30 Jun 2013


I went to Patty & Bun after recommendations from a friend saying it was the best burger she had in London, and it really is up there among the best of them. We went as a group of seven on a weekend in March when it was still cold and snowing. They annoyingly do not take reservations, like most popular restaurants these days. The queue was not very long, but since we were such a big group we had to wait for longer for a table large enough to fit us all. The staff kindly gave us an umbrella, but it was still freezing. After about an hour we were cold and hangry, and we started to turn on each other.  We decided to split up into two groups on separate tables, which we should have just done in the first place.  I quickly ordered an Ari Gold Cheeseburger. On the side we had Chips with Rosemary Salt and House Salad. The cheese on the burgers is a bit too runny, which also makes the burger look a bit sloppy in pictures. The bun is perfect, as is the garnish, especially the pickled onion. It’s overall a really great burger, a perfect mixture between gourmet and fast food burgers. As an overall package I prefer it to Admiral Codrington’s burger, even though the latter's meat patty is better. The price is considerably lower at Patty & Bun, so that will also influence its score on the Hanger-Meter in comparison. Some of my friends really love Patty & Bun’s smoked BBQ chicken wings, but I don’t like them very much. One friend is allergic to gluten and got the "gluten-free burger" which was just a patty wrapped in lettuce instead of bread, and he wasn't too excited about that. On my first visit to Patty & Bun I thought the burger was too small, as I finished it in no time and went to a Mexican restaurant afterwards. However, I think I was just particularly hungry that day, as the subsequent times I couldn’t finish it. I’ve now tried the Jose Jose Chilli Burger and Smokey Robinson with bacon, both of which are super tasty. I definitely recommend Patty & Bun, but after our traumatising experience of queuing in the snow, I have only gotten take-away from there.

Ari Gold cheeseburger

patty and bun takeaway burger

patty + bun sign burgers make you sexy
patty bun sides and cheeseburger

patty and bun queue

54 James Street, London , W1U 1HE

Patty and Bun on Urbanspoon

26 Jun 2013


July 2013 will be a big month for burger lovers in London. Two successful American chains are opening their first outpost in the UK. Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Shake Shack are opening in Covent Garden on July 4th and 5th respectively. They have clearly conducted similar market research and both determined that the London market is ready for some new burgers. We have already written about Shake Shack in New York, but I haven’t tried Five Guys, so it will be interesting to see how they measure up to each other. Shake Shack has teamed up with the talented people of St John’s Bakery to develop some delicious sweet treats, including frozen custard and brownies. It now remains to see if the quality and low prices that both chains are known for will be comparable to that of the US. Exciting times!

Five Guys: Thursday July 4th
Shake Shack: Friday July 5th

23 Jun 2013

Tucked away on Mossop Street behind the buzzing sounds of Walton Street, The Admiral Codrington has been a fixture in the Knightsbridge and Chelsea scene for quite some time. This Pub/Dining Room has garnered a reputation for serving top Sunday roasts and grills in a semi formal dining room that sits within a pub.  The Admiral Codrington finds itself being a casual version of a British restaurant but undoubtedly an upgrade from any old pub; it provides the perfect blend of both, serving restaurant quality food within a relaxed environment. I have visited the Admiral on a series of occasions and on my last trip I popped by with some friends on a Sunday evening for a bite of their delicious cheeseburger. Since we had spent the day outdoors, we were quite Hangry and quickly proceeded to ordering some drinks and appetizers. We started with an order of the crab salad alongside an order of the fried squid. The crab salad was light and delightful, and the squid was also crispy and yummy. Naturally we all ordered the Admiral Cod’s Burger; a cheeseburger. Served in a brioche bun, this burger comfortably ranks as being one of the best burgers I have had in London; if not the best. My burger was ordered medium rare and came served with two types of cheddar cheeses melted on top of the patty, as well as a slaw that added the necessary sweetness to the tender and juicy burger. The brioche bun was also perfectly toasted and tasted delicious. The only complaint, which is not even burger related, were the fries, which were actually chips (thick fries), whereas I was expecting my prefered thin golden crispy fries. On all my visits to the Admiral Codrington I have never tried anything but the burger, as it’s just too good to pass on any day and at anytime. It is simply divine.

17 Mossop Street, London SW3 2LY

Admiral Codrington on Urbanspoon

20 Jun 2013

Maggie Jones has been a landmark in Kensington for over forty years, and has embraced a cult following amongst the area's locals as being one of the best places to dine. With its black and bright orange sign, it is not hard to miss as you walk down Kensington Church Street. The ambience of the restaurant is reminiscent of a fairytale with its warm, rustic and romantic décor. The dining rooms on both ground and first floors are adorned with lavender baskets, antiques and picture frames hanging all over. The place is truly a delight, albeit slightly overwhelming and dark to dine in (but the good kind of overwhelming). The menu offers the best of both British and French food and on my last visit, which was on a Sunday, they were serving the fixed Sunday roast menu. The menu includes a starter, a main dish and a dessert. For my starter I ordered the asparagus with hollandaise and my brother ordered the prawn cocktail salad. Both were good, but did not manage to excite us; the asparagus was neither cold nor warm but the hollandaise sauce was good, although a bit too runny; it could stand to be a bit thicker. Moving onto the main dish, we both opted for the roast beef, which came served with the usual Sunday roast trimmings of Yorkshire pudding and grilled vegetables. The roast beef was tender and delicious and the portion was extremely generous. For dessert my brother ordered vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and I ordered the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. I would definitely recommend Maggie Jones but I would suggest anytime other than Sunday lunch as the menu is too restrictive and doesn’t offer their best a la carte dishes that can be ordered at any other time.

6 Old Court Place, Kensington Church Street , London W8 4PL  

Maggie Jones's on Urbanspoon

17 Jun 2013


Tonkotsu is one of the many delicious ramen bars in Soho. I went there at noon on a Saturday, so we were the first to arrive. I got comfortable and put my jacket on the chair next to me, and my bag on another, but quickly realised that wouldn’t work. Within 15 minutes all the seats around us were taken. So although there are many ramen restaurants in the area, there’s enough of a market for them, because they’re all usually packed.  I had the pork gyozas to start. The texture of these gyozas was absolutely amazing; soft and juicy on one side, and deliciously crips on the other. Among the best gyozas I’ve ever had.  When looking over the menu of several pork and chicken stock noodles soups, I decided to order the Shimeji, Shiitake & Miso dish. This is the only vegetarian option, and I have to say I regretted choosing it. I got a case of food-envy when I tasted my friend’s Tokyo Ramen with soy-marinated pork belly. My vegetable-based stock just didn’t have the same intensity of flavour, so I kept adding soy sauce and chilli to it. I also took advantage of the self-service option to peel and crush fresh garlic into it. My friend was in a rush and had to leave before we finished the meal, which was a blessing in disguise for me. I took his tastier bowl and finished both of them. The half soft-boiled egg is the most heavenly part of the ramen meal, and I would recommend adding an extra one, which is an option given on the menu. Because of the high density of ramen per area in Soho, I feel it necessary to compare it to its competitors. Although I really liked Tonkotsu, I would say that Koya’s décor is more pleasant and Bone Daddies still reigns supreme on taste. 

63 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 4QG

Tonkotsu on Urbanspoon

I had a few hours to spare in Nairobi on a stopover flight, and really wanted to taste some authentic Kenyan food. From the weak internet I had on my phone, I tried to research some decent restaurants. Unfortunately most of the recommended places in the area served European or Asian food, so the closest thing I could find was an Ethiopian restaurant. The taxi took us there through the gates of a strange little compound that had a barber shop, travel agency, a set of swings, and Habesha. The restaurant itself also has a strange layout, with various outdoor spaces and canopies that each have a different set of furniture. We chose a table shaded by leafs overhead, as this was the perfect place to relax in the heat. The staff wasn’t too friendly or helpful when we asked for suggestions, so we decided to go for injera with wat and tsebhi because my friend had tried that before. Injera is a spongy flatbread, made from either teff or rice flour. It is served with a selection of stews, which you eat with your hands by grabbing it with a piece of rolled flatbread. The service was incredibly quick, probably because the casseroles had already been cooking for hours and just needed to be scooped onto the plate. The various types of meat and vegetable stew were really tasty, and had an unusual texture due to its long cooking time. It wasn’t really possible to distinguish any pieces of meat, apart from the chicken carcass placed in the middle of the sharing plate.  I wasn’t such a big fan of the injera bread though, as I thought it tasted too yeasty. I would have preferred using cutlery, but that would kind of ruin the whole authentic dining experience. Next to the meal we had Tusker, a refreshing Kenyan pale lager, and Coca Cola, as the city was plastered with coke ads, so it was impossible not to crave it.  At the end of the meal bitter coffee was served in the traditional way, without milk, but with plenty of sugar and with some popcorn on the side.  A very interesting and tasty break in Nairobi. 

Kirichwa Road, Nairobi

11 Jun 2013


Broadway Market is a bustling Saturday street market with about 80 stalls selling food from all over the world and various vintage and antique objects. It is a true representation of the gentrification of East London; once I heard a local man yelling at the crowd for taking over his neighbourhood. It is clear that the visitors have thought through their outfits carefully before going for lunch, and if you’re not prepared you can stop at the racks of vintage clothes at the beginning of the market for the necessary hipster attire. I used to go every weekend when I lived in the area, and I still try to make the trip now. I developed a sort of set repertoire of dishes to eat, and made sure I always had someone to share with in order to be able to try as many things as possible. I’m not going to go over all my favourites now, just what I ate the last time I went. I started with the Scallop + Bacon Bap because the Fin & Flounder shop was out of supply for my regular Tuna Roll. The Cornish scallops are deep fried and served with crispy bacon and chilli mayo. It is a really good sandwich, but they serve it with the roe, which I’m not completely comfortable with. I then tried the Vietnamese Baguette with pork from a stall that always has a long line. They were stingy on the fillings so the fresh Bánh mì bread had to do most of the work, and the overall taste was not spectacular in any way. 

There are some amazing dessert vendors along the market, such as the organic Cinnamon Tree Bakery and the delicious Coco&Me. I haven’t been able to pick my favourite out of their brownies. Beware of the dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free bakeries though. Some of these might look enticing, but I’ve learnt to stay away. I once had a carrot cake cupcake with coconut icing, which sounded like it had potential to be amazing. Alas, it was a huge and solid lump, with zero taste.  I’ve been conditioned to feel strongly against throwing away food, but I had to give up on this, as I didn’t want to waste precious space in my stomach for the many other delicious cakes around the market. I had a slice of flourless chocolate cake at Coco&Me, and by this point I was already getting quite full. Walking further North up the market, I shared the Stilton and Pork Burger with my friend. This is a really juicy burger where the cheese is already mixed in with the meat before grilling. For dessert number two I got ice cream from the friendly vendor at Chateaux Gelato. The pistachio ice cream and blood orange sorbet was a refreshing end to another successful day at Broadway Market. 


Broadway Market, Hackney, London E8 4QJ