Friday, July 29, 2011

+(65) A Singaporean supper club

+(65) - A Singaporean supper club

I am a big fan of supper clubs, but more often than not, my attendance at any of these are as a by product of having met the host at some juncture in this great food journey I am having. Goz is no different. Having met the excitable Singaporean at the new defunct Tudor Road, we shared wine, laughs, and with him and his friends at the table, we had a very enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Arang, the not so hidden gem of Golden Square

Arang

Arang seems to be one of those places that people go to but never talk about, as up until my recent visit, I swear nobody had ever mentioned it to me. Before then, I wouldn't hesitate when asked where to go for Korean BBQ. "Head to Koba." I would instantly reply. "The Korean BBQ there can't be beat". I guess such a reactive statement can be open to all sorts of challenges, but in my rather limited knowledge of London's Korean restaurants, I only ever want to go to Koba. On the upper end, Asadal in Holborn is OK, but pretty damn expensive. Kimchee, also in the Holborn area is so boring and bland that I had no compulsion to write it up, with Bibimbap much better, although with no proper BBQ (I will be writing that one up at some stage). Having yet to visit New Malden, the Korean heartland in the suburbs, my options were somewhat limited.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Senses of Thailand, Selfridges

Senses of Thailand

Yep, the sign above essentially says it all, Thai food is spicy and one of the reasons why I love it. Herby, zesty and hot. Until the end of July, you can find a Thai invasion in the Selfridges food hall containing an array of little stalls hosted by some of London's favourite Thai restaurants, and a heap of produce, much of which has never made it over to the UK before.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Poncho Number 8...number 3, Old Compton St

Poncho No 8, Soho

What this part of town doesn’t really need is another shop selling burritos. Within 5 minutes stroll of my office there are four alone, with Mas Burritos and Chipotle the poorest (in my opinion), the burrito man on Earlham street which is untested, and my burrito peddler of choice, Benitos Hat on New Row. The introduction of the new Poncho Number 8 to the area is aggressive, but so has been their growth in the last two years, with this Soho branch number 3 in the chain.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini Bites: Spud, Covent Garden

Spud

Aah, the humble spud, stalwart of lunches and dinners all over Britain. One even nearly killed me once (true story), an enigma amongst comestibles. The beauty of the humble spud is its abject diversity. Have it plain, add a little butter or salt, and you have a cheap and enjoyable lunch. Add a bit of cheese if you are feeling indulgent, or if you are feeling really luxurious, smother your spud with a chilli con carne or some tuna mayo.

Spud

Spud on New Row isn't looking to revolutionise your perception of the spud, merely enhance it and give it a little more pizazz. Bringing to the table flavours such as sicilian aubergine and game chilli con carne, it definitely led me to raise an eyebrow. Personally, I was all about the braised BBQ pork, with a cox apple slaw and barrel aged feta. With a choice of three butters (rock salt, ground peppercorn and my choice of herb), I hurried back to my desk, cargo in tow.

Spud

All in all, a pretty good potato. I liked the sweet pork with the crunchy slaw, and the nuggets of creamy, tangy, and most importantly, salty feta helped balance it all out. The potato was fluffy and didn't feel too heavy at all. On the downside, I felt the pork aspect of the filling was definitely stingy, and for £5.50, it would have been nice to have a bit more protein. Same goes for the butter, I love mine slathered, but I guess it's just a matter of asking. And finally, as attractive as the little box with a handle is, it's pretty awkward to dig out and cut the potato once you are nearing the end.

The resounding verdict is a yes to a return visit. On balance, happy with the potato and £5.50 isn't an absurd amount of money to be paying for a filling and enjoyable lunch. The guys in there are super nice too, always a plus, and to be greeted with a smily face after a frustrating morning at work is always well received.

Spud - 26 New Row, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4LA

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest post: My sister writes about Fino



Here's another from sister number 2. This time she visits Fino. I promise I will make her take pictures next time, I know that's basically what you guys are interested in!

So I’ve been out of the restaurant game for a bit, but when a boy (shock!) suggested a trip to Fino on  Charlotte street I happily obliged. It did not, however, start well. Date boy was late, the heavens had opened, my umbrella was broken, the cashpoint had chewed up my card and thus I found myself lingering on a street corner waiting to be rescued - I did not have to wait long. Respite came in the form of a very fragrant tramp whose opening gambit was “I’m not mad, luv, honest. So don’t worry. I only need 80p…” needless to say
I didn’t even have 10p on me let alone 80! And with princely timing, date boy materialised and whisked me into the depths of Fino.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Long live the #Meateasy: The Rye, Peckham

The Rye

Hardly a day goes by that I don't ponder fondly about the #meateasy. Remembering the drinks, the atmosphere, things I cannot repeat on here nor should ever be repeated again. There were also the burgers. Meatwagon burgers made to order served with an array of delicious sides, smothered in cheese and mustard and all things good. When the day arrived when the #meateasy locked it's doors, we went mental one last time and we showed our respects by drinking the place dry.

Ever since that day, Yianni and his new and improved (physical/mobile) meatwagon have kept a relatively low profile. The money made from the Meateasy has been reinvested into a brand new meatwagon (a real old American ambulance) and kitted out with all the gadgets a travelling purveyor of food would ever want. Yianni's plan is to go back to his roots and take his wagon out on the road to the many festivals around Britain (including the recent Glastonbury festival, Henley Regatta and Soho House Summer party.).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dri Dri Gelato, Covent Garden

Dri Dri Gelato pop up

Popups seem all the rage right now. I could list all the ones running over just the summer, trying to take advantage of England's limited Summer, but I would run out of ink and interest by the time I got to the end of the list. Don't get me wrong, I love them. They give you an opportunity to experience something away from it's natural habitat. It's just that there are so many these days, it's hard to keep up.

Dri Dri gelato is a great example of what I love in a popup. They sell ice cream, an immediate plus. With their regular home ensconced in West London, where I would happily travel to for a meal but less so for some gelato, I now get a chance to sample their wares a mere stones throw from the front door of my office.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Viet Noodle Bar: No fuss, max flavour.


I was a little disappointed by a visit to Pollen Street Social recently. Whilst the food was ok, the service was disappointing in parts and if you take into consideration the whole "effort" it took to go there (taking into consideration the time to get the booking, the rounding up of dining partners, coordinating diaries, saving up enough cash so you can pay the rent at the end of the month, making sure you are suitably attired etc...), I sadly don't think the personal "investment" was really worth it.

Which brings me to Viet Noodle Bar. Here I was, strolling the streets of Soho with Cat, looking for a bite to eat. She's leaving the country soon you see, so any time I can fit in with her the better. Almost by accident, we walk into Viet, a favourite of Cat's, and somewhere I have never been before. No booking, no required "smart casual" attire, just a room full of people looking to fill their bellies with Vietnamese food.

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