LOVE FOOD, LIVE FOODIE:
Prime location, on trend cuisine, Buns and Buns has had big appeal to me for a while.
Replacing the Old Jamie Oliver restaurant in Covent Garden, I was excited about this.
Even though it has been around for a while, even before the pandemic, I hadn't managed to visit. It didn't feel like a venue I could go for a quick bite, by myself.
Just before the new tiered lockdown however (October), I managed to visit for a catch up work lunch.
With the name, I assumed that Buns and Buns, served Bao buns only. To my surprise, when I checked the menu, I saw Pizza, small plates, salads and grilled dishes too.
After seeing all this, I became a bit apprehensive that they were doing too much. Jack of All Trades, Master of None. Even with this, I made sure I tried the Buns only, the name forced me to do it.
I kept this visit simple and ordered two buns. One Pork Belly bun (with Bourbon glaze and Apple coleslaw) and one Beef mac bun (Beef and Burger sauce).
Both buns were delightful, tender, tasty and juicy.
Strangely enough, the beef burger took longer than the pork burger (I think they forgot about my order tbh).
The flavours and taste did confuse me however. I initially thought we were in a Chinese Bao restaurant. However, with the different options (Pizza, grills, salads) and the beef mac too, I realised this was fusion food.
I mean a bao is a bun, which is a burger. And a burger is basically a sandwich. Carbs and Protein combined is usually a good meal in my books.
A pleasant restaurant experience with good food to add. In these strange times, any experience out seems like a bonus.
The wide variety of the menu, I believe is there for the tourists. However, the buns are good and based on that, I would be happy to try out the rest of their menu too.
GOOD TIMES: Buns, everyone loved them. Buns for all too.
WATCH OUT: Such a varied menu, you may need to visit everyday to see what they have
OMG: Did I say Buns?
Welcome to a new type of lockdown; where once again, restaurant trips become rare.
What this means is that I will have to rely on others for reviews; so thanks to @heraldsinc for this review of Cottons in Notting Hill.
I hadn't heard of Cottons before, but it is well known and was visited for a birthday trip. Looking at the site and the pictures, I can see why.
This is how they describe themselves:
"Welcome to Cottons Notting Hill where it's Carnival all year long! Following a complete re-design, we are glad to welcome you in to totally tropical vibes and a new bigger bar area for our infamous rum selection and cocktails.Cottons is packed full of contagious Caribbean spirit offering a wide selection of Caribbean cuisine in the heart of Notting Hill including our signature Mixed Jerk Grill Platter and Jerk Half Chicken, Superfood Rasta Salad and divine desserts full of tropical taste.
Calling all Rum lovers, Cottons proudly owns of the Guinness World Record for the most amount of rums commercially available - 372 to be precise. Come and try them all!"
Sounds both yummy and boozy. I should visit.
Guest Post below:
I have been lucky enough now to have tried a few Caribbean restaurants over the years, thanks to my brother in law. He has helped open up my eyes a bit more to what is out there. I always go for a jerk dish, something I know and something I enjoy.
When I gazed at the menu at Cottons, what grabbed my attention was the mixed meat platter, Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, chicken wing and a lamb chop - sold, sold, sold.
When it came, it did not disappoint. The dish came with a serving of rice and plantain, very yummy. The sauce on the meat had the necessary and expected kick, yet it didn't leave me crying. It was finger licking good in fact and I was happy and sad after I had consumed it all.
It was only after 20 minutes that I realised how much I had eaten and that I was way beyond full. At the time of eating, I was just savouring every bite.
I should mention that I did get the salt fish fritters to start, which had a lovely mango chutney sauce and were a great portion size to start.
The restaurant itself was very nice and cozy. Tables relatively close together and with attentive staff. We didn't have to wait too long for our food and everything was served efficiently and with a smile. Cottons has a few other venues dotted around London, so if you are in Camden or Shoreditch, do go and visit. Well worth it!
Thanks for the blog and I will definitely go and visit.
When in Whitstable have...
Of course, it makes sense. Well, for the most part it does. Going down to Kent and the coast, one is expected to have Oysters. Whitstable Oysters are world famous and a must (so I have heard).
However, good Oysters implies good seafood and seafood is a key component of good tapas.
Therefore, Harbour Street Tapas in Whitstable is a no brainer.
After a few recommendations for a lunch time visit, we went and checked out the small corner restaurant and got a table and decided to eat.
With a simple menu, broken down into sections (and seasonal), it was clear what we had to do. We looked at the sections and went for a few in column A and more from column B (I hope you get the reference).
- Jamon Croquetas
- Fried Squid with Anchovy Aioli
- Butterflied Sardines with Fennel salad
- Roast Spiced monkfish with arroz negro
A light lunch, with a special focus on seafood. Next time, I will need to try out some of their meat dishes.
A nice sunny, yet windy day with a window seat, we watched the world walk by.
Obviously with COVID we looked at quieter streets and times, however, this worked to our advantage as we were able to get a table.
Once in, the tean were friendly and attentive, without being in our face. To me, this is the right level of service as i like to relax and enjoy my time in a restaurant. A time to unwind, chat and enjoy good food.
The food here was top notch. The seafood was very fresh and cooked well. They were all accompanied with great partners like the fennel salad or silky spanish rice.
Having been to San Sebastian last November, Harbour Street Tapas made me reminisce a lot. Light bites, full of flavour, filling and hearty. A day to the Kent coast felt like a mini holiday.
GOOD TIMES: All good food. When down the coast, have the seafood.
WATCH OUT: book in advance, small restaurant and popular place
OMG: San Sebastian but in South England. SAY WHAT!
Life's little treats are the best and nowadays, even going for a Sunday Roast sounds like a wonderful and magnificent luxury.
Indeed, it is for some, and I make sure I never take it for granted. This is made easier when you have a pleasant experience with good food and good people.
This Sunday Roast was a visit to Queen Adelaide in Wandsworth. A Young's Pub in London, on a socially distanced and sunny day. The welcome addition here was their Burger Shack & Bar.
The outdoor area is a great reason to visit. With lovely views, which at times makes you think you are in the countryside and then contrasted with the overground train and sounds of London.
As you can see below, I went for a typical roast, but as a starter we shared some chicken wings. It wasn't that I was extra hungry, BUT, they looked good and I didn't want FOMO.
The wings were just what was needed and what we wanted. Hot, sticky, sweet and a bit of spice too. The blue cheese dip on the side was refreshing and helped to cool the heat from the habanero sauce.
Well cooked and generous in size, gives me confidence to try out one of their burgers next time I visit.
When that will be, I am not yet sure.
Now, to the Roast.
The options were intriguing, for me, it was a tie up between either a Beef Roast or Pork.
My wife went for the beef and that made my mind up. I would get Pork and sneak a few bites of beef in after.
All roasts are served with herb crusted roast potato, honey glazed carrots, roasted seasonal vegetables, seasonal puree, yorkshire pudding and gravy.
It sounds just right and looks good too.
The roast was just about right in all areas. One area that I wanted a bit more from was the crackling. It was missing a bit of crunch and bite. The rest of the roast was delightful. I, especially enjoyed the seasonal veg which gave depth to the roast and accompanied each mouthful with added texture and flavour.
If I could dream, I would ask that they have crunchy and crispy crackling, but also to add roast lamb to the menu too. Next time, I will try the burger from the burger shack team and maybe a drink or two extra (all before 10pm).
Until next time, see you soon.
As a result of lockdown, the government are encouraging people to 'Eat out to Help Out'. The aim with the scheme is to help the economy and get people spending again. 50% off will help encourage many people to go back to restaurants and lots of people have and are taking advantage.
I took full benefit of the scheme twice in one day. First was a trip to McDonalds and 50% off a meal. £2.50 for a Quarter Pounder meal was delightful.
The second trip, was a visit to SushiMania in Whetstone.
The rush to go out is real. VAT cuts, up to £10 off and the fact that it is the summer holidays, means booking ahead is vital. After a few tries, we managed to get a table for six.
At SushiMania, the options available and the one we went for was 'All you can eat'. Once seated, we were given a menu to showcase all on offer. The staff encouraged us to go on their site and order via our phones.
The idea and execution were simple enough. Enter the table number and then go through the menu on the phone and click, click and click.
You get a limited number per order, this made sense, so that a) they could manage the number of orders b) stop you from ordering everything and then waiting ages for the one dish.
The menu covered sushi (as you would expect), some dim sum, noodles, soup, hot food and more. As it days, ALL YOU CAN EAT.
The food arrives quite quickly and the duty we had was to make sure we had space on our table. There were times, especially near the end, where our eyes were bigger than our bellies (and table too).
The food is tasty and with the £10 off per person, was definitely worth it. The sushi didn't taste like the freshest available, but good service and fast (ish) food at a reasonable price was what we signed up for and got.
GOOD TIMES: Food and lots of it
WATCH OUT: It won't be the best sushi ever, book in advance
OMG: Make space for lots of food. Take advantage of the offer.