Friday 31 July 2015

China City

Karaoke and Chinese

China City is a Cantonese restaurant with private karaoke rooms. The private karaoke room with room service is a popular venue among the local Chinese in London as it is one of the biggest trends back in the Far East, so the combination of affordable Chinese food with a free private karaoke room, as long as you reach the minimum spend proves an extremely attractive proposition.

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Paradise Garage

The Dairy goes East

Paradise Garage

Bethnal Green is slowly turning into a trendy food and drink hub, first we had the fine dining sensation The Typing Room in the Town Hall Hotel, then the hipster wine bar Mission and now Paradise Garage, the latest restaurant opened by Robin Gill, the founder behind one of the most talked about  London restaurants, The Dairy. Robin is known for using prime British ingredients and its own garden herbs. The format of the menu at Paradise Garage is very similar to The Dairy, with a tasting menu and the usual a la carte option. Located under a train bridge with an open spaced kitchen and cocktail bar.

Saturday 25 July 2015


Who has time to queue or make a reservation? New app lets you ‘eet’ what you want, where you want, when you want.

Dining out in London just got easier. 'eet', an app designed to allow busy Londoners and visitors to the UK’s capital an easy and enjoyable dining experience, eet is the city’s first on-demand restaurant checker.
With so many demands on our time, few of us are able to consistently plan ahead; reserving tables and joining queues are equally impractical for impromptu meals, over-running business meetings and forgotten special occasions. eet allows users to check the availability of all participating restaurants in their vicinity at a glance.
eet employs high-tech sensors to monitor the capacity of participating restaurants. The information gathered is relayed to the app’s central hub, allowing users to gain up-to-the-minute information on table availability. Users are saved the hassle of fruitless phone calls, and restaurant staff are free to focus on the customers in front of them, without the demands of a constantly ringing telephone.
A traffic light system enables users to quickly see what is available; if the venue is full the status shows red; if it’s green you’re good to go, two quick clicks and a table is yours. Yellow shows restaurants are filling up fast, but if you’re up for a short wait, a table will be yours. From Michelin starred boutiques to hipster bars and gastro pubs, all forms of London eatery are covered, booking and no booking restaurants alike, giving users a unique advantage over other hungry diners.

Available for free on iOS and Android devices, users need only download the eet app, register their details, and begin their search. As well as finding location based results, users can search by restaurant, cuisine and even dish with more than 815,000 dishes listed on the app. Results are instantly available, allowing diners to sate their hunger within minutes!
Participating restaurants (full list available on the app)

      108 Brasserie
      Babylon Roof Gardens
      Barrafina Soho
      Bone Daddies Soho
      Burger & Lobster Soho
      Busaba Eathai (Bird Street & Wardour Street)
      Cay Tre Soho
      Ceviche Soho
      Chotto Matte
      Cinnamon Soho
      Dishoom Covent Garden
      Flat Iron
      Galvin at Windows
      Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
      Hix Soho
      Honest Burgers Soho
      Koya Bar
      Lima Floral
      Lobster Kitchen
      Macellaio Roberto Costa
      Memsaheb on Thames
      Mews of Mayfair
      Mission E2
      Oka Kingly Court
      Pitt Cue Co.
      Pizza Pilgrims (Soho & Kingly Court)
      Polpo Soho
      Q Grill
      Senor Ceviche
      Shoryu Kingly Court
      Smoking Goat
      STAX Diner
      The Dolls House (Islington & Peckham)
      The Kensington Hotel Restaurant
      The National CafĂ©
      The National Dining Rooms
      The New Angel
      The Palomar
      The Remedy
      The Rum Kitchen Kingly Court
      Wright Brothers

Monday 20 July 2015

Joe's Oriental Diner

Pan Asian hipster dining 

Joe's Oriental Diner

Located in London Field, Joe's Oriental Diner is the latest offering in London from ex Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth. With the success of Kurobuta, Scott has gained a reputation of dishing out some top quality western inspired Asian food and Joe's Oriental Diner is all about South East Asian flavours with ideas drawn from China, Vietnamese, Malaysian etc. The dining space is your proper hipster joint in a warehouse setting with a super high ceiling. I've tasted Scott's food a few times in the past from both Taste of Winter and Taste of London and generally really enjoyed it so I took advantage of the restaurant's "Tightarse Tuesday" offer when you can order the whole menu for £25 per person.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Yelp's Big Night In

It's a party at your place, and you're the only one invited!

It's time to treat yo'self (and you can do it with your trousers off.) Yes, on Friday, July 31st, Yelp will be running the first ever YELP'S BIG NIGHT IN! Who wouldn't want to be fed, pampered and taken care of, for free, all from your own home, in the comfort of your PJs! 

  • Free laundry picked up and delivered right to your door from Laundrapp!
  • Your home beautifully cleaned by Hassle, for free!
  • Anything you want, picked up and delivered by Quiqup
  • A service of your choice from Bizzby! We'd suggest free therapeutic massages, but if you need an errand run or want a personal trainer session before cracking into all that food, they can make that happen too!

Yelp will be choosing 30 winners next week to all participate on the same night. 
(Winners will be notified on Friday 24 July.)

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Morden and Lea

A brasserie in Chinatown?

Morden and Lea

Modern and Lea is a brand new restaurant newly opened in China Town, it is a modern British brasserie by chef and restaurateur Mark Sargeant, who was one of the biggest stars under Gordon Ramsay, highlights include gaining a Michelin star at The Claridges as head chef and national chef of the year in 2012 by 'The Craft Guild of Chefs'. There are two floors within the brasserie, downstairs serves small plates which are great for a quick bite or a light meal while upstairs is more traditional in the format of a 3 course a la carte menu.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Noob's Summer rum guide for cocktail mixing

Forget Bacardi, use these rums for mixing the perfect Mojito or Daiquiri!

1) El Dorado 8 Year Old

Top rum from a top rum producer, El Dorado 8 is perhaps one of the very best rums in the world for under £30, equally amazing in both sipping it neat or cocktail making.

El Dorado 8 Year Old Demerara Rum is golden amber in colour with a light citrus nose that slowly becomes fuller and rounder. Hints of poached pear, gingerbread, quince and dried fruits develop. The palate is a complex mix of light spices, nuts, ripe fruit, smoke and wood with notes of candied orange, allspice and macadamia nuts in the forefront. A smooth and mellow finish fades away cleanly with a citrus, nutty finish. Great depth and can be sipped or mixed into luxurious cocktails. 

RRP: £27

2) Banks 5 Island
A very full body, flavoursome rum which is unusual for a white rum, try it in a Daiquiri.

Banks 5 Island Blend is a pure, dry, flavourful white rum blend with unprecedented complexity, character and depth. The rum is carefully charcoal filtered to remove the pale colour but retain its aroma and flavours. A unique blend of 21 rums from 6 distilleries from 5 islands

RRP: £40

3) Flor de Cana 4 Year Old Extra Dry
A wonderful aged white rum, the super dryness offers plenty of creative cocktail innovation, use it in place of a gin in a Negroni or a Tom Collin.

A crystal clear, light-bodied, silky rum that blends well with juices, colas, soda and tonic water. It’s perfect for mixed drinks. A soft, round entry leads to a smooth, dryish medium-bodied palate with vanilla, coconut, and a dash of bourbon barrel spiciness. Finishes with a long fade of dry sugar cane and toasty vanilla.

RRP: £22

4) Botran Reserva

A sweet and mellow rum from Guatemala, loved by top bartenders around the world, try it with a Rum Old Fashioned.

A complex blend of rums that have been aged between 5 and 14 years where flavours of freshness and aging are masterfully harmonised. Woode notes on the nose with vanilla undertones. The palate is rich with dry apricot combined with cloves and cinnamon and caramel. The rum industry in Guatemala was created specifically to produce distilled spirits.Guatemalan rums have been made out of virgin honey or brown sugar ever since their distant beginnings.

RRP: £35

5) Plantation 3 Stars

A great cocktail making rum, a fine selection of Caribbean rums are put together with a elegant French touch by a cognac master blender to produce this refined white rum. 

Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is a skillful blend of the best the Caribbean has to offer from Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad. Each Island has a distinct rum style developed over centuries and brings its own special character to Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum: matured Trinidad rum imparts its classic elegance, Barbados delivers sophistication with a balanced mouth feel and Jamaica conveys its unmistakable structure and rustic edge.

RRP: £23

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Crab Tavern

A crabby affair

Crab Tavern

As part of a heavy investment in redevelopment in The City, Broadgate Circle has now become a modern restaurant hub with all kind of restaurants launching within the circle, from high end dining such as Yauatcha to value chains such as Franco Manca and Shoryu. Crab Tavern is the latest opening in the circle, as you would expect from the name, it is an all day seafood restaurant highly focusing on crab. The concept is similar to New York surf and turf style with two bars, a main dining room and outdoor seating. I am a big crab fan and it is not easy to find a restaurant in London that does crab well so I was delighted to visit Crab Tavern at its soft launch opening.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Cognac and food matching

Harmonies heaven

Cognac is a greatly misunderstood spirit in most of the publics eyes, suffering a similar profile like Scotch whisky as it is an old man's drink that is only consumed after dinner by a fire place. Cognac Bureau, the official cognac body that is helping to promote cognac as a drink category has come up with some creative ideas on how to pair food with cognac, depending on the style and brand, cognac can work with all kinds of food but normally one with a more defined flavour and the temperature also plays an important role too, the very same cognac can taste totally different serving it ice cold, comparing to serving it in room temperatures. But first, lets take a look at how a cognac is made and what makes it special: 

Sunday 5 July 2015

Balvenie Whisky Masterclass

Scotch in the summer

Balvenie Whisky, a single malt Scotch from Speyside Scotland might not be the biggest selling or the most in demand Scotch Whisky brand in the world, but it has a cult status within the Whisky community due to some creative and playful elements in making the whisky from malt master David Stewart, one of the longest serving malt masters in the world of whisky. At Taste of London in Regent's park, The Balvenie has teamed up with Roux at Parliament Square by the legendary Michel Roux Jr to demonstrate how whisky works with food. Head chef Steve Groves has come up with some mouthwatering dishes using ranges of Balvenie whisky.

Saturday 4 July 2015


Brunch in the city

Home-made ricotta and honey

Foxlow, by the ever popular and successful The Hawksmoor group seems to be on the right track with its casual format, a second Foxlow has just recently launched in Stoke Newington, Church Street. Judging from the location and price positioning, the group is rolling Foxlow out as a mid range steak restaurant chain and Hawksmoor would remain as a premium steak chain. Foxlow launched its brunch menu last year and this was my second time to try it, and it is surprisingly a lot cheaper than its standard menu with some creative dishes and classic brunch items with a "Foxlow makeover".

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Copita del Mercado

Fabulous Spanish in East London

Copita del Mercado

Excellent Spanish food at an affordable price is hard to come by in London, places like Barrafina and Cambio de Tercio are top class without a doubt but price wise is also at a premium. So when I discovered that Copita del Mercado has a great deal on Book a Table website I wasted no time, at less than £20 for a 3 course plus a glass of cava it seemed like a real bargain. Normally meal deals result in less quality dishes but having carefully studied the menu, the choices from the deal are the same as their regular menu and the group's other two restaurants have already got Michelin bib gourmand for many years, so surely Copita del Mercado is capable of delivering some quality Spanish cooking.