Tag Archives: tastecard

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 🙂

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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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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