Thursday, 23 October 2014

Monkey's Shoulder

London Cocktail Week Glaswegian style

At London Cocktail Week 2014, many spirit brands set up pop up bars at Seven Dials. Monkey's Shoulder, a triple blended Malt Scotch is well known for its fun and creative events, last year the Popcorn Flip event and DIY kitchen was truly one of the most unforgettable events with pop corn flying left and right! This year team Monkey took a different approach with "The Cowbell" pop up, it has been 6 months in the making, brought to you from the winner of The Ultimate Bartender Challenge.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ippudo London

A total rip off

Ippudo London, yet another global ramen operation entering the UK market, opened just opposite of its business rivial Kanada Ya on St Giles High Street. I will not mention too much about the whole business side of the operation as I already covered that in my Kanada Ya post not so long ago. Ippudo London has a lot to offer on its menu beside ramen, with a full starters and ALC options too, with some traditional Japanese dishes with a western twist such as wagyu tatki and hakata tonpu yaki. With a no booking policy, it took me about 30 mins to get a table on a Friday night.
Ippudo London

El Dorado Rum

The Lost City of Gold

I am a rum geek, every time when I go to a bar I always order a rum based cocktail and buy at least a bottle or two on my travels. I knew nothing about rum 4 years ago, like most people, thanks to the infamous Bacardi, I always thought rum was just a nasty spirit that you downed at parties. But one day I discovered El Dorado at Rumfest and everything changed from there. El Dorado came from Guyana and is the only remaining distillery in the region, it sources its sugar cane from local producers before being distilled using both column and pot still then aged in American oak barrels, resulting in some of the finest rum in the world.

The El Dorado Rum Collection
El Dorado 3, 5 and 8 year old

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Simple Italian

L'Amorosa is an interesting opening near where I work, formerly a restaurant/cafe called Lola and Simon, already a popular choice for the locals. It was brought by Andy Needham earlier this year who was ex-head chef of the highly regarded Italian restaurant Zafferano, former Michelin starred and where Giorgio Locatelli used to operated before Andy took over as head chef. Having eaten at Lola and Simon a couple of times in the past, I was keen to see what changes Andy had done.

salmon and prawn with fregola pasta, tomato and herb
rump steak with roast new potatoes, tomato & red onion salad

I went in to try out its new lunch menu for my lunch break, as time was short we only ordered mains at £9 each, the salmon and prawn fregola pasta was cooked wonderfully, the pasta had a beautiful soft and smooth texture which is not easy to get right. Rump steak with roast potato and salad again hit home with its great use of classic combinations, tender steak with sweet and fresh taste of green salad to contrast the robust flavour of the meat. The dishes really showed the great understanding the kitchen has in Italian food, good ingredients with the perfect level of seasoning and dressing, nothing fancy but totally delivering in taste. I would sure like to to visit L'Amorosa more often.

Rating out of 10

Food 6
Service 5
Ambience 6
Value 8

£10 per head

278 king street W6 0SP London

L'Amorosa on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Kanada Ya

Ramen invasion

Kanada Ya is a brand new ramen bar just opened near Tottenham Court Road. Part of an already successful business operation in Japan, the company surely is trying to take a share of the booming ramen business in London. With ramen concept proven to be such a popular choice for Londoners with the likes of Bone Daddies, it makes perfect sense for Kanada Ka to enter the UK market, similar to the likes of what Five Guys and Shake Shack are doing with the burgers. The ramen bar is sticking to its traditional roots, it is tiny with an open kitchen and informal services, with only 3 choices of ramen and one type of snack.   
Kanada Ya
chasiu ramen
moyashi ramen

I managed to try the moyashi ramen and chasiu ramen, both the pork broth were cooked 18 hours long according to the menu. The broth style is just like a proper ramen should be, rich, bold with powerful savoury tastes, the sliced chasiu and fungus benefited from the broth which added moisture and texture. As witnessed by the long queues waiting to get into this tiny ramen bar, it seems like it is already winning over Londoners with its no nonsense approach, its classic style ramen which are quite different to other ramen joints as most of them add a twist to try to adapt to a more western friendly formula.

Rating out of 10

Food 4
Service 3
Ambience 3
Value 3

£13 per head

 64 St Giles High Street London WC2H 8LE

Kanada-Ya on Urbanspoon