Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monograph ::: A Japanese Supperclub that serving Udon Noodles

Monograph is a Japanese Supperclub that's has been getting rave reviews ever since it first launched. The chef behind it is Ugo Lo Presti, a self-taught udon connoisseur – who used to run a sushi restaurant in Italy. He moved to London a year ago and launched Monograph to showcase Japanese cuisine and in particular Udon noodles. Despite the explosion of ramen joints that have opened up in London, there are very few places you can get a great bowl of udon noodles.

Monograph is one those places.  

The design aesthetic is minimalist, the flavours are clean and fresh and the focus is on celebrating the ingredients. Every dish we had was executed flawlessly.

Like the thick strands of silky-smooth udon noodles served in a hot dashi broth full of flavour. How can I describe that broth: it was warm, comforting with the slightest hint of sweetness and a touch of acidity from the lemon slice.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wall SE1 Supper Club: Delicious 8 Course meal of American food with a British Twist

When I heard Cult Events was back with Chef Ian Ballantyne at the helm of a new supper club called The Wall SE1, I instantly bought tickets to check it out. I’ve had Ian’s food at two supper clubs in the past and I’ve always enjoyed it. The first time I witnessed his creative skills in making a simple salad look like a piece of art and the second time he cooked a dinner in a Hackney café with all the ingredients sourced locally from within Hackney.

 This time the supper club was held at the Vaults i.e. the Arches underneath Waterloo Station. It’s a vast cavernous space recently taken over by the House of Vans brand and is home to an indoor skate park, an art gallery and a cinema. And now on certain nights during the weekend, will feature The Wall SE1 Supper Club: a fun, casual dining experience focusing on all the things we love about American food with a British twist.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grazing Goat: Charming Gastro Pub close to Marble Arch

I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to writing about my favourite gastro-pub in London: The Grazing Goat on New Quebec Street. Close to Marble Arch, this charming restaurant serves faultless food every time.

Let me elaborate on why I love it so…

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Four Fun Days in Austin, Texas

We visited Austin over Easter for a friend’s wedding and I was really excited to visit this Texan city famed for ‘Keeping it Weird’.  Austin is known for its music scene, its quirky laid-back charm and its food! Once we bought our plane tickets, I proceeded to geek out and read up all the reviews and blog posts I could find, pestered friends for recommendations and finally made a massive spreadsheet of every restaurant and bar I could find. I wanted to focus more on BBQ , Tex-Mex and Street food trailers – food that especially unique to Austin.

Texas State Capitol

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shackfuyu - Intriguing and Unusual Japanese Comfort food in Soho

There are two ways of avoiding the queues at ‘no reservation’ restaurant hot spots in Soho:

The first is all about timing. Either go before it opens and be one of those people standing outside a closed restaurant at 5:30 pm or go around 9:30 to 10 pm because most people in London like to have dinner around 8 pm (I've become one of them!)

The second way (and my personal favourite) is to wander around Soho and hit up all the places the people either forgot about or just don’t even know about. 

French Toast with Green Tea Ice Cream
Like Polpetto – which you couldn’t even enter when it was crammed into that little area in the French House pub but now that it's moved to a nice roomy location in Berwick street, people seemed to have forgotten about it.  Or even Duck Soup – less trendy but still great food. 
So while implementing my second method, I came across Shackfuyu – brought to you by the Bone Daddies gang (also responsible for Flesh & Buns). It serves up Japanese fusion food and has a rather interesting menu.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Song Que: Vietnamese Restaurant in Hoxton serving Authentic ‘Pho’ - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

I’ve had Vietnamese food before but I’ve never tried Pho. Pho is a Beef Noodle Soup and now that I’ve discovered it at Song Que, - a Vietnamese Restaurant in Hoxton on Kingsland road -, I can’t get enough of it.

At Song Que, they specialize in it - serving big steaming bowls of noodles simmering in a fragrant beefy broth flavoured with lemongrass, ginger and lime and full of aromatic herbs like coriander and basil.  They have tons of different variations though I’ve only tried pho with well done flank steak and slices of rare beef. I haven’t been brave enough to try it with tripe or tendons!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Twist: Cozy Local Restaurant in Marylebone serving Tapas with a Twist.

A new restaurant called Twist recently opened on Crawford Street in Marylebone and I decided to try them out for brunch.

My order of ‘Twisted Eggs’ - baked eggs in a pan with tomatoes and marjoram leaves - were delicious and made me keen to check them out for dinner. The restaurant has a warm cozy atmosphere and the staff are friendly and attentive. I liked the rustic decor of the place though be warned – there are one or two tables with some uncomfortable chairs!

The next time at a dinner I discovered the menu, despite having a quite few Spanish dishes, is less about serving quintessential Spanish tapas and more about ‘fusion tapas' (in their own words). There’s a mix of Asian and Mediterranean dishes - I guess this allows the chefs more creativity.  

'Twisted Eggs'

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review of EatFirst – A Meal Delivery service for Lunch at Work

Hoisin Chicken 
I’ve been ordering from EatFirst quite a lot these past few weeks. They promise to deliver fresh healthy food within 15 minutes. You can choose between 2 options – one vegetarian and the other non-vegetarian - both costing £7 and pay online or via their app.

So far I’ve enjoyed the food. I like how they have a Protein + Carb + Vegetable component in every meal and I’ve been happy with the portion sizes. They also list the ingredients and nutrition facts as well.

Here’s what I’ve ordered:

Hoisin Chicken with Mixed Vegetables and Brown Rice

A great dish that was simple and healthy with broccoli and mange tout.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thai Cooking Class in Valence with Aoy

During Christmas, I spent a week in Valence in the South of France and while I was there, I decided to take a cooking lesson in Thai food from Aoy. Aoy runs Thai cooking lessons in her home and I couldn’t resist a chance to learn some tips on how to cook some authentic Thai food.

Aoy knows whole gamut of Thai dishes and I decided to first learn how to cook the ubiquitous Thai Green Curry. Sure I’ve attempted a green curry before – buy some pre-made green curry sauce and stir-fry some vegetables but Aoy’s slow cooked Green Curry with Aubergines and Beef was the real deal.