As a proud Clapham resident, I’ve watched with delight as, over the last year and a half, a whole host of great new restaurants and bars have sprung up. Gentrification may be a bitch for house prices (£600k for an average two bed!!!), but it sure does breed decent eateries….
I review Joe's Southern Kitchen's new site in Kentish Town, North London. To give you a heads up: I bloody love this place.
Get ready for jaw dropping, heart stopping gluttony from myself, some very badly behaved fried chicken and a lot, oh a lot of melted cheese.
A rare 9/10 from me.
I haven’t eaten much in Parsons Green. Mostly because despite being a short hop as the bird flies from Clapham, the public transport links there are absolutely dreadful and I’m an intolerable lay about. There’s but a few things that can tempt me onto a 45 minute tube and the promise of great food is one of them. So when I was recommended Koji Japanese restaurant and promised by the reliable prompts of Gary from The Foodaholic, I packed up my kindle and set out on a district line odyssey to this leafy common area.
Guest piece by Tom Smith
I was kindly asked to cover an event while my good friend Lucy was out of the country on another exciting assignment. When I found out that luxury travel company Belmond had invited her to spend Sunday afternoon on a luxury 1930's inspired train (the sister train of the Venice Simplon Orient Express!) puffing through the countryside and that I would be treated to a 5 course lunch by celebrity chef James Martin... I snapped her hand off to cover it!
We headed to York train station and were greeted by Samantha at Belmond then taken to the platform to await the Northern Belle train.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I love Vietnamese food. I’m excited to introduce to you a fun new place to go for it. MOC Kitchen has opened recently in Charing Cross and is a super casual eatery with a takeaway offering too. It’s the first restaurant venture by Ms Lan Nguyen from Hanoi who aims to bring fresh Vietnamese food from scratch to the London market, using lesser known Vietnamese herbs and ingredients, many of which, I was told, have medicinal properties!
Recently I got to try a fun new cider that just hit the UK market and one with a bit of a ‘twist’. Bhai Cider is real life Indian cider made with apples grown on the foothills of the Himalayas, designed to pair with spicy Indian foods. The concept makes sense; spice and sweet work together well, much better than the more traditional accompaniment to a curry – a pint of lager.
These are a fabulous accompaniment to cheese, game, cold meats or pates. Sharpness and sweetness, side by side, dancing in harmony. The cinnamon adds a good warmth and tastes just like Christmas. I served these first alongside a seared foie gras starter on Christmas Day of 2012. It went well, but works deliciously with lots of other things too!
Tasty and a little bit different.
Ingredients (makes about a cup):
2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons salt
1 cinnamon stick
1. Put a cup of balsamic vinegar, a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of salt into a pan and bring to the boiling point. Take off the heat and pour over the cherries and add the cinnamon stick. Pour straight into a jar and seal, if you want to keep it - you can store this for months. If you want to eat it immediately, leave to infuse for 4+ hours and serve.
With the sandals on, sunglasses out and skins exposed, it is officially summer in London. Long gone are the days of requesting a table away from the door in fear of the cold drafts and spending the evening eating potato soup -- for the next three months, The Doodle Bar is collaborating with The Grub Club to bring about a series of weekend alfresco lunches with entertainment.
Those of you who keep your eyes on the Michelin lists will know that a couple of years ago a Peruvian restaurant in London, LIMA, won a Michelin star, the first of its genre to do so. I’ve visited, it’s great. I wasn’t aware though that they had a more casual branch called LIMA Floral over in Covent Garden doing South American style brunches, lunches and dinners, with a trendy downstairs pisco bar. Perhaps this is because pisco hasn’t been on my radar until recently. Regardless, when the opportunity arose to head down and try out their new bar menu, I leapt at it.
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