This is my recipe for a good night.
Turkish food like Iranian food is at its best when most simple. Meat, rice, good bread and finally good company. Olives and Figs near Old Spitalfields Market provides all this and with its laid back vibe in the form of its Bring Your Own Alcohol, you can enjoy a cheap fun evening.
For main course, I went for the mixed grill, albeit a smaller version. This was chicken shish, lamb kebab and andana kebab. This was served with rice, salad and a chilli ( as you can see). This was tasty, charred well and the smokiness of the BBQ was dominant and welcomed.
A good restaurant with good food and definitely a good price too. I had a very chilled night here and will go back again. Good start to 2016.
Now in its second week on Holloway Road, this Dalston favourite is expanding. Fried chicken done a few ways with their famous waffle burger too. With another branch opening in Camden soon, the short wait and queue outside makes it clear to me that this place will be very popular.
I had wanted to go a week earlier, especially as they had a 50% off offer too for their soft launch but alas I was told NO. So when the opportunity arose I went. Fried chicken is becoming more popular here and MotherClucker, Clutch, Ma'Plucker and the continuous expansion of the Chicken Shop means that Londoners are craving for poultry.
Shortly after we were seated and ready to order chicken many ways. As you can see from the menu, it is all about chicken fried in a few ways. What we ordered as you will see below is chicken wings, Fried chicken pieces and their Famous Waffle Burger.
I think the order of the food arriving and the wait tainted our experience of Bird, I did like all of its components but the waffle burger was a beast. Easily shared between two the burger is a dense filling sandwich. Two waffles encase a piece of fried chicken covered in cheese, sauce, bacon and syrup. All of these ingredients sound amazing in a burger, but it just felt like too much, after one bite I started to feel full. The waffles was not as light or tasty as it needed to be and then with the cheese and bacon every bite began to be a struggle. We originally were going to just the get the chicken ON waffles but were persuaded otherwise by the waitress- next time we know.
Laura was not that impressed with it all and I genuinely think it was because of the wait and the fact that the waffle burger was so dense and filling. I will be back and will hopefully persuade her to come along with me too. A very welcome addition to North London and if Dalston exports keep on like this I will be very happy.
Ceviche. That word is enough to make me reminisce about good times on holiday, to think of fresh flavoursome food and more importantly to make me happy. Fresh fish, the acidic Citric juice and veg all together combine to make this dish so amazing.
So what did we eat. We skipped any snacks and nibbles and went straight for the ceviche as our starter. As the national dish of Peru, this was a must and we actually ordered two. We ordered the Ceviche Clasico, this was with Sea Bass (no picture sorry) and the Tiradito de Conchas (Scallops). The Clasico was so lovely and fresh, the sea bass was plentiful and the sharp lime juice and onions gave it the lovely crunch and zing that we wanted. A hint of chili and this was what my taste buds were craving and missing. The Scallop ceviche was a bit of a disappointment. I understand the need to have a hint of fusion, esepcially with Andina focusing on the Nikkei element and providing contemporary flavours, however, the mango sauce just didn't work for me. It became a bit too creamy and lost the freshness that defines ceviches.
Lengua de Arguedas: slow cooked ox tongue in picante stew, red onions, beer, panca chilli, confit oca tuber, cress (Above)
Pulpo Chancón: grilled octopus, lúcuma, butterbeans, chancaca and limo honey sauce, tomato, red onions (Last Picture)
Bistec Escabechado: marinated grilled fillet steak, red onions, amarillo chilli, choclo corn purée (Below)
The tongue was really tasty and a lot bigger than I thought- impressive. The sauce which was drenched over it was really rich and helped take a bit away from the tongue-ness of the ox. Although not the biggest plates the rich and dense flavours from all of the dishes meant that quantity wise we had enough.
The steak (Bistec) was charred and grilled really well. The chilli and corn puree were very good too. They didn't really add too much extra to the dish as the meat was delightful by itself.
We did not have a reservation, but Andina sat us down and all the staff were very helpful and informative. The buzz in the restaurant meant that we struggled to hear the waiters and waitresses at times, but they looked after us well. The Pisco Sours we started with had just too much forth for me; that is the issue with the egg white getting involved.
A really enjoyable night and a great place to go and eat. I will be back and would like to try their street food options. I think simple here is best and there isn't the need to over-complicate things.
Oh, yes, we also had the Cassava cake to finish with. I was not a fan and would probably end the night on the main courses.
After my last food coma at Pitt Cue, as a group we were advised to try Duke's Brew and Que. If you wanted BBQ style food, with pulled pork and other such friends then this was the place to visit. Oh my oh my, what a visit it was.
So me and my friends, comrades, amigos, acquaintances, accomplices had arranged for a meat and liquor type of evening. By visiting Duke's we were certain to exceed our meat quota and counting calories and dieting never seemed more stupid than when presented with our food.
I ordered The greatest hits meal and this was the stand out option for me. A word of note, this should ideally be shared. This plate or tray of food come with all true classics. A 12oz beef rib, a pork rib and pulled pork. These three huge portions of meat are sided with coleslaw and pickled onions. Not stuffed and finished by one slim Jim like me. I was proud of my accomplishment in finishing it all off and to be honest i had to.
The pulled pork here was probably the best I have ever had and I made sure it was the last thing in my mouth. The ribs, beef and pork were meaty and tasty and were really good. Although a BBQ establishment like Pitt Cue, Duke's provides you with a different experience and level of dining. Here is for those pure meat eaters who are probably looking for the quantity. The quality is definitely here too but maybe that refined quality that Pitt Cue has isn't here.
I love that London has amazing food places everywhere. North, East, South and West, are all providing us with unbeliavable cuisines and establishments. Thank you Duke's Brew and Que and Dalston for hosting us. This was epic.
Venue – excellent
Drinks – average
Steak – wagyu disappointing – but others were excellent
Sides – above average
Price - ouch
Service – needs to learn english
Another view: Brother 2
Good service and great steak with sides. This choice leave you slightly confused but take my recommendation, the Long Bone is awesome! The Danish rule.
I agree with most of this, except i did like the Wagyu a lot. It was a full on meal and we were all stuffed. The desert menu didn't look that appetising either which was a good save on some money. But by that stage what difference is another £10?
This is a really good steak restaurant and I would put it on par with Hawksmoor and Buen Ayre. Good steak, good flavours and friendly portions. They sMASHed it. Get it!
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.
Cabana is a brasilian barbecue restaurant. When i heard this I pictured skewers flying around the restaurant and mounds of meat on my plate. It wasn't like that unfortunately.
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.
The food was nice- everyone at the table really enjoyed their dishes. The limitless tortilla chips that came with the guacamole was a fan favourite too. I felt stuffed after my meal and the two for one cocktail offer was welcomed too. I would say all in all that it was a bit on the expensive side and i wouldn't rush back to soon. I had a good experience at Cabana, thank you for my first visit.
Open Sesame. It did and I went. I queued and then got tired and went back. I went back and devoured the food. I had my eyes on the pitta wraps and especially the spiced lamb kebab too.
The lamb kebab is spiced amazingly, cooked perfectly it sits inside the fluffy pitta bread like a perfect combo.. The kebab comes with tahini, chopped salad, mint yoghurt and zhoug.
WHAT IS ZHOUG?
I don't know- but the fabolous internet says it is: chillies, coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and olive oil- all into a paste.
It seems to be taking me longer and longer to go to new restaurants. Barrafina opened on Adelaide Street in mid-late 2014 to great hype and excitement and the critics loved it. So after many months of waiting, my birthday was the perfect excuse and reason to go.
The seating arrangement here is all on the bar and it gives it a lively night out feeling. Picture being out in the city, or even New York City and the bar staff are paying you lots of attention. What makes Barrafina even better is that you are sat opposite the chefs and cooks who are delivering quality food and great service. The bar staff are in front of you too and on hand straight away for drink orders and reciting the specials menu too.
Because the food was amazing. A more detailed description wouldn't add much else to how good it was.
- Crab croquettes- crispy and delectable. Melts in your mouth once you break through the golden casing.
- Mackerel Adobo- flaky with a great adobo batter (cayenne, cumin. garlic and chilli).
- Asapargus - cooked perfectly with a nice bite, the melted cheese is a great touch
- Iberian Pork Ribs- tender, meaty and amazing rich sauce with veg.
- Oyster- with chilli, lime and coriander. lightly battered with a ceviche style sauce
- Jamon -Oh so good. So so GOOD.
I got very excited when I saw the menu for Jar Kitchen and even more excited when I had a reservation. British Food served just round the corner from work, this is something i could get used to.
Top food places in London:
1- Social Eating House
4- Lulu's Caribbean Cuisine
I will be going back to Jar Kitchen very soon and I know that everything on the menu will be tasty. The main courses were a step above the starters which to me is a plus and the changing menu means that I can sample loads all the time.
Kouzu London- Restaurant Review
We shared everything we ordered and these were: yellow tail with truffle dressing, prawn tempura and spicy mayonnaise salad, black cod, beef fillet steak, spicy tuna roll and a piece of nigiri each. The stand out dishes here were he yellow tail and the black cod. Both lovely and light with great added flavours that tickled and delighted our taste buds. The fillet steak could have been better but maybe I'm just being picky.
An interesting take also on the spicy tuna roll was that the tuna had been crushed to resemble a tuna tarter. This mushy texture was strange for me but Laura enjoyed it. You just can't please everyone.
One Liner: Good food, great service and a lovely evening
Address: 21 Grosvenor Gardens, Belgravia, London, SW1W 0JU
Phone: 020 7730 7043
Extra Extra, read all about it. Shayan ate a Pizza. I've tried a Pizza from Franco Manca before but this was the first time I sat in the restaurant; therefore here is my review.
The menu is very simple and basic and this means you won't be wasting too much time reading or trying to decide what you want. Starters are not on; unless you wanted a tomato, garlic and basil pizza as your version of a garlic bread. The rest is Pizza, some side salads and then drinks.
Therefore we went for a mixed leaf salad with a pizza each. I ordered the Ham and Mushroom Pizza and Laura went for the Meat Special which had dry cured beef with rocket and Parmigianino.
The toppings on both pizzas were lovely and rich and the cured process for both meats gave it a lasting flavour. The side salad from above helped and complimented the rich pizza and although we weren't overly hungry vanished into our mouths at an alarming pace.
The quality of Pizza here is definitely a step above your other pizza chains of the express type and the price is accommodating too.
One Liner: Good Pizza which is "Fresh, tasty and just like how the Italians do it".
Address: Various London locations- Brixton, Chiswick, Tottenham Court Road etc
Pizza Pappagone- Restaurant Review
After a bit of heavy lifting and fly tipping ( shhhhhh) we had a drink and off for dinner.
Onto the food. Based On Dan's recommendations we ordered the mozzarella balls which were deep fried and covered in tomato sauce. This was nice and light and the cheese was very gooey. The tomato sauce added an extra kick as there was a slighty spicy taste to it. Good start, thank you Dan.
For the main, I went for my tried and tested Calzone, as I wanted to compare it to the calzone at La Porchetta. The filling here was salami, ham, mozzarella and black olives. The pizza was tasty and very filling but didn't have the richness and depth that I'm used to at La Porchetta. However, after the calzone I didn't feel to stuffed and I know that I will definitely be back again and again. Thank you Pappagone for a lovely dinner and see you soon.
Forget the words above and look at the pretty pictures!
Address: 131 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3PX
Phone: 0207 263 2114
For my girlfriends birthday she wanted to go somewhere special so I decided to take her to Hutong, in the Shard. A new restaurant in a lovely city with great views what could go wrong.
The view was amazing, the food lovely and tasty yet the service was very poor. As a special occasion and a very expensive restaurant you do expect extra special attention and service. The reviews on trip advisor had warned me but I thought they were just a bit fussy. I was proved wrong.
As mentioned already the food was amazing, but we ordered far too much and a good waiter would probably have told us that we ordered too much. The feeling I got was that they wanted any extra money they could. So we ordered duck, dim sum platter, aromatic beef, noodles and crab. I think the beef was a dish extra but it all tasted really nice.
The service though left a sour taste. Laura is allergic to scallops and we asked the waiter to change the platter to accommodate this, he came back and said we had to pay £2 extra per change. For a restaurant that will get at least £150 it is a surprise that they are scrounging around for an extra £4. This then was compounded by the fact that we were stuffed by the food and asked if we could take the extra food home. They said "No"! Seriously! We have paid £30 a dish and we can't even take it home? Ba humbug!
Good food but I would like better service please. To be honest I won't be back on a rush.
Definitely order the duck which comes in two instalments and the crab too. I didn't take any pictures as I was busy eating but trust me on this one.
This year I've been to John Salt and Morito and they were both lovely and based on Oran's advice I now decided to go to Bar Esteban in Crouch end.
Being local straight away makes it feel like a winner and my overall summary is that it is good but not my favourite Tapas joint. I always look forward to tapas as you get a chance to have all types of food; fish, meat, veg and all mixed with different spices.
At bar Esteban we ordered all we could but felt that here they were lacking a bit of flavour. The food was nice but needed more punch to make me say "mmmm". With the octopus and potatoes it seems they thought by putting a load of paprika that it would make it really tasty, unfortunately this wasnt the case. All the food was nice but I wanted something with the wow factor. The pork shoulder special was the same, tasty with herbs but not Wow.
The best dish we had was the baked eggs with chorizo. This spicy Spanish sausage provided that extra flavour I was looking for and was worth the wait.
I am definitely going to go back as I think I could have chosen better dishes, such as the pork belly or fried squid. Based on this, a line I have used before is "if you go please invite me". See you soon!
When in Rome. Steak at STK
The reviews I've read about STK were not favourable and the speciality steaks of rib eye or fillet were not on the set menu we had. I was wary and cautious and my expectations weren't too high.
The restaurant itself looks and feels very classy and in a room to ourselves I felt special. I was in there ready to enjoy myself and so I did. For the starter I chose the Lil Brgr which was two wagyu beef sliders which were amazing. Wagyu is an amazing meat which is so succulent and the story goes is that these cows are massaged and fed beer. What a life!
These were very tasty and when eating with a group sit next to those that don't eat much. This earned me an extra slider - what a result.
For the main I had the New York strip was was cooked medium and very tasty. He rub and seasoning made it very easy to eat and I enjoyed it all. Alongside this we shared carrots, spinach, chips and macaroni cheese. These were all really nice and left me feeling absolutely stuffed. All the beers added to me being bloated but a well deserved and a great meal. The issue I think people have had us the cost and with its locations and classy interior it can be a bit much. But for good food and steak you have to pay the right price. STK I like and I will be back.
Date Night with Laura: John Salt, Islington
I do like to listen to my girlfriend sometimes. I would do it more but I've been told I can be quite rude. This was one of those moments when the memory stayed in my mind and I paid attention. The weather was good and we had a nice drink and talked about life. House of Wolf is a nice venue and somewhere I think people should consider for nights out and events.
This is a food blog so onto John Salt. This was a recommendation from my boss. This tapas style restaurant is also a bar so there was a lot of noise. The restaurant was packed so we had to sit in the bar area and it was strange making my food order at the bar too and paying up front. But this was a minor issue and the food was good.
As sharing plates we ordered six items in all. Fried courgettes with fennel salt, charred mackerel with pepper salsa, crab kampot in sourdough bread, jerk pork with pineapple, fillet beef with chimichurri and aged dripping chips. This was all enough for Laura and I and was very delicious.
A brief breakdown; the Kampot crab was amazing. Crab with Cambodian flavours of garlic, ginger, a hint of chillies and other things I don't know on top of bread almost like a pâté. They were not stingy with the crab it herbs so this was awesome and a great way to start. The food comes out once its ready and not in any specific order. Next the crispy courgettes were nice and crunchy yet soft and juicy inside. The fennel salt made it very moreish and its great that Laura is only little and doesn't eat much as there was more for me.
The mackerel was good but slightly underwhelming, especially after the crab. The meats we ordered were nice and had the Mediterranean flavours of North Africa and Greece in them. Laura described then as pork which was "tender with some crunch from the cornbread" and the fillet which was cooked medium had "lots of flavour, oil and oregano".
A good place to go and at just over £50 for two with a drink each = a great night out. I do enjoy date night with Laura and tapas is great because you get to try various dishes and it is always a bit of excitement whilst waiting for what comes next.
So the next time Laura says " what have you done for me lately" (think Eddie murphy) I will respond with John Salt. No rating, but a definite recommendation from me.
Monkey say, Monkey do. I'm not saying that Gordon Ramsey is a monkey but several years ago when he highlighted Retsina, a Greek restaurant on his Channel 4 TV programme I had to go and a few weeks later I did. For many years we had our own local Greek restaurant where we would go for a good meze and we stuck to it. But after finding Retsina we now have our new favourite and I would recommend it to everyone.
This time round we went for my Mums birthday and Fathers Day and this joint affair was a good excuse to come here and although I had just comeback from Skiathos I really craved good Greek food. We have always ordered the Meze when going to Greek restaurants as they give you all their dishes with a excellent mix of dips, cheeses, fish and meat. This comes in a specific order which starts off with the dips of Humous, Taramasalata and Tzatziki and with this was Tabouli and warm starters of Halloumi and Dolmathes (stuffed vine leaves). The next course is the fish- which are prawns and baby calamari. Followed by the highlight at Retsina which are the meat and especially the Kleftiko (pictured on the left) and the Souvla (pictured below). The Kleftiko is very juicy and tasty and you can tell that the marinade and herbs which give it that delightful flavour have been prepared for many, many hours.
The other dish which is worth an extra mention is the baby calamari which is seasoned well with a crispy yet fluffy batter. We ordered two portions of these as they are light and just go so well with a glass of beer. The Meze is well balanced and leaves you full but not overly stuffed, so you don't have that uncomfortable feeling at the end of not being able to move. The rest of the Meze isn't really standout but this is still my favourite Greek place in London.
MY RATING: 9/10
Friends - fish restaurant in Friern Barnet
The weather was lovely on Friday night and after a busy week nothing is better than having a relaxing evening with my girlfriend at a restaurant we know we like. This is our fourth visit here and I would recommend it to everyone. Don't do the lazier option of getting takeaway and is doesn't do it justice.
This restaurant also acts as a takeaway and does Greek dishes too. But I have always stuck to the fish and it has been good every time. When getting a takeaway the fish becomes a bit soggy in the bag and doesn't seem to be as fresh. I got the haddock and my girlfriend ordered the skate. The pictures I took weren't great, hence no pics here; Laura (my girlfriend) saw the skate and she was sold on it just by its look and size. As we were walking in we saw an elderly couple having the skate and Laura immediately wanted it. The skate was grilled and was very delicious and soft and because of this It melted in my mouth and was a good choice. The freshness of the fish is what makes the food soooooo good and therefore justifies a night out in a restaurant instead of takeaway.
I had the haddock and this was fried. Both dishes came with a portion of chips and due to the quality of the fish and the size it does end up being too much. We barely even touched the chips and the fish alone left me stuffed. I do need to work more on the quality of these reviews but Friends is a definite place I would recommend for the food alone. In a quiet suburban area which is dominated by housing this restaurant is good for the locals but doesn't have any real atmosphere. The staff are nice and friendly, whilst the décor tries to make it seem like you are in Cyprus but still very basic. I guess this simple restaurant focuses mostly on the quality of the fish and you wont be disappointed with it.
The price for a starter, two fish and two drinks came up to just under £40. For fish and chips do come here.
MY RATING: 8/10
Iranian Food: Behesht Restaurant Review
The delights of an Iranian restaurant are in its simple items and for me, my favourite part is the yoghurt and shallots dip with Iranian bread. These two together give you horrendous breath but tastes so good. It is a bonus that my girlfriend likes it as it means that we don't put each other off with the smell and a good kiss after this is always recommended.
Back to the food, this dip with freshly baked bread is amazing and the 7 of us shared two pieces of bread which are about 70 cm long and 40 cm wide. It looks like too much but with healthy appetites and some larger than life characters (big eaters) we devoured the bread quickly and happily.
For the main course we all practically got the same thing. The Iranian national dish, rice and kebab. The picture on the right is of a special platter which my friends shared between them, which is a meat platter with rice and salad: Lamb kebab, chicken kebab and chicken wings with barbecued tomatoes. The tastes are simple but they work well and provide a good hearty meal. The Kebab was cooked well and with a good price as well I would recommend this place to people who haven't got the Iranian parents to cook them Iranian food. No alcohol is served in the venue which is a shame on a Friday night, however the Doogh (yoghurt drink) is lovely and goes perfectly with the rice and kebab.
This restaurant is okay, the services isn't the greatest but they leave you to it and definitely do not rush you. The food we ordered was nice and we all left feeling satisfied with our wallets thanking us too. Iranian food is a must and do try this restaurant or any others local to you.
MY RATING: 6.5/10
Flat IRON review- it has to be done!
And to that the cleaver, Awesome. Cheap and cheerful.
The menu is simple when you get here. Steak!
That is it- alongside this you can order a few sides such as chips and salads and this is part of the beauty of the place. You know what you are going to get and thankfully it is good too.
The steak is cooked to your liking and i would recommend medium or medium - rare, with a portion of chips too. Whilst you are waiting for the lovely steak you get treated with popcorn (great idea, especially for my brother and friend who kept on at the popcorn until they were turning the bowl over for scrapes). The steak isn't the biggest but it sure is tasty and at £10 you have to expect a smaller portion. You also get to choose a sauce and the options of peppercorn, horseradish and bearnaise are perfect for steak. I've been twice and both times I have gone for the peppercorn which has been lovely. Juicy, tender and a good bite to it- the only shame is that it goes so quickly. You could easily have two of these to make for a great nights steak and a filling meal. Especially when you think of the prices of steak nowadays (Hawksmoor, Gaucho) this is a win - win.
The chips too are really nice with a crispiness that makes you want more and more. This time round i was scraping the bottom of the bowl for more chips. Together with the steak it is a meal which you do not want to end.
Be warned that no reservations are available and when i tried to go in the evening I was told that there would be an hour wait.
Saying that, you should wait. There is a bar downstairs and it is worth it.
When shall i go again and who will join me?
Chicken Shop Review- Move over Nandos
More and more restaurants (I know three so far) are going for a very simple menu and I guess focusing all their energy on one dish leads to better quality. Here the choice is just Chicken which is marinated and cooked on a spit. The Smokey rub and flavours were very nice and watching the chef cut the chicken into pieces using a cleaver was a joy too. Paprika, Garlic Powder and other herbs (all a guess) made the skin delicious. My girlfriend at this stage pointed out that the skin was the best part. The Chicken itself was very nice too but a bit dry and with any chicken you are probably always going to get this. There were two options for extra sauces and these were Smokey and Hot. We were warned about the HOT sauce being 'twice as hot as spicy' (these were the exact words of the waiter) and it was a bit spicy and quite sweet too so not too bad.
Alongside this was the crinkle cut chips and coleslaw. The chips were really nice and are probably the same ones used at Dirty Burger. Sprinkled with sea slat they had a good flavour and good crispiness too them. The 'slaw tasted good and adds a different texture and cool sensation when compared to the chicken and chips which together can be a bit dry.
I really liked this place and the atmosphere. We sat at the bar/ kitchen work top area and thankfully got their just before 7pm;. at which time it started to get really busy and people were told that they may need to wait half an hour. The service wasn't the greatest and it had the feeling that it was a brand new pop up and people weren't sure of their roles. I saw a few people looking frustrated waiting for some attention. We were quite lucky that our food was ready almost immediately but after that their were some delays.
Overall I would definitely recommend this place and the chocolate brownie at the end was crunchy, warm and gooey all in the right places. We drowned ours in cream, which was all Laura's fault and devoured it quickly and happily. At £19 each and drinks, it was a good restaurant which I will be going to again. Nando's move over.
MY RATING: 8/10
CAN I HAVE MOR-ITO PLEASE SIR? Morito review
I am a good guy and a good boyfriend, so I would like to think. So this year i decided to treat the missus with a surprise trip to Morito.
This idea really only came about as my brother was treating his wifey to a night of his fabulous cooking. SO i had to stay out of his way and two couples in a small flat would not be welcomed by anyone. After a few minutes of thought and discussions with colleagues and friends I decided to go to Morito. This little restaurant in Exmouth market has been rightly given the rave reviews so I had to go and explore. The food, Tapas, the trend now for 2013 so I had to give it a go and i was very happy with this decision.
This is one of the growing number of restaurants which are very small and basic in terms of decor but high in quality. Due to its style and popularity bookings are not allowed so I was only 85% sure of getting a table on Valentines evening. We got there (P.S my surprise worked) and were told it would be an hour wait. I'm a londoner, I can be patient sometimes so what did we do in that hour? We had a drink and watched football of course. Well i watched the football and got told off for doing so.
Now the food at Morito was unbelievable JEFF. We ordered in no particular order, Jamon (Ham), Eggs and Peppers, Salt cod Croquetas, Pork Belly, Prawns, Chick Pea and Tahini salad, Fried Squid and of course a bread basket. We ordered these in batches of two or three and were so happy with our decisions. Great food with great flavours. Of course being a Tapas place it was heavily influenced by the Mediterranean flavours which include Spanish, North African and also Turkish and Iranian. Some of the flavours involved were paprika, Sumac, Feta, Tahini and Lemon. All dishes were amazing and definitley something you should try. It came up to £30 each with drinks too; a bit expensive but i feel that it was worth it.
Please do go and enjoy and invite me along too.
STUDENTS have it great - red beer is awesome
We have been here before, exactly 13 months ago but this time unfortunately it didnt replicate its 'okay' status.
We ordered a set of starters which were a cold meze which included hommus and other typical favuorites, helim (turkish cheese) and lahmacum (a turkish pizza). The starters were good, nothing great and this was the theme for the rest of the night. Maybe the reason why i was annoyed was that they served no alcohol and we were not allowed to bring any either.
For the main course we had a mixed grill which included shawarmma (lamb and chicken), lamb shish, chicken and lamb kebab, chicken wing and lots of rice. The flavour was lacking this time and although it was filling it wasn't great. The unfortunate thing was that we found out there was a better place we should have gone to at the end of the meal, which had the same type of food. A lesson learned - keep curry club as a 'CURRY CLUB'.
Moving on from the food, a pleasant surprise was our drinks in the evening which involved Red beer. We were on our way to the smelly local and by chance found a student union in whitechapel. All the youngsters drinking seemed to be having fun, so we somehow weaselled our way in and got an amazing 4 pints of red beer for only £8.50; "Unbelievable Geoff". I almost forgot this drink existed and most of the bars in London do not serve this anymore. I had two as there was only the three of us and it was a good drink for a good night catching up.
Roll on the rest of 2013 and hopefully more good nights and some good food.
Ladies and Gentlemen- Introducing Wabi: A Review
Last night for my girlfriends birthday, we went to see War Horse and then to Wabi. This restaurant has just opened up in Holborn and I was introduced to it by a friend who works close by. As it is new they were rolling out a 50% offer for local businesses so I had to take it up and booked it for 22:15.
Due to the show finishing at 22:10 we had to run to get there but once we did, the luxury started and we were treated so well.A warm welcome and we were taken to our seats and it was very quiet and relaxing. This may have been due to our late arrival at the restaurant but it was nice.
I love Japanese food so much and after initially looking at the menu to try and find my all-time favourite ‘Black Cod’ I was slightly disappointed to not find it. Black Cod in a Japanese restaurant has always been amazing and the delicate flavours of miso and sake marinade always ensure that the fish melts in my mouth.
Fortunately for me the Sea Bass we ordered was exactly that- the flavours were identically and the fish felt so fresh and juicy that it was a great opening dish. They recommend a dish from every section of the menu so we duly obliged and also ordered the lamb chops and foie gras. The lamb chops were lovely and the foie gras (don’t judge me I had to try it), was served in a martini glass and was a pleasant surprise in taste and experience. The lamb chops had a miso spicy sauce and roasted aubergine to accompany it. With all this we also had a green salad with broccoli, spinach and a sesame seed sauce.
After this we went for dragon roll (eel and avocado) and soft shell crab roll. I love sushi rolls and I loved these too, great flavours and really fresh. The last two dishes we had were pieces of sashimi, one wagyu beef and one toro (fatty tuna). Because it was only one piece each we had to ask the waitress for a knife to cut them in half so we both got to enjoy the lovely flavours.
I would definitely recommend Wabi- you have got to try it. Up there with Zuma, Nobu and Hakkasan and great flavours and great attention and service.
MY RATING – 9/10
SUSHI SAMBA: A review
From start to finish it is an experience and being on the 38th floor of the heron tower is part of the pleasure. the elevator goes up
at a great speed and like going on holiday your ears pop and the view of the city is amazing. on a special occasion a cocktail is a must have. the only problem here is the city folk who crowd around, so waiting became slightly tiresome. However, my tequila inca cocktail was good and drinking whilst looking at the shard and over the gherkin means i wont complain too much (please see
The food: the premise of sushisamba is the fusion between Japanese food and South America. for the starter we went for the
samba option of roasted peppers with salt and lemon, this was a good way to start with the subtle flavours a hint of what was to come in terms of the sushi and its different spices from here on, it was the sushi and sashimi with hints of south american spices ( I think there was some chillies, chives and others) that we had. the rolls were lovely with six different topics and then sashimi
which was nice and fresh. the highlight of the evening had to be the black cod, it melted in my mouth and has to be one of my most favourite dishes ever. this came alongside our seared tuna with wasabi and the different textures were a treat in my mouth one error we had was the prawns- it wasn't awful, but it was average and for a special night out you definitely do not want average. great night, great anniversary. i would recommend sushisamba for a great dining experience but as mentioned earlier it is a bit pricey.
MY RATING - 8/10
The dough is really important and a good base can make or break a pizza. The base at homeslice is one of the main reasons why it is my favourite.Here at Rossopomodorro the base too is great, it has that charred wood oven flavour accompanied by a fluffy dough.
As well as the dough, good toppings finish off a Pizza and make you say "mmm". I won't begin comparing this with other places but Rossopomodorro does have good toppings. I went for a slightly risky option with my Neopolitan pizza which had sausages and fried friarielli.
(Friarielli? What is that? I didn't know either and after a few intent searches i will tell you it is: similar to broccoli miss the large head.)
This was a bit bitter and along with the mozzarella and lack of tomato sauce did make it feel a bit dry. I have made the same mistake twice now at new Pizza places. Almost like trying a burger for the first time and having just a normal cheeseburger, i think a margherita is a good way to test a restaurant and therefore a pizza place.
I did enjoy this pizza, but i have to say that, Rossopomodorro is not my new favourite Pizza place in London. It is a good place to go and it seemed easy enough to get seats. I will keep Homeslice as my number one, but if i cannot get a seat i will venture over here. Good service, good pizza and London keeps on proving that it is the place to be for good food.
Light, smooth and buttery (or juicy)- the scallops were cooked perfectly and like most scallops, they go too quickly. The black pudding added a nice contrast and a richness which filled the dish and gave it some earthiness next to the fishy scallops. LAND AND SEA.
The main course I had was baked sole stuffed with lobster and a champagne sauce. I have had a lot of meat recently and so went for the fish option and I was not dissaponted. The sauce was delicious and added an extra layer on the flakey fish.
Most others went for the Fillet Mignon and they all loved it. I had some food envy from this, but it gives me a great excuse to go back.
Address: 1 Upper James Street, London W1F 9DF
Phone: 020 3145 1000
Focus on the pictures here and if you think they look nice it is because it was all nice.
Address: The Shard, 31 Saint Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
Phone: 020 7268 6700
Busaba Eathai Review
"Tasty"- thanks for this Mike.
"That Thai'll Do Nicely"
"good food but need to work on their App"
"Theft" - this was due to the App downloaded charging my colleague twice.
Some mixed thoughts here. Go for the food- download the App before you get there and make sure you only click to pay once.
A big plate for me
Full-flavoured and stuffed belly
Plenty left over, I'm sorry
Is that enough?
The food took a short while but once in front of me, I was ecstatic. We shared a starter of lobster cocktail and this was purely due to the pungent smell of lobster all around us and we just couldn't resist. Think prawn cocktail but with the rich delectable flavours of lobster- lovely.
The platter below was the Monday special and this was amazing, especially the pulled pork and the ribs. The meat just fell of the ribs gracefully and once it landed on my plate, I tucked into it like a beast. The chicken was smoked but it didn't have the juicy flavours I was hoping for, it wasn't tasteless but a bit boring for my liking. At the end to my surprise after I couldn't finish off my meal, I found out that I could have got extra portions of pulled pork and chicken if I had finished it off. I struggled with one portion, I don't know how anyone could do two or three.
I am definitely going to go back to Big Easy and will put the bib on and tackle the lobster too. A great range of BBQ food here as well as sea food. The images you see on TV of crispy meat and plates and platters full of food, mean that this place is a must. We had shared a starter of lobster cocktail and this was due to the pungent smell Wewwwwwwwew wewww W
the The Pulled pork The chicken w
Address: 12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
Phone: 020 3728 4888
Pizza Pilgrims: from pop up to permanent
I've always believed that by having a queue and creating the illusion that something is limited will lead to a demand. The notion of the queue and people waiting makes others question this and ask themselves, "if they are waiting then it must be good". Pizza pilgrims did this by popping up at places and then going, this alongside great simple pizzas meant that they had the ability to go full time.
The pizza you see is a margherita with black pepper salami. The mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce bring the package altogether and at a good portion size is a delight. My friend had the spicy sausage and this too was really good. The base was slightly charred but this is to be expected in a wood oven. This is one of my favourite pizzas but I have to put homeslice as my favourite.
I will definitely be back to pizza pilgrims and want to try the truffle pizza.
I feel that this place is a step up from pizza express or any other chain and therefore better quality. You could tell that they had recently opened as the service could have been better. Very friendly but very busy meant a bit of neglect but when prompted we were seen to immediately.
Try it and love it. Good pizza.
One Liner: A good pizza, definitely better than your high street chain
Address: 11 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3RP
Phone: 02072 878964
Buen Ayre: A meat lover's paradise
Buen Ayre in broadway market has been my favourite steak place for many years. The quality of the steak has been unmatched and I've only had one steak which has been better. The wagyu steak. That steak was £50 alone so you can understand in the price alone why it was so good. As mentioned at the beginning, good steak cooked properly goes a long way. Buen Ayre, a small restaurant almost hidden in the lively market gives you Argentinian steak cooked over a barbeque to your liking and is focused primarily on the meat.
The cosy setting means that the atmosphere is friendly and warm as elbows collide, to create a friendly comfortable vibe. As you can see from the picture there is a lot of meat. We ordered a sharing platter and this comes with a rib eye steak, a sirloin steak, two chorizos, black pudding and cheese. This is definitely more than enough for two and with the sides of chips, you will definitely be stuffed.
We had the steak medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. The issue here is that the food comes out on a griddle so continues to cook whilst your eating. Note to self next time, take the steak off the griddle immediately to rest and stop it going dry. The melted cheese goes well with the steak as does the mustard sauce which the restaurant creates itself. This is whole grain mustard, chilli and olive oil. The sauce helps the steak greatly as I feel that the seasoning was lacking. I am not entirely sure if the alcohol I had contributed to my taste buds not working but there seemed to be a need for extra flavouring.
I will always come back here but may make a change to my order and just order a single steak cooked medium. This way it will prevent extra cooking in the griddle and will stop me from getting stuffed with all the extras. An extra note is the great taste of the black pudding. Full of flavour and not being overly rich made it a great alongside the giant steak.
A place for meat lovers, buen ayre will be a place steak fans have to visit and my favourite place in London. I would love to hear where your favourite place is.
One Liner: Steak, steak and more steak
Address: 50 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
Phone: 020 7275 9900
As a tradition for the last four years my family and I have always met up on Edgware Road to get some Lebanese food. This tradition started as I was working at The National Convention for my old job and all the last evening we would meet up and eat.
So although I left, I still wanted to keep at the tradition and we did so last night. We went to the tried and tested, Maroush which has a few restaurants on Edgware Road. They have a really posh one, a takeaway version and an more casual one. We went to the casual one to get some quick, good valued food.
Lebanese, Greek and Turkish foods are quite similar with the options of dips and halloumi available for starters and then different cuts of meat for main course. we ordered the Matoubalah and Taboulah as starters and these are an aubergine dip and chopped parsley, tomato and onion respectively. These were very tasty and fresh with the lemon juice on the Taboulah very refreshing.
For the main course, instead of ordering mixed grill we went for baby chicken and shawarrma (lamb and chicken). The baby chicken was really nice and grilled over charcoal it gave it a lovely crisp on the outside, whilst remaining juicy in the middle. The lemon and seasoning on the chicken made it even more special and was very, very good. The Shawarrma was good too. I liken this to doner but a lot less greasy and the meat doesn't look processed or have lots of oil dripping on the sides. We made our own little wraps with tahini and onion and chopped coriander. These little wraps gave the whole experience a more relaxed feel and vibe and is a reason why we keep on going back.
Edgware road has many options in terms of Lebanese foods, but I would recommend going to this place for a quick bite and the long queue behind us and whilst we were eating shows that many others agree.
One Liner: Good quality Lebanese food, the place to go on Edgware Road
Address: 21 Edgware Rd, London W2 2JE
Phone: 020 7723 0773
So, the craze last year was Burgers and it has continued this year too. Back in January when all the latest articles for 2013 were being released the trends being mentioned were Chicken and Hot Dogs. The Americanisation of food in London is a bit extreme, however when I watch Man V Food and Diners, Drive ins and DIves every night it keeps me excited. As you can see from previous posts, I've tried a few chicken places but no hot dogs as of yet.
So after an average round of golf on Saturday afternoon (+14 over par), my friend suggested we go get some Chicken. I had been craving Nandos for a few days but I had heard that this place was better and provided a nice BBQ styles chicken. As you can see from the picture, if you want BBQ then this is a good place to go.
The menu covers all the bases, from starters such as wings and nachos to the main course of Chicken Burger or half or a whole chicken. A friend and I shared a whole chicken with sides of mac 'n' cheese and chips. I didn't get a chance to eat the mac 'n' cheese as Dan went at it like "he was grubbing" (He's a tree surgeon and a beast when it comes to food)! So I was left with the chips and they were not good and not something I would order again. No seasoning, very thin and floppy and not even as good as McDonalds.
The Chicken, is the main attraction here and it was really good. Good charcoal crisp on the outside, juicy and tender in the middle with lovely BBQ flavours all over. The portion size was perfect for me and you could eat it with a knife and fork or go messy with your hands too and really tuck in. This is a pleasant change from Nandos; in a similar vein to the Chicken Shop in Kentish Town, where the marinade and flamed flavours warm you up and give the hearty feeling of good cooking.
Atul had the chicken burger and this alongside the wings which I saw, looked like southern fried chicken from America, which I definitely do want to try. At the end Atul asked me if I preferred this to Nandos and at the time I said that they were different, but they both do chicken, so they really are the same; therefore upon reflection I would say I prefer Chooks and if it becomes a choice between the two I will go here.
One Liner: Good alternative to Nandos, slow service
Address: 43 Muswell Hill Broadway, London N10 3HA
Phone: 020 8444 5383
Wishbone Review- I also eat Chicken
After a strange day and ready to go to the ASAP Rocky concert we were in Brixton which is now the scene of a famous food market. The options in my head were to have an Honest Burger, Wishbone or Franca Manca.
I did my research into Wishbone and Franca Manca as I have been to Honest Burger before. I was excited by all three options, but Wishbone was the one I wanted to try most as it was the one I had heard about most. SO like sheep I followed and on we went to have some chicken.
The menu is focused on fried chicken. We weren't really sure what to order and were not overly hungry so we asked the nice waitress what she recommended and we obliged and listened. Therefore we ate Korean Chicken wings, Salt n Pepa Thighs, Thai Thighs and a portion of chips. I would say on any other day we could have eaten more but this time it was just right and I only had food envy when I saw someone eating the chicken burger, but that will be for next time. All the chicken we ordered were very tasty with the seasoning at a good level and the range of flavours going from tangy and sweet to aromatic and fried. The chips too were thin like McDonalds but a lot taster and complemented the chicken, which on the whole was tender, fell off the bone and had that feeling of being a great alternative to a Nandos and a definite upgrade to KFC.
One review I had read before was that the chicken wasn't cooked properly all the way or that is was just a fried mess, but that critic is very very picky and the more reviews I read from him the less I value his opinion. He gets paid to do it - whilst I do it for free ( CAN I GET PAID?), therefore take mine with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
One Liner: A good place to go if you are in Brixton so try it out.
Address: Unit 12, Market Row, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8JX
Phone: 020 7274 0939
Polpo Review - A Venetian Bacaro
Once inside this small but friendly restaurant I learnt that it was Italian (I think the term Venetian was a clue). I got both excited and upset at this as it would be something new for me but also upset as it wouldn't be like Morito. Nevertheless once seated I went to task on the menu to see what caught my eye. The menu is broken up into eight different sections consisting of Cicheti (snack food) , bread, Meatballs, fish, pizzette (small pizza), meat, veg/salad and a desert section. We had decided that we liked quite a bit on the menu and went for three things each from different sections. We ignored the desert and cicheti section and were hooked by words of steak, spicy pork and mushroom pizzette. Our waitress had recommended that two dishes each would be enough but we went for six which at the end did prove one dish too many. The menu looked very appetizing so we really had eyes bigger than our bellies but we still ate most of the food.
All in all we ordered A Mushroom Pizzette, Spicy pork and fennel meatball, flank steak, Broad Bean and Riccota bread, Zucchini (for some reason I thought aubergine- rookie mistake) salad with rocket and Parmesan and assorted fried seafood. The dishes were nice and left me full but they weren't amazing. The best dish was the flank steak which came on a bed of rocket with a nice creamy sauce on it which added great flavour. The portion size of the steak was very generous and at £9 it could have easily been served as a single main course. Some of the other dishes were okay, I think the zucchini salad wasn't needed but it helped me feel a bit healthier after scoffing two pork meatballs. The spiciness of the pork on these comes at the end and helps with the flavour but I have never really been a big fan of meatballs and on this occasion I felt that the lack of crunchlet it down slightly.
The mushroom pizzette was quite tasty - a small pizza which we shared and the herbs and garlic added good flavours to it. I liked Polpo but it is not a place I will be rushing back to. I am glad I experienced it and probably could have chosen better things to eat. I would definitely have the steak again but feel I can be more experimental next time and order better things.
As always, try it and be open to something different.
One Liner: Italian Tapas- if that makes any sense
Address: 6 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7NA
Phone: 020 7836 8448
Duck & Waffle- Happy Birthday to me
May 7th- put it in your diaries for next year and don't forget to celebrate it.
So the plan was to visit Duck & Waffle- this was booked by my brothers girlfriend and I had heard about this restaurant before. The first time it got my attention was when I was planning on going to Sushi Samba (great place- check out the review below) the reviews I had read weren't amazing but the name sounded intriguing enough. Duck & Waffle is situated two floors above Sushi Samba and the view I would argue is a lot better up here. From up here, you can see all of the city and the new buildings coming up, but also the Emirates stadium, The Olympic Stadium and the River Thames. The view and the food make the restaurant a bit expensive, but this comes to be expected when dining on the 40th floor near Liverpool Street.
So the signature dish as pictured above is a duck waffle, with a egg on top and covered in Syrup. The picture wasn't the best and I got told off by Laura for taking a bad picture. The idea of the restaurant is to order 5 to 6 side dishes and two or three sharing dishes (main courses). We listened to our waiter mostly and took his advice. The starters are split into 'small plates' and 'raw'! We ordered fillet of beef, oysters and scallop as or 'RAW' and Pollock meatballs as the 'SMALL PLATES'.
Now to the review part- all lovely and delicious- but I wouldn't say they were amazing and that I definitely want it again. They were tasty and the meatball Pollock started off as delicately light but crunchy too. However after the first bite it became less great and its saviour was the lobster cream drenched all over it . The other dishes were lovely but the portions were quite small and between a table of 5 I only got the chance to have one small bite.
The Sharing Platters (main courses) were a lot nicer and more memorable. For this we were advised that a duck & waffle would only be suitable for one person whilst the rest could be shared between two to three people. Between the five of us we ordered Ham Hock, Steak and one portion of Duck & Waffle. Portion size wise the Ham and Steak were very good, if it wasn't for the fact that my two brothers seem to be in an eating competition every time we go out I would say it was enough between slim Shayan (ME) and the two ladies present on our table. These three dishes were all very tasty and a bit salty too (Ham and Steak especially) but salt is one of those vital ingredients which take a flavour to another level.
The portion size of the Ham was definitely enough and the veg accompanying it made it seem like a whole meal in itself, it was very tasty and tender as was the Steak. The melted butter on the steak made it extra tasty but I would have liked to have one more bite. Being the youngest brother does have its disadvantages.
Duck & Waffle is a good night out and you have to expect with any pretentious place that it will be expensive with small portions. However, other places that have this, have some signature dishes which leave a lasting impression. Duck & Waffle has the advantage of its location which I guess draws people back, but the starters especially were not that great. I enjoyed my birthday meal but would be happier going elsewhere for my next birthday.
One Liner: Lovely food, great views, thank you
Address:Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Phone: 020 3640 7310
Burger & Lobster. It is sooo Good
I met up with a good friend in Soho and immediately I wanted to go to Burger & Lobster. I've wanted to go back ever since I left the last time I came here with my girlfriend. My boss has been twice since and I have been very jealous since. So when given the opportunity I took it with both hands and put a roll in it.
I have spread the word about this place and you have to always go for a Lobster Roll. All the options are worth £20 and I have mentioned this place in my blog previously. The three options are Burger, Lobster and Lobster Roll. With all three come a portion of chips and salad and I feel that Lobster for £20 is great. I always go for the roll because it is less messy but also because the brioche tastes amazing. It is buttered and crammed full of delicious and juicy Lobster. On the side is a garlic butter sauce and when you dip your chips and roll in there it adds to the flavour. This is honestly mouth watering mmmmm mmmmmm mmmmm. It is really really good, so definitely do it. The chips are nice and the salad adds to the whole dish giving a few extra flavours and tastes which compliment the roll.
I honestly do love this place and there is a good chance that I will go again next week.
Mr RATING: 9.5/10
My Ten Restaurants in 2012
- Wabi - Japanese
- Ataryi - Japanese
- Sushi Samba - Japanese and South American Fusion
- Meat Liqour - Burger Place
- Sheikhan - Pakistani/Indian
- Retsina - Greek
- Burger Lobster
- Du Pars in Los Angeles - Pancakes and Eggs Benedict
- Ship Tavern -pub in Holborn
- Com Viet - Vietnamese
Xmas dinner: Christmas Time and a Christmas meal by my mate Mr Oran.
We got there and the decorations were amazing, xmas crackers on the table, a big tree in the corner and a Star in the middle of the room hanging from the living room lights, very festive and Michael Buble doing his best to cover all the Christmas songs in the background.
Now the food- wow! I love Mr Oran’s food. Pate and rocket on bread was nice and smooth and a good portion for everyone which was gobbled up quickly (my brother eats loads). The pate was not homemade so if this was ‘Come Dine with Me’ the chef would have been marked down. But tonight it was perfect and I will give him a 10 already.
The main attraction and as you can see from the pic was the Roast Beef. Succulent, tender and cooked to all our likings (crispy on the outside) medium rare inside, well done sir. With this came cauliflower cheese, which my lady friend loves and roast potatoes and mash potatoes with whole-grain mustard. All the textures, and the richness of the cheesy sauce on the cauliflowers were amazing.
The effort put in by the chef and his darling lady was more than we deserved but still very welcomed. The desert was then made especially for me (so I would
like to think)- it was Sticky Toffee Pudding. This is now my favourite desert, easily overtaking cheesecake and chocolate fudge. This was my third time
having it in a week after work lunch and xmas dinner. This one was lovely and moist- oh yeahhhhhh- moist. With ice-cream on the side it was the perfect mix.
For me custard is too overpowering and therefore ice-cream is a much better buddy for the amazing sticky toffee.
What a night. Thank you Mr Oran- have a great Christmas
MY RATING - 10/10