30 Mar 2013


I went to the Clove Club recently, a newly opened restaurant and bar in the beautiful Shoreditch Town Hall. I heard so many good things about it, so I was really looking forward to it. The Clove Club turned out to be even better than what I had expected. The restaurant serves a set menu of five dishes, and the bar also has a range of small snacks. I went for the set menu, a collection of contemporary and locally sourced British food. I'm always a bit sceptical towards British cuisine, as I've had experiences in up-scale restaurants that were no different from my local pub. This, however, is not the case at the Clove Club. My first bite of the Radishes, Sesame and Gochuchang had me convinced. I spilled a bit on the table and had to scrape it up to make sure I got everything, that’s how good it was. The Buttermilk Chicken & Pinesalt served on pine branches is basically gourmet fried chicken, and a superb one at that. The duck ham is cured and prepared in the Town Hall, but I didn't love it. My favourite main course was the Rib of Beef, Ramson & Potato, although the Tarragon sauce of the Grilled Squid was pretty extraordinary. There was no salt or pepper on the table, but none of the dishes required any additional seasoning anyway. The Blood Orange, Sheep’s Milk Mousse & Wild Fennel was an exceptionally fresh dessert, with very contrasting textures. I preferred it to the sweeter second dessert of Caramel Ice Cream, Barley & Oats, which was a tad too sweet and heavy to finish with after a big meal. The presentation of every single dish was immaculate and simple, and these photos definitely don't do them justice. The interior is simple; high ceilings, bare wooden or marble tables, and an open kitchen. The crockery and cutlery is specially designed by one of the chefs. The acoustics aren't great and there’s no music, so we just had to join in and yell like the rest of the guests. Next time I’ll drop by the bar, where reservations aren't needed, and try some of their simpler, small dishes.

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

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26 Mar 2013


Lupita is a casual Mexican restaurant with two locations in London; Embankment and Aldgate. This is an offshoot from a huge chain of street food vendours in Mexico City called El Farolito. According to their website, Lupita is the first truly authentic Mexican restaurant in London. Although a Mexican friend of mine vouched for this place, it is not on its own in serving authentic Mexican in London, there is also Mestizo and various street stalls with true Mexican cuisine. I've gone to the Embankment branch on two occasions; the first was mostly centred around drinking Margaritas, the second was a dinner. The place settings at Lupita have little illustrations demonstrating how to properly consume tacos, some light entertainment if you are waiting for your friends or your food. The Classic Margarita with agave tequila is incredibly refreshing, and comes highly recommended. The Sinaloense Ceviche is a must-have starter. It’s small, so sharing is not an option. When we ordered the Guacamole Artensanal, a little fold up table was brought over to us, and the guacamole was made freshly in a stone mortar. The Carnitas and Gringa, both traditional pork dishes, are worth a try if you want to go for the classic Mexican. The food is quite light and fresh in general, not loaded with cheese or sauce. Some of the dishes could use more grease, and they actually charge £ 1.25 for a bit of cheese or sour cream. The menu is quite extensive and varied, and I will definitely return to try more of what Lupita has to offer. 

13-15 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6ND 

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24 Mar 2013


Bone Daddies Rock n Roll Ramen Bar serves huge bowls of deliciousness in a small venue in Soho. Created by Ross Shonhan, former head-chef at Zuma and Nobu, this restaurant serves authentic ramen. I arrived with a group of four in the evening on a weekday, and obviously had to queue in the cold. I didn’t mind though, as the chef came outside and served free Sake. This definitely helped my first impression and my hanger, although we did eventually give the guests by the windows mean looks for still sitting there when their plates and glasses were empty. We were seated after half an hour, ironically by the window bar, meaning we had to suffer angry stares from the queue throughout our meal. Each table is set with some very likeable details, such as a glass of garlic cloves and a garlic press, and elastics to get your hair out of the way when you’re eating soup. The crowd is young, and I liked the ambiance set by the loud 60s and 70s rock music, but it makes Bone Daddies less than ideal if you’ve come to make conversation. We started with the Soft Shell Crab with chili and ginger sauce that had a good amount of crabmeat, not only deep-fried shell and batter. I went for the T22 as my main, which contains soy ramen, chicken and cock scratchings. I was amazed by the amount of different flavours and textures! And they didn’t melt together or dissolve with time. My companions were also very impressed with their dishes. The only thing I wasn’t satisfied with was the cocktail list. I tried the Maiken-Me and it was very sweet, and the rest of the cocktail list seemed to be too. The restaurant lacks a cool selection of drinks to go with its menu, so next time I will stick to the Sake that we begun with in the queue. I loved Bone Daddies both for the service and care that went into little details, and simply for the exciting tastes of the food.

31 Peter Street, Soho, London W1F 0AR

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21 Mar 2013

Thai Aubergine has become a regular spot during my lunch breaks throughout the week, as it has proven to be authentic, consistent, and cheap, plus it’s really close to my office. The restaurant is located on Kings Cross Road just south of the station; the dining room is small but is always flooded with natural sunlight so you never feel claustrophobic. In all the times that I have been I either opt for the Prawn Pad Thai or the Nasi Goreng which is stir fried rice served with mixed vegetables, roasted chili paste and dark soy sauce. It comes served with either a choice of prawn, pork or beef; I usually go for the prawn. Both options are generously portioned and have always been good. The Pad Thai has a little bit too much lemon and the Nasi Goreng is a bit too spicy but nonetheless yummy. Annoying, however are the stingy servings of prawn in each of the dishes, which could each use a more generous helping. Overall Thai Aubergine is a good stop for a quick budget lunch if ever in the area, but I wouldn’t go as far as making a trip all the way to Kings Cross just to eat there. 

109 Kings Cross Road, London WC1X 9LR

17 Mar 2013

Dinner at Pescatori Friday evening with some friends was certainly not planned. Along with some friends we walked down Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia in search for somewhere to eat. Following three unsuccessful attempts in finding a place at Gaucho, Bubbledogs and Navarro’s we finally landed in Pescatori managing to find a table. Having been down Charlotte Street many times, the restaurant goes by unnoticed but it is worthy of attention as the secret is not in its appearance but in its flavours. The menu offers a wide range of Mediterranean seafood dishes with some meat dishes, which one of my friends shamefully ordered at a fish restaurant! To start we sampled the Octopus Carpaccio with fennel and tomatoes, the Monkfish and Tuna Carpaccio and the Dorset Crab Bruschetta which was served with an avocado salad. The Octopus Carpaccio was sublime and managed to dispel any initial doubts I might have had of the restaurant; the Monkfish and Tuna Carpaccio wasn’t as great, as the raspberry dressing didn’t compliment the tuna at all. The Crab Bruschetta was also good and the side avocado salad with its citrus-y infusion complimented the crab quite pleasantly. To follow we ordered the Native mussels which came served with chili garlic and a tomato salsa, and it proved to be very yummy and full of flavor. The Seared Loch Scallops served with a cauliflower puree we also palatable and luscious, however the portion was quite small and kept us wanting more. The Veal Milanese however was not as good as the seafood dishes but was still acceptable, but not worth ordering again. Overall Pescatori proved to be quite an enjoyable dining experience; it served great seafood with great wine and the staff was friendly and attentive which made us all leave with happy stomachs and big smiles. 

57 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PD 

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Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea is a British brasserie by chef Tom Aikens, an informal yet high-end eatery. Brunch is always a crowded affair, so it requires booking ahead. When we went this time, only the upstairs sections was free, which is not as cosy as the main ground floor space, but still feels homey with its fireplace and wood tables. We all ordered eggs benedict or eggs royale, freshly squeezed juice and some sides. The Eggs Benedict were straight-forward in its presentation, but the fresh British produce made them special. The egg yolk is orange and runny, and the bacon was cooked to perfection in my book, meaning very crispy. A few negatives that could be pointed out was that the bread nearly required a steak knife to cut through. However, it did not taste dry. Another was that my friend’s egg was slightly undercooked, so the whites were runny, however the rest of us got the eggs served at the exact right stage in cooking. The Blueberry Pancake was unusual in that it was one thick cake instead of a stack. It was moist and delicious with the maple syrup poured over it. Weekend brunch is served from 12:30 to 15:30, so you don’t have to force yourself out of bed too early, making this the perfect, hearty meal after a night out. 

27 Cale Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3QP

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London, UK

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and after walking down Marylebone High Street we decided to stop for some afternoon dessert at the Tapas Room; the informal ground floor dining room for The Providores. A Marylebone landmark, the Tapa Room is a cozy and chic enclave offering an extensive and excellent choice of tapas, wines and desserts. Ahead of our desserts we ordered cappuccinos to warm up and to kill time until four which is when dessert would be served. The cappuccino was perfect, and had the right amount of milk and was served at the right temperature. For dessert we ordered the lemon custard with spiced hazelnut biscuits that came served with passion fruit and whipped cream; it was a delightful and sweet choice and the passion fruit balanced out the sweetness of the custard. The warm spiced ginger loaf with toffee was an interesting choice, served with a chili cream sorbet. The cardamom crème brûlée was also a delicious option; the sugar was burnt at exactly the right level and it was smooth and creamy with subtle hints of cardamom which delighted me with every bite. The poached rhubarb with honey yoghurt cream and pink tapioca, however, was also good, but was a bit too sweet; which for some might not be an issue. The Tapa room is not cheap but is well worth the visit and to this day has never ceased to impress me. 

109 Marylebone High Street,  London, W1U 4RX, UK 

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16 Mar 2013


La Crêperie de Hampstead is a permanent outdoor stall, based in Hampstead since 1980. It has become a staple of Hampstead High Street, and is never seen without a queue. They serve a large selection of savoury Galettes and sweet Crêpes, and it is difficult to choose what to go for. For the indecisive, I recommend going with a friend and sharing one Galette and one Crêpe, although it does get messy. I’ve visited on rainy days when the queue is tolerable, but that means compromising on the comfort of eating outside, as there is no seating, and the next door pub is not too excited about Crêpe eating freeloaders. Thus, if you are not in a rush, go there on a sunny day. My favourite Galette so far has been the Mushroom Garlic Cheese With Ham Too. For the sweet Crêpes I enjoyed the Banana, Dark Chocolate and Coconut. Next time I would tell them to go easy on the chocolate though, as it became a bit overwhelming in the last few bites where all the melted chocolate had gathered at the bottom. I wouldn’t go so far as to describe the French staff as friendly, but they have a lot of people waiting and do a good job. La Crêperie de Hampstead is a wonderful quick meal well worth the trip to this area. Its popularity is undeniable and is reflected in the little white paper cones that constantly litter the streets within a 500 m radius.

77 Hampstead High Street, London NW3  1RE

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12 Mar 2013

A fusion of Japanese and Korean sushi, this Holborn restaurant feels very authentic from the moment you enter. The dark interior furnishings are definitely not current, but enough effort has been put in for you to be transported out of London. The downstairs karaoke also contributes to this genuine Asian vibe. We decided to sit down by the sushi bar, and only sampled dishes from there. The conveyor belt items range from £ 2.20 to £ 5.30, and students receive a 10 % discount. The standard sushi and maki bites of any sushi bar are there, but I also saw a lot of interesting little dishes I haven’t seen before. Some of the most unfamiliar ones I let roll past. Their unusual rendition of the Prawn Nigiri was topped with yellow cheese seemingly identical to that of McDonald’s. I particularly enjoyed the Salmon Avocado Maki with fish roe. The house red wine is not to be recommended, go for one of the Japanese beers instead. Sushi Hiroba is not the place to go if you are looking for healthy, low-calorie sushi. Most of the platters have mayo, sour cream, cheese or some other sauce lathered over it. I didn’t get that light, almost-full feeling that I often get after eating sushi, but that’s not always a bad thing. 

50-54 Kingsway, Holborn, London WC2B 6EP

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