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.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

NFL weekend & Flat Iron

Last weekend we had two big wins...first was the NFL fan forum with 3 NFL legends (@, @ & @RodWoodson26) , cardinals manager, Dick Ebersol - Former head of NBC Sports and Neil. We always try and attend these forums as it gives us a greater knowledge of the sport which we are fast becoming huge fans. We then spent the rest of our afternoon checking out the fan rally that was taking place on regents street. The turn out to this event was huge and really exciting to see so many Brits in NFL shirts..fingers crossed the London franchise will make it over as we will be first in line for season tickets!
We had seen NFL UK were running a comp on twitter to win tickets to the Dolphins v Raiders so we made sure we stayed around Regent street which resulted in us 1) Finally trying Flat Iron 2) Winning and getting to go to the game with the best seats we've ever had!

Flat Iron has been on our list of cheap eats in London that we were really keen to try due to our love for steaks. Can a steak that costs a tenner with a side salad really be as good as everyone raves about?! Well...the answer is YES! The steak was cooked medium rare and arrived a little more on the rare side but this cut of meat tastes better cooked this way. The steak was well seasoned and accompanied with a little side salad. The sides were extremly well priced and we decided to give the chips and aubergine with tomato dish a go. Appears that since coming back from China we cannot get enough of aubergine and this side was delicious. As the sauces were only 1 pound we decided to get a peppercorn and Fred sauce to share. The Fred sauce was a spicy tomato concotion but the peppercorn sauce stole the show - stick to the classics we say!

If you are looking for a quick, cheap, tasty meal then Flat Iron is your place! Granted the steaks aren't as big as the likes of Gaucho and Hawkesmoor but the price v quality is something we cannot falt. The sides were also in the same bracket as many restaurants would bump up the price of the sides to compensate for the cheap steak.

Some snaps from Miami Dolphins v Oakland Raiders - final score 38-14