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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bubbledogs: Hot dogs & Champagne in Fitzrovia

With an hour of time to kill one evening, I decided to wander down Goodge street. I found myself in front of Bubbledogs, with miraculously no queue in front of it. Well it was 6 pm on a Wednesday but I’ve always refused to go near Bubbledogs since I can’t rationalize the standard 60 minute wait just for hot dogs with a glass of bubbles - all of which can be consumed within 15 minutes.

When I went to the door, I was told there was still 10 to 15 minute wait. I asked if there any way they could squeeze me in given I was there by myself and the manager was nice enough to find me a spot at the bar. Sitting at the bar is the best seat in the house in my opinion and perfect if you’re flying solo. It’s an excellent viewing point to see the rest of the room and watch the bartenders make fancy cocktails.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Orrery: Serene and Elegant French Restaurant in Marylebone

When my friend mentioned having lunch at Orrery, a Michelin-star restaurant on Marylebone High Street; I originally misheard the name and thought he said we were at going to eat at ‘Ovary’. Seeing my bemused look, my friend then spelled out the name but I was none the wiser to what Orrery meant.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tommi's Burger Joint: Marylebone's Chilled-out No-fuss Burger Joint

Right after Meat Liquor and Patty & Bun opened up in Marylebone; another burger joint started making waves on the High Street: Tommi’s Burger Joint. I still swear allegiance to the juicy Dead Hippie Burger at Meat Liquor and I adore the chicken wings at Patty & Bun but there’s something about the Burger Joint that keeps drawing me back for more.

No queues. At all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Opso: Greek flavours with a modern twist

Opso is my new favourite restaurant. It’s located on Paddington Street, just off of Marylebone High Streets and sits in the space that used to be Ping Pong. I’m quite happy about the change in occupants. Gone are the dark, tired looking interiors of Ping Pong, now replaced by the airy light wood interiors of Opso.

And now, anytime I want to go out for a meal, I keep veering back to Opso. So much so, that I’ve tried pretty much most of their menu which is full of inventive creations using classic Greek flavours to the best results.

Here are some of the dishes I've tried:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Best restaurants in Minneapolis: My top picks for 2014

After every trip to Minneapolis, I start liking this city a bit more and more. Of course it helps that I only visit in the summer. (I made a mistake of going in the winter of 2007 and there was snow up to my waist!)

The Stone Arch Bridge

I love how all the building are built to celebrate their industrial legacy, loved the sleek Guthrie building dedicated solely to theatre, the Walker Art Centre and the gigantic public library. But my favourite is the Stone Arch Bridge encompassing the vast Mississippi river, full of healthy Minnesotans cycling and running on the paths. In retrospect, I should have been one of those active people exercising away given the amount we ate out – but hey I was on vacation and my brother had a whole slew of restaurant recommendations. What can I say he is my brother after all.