Thursday, 30 December 2010

Seasons Greetings

Here’s hoping you all had an amazing Christmas, this year was spent with the Lady’s folks in deepest Kent and has been the perfect example of seasonal excess.  Normal service will resume in the New Year and I’ve got some offally good stuff planned for you so stay tuned...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Bringing home the Christmas Bacon...

Christmas doesn’t need to be a chore; keeping the flavours simple and with a little bit of planning you can breeze through the cooking and actually enjoy a bit of the day as well.  Actually if you are like me the cooking is the fun part so maybe ignore that last bit...

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Polpetto - Dean Street, Soho W1

Candle light and tiny wines glasses...
As we sat in the romantic candle lit gloom, staring across the table, I couldn’t help notice the Lady’s teeth had gone black.  She was smiling, happy and oblivious to the cuttlefish ink smile she was quickly developing.  It struck me that I must have the same look as well and I didn’t care at all.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Hot Stuff - Wilcox Road, Vauxhall, SW8

It got destroyed...

The trouble with going for dinner with a set of food bloggers is that someone is always going to beat you to the post.  So I’ll try not to repeat anything that has been said before.  From the outside Hot Stuff looks like a shit hole, when you get inside they’ve not really done much to dispel that initial image.  The front of house is cramped, ill lit and you are sat cheek and jowl with your fellow diners.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wahaca - Wardour Street, W1

I’ve never been happier to walk in to a restaurant than on Monday night.  We didn’t realise it was the Wahaca soft opening and just wanted to grab a bite to eat after work, had I have got my way it would have been a Byron dinner...

Monday, 8 November 2010

Is the Sprout just for Christmas?

The Sprout is not photogenic...
The humble Brussel Sprout doesn’t have the best of times does it? The chav cousin of the Brassica family is only welcome in some British households on one day a year. It’s such a shame as the plant is so plentiful and surprisingly versatile.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cyprus Mangal - Warwick Way, SW1

The perfect Doner
I’m a simple man, I get excited by simple things and one of those is a proper Kebab. Something about the sweet scorched meat, crisp and juicy at the same time just gets me salivating like a fatty eyeing up a Mars bar.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Meatwagon - Towpath Festival, Hackney

I don’t think I’ve ever been so eager to try a burger before as I’d been reading about The Meatwagon long before we made the move down to London. Yianni and his Meatwagon is normally only found in the Peckham area and is fast becoming a legend amongst the twittering classes.

Monday, 4 October 2010

St John Bread and Wine - Commercial St, E1

I’m actually struggling to write this review without sounding like a school girl with a crush...  Every part of our meal at St John Bread and Wine was spot on, from start to finish.  We visited on a cold and rainy Friday evening; we’d been bickering between ourselves on the way.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Dirty Food Secrets...

So dirty but so good...
I love dirty food secrets... Everyone’s got one lurking in the back of the cupboard or fridge. I’m talking about the kind of food you eat when you are on your own, when no one is watching or when you just need that little bit of comfort. I’ve known a lot of strange combinations over time that people think are perfectly normal until someone points out what they are doing.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Brick Lane Bakery - Brick Lane E1

There’s something about a queue that makes me want to get involved... Just in case whatever is on the end of it is amazing and worth waiting for. Walking down Brick Lane at the weekend we got involved.

Monday, 6 September 2010

LED Festival - London Fields, Hackney

Rain, Fairground rides and crap food were not exactly what I was expecting when we trotted down to London Fields in Hackney to check out the LED Festival.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Ed's Easy Diner - Old Compton Street, Soho.

We hadn’t planned to go to Ed’s last week, we were out in Soho enjoying the sights and frankly feeling a little star struck after seeing the living legend that is Sanjay from Eastenders.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

I love simple food; cooked with fresh and seasonal ingredients it helps to capture the moment. Tomatoes are one of those summer ingredients that capture the heat, warmth and excitement of the season and cooking with them is always a treat.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Chop Chop - Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3

The first time we tried to go to Chop-Chop we were turned away. No booking meant no eating it seems and at 9pm on a Tuesday evening that’s pretty rare?

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Edinburgh Fringe - The Previews

The Fringe as if you didn’t know is an annual Comedy, Theatre and Arts event that takes over Edinburgh and doubles the city’s population for the month of August. I was lucky enough to be up last week to catch some of the previews and enjoy the Fringe before it goes mental for the rest of August. Here are my picks of the good, the bad and the somewhat ugly...

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Chilli Cool - Leigh Street WC1

I feel like I should let you into a bit of a secret. Between you and me I know nothing about Chinese food. It was only in the last year that I actually started eating it again after a decade of absence from my diet.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Byron Burger - Canary Wharf

There isn't a lot to say that hasn't already been said about Byron Burger.  I checked out the Canary Wharf branch on my second day in London.  In all honesty I'd been waiting quite a while to try them again after catching their shack at Park Life.

We Moved...

So we moved; it took four people three days to pack the boxes and move the furniture to the other end of the country. It hasn’t been half as stressful as it could have been thanks to some very generous assistance from the Lady’s parents but we made it. We are in London at last and I’m glad the move has finally happened. Now to try some food…

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Pitza Cano - Hyde Park, Leeds

Time is flying past at the moment like some kind of terrible juggernaut determined to scare the shit out of me! We are moving soon, next week in fact. We are taking the plunge and will be heading to the smoke.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Otley's Butchers

So my time in Leeds is coming to an end, I’ve about 4 weeks left up North as the Lady and I are relocating to London town. There’s a lot I’ll miss, but near the top of the list is definitely the food.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

How not to do a Guardian Article part deux...

Check out my second guest blog for the Guardian Leeds

It’s upon us… The summer, the World Cup both here and in full force. You can’t really escape the football, it’s everywhere quite literally. One thing that is ever pervasive is the advertising that comes with it, brands trying to jump on the band wagon and gain some advantage playing on that patriotic angle. With this in mind something our MP Greg Mulholland said got me thinking. He basically asked us to support England with English beer.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Pannier Market - Granary Wharf, Leeds

Getting out of bed on this cold and wet Saturday morning was tougher than I’d expected. Hampered by the beginnings of a pounding hangover I wasn’t sure that going out to stand in the rain was a good idea but needs must. I had to find out what all the fuss was about with the new Pannier Market based at Granary Wharf, we braved the rain to head down.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Old Hall Inn - Threshfield, West Yorkshire

Good old fashioned grub in a good old fashioned pub? The Old Hall Inn is a twee old place, in the seemingly two street village of Threshfield.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Three Mariners – Oare, Kent

It’s good to get out and about, a change of scene every now and again always helps to recharge the batteries. We’d travelled down to Kent at the weekend to visit the Lady’s folks and they very kindly took us out for dinner.

Friday, 16 April 2010

How not to do a Guardian article...

Check out my guest blog for the Guardian Leeds

There’s a lot to love about Leeds but for me it has to be to access to really good local produce. What I find difficult to understand though is that this amazing food isn’t available in our supermarkets. If you take even a casual glance at the labels on fresh veg in the average shopping basket you’ll quickly see the food you are about to eat has already chalked up more miles than even the most seasoned of travellers. When you start to think about it, this is pretty ludicrous when we have so much goodness nearby. Strangely though, it always feels like a bit of a secret and it seems to me that a lot of people just don’t know what we have on our doorstep.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Primo Hotdogs - Corn Exchange, Leeds

Everyone loves a Hotdog? I hope so anyway, we've gained a new food venture in Leeds in the form of Primo's Gourmet Hotdogs. I wasn't the first down for the review as Katie over at Leeds Grub beat me to it so check out her thoughts as well on this place.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Arcadia - Arndale Centre, Otley Road, Headingley

I did promise I'd be back for a review; this place is hard to resist to be honest. Headingley over a Bank Holiday weekend is an odd place, same as Christmas and New Years, Bank Holidays bring out the crazies and those who normally shouldn't be drinking.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Scotch Egg Easter!

There’s quite a bit of science behind making a good scotch egg so I would suggest doing a bit of research before you start to make sure you are happy with everything. It’s not a task to be undertaken lightly - as deep frying can lead to messy pain quite easily. This is as much of a warning as I’ll give so on to the fun!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Wasabi Teppenyaki - Granary Wharf, Leeds

With all the recent interest in the Granary Wharf project it seemed rude that we hadn't tried one of the stalwarts of the area Wasabi Teppenyaki.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Hop - Granary Wharf, Leeds

I’d been looking forward to this opening for a while now and so being given the chance to pop down for the official opening was all the excuse I needed to go out on a school night.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Speck Rendena, Salame di Capriolo - Madonna di Campiglio

The Lady has done me proud, after neglecting me for a week to go Skiing with her folks she has brought back a wealth of treats from the Italian Alps around Madonna di Campiglio.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Quiet Weeks...

I've been very slack this week, I've not eaten out and been mostly abusing my body in one way or another.

You could have guessed it but the lady was on holiday so I've been eating a lot of Pork in it's many glorious forms and partaking in a few after work drinks.I've managed to get through 4 Pizza take aways from Pitza Cano in 7 days.

So It feels like i'd reverted into my old bachelor ways for a short while. Normal service will resume in a few hours though as the Lady is on her way back and I can't wait to see her.

Top pick from the week just gone is Arcadia in Headingley for it's fantastic selection of beers, the great atmosphere and the fact I can stumble home quite easily from there. Expect a proper review soon.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Ten Bells, Shoreditch - E1

Not many bars get on here and I go to a fair few, so this is one to check out. It's frankly a shit hole, it's too busy, it's too dark and too loud.

It's frequented by Shoreditch wankers, strange international students drinking Absinth and quite a few of the old east end faithfull that didn't leave when the twats moved in. But I love it, always fun despite all these things.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Bradford Beer Festival 2010 - Victoria Hall, Saltaire

This past weekend marked the annual Bradford Beer festival in Saltaire’s Victoria Hall, it’s pretty much tradition now for us to descend upon the quaint village and make the most of the beery hospitality whilst it’s there.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Fuji Hiro - Wade Lane, Leeds

What a little gem... Fuji Hiro is great, the lady has been raving about it for ages but I got my first chance to try it out yesterday. We’d been bowling in the Merrion centre and as usual I’d kicked arse despite having a bit of an off day only bowling a 161 and a 130 something.

Sukhothai - Otley Road, Leeds

We seem to be quite lucky for places to eat in Headingley, with most of the globe covered in such a small area it’s pretty nice to have such a good choice.

That given we were pretty limited on Saturday night as we’d left booking till quite late, we were celebrating my beautiful lady’s birthday and there was 9 of us to feed.

We had managed to get into Sukhothai not too far from Salvo’s on Headingley Road. This place definitely plays up to its Thai roots in the decor, lots of carved wood and statues of monks and other such shit about the place.

The menu is immense with a hell of a lot of choice in every section so it actually takes longer to choose than it does for your food to come out.

As there was 9 of us and it was more of a celebration than an opportunity to review the food. Most of my time was spent chatting and making sure everyone had drinks.

Which was incredibly easy as Sukhothai is of the old school in waiting staff where more is definitely more...

The Changs and Singha were flowing good and fast so we were all soon suitably lubricated and having a good laugh. Food wise I’d gone for the Tod Mun Pla which is their take on Fishcakes, slightly greasy but ok all in all. They were quite dense but went down ok.

For mains I’d chose the Pad Prik Gang, which is meant to be a hot Thai Red Curry with Chicken, it was good and creamy with coconut milk but nowhere near hot enough for my liking.

All in all the food is of a high standard and the service is very quick and attentive but it’s very definitely a paired down version of the real thing.

Despite this I would definitely recommend coming for a meal, the atmosphere is fun and very friendly and if you tell them it’s your birthday they will come over and sing for you as well!

Sukhothai on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

La Grillade - Wellington Street, Leeds

You cannot beat classic French for a good meal and La Grillade is about as classic French as you can get. This bijou establishment has been on the Leeds food scene for many years and is a bit of a legend.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Blue Print Cafe - Shad Thames, London

Blue Print is situated above the design museum just down from Tower Bridge on the South Bank. It has fantastic views across the river and considering the location is amazingly good value at £22 for two courses and £27 for 3.

We had booked to go in between Christmas and the New Year so unsurprisingly the restaurant was not very busy but did mean we got some good attentive service and the food came out quickly and was spot on.

Now quite luckily the Lady actually spent some time working here and the Kitchen team remembered her from years back so we were treated to a round of Champagne and a plate of the most beautiful Salsify wrapped in Filo with Parmesan before we’d even had a chance to order.

It really is a testament to a restaurant when the Kitchen team stick around and want to work for a Chef for so long so well done Jeremy! The starter was fantastic and the textures worked perfectly so I was really impressed.

For mains the Lady chose the Brill and Bream with Green sauce, the fish was really nicely cooked and in her words "Lush" the sauce worked well with gentle flavours of the fish and looked gorgeous. I chose the Lamb Cutlets with sprouting broccoli and a Anchovy and Parsley sauce.

My word it was perfect... It is really easy to mess up when you are cooking lamb cutlets, but these were spot on! The meat pink and juicy and the fat crisp and lush. They did attract an additional supplement on top of the set menu fee but it was well worth it.

I had actually forgotten how much I love anchovies as well, the dressing worked so well with the Broccoli and the Lamb, the salty goodness really set off the creamy fats and healthy green of the veg. I was pretty much in heaven.

The lady went for the Lemon Posset for desert, it came with a tart raspberry sauce and was a little creamy gem, I’d gone for the Crème Brulee and it was amazing. Chatting with the chef afterwards it is apparently the best Brulee in London. It’s a pretty bold claim but I don’t think I could make better, in all honesty it was delicious.

It was getting quite late by the time we left and had finished the very reasonably priced Spanish Sauvignon Blanc at £22. So we set off into the drizzle to find another bar before bed but were very well fed so the cold didn’t dampen our moods too much at all.

Blueprint Cafe on Urbanspoon