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Sunday Roast: Duchy Arms, Kennington

13 Sep

I’m always looking for a pub with a good Sunday roast. London may do the vegetables well, but you struggle to find the lashings of meat and gravy that you get in the north! One pub even charged me extra for my extra gravy. While watching an episode of Celebs go dating recently, I saw that Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby actually took her own tupperware tub of gravy on a date – that seriously was my new mindset on how to go about my roast dilemma. Kennington is an odd one too in that there are nice places (take the Tommyfield and The Dog House) but they are so pricey, packed and hard to sit comfortably on a sofa or on a table a wee bit too small.

I came across the Duchy Arms on my way back from Tesco last month, Matt and I popped in for a pint and I was pleasantly surprised at the Edwardian decor, range of cask ales and spacious layout.
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I returned this weekend to sample their Time Out recommended Sunday Roast and I was suitably impressed. With one course at £12.95, two courses £15.45 and three courses at £17.95 I opted for the two courses with chicken wings to start and lamb leg roast. Firstly, the portions are great. After a busy day of cleaning, packing for holidays and gardening we hadn’t eaten and this filled the gap very nicely. The wings had just the right amount of spice and lashings of sour cream and pickled salad on the side. The roast was beautiful with so much tender lamb meat (pink how I like it) and actually they did ask how well done we’d like the meat which is great if like my parents you prefer the well done variety. It included a huge Yorkshire pudding (soft at the bottom crisp at the top as it should be!) and plenty of gravy. When I say plenty of gravy, this is a big must have for me – nowhere in London gives you enough in my opinion! To compliment it a glass of Merlot at £4.80 – not bad at all.

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Verdict: 9 / 10

The Duchy Arms – 63 Sancroft Street, Kennington, London SE11 5UG

KERB Camden Market

17 Aug

KERB Camden Market is the newest and biggest player in London’s dynamic street food scene. Open 364 days a year, 35 of the capital’s best-known and most innovative traders will offer locals, Londoners and visitors a unique eating and drinking experience in this iconic canal-side place.

To celebrate the launch I went along this week with fellow food blogger Toli Benson (Fork My Pie Hole) to sample the food and drinks from street food legends such as Mother Clucker, Crabbie Shack, Killa Dilla and Roit House.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, hasn’t Camden always done street food? Well… perhaps, but this is another level. Gone are the sad dried up noodles, strange opening hours and that uneasy feeling you get as you perch by a rubbish bin to eat your wares (all the while watching out for pickpockets or flies landing!) It’s now sleek, laid out in a sensible and easy to navigate way, plenty of sitting and leaning areas and food that isn’t just convenient but is truly restaurant quality in flavour.

Check it out at www.kerbfood.com and take a look at some of our adventure below!

Incredibly happy and full 🙂

Incredibly happy and full :-)


The Patate – French burgers, think tender tender brisket oozing in raclette cheese. or blue cheese – any cheese they offer please it is french after all! 😉

 

The Mac Factory – OMG, I don’t usually rate mac and cheese, it’s a home food and I wouldn’t pay for it. How wrong I was – this crispy topped chorizo filled mac and cheese blew my mind!


Born & Raised Pizza
– covered in honey. Such a rich and indulgent taste, mixed with a really herby and delicious tomato base.

 

Fundi Pizza

Oli Baba’s HALLOUMI FRIES – Served with Za’atar Yogurt, Pomegranate Seeds, Mint and Sumac they are so very perfectly spiced, crisp and a total tummy pleaser.

halloumio

STAKEhaus – a delicious sample of their steak and chips, dripping in garlic and herb butter. Pink and rare – just how I like it!

STAKEhaus - a delcisious sample of their steak and chips, dripping in garlic and herb butter. Pink and rare - just how I like it!

KillaDilla – more spice please, yes more – oh wow you guys know how to do spice 🙂

Boom – Belly Busted! 🙂

 

Verdict: 10/10 I cannot wait to go back!

London Eats: The Stable, Whitechapel

18 May

The Stable is a new restaurant/bar with two main items on the menu – cider and pizza! Now both of these are my favourites so I may be biased but it makes a refreshing change to London’s recent obsession with craft ale and burgers! (Not that there’s none of that going on at The Stable too!)
Conveniently located in between Aldgate East and Whitechapel underground stations this cool east London venue has a really relaxed atmosphere and the cider tasting rack is amazing moving up in dryness as you go along for the most palatable tasting experience.

about-top

Food options include pizzas, pies and salads, all of which have fresh and locally sourced ingredients. I went along to the launch night last month, and my favourite pizza was the meaty, cheesy delicious Longhorn Jim. I describe this as heaven in a slice, and the the menu describes this as:

Marinated Longhorn ground beef (from a lovely bloke in Dorset with the best herd around), Bath Pig Co. chorizo, field mushrooms, roasted red onions, our fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella. Topped with shaved Dorset air dried pork loin from award winning Capreolus of Dorset. (£13.50)

about-top

Launched first in Bristol by husband and wife team Richard and Nikki Cooper, one can see that they have succeeded in including that homely vibe in their chain of ‘stables’ across the UK. A perfect venue for dinner with friends or a cheeky date-drink-food combo!

Verdict: 8 / 10

 

Tastecard by Tube

1 Jun

At 28 years of age, working in the averagely paid media sector and living in a ridiculously expensive rented flat share in London, I often find myself down to the last few pennies before pay day. It can be relatively depressing plugging away in the city and contending with how highly priced things are. Sure, some of my friends don’t even bat an eyelid at a £6 glass of wine. I just can’t help it though as I compare everything to Newcastle price, and moreover have to scrimp at times despite being quite money savvy. My advice to anyone in my situation would be to not lose hope. Keep working hard – go out, have fun, enjoy yourself. But when you do indulge do it wisely and make sure you pay a ‘locals’ price I read of a tourists one. One useful way to do so is to sign up to restaurant discount cards such as Tastecard head over to My Voucher Codes for the latest deals) You can get 50% off food across a whole host of restaurants in the capital. 

Here are a selection of my favourites:

Kennington

Pizza Express: not an inventive choice, but a good old staple if you fancy a quick bite with friends.

The Tommyfield: This lovely little pub serves English classics, haute cuisine maybe not but a great choice for burger lovers.
Bank

– @15: A mixture of British, French and Mediteranean on the menu, ideal for stuffing your face if visiting friends after work.
Angel

Upper street in Angel has so many Tastecard options – which is just as well given it can get pricey around that area! 

Cafe La Davina: Simple, fresh Itallian food in this family run restaurant – it is a perfect restaurant for really drawing out the evening with multiple courses and wine if course!

Jamon Jamon: Formerly called Sangria it has a fair selection of Tapas dishes, though the restaurant can get a little crowded

Comedor Grill and Bar: Delicious steak, but as it’s one of those places where each side to go with the steak costs extra it can still add up on the final albeit discounted bill.

Old Steet

Thai Thai: I am almost loathed to list this restaurant as the servers there are so rude (I’ve been around ten times over the past three years, it never changes!) but my heavens they cook the most delicious thai food! If you can get over the poor service it’s definitely worth a go – try the duck curry if you want something quite fiery!

Finsbury Park / Stoke Newington

Il Bacio: Classic family run Italian food, with choices including steak, and a variation of pastas and pizza there is a really lovely warm atmosphere here.

Kings Cross

Sade Restaurant: a bit of a walk away but worth it, this Turkish restaurant serves delicious sharing platters, and for a meat lover such as myself the juiciest lamb.

St Pancras International

Fine Burger Co: Great for a quick bite before a train journey, with the freshest ingredients you can get a decent burger and divine spicy onion rings!

Oval / Vauxhall 

Mumbai Delight: phoar what a decent curry! I need say no more 🙂

Buffalo Wingtober Part 1: MEATmarket

18 Nov

‘Chicken Expert’ (trust me it’s all she eats) Toli Benson Reviews Meat Mission, Meat Liquor and MEATmarket.

life of pie hole

wing mountain, courtesy of Meat Mission... drooool wing mountain, courtesy of MEATmission… drooool

In the first of my themed months I’m tackling one of my favourite guilty pleasures… Buffalo wings… pretty much anyone that knows me knows I love chicken, I love it on the bone, and I love it hot…. Most of all I love it smothered in fiery orange buffalo sauce.

So this month was really an excuse for me to take a tour of a few of East London’s purveyors of buffalo wings and give you my humble opinion… (apologies for the slightly out of date posting of this!! I could barely lift my fingers to type after the heavy workout they were put through during Wingtober)

Part 1: MEATmarket
This is a recipe I’m well acquainted with… MEATmarket is the sister restaurant of MEATliquor and MEATmission (an ex local of mine, greatly missed from my new hood south of the river…)

I’d be lying if…

View original post 243 more words

Metolino – simple and delicious dining

11 Oct

To celebrate our anniversary my boyfriend suggested a whole array of top London restaurants and bars, that would have set him back up to £100 per head. While I appreciated the gesture the last thing that I wanted after a cocktail filled night before, and a busy day at work, was to dress up and spend ages on the tube. Not to mention I was ravenous and wanted to quite literally stuff my face with food – not really possible in the finer restaurants.

So instead I suggested an old favourite, a place I took my parents a while back and was eager to return to – local Mediterranean bistro, Metolino this restaurant is on taste card with 50% off food for up to four people. It has a cafe exterior with outdoor seating – great in the summer, but watch your belongings as the area is known for handbag theft. When you walk inside its a cosy mix of ornate Turkish lamps and random candles. It’s very homely. Randomly I would like to mention the chairs, they were really comfy. There is nothing worse than sitting on a beautiful but uncomfortable chair in a restaurant – especially when you intend to gorge yourself on multiple courses and glass after glass of wine.

We ordered the house red, which was a slightly peppery Spanish red and perfectly drinkable. We were automatically offered tap water with lemon wedges, by a very smiley and friendly waitress. The waitress was one of the best that I have had, in that she was quick to serve us but not interfering or false, and despite the restaurant not being very full she didn’t hang over us. Some restaurants treat you like second class diners when you mention taste card, but here we were treated as any other customer.

For starters we shared Calamari, halloumi and garlic bread. The calamari was very more-ish, crisp light batter and not chewy at all, and the garlic dip went well with the overall flavour. The grilled halloumi wasn’t too salty, and came with a lovely turkish style (chopped-up and well dressed) side salad. The garlic bread was utterly average, sliced garlic baguette – though this didn’t take away from the rest of the meal.

When the main course arrived I could smell the aromatic juices of the lamb shank as the waitress set it down. On a bed of mashed potato with steamed broccoli and carrots the dish was fabously plain and simple, just what I needed on a cold autumn evening. Next time I order this dish, I will however order extra gravy. This isn’t a judgement on the restaurant, but is just because I find the London serving of gravy to be too sparse for my northern tastebuds! My boyfriend had the mixed grill of chicken, lamb chops, lamb shish and kofte which again was simple but tasty. Each skewer of meat was moist and tender, the only part he found a little dry was the kofte for which he improvised and made into little sandwiches with the complimentary flatbreads instead. He loved the Turkish rice, and wolfed down the side salad (after I had stolen all of his sweet red peppers from it!) so I think he was a fan. At the end of the meal we were brought a complimentary fruit platter of strawberries, grapes, pineapple, apple and kiwi. It was a refreshing end to the meal and a lovely gesture.

Verdict: a mouthwatering 8/10 for flavour and 10/10 for value

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Eat Out – The Real Greek

20 Sep

Just because he summer is drawing to an end, does not mean the end of tasty foods such as hummus, olives and flat breads. Where better to indulge than The Real Greek, where you can have dinner for two consisting of seven dishes and two glasses of wine for the bargain price of £10 per person. The promotion can be viewed at www.therealgreek.com/promos.html

Yum!

Globe Café Bistro

1 Nov

Tastecard in hand I have been trawling the streets of London for the best place to eat out with friends. While the discount that a Tastecard brings is welcomed, I cannot help but feel that some restaurants try to give you a substandard service to compensate. Take Thai Thai in Old Street for example, mouth wateringly delicious food and at a total of £10 per person for a main and a starter (after the discount) it seems perfect. However when there the staff would not honour the offer advertised on the Tastecard website (where you only have to order one course not two) and made what should have been a simple process altogether too complicated.

The best place that I have found to date is Globe Café Bistro in Finsbury Park. The Turkish food on the menu is simple, but cooked very well. When I visited I shared the hot mezze platter for two, which consisted of falafel, grilled halloumi, fried calimari, sigara boregi and hummus. This as a starter for two is so large it could easily be between three or four. For the added touch they also give you a free plate of flatbread, dips and olives.
For the main we shared the Globe Special for two. This is a huge sharing bowl of lamb chops, lamb shish, adana shish (beef) and chicken shish. It is served with a large side salad, beautiful wild rice, roasted peppers and mushrooms. The meats have that delicous slightly barbequed taste (ironically it reminded me of the rodizio style meats from Brazil and Argentina!) and the flavours were just right. Dinner for two, plus wine came to around £30, which is certainly a bargain for the quality of the food offered.

www.globecaferestaurant.com

Tasty London

1 Oct

Right, so the aim of saving money in London is not to be tight, or miserable, or do less. It may be a credit crunch, but life is too short!

For me, it is all about living the life of luxury. But at half the price you can do twice as many fun things in London. Besides nobody wants to hang with the miser in the corner, you know the sort the one at work who declines a pint after work because they are ‘skint’, or the friend who parades around with her new handbag but has no money left to socialise.

The solution: tastecard. Formerly Taste London Card, this card gives you up to 50% off in about a million restaurants. So don’t order the pasta, order the lobster! You may even have some money left to order the posh wine. The layout of the website is also really handy and very similar to www.toptable.com as you search by postcode, get instant links to reviews, sample menus and the restaurants website. You can even search

For a limited time tastecard are offering a free 3 month trial

www.tastecard.co.uk/trial/web

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