Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rupert Street, Soho: Sinful times at Spuntino


Rupert street is quite the enigma. Once upon a time, it was the heart of the traditional red light district of London. A mere stones throw from Shaftesbury Avenue, you can choose from an array of strip clubs and ladies of the night (many slightly past their prime), harassing and propositioning you as you walk down the street. However, it appears Rupert Street is changing. Rupert Street is the new place to be in Soho.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making Pasta at Fifteen, Old Street

Fifteen Trattoria

The brand of "Oliver" has definitely spread far and wide since the first few days that his face appeared on the Naked Chef. I remember fondly the day that he brought a different kind of energy to the TV screen and I always waited intently for what next week would bring. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I have always been a fan. A couple years down the line, he has spawned multiple tv series, crusades and the restaurants. Some might say, he's done pretty well for himself.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mini Bites: Pitt Cue Co, Southbank

Pitt Cue co, Southbank

Over the Summer, we will be seeing the Festival of Britain revived on the South Bank to celebrate it's 60th anniversary. As well as a variety of exhibtions and activities, we are seeing a few foodie related events springing up. We have already seen the street food festival which happened earlier this month, and the recent opening of Dishoom Chowpatty Beach, and now we have the arrival of the Pitt Cue co. Influenced by American BBQ culture, they are bringing the "Cue" to the Southbank.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Malaysia Kopi Tiam, Chinatown (ish)

Malaysia Kopi Tiam

I think it's a well know fact that the ratio between those looking for great Malaysian food and those selling great Malaysian food is quite heavily balanced in favour of the former. It always intrigues me why there is so much interest in food from the Straits, but I guess the unique balance of Indian, Malay and Chinese flavours make it quite an intriguing proposition. Having Chinese Malaysian parents, I have had plenty of exposure to the food, and often crave a good roti canai or a smoky char kway teow. With no really good locations selling Malaysian food in London (IMO), the itch often remains unscratched. Kiasu was good, before it got allegedly closed down for health violations, and Awana do make good, if pricy rotis, but the choices are few and far between. So on a recent lunch jaunt to Kopi Tiam with Catty, I wasn't expecting much but left pleasantly surprised.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Gamechanger: Sushi of Shiori, Warren Street

Sushi of Shiori, Warren Street

Me and fish have always had a bit of a fractious relationship. One day we can be best friends, the next day we hate each other. One of my favourite dishes has to be a freshly fried haddock and chips from the local chippie, whereas the thought of anchovies fill me with nothing more than bile and dread. It saddens me that something which fills so many with joy more often than not leaves me feeling empty inside, and recently, I thought it was about time that this was rectified. Tasked with making me change my opinion, these two lovely ladies thought that Sushi of Shiori would be the place to change my views about fish forever. An unpretentious little sushi bar (it only seats 8 at a time) located just off Warren Street, it was decided that this would be the first stop on my adventure.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar, Southbank

Dishoom Chowpatty Beach

Pop ups seem to be becoming all the rage. A chance to do something a bit different. In a couple of weeks time, Dishoom (the popular "Bombay Cafe") opens it's doors to it's first venture outside Covent Garden. Taking over an old artists studio, it is invading the Southbank with a Chowpatty Beach popup, named after the eponymous beach in Bombay, and I was lucky enough to be asked along for a sneak preview.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Life after Atherton: a return to Maze (invite)

Maze - Unusual Pairings Menu

It has been almost two years since I was last at Maze. It was my birthday and I was taking my dad out, and the whole meal was OK, nothing more. A lot can change in the space of two years, and in the case of Maze, a lot definitely has. Executive chef Jason Atherton has left to open his own restaurant, and the focus of the menu seems to have veered away from the sharing element.