Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Prize for best Eggs Benedict goes to....


...The Wolseley. WOW. Truly delicious. I think it was the muffin that did it. And GREAT coffee too.

I have decided that breakfast dining in an incredibly beautiful and sophisticated setting with special people is my favourite Saturday morning activity :)

X

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cake-tacular!!



Love to Cake makes the incredible edible. Hats off to their awesome creations. Check out their Sheep wedding cake, or life size Gorilla chocolate cake!


These really would steal the show at the tea party. 

x

Monday, 1 November 2010

Spoonfed Suppers




Ever stuck for healthy, quick dinner ideas? Sign up to the wonderful Spoonfed Suppers. Mummy Candy will send you a free daily email with a delicious speedy recipe to make your life a whole lot easier. Even if you don't use it very much it's a good stock pile of recipes to dip into when you're feeling un-inventive.

X

Carl Kleiner

Look at this unusual and beautiful food photography by the incredible Carl Kleiner. This series is very Arcimboldo-esque. I love it!




x

Monday, 25 October 2010

Munchies just got magical







It's the end of the night, the lights come on, and your liquid supper no longer seems like such a good idea... Last weekend I discovered one of London's gems. The perfect place to stop that tummy rumbling and ease the hangover onslaught.

Just round the corner from Harrods on Beauchamp Place is Maroush. It's teeming until the early hours with hungry party-ers desperate for the the most delicious kebabs I have ever eaten in my LIFE! Ok, this isn't hard considering I only ate my first dirty kebab about 2 months ago (disgusting), but Maroush's ones are clean, healthy, generous shwarmas and kebabs which more than satisfy your munchie craving.


There are 11 of these beauties all over London so look out for them and you won't be disappointed. And I swear their treats minimise tomorrow's hangover. 100% worth it.


x

Winter warmer...




Now it's getting cold I'm craving warm and yummy soup for lunch. Check out this super useful website which provides that day's soup menu for Pret, Eat, Tossed and Leon. So you can choose your soup before you venture out and minimise your dilly-dallying outside in the cold...

http://whatsoupisittoday.com/

Mine's a Leon Lentil Masala.

Keep warm :)

x

Fino





The supperclub met again recently. This time we went to Fino; a Hart’s brothers’ restaurant, so fellow to trendy London spots Quo Vadis and Barrafina. I’d been recommended Fino by a friend who said it was the best Spanish food she’d had in town, so I thought we had to try it.

After a going round in circles to find it (the address is Charlotte St but the entrance is Rathbone place) we all got there in the end. The restaurant is on the lower ground floor and is entered by some winding steps and a hallway which overlooks the whole restaurant. The back wall is a long stocked bar which gives the place a brasserie feel. I haven’t spent enough time in Spain to appreciate whether this a cultural nod, but either way it suggests European chic. The clientele is older than I’d expected it to be. We were the youngest in there by at least 10 years I’d say. This accounts for the laid back but but grown up ambiance. Noticeably there is no music, which makes a nice change but definitely adds to the grown-up-ness!

As for the décor, I’m not the biggest fan. Apart from the elegant backdrop of the mahogany bar, the rest of the space kind of feels like a hotel lobby with token Ikea prints. But there are little booths by the bar which you can request which look cosy. You’d need to book ahead to get these. As the restaurant is downstairs it’s pretty dark, but the lighting was warm and intimate which I always love.

Now on to the food… the menu is amazing and not too overwhelming. It’s the kind of place that I can imagine you coming and ordering the same thing every time. I would definitely have everything I ate last time again – it was all delicious! We started with Pan Con Tomate, and then ordered a whole load of little dishes to share and arrive when they were ready. The Ham Croquetas and Chickpeas, Spinach and Smoked Pancetta were the highlights for me. The Meat Platter was yummy, and the Classic Tortilla was delicious as expected. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is the Chorizo and Potato Chips which were a bit greasy, but maybe that’s personal preference.

All in all our meal was absolutely delicioso with outstanding service. The Maitre'D was really lovely as were all of the waitresses and waiters. The all Spanish contingent obviously adds to the authenticity of the place, and works a treat. We really could have been in Madrid. 

I was surprised at the more formal vibe and older audience of Fino. It didn’t really suit its youthful location, and would be more at home in Chelsea or Belgravia. By the sounds of it Barrafina is its younger hipper counterpart (but FYI you can’t book). However the price was really reasonable at £25 for food including service, and considering the standard this is an absolute bargain. 

Our visit made me want to try the other Hart’s brothers establishments; they’ve hit the food and customer service nail on the head. So if you’re looking for elegant dining and fabulous Spanish food Fino is your place.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Friendly Fika




When you think of Brick Lane what's the first thing that comes to mind? Ah ha, well yes, there are a LOT of curry houses, but if you make your way to the top end of the street there sits a fun little Swedish bar and grille that goes by the name of Fika.

This funky place is clad in light pine wood, with quirky ornaments and antlers. Fika means 'coffee break' in Swedish, and the name suits it perfectly. It's very chilled out, no one's in a rush, and you feel you could sit there all day. The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and all of the staff are SO friendly!

Food wise - the menu is, well, Swedish. The drinks list is at least 4 times the length of the food. Each dish is accompanied by a drink recommendation. I was there on a deliberate detox Tuesday night, and so we didn't opt for the 'snaps' shot with our starter. But I can imagine that later on in the week it's harder to resist the friendly waiters' encouragements.

We had some yummy reindeer salami to start with (sorry Rudolph), which we didn't think tasted any different to normal salami, but hey ho, it was yummy anyway!




For main I had the vegi version of their signature dish 'planks'; a smoked oak plank with grilled mash potato, a grilled tomato and a chick pea burger. I wasn't wowed by this, but it was what is said on the tin so I couldn't really complain.

Other things I gathered; they are big on crayfish, and even have crayfish parties occasionally?! Fika's weekend brunch menu sounds delicious. Its lovely chilled out atmosphere would be the perfect remedy for a Saturday morning hangover, or fitting for a relaxed start to your weekend. There is also a lovely roof terrace which is good to know if you want somewhere to sit outside in the summer.

So when you're next in the area and feel adverse to vindaloo, I recommend you check out friendly Fika.

X

Circus




The indulgent supper club hit Circus restaurant in Covent Garden last week for our latest culinary treat. I’d heard good things on the grapevine about this place, and was intrigued whether the concept of having an acrobat swinging over my starter was going to sink or swim.

Circus is on the further side of Long Acre to Charing Cross where it changes from big high street brands to kooky boutiques and fun restaurants, so the location is pretty spot-on. The big black doorway with no sign above it isn’t exactly welcoming, but you definitely get the vibe of exclusivity. The reception is like a flashy club rather than a restaurant. But I guess that’s what they’re going for. After all it’s not meant to be your normal dining experience.

A very glam hostess escorted us to our table. We were there for the first sitting at 7.30 pm and the place was packed! The interior was designed by none other than our Brit hero Tom Dixon. This cabaret come restaurant is decadent and sexy. Diners sit at intimate spot lit tables, and funky beats pervade the achingly cool atmosphere.

The centrepiece is a wide banqueting table under the main atrium, where all the action happens. The stairs leading up to the ‘stage’ and hoop suspended from the ceiling kind of give the cabaret game away. You expect Nicole Kidman singing 'Diamonds are a girls' best friend' at the top of her lungs to swing over your head any minute. There is a real excitement in the air. Perhaps it's in anticipation of the performances or just its vibrant vibe.

On to the food... The Pan American menu is as you'd expect. Full of American classics like slow roasted beef short ribs, fried squid, and Mac and cheese… Pas pour moi, but there is something for everyone I guess. To start I had the Red and Golden Beet salad with almonds and goat’s cheese. Nothing special but not bad either. The Crispy fried baby squid was yummy though.

For main I had the Spicy Crab Cakes which were good, but the accompanying veg wasn’t cooked well and my mushrooms were burnt. I hate to say, but the service wasn’t great, and they got my order wrong. However in their defence the portions were decent and they rectified their mistake by bringing me my correct order really quickly. But we knew the food wasn’t the main reason we were there, and as we finished our first course the lights dimmed for the show.




The opening act was a contact juggler who moved like he was made of rubber. He rolled the ball all over his body, throwing it up and catching it on his head, neck… and then moved his hands in such a way that the ball looked like it was floating. Amazing!

The second slot was a balancing act. Two gorgeous blondes in skin tight black suits, holding each other in crazy balancing positions. It was rather depressing watching their super hot flexible bodies as I tucked in to more chips, but it was a definite treat for the boys.

The third and final act was the hoop. I expected a tiny girl in a leotard to spring up there, but instead we had a gothy grumpy bloke in skinny jeans. He was ok, but not as impressive as the previous two.

I thought that the performances might be a disturbance but they were such a welcome part of the evening. They didn’t last too long, came in 45-minute intervals and were all really entertaining. There are loads of different acts on all the time, so hopefully you'll see something new each time you go. Once dinner has finished the whole place seamlessly turns into a dance floor and it's cocktail o'clock. Sadly we couldn't stick around for that, but I can imagine how fun it must be.

In my opinion, the concept seems to have worked - Circus definitely swims. It’s been open for 9 months and it’s still tricky to get a table. It’s good for a fun night, and a great date destination. The intimate dimly lit tables are romantic, and the intermittent acts mean that you wouldn’t run out of things to chat about! Things to bear in mind – book in advance, and I wouldn’t have wanted to sit at the main banqueting table. Much nicer to sit further away and watch from afar.

To sum it up, Circus is good for the gimmick but not for the food. And that’s fine because that’s what you’re there for and you get a good show. In this respect the menu is reasonably priced considering what you get for your buck. But I'll definitely be going back for another piece of the drama, and hopefully I'll get to have a go on that swing!

Move over Nicole...

X

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Chin Chin









Camden lock has another crazy string to its bow... Over at Chin Chin Laboratorists they're using liquid nitrogen to make ice-cream on demand. It sounds like a school chemistry lesson gone right. Read more here.


Heston's got a run for his money. 

X

Grrr...



SAS. London is teeming with them. Successful Attractive but Single women on a mission to find a man. But the big smoke is a pretty huge place… and after countless Saturday nights of glammed-up girly cocktails and clubbing, you realise that no matter what you do it’s not always easy to hunt one down.

But savvy single ladies have discovered how to rein these stray cats in… by way of the ‘Safari Party.’ If this hot new trend is new to your ears then let me explain. In essence, it’s a mixture between speed dating and a dinner party. Sounds fun? It is.

Here’s how to start. Group together an equal number of single guys and gals, and then divide this number by however many lodges can host a dinner party. For example, if you’ve got 30 guests and 3 lodges, then each lodge gets 10 guests. But here’s the catch... After each of the 3 courses, the girls stay put while the boys prowl to the next destination where they’re greeted by whole load of fresh meat. By the end of supper everyone has had a chance to eye up their prey. When you’re all thrown into the wild at the end of the night, it’s the aim of the game to corner your target and go in for the kill.

So the Safari Party uses the traditional format and role of the dinner party for an ulterior motive. But the question is, what role does food play in this jazzed up speed date?

The leaders of the SAS pack have a lot on their plate. It’s their responsibility to create an environment that will nurture the first seedlings of romance, so it’s super important to get the menu and mood right. After all, in this SAS-rich, time-poor game it’s make or break for first impressions.

The ambiance has to be conducive to courting but also keep the party beat up… Do you go Chris de Burgh or Chris Martin? Candles and fairy lights, or disco ball?

As for the menu, garlic or red onion is a no-go. Rather chewing gum all round please. Spag bowl isn’t the prettiest thing to eat when you’re trying to impress potential pulls. Any sort of tomato sauce proves disastrous if it get’s on your killer outfit. And getting oregano stuck in your teeth is a sure way to send your predator packing.

So do you go for the aphrodisiacs? The right wine and fodder to fuel their carnal instincts… Champagne and oysters followed by chocolate covered strawberries. Or is that too cringingly obvious that you’d blush as red as a berry as you tried to seductively devour your pudding? More likely dribble it down your front. Sexy.

Perhaps the food is in fact made redundant. Although it’s used as the vehicle to bring these singletons together, is the haute cuisine eclipsed by the human feast before them? And for some wild cats it may be an eating is cheating scenario. The wallflowers need a bit of Dutch courage to make the pulling pounce.

There’s also the element of competition amongst the Safari hostesses. Who’s the big cat of the kitchen? As species of social Darwinism we’re all smitten for a good cook. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and all that.

To make life easier, here’s a suggestion for a summer Safari Party menu; something scrummy to feed those predatory appetites.

MENU EXAMPLES:

Nibbles - Sweet potato dips with crème fraiche and sweet chilli sauce dip, and a lettuce with shredded chicken and ginger wraps

Starter - Antipasti style, ham, Parma ham, salami, mozzarella, manchego, houmous, rye bread/sour dough

Main – Roast chicken, Ottolenghi salad, couscous with feta and roasted peppers

Pudding - Elderflower and vodka granita with a lemon and basil sorbet and a choc brownie bite

It’s a good idea to pre-prepare the food so that you’re free to flirt easy on the night. You can pull out all the foodie stops, or make it very simple. To be honest I think the party goers are more worried about saving a piece of gum and what they’re shotting later than eating anything gourmet. A good old lasagne and ice cream wouldn't go a miss!

So get your claws out. Find your pack and hit the wild. Remember that as hostess no one can get in the way of your tactical seating plan. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get lured back to a Lion’s den…

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fancy a snog?





I am desperate for my first Snog. This frozen yoghurt place looks AMAZING! And it's good for you (sort of!).

They seem to be taking over the Fro-Yo world. And I can't wait to taste what all the fuss is about. Yum yum.

I just need the Sun to come out again as another excuse to have one.
X

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

This has made my week...





WOHOO! Fire and Stone are opening a new restaurant next to work. This has officially made my week. My Pizza pangs will now never go neglected for long.

Their menu has some of the classics, but the rest is inspired by continents and locations within them. The toppings being specific to their geography.

So you can have a Cumin spiced ground lamb, mozzarella, mint yoghurt sauce, green olives, raisins & sliced red onion drizzled with chilli oil from Marrakech.

Or... a Garlic marinated prawns, Chinese Hoi Sin sauce, fire roasted red peppers, sliced spring onions & mozzarella, drizzled with chilli oil from Lombok.

From previous pickings, the Peking Pizza with shredded aromatic duck and hoisin sauce is AMAZING.

Some of them sound scrummy and others perhaps stray too far from the Pizza canon. Let's hope that some of the more unconventional toppings go down better than my experiment with cold smoked salmon!

Pizza, pizza, la vita bella...

X

Monday, 12 July 2010

Savvy Safari Party





View my first article for Eat Me Magazine on the latest dating trend... Safari Parties.

Grr, go wild!

X

Friday, 9 July 2010

Cute as a button!





Aaaw how adorable are these shortbread button biscuits!? The most gorgeous pastel colours and such a sweet concept.

The simple ideas are always the best. Such an easy way to cutesy up your tea time. Granny would be pleased.

Read how they were made here. I'm smitten!

X

Annabel Karmel's new book!






Annabel Karmel’s got a new recipe book out which is absolutely fantastic! Cooking with kids has never been simpler. The beautiful presentation, full of colourful photos and simple text, is SO easy to follow and will definitely catch any child’s attention.

It is a great educational tool for kids too, introducing texture, colour, hygiene and the right attitude towards nutrition - as well as teaching them how to cook! The recipe content is also fantastic with a great variety of healthy meals. All the sorts of things you’d want to eat. I also really like that is isn’t at all patronising and has some really sophisticated meals in there like lamb tagine and salmon in pastry. It encourages children that they can make proper food too, not just cookies and cakes.

Annabel Karmel instils the right attitude towards cooking and food – fun, easy and healthy. Not only for children but parents too! And it’s a great family bonding activity. I wish had this when I was a child! They look like they’re having so much fun.

I will definitely be buying this for my friend who is a mother to be. And I might just have to go over and help with the baby sitting/cooking fest!

X

Mmmm salsa





If you ever need to spice up a dish, here's a winning number.... This salsa is fresh, sophisticated and colourful! I've tried it with salmon and tuna, and am going to try it with chicken next.

So here's how to make it. This is for 6 people and it makes a lot! There's a lot of preparation but it's SO easy to put together...

1 mini cucumber/1/2 cucumber
1 Papaya
1 Mango
1/2 red onion
2 red chillies
20g fresh ginger
2 lemons
2 limes
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
6 piece of Fish/Meat

- Peel the cucumber, papaya, mango and onion and chop them into 1 cm size pieces or however big you like.

- Cut the chilli into fine slices, removing the seeds. Take the skin off the ginger and chop into tiny pieces.

- Grate the rinds of the lemons and limes and then squeeze all the juice into a cup.

- Now mix ALL of the ingredients into a bowl, and add the olive oil, caster sugar and fish sauce and stir. Easy as that!

- Leave to sit for an hour or two. Or you can keep it in the fridge, will last for about 2 days, and then take out about 30 mins before you serve so it's at room temperature and not freezing cold.

Voila! It is SO fresh and tasty and jazzes up any dish. Love it.

X

Friday, 25 June 2010

Wafflemeister...





If you need a sweet hit, any time night or day, then Wafflemeister's the place to go. With stores in South Kensington and Embankment, these sugary havens are open 24/7 serving the best doughy delights on the market.

All these handmade Belgian waffles are made fresh in house and come with an array of delumptious toppings and fro yo or gelato on the side...

So whether it's for a breakfast treat or drunken munchie at 4 am, go treat yourself to one of these bad boys.

X

Friday, 11 June 2010

I love Yotam



Today has been like my Birthday and Christmas all rolled into one!! Yotam Ottolenghi's new recipe book arrived! WOHOO!

Wowsers... It's going to keep me one busy little cook. AMAZING! Go grab a copy and find yourself in foodie heaven. The recipes and pictures are beautiful. Will blog about some of this scrumptiousness after this weekend's cook-a-thon.

:)

X

Love a bit of Nige...




Nigel Slater is not only a fantastic cook, but he also has a beautiful a website.

Browse and drool....

http://www.nigelslater.com/

X

Pizza East




So last night I FINALLY went to Pizza East. I've been gagging to go since it opened, and as it's just around the corner from work I can almost hear the pizzas calling me... It's running into its sixth month and this place has been an instant hit. We turned up at 7.30 and the place was rammed to the rafters, and its not a small either.

The interior is lovely. Very organic and rustic with distressed wood, exposed brick work and low hanging big spot lights. The atmosphere was buzzing, full of good energy. 

We were seated at a great table by the window where we had the last of the sun shining on us. It was a beautiful evening, I was with great friends, and I was super excited about my pizza! The waiter brought over a generous carafes of red wine and we were good to go.

One of our diners has frequented Pizza East rather a lot and also happens to be a rather fabulous food connoisseur. We wanted to share some starters so we left the choosing up to him. He came up trumps. We had a delicious platter of San Daniele Ham and Bresaola with a ball of the creamiest mozzarella I have ever eaten (not for the cholesterol conscious). It was AMAZING! So tasty and fresh. Mmmm.



To accompany this we had some fried whitebait with lemon and some fried chicken livers in a cheesey sauce. Yummy. But the mozzarella won hands down.



Now on to the Pizzas.... I thought that for the sake of the blog I had to try something a little bit more adventurous than my autopilot Parma ham and rocket. So... I opted for Smoked salmon with tomato, ricota and capers. I like all of the ingredients and thought that smoked salmon on pizza could be an unexpected winner.


So when it arrived and I took my first mouthful I REALLY wanted to love it... but I have to say, it just didn't do it for me. I always associate smoked salmon with being cold, and it was just weird having it luke warm on a pizza. The textures and food combo didn't work, and I looked on with envy at my fellow diners' more conventional choices. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that good either. And as a girl who loves her pizza I was disappointed with my choice... :(



However, I must say, that the dough was really good. But the crust was about 2 inches deep, and we could have all done with topping on that space. After a couple of swapsies I got to try some other toppings. The Spicy sausage with mozzarella, sprouting broccoli and garlic was great. Having a good bit of green on there makes you feel like you're being that little bit healthier. The Speck, tomato, mozzarella and rocket was good too. But not mind blowing.

The pudding menu arrived, and my gorgeous friend Amy who lived in Argentina spotted Hot cinnammon sugar doughnuts with Varhona chocolate which reminded her of churros in BA, so we just had to get them! These (along with the mozzarella!) were a highlight of the meal. The doughnuts were SO light and the chocolate was wonderfully runny and rich; a great mixture of flavour and texture, and the bitterness of the chocolate meant they weren't too sweet. The plate was huge too! Lots to share round. 


So my general consensus on Pizza East is that it's more about the location, atmosphere and people watching rather than amazing pizza. I get what they're trying to do with the unusual topping combinations, and I think it's a bit fun and different, but there's a reason why the Pizza canon of Margheritas, Four Seasons and La Reines exists. The oldies are the best.

Pizza East is the perfect place to go with a group of friends for a fun evening, to fill your tum with some hearty food before you hit the Shoreditch bars. Just don't come expecting Pizza that's out of this world. I am still on that quest - so please leave any recommendations below!

X

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Food machismo





Do you have a penchant for live animals, eye balls and brain? Well lucky you. This gastro craze is set to come to London fresh from the US of A.

Yuk. I won't see you there.

X

Come Dine With Me Homemade Competition





Channel 4's Come Dine With Me's competitive edge has taken a social media turn... 


The show is offering foodie's the chance to win £1,000 to spend at Very.co.uk. All you need to do is upload photos of your dinner party to facebook, and then create a slideshow on the Come Dine With Me Homemade site. You can add comments, soundtracks, and (this is the best bit) sound bites from the show's hilarious commentator David Lamb!! Awesome! 


The competition will close at midnight on 30/06/10 when a panel of judges at Channel 4 will choose the winning slideshow.


So now you have a new fun game to play at your next dinner party. How crazy can you get?! The only prescription is no naughty pictures (behave). 


Click HERE to enter.


X

Moro







So, the indulgent supper club met again this week. It had been a long time coming. We were all hungry for another treat. This time we went to Moro; a Moorish restaurant on lovely Exmouth Market in Islington.

It was a gorgeous hot evening, and I felt like I was walking down a Parisian street. People were sitting outside on little tables, sipping their rosé and soaking up the joie de vivre. Moro has concertina windows so that the whole restaurant opens and has tables spilling out on to the street. You honestly feel like you're abroad, and it wasn't just the weather.

As you can see from the picture above, the interior is sleek, understated and cool. The room is quite lofty and there's lovely sense of space. Chitter chatter fills the air, and it isn't too noisy because the ceiling is so high. There's an open kitchen at the back which is alive with culinary magic. They have a wood burning oven, and a charcoal grill to make their home made delicacies. The smell is amazing!

So, onto the food... The menu changes on a weekly basis, with ingredients sourced from the best suppliers all over the UK. The cuisine is called 'the marriage of saffron and cinnamon' with its roots in Spain and the Muslim Mediterranean. The menu is so mouth-watering-ly amazing that it makes you want to go there everyday and try something different each time. Everything on it sounds sooo good. Such unusual and good combinations of ingredients which sound good for you. Wholesome indulgence. They also do tapas at the bar, and this is super popular.

After much deliberation, we picked our starters. We shared some Pan fried lamb's sweetbreads with braised peas, sweet herbs and seasoned yoghurt (home made of course!). This was really yummy! I'd never had sweetbreads before and they were meatier than I thought they'd be.

We also had a Raw broad bean salad with salt cod, olive oil and lemon. This was ok, and not surprisingly, very salty! It tasted very fresh and was sort of a palette cleanser. So we felt set up for round 2. And wow was it good. All the plates were beautifully presented (I can't believe I forgot photos!!) and so colourful. I think the aesthetics adds SO much to a dish, and Moro have perfected it.

Cordelia had the Wood roasted pork with patatas alinadas. Now pork is the one thing I NEVER order. I always find it a disappointment, but... this was really yummy. A very generous portion (as with all the plates), big cuts of meat and lots of scrummy potatoes.

Pemmy had the Charcoal grilled lamb with chopped salad, pomegranate molasses and farika. On paper this sounded like the best one! Such an exotic mixture. And it was delicious too! The lamb was cooked perfectly, and the pomegranate was a fantastic addition to the dish. It was the right balance of extra flavour and freshness.

But for once, my choice was the best! hehe! I had the Seared sea trout with spring vegetables, lentils and rosemary manteca. Mmmm.... The flavours were insane. First of all you got the seared sea trout which tasted as if it had been caught that morning. Then the lentils and rosemary kicked in which rounded off each mouthful perfectly. Scrummy. I could have had it twice over.

Now, as there's always room for pudd (and because I have a weakness for ice cream), we shared the Caramel and Seville orange marmalade ice cream. Sadly, this was the down point of the meal. I was a little disappointed. It wasn't orangey enough at all, and tasted more of burnt caramel. But I love the idea of it. Maybe I just got a bad scoop!

But all in all I LOVE Moro. The menu is amazing, I could honestly eat everything on it (even the pork!). The quality of the ingredients and food combination are superb. And all the dishes are beautiful; combining colour, culture and taste. It's a fantastic restaurant with a wonderful atmosphere that puts you in a great mood for the rest of the evening.

This Moorish is more-ish.

X

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bar dining





Urban Junkies' brilliant Eat & Drink section has hit the nail on the head with London's trend of bar dining. See this article below for fancy ideas of where to dine at a bar...

Urban Junkies - Restaurant Radar

X

p.s - I can recommend Polpo!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Panda Candy






Aawww! How cute are these little guys?! Adorable. My lovely friend Alexis has just returned from Hong Kong and bought the office these candies from a Japanese store called Aji Ichiban. They are little sweets inside a decorated packet; so the sweets inside are just plain white balls, but the packets have different little Panda characters on them. They remind me of Sylvanian Families which are undoubtedly the sweetest things ever. These little cuties are my favourite:



I think it's such a clever idea; easily expandable and fun. Apparently they do ducks too! 

Cute as candy.

X

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Lost Angel




What a good name for a venue hey? And even better that it's near my house :) The Lost Angel and The Lost Society are sisters, and they up the South of the river's cool stakes an awful lot.

The Lost Angel is on Battersea Park Road; a pretty lifeless area that makes think you're definitely "lost." But if you keep your eyes peeled, this restaurant-come-bar-come-dance-floor is definitely there. They see themselves as a 'neighbourhood joint' where you can come for a bite to eat in the week, and a party on the weekends. Having done both I can tell you it's true.

The decor is super cool. It has a long bar in the middle of the room that stretches all the way to the back wall. All the colours are very rich; mahogany brown, racing green, with low lighting, faux leather seats, antlers on the wall, and pictures of the Queen to assure you you're in a classy establishment. You feel like you're in a sassy saloon or lodge.

On a week day the atmosphere is really laid back and quite New York. They have a big food menu with a mixture of light bites, starters, sophisticated mains, and pub food. My main criticism would be the service. It was pretty slow... But we can forgive them for that because the food was yummy! I had some delicious red snapper with olive oil mash. Well presented but a small portion (but maybe I'm just greedy!).

My first visit made me think that I have to come back here on a weekend. Luckily my friend had a birthday celebration there last Friday, and so I got to see it in all its glory. This place really comes alive and transforms into a party venue. The bar is heaving, and quite right too because the drinks are great. Their drinks menu is huge, and they do my two favourite cocktails so I was a very happy bunny. The music was great, and the cherry on the top has to be their beer garden. With decking, fairy lights and an outside bar, it's the perfect place to enjoy the hot weather. So bring on the summer I say!

It's a great place for dinner with friends, drinking, dancing and birthday celebrations.

I'm very happy I've found The Lost Angel.

x

Andrew Edmunds




Last Saturday I discovered one of London's little secrets. A little nugget of days gone by that makes you wish you had lived 70 years ago when everything was less pretentious and more elegant.

In the heart of Soho, on the ground floor of an old town house, lives the gorgeous little restaurant 'Andrew Edmunds'. Walls clad with Hogarth-esque cartoons, it's so Dickensian that it would make any Anglophile go weak at the knees. This cosy eatery probably only seats about 16 on the ground floor. Low ceilinged, candle lit, understated and intimate, it is a welcome relief from the modern, hectic bars and restaurants on neighbouring streets.

Now on to the food.... The menus are hand written (sweet) and I'm guessing changed on a daily basis. The cuisine is good British fare; Gull's Eggs is the speciality. The menu has an equal amount of fish to meat which is pretty rare, and right up my street.

I started with an amazing Dressed Crab, which came as a crab shell filled generously with meat and some mayonnaise to accompany it. Really simple, but so tasty and clean. Deelish.

For mains I had Sea bass fillet with Jersey Royals, pancetta, broad beans and peas.... The bass was so light, and the mixture of potato with pancetta and beans was yummy. Such a good combination. It felt very summery.

Ashamedly, I didn't live up to my blog name, as I was (dare I say it) too full for pudd.

I was super impressed by the whole lot. The food was amazing - very simple and clean, and really great quality. Good size portions, and great service. And the atmosphere was lovely. The perfect place for a small group of friends or a first date.

Andrew Edmund's is charming, desperately romantic and cute. I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend it.

X

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Ich bin ein Berliner





I just got back from an amazing weekend away in Berlin. In between the partying and culture we fitted in a rather strange array of food. We had pizza, curry wurst (don't ask), and an assortment of baked goods at 5 am from a conveniently positioned bakery opposite our hostel. We stayed in the Mitte district, which luckily seemed to be the hub of funky cafes, bars and restaurants in the city.


One of my highlights was our supper at a lovely restaurant called Fleischerei on Torstrasse. Very 'Berlin'; dimly lit, sort of run down and edgy. It was there that I learnt what 380g of fillet steak meant. It was HUGE! The size of my head! It was also very delicious, and with a bit of help from my friends I finished with a clean plate and an extremely full tummy! I think I've now had my ration of red meat for about a year.

My Moscow Mule at the super trendy Neue Odessa Bar (also on Torstrasse) was another goodie; so light, not too sweet, and it slipped down very easily from what I can remember.

The St Oberholz Cafe which was right opposite our hostel was a great spot. A very laid back, achingly cool cafe. Can't be seen without your Mac book or wacky glasses. Our hot chocolates, chai lattes and coffee soothed our sore heads for sure.

But the yummiest thing I tasted on our trip was a smoothie from Chen Che Berlin; a gorgeous Vietnamese tea room that we found off Rosenthaler Strasse.


Their menu was amazing and full of unusual Asian ingredients. All of their drinks sounded delicious! So we got a couple to share. The Chen Che Xin Chao, made of fresh lime juice, sweet basil seeds, fresh peppermint-ginger tea, lychee and blueberries, was as good as it sounds. It felt like I was filling my body with nutrients and goodness!




But the Che Dau Do (see above) was even better. It was made of red soybeans in soy juice with coconut milk and ice, refined with yum root and soy milk froth. It looked pretty dodgy; what must have been the soy beans looked suspiciously like frog's spawn. Hoping it wasn't, I took a sip and was amazed by its deliciousness! It was creamy and not too sweet, with a fantastic kick of coconut at the end and a lovely consistency. I have no idea how they made it. Annoyingly my shizer German didn't stretch as far as - please can I have a demonstration? But I will definitely be trying to make this again at home.

Auf wiedersehen

X

What the %$£! should I make for dinner?




A very funny website for dinner ideas that needs a bit of anger management. Excuse my French.

X

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

NOMA - World's Best Restaurant




The San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2010 were announced yesterday!

Noma in Denmark claimed the sought after title with it's innovative Nordic cuisine. Check out the menu here. When I next have a mere 1,000 euros knocking around I know where I'm heading!

x

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Prince Albert




The Prince Albert pub is another Geronimo Inns' gem. It's superb location definitely pulls in the punters. Situated just on the other side of the Albert Bridge, opposite Battersea Park, it's got the South of the river relaxed vibe and is only a skip and jump for those who never leave Chelsea.

As with all Geronimo Inns, it's interior is stylish and homely. It has a warm home from home atmosphere, is incredibly welcoming and are really put at ease. You feel you could curl up with a paper by the fire and spend a whole Sunday there. Whatever time of day, or for whatever reason, it's a great place to meet up with friends, family, or for work.

Its wonderful atmosphere is by no means its only merit. It has a great menu too. It is sophisticated pub grub, or rather pub food with a twist. You can get your traditional salmon fish cakes and macaroni cheese, or spice it up with Lincolnshire smoked eel and horseradish cream or Duck cottage pie with red cabbage, followed by Rum & raisin cheesecake or a British cheese board with oatmeal biscuits and chutney.

The quality of their food is of paramount importance, and you can really taste the difference. They only use fresh ingredients, no frozen foods, and use local quality food wherever possible. If you're only there for the drink they have an extensive wine and beer list and a whole load of yummy nibbles to accompany.

The service here is also top quality, which makes it even more enjoyable to go to, and even easier to laze there all day! You are encouraged to stay and relax, and are never made to feel rushed out.

Incredibly reasonably priced, good value, great service and delicious food, I can see why this popular pub has become so many people's favourite local.

x

Fleurir - Hand Grown Chocolates





How pretty are these? Each hand made chocolate represents the cheerful and inspiring nature of spring. Too pretty to eat? I'm sure you soon get over that after you've tried one!


x

Hungry to vote?






Election fever has materialised in a fun foodie find. The election based bar, Parliamentary Waffle House, has now opened near Carnaby Street. 

Each item on the menu is orderable in a variation corresponding to one of the three major political parties.  Orders feed directly into a live action swing ‘o’ meter that gauges the mood of the country as people vote with their mouths.

I wonder which ingredients are used to signify each party?! Please leave your suggestions below!

x

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Flourless Chocolate Brownies :)



Continuing with my weekend cook-a-thons, I made Flourless Chocolate Brownies last weekend courtesy of Nigella. They are SO easy to make, and taste divine if I say so myself! Because there's no flour in them they are super squidgy and gooey which is just how I like my brownies. Very rich and a real hit for dinner parties. Everyone loves them!

So here's the recipe:

Ingredients for the brownie:

225g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
225g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g of caster sugar (I used brown sugar)
3 eggs, beaten
150g ground almonds
100g chopped walnuts (I just used a bag of mixed nuts)

1) Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.

2) Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little (so that when you add the egg in a minute the mixture doesn't cook it!)


3) Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin, or, most sensibly, use a foil one.


4) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey.


5) Let it cool down completely. I was too impatient and when I tried to cut it into squares I made a real mess because it wasn't cool enough, so try and wait as long as poss if you can bear it! Then just cut into however many/whatever size/shape bites of deliciousness as you like!


You can also make a chocolate sauce to pour over the top if you're feeling like a chocolate blow out. Here's how to make it:


Ingredients for the sauce:


75g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
125ml double cream
2 teaspoons of espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 x 15 ml tablespoon golden syrup


1) Break up the choc and put into a heavy-based saucepan.


2) Add the remaining ingredients, the place the pan over a gentle heat and let everything melt together. Mmmm.


3) Once everything has melted, stir well, take off the heat and pour into a jug to serve.


4) Lick the spoon :)


Enjoy!


x

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Gail's



The other Sunday I went out for a delicious brunch with my two oldest friends at Gail's on the Northcote Road. It's always swarming with people (mainly yummy mummy's with babies in tow!) and I'd been meaning to visit since I moved to Clapham last December. The windows are filled with hundreds of yummy things to eat, and whenever I pass I spend at least 5 minutes gawping at the incredible display.

The cafe is a lovely space; bright and airy with wooden furniture and white washed walls. At the front is the food display and ordering counter with the menu behind. There are several tables out the front (usually bathed in sunlight) and lots of tables at the back.

The baked options are amazing; muffins, cakes, croissants, brownies, carrot cake, danish pastries... the list is endless! Check out their website then you'll see what I mean. The savoury stuff looked great too. Lots of salads and sandwiches. It's the perfect place to go for a coffee/brunch/lunch. I had a delicious granola with fresh fruit, and my latte was yummy too. Pancakes also come highly recommended!

Based in Hampstead, Notting Hill, Battersea, St John's Wood, and now Queen's Park!

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x

Friday, 9 April 2010

Lola's Cupcakes





Special occasion? Someone need cheering up? Or just any reason to celebrate? Oh what the hell, you just want darn good cupcakes!!


Check out Lola's. An absolutely scrumptious cupcake company that delivers its delights to your door. Hundreds of flavours like peanut butter, banana, carrot, oreo, rocky road. Loads of gorgeous designs to choose from too - you won't know which to pick! You can customise, add messages, choose what box it comes in... The website is a sure salivating affair.

Lola's have also teamed up with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to develop an exclusive cupcake for the charity’s Kiss it Better appeal. The delicious cupcake was hand-crafted by former patient, four year old Jessica. TPriced at £2.50, with 30 per cent of the retail price supporting the Kiss it Better appeal, you no longer need to search for a reason to spoil yourself to one of these goodies.




And extremely excitingly - they have also teamed up with GU. Match made in heaven indeed!!



Based in Primrose Hill, Selfridges, Harrods (and Mayfair coming soon) if you fancying popping in to one of their shops for a mouthful of heaven.

x