With every Valentine’s Day comes an inevitable bad card. Whether it’s a droopy-eyed puppy on the front, a sickly message written inside or even a dreaded mystery sender, we all know what to expect on February 14th.
But rather than throw the card away or banish it to the depths of your drawer, Pizza East Kentish Town want you to celebrate the art of a terrible Valentine’s Day card by joining their three day card amnesty.
From Wednesday 13th until Friday 15th February, Pizza East Kentish Town will be offering customers the unique opportunity to hand over their Valentine’s Day cards for a £5 Margerita Pizza and swap some emotional cheese for hot, stringy Mozzarella.
Located on Highgate Road in between Gospel Oak and Kentish Town tube stations, Pizza East Kentish Town serves rustic pizzas made from traditional, seasonal ingredients. All pizzas are made with a ciabatta-style, slow-proved dough that is made in-house every day.
So friends, lovers, brothers and mothers head down to Pizza East Kentish Town and exchange those tasteless cards for a delicious £5 piz-za the action.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when Lanky Girl and I recently went along to Zorita’s Kitchen. Tucked away between Blackfriars and Mansion House, it’s not the easiest restaurant to find, but it proved to be well worth the wait.
Food and wine experts David and Louisa guided us through a bespoke menu, sampling delicious cooked meats and cheeses from across the Duerto Valley. The ethos of Zorita’s Kitchen is on ‘slow grow’, focusing on the simplicity and high quality of food and wine served in the restaurant, and you can really taste it in the meats and aromatic cheeses.
There’s a real emphasis on quality ingredients, and the cheese is even made at Zorita’s Kitchen’s very own farm, all complemented by wines recommended by staff who really know their stuff.
The wines are definitely one of Zorita’s Kitchen’s selling points, my favourite had to be the Hacienda Zorita Veiga de la Reina Verdejo 2011 (£9.99 plus a 7.50 corkage fee when dining in) which won best white wine in the world 2012 at the Concours Mondial Brussels. If you fancy yourself to be a wine connoisseur, Zorita’s also run wine tasting events.
As the area is mainly populated by business people who have little time to spare for lunch and may prefer to dine alone, I’m not sure how the heavy oak tables – designed to encourage a Mediterranean communal dining experience – will be used to best effect. However, with a new restaurant opening in South Kensington soon, I’m sure Zorita’s Kitchen will have scores of families flocking to try a flavour of the Duerto Valley.
I’ve been a bit of a greedy little piggy the last few weeks eating lots of nice food. Pho Spitalfields is one of the many places I have been lucky enough to dine at. On an icy cold day in London, a friend and I popped into Pho Spitalfields Vietnamese restaurant on Brushfield Street for a spot of lunch. With the weather being so cold all I was thinking about was eating some hot spicy food to get the blood pumping again.
Pho’s concept is very laidback and simple, Pho Spitafield’s is housed in an old building and the furnishings were spartan and simple, much like you would find in an old Vietnamese cafe. We were shown to our table by a very nice lady before starting our Pho experience by enjoying a cup of Jasmine tea and Vietnamese coffee. The coffee was a nice wake up and the condensed milk made it nice and sweet.
For starters I opted to try the Nem Nuong which are pork and lemongrass meatballs. I expected these to be really spicy but they were fairly mild and I couldn’t really taste much lemongrass but with the chilli dipping sauce the balls were nice. Ewa went for the Goi Cuon Tom which were delicious prawn rolls served cold.
Now, for my favourite part of any meal the main course. I tried the wok fried noodles, with chicken and chilli. This tasted amazing! Lovely succulent chicken with firm noodles cooked in a spicy sauce, very yummy. The peanuts were a nice way to give the dish a bit of a crunchy texture. I completely cleared my plate! Ewa opted for the Bun Tom Hue soup which I was shocked at how large it was when it arrived, I would think that it could easily serve as a dish for two. Also we both had a bit of giggle when Ewa was asked if she wanted a bib. I can see why though, as trying to drink the soup with the wooden spoon was messy.
We were so stuffed after two courses that we decided to pass on dessert.
Overall, we had a nice lunch at Pho, it definitely has a fuss-free laid back vibe about which we liked. The staff were courteous and friendly and we didn’t feel hurried to leave. For a chain Pho serves quite reasonable food in terms of price and quality.
How time has flown by! Now that another year has passed its time to look back on all the things that I did in London 2012. For me 2012 was a year of many changes! Lots of new experiences and discovering different parts of London I didn’t know about. Here is my year in pictures.
Last week my sister and I were invited to check out a new addition to the London burger scene BRGR.Co in Soho. Being a bit of a burger fiend (I have been known to visit a certain burger chain more than once a week). I was quite excited to see what their offerings would be like. We arrived to find the restaurant bustling with diners and after being welcomed by friendly staff we found our table in the corner. My first impression of the restaurant was that it was intimate and warm. The interior was quite quirky and considering BRGR.Co hails from Lebanon it was very obviously American in style.
Now for the food, the menu had simple American favourites like Mac N’Cheese , Sloppy Joe’s and of course burgers. We opted for Vanilla and chocolate milkshakes to start off with and we both agreed they were pretty good. Sometimes ordering milkshake with burgers can seem like the wrong thing to do as it can leave you with little room to eat anything else, however BRGR.Co’s milkshakes were quite light.
For starters we ordered Mac N’Cheese and sloppy Joe. The starters were bigger than we had anticipated and I began to worry that I wouldn’t have any room for the burgers. The sloppy joe had a nice sweetness to it and the bread bun was quite doughy. My sister said the Mac N’Cheese was nice enough although the cheese had quite a strong flavour.
For the main course we both opted for 4oz burgers, fries and extra pickles on the side. I was quite impressed with the burgers, good-sized, the meat was succulent and the fries were lovely and crisp. I think though considering the size of the mains that if I visit again I will avoid ordering a starter.
Now, by this point I was positively stuffed so my sister suggested that we share a dessert. From the menu we opted to try the apple crumble. I took two mouthfuls and nearly had a cardiac lol! I can’t say I loved this dessert as I’ve always had apple crumple which was very moist and served hot where as the apple was lukewarm and the crumble was very dry to eat. I guess this is possibly closer to the way American’s eat it?
All in all we quite enjoyed our dinner at BRGR.Co the service was prompt and we didn’t feel rushed which was good. The menu is simple but the food was of a good standard. A nice dinner option in Soho. There is a lot of competition in the burger market in London at the moment so I think BRGR.Co will have to try hard to find a way to make themselves stand out of the crowd.
Mashsteak, a Modern American Steakhouse run by Danes? Yes I was a little surprised to learn so myself but then again having tasted some bloody good steaks at the Danish Imagination Festival Pop Up during the Olympics I had high expectations. Taking advantage of the 50% off deal during their soft opening Lanky Girl headed down to Soho one evening to see what it was all about.
Arriving at the restaurant we were greeted by a doorman and friendly reservation staff who called down to the reception to see if there were any free tables. After a bit of a wait when it seemed like we may have to find somewhere else to eat we were told to go on down. Yay! Descending a very long flight of stairs we were welcomed into what I can only describe as the largest restaurant I have ever dined in!
Apparently this place is aiming to do 300 covers for lunch and dinner which is no mean feat! I was pretty impressed with the decor which was definitely American, bold, stylish and large! I really liked the choice of red interior and booth seating areas. I did wonder though that the sheer size of the place may have meant that the quality of service would suffer but my fears were put to rest as our waiter for the evening was both friendly and attentive.
The menu at Mashsteak is pretty varied and even if you’re not a steak lover like my dining partner there are a couple of fish options for you to choose from, although this place isn’t really for pescatarians.
Okay, so what about the food? Well I decided to opt for the American style steak (from Greater Omaha, Nebraska and corn-fed) and fries with creamed spinach accompanied by a glass of Charles Smith Riesling and my partner went for the grilled sea bream with mash potato. The American steak was probably the safe option and I think I return I shall try the Uruguayan and Wagyu varieties. Overall I was happy with the quality of the steak, it was cooked nicely, tender and had a lovely smokey flavour. London has a lot of quality steak floating around at the moment and for me Mashsteak will have to do more to stand out.
I do think though due to its size and ambience it will be popular with large groups of friends looking to dine out and businessmen who are looking to impress their clients.
On Tuesday evening Lanky Girl and Co went to an event hosted by Qype at Kerbisher and Malt a rather cute and contemporary chip shop on Shepherds Bush Road in Hammersmith. Fish and Chips are one of those dishes that everyone tends to have strong opinions about. I went to the event thinking I knew as much as there was to know about fish and chips but came away surprised at how much I didn’t know. Being brought up in East London I can remember enjoying countless trips to our local chip shop Brothers when either of my parents couldn’t be bothered to cook. No other chip shop I have visited has been able to better my childhood chippy until now!
Kerbisher and Malt’s selling point is the fact that the food is stripped down, unadulterated and tasty!
For the environmentally conscious it is helpful to know that:
The fish they buy is fresh and bought unfrozen from Billingsgate market from sustainable stock.
They make their own batter from scratch and fish is available to buy battered, grilled or covered in matzo meal.
The chips are double fried and the oil they use is recycled into bio fuel. I was particularly impressed when they told us their food was free from preservatives and additives.
On entering the restaurant we were received by founders Nick and Saul who proceeded to give us a history of how they started and what makes their fish and chips so good. We were also were given fried calamari that I’m not embarrassed to say I could not stop eating!
To try we were given Cod, Coley and haddock to try and many of us could not tell the difference much to my chagrin. For someone who doesn’t like batter having the option of grilled fish was perfect. The fish tasted fresh, perfectly cooked and delicious. We also enjoyed chips, fennel salad, homemade baked beans and a glass of sherry. By the end of the meal I was stuffed and smiling! Kerbisher and Malt definitely deserve the praise that has seen it voted best contemporary chip shop in Britain by Esquire magazine.
Lanky Girl’s verdict? Easily the best fish and chips I have tasted in a long time. Next time you’re in Hammersmith definitely pay them a visit.
If you follow me on Twitter you have probably seen me going on about Novikov a new Asian and Italian restaurant in Mayfair, London. To celebrate my new job Mr WP, The London Perspective’s resident love doctor and I went along to Novikov on Wednesday last week. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Novikov since it opened a few months ago and being a fan of Asian food I just had to check it out. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by some friendly and attractive front of house staff who took our coats and showed us to our table. The Asian restaurant is on the first level and its Italian counterpart is on the lower level. On this particular Wednesday it was obvious we were lucky to get a table.
The low lighting and club like music gives Novikov an edgy and glamorous feel. The restaurant is utilitarian in style with wooden benches and simple paper menus. I found the menu to be fairly diverse and had similar offerings that you would find at places like Hakkasan and Nobu. For my starter I opted for Har Gau dim sum and WP went for the warm crispy duck with peking dressing. While we were waiting for our starters we were served a sort of cabbage in chilli sauce which was very tasty. When our starters came I was a little disappointed as the size of the har gau dumplings were small compared to what I have had in other restaurants. Although this was remedied as the har gau tasted delicious easily on the level of what I have eaten at Yauatcha. Being still hungry I pinched some of WP’s duck salad. The salad was also commendable and I enjoyed the sweetness of the pomegranate contrasted with the duck. For the main course I ordered steamed seabass with ginger, spring onion and soy and special char sui fried rice. I have to say that even though the texture of the fish was good I found the taste bland and boring. The rice wasn’t much better as it was overcooked and unexciting. Considering the prices of the dishes on the menu you do expect the dishes to pack some punch. We also had a long wait between the first and second courses. The wine list was at least fairly reasonable for Mayfair and we washed our food down with a nice glass of Sauvignon blanc.
So what is my verdict? Well WP and I both agreed that for the prices you are buying more the atmosphere than the food. My experience of Novikov was mixed, although we enjoyed our starters we were disappointed by the mains so we probably won’t be returning anytime soon. There are just too many other better restaurant offerings in the same price bracket for our tastes.
A meal for two plus one bottle of wine came to £140 pounds.