andrew M. (London)
What are the top 3 local spots you’re loving in your city right now?
1) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – Heston B is a pioneer in molecular gastronomy and his first London restaurant combines modern techniques and ideas with historical dishes. Each of the dishes are from the early days of modern England (the oldest created in the 1300s) and he's kept the core of the dish while giving it his own unique touch. The Chef's Table there was one of the most fun meals I've had so far, with the head sous chef presenting the dishes and then bantering around with us too.
2) Champagne + Fromage – This secret gem is becoming better known by the minute. Run by a lovely French couple, they specialise in grower champagnes that they source themselves as well as a host of French cheeses and rustic foods. The tartines are excellent but what really grabs me is the dark chocolate and blue cheese fondant. I was a bit dubious at first but, damn, if those two things don't go well together.
Photo of Champagne + Fromage via Jules H. on Yelp
3) Patty & Bun – A street food trader gone brick and mortar, the food has only gotten better and the menu more diverse than when they were slinging burgers at Street Feast. It's consistently in my top three burgers. Plus the staff are fun and friendly and prices are very reasonable given it's in the West End just off Oxford St.
Yelp is more than just a restaurant review site. What else have you discovered on Yelp?
I've used Yelp for nearly everything including evaluating moving companies, boiler repairmen, and even hospitals. There is this cool hidden garden (might actually be called Hidden Gem) up in Dalston that looks like a winner for the summer months – definitely looking forward to trying that out.
Describe your most memorable Yelp moment.
It's near impossible to pick just one moment, but I'll give it a shot. I organised a bunch of new and old Yelp friends for a pub crawl. We all got dressed up as different characters and made our way around the city. But the crawl itself wasn't the highlight – it was the group. Yelpers make a fun group to go out with, you can rely on them to help you push through and they tend to be very encouraging. Plus, with a fairly diverse group there is always someone who knows the way and which pub is best to duck into for a pint! That day is filled with excellent memories and I'd have to tip my hat to Yelp for helping make it happen.
Andrew and fellow Yelpers cheesin’ at Oktoberfest – photo via Andrew M. on Yelp
What does it mean to you to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad?
Being Elite, and being a Yelper in general, has opened up a whole new part of my life and in some ways has taken over a bit – in a good way. I've always loved food, and Yelp put me in touch with others who were just as passionate, if not more. The Elites tend to be a crazy bunch who are usually up for trying anything and there is always someone who would share an interest, be it setting up a book club, going on burger quests to the detriment of your health, hosting a karaoke and cocktails night, and so much more. Some Elites have become very close friends and without Yelp, I doubt I'd have ever met them. Plus, who doesn't like an awesome event with free food and drink? Especially when you get to chat to the owners and get some rare insight into what drove the idea.