Monday 27 May 2013

Social Eating House

Work in progress

I love Pollen Street Social, I just really enjoy the calm and relaxing atmosphere while the food is not short of quality. So when Jason Atherton decided to open up Social Eating house and install his ex head chef Paul Hood from PSS to head up the operation, it was a no brainier to pay a visit. I love the décor with that curtain at the front door, it adds a real theatre feel to it and the interior design of the place with that modern vintage look is one of the best I've seen so far in London.
Social Eating house

Patty & Bun

What is the big deal?

Probably one of the most blogged about burger joints in London since its opening, Patty & Bun is a fast food venue just north of Bond Street station and it is common to see big queues flooding to get in at during busy lunch and dinner hours, thanks to raving reviews from bloggers and media. So off I went to check out Patty & Bun to see if it really warrants all the hype.

This was actually my second visit, on my first, I had the house burger Ari Gold cheeseburger and I just found it rather average, so wondering if it was just an off day I went there again to try other items on the menu. Arriving on a busy evening, as expected we had to wait over an hour before we managed to get a table. I had their "2 Stac Shakur" burger special this time around. Which contain double patty, double cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, aioli pickled onions and sautéed onions with a pot of fried shallots on the side. I am a bit of an onion lover so I was delighted to see such a burger plus double the meat = double the fun!
"2 Stac Shakur" burger

Sunday 19 May 2013


Classy French cooking in Chelsea

Freshly back from my food adventure trip from Spain and back in London for another restaurant treat. I went to Medlar in Chelsea this time around on a sunny afternoon. So why Medlar? Well, freshly awarded its first Michelin star in the 2013 guide, Medlar is the joint venture of two ex Chez Bruze staff. And at £26 for a 3 courses lunch(£30 on weekends), for London this is very good value, you will need to pay a similar fee for a decent pub meal at an average London pub.

Tuesday 14 May 2013


Exceptional Catalan gastronomy

I wanted to finish off my Barcelona trip on a high so which better place other than a gastronomy evening at Lasarte, which supposes to be the very best Barcelona has to offer? Lasarte is a 2 Michelin stars restaurant inside Hotel Condes in the city centre of Barcelona. Run by the world renown chef Martin Berasategui, his flagship restaurant "Martin Berasategui" near San Sebastian has been on my "to go list" for a while so it was good to check out his Barcelona outlet to understand what his food has to offer and it turned out to be one of the best dinner I ever had in my life.

We went for the 10 courses tasting menu but with large amount of appetizers and extra desserts I ended up with about 15 courses in total. Even the appetizers of were very high quality, high in technical skills, please on the eyes and well refined in taste. Out the lot the last appetizer of Iberico Pork sandwiched with foie gras was the real star, the flavour was well balance and constructed.
Rainbow butter
More appetizers
And more!

Dos Palillos

Spain meet Far East

Newly awarded its first Michelin star in 2013, Dos Palillos is suited inside Hotel Casa Camper, right on the edge of the Gothic area in Barcelona. Chef Albert Raurich used to be the head chef of the famous El Bulli so it was no surprise seeing how his food is heavily influenced by Far East flavours. The restaurant has 2 bars where customers sit behind the long bar table, overseeing the open kitchen to witness all the action from the chefs.
Dos Palillos' Asian bar picture from
Dos Palillos' chef in action!

Comerc 24

Creative and cutting edge tapas experience

Comerc 24 is the flagship restaurant from Carles Abellan, who used to work under the legendary Ferran Adria of El Bulli. Located in the trendy El Born area, Comerc 24 serves creative tapas side dishes that inspired by flavours around the world using top quality ingredients. With its Michelin star and a protégé from El Bulli, I had high expectation and it proven to be truly an experience that I will not forget any time soon.
Comerc 24

The décor was very modern with some contemporary artwork and display on the wall. We went for the grand tasting menu which dishes were selected by the chefs depending what seasonal ingredients were available. Kicked off the dinner with some very Japanese influenced dishes of cauliflower with ginger and rice vinegar and monkfish with black sesame, it was in the mood of Japanese picked vegetable style. The monkfish was finely sliced like sashimi and it worked wonder with the black sesame with its sweet and nutty taste.
Cauliflower with ginger and rice vinegar
Monkfish with black sesame and black garlic
Filo, Parma, lemon and basil
Pizza 24
Sponge ceviche
Beach shrimp ceviche

Neri Hotel & Restaurant

Good value Mediterranean flavours

I got nothing but love for Relais & Chateaux's properties. From the ever-excellent Waterside Inn in Bray to the charming Chateaux Mirambeau (link) in Southern France, which is by far, was the best hotel experience I ever encountered. Relais & Chateaux's properties just have so much character and atmosphere, forget about those 5 stars hotel groups, if you want style and charm, try a R&C hotel or restaurant.

For my stay at Barcelona I stayed at the only R&C hotel in the city, Neri Hotel. A tiny Boutique hotel which used to be a medieval palace in the heart of Barcelona's Gothic quarter, surrounded by cathedrals and Gothic buildings, full of heritage and atmosphere. I went to its restaurant for a quick lunch: 3 courses with a drink for only 22 Euro, seem like I got nothing to lose!
Hotel Neri (Photo from

Dinner at home episode 2

Cognac evening

I am surprise not seeing more chefs out there using cognac for cooking, just like wine, cognac is base on grape. The double pot still distill process ensure a smother taste than the average brandy. Depending the time the cognac rest in the cask, you just get so much flavours from the French white oak barrels, flavours wise you can get from berries, floral, banana, vanilla to more robust flavours like spices, citrus and leather. So surely with all these interesting flavours, cognac will be an ideal drink to use as seasoning/ cooking? So created a dinner using cognac and matched with cognac base cocktail.

Starter: beetroot ginger yoghurt - Pierre Ferrand Amber, Salmon goat cheese mousse - Pierre Ferrand Reserve, topped with caviar and cucumber.
Drinks: The Summit
Pierre Ferrand Reserve on the left
beetroot ginger yoghurt - salmon goat cheese mousse

Sunday 5 May 2013


A slice of San Sebastián in London?

If you been following the British food media then you will know Ametsa isn't getting much love, in fact pretty much everyone trashed it down like if it is the worst restaurant in the world. Is it really that bad? Created by the legendary father and daughter team Juan and Elena Arzak from Spain, their restaurant, Arzak in San Sebastián is ranked 8th in the world bRestaurant magazine and holder of 3 Michelin stars. Surely with such experience and reputation it can't be that bad like how the press been rating it? Well there is only one way to find out! Off I went to Ametsa on a warm summer evening.

Ametsa @ Halkin Hotel (photo from

I must admit I am not a fan of the décor with the random tubes on the ceiling which doesn't add anything extra to the venue, however it has one of the coolest flipping door at the front! We went for the tasting menu and await what "New Basque cuisine" has to offer. Started off with a selection of "Aperitivos" of rice with fish mousse, chorizo with mango and kataifi with scorpion fishcake. The chorizo mango was the best out of the three, with the fruity and sourness worked nicely with the robust flavours from the chorizo. It was pretty solid amuse bouche, if I have to make a comparison it is on similar level to most of the 1 star restaurant in London. 


Pied a Terre

Elegant fine dining

Pied a Terre, a Michelin starred restaurant in the trendy Charlotte Street where Marcus Eaves is the head chef. I am a fan after seeing him on Master Chef Professional a while back. I was also impressed with Pied a Terre's sister restaurant L' Autre Pied (link) when I visited there back in March, and knowing Pied a Terre suppose to be the better "bigger brother", I thought I give it a try with a rather high expectation.

The décor is very modern but at the same time it has a very cosy and warm feel to it. We went for the 7 courses tasting menu, started off with a lovely amuse bouche of scallop tempura, nicely deep fired and yet retained all the sweetness and texture of the scallop, what a great dish to kick off the meal. Bread on the other hand was rather average, nowhere the quality level at L' Autre Pied.
scallop tempura