Saturday, 18 May 2013
Dinner around Canary Wharf doesn't have to break the bank, if you look hard enough, there are some restaurants serving good food at a fraction of the price of their flashy neighbours. One such place is Parlour, facing onto Canada Square, an oasis of green between the skyscrapers.
We visited on a warm evening when the large glass front was fully open with crowds enjoying cocktails outside on the edge of the green. Inside the look is one of English whimsy - not traditional in the sense of a classic British restaurant, but traditional in that it playfully uses various elements to create a caricature of Englishness.
The specials list is attached with a clothes peg and chips are served in plant pots, demonstrating Parlour's relaxed atmosphere. We started with an Aperol spritz after following the diagram on the drinks menu plotting different flavours of cocktails, wines and beers. If you're the sort of person that is baffled by extensive wine lists or confused by ridiculous flavour descriptions, you'll welcome a simple system - failing that roll a dice!
We kicked off our meal with a sharing platter of prawns with garlic, chilli and lime and flatbread, setting us up nicely for our main course. Between courses, we also tried the BBQ whiskey sour with bacon-infused Nikita whisky, lemon, sugar, egg white and topped with a rather of crispy bacon. Remarkably, for a drink packed with bacon, this was on the list of 'skinny cocktails' and contained just 85 cals, one of the least fattening on offer.
For mains, we chose the steak frites - an 8oz sirloin accompanied by a plant pot of chips and the lamb burger, served with a mini fryer basket of chips. The sirloin, perfectly medium-rare was pink in the middle and lightly seared on the outside. Served alongside chips, onion rings, mushroom and tomato, it's a treat. The lamb burger was banging too. As with the cocktails, healthy options are available and they can be served skinny and carb free if requested. We went for the full carb option, with meat from London's longest-established butcher, plus feta, tzatziki and sweet peppers.
The food was great, but the best part was the surprisingly reasonable prices. Many places around Canary Wharf charge many times more than Parlour, we'll definitely be going back again.
The Park Pavillion, 40 Canada Square Park, London, E14 5FW
Friday, 17 May 2013
L'entrepot lives on Dalston Lane and is run by the people behind Borough Wines. The laid back joint has just launched a new brunch menu. Inside the space is attractive, huge ceilings in a warehouse style setting that caters as an eatery, a place to sit and have a coffee and a place to drink and buy great wines. A date, your mate or your mam - it's all bases covered.
The brunch here is mainly about the eggs, from your standard Eggs Benedict to baked and Gypsy Eggs. We were sold on the Gypsy Eggs - don't worry they don't come from the local caravan park - a concoction of eggs, chorizo, bacon, tomatoes, potatoes and herbs, mixed up and baked. A massive portion they are perfect for brunch and will set you up for the day, and what's more at just £6.50 they are a BARGAIN!
We also tried the rather fancy black pudding with pea pure, poached egg and bacon, again look at those prices on the menu, for the standard of food it's cheap, cheap, cheap and that ain't the birds singing. We're already putting together an army to invaders to descend next week. Excellent food, great space and HOT staff what's not to like?
Brunch is served from 11am through to 4pm. Go forth and eat eggs...
230 Dalston Lane, E8 1LA
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Word up burger fans there's a new joint in Marylebone town and it's serving grub on slabs, that's right marble slabs. The clue is in the name! The sample menu features a selection of burgers including a Wagyu Beef option, there's a lobster sarnie and soft shell crab in ciabatta as well as pulled pork on a slab. And if you need to bling up your meal, you could always add a side of seared foie gras. It's opposite new tea shop Amanzi and near to tapas joint Fat of The Land - it's all going on in Marylebone!
We're yet to go but it's on the list so we'll keep you posted!
19 Cavendish Street, London, W1G 9TZ
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Tickets cost £75 for the weekendand include lunch at Street Kitchen and entry to the after party. Or you can pay for individual events however entry is free if you just want to browse the pop-up shop by Daunt Books and Material Gallery, grab something to eat from Street Kitchen or simply sit at the Dunnefrankowski coffee bar. What's more some of the ticket profits will got to Action Against Hunger
Sat 1st & Sun 2nd June
Red Gallery, 3 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3DT
Monday, 13 May 2013
Long time readers may remember early this year when we brought you news of Beagle's opening, well now we've been down to try it out. Housed in three renovated railway arches the venue now houses a restaurant, bar and coffee shop with outdoor seating in what's fast becoming the Hackney riviera with excellent people watching opps as the trendies come and go from Hoxton overground station and a killer bakery, Fabrique up the road.
We started our visit with a couple of cocktails, the Yorkshire Rhubarb, a muddle of rhubarb gin, biter orange, rhubarb, lime and tonic water and the Mater Grey, a mixture of blanco tequila, earl grey, lemon juice, orange juice and marmalade. Both long, fruity drinks which went down a storm.
To kick off the eating we went for the crunchy Asparagus and hollandaise and the fresh new potato salad with bantam egg. For mains it was the fish dish which caught our eye, a simple yet effective dish of lightly fried bream with fennel and the tender mutton with carrots and lentils in a light broth.
A zesty pannacotta with blood orange and super light rhubarb tart sealed the deal. Beagle serves simple dishes using British ingredients, just don't go expecting pie and chips. Full marks on the wine list which features great value wines, a selection of which are available by the glass, half bottle and bottle - something for all budgets. This place is great for a first date.
Score your place on the Hackney Riveria these summer nights, who knows who you'll see!
397 - 399 Geffrye Street, London, E2 8HZ
We like a steak as much as the next guy, but sometimes it's nice to have some salad too, though the more adventurous among us sometimes need something a little different from the usual veggies. Well look what we have here, Kew Garden's latest exhibition with those Crazy Cats Bompas & Parr set to appeal to open minded foodies...
Sat 25th May - Sun 3rd Nov
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Rd, Richmond, London, Surrey TW9 3AB
Sunday, 12 May 2013
The Disappearing Dining Club was set up 3 years ago and has pretty much nailed it when it comes to supperclubs. We've visited and been impressed by the Back in 5 Minutes restaurant which went from pop-up to perm, located on Brick Lane in the back of a clothes shop. We kid you not...
Now DDC have taken over a townhouse located in Spitalfields to run events twice a month. By day the townhouse is an antique shop filled with curiosities which are all for sale - don't have too much wine or you might end up going home £2,500 lighter with a new clock. The townhouse creates a pretty grand setting and food is served on a communal table. On arrival guests are given a Grey Goose Cocktail and left free to roam the "house", no dirty knicker draws here though, it's not Come Dine With Me.
Then it's down to dinner, on the night we attended dinner kicked off with a nicely spiced curried carrot soup served in a small glass with some fresh bread. The next course was tender smoked duck breast with crunchy, creamy celeriac remoulade, duck liver parfait, apple chutney and toasted sourdough, perfectly presented on a huge board.
The main course was a fresh, flaky herb crusted salmon fillet with a posh potato salad made up of new potatoes, prawns, asparagus and lemon mussolini. Finally we were treated to Rhubarb crumble, just like your mam used to make with Swedish custard, a cold custard with the texture of a whipped cream. Cracking!
ACE food and pleasant wines, served in surrounds to rival Uncle Monty's house - it's certainly different from your usual restaurants. Get amongst it people, you might even meet some friends too!
£60 per person, including 4 courses, welcome Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktail and wine with dinner.
To book email email@example.com
Fri 24th May, 7th & 21st June, 12th & 26th July
The Town House 5 Fournier Street London E1 6QE
Saturday, 11 May 2013
A four month refurbishment has given birth to a new look Christopher's American Grill Restaurant. Now this place ain't your waltz in grab a booth kind of dinner, it's a little more sophisticated than that my dears.
We were fortunate to get an invite to their soft launch. Located in the heart of Covent Garden the venue is now spilt into two floors, upstairs is a formal dining room and downstairs is a martini bar. Inside is a bit blinging but not too over the top, the kind of place your grandma would be very happy.
The window tables come with nice view over looking The Strand, you can even see the river. The menu features mostly American classics but there are some twists too. We started with the Maryland Crab Cake, filled with tasty crab meat and Salmon Ceviche from the Raw Bar which was covered in a punchy tequila and lime dressing.
Surf and Turf Steak won the award for best macho main, when else do you get weaponry to aid your meal - think pretty woman only less of the pretty and woman. Prime Rib-eye steak, juicy and easy to cut with a half grilled juicy Maine Lobster sat on a bed of spinach and served with fries. Bosh! Slow cooked Pork Belly with creamed Corn, Crisp Pancetta, Plantain Blinis was tender meat topped with a thin crispy crackling.
For dessert we had the chocolate ice cream, which was a little disappointing and tasteless but the Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich made up for it, completely addictive you can forget about the waist line...most Americans do.
All round a decent grub and big portions, a good place to take the in-laws, parents and even grandparents.
Christopher’s 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7DD
Friday, 10 May 2013
National Vegetarian Week is this month...and what does The Big Easy say to that, BOG OFF that's what! Yes, they shun your cries of 'you b*****ds' and instead have created a mighty meaty menu. Carnivorous...are you with them?
This anti-vegetarian meal laughs in the face of greens, and will not even entertain the idea of Tofu...Tof-who? Instead you can expect a feast rammed with the meatiest dishes, strung out over three-courses with all the delights from Miss piggy, Mr cow and Mr chicken. Once you meat your match you can move onto the dessert of waffles, ice-cream and lashings of chocolate sauce. Setting you back £39.95.
Mon 20th May - Sun 27th May
The Big Easy, 332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UR
Thursday, 9 May 2013
London has had a long history with seafood, from traditional cockney jellied eels to the most expensive oysters in Mayfair. Coming up on 18th May, the Museum of London Docklands is hosting an event called Cockles & Mussels as part of the Museums at Night weekend which celebrates the relationship the city has with all things fishy from eating and drinking to poetry, talks, music and entertainment.
Kicking off at 7pm, the two and a half hour event features talks from professors from Goldsmiths College and Birkbeck College, introducing the social history that seafood has helped to form in the capital and discussing its influence on society today and in the future. Fishmongers and chef and cookery writer CJ Jackson from the world-famous Billingsgate Market will be giving demonstrations on how to prepare the perfect seafood dishes, with food available to eat from the champagne and oyster bar.
Entertainment comes from a variety of musicians including sea shanty bands and workshops, adding to the nautical theme. Poet Raymond Antrobus will be hosting a seafood poetry workshop, and Estuary, an exhibition of modern art rounds off the event. Tickets are £7 a pop.
Sat 18th May, 7pm - 9.30pm
1 Warehouse West India Quay, London E14 4AL
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
There's demonstrations, tastings and cooking contests on the agenda, and if last year's was anything to go by it will be mountains of fun! There's a raffle, wine bar and it all takes place in pretty surrounds. It's £15 for one day or £20 for the weekend and it usually sells out so don't mess about if you want in!
Sat 8th & Sun 9th June
St. Anne’s Church garden, Wardour Street, Soho, W1D 6AF
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Asia de Cuba located in the St Martins Lane hotel has launched a Dim Sum Sunday brunch, because after all it is summer and sometimes you don't want a big dirty roast...
Oh yes, there's nothing dirty about Asia de Cuba, this is pristine clean and combines fresh dim sum with rum cocktails, live Cuban Jazz and DJ's. The restaurant fuses Asian and Cuban flavours to great effect, the Sunday Brunch menu has four sections; ceviches, salads, Dim Sum and dessert.
We kicked off with the Dragon's Twist cocktail, Aba Pisco shaken with fresh lychees, dragon fruit & elderflower liqueur, finished with a dash of ginger beer. An impressive fruity concoction, these are an ideal tipple for afternoon drinkies on a Sunday day.
Food wise we ordered a selection of dishes but the standouts were the Crab Croquetas - quite steep at just under £20 however one bite and it was easy to see why - each of the four balls were crammed full of tasty crab meat. Miso Black Cod and Snow Pea rolls were our favourite of the whole bunch whilst the Seabass, Corn & Thai Basil dumplings came a close second.
Green Mango, Radish and Cucumber Thai Rolls were fresh, crunchy raw rolls, a nice contrast to the cooked dim sum whilst the Chicken, Spring onion and Ginger Wontons were crispy, meaty parcels served piping hot.
Mexican Donuts ended the meal on a sweet note, brioche donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with butterscotch sauce. Nos Gusta as they say in Mexico. A great choice for a special brunch treat, gents take your ladies they'll love it...
45 St Martin's Lane, WC2N 4HX
This is the second of our Dine Another Day feature where we will pick one dish or drink that we'd like to have another day. Dine Another Day - you g'ed it? It could be somewhere we've reviewed or just something we've eaten or drank along the way that was so great we wanted to share the love...
If you follow us on instagram you'll notice we eat this a lot and no one does Avocado on sourdough quite like The Hoxton Grill or Dean Street Townhouse. The Avocado is coated in a chilli and lemon oil dressing and topped with a poached egg. A cracking healthy breakfast.
We're huge fans of our local coffee shop, Fred and Fran who make most things from scratch. This month we're all about the Mackerel on rye bread with soft boiled egg and cucumber. It's perfect for summer lunches and F&F never fails to impress.
This dessert is the stuff dreams are made of...The White Chocolate Bavarois, blood orange and pistachio creation at 10 Greek Street really did taste as good as it looked. We just hope (and pray) it'll be on the menu more often.
Monday, 6 May 2013
There's something a bit decadent about ordering your lunch and having it arrive at your office in a neat paper bag, all fresh and healthy. No we're not talking about a Chinese takeaway we're talking about Potage a small, local food delivery service which uses ingredients from Portobello Market to create hearty lunches from scratch.
The menu changes daily with pots served chilled so that you can have it microwaved and ready to eat in 4 minutes flat. We sampled Thursday's offering which was green minestrone soup with flageolet beans and Parmesan and a slice of lemon and almond drizzle. Arriving by bike with Georgia the owner, the clear pots come in a small paper bag, the cake neatly wrapped and tied with a quirky piece of string.
The soup looked like spring in a pot, crammed full of vegetables and beans. Portions are generous too so there's no danger of an afternoon snack. What's more it's open until 9pm so perfect if you want a takeaway after work without the grease factor.
Pots cost around £6.50 but you might want to order more as delivery is £2.50 if the total is under £10. At present delivery is offered to W2, W8, W10 & W11 postcodes or further a field if the orders are large enough.
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
It's always happening in the kitchen on the house party scene and by the sounds of it it's going to be just as happening at new concept Kitchen Party. The event which launches on Thursday 9th May in Clerkenwell will see some of London's most exciting chefs as they join forces to bring you some s**t hot food, drink and entertainment - all under one roof!
Curated by Bourne & Hollingsworth,, Kitchen Party combines up to five dining experiences in one so whether it’s a patty in a bun or some swish south American sushi you're after this place is most likely have it all.
There's a cocktail bar on the ground floor which will be open from 6pm till 2am weekends alongside which will be some laid back restaurants where you can chill and eat...there's also some secret hidden away areas where you can try some one off specially designed treats (if you can find them that is!).
In the basement you'll find theatrical dining clubs for all you drama buffs, a dressing up box and some (dirty) dancing; whilst the top floor is the "posh" bit where there will be taster menus available courteously of some the capital's swanky chefs. There will be edible installations up here too if you want to get involved!
Tickets cost £15 - £50 depending on which offer you go for and there's something new each week.
Lauches Thurs 9th May
42 Northampton Road, EC1R 0HU
These guys dish out the deserts too, burnt chocolate cream, rhubarb tart and Irish cider jelly, topped with a choice of Devonshire cream, custard or ice cream. Grab yourself a booth or park on a stool at the fishmonger’s table. Prices starting at £10.50 for cod and chips and of course, they do take out.
The Fish & Chip Shop, 189 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1RQ
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
The House of Wolf opened late last year in place of The Albert and Pearl on Upper Street. The venue has three floors, each with very different decor including a pub style room on the ground floor, a first floor Apothecary Bar with a secret room (see if you can find it) and the Attic which is where most of the food is served.
The House of Wolf have an ongoing series of pop-up chef residencies which means the menu is constantly revolving except on a Sunday when Sunday Brunch is served. We went along to check out the menu which is all about the roasts....
There are two options, roast with unlimited Bloody Marys or Mimosas for £25 or roasts for £16. We sampled a Bloody Mary followed by two bloody good roasts, one lamb and one beef. The plates came piled high, a generous mound of tender meat surrounded by a whopping selection of vegetables from crunchy greens to soft roasted carrots, sweet potato and potatoes. There was even a bit of mash on there, cauliflower cheese and lashings on rich gravy. Full marks.
To follow there was the choice of two desserts, both of which sealed the deal, a cracking Rhubarb Fool and even better Apple Cobbler with Beer Custard. Job Done. For the roast with the most get yourself to The House of Wolf.
181 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RQ
If you're one for the tacos, quesadillas and big, bad burritos then this exhibition has your name all over it. For the low down on what's HOT (most of it's HOT we know) and what's not in Mexico check out Swallow magazine's 'The Mexico City Issue'. Labelled the 'anti foodie' magazine Swallow is the real deal and to add an extra twist to the new issue they've added 20 scratch and sniff stickers so you can have a good whiff around the city's towns and neighbourhoods.
The magazine is launching with a special exhibition in Shoreditch so you can go down and get a sniff of smells taken straight from the streets of downtown Mexico city in person and pick up a copy whilst your there. What's more if you head down on Sunday between 11am - 3pm you'll be treated to free brunch, Huevos Rancheros from London food collective Family and Mexican coffee. Can't make it? Fear not the exhibition will be open for your smelling pleasure from 10am - 4pm weekdays and 11am - 4pm on weekends.
Fri 3rd May - Thurs 9th May
18 Hewett Street, London, EC2A 3NN
Summer rooftop pizza. Now doesn't that sound like something you'd have to get on a plane to find? Oh no, no! You needn't look no further than a short walk from Liverpool Street, we can't tell you exactly where...see it's secret...only you are given that info once a booking is made. Anyway what we are trying to tell you is Forza Win is back and booking is now open on dates between 30th May and 21st September on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Tickets are priced at £30 and include a drink on arrival, a starter (panzanella) and then you'll be rolled into a pizza tasting menu so that by the time you leave you'll have eaten a whole pizza...on a rooftop. This went huge last summer so if you want it then don't hang about.
Now watch a man get hit in the face with some pizza dough...in slow-mo!
To make a booking visit their bookings page here.