Category Archives: restaurants

A review of Bistrotheque Restaurant, Bethnal Green

credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749
credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749

I am not quite sure how Bistrotheque managed to escape my radar for so long. When my date told me he was taking me to a nice restaurant in Bethnal Green my first thought was er….Bethnal Green..seriously? Oh dear.

Bistrotheque is a French style restaurant housed in an old warehouse hidden down the back streets of Bethnal Green. It is popular with the East End fashion pack and in true fashionista style there are no signs on the front to tell you its there (probably why it had escaped my radar for so long).

We dined early on a Monday evening and found the restaurant quiet. Bistrotheque is decked out in utilitarian chic with a painted concrete floor and brick walls, Crittall windows, industrial drop lighting, marble-topped tables and black bentwood chairs. It also has an open kitchen which is nice for those of us who like to see how our food is prepared.

Now for the food, for my starter I chose the charcuterie while my date went for the steak tartare. Both nice enough to start with. Next the main courses. I was torn between going for the longhorn rib of beef with portobello mushrooms and the whole wild sea bass and salsa verde. As it turns out I made the wrong choice. I didn’t end up enjoying much of the fish as it was filled with the tiniest bones, after almost choking a few too many times I abandoned my sea bass and joined my date tucking into his beef haha! The longhorn beef was adequate but for 32 pounds I would have expected to be blown away. Still it’s not all negative, we both chose creme brulee for desert which was delicious.

The best part of the night was the entertainment. It turns out that Bistrotheque has its own choir! Not many restaurants can say they have that. The choir performed two songs one of which was Nirvana’s ‘Entertainer’! We certainly were entertained and it did kind of make up for some of the disappointment on the food front.

Overall l, I enjoyed my visit to Bistrotheque, it definitely is a unique dining experience, however I’m not sure the food lives up to the hype.

Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms
Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms

Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde
Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde

creme brulee
creme brulee

Bistrotheque house choir
Bistrotheque house choir

A Review of Afternoon Tea At The Wellesley Hotel, knightsbridge

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The Wellesley Hotel, Knighstbridge

First blog post of the New Year!

So in my last post I talked about how I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging in January….

However, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Wellesley Hotel for some afternoon tea. Trying to find a place for afternoon tea close to Christmas is a bit of a mission. So we took a bit of a gamble with The Wellesley but it definitely paid off! The hotel is a fairly new addition to Knightsbridge and is situated next door to the Lanesborough Hotel. Decorated in an art deco style this place is all about detail, elegance and luxury.

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The Wellesley’s impressive marble floored entrance

We arrived on a windy and wet Sunday evening to be greeted by staff  at The Wellesley and were shown to the beautiful  Jazz lounge. Not having had the chance to check the rooms out before we had booked I was blown away by the opulent and luxurious interior, especially the larger than life chandelier ( bling bling)!

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The Jazz Lounge at The Wellesley Hotel

After we had settled into our seats the waiter explained to us the various types of tea and we were given the chance to  test their aromas. I opted for a black tea which had vanilla notes. This proved to be a good choice to counter the sweetness of the pastries.

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Vanilla Black tea

Courtesy of the chef we received a surprising and very tasty extra, a strawberry pannacotta.

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strawberry pannacotta

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Lanky Girl getting ready for some delicious pastries,

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Afternoon Tea and pastries at the Wellesley

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The afternoon tea was pretty extensive – we enjoyed a selection of homemade finger sandwiches,  assorted pastries, warm raisin & plain scones  homemade preserves & clotted cream. While we took tea we were quietly serenaded by a pianist.

For 35 pounds we thought the afternoon tea at The Wellesley was definitely worth every penny. Staff were very attentive and we had as many refills of our teapot as we needed. We couldn’t even finish the array of pastries that we were given, luckily we got to take the rest home in a goody bag!

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Day 10 – Dine at new American Restaurant Jackson & Rye, Wardour Street Soho

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I’m always excited to hear about new restaurant openings. Jackson & Rye is a New York style restaurant in Soho which opened on Monday

It is open from 8am until midnight, seven days a week and will offer all-day dining and a 10-seat cocktail bar.

The American-themed menus are inspired by US east coast cuisine, as well as the best elements of the West coast and Southern states.

Highlights on the all-day menu include: gruyère cheeseburger; buttermilk chicken two ways; veal, beef and ricotta meatballs; and prime cut steaks with roast shallot and pinot nero sauce. Hmm yummy!

Take a sneak peak of the brunch menu below:

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I visited Jackson and Rye yesterday and it seems that word has already got around, so if you want to try their cuisine I suggest you reserve yourself a table! 

London food discoveries – Upsy Daisy Bakery, Stamford Brook, Hammersmith

upsydaisy bakery
upsydaisy bakery

One of the best things about living in London is the plethora of places to eat and shop. London food discoveries is a new thing that I am adding to the blog – short and sweet I hope you will enjoy these posts enough to give these places a try.

One of my recent London food discoveries is the Upsy Daisy Bakery and tearoom in Hammersmith. Last saturday a friend  took me to there for spot of tea and cake.

The bakery sells the most scrumptious and unusual cupcakes which are available to takeaway or try in their small but perfectly decorated tea room. We tried the earl grey and lemon and chocolate flavoured cupcakes, washed down with some lovely vanilla tea.

Classic chocolate cupcake and vanilla tea
Classic chocolate cupcake and vanilla tea

Earl Grey and Lemon cupcakes.Upsy Daisy Bakery also offer a fabulous range of afternoon teas staring from 6 pounds for a cream tea. its definitely a place worth visiting if you find yourself in the area and have some time to kill.

Ffionas British Restaurant – Kensington -a review

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Ffionas is a quaint and homely little British restaurant in Kensington run by a formidable lady named Fiona. Recently I was to invited to try their brunch menu.

Situated on Kensington Church Street (we almost missed it! ) the restaurant is small and perfectly formed. I loved the homely look and feel – the musical notes on the ceiling, blue print wallpaper and fresh flowers made it easy to relax here. I suspect it is one of the reasons why the restaurant appeals to customers – it will be celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

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Ordering from the brunch menu my date who was nursing a hangover chose the all day breakfast. When it arrived I was slightly jealous having gone for pancakes, bacon and egg.

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Both of us attacked our food with great gusto and finished it all. Happily full cured of his hangover we both agreed that the food was good and simple, just like your mum may have made at home.
If you find yourself in the area give them a try.

Up until December you can get 25% off Brunch at Ffiona’s which is a nice incentive.

An Exclusive preview of Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu

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The Gaucho Picaddilly

It’s Chocolate week! Around the UK tastings and events from the UK’s best chocolatiers are underway. To celebrate Gaucho restaurants have launched an chocolate inspired menu and recently I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive preview at the Gaucho Piccadilly.

Gaucho’s Chocolate Week will see the British love of chocolate combined with Argentina’s renowned beef and Malbec to create a memorable dining experience.

The first part of the evening entailed us being introduced to Malbec family of wines by Gaucho sommelier Ian O’Reilly before going on to taste them with different flavoured chocolates.

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Malbec Wines

Othe guests at Gaucho
Cavas de Gaucho wine room

The first chocolate we tasted was a 70% dark chocolate chosen to highlight the classic match between Malbec and chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate was countered by the sweetness of the tannins that Malbec is so famous for. The second chocolate was coffee and vanilla flavoured  and was chosen to extract the oak influence of the Vina Patricia Malbec. The final and most controversial choice of the evening was the violet flavoured chocolate. Malbec is extremely well known for its floral characteristics with violets always present. The violet chocolate was chosen due to its strong character. It highlighted the Malbec’s ability to tone down the strength of the chocolate whilst the chocolate lifted the floral side of the wine.  I have to say out of all the chocolates I enjoyed the Coffee and Vanilla most for its silky feel on the pallet.

After this it was time to eat and boy we were in for a treat! The first course of braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus was delicious, for me there was just the hint of the chocolate which worked well with humita.

Braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread
Braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus

The next course was slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork. I was worried the chocolate would be overpowering but it complemented the pork beautifully and chilli gave the dish a nice kick.

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Slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork matambre

The menu ended on a high with a gorgeous desert of white chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline served with a glass of Zuccardi Port Malbec. I polished off every bit of the desert and the zucardi provided a perfect blend of sweetness to compliment the white chocolate moose.

White chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble
White chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline

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Gaucho Chef

The Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu costs £65pp and is available at all 14 Gaucho until Saturday 20th October so hurry!

For bookings for the Chocolate Week Menu, please contact your local Gaucho restaurant  www.gauchorestaurants.com



A Review of McQueen Restaurant and Bar – Shoreditch

Where do all the cool kids go for dinner? Apparently Mcqueen restaurant in Shoreditch. Recently I was invited along to try out McQueen’s pre-theatre menu. Most people know McQueen as a funky bar/club in Shoreditch but it actually does excellent food too.

McQueens Restaurant -Shoreditch

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The interior of the restaurant is  vintage and retro with huge leather Chesterfield sofa´s, padded walls which are covered with photos of the great Steve McQueen. Lighting was warm and intimate which in my opinion makes it sexy and inviting a great place to bring a date.

For the first course I went for butternut squash and coconut soup which was more was really rich and smooth, it was more butternut than coconut and the chilli gave it a nice kick. My fellow dinner Tiny Cook N kitchen, opted for the Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad which she liked so much she has said she will tried to make at home.

butternut squash soup and coconut
butternut squash and coconut soup

Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad
Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad

Next was the main course I went for the grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choi and peppercorn sauce. The sweet potatoes were so creamy and sweet I could have eaten a whole bowl and the pork was nicely done. The bok choi I found to be bit overcooked and to be honest It didn’t really add much to other parts of the dish for me. My dining partner opted for the mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken and salsa verde which kind of reminded me of something we often eat in Nigeria.

Grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choy and peppercorn sauce
Grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choy and peppercorn sauce

Mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken, salsa verde
Mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken, salsa verde

Lastly came dessert which we both agreed was delicious! I am now a fully fledged salted caramel convert. I chose the mixed berry cake which was light, moist and creamy.

Assorted ice cream Salted caramel
Assorted ice cream Salted caramel

mixed berry cake
mixed berry cake

Mscqueens Shoreditch Bar

All in all I really enjoyed my trip to McQueen and considering the pre-theatre menu is only 15 pounds this makes the meal a bargain, I will be back!

 Tiny cook n kitchen said:

I can’t speak for the rest of the menu but the pre-theatre menu is a steal! My dishes were well presented and more importantly, really delicious. I’m still salivating over the goat cheese and fig salad starter and the ice cream for dessert was a winner. The bouncer we encountered on arrival was a little grizzly but our waiter for the evening was charming with the right level of tact, which many restaurants often fail at. Best served with a bunch of good friends or with a dinner date.

A review of Clapham Tandoori Restaurant

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Trying to find a really good Indian restaurant has been a mission of mine for a while. The last memorable Indian restaurant I had been to had been about 5 years ago, so when I received details about an Indian in Clapham I didn’t raise my hopes too high. Clapham Tandoori is based very close to Clapham Common station and has been serving up traditional Indian cuisine to south Londoners for over 40 years.

I took my friend Miss Mint along to review their dishes, coming from Bradford Miss Mint knows how to spot a good curry.  When we arrived on a Tuesday evening the restaurant was quiet but slowly started to fill up before we left. Clapham Tandoori is a family owned restaurant and the reception we received made us feel right at home.  Our waiter was friendly and attentive and made sure that we got what we needed.

We started off by ordering some Poppadoms which came with 4 massive dips. This should have been the first indication of the portion sizes at Clapham Tandoori which are definitely on the generous size.

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For our main courses we went for the chicken pasanda, chicken bhuna and sag aloo served with bread and pilau rice.  This was my first time trying the pasanda and I was really impressed. The dish was creamy and rich and the chicken was succulent. My friend Miss Mint was equally impressed with her bhuna and we both agreed that we both would visit Clapham Tandoori again. Miss Mint more likely than myself as she is a local, so I suspect she will become a regular to the restaurant. We both finished eating with smiles on our faces and stuffed bellies.

Chicken Bhuna
Chicken Bhuna

Sag Aloo
Sag Aloo

Chicken pasanda
Chicken pasanda

So now  I have a favourite Indian. If you find yourselves in the area do pay them a visit, you won’t be dissappointed!

For more information please visit: http://www.clapham-tandoori.co.uk/

Clapham Tandoori

10 Clapham Common South Side,

London SW4 7AA

Dim Sum and Cocktails at The Courtesan, Brixton

The Courtesan - Brixton
The Courtesan – Brixton

I very rarely find myself in Brixton,  but what I am slowly learning is that South London is a becoming a bit of a foodie mecca.

Recently I was invited to sample dim sum and cocktails at The Courtesan restaurant in Brixton. Just on Atlantic Road The Courtesan has a very cool 1920s vibe and decor.

The night started with some cocktails, which were strong! Unfortunately as I had a upset tummy I had to forgo drinking but my friend said they were pretty good.

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Cocktails at The Courtesan Restaurant

Being a bit of a dim-sum-aholic I do feel I can comment on the quality of Courtesan’s dim sum. It was good! And also a bit random! I tasted crocodile for the first time and really liked it! For me my favourite was the steamed seafood dim sum with wasabi. The combination wasn’t something I had tried before I felt it gave it a nice kick.

This is what we ate:

Roast pork Buns
Roast pork Buns

Wasabi King Prawn Dumplings
Wasabi King Prawn Dumplings

Grilled Crocodile and spicy chilli sauce
Grilled Crocodile and spicy chilli sauce

The Courtesan is already proving popular with reviewers so I can only throw my own hat in and say if you find yourself in the area do pay it a visit: The Courtsean Restaurant, 69-73 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London SW9 8PU

 

 

Lanky Girl Attends The Royal Quarter Cafe Launch Party in Victoria

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Victoria is undergoing an exciting period of transformation – and the foodie scene is flourishing, as it continues to emerge as a hub for Londoners, office workers, residents and tourists alike. One of the first newrestaurants to open is the the Royal Quarter Café. The menu is a modern mix of seasonal and healthy comfort food including homemade bread and pastries, all day breakfast, sandwiches and soups, sharing plates, hearty salads, afternoon tea and cakes and tarts. All of the delicious food is available to eat in or takeaway.

To celebrate the launch local residents, bloggers and press were invited to taste some of the dishes on offer and meet the owners Valeria and Doron Zilkha who also own other branches in Chelsea, Battersea and Tottenham Ct Road. The food and pastries where incredible and we had to practically roll ourselves home at the end of the evening. If you find yourself in Victoria it is definitely worth stopping by for a bite to eat. 

Here are some pictures from the event. 

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