South America. When you hear those two words together you just can't help but get excited. This goes for traveling, for music, for passion and for food.
As you can see with the menu, there is a lot going on. Typically starters at the top, then main courses and finished with the sides at the bottom. The main courses are split into the different food groups, chicken, lamb, beef and pork. Alongside this there are a few salads options and with a table full of ladies the majority went for this option. The two popular dishes were chicken salad and halloumi salad.
I ordered the chilli chilli lamb lamb- basically lamb which arrived in skewers with veg and a side bowl of rice. The skewers are purely a novelty and a gimmick. The restaurant could easily just put the lamb on your plate and then bring this out, but from the portion size in the picture it wouldn't look right. I once full and the portion size wasn't a problem but the gimmick did annoy me slightly.
A lot of people say to me, "Oh Shayan, how are you not fat" or "It seems like you are always eating out". i do eat out a lot but not too much and it is all about eating until you are full and not until you are stuffed. I used to say it was all about a balance, but you need to live life to the edge and you can't do that if you are balancing things out all the time.
One thing that still gets me, is the confusing menus. The jargon used by restaurants is alluring and it works to entice me into their establishments. However, a lot of the time i barely know what i am ordering. I grasp the initial concept, i.e- beef with... but then i lose it.
Thankfully, Bookatable have come up with the cheat sheet below which will help you out and cut through all the mumbo jumbo. When going to a fancy restaurant or any restaurant, you want to be looked after and this includes explaining the menu for you and trusting them to guide you through a good experience. Just in case though, check out the below.
Sherwin went on his annual trip to the Taste of London Food festival and below are his thoughts. Thank you.
Another year another summer and another taste of London. It does sound repetitive but I go every year because a) a friend sorts out tickets b) all different types of food & drink are on show & offer and c) a very well organised event.
Taste of London in Regents Park is an awesome event. I went again with my wife this year for the Saturday evening session.
One thing I never do but should do is research. There is so much to see and do that you really need to plan your day. Not to be militant, but really know which chefs or restaurants you want to see and what food you want to try. There are many distractions ranging from Thai dancing to freebies and of course alcohol.
The freebies are awesome, you might as well just bring your own fork or toothpick and go tasting away. You have your regulars present at TOL (Taste of London abbreviated) as the Thai section is always there. I do love thai food so I was very happy to welcome them back.
The event provides a real springboard for not only established restaurants but also new teams and places to try out there stuff. Almost like a trial phase for new businesses. Customers and exhibitors alike are all there to enioy themselves and experiment. Even with all the rain everyone was in a good mood and up for a good time
Thank you Sherwin. I didn't go, which is blasphemous I know but I felt like my money was better spent at an actual restaurant rather than this festival. The prices are what you begin to expect now in London, however, it can add up on the day and this is without the service of a good restaurant. Taste of London will get bigger and better I am sure of it, the food is great but their is a need for more presence from the new and upcoming restaurants and Pop ups. The FOMO (fear of missing out) will ensure that punters come in full force.
Earlier this year, Nando's was given a publicity drive by curious Americans and their quest for knowledge and culture. "What is a cheeky Nando's"? The Brits had Many humorous responses to this and luckily for this South African chain it became a viral sensation.
Many of us have been going to Nando's for a long while. I think it has been about 10+ years for me and throughout I have been quite experimental but have now found my go to meal. Half a chicken chips and either rice or coleslaw.
Let me explain Nando's for anyone who isn't sure. It's basically grilled chicken cooked with a South African peri peri flavours. A nice hint of spice on the chicken with the spicy sauce of your liking, from lemon and herb to mild, medium and hot. I am safe with medium level and this gives the chicken an extra level and in my mind sets it apart from other fast food joints. Along with the heat of the sauce you can also choose your portion size which usually is either a quarter chicken or half a chicken as the standard size for woman and men respectively.
The half chicken with chips plus either rice or coleslaw in my mind is a winning combination. The meat is plentiful and just works. At £10 you can't expect too much for a meal and the chicken is at a good level quality wise and flavour too. The grilled effect give extra texture to the chicken and another level of buzz for the taste buds. As a fast food joint, Nando's is a cost above KFC and McDonalds and more in line with Pizza Express and a GBK.
The service is straight forward, you get your table number and from there you go to the counter and order your food. Wait usually 10-15 minutes and get your accompaniments of sauces and cutlery and hey presto- EAT.
Nando's is a British heritage and the Americans will never know. Half a chicken, a choice of sides and it just works.
Originally published on the Lodego Blog: http://lodgeo.com/blog/london-new-food-capital-world/
I have been lucky enough to travel to many countries and eat lots of good food. With parents from Iran, I have been fortunate enough to grow up with the finest Iranian food and it remains as one of my favourite cuisines. My luck with fine food continues, I happen to live in London, which thanks to it’s ethnic diversity now has the honour of being the new world food capital.
There are many alcoves in London where you will find the very best examples of fantastic cuisine. One of the great things about the city is that you can ask anyone and they will recommend the best place to go for their favourite type of dish. Let’s go with Chinese food, China town seems like the obvious choice, from the fancy restaurants and dim sum places to the fast food joints and the casual dining experiences. However, my favourite Chinese restaurant is Goldfish, located in North London in Hampstead.
To find my current favourite spot for the best in what London has to offer, venture down to London’s West End. Follow the lights of Shaftesbury Avenue all the way to Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street. Here you will find both quantity and quality. The newest restaurateurs in town are flocking over to this part of London to set up shop, from fast food joints to classy establishments and fine dining.
The turn of the year saw the introduction of the Big Fernand, A French Burger restaurant which caters to London’s growing burger scene. The Big Fernand sits close to Charlotte Street, and new residents Barnyard (British Cuisine). Alongside these new openings come classics such as Cote,Gaucho, Roka and Wahaca. The options are plentiful almost to a point where it can hurt your head. However, this is a good headache to have and you would have to take some wrong turns and make some bad decisions to not have a good meal.
Is this the ultimate food guide for London, or me just pointing to one street and saying go forth and eat? I feel that Charlotte Street and its surrounding areas offer visitors all the options; quality food as well as all the best that central London has to offer. The British Museum, Regents Park, Oxford Circus and the West End are all within walking distance. Here, breakfast, lunch and dinner options are provided and the quality remains high during all times of the day. As one of the most expensive cities in the world, top chefs from all over are flocking over to London to treat us to their finest dishes. Michelin stars have been brandished about, celebrities come over in their droves and create go-to places like Chiltern Firehouse in Marlyebone (walking distance from Charlotte Street) so sometimes prices can be (some might say) unreasonably high.
At the beginning, I said that London’s greatest quality is that good food can be found everywhere. North, South, East and West London hold their own gems and their own local ultimate food guides. As a starting point, go to the city centre at Charlotte Street and work your way round. I’m certain that you will have a lot of fun sampling the food that each part of this great capital city has to offer the world.