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The Collection – Review

Watch our interview with Head Chef Alex Fanzola of The Collection.

Lanky Girl has been eating out a lot lately and one of the few places to really blow me away is a new restaurant in South Kensington, The Collection. It’s interior has been designed under the direction of design genius Tom Dixon. The result is a cutting edge and modern interior with plush velvet chairs and  intimate lighting making it very inviting. Lanky Girl and Co headed down to The Collection on a Wednesday evening to sample the food and interview chef Alex Fanzola.

Upon entering the restaurant (I have to add that the walkway lighting display is magical) we were greeted by friendly staff who took our coats and showed us to our table. The layout of the restaurant is on two levels the top-level being the dining area (great for people watching on a busy night out) and the bottom being a spacious bar and lounge area.

The Collection has an extensive cocktail and wine list and we were given the chance to try two of their signature cocktails. The first being the Prince Charming cocktail which was vodka based, very fruity and zesty. The other being the Luciana Martinez  cocktail named after the model, made from slow gin, maraschino liqueur and aperol. Very strong, but delicious.

One of The Collection’s selling points is their homemade breads served with their cold pressed infused flavoured olive oils. I have to say I was blown away by the foccacio bread so moist and soft we couldn’t stop eating it and I would have finished the basket if our waiter hadn’t warned us about leaving room for the first course! We had three different olive oil dips, truffle, lemon, and basil. I have to say that my favourite was the truffle. With a focus on healthy eating all the dishes at The Collection are cooked with olive oil and no butter is used.  The Collection has a great sharing concept which means you can order 3 or 4 small plates to share with friends and family.

For starters we ordered:

Now I am always afraid of raw seafood but I was impressed by this dish, it tasted very light, fresh and zesty.

Spiced chicken, carrot puree and orange.

Chicken was soft and succulent, carrot puree had a kick to it and the orange was like finding a little sweet surprise in the sauce.

Baked prawn, basil and roast garlic.

Really lovely smoky taste to the prawn, I will order this on my next visit.

Seared veal cutlet, watercress and salsa verde.

One word. Yummy!

For main:

Hay roasted lamb shank, pistachio sauce and artichoke puree.

The lamb was cooked to perfection with lovely combination of flavours. Easily our  favourite dish of the night.

Barbecue grouper, samphire and spiced sweetcorn.

Grouper as a fish was new to me, it is quite meaty in texture. Additional flavour came from the samphire (which is like baby asparagus) and the tomato sauce.

For dessert:

Warm pistachio tartlet, white chocolate moose, and macerated cherries.

The caramelized top was sweet and crunchy, moose was fluffy and the cherries had sharp alcoholic taste. Only wasn’t so sure about the tart case would have preferred it without it.

Greek yoghurt panna cotta, preserved summer berries and lemon verbena.

A naughty treat!

Wines: Malbeck, red wine and Sauvignon Blanc Sancerre. 

Apart from the food, one reason that I would recommend trying The Collection is the staff. All the staff were obviously well-trained in the food and our friendly waiter gave us lots of good recommendations. It was obvious that the staff at this restaurant really care about the food and providing the best experience which made our experience very positive.

The Collection is a great place to try Mediterranean style cooking with a twist and should appeal to everyone from families to friends and those looking for healthy alternative for dinner. If you find yourself in South Kensington do go and check it out.

For more information visit http://www.the-collection.co.uk/

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Procrastination and the Royal Wedding!

First I’d like to apologise for not blogging for a whole month, gosh I can’t believe it’s been that long. I guess Uni life just took over, but now I am free and I fully intend to get back on what is going on in LONDON BABY! So we all know that the Royal Wedding is taking place next weekend….

AND some of you are probably sick of hearing about it! So some of us will be leaving London this Bank Holiday but for those of you who are staying around, great weather! So its time to sample all the great things we have in this city. Which will be my next post of course. For now I leave you with T-mobile’s video for the Royal wedding. Time for a good chuckle.

Rastamouse

I heard about Rastamouse from a friend’s daughter and at first I thought it was another silly dumbed down children’s programme but actually its quite cleverly done. I know there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding it but the kids seem to enjoy it and I think the more ethnicities are representing on TV the better. What do you think?

Reminiscing…Trip to Paris

Continuing the holiday theme this week I was looking through my holiday snaps from a couple of years ago when a friend and I spent a lovely weekend in Paris. It was my first trip to the city and for someone who is a self-confessed francophile It lived up to everything that I imagined. It even inspired me to make a very short video advertising Dating direct LOL. Okay I am not going to pretend that I have a career in advertising ahead of me, but it was good fun. I must try to take a quick trip across the channel this year!

My Daily distraction – Tuscany

http://www.deckchairvillas.com/images/resorts/Locat-151-tuscany.jpg

It’s around this time of year, when work is busy and I am feeling just that little bit overwhelmed by the amount of uni work I have to do that I let myself start to fantasize about going on holiday. This year I am hoping to go Tuscany. I fell in love with idea after watching Letters to Juliet, which was filmed in parts of Siena, Florence and Livorno. My idyllic holiday would consist of cycling through the lush green countryside, visiting the amazing food markets, wine tasting at one of Tuscany’s many vineyards and coming home in the evening to my little farmhouse rental with a pool to relax with a glass of Chianti. The best time to visit Tuscany is in the quieter part of the season, from April to June and from September to October when weather is usually good, prices lower and there are “fewer” tourists. The nearest airport is Pisa.

Letters to Juliet trailer

See for yourself…

Making a souffle..

Souffle’s are easy and quick to make. Today I made one for myself, following the recipe below. Souffle basically means “full of air” but you don’t need many ingredients in order to make it.

Hot Vanilla Souffle Recipe

Hot Vanilla Souffle Recipe with Vanilla Essence, Butter, Flour, Milk, Sugar and Eggs

INGREDIENTS

1 oz (25g) Butter
1 oz (25g) Plain Flour
1/4 pint (150ml) Milk
1 oz (25g) Castor Sugar
Vanilla Essence
4 Eggs

METHOD

Heat the oven Mark 5 or 400F or 200c and have ready a thoroughly greased 6 inch (150mm) souffle dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, cook together gently for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk, beating constantly to keep the sauce smooth. Bring to the boil stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and vanilla essence – about 1/4 teaspoon depending on the strength of the essence – and leave until the saucepan itself is cool enough to handle comfortably. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold carefully through the souffle mixture. Turn into the prepared dish and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Based on the Hot Vanilla Souffle Recipe in:
The Book of Sweets & Puddings
by Myrtle Lindlaw (Spectator Publications 1967).

Taken from http://www.retrofoodrecipes.com/hot_vanilla_souffle_1967.html