Monday, 17 November 2014

Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch

Last Sunday we finally hit up Flesh and Buns to try their brunch menu with unlimited red wine, white wine and prosecco. We decided to go last Sunday as we had tickets to the 3rd international series of NFL at Wembley where the Jaguars took on the Cowboys (and lost!) so decided we needed to fill our stomachs...and that we did!!

On arrival we were treated to a bloody Mary or Bellini, endamame beans and rice crackers with guacamole and tomato salsa.

There were 2 brunch options and we went for the £39 menu - below you will see everything we ate! Starters could be ordered as many times as you wanted and then you got to pick a flesh each and then an option of either a donut or black seseme creme brulee. Even thought the menu was a bit fish top heavy for Soph's liking we had an absolutely flawless lunch. The staff were attentive, friendly and forthcoming with the prosseco which was a joy to see as the restaurant was very busy but the staff made us feel like we were the only ones there! 

It's hard to pick our favourite starter although if we had to pick it would probs be the salmon sashimi which was so fresh and beautifully dressed. The signature buns were very tasty although we a little rich after all the light dishes we ate and the bellies were beginning to get full! Our only grip was that we were only given one donut to share between the two of us and the donut was just so delicious we definitely wanted more!

We recommend everyone to go check out Flesh and buns - such great value for money and service! 
Thanks for a great Sunday afternoon! 

Salmon sashimi and California rolls
Chicken Yakitori
Miso Soup
Enjoying the prosecco
Salmon avocado rolls
Korean fried wings
Mixed seafood ceviche

Ariel shot
Fried squid
Crispy duck leg
Crispy piglet belly


Kinako donut & black sesame creme brulee

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Peckham Market

Saturday saw the first EVER Peckham Market.  From the minute we read that Peckham was finally getting a decent food market we have been very excited and subsequently woke up super early in anticipation. Time seemed to stand still which we mooched round the house waiting for the time to don our cycling gear and head down.  The market is held at the Harris Academy car park on Highshore Road, Peckham.  We speedily headed down, locked the bikes up and headed for the stalls. The car park is actually a really good size so great for people who are driving down and there are numerous seating areas so you don't have to spill food all down your front (but all over the tables instead).  With the sun beating down we wondered round the market unable to decide what we wanted to eat/drink first.

First stop was South East Cakery, where we picked up some salted caramel and oreo brownies for later on (knowing how popular they are).  Their brownies are damn good, soft, not stodgy with a nice crisp outside.

Our favourite juice bar Ali Baba had a stand where they had a limited selection of the juices they have on offer at their usual spot - we think they underestimated how busy they were going to be as they had already sold out of the AKB (apple, kale and basil) by the time we arrived at about 11:30. This was actually a pretty good thing for us as we would have had yet another AKB, instead we had spiced pumpkin, carrot and maple juice.  We finished this very quickly and quite surprisingly really enjoyed it (neither of us especially like pumpkin). We can only imagine how much juicing Chris and Sienna did in preparation for the market - even more will be needed next week guys!

Next stop was Club Mexicana who serve vegetarian burritos and tacos.  On Saturday jackfruit burritos and black bean burritos were on offer and we (well Sarah) chose the bbq pulled jackfruit option which was accompanied with rice, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. Jackfruit is not something we have ever tried before and something we think we would again! Staggering how filling something can be without being stuff full of meat!

We swiftly moved from Mexican to British cuisine where we queued with the masses to try the Original Fry Up Materials breakie muffins and burger. Despite wanting to try the burger we decided we would leave that for another week and go for the breakfast option as it was before 12 and we weren't disappointed! The muffins were large and soft and managed to hold the enormous filling of sausage patty, bacon and egg very well. The sausage patty was really flavoursome and the whole thing was cooked really well but one thing was missing with our muffin and that was coffee...

So we jumped straight in the Mouse Tail queue and sampled by far the best hazelnut mocha we have ever drunk! Each cup was lovingly made by the team and our drink even a heart on the top made out of the milk (great touch!) We were really blown away with the quality of the coffee considering it was brewed out of a VW van and even went to their regular spot by the library on Sunday for seconds!

Having demolished the muffin in a matter of seconds we decided to do another lap of the market with our coffee to see who else was there/who we were going to try next week. Sarah got very excited to see that some borough market stalls were there including the one where she gets her chorizo from and a lovely looking cheese stall. There was a fish mongers, fresh fruit and veg and even a stall selling flowers - Peckham market really had everything going on!

On our list for next week/when we can next go is Bunny Chow,Mamas jerk and Peel and Chimney and we are even tempted by a pasta class with Pastificio Mansi.

The market was a huge success and credit to the band (Eden Billy) who were playing some classics and also to the wonderful one feeds two initiative where every time the market was mentioned on twitter they would donate a meal to a child in poverty #tweetasyoueat

Ooooh also - for bike fans which we are fast becoming Pauls Custom Cycles will be there next week doing free cycle safety checks so what you waiting for - get down to Peckham Market!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shoryu Ramen

One of our friends was visiting from Manchester on Thursday, and being the very polite people we are we gave her the task of deciding where to eat.  She chose Japanese as there are no decent restaurants in Manchester.... we knew EXACTLY where to take her.  Neither of us had ever eaten at Shoryu Ramen before but we had both heard very very good things about it.  We aimed to eat around 7pm so the 6 of us arranged to meet at the restaurant on Denman St at around 6:30pm.  As always Sarah and I were early so stood for a bit watching scores of people wonder in and out of this place.
When everybody finally arrived we were actually seated very quickly, however it was cosy.  The table was the size you would expect for a table for four so six of us crammed round it eating ramen...well you can only imagine.  We sat and browsed the quite extensive menu for a while, and it was nice not to feel rushed as we were chatting at the same time. 
Sarah and I shared a 2 piece BBQ pork buns and 3 meat gyozas.  The buns were soft, barbecuey and full of flavour.  The gyoza's were cooked perfectly the soft filling worked really well with the slight crunch to the skin.

I then  had the Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu which consists of tonkotsu with a twist, rich and spicy fried minced pork in white miso & garlic with added garlic and chiu chow chilli oil (no BBQ pork, no sesame)

Sarah chose the Dracula (how very apt) this contained deep roasted tones from caramelised black garlic mayu, balsamic vinegar and garlic chips.

The rest of the party each chose the Dracula or the karaka tantan and gyozas.  One of the girls also ordered some tempura sprouts.  I was very excited about this as I LOVE sprouts and think they are so underrated however my excitement was not shared by everybody.  Some of us although we don't hate sprouts will only eat them at Christmas (ahem... Sarah).
Overall the food came out pretty quickly considering the amount we ordered in one go and it was absolutely delicious.   My tonkotsu was a little on the spicy side for some however I thought it was perfect.  It didn't take me long to work out why they named Sarahs' choice Dracula as it was so so so so garlicky.   For some I could imagine it would be too garlicky however for both of us it was pretty dam spot on.  I got to try one of the sprouts and they were really really good, the crunchy outside worked nicely with the well cooked sprout.  I am soon learning that you can near enough tempura anything.  We both left the restaurant really pleased if not alittle stinky (Sarah), and we would 100% go back.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A joint of the best kind

Thursday night (one night after the soft launch finished) saw us rock up to the joints' (@thefoodjoint) newest venue.  We have heard great things about the joint for a while but had just never made it down to Brixton.   After walking round Marylebone hungrily for a little while we finally found what we were looking for (hoping we wouldn't have to queue).  We were seated straight away by the very friendly and attentive staff.
As we drank our cucumber water (so rock n roll) we browsed the menu.
We went for the BBQ chicken wings to start followed by the BBQ pulled pork, short rib burger, onion rings and fries (yes we were hungry)

I found the chicken wings a little sickly as they were deep fat fried, and Sarah whilst liking them at first soon came round to the same trail of thought.  The onion rings and fries came out at the same time as the chicken.  We both very much liked the flavourful, moist onion rings, however the fries on the other hand (and I hate to say it) were anaemic and instantly forgettable.

The mains soon followed, and they were big.  We definitely could have got away with only ordering one main.  Both mains were really very nice and very different.  The buns really took the dishes to another level and really held their own against the juicy, very tasty meat.  We did our usual of having half a bun each and both preferred the short rib.  However this takes nothing away from the pulled pork, it was purely down to personal preference.
Overall this place is great and would recommend it to anybody who loves slow cooked meat.

Tommi's Burger Joint

A very rainy Saturday at the beginning of October we finally visited Tommi's Burger Joint (@BurgerJointUK) on Kings Road to claim our free burger and fries.  We popped in around 1pm to be greeted by a fair few hungry burger lovers however it wasn't long before we found ourselves a table.
We chose a cheeseburger with bacon and the special (DAS BURGER).  Das burger was a beef patty topped with smoked Bavarian cheese, a frankfurter, sauerkraut, curried ketchup and wholegrain mustard.  As we sat drinking our cokes we watched numerous people come in and order take outs.  Whether you were eating in or out everybody was served promptly and with a smile (which is always nice).  The burgers are served wrapped up in a basket FULL of fries.

Naturally I went straight for the fries and they were the quickest option while Sarah faffed around with photographing the food.  The chips were really well salted and cooked really well (which is surprisingly hard to find).  Once the photo shoot had finally drawn to a close we tucked into our burgers.  We were not disappointed in the slightest.  The burgers were cooked and seasoned perfectly for us.  It's safe to say we haven't had burgers as nice in a while.  Das burger had an amazing overall taste, the frankfurter and curried ketchup really went with the patty.  This was definitely my favourite out of the 2 burgers not to say I did not like my own.  Sarah really enjoyed this burger too however I think she was little overwhelmed by it.  We would unquestionably rank this burger joint in our top 5 burger places in London.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Masterchef pop up

Yesterday after weeks of waiting we got to dine in the Master Chef pop up restaurant located at Blue Fin in Southwark. Soph and I are both huge fans of the show and even watch the Australian, South African and Irish versions so as you can imagine we were super excited at the prospect of the 2013 winner (Natalie Coleman), 2014 winner (Ping Coombes) and 2014 Finalist (Jack Lucas) cooking for us. When we arrived we headed straight for the bar but unusually for us not to grab cocktails but to take in the breath taking panoramic views of London which after being in China we appreciate even more.

We had prepaid for the 3 course 'sharing' super prior to our arrival and we were advised to chose both options on the menu and switch plates with each other half way through. In practise this would have worked better had there of been 2 of everything like the pork bun but we worked with what we got and even Soph who HATES fish tried the mackerel and really liked it!

Left: Natalie's Blow torched mackerel
Right: Ping's pork sandwich

Both dishes were presented beautifully and seasoned really well. All the elements on the plate worked well together and the pork belly had just the right amount of fat to meat.
The mackerel worked wonderfully with the cucumber and buttermilk and even had Soph wanting more...thank you Natalie - might get Soph to a fish restaurant now!!

Left: Ping's Prawn laksa
Right: Jack's Lamb rump & croquette

Ping's dish was well put together and the broth was just delicious. You could really taste the love and care that had gone into making it and when we headed to the open kitchen we caught Ping checking the broth herself to ensure she was happy with it before it was sent out.
Jack's lamb was tasty however a little of the well done side for us. The croquette and garlic mash were the winning elements to the dish but we weren't sure what the burnt bits added.

Left: Natalie's chocolate ganache
Right: Ping's: Parcel of coconut & pandan pannacotta
Both deserts were wolfed down by us both as they were just incredible!
Natalie's chocolate and pears is not something we have tried before and really worked. The textures were very pleasing to the pallet and the hazelnuts added another dimension..we scrapped our plate to get every last crumb!
The first mouthful of Ping's desert was a WOW moment! The sharpness of the lime with the creamy coconut was a taste sensation! The granite (crushed up ice) was delicious and would love the recipe!!

Overall we really enjoyed our evening however would have liked a little more as the idea was to share and sometimes you needed more than 2 mouthfuls to really appreciate the dish! We would have also liked to have sampled more of Jack's cooking. The open kitchen was great as we got to see the talented chefs at work in their home environment - they all looked super relaxed! We ended our evening buying a signed copy of Natalie's book and cannot wait to try her recipes out.