Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant Review’

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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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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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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The Stuffed Beaver is an interesting spot. It’s a Canadian inspired joint that dishes up a mixture of Canadian and a Tex-Mex type menu. I’m talking fries, tacos, dogs, burgers and nachos. It’s not 100% Canadian through and through but the staff and the owner are. They do serve the classic poutine which if you’re like me and have never tried this before, is a speciality junk food originating from Quebec, a true emulsion of French Canada. It’s fries served with gravy and cheese curds and it is as it sounds, evil and glorious. The venue has your typical sports bar vibe, great for a cheap eat and groups wanting to share.¬†Everyday they have a dam special. Wing half day Wednesday is their most popular item and I can totally see why.

collage - fpn

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collage - fpn

Chur Burger is all the rage now. It’s Kiwi ‘as’ and ¬†serves up drunks and chups with delicious sides and milkshakes. It’s biggest drawcard? That $10 price tag. Which is a big one considering the burgers are made fresh to order sizzling and flipped right in front of you.

If you’re anything like me and were perhaps none the wise. Chur is slang for awesome in NZ and so far the place lives up to the name.

During one of our lunch hours, I was invited to join Tina (bitemeshowme) and Simon (theheartoffood) for a quick bite.

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Darrell Felstead at Foveaux Restaurant (One Hat) puts forward a weird and wonderful menu to suit the adventurous diner. You have a nose to tail philosophy, a creative flair for reinvention and a pairing of unlikeliest of food types. Surely that should pique anyone’s interest? The menu challenges you conceptually and can be confronting if you’re not quite game. There’s the pepper nachos and sour cream ice cream which is said to quite popular or the duck cheese served with smoked duck and cuttlefish. What… is that all together? Or perhaps the veal tail is more to your taste? No matter where you turn, you can’t hide. It is not for the faint hearted and I like that. A lot.

With a Groupon voucher I was able to sample the menu at a reduced cost and for two people we received an entree and main for $59.

Prices quoted below are at al la carte prices.

collage - fpn

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The Bather’s Pavilion is separated into a restaurant and cafe, owned and operated by Serge Dansereau. There is also a kiosk to cater to those passing on by looking for a quick bite. (The kiosk is also very good). You can’t book at the cafe. Simply turn up and grab a seat.

The cafe does a great breakfast and an even better lunch. I would know, I am permanently stationed there for breakfast. The best pancakes in the world are being served right here. Fluffy and thick. Baked chorizo eggs and eggs benedict are bang on the money too. The venue also promises stunning views of Balmoral Beach. So gorgeous, you’ll be swept away and misplace yourself at a beach holiday resort. Amen.

fpn collage (more…)

Relatively new to lower north shore area, this has fast become one of my personal favourites and probably one of the area’s best kept secrets.

It houses a hot pot of all your asian favourites… but served tapas. I’m talking Jap, Malay, Filo and Chinese food all served in the one convenient location.

SpaAsian tapas? How glorious! And if you come between Mon-Wed, you can even get their $10 tapas.

Sounds too good to be true but the owner (Alan) has made great strides to maintain the integrity of the combination of all these flavours. Housing a Filipino chef, a Malaysian chef, Alan has personally taken care of the rest by recreating Chinese home made favourites and studying Japanese cookery.

spice crusted tofu

We begin with the spice crusted tofu and it is a wonderful play on your humble agedashi tofu. In fact, I think it is much better.

The tofu is squared off into bite sized pieces providing more surface area for a nice and crisp exterior. The edges of the tofu are super crusty and equally find themselves with a healthy dosage of soy.

Sprinkled on the top are the bonito flakes which to my surprise, are literally dancing along my tofu in beautiful symmetry.

chicken san choi bao

The san choi bao is pretty mind blowing. Delivering generously on flavour and texture. It rightfully upholds all the flavours and is quite incredible. This is one dish that should not to be missed.

roast pork belly pancake 1

roast pork belly pancake 2

The roast pork belly pancake plays on a Chinese favourite. Instead of peking duck, here we have roast pork belly, all pre-prepared with all the trimmings and it is absolutely incredible.

The pork is slippery, silky and packed full of flavour. It doesn’t have the crunch factor of the skin but the flavour wholeheartedly offsets the need for texture. But then again, crackling is not something I would ever say no to!

pork and prawn wontons

I am told by the owner that the pork and prawn wontons were just hand made and they usually are.
Alan, grew up with his grandma making these family favourite for him as a child and lucky for us, he too has decided to pass on this family gem.

The translucent skin is neatly tucked around to expose the fleshy prawns and meaty pork filling. These dumplings are really quite remarkable that there really are no words.

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