Monday 23 December 2013


Daily special

I returned to Koya for its outstanding daily specials on a sunny evening after really enjoying my first visit from a while back. Koya, a bib gourmand rated restaurant in Soho is one of the best Japanese restaurants in London, with an ever changing daily special menu off the board at a very affordable price, it is a no brainier for anyone who is a fan of Japanese food.

Sauteed cuttlefish with broccoli leaves

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley

Hotel fine dining

This was my third visit to Marcus Wareing's namesake restaurant inside the five star prestigious Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. Marcus is one of the few British chefs who really knows a thing or two about pioneering modern French cuisine using top British ingredients in a refined manner, his cooking is all about attention to detail with a world class service to match. Having eaten twice there already over Saturday lunches, I headed back there for dinner, hoping for a top class gastronomic experience. 

Sunday 15 December 2013

Great cocktail bars around in London part 4

As part of my blog feature, I will highlight some great cocktail bars in London that are well worth a visit. London is the pioneer city in terms of cocktail movement and I would love to share all the wonderful and exciting cocktail bars I've been to. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

For cutting edge cocktails: White Lyan

White Lyan in Hoxton is fast becoming the hottest bar in London thanks to its unique approach to cocktail making, created by Mr Lyan aka Ryan Chetiyawardana, one of the most respected names in the industry. Ryan has taken mixology to the next level, you won't see any drink brands on display as all spirits are sourced directly from distillers. All the cocktails are pre mixed with unusual ingredients before bottling with no ice and no garnish, Ryan has rewritten the rule of cocktail making with spectacular results. Try the White Guinness, a whisky based cocktail with aroma and texture of a normal Guinness but with a totally different tasting profile.

Thursday 12 December 2013


French glamour with a creative touch

My fourth visit to Claude Bosi's 2 star Michelin restaurant on Maddox Street. Beside the cheap and cheerful restaurants, I'll only return to a restaurant if the food is exceptional in quality, great service with the cost justifying what you are getting and Hibiscus is one of the very few in London that ticked all the boxes for me. There is just something special about Claude's signature cooking, fine French but with a very different approach, lots of playful elements in texture and flavour but yet remaining elegant with the principal of high end French cooking.

chestnut mushroom, coconut and
curry en cocotte

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Alexander & James

Mixologist at Home

How many times when you go to a house party or a gathering you have to settle for mediocre wine or undrinkable cocktails made by one of your friends who clearly have no idea what went into the drink? Alexander & James, an online retailer specialising in premium spirits has launched a new package: Mixologist at home, providing premium spirits, expert bartenders and all the necessary tools to your home with the package that can be adjusted to any format to tailor the needs of your guests. I was invited along with a few other journalists and bloggers to a studio in Shoreditch to experience the mixologist at home service.
Alexander & James' website

Sunday 8 December 2013

Berners Tavern

Glamour dining

Jason Atherton shows no sign of stopping in restaurant expansion, his latest London outlet, Berners Tavern in The London Edition Hotel on Berners Street is a stunning looking restaurant with photos and paintings across the dining room. This time around Jason took a totally a different path of launching a hotel restaurant, unlike all the "social" concepts he has had in the past.

Thursday 5 December 2013


Meaty heaven

The London dining scene is growing at a rapid level, and one of the hottest trends has to be pub food, no longer the British associate pub food as boring and dull. Some pubs really have taken food to the next level such as The Hands & Flowers and The Harwood Arms, reaching Michelin status and becoming a food destination. I was keen to see what Smokehouse has on offer after seeing some very positive reviews from the media. Smokehouse in Islington is not your average local pub and is one of the most talked about openings this year thanks to its unique concept: serving BBQ dishes in a refined and delicate manner along with selections of British craft beer, what is not to love? 

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Launceston Place

Pure Class

My second visit to the single Michelin starred neighbourhood restaurant in Kensington. I had high expectations for my dinner based on my previous visit for a weekend lunch, I am one of those diners that tend to try out the lunch menu in a restaurant before deciding if it is worth going back and Launceston Place had absolutely nailed it at my lunch visit, it was the best set lunch I ever had in London in terms of quality vs value. With limited budget and ingredients, the kitchen still managed to pull off such high levels of cooking, this just shows Tim Allen clearly has bags of talent. 


Sunday 1 December 2013

Outlaw's at The Capital

Fishy business

Nathan Outlaw, one of the most celebrated British chefs opened his London outpost "Outlaw's Seafood & Grill" at The Capital Hotel in Knightbridge last year. But within a year it has since changed to" Outlaw's at The Capital", all grilled items have been removed from the menu and refocused on fine dining and especially on seafood items. So it seems like the grill concept didn't really take off and I guess at a historical and prestigious hotel just behind Harrods, people would be expecting top level fine dinning rather than simple grilled food.
The Capital Hotel
fish cakes

Thursday 28 November 2013

Gail's Kitchen

Mediterranean surprise

Located inside "Myhotel Bloomsbury" just off Tottenham Court Road. Gail's Kitchen is a contemporary restaurant/ cafe serving small plates of Mediterranean inspired food that are ideal for sharing with the bread base ingredients playing a key part in the menu.  
Grilled sardines and tomato salad
New potato and roast aubergine salad
with soft boiled egg

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Monkey Shoulder

Flipping popcorn fun

Monkey Shoulder has always been an interesting whisky for me, one of the few rare blended malt whiskys in the world, three malt whiskys blended from the world renown Glenfiddich, prestige Balvenie and single malt from the Kininvie distillery. Due to the special triple malt contents, Monkey Shoulder has a very unique tasting profile that really stands out from other Scotch whisky. Therefore it is such a good whisky for innovative cocktail creations, and when Tom Walker from one of the most iconic venues in the history of cocktails: The Savoy Hotel, created the "Popcorn Flip" base on a traditional "Flip" cocktail, it was so good that a special celebration was required...
Giant popcorns!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Mamita Que Chorizo

A gourmet sandwiches experience

I love sandwiches, and everything just tastes so much better wrapped in bread, so when I was informed that there was a new pop up sandwich joint that served quality sandwiches using premium meat in the mood of a South American style. I was very keen to test it out after being invited by the restaurant, the whole idea just sounded very inviting and offered something different to the never ending burger trend. Mamita Que Chorizo currently only opens Thursday to Saturday after 6pm and operates a BYOC policy.

Sunday 24 November 2013


A real "Kitchen Table" experience

Bubblesdogs came to my radar when it was opened last year. It is a pretty modern concept: Serving gourmet hot dogs and champagne. It has become a somewhat winning formula as I noticed the long queue outside every time when I walked past Charlotte Street.  But I didn't take much interest in it because first, I am not much of a fan in hot dogs, and also I just can't handle champagne! But I was informed by people from Roganic and The Ledbury that there is a kitchen table at the back of Bubblesdogs and it serves a full on tasting menu, where guests sit behind the kitchen watching the food prepared and cooked in front of them. 
Kitchen Table "theatre"
epicness await!

Friday 22 November 2013


Movember November

Byron, one of the pioneers that kicked off the London gourmet burger trend shows no sign of slowing down with expansion opening across the UK.  I always enjoyed Byron's burgers, their monthly special has always been really appealing and I was so sad when I missed out the Le Smoky special from October. 
Movember time!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Meat Liquor

Triple chilli challenge

My second visit to Meat Liquor, one of the most successful UK burger joints. Meat Liquor is known for its legendary Dead Hippies burgers and the infamous long queue. It is normal for you to have to wait at least an hour to get in to this hip place which looks more like a night club than a burger joint with the neon lights setting and a bouncer at the front. This time around I took my friends to enter their deadly triple chilli challenge.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Meat Mission

Meaty mission

From the same people behind the trendy burger joints in Meat Liquor and Meat Market, Meat Mission in Hoxton is a trendy burger joint in a colourful church setting with a "Shoreditch" touch that attracts the young and fashionable crowds. The real big plus about this place compared to other Meat joints is that they take bookings here so it is pretty rare to see the mad queue you would often witness at Meat Liquor.
Meat Mission

Thursday 14 November 2013

Honest Burger

Honestly fabulous

For people who have been reading my blog regularly they would know I am a big fan of Honest Burger, it is known for its premium quality meat, soft bun, good balance of garnish and of course, the legendary chips. To fix my burger addition I visited the Soho joint on a Sunday evening to get my hands on those wonderful juicy burgers one more time.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Hendricks Gin

A surrealist supper with The Clove Club

Joining London Cocktail Week, Hendricks Gin has taken up a site at Fitzroy Square and set up a pop up call "Carnival of Knowledge". I went to one of their special events on the Friday night: A surrealist supper which was a fine dining experience with the food provided by The Clove Club and Hendricks gin providing matching cocktails.
Carnival of Knowledge tour bus

Sunday 10 November 2013

Bodean's BBQ

BBQ meat feast

Bodean's is an American smoke house chain serving the good old traditional Kansas City BBQ in London, I was on a business trip at Kansas City a while back and I failed to visit any BBQ smoke house at all! So to get a quick fix on what is Kansas City BBQ is all about I visited Bodean's to seek experience some good old American flavours.
Bodean's Soho

Thursday 7 November 2013

Cay Tre

Pho Joy

One of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants in Shoreditch, Cay Tre on Old Street serves some of the most authentic and freshest Vietnamese food that you can find in London. Like most other Vietnamese places in Shoreditch, the setting is in the mood of a traditional cafe style which is ideal for a quick fix or a casual dinner with friends. I walked in with a few friends without booking and luckily managed to get a table despite being pretty busy.
Cay Tre Old Street

Tuesday 5 November 2013


Great story in the making

Restaurant Story near London Bridge was one of the most anticipated and hyped openings of the year in the London restaurant scene. Having worked at some high profile restaurants such as Noma in Copenhagen, Tom Sellers is one of the brightest British chefs and his restaurant has already received some very positive feedback from the press as well as a Michelin star in less than six months of trading.

Sunday 3 November 2013


Bit of a mixed bag

Peruvian cuisine has become somewhat of a trend in London lately. Lima, a restaurant in Fitzrovia serving Peruvian contemporary food is one of the latest restaurants to be awarded a Michelin star in its latest GB guide. Having eaten there last year and was impressed, I suggested it to my friends for lunch when I was asked to pick something unusual with creative elements. 

Kantuta. Cucumber infused Pisco,
beetroot,agave syrup

Friday 1 November 2013

Pieds Nus

Small plates sensations

A newly opened tiny restaurant in Blandford Street, occupies the former space of the wonderful Roganic. Pieds Nus is a pop up restaurant by restauranter David Moore who is also owner of two Michelin restaurants in London: Pied a Terre and L'Autre Pied. Pieds Nus' concept is very different to his other two restaurants, while Pied a Terre is all about luxury fine dining and L'Autre Pied is more of an informal fine dining affair, Pieds Nus has a very laid back and casual interior, serving simple small plates of food but with top quality ingredients involving little to no cooking.
Pieds Nus (photo taken from Pieds Nus Facebook)

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Social Eating House

Social eating fun

Part of Jason Atherton's ever growing restaurant empire and one of the one star winners in the latest Michelin guide, Social Eating House on Poland Street is his third London restaurant after his flagship Pollen Street Social and Little Social. As the name suggested, Social Eating House is all about top quality serving in a fun and casual setting. This is actually my second visit to SEH, having eaten there when it was newly opened, I felt there was a bit of ironing out required and I wondered how much they have improved so I dragged a friend to come along.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Great cocktail bars around in London part 3

Shoreditch special

As part of my blog feature, I will highlight some great cocktail bars in London that are well worth a visit. This time around it is a Shoreditch special, home to some of the hottest cocktail bars in London Part 1 here Part 2 here

For exceptional cocktails: Happiness Forgets

Opened by one of the industry greats, Alastair Burgess, there is just something special about Happiness Forgets. Located in an underground basement in Hoxton Square, it's a dark and tiny bar with a short cocktail menu. The cocktails here have no crazy garnishes, no dry ice, no gimmick, just made to a high standard. The drinks themselves are cocktails at their finest and mixed to perfection. This place showcases quality over quantity. Less is more. No wonder it's one of the go to place for off duty bartenders. It was recently voted the sixth best bar in the world in Drinks International's World's 50 best bars competition.

Friday 25 October 2013


Classic Spanish tapas in London

Jose at Bermondsey, by Jose Pizarro, is a little tapas and sherry bar serving traditional authentic Spanish tapas. I have eaten at its sister restaurant, Pizarro, and was impressed by it. I was keen to try out Jose as it is regarded as one of the best tapas bars you can find in London. Having eaten at a good number of tapas places while I was on holiday in Barcelona, I wondered if Jose could be as good and true to its roots.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

London Cocktail Week

My London Cocktail Week recap

On the week of October 7 -13th, 2013, London was transformed into a week of celebration for cocktail culture in London. Basically, many drink brands took part and arranged a host of seminars, pop-up bars, tasting sessions and master-classes all built around cocktails. If that wasn't enough, most cocktail bars around London offered a special cocktail through the week for £4 once you bought a Cocktail Week wristband at £10 each to ensure you'd have all the cocktails you ever wanted. Below is a recap of the events I attended.
London Cocktail Week 2013!

Monday 21 October 2013

Leong’s Legends

Taiwanese in China Town

It has been a while since my last dim sum lunch in London, and sadly, there aren't that many great places around London that offer decent dim sum, not even the likes of Yauatcha impressed me in the past. So when I was on a hunt for a good dim sum restaurant in London I actually found it rather difficult. Then I came across Leong's Legends in China Town which I've walked past millions of times in the past. Unlike most Chinese restaurants in London, Leong's Legends offers Taiwanese style cooking which is not too common and I've always been a fan of Taiwanese cuisine so I settled for a visit to Leong's Legends on a Sunday afternoon.

Leong’s Legends

Saturday 19 October 2013


Modern Spanish cuisine in Bermondsey

Pizarro by Jose Pizarro at Bermondsey is a Spanish restaurant serving simple modern Spanish food but with more of a non traditional approach. Instead of the classic tapas format, guests have the choice to order a starter, a main and a dessert like in a traditional English or French restaurant. Pizarro recently allowed dinner reservations and that was the major factor as to why I decided to visit the place, as I am not a big fan of none booking restaurants.

bread and olive

Wednesday 16 October 2013

The Greenhouse

New stars on the block

The GB edition of the Michelin Guide was published recently (end of September) and The Greenhouse in Mayfair was promoted to a two star level which only eight other restaurants in London managed to achieve. Michelin lately has been pretty inconsistent and I was wondering why they awarded the second star to The Greenhouse based on the dinner I had last year. In my view that dinner was at a very solid one star level but no more, just to see if they truly deserve their second star, I visited again with a few friends for another dinner.
Front of Greenhouse

A little oasis leads you to the main restaurant, tables are well spaced and the setting is your typical high end Mayfair. The bread has much improved from my last visit, nice grainy notes and well rounded flavours, however just like last time it was pre done for the whole evening rather than freshly baked like most other Michelin restaurants. 

amuse bouche

Monday 14 October 2013


The best Italian cooking in London? 

Murano, the flagship restaurant of one of the industry's biggest name in Angela Hartnett, is a fine dining Italian restaurant on the quiet side of Mayfair in Queen Street. Fresh from winning four AA Rosettes and retaining its Michelin star, Murano was the very first Michelin restaurant I visited in London back in 2012 and I was so impressed with the high standard in terms of both the food and services. So for my birthday dinner I decided to visit Murano again to experience its wonderful Italian food one more time.

Saturday 12 October 2013

L'Autre Pied

True star 

It's just over half a year since my first visit, I was back again to this single Michelin starred restaurant in Marylebone, part of restaurateur David Moore's empire (The other being Pie a Terre, with Pied Nu also opening soon on the same street as L'Autre Pied) . From my last visit, I found out that head chef Andy Mc Fadden's innovative cooking style involves crunchy elements and I really enjoyed it. Out of all the restaurants I've been to lately I've yet to find anything similar so in order to experience his creative cooking once again I returned for a weekend lunch.
frozen gazpacho with ghoat cheese and aubergine

Wednesday 9 October 2013


Fine Italian cooking in a luxury setting

Apsleys, a Heinz Beck restaurant within the super posh The Lanesborough Hotel is a one Michelin starred Italian restaurant with one of the most glamourous and impressive settings in London. Heinz Beck himself runs the La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri in Italy and is the only three Michelin starred restaurant in Rome, his London outlet is currently overseen by his former protege in Heros De Agostinis. I visited Apsleys a little more than a year ago when they had a different head chef, wondering how the cooking at Apsleys had developed under a different chef, I headed back to Apsleys again on a warm Autumn evening.

The Lanesborough Hotel