Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Bacon Cheeseburger - MEATliquor - Marylebone - London Food Blog

MEATliquor located in Marylebone has caused quite the stir with it’s epic queues, no bookings and dress code policy. That is no ballet flat and no suits.¬†Line up behind the barricade and wait for the bouncer to let you in. Expect¬†a hell raising bikey club upon entry but the venue is staffed with surprisingly friendly folk that embody¬†that all round American customer service experience. The venue is dark, dingy and I’m pretty sure sticky. The music is banging out¬†rock anthems¬†at about 150 decibels too high, staff are heavily tatted up with the ceiling/walls intricately masked with¬†graffiti murals. ¬†The food is an all-around American junk food tribute to¬†hot wings, mac n cheese, cheese fries, hot dogs and their mains are centred only around burgers.

Fried Pickles with Blue Cheese Dip - MEATliquor - Marylebone - London Food Blog

We tuck into the fried pickles (£3.50) and it offers a sharp tang of vinegar and contrast of a crisp crunchy batter. The interplay of the gooey pickle against the fried batter is really special and is immediately our top pick of the night.

The blue cheese dip is really flavoursome and very authentic. This is exactly as you would find it in the USA. Thick, creamy and lush. I usually find it very difficult to find a blue cheese dip this good anywhere outside of the States and this is authentic it comes.

Bingo Wings - Buffalo Hot Wings with Blue Cheese Dip - Meatliquor - Marylebone - London Food Blog

These Bingo РBuffalo Hot Wings (£7.00) are as gutsy as it gets. These wings mimic the Louisana Deep South Wings flawlessly. Crunchy then coated with hot sauce then served with an authentic blue cheese dip. These can not be beat.

When I am in the States, I am an absolute sucker for buffalo hot wings. They are my absolute ‘go to’ dish and these are spot on.

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Words and photos by A Girl Has To Eat and myself.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank - Gaylord - Fitzrovia - London Food Blog

The award winning Gaylord Indian Restaurant was founded in 1966 and is an offshoot of the original Gaylord in Mumbai which opened in 1956. The cuisine originates from North of India with a menu that is long, varied and eclectic. The décor also embodies an authentic Indian experience with artworks by the noted Indian painter Prithvi Soni.

We dined at Gaylord recently as part of a Zomato bloggers’ dinner and Gaylord took the difficulty of choosing from its extensive menu by serving us a selection of their highlight dishes. There was food aplenty, and it was such a delight to have the opportunity to taste so many different things. We started with canapés before moving onto starters, main courses and then desserts.

For canapés, we tried some zaffrani chicken tikka (£8.50/£14) and chicken murg malal tikka (£8.50/£14.50), both of which were nicely cooked and pleasantly spiced. The aloo tokri chhat, a savoury potato basket was also really tasty and really crunchy.

Moving on the starters, and the tandoori tiger prawns (£10/£20) with saffron proved to be the knockout dish of the evening. The tiger prawns were big, fat and juicy with a firm luxurious texture. They were also really well cooked with the tandoor cooking helping to hold in much flavour. The spicing was lovely, and with the prawns being so plump, they were just a joy to eat.

Crab cakes (£11) with curry leaves, southern spices, sesame seeds and mustard cress were cleverly presented, with each crab cake being perched on a sugar stick. The spicing was pleasant, and the crab cake offered a decent flavour, but I would have preferred more crabmeat for a greater taste of the sea.

Andhra scallops (£11) was a slightly disappointing dish with the scallops being fairly bland. They tasted watery, and the combination with crushed black pepper, curry leaves, cherry tomatoes and pink peppercorns did little to lift the flavour of the dish.

Andhra scallops - Gaylord - Fitzrovia - London Food Blog

There were two interesting taco dishes to be had, one of spicy rajma (£7.50) with red kidney beans, and the other of lamb seekh (£9.50). The red kidney bean taco was lovely and was bursting with freshness and aromatic spices. In contrast, the lamb didn’t hold up as well. More could have been injected into the lamb mince to give it more flavour. The taco shells were also a little stale.

Spicy Rajma & Lamb Seekh Kebabs Tacos - Gaylord - Fitzrovia - London Food Blog

We had a wonderful selection of mains. I adored the slow cooked lamb shank (£18) as the lamb was meltingly tender and simply fell off the bone. The sauce, made with fiery red onions, plum tomato and Kashmiri red chilli wasn’t particularly hot, but it was delicious and worked well with the meat.

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Forge ox heart burger - Forge & Co, Shoreditch -London Food Blog

Forge & Co located on Shoreditch High St offers a unique new social workspace for interested takers. Across four floors, Forge & Co lends it’s offices, hot desks, meeting rooms and event spaces to growing businesses without the burden of overheads. While on the ground floor their Canteen serves a contemporary menu from their¬†British brasserie.

Set in a¬†1950’s Modernist building, their reasonably priced menu¬†focuses on seasonal modern British cuisine that is locally sourced. They dish up a varied menu across breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menu. There is also a friendly nod to the traditional English Sunday roast offering a selection of roast meats with all the trimmings. They also offer¬†a great selection of share platters and drinks that include bespoke East London cocktails (of course!), a friendly and affordable wine list, and brewery-fresh local craft beers to cater to the after work drinks crowd.

Leek & Caerphilly cheese croquettes - Forge & Co, Shoreditch - London Food Blog

Leek & Caerphilly cheese croquettes (£5.00) melted in the mouth. Beautifully crumbled, they were soft, creamy and cheesy. The mango and peach puree added a lovely sweetness, cutting through the fattiness of the croquettes.

duck rillettes, toast & cornichons - Forge & Co, Shoreditch - London Food Blog

The duck rillettes, toast & cornichons (£7.50) arrived filled with large doses of shredded duck. This was richly flavoured and textured with duck pieces however this was let down with the bread being slightly stale.

smoked mackerel, potato salad & poached egg - Forge & Co, Shoreditch - London Food Blog

The smoked mackerel, potato salad & poached egg (£7.50) was overall a beautifully flavoured dish. The smoked mackerel enhanced the overall flavour of the potato salad, adding that extra depth of smokey flavour to each bite. With the addition of fresh herbs this gave the dish a lovely lift.

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Written by Girl Has to Eat and Food Porn Nation
Photos by Food Porn Nation

Chashu men, Kanadaya, Tottenham Court Road

Kanada-Ya on St Giles High Street opened its doors in September 2014 and has since cultivated a large following with its special brand of ramen. Kanada-Ya is the brainchild of the award winning tonkostu broth master Mr Kanada who has been making ramen in Japan since 2009. It specialises only in tonkostu ramen and does not stray into shio, shoyu or miso based broths.

The secret to¬†Kanada-Ya‚Äôs¬†success is its¬†specially cooked 18-hour pork bone¬†tonkotsu¬†broth¬†which¬†is tended to overnight.¬†There are three different types of ramen¬†bowls¬†available ‚Äď the original, the¬†moyashi¬†(a lighter broth) and¬†chashu-men (ramen finished with a¬†chashu¬†collar).¬†¬†The word ramen is taken from the Chinese word ‚Äėlamien‚Äô which means ‚Äėhand pulled noodles‚Äô and the ramen at¬†Kanada-Ya¬†is literally that – hand pulled noodles prepared on site¬†by¬†their very own noodle whiz.¬†Kanada-ya¬†also¬†serve¬†onigiri¬†(Japanese rice balls wrapped in¬†nori) that can be washed down with a selection¬†of Japanese beers, sake or soft drinks.

Like Kanada-Ya’s menu, the décor is simple and basic. But it does the trick as ramen is Japanese fast food rather than a lingering sit down dining experience. But Kanada-Ya has become so popular that there are often queues which can lead to about a half hour wait.

chashu-men, Kanadaya, Tottenham Court Road

The¬†chashu-men¬†¬†(¬£12.50)¬†caught¬†our eye with the promise of¬†an¬†extra¬†chashu¬†pork¬†collar. The¬†tonkotsu¬†broth was delicious –¬†smooth, creamy, fatty and frothy;¬†full of depth and beautifully rounded.¬†The ramen¬†was cooked¬†to¬†order;¬†very firm, firm, regular or soft.¬†We tried both¬†firm¬†and regular and we found¬†the noodles perfectly cooked to order and that they had been¬†pulled to an exact thinness that was¬†lovely and chewy.¬†The¬†chashu¬†is made using the neck so it is far leaner than that of pork belly.

Extra¬†gold label¬†seaweed (nori¬†–¬†¬£1),¬†chashu¬†cured¬†burford¬†brown egg (hanajuku¬†egg¬†–¬†¬£2)¬†and the charred black garlic oil (Ma-yu¬†–¬†¬£1.50) can¬†all¬†be ordered as additional extras.¬†We tried and loved them all.¬†The¬†hanajuku¬†egg was¬†an egg¬†cured with¬†chashu¬†(pork pieces)¬†and¬†was¬†something special.¬†It was¬†both¬†beautifully¬†sweet and savoury¬†and¬†exuded¬†a lovely warm¬†brown glow with a¬†golden¬†gooey¬†centre. The shiny¬†charred black garlic¬†oil was¬†as dark as¬†the¬†night¬†and¬†filled¬†the air with delicious¬†stinky¬†garlic¬†aroma¬†that¬†enhanced¬†the¬†flavours of this brilliant¬†ramen.¬†¬†The¬†nori¬†was excellent with a lovely flavour.

sake onigiri, Kanadaya, Tottenham Court Road

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Photos and words by A Girl has to Eat and myself.

The chain of Roka restaurants offer a unique style of contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine, a cooking method where items of food are slowly grilled over hot charcoal. The original branch of Roka opened on Charlotte Street to much success and subsequent branches followed in Canary Wharf, Mayfair and on Aldwych. But the menu extends beyond just robata dishes. There is also a delectable selection of sashimi and nigiri, fried options including tempura, snacks, soups and rice dishes such as hot pots with lobster and miso butter.

We visited Roka Aldwych which opened last November. Designed by Claudio Silvestrin who was also responsible for L’anima and Alan Yau‚Äôs Princi on Wardour Street, the restaurant is spacious and grand with a sleek, contemporary minimalist look, a style for which Silvestrin is well known. Like all the other Rokas, the robata grill plays centre stage at Roka Aldwych, and in addition to the tables in the main dining room, guests can also eat in the lounge area and at the robata bar.

yellowtail sashimi with truffle yuzu dressing

We started with the yellowtail sashimi with truffle yuzu dressing, mizuna and pickled vegetables (£14.60), and the spectacular scent of truffle immediately caught our attention when the dish arrived at our table. This dish was pure perfection. The quality of the fish and the balance of the truffle yuzu dressing was absolutely flawless. It was an exquisite dish and we enjoyed it immensely. If you only order one thing at Roka Aldwych, this has to be it.

5 piece sashimi selection

We followed this with the 5-piece sashimi selection and the tuna tartare. The sashimi included salmon, tuna, sea bream, yellow tail and sweet shrimp (£26.60) and was delectable. The quality, taste and texture of the sashimi were sublime, and the fish was unquestionably of the highest grade.

tuna tartare with oscietra caviar & quail egg yolk

The tuna tartare with oscietra caviar and quail egg yolk (£12.60) was a clever spin on a French favourite. The French tradition was not lost as we ceremoniously combined fish with the egg and caviar to enjoy the tartare in its entirety. This was served with a lovely piece of crunchy crispbread which added contrast. Again, this was as marvellous as the previous dishes.

seared beef striploin with black truffle dressing, cucumber, daikon pickle and miso tapioca

From the tataki section, the seared beef striploin with black truffle dressing, cucumber, daikon pickle and miso tapioca crisp (£13.00) was another enjoyable dish. The beef was wonderfully tender and tasty, although the black truffle dressing was not as aromatic as that of the truffle ponzu dressing in the yellowtail sashimi dish.

rock shrimp tempura wasabi pea seasoning and chilli mayonnaise

The rock shrimp tempura with wasabi pea seasoning and chilli mayonnaise (£14.30) came with rock shrimp that was sweet and plump. As for the batter, it wasn’t a traditional tempura batter, but it was very enjoyable nevertheless as it was light and crispy. This was a tasty modern recreation of a traditional favourite with a solid dipping sauce.

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Iberian Pork Cheeks, Daikon, Foie Gras, Slow-Cooked in Soy Sauce, Sake, Brown Sugar and Ginger

As supper clubs go, Luiz Hara‚Äôs Japanese Supper Club is considered one of the most notorious within London’s underground food scene. The Brazilian born half Japanese ex-investment banker aka The London Foodie, introduces a culinary experience like no other and showcases that the possibilities of Japanese home-style cooking are truly¬†infinite. Luiz turned his back on corporate banking by risking it all to pursue his real passion in food that led him straight to this wonderful¬†endeavour.

Take his training in Tokyo in Japanese cuisine and throw in his Grand Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Then consider his custom-built supper club basement kitchen, swanky Islington pad¬†and you have yourself an unorthodox recipe for culinary success. Think of Luiz’s supper club as restaurant quality dishes that can go head to head with London‚Äôs best, all in the comfort of his gorgeous home. But be prepared for some serious verbal discourse because you‚Äôll be seated intimately at a long dining communal table with some perfectly good strangers.

All this for the nominal price of £45. Well, what are you waiting for?

Tuna Tartare - Tuna & Avocado, Hand chopped Tuna with Spring Onions & Soy Sauce on Shiso-flavoured Sushi Rice, Wasabi Cream

Things are off to a whopping good start with the tuna & avocado, shiso flavoured sushi rice & wasabi cream. It’s fresh, delectable and gloriously¬†spectacular with the delicious wasabi cream elegantly drooling to one side. The shiso sushi rice shows us what good sushi rice is really made of. It is cooked to perfection, holds the right amount of stickiness, savouriness and a hint¬†of sweetness. The combination of flavours are so spectacular, it is already the hot favourite of the night.

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Shoryu Ramen was launched in November 2012 by the team at Japan Centre and Shoryu have quickly gained a following for their ramen. They now have locations spread across Carnaby, Regent St and Soho. If ramen wasn’t enough, they also dish up¬†the very popular¬†hirata buns, sushi, sashimi and yakitori as part of their sides menu. Recommended in the Michelin Guide 2014 and 2015, Shoryu have come head to head with the likes of Bone Daddies and Tonkostu Ramen. These are the three amigos that are dominating the Soho food scene with their ramen. What makes Shoryu really special is that they¬†specialise in the Hakata style tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city of Japan. They promise that this is a bonafide tonkotsu ramen which you will rarely find outside of Japan. Thanks to Executive Chef Kanji Furukawa, who was born and raised from the region. Londoners can now¬†enjoy the Hakata style ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. This style of ramen is my absolute favourite, so I am really looking forward to see what Shoryu has to offer.

barbeque char siu pork hirata buns

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Lobster Kitchen is another lobster joint to bring the New England Lobster shack experience from Maine USA to the shores of old Blighty. The experience from beginning to end is exactly what you would expect in any lobster shack in Maine. There are no reservations, you order and pay at the register, find a seat at the communal dining space and collect your food when it is ready. Food is served in plastic cutlery, paper cups and disposable containers. While, the space is designed with nautical paraphernalia to mimic the coastal shores of New England.

Lobster Kitchen, Bloomsbury - Split Lobster Tails - The Garlicky One

We ordered the (¬£15) Split lobster tails rather than the whole split lobster (¬£18 – this includes a choice of one side). This wasn’t really worth our while considering the whole lobster was smaller than the lobster tails and were roughly the size of my palm.

The split lobster tails were steamed in a white wine and celery stock and we chose to top this with butter, garlic & parsley – The Garlicky One. This was more appealing than the description of the other optional sauces e.g. The Asian, Thermidor or The Cocktail. We asked to have this prepared just under cooked. The texture of the lobster was just perfect and I’m not sure if this would have been any different without our special request nonetheless, this lacked the flavour, seasoning and garlic I was hoping for.

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The Porchester - Collage - foodpornnation

The Porchester is a gastropub located in the heart of Bayswater. Part of the Young’s Pub Group, it is a colourful local completed in warm autumnal colours. The interior skillfully strikes a balance between a modern and a traditional English pub. Similarly this concept carries through to the menu which is traditionally British but cooked with a modern flair.

To begin, we couldn’t resist ordering a few items from the bar snacks. The chicken wings (£4) fell off the bone and were slightly charred which gave them a lovely caramelisation. Cooked with chilli, they also offered up a light kick of spiciness. A ranch dressing was a nice accompaniment to these subtle yet spicy wings as it provided a deliciously cool and tangy contrast.

The Porchester - Chillied chicken wings

The chorizo and black pudding scotch eggs (£3.50) was the standout from the bar snacks. The black pudding and chorizo paste struck a great balance in the scotch egg as it was soft and subtle without undermining the delicate flavour of the runny egg. The textural contrast between the soft gooey interior of the egg against the crunchy crumb coating made it even more scrumptious.

The Porchester - Chorizo and black pudding scotch egg

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Steak w Cafe de Paris Sauce - Chez Boubier collage

Chez Boubier, Café de Paris has opened its first branch in London on Brompton Road in South Kensington. The restaurant serves the single menu (£26.50) of salad, bread and steak and fries with a Café de Paris butter sauce that has seen its 90-year legacy thrive across Continental Europe since 1930. Its famous Café de Paris butter sauce can be found in several locations around the world with restaurants in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong and the UAE. 

Its signature trademark is not only the Café de Paris sauce but also the single menu that is promised to every diner at £26.50. The butter sauce was made famous by then owned Arthur-François (Freddy) Dumont of Café de Paris. The birthplace of the butter sauce is commonly mistaken for Paris, France. However, it was actually conceived in Geneva, Switzerland by Dumont’s father in law, Mr Boubier inventor of the original butter sauce. It is considered a heavily guarded secret recipe enhanced with multiple spices, herbs and other ingredients. It is so guarded even the staff don’t know the ingredients!

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