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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Portuguese Egg Tarts at Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon Portugal
Portuguese Egg Tart

Where Portuguese egg tarts (pastel de nata) all began, Pasteis de Belem (Pastries of Belem), Lisbon Portgual. It began in the early 19th century when the monks of the nearby monastery, Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) were expelled and forced to shut down due to the liberal revolution in 1820. The monks began selling Portuguese egg tarts to secure more revenue and over time this grew rapidly in popularity. The recipe was later passed on to the nearby sugar refinery, whose owners opened up Pasteis de Belem in 1837. To this day, the owners continue to savour and prepare the original recipe from this time honoured tradition.

Expect to see long queues winding out the door for this much loved pastry. Locals love it and international tourists have to have it. If you want to avoid sitting around and waiting. Just get this little babies to go. I took these to Starbucks and had them there.

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Francesinha – Cafe Santiago Porto, Portugal

francesinha - fpn

Francesinha pronounced Fran-ze-zin-ya (little Frenchie) is a local speciality in Porto. Made from bread, ham, sausages, pork and steak. If that wasn’t enough, this protein layered monstrosity is stacked into a sandwich and then topped with a pan fried egg, cheese, fries and a spicy beer sauce. Phew… that’s enough to make you sweat.

Locals in Porto love and I mean LOVE their francesinha. The people of Porto even get together with friends to have francesinha night outs at their favourite spot but this will often end up with arguments on where they should actually go to get it. On a good day, you can expect a heated debate over the best francesinha and don’t expect any two opinions to be alike. Locals will often argue and argue on who does it best. Your favourite may not necessarily be their favourite. In fact, they probably despise where you get your francesinha. Often the difference lies in the quality of meat but it really boils down to that special beer sauce and that finicky thing called personal opinion. The common ingredient in the sauce is beer and each restaurant will have their own special spices that they add to give it their own unique flavour.

As consensus goes, Cafe Santiago seems to be the most popular place to taste this. I would recommend sticking to Cafe Santiago or to go somewhere recommended by a local. Locals will often eat this speciality on average once a week to once a month, or even once a year. It can be pretty heavy going. But all in all, when everyone gets that craving, they just have to have it.

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Mussels with white wine, garlic and cream sauce – Poules Moules, Bruge

mussels fpn

Apart from the quintessential eats like Belgian chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. There is the must have item that towers them all. Belgian Mussels – Belgium’s national dish.

Moules Frites they call it, meaning Mussels and Fries. The approximately 1.5 kilogram serve will have you bursting at the seams yet you will still find yourself gorging your way through, suckling each and every shell. Waste not want not. They’re not little pissy ones either. You can see these mothers from out of space!

Belgian mussels can be prepared in a variety of ways. You can have them with white wine, shallots, parsley and butter. Or simply steamed with celery, leeks and butter. My favourite is when they prepare it with white wine, cream and garlic. Otherwise you can have it with Belgian beer instead of white wine.

Mussels typically can fetch up to the 30 euro – 50 euro mark, after all we in Belgium. Not cheap! The two places that I tried Belgian Mussels, came highly recommended to me by Belgian locals and rated as great value (approx 25 euro) and extremely good. I am talking “these are the best mussels of my life, type of good and I would come back to Belgium just for these.

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waffle collage - fpn

Long time no post! I apologise for the radio silence. I have been crazy busy with relocating to London and planning my trip around Asia, Europe and US. Now that that things have settled down, you should be hearing more from me again, particularly from the likes of London ☺

My first stop in Europe is Belgium and all I want is a waffle. It’s been a dream of mine to eat a Belgian waffle in Belgium. Do you also have these types of foodie fantasies that need living out?

I am told it is best to buy them from the mobile waffle van because these are guaranteed to be fresh. The waffle vans prepare an exact amount of waffle batter for that day and they cook these to order. Some places prepare the waffles where they reheat these to order and in my opinion you can’t beat a fresh waffle. You have to get in quick though because once the vans sell out, they’re out! In Bruges, I found the mobile waffle van in front of city hall. I order my waffle with Belgian chocolate and strawberries. All waffles come with a Belgium flag. Cute! One bite and I am in love. I am going to have a waffle everyday. That’s a total of 4 days and 4 waffles. Yeah!

I discovered during my time that there are actually two types of waffles you can find in Belgium and not just the one. There’s the Liege waffle and the Belgian/Brussels waffle both with their own distinctive characteristics.

Liege w nutella - fpn

Liege waffle with Nutella

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Swine & Co. is brought to you by the Urban Purveyor Group. The master minds better known for Saké Restaurant & Bar, Ananas Bar & Brasserie, The Cut Bar & Grill, The Argyle, The Lowenbrau and Bavarian Bier Café.

The name Swine & Co really provides the basis and inpsiration behind the menu. Expect to see pork, pork and more pork. A glorified Mr Crackles, the menu is full of gusto, serving up crispy pig’s tail ($19), black pudding ($22) & lamb brains ($15). There’s more pork to be had with their mains of pork belly ($34) or suckling pig ($40) with a promise of that quintessential crackling. You can even eyeball that beautiful little piggy spit roasting away before you decide to take it or leave it. Even though, it should be mandatory. For lunch time only, they have a deli menu serving up more deliciousness with pork belly rolls ($12), reubens ($14) & a sinful concoction of prosciutto, provolone jaffles with truffle butter ($11).

But today. I fully intend to get porked.

black pudding - fpn

Black pudding with Hervey Bay scallops, foie gras, lime caviar and a quinoa crisp ($22)

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zucchini pesto pasta

I love pasta and pesto. As a combination of the two or in two separate counterparts. I love it.

Ever since I have discovered a delicious way of enjoying pasta without the calories and carbs, aka zucchini pasta. I have been on the hunt for a delicious basil pesto recipe to go with it, that doesn’t sacrifice on flavour and is low in calories. A perfect 5:2 diet recipe!

I am happy to report, that I have finally found the one! Courtesy of Weight Watchers I’ve adapted their recipe. I skip the toasting of the pine nuts completely and just blitz all the ingredients.

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I’ve started on the 5:2 diet and I have been sharing on my instagram @foodpornnation what I eat on feast days and 5:2 diet recipes on my fast days. Essentially you consume a quarter of your calorie intake to receive the benefits of fasting rather than actually having to fast (no eating). On the upside, you get to have your cake and eat it too!

Scientific trials of intermittent fasting showed that the benefits include lowering  your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, alzheimer’s/dementia & what we all love to hear, WEIGHT LOSS!

For ladies, this means consuming 500 calories and for gents 600 calories for two non-consecutive days. On other days, there is no calorie restrictions. You can eat your ice cream, burgers and cheese and enjoy all these health benefits as long as you do not overindulge too much, which is ideal for a foodie like me. It sounds a little crazy but when you watch the documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer you will be pleasantly surprised – click here to watch. Dr Michael Moseley and Mimi Spencer, subsequently released The Fast Diet Book, which is also very compelling. It will change your life as it has changed mine. This is something I will adopt for the rest of my life, this I am certain of.

500 calories probably sounds a little steep, but I have found if you are smart and spend your calories wisely, it is very achievable. So far, I am really enjoying the challenge of coming up with recipes that are delicious and fit in with my fast days. All of which I will begin sharing with you.

Pictured from left to right – Zucchini Lasagne – recipe here (185 calories) & Zucchini Pesto Pasta – recipe to come (165 calories).

52 diet recipes

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