Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ceviche

Relaxing Peruvian food in Soho


Ceviche is a Peruvian Kitchen and Pisco Bar in Soho, opened in 2012 on the back of the rising trend of Peruvian cuisine, serving refreshing dishes in small plates with signature cocktail Pisco sour. With my limited knowledge in Peruvian food, I brought along a friend who used to work in Peru to investigate Ceviche and to compare it to Lima, another Peruvian restaurant in London which we both were really impressed with when we were there last year.
Ceviche London

Club Gascon

Elegant French food in the City


Located in the city, Club Gascon is a French restaurant in West Smithfield which specialises in South Western French cooking and it has held a Michelin star for more than a decade. A popular dinner destination among the City workers, headed by one of the most respected chefs in London, Pascal Aussignac. Who has just won Restaurant Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chef 2013 Award.

The decor is pretty cosy yet elegant at the same time, but I just wished a little more space between each of the tables as I was able to hear conversations a bit too clear from the tables near to us. We went for the 5 course tasting menu at £60 per person which I must say it isn't a bad price for a high profile restaurant in the city. We were given an interesting amuse bosch to start off the dinner, the watermelon cooler acted as a palate cleanser which really freshened up our palates for the meal. Bread was warm, crisp on the edge but soft on the inside, just the kind of bread I would expect from a Michelin restaurant.

amuse bosch
bread

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Shoryu Soho

Work in progress


Operated by Japan Centre, a Japanese food specialist in London, Shoryu Soho is the second branch after Shoryu Regent Street, just a few minutes walk from the ever busy Piccadilly Circus. On my visit Shoryu was freshly opened and as a soft launch promo, all ramen were at a special offer for only £5 per bowl to the usual average £10, which is very good value for Japanese food in London. 

Shake Shack

Shaking my head hard


One of the most anticipated burger joint openings in London along with Five Guys, Shake Shack is a very successful burger chains in the US and all eyes (well at least in the foodie world) were on Shake Shack to witness what it has on offer to the ever growing burger trends in Britain. After a dreadful meal at Five Guys, I wondered if Shake Shack can restore some pride for US burgers and the result turned out to be totally the opposite.
super long queue
Shake Shack London

Monday, 15 July 2013

Five Guys

The art of PR and marketing


If you live in London, even if you are not a foodie, I'm pretty sure you will have come across some burgers topics from the newspaper and media lately, apparently there is a burger war in London with US giants Five Guys and Shake Shack setting up for a slice of the booming burgers market in Britain. It has become the talk of the town and it is like a virus, flooding all the papers and social media. So do these guys from the US merit all the buzz and hype? I visited Five Guys to see what the fuss is all about.

Gelupo

Gourmet Gelati in London


Gelupo is an iconic Italian ice cream house providing artisan gelati and other frozen goodies in Soho, the same people behind Booca Di Lupo, one of the most popular Italian restaurants in London. I had the blood orange sorbets when I was at Booca Di Lupo a while back and it was the best sorbet I've had in London.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Launceston Place

Great British cuisine 


Launceston Place is a neighbourhood restaurant serving modern British cuisine situated in a quite part of Kensington just north of Gloucester Road Station. Part of D&D London, the company behind some high profile restaurants such as Skylon and Quaglinos. Launceston Place installed Tim Allen from Whatley Manor back in early 2012 and the restaurant gained a single star in the very same year, very impressive indeed.

amuse bosch

We arrived on a sunny afternoon and went for the lunch menu which at £25 for 3 courses, is one of the best value Michelin lunches along with Kitchen W8 in London. Starting off with some lovely nibbles of cheesy filling with a dash of truffle cream at the base, this was followed by a pre starter of warm cauliflower mousse, lovely earthy flavours with a hint of sweetness. The only downside was the bread which was rather average.
bread and cauliflower mousse

Yalla Yalla

Average Lebanese in London


After a good number of drinks at Bar Artesian in Oxford Circus on an early evening, I was on the hunt for some decent cheap eat around the area. After trolling a few websites and Yalla Yalla been suggested a few times and seem like pretty good value base on a good numbers of positive reviews. The one at Winsley Street is the second branch of Yalla Yalla, it branded itself as a Lebanese restaurant serving Beirut street food. It was very busy when I got there and we had to wait about 20 mins before we got ourself a table.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Le Caprice

Pop up disaster


Le Caprice is part of Caprice Holdings, a restaurant group with some high profile restaurants such as The Ivy and J Sheekey. It is known to be a hang out spot for the rich and famous, a place to see and be seen. So it is no surprise that the Masterpiece Fair 2013, an art, design and antiques show in Chelsea (In short, an art fair for the super rich), selected Caprice Holdings as their main food partner. Having a Le Caprice pop up as the main restaurant  along with Scott's seafood bar and the Ivy cocktail bar at the fair.
Masterpiece Fair 2013

The restaurant is situated at the back of the event, very contemporary in design with live piano on the side. I must say it is very elegant for a pop up but too bad the food failed to deliver. I was given what has to be the worst bread basket in 2013, the bread was overly dry, lack texture and taste, I can find better bread in Tesco.... For the starter I had steak tartare, it was decent and the spices were at the right level, but the seasoning was a touch weak and the crispy bread on the side was rock solid, it wasn't even funny how bad it was...
fail bread...
steak tartare

Tayyabs

All about the lamb chop


Tayyabs is a Punjabi restaurant in Whitechapel that has become one of the best to go places in East London for Pakistani cuisine. It is a busy place in the evening due to its reputation and located just a few minutes walk from the city. So it is best to go there at lunch time if you can manage. I was at Lahore Kebab House back in February so I couldn't help but benchmark against it when I headed to Tayyabs.

This is a massive restaurant, unlike most standard Asian restaurants, it seems like Tayyabs spend a bit of money on its d├ęcor with purple neon lighting with a rather modern design. We were given some chilli sauces, salad and popadoms while we were looking at the menu, I went for the famous lamb chop, some chicken tikka and seekh kebab as starters to share with the whole table. Yes.... The lamb chop is seriously good here, it was grilled at the right level, good balance of spices, meat was tender and robust. The seekh kebab was also of good standard, nice kick from the spices and herbs. Chicken tikka on the other hand was weak, it was over cooked, the meat was dry and not enough flavours from the paprika and garlic seasoning. 
popadoms
lamb chop, chicken tikka and seekh kebab