Wednesday 30 September 2015

Spice Market

Pop up bun shop

Barley & Buns

"Barley & Buns" is a newly opened "pop up" inside Spice Market, which is now part of the W hotel inside Chinatown. Taiwanese steam bun has gathered a massive popularity in London in the last few years thanks to street food vendor such as Bao and Yum Bun. So there is no surprise to see more restaurants riding onto the trend. Spice Market's buns has a mixture of Asian styles which draw flavours from places such as Thailand and Korea. 

Monday 28 September 2015


Experimental fine dining

molecular gastronomy

Located inside a 5 star hotel of the same name, ABaC is a 2 Michelin starred restaurant at the northern part of Barcelona. This restaurant is considered one of the very best in the city, headed up by the young and extremely talented chef Jordi Cruz, ABaC is renowned for its very experimental and creative cooking concepts using prime ingredients. The well spread out dinning room is elegant and stylish, the whole place looks more like a private dining room that belongs to a billionaire than a hotel. There are two choices of tasting menu and you are allowed to order a small selection of dishes as a la carte but I would highly suggest sticking to the tasting menu as some of the single dishes costed over 50 Euro alone.

Sunday 27 September 2015


Superb value fine dining



Opened by Oriol Ivern Bondia back in 2011 who used to work at Neichel, Hisop is a 1 Michelin starred restaurant  serving contemporary Catalan cuisine in the city of Barcelona. One of the main reasons I decided to book for Hisop was after reading some positive reviews from the local press and price-wise it is the most affordable Michelin restaurant in Barcelona. The decor of Hisop is very contemporary in design, inside a narrow space and the tables are quite close to each other as it is a tiny restaurant. We opted for the tasting menu, but with the format and portion sizes, it was more like a 5 course meal with 2 types of canapes and cheeses on top.

Friday 25 September 2015


Creative Catalan cuisine



Located just a few blocks away from the Barcelona's landmark Sagrada Familia Basilica, Manairo is a 1 Michelin starred restaurant headed up by talented chef Jordi Herrera. Manairo is renown for its contemporary takes on Catalan cuisine using modern techniques as well as some unusual and creative elements. As it is one of the few restaurants that was close to Sagarada Familia, with a big reputation, I decided to pay a lunch visit on my way to see the great architecture work of Gaudi's. Like most other Michelin restaurants in Barcelona, you have two tasting menus to chose from as well as a la carte.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Via Veneto

Timeless gastronomy

Via Veneto

Operated by the father and son team Jose and Pedro Monje, Via Veneto is a 1 Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona that champions traditional Catalan fine dining which opened nearly 50 years ago. In some ways, Via Veneto is the Spanish version of Le Gavroche, very formal in a modest setting with a world class service team behind it. I was informed about the place when I dined at Lasrate two years ago, it was highly recommended by their staff so on my return to Barcelona, I knew I just had to pay Via Veneto a special visit with high expectations, as I have always been a fan of classical fine dining, after all, it is important to understand the past to know how the present/ future form has developed. 

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Quimet & Quimet

Old school tapas

Quimet & Quimet

Quimet & Quimet is probably the most famous tapas bar in the whole of Barcelona, it is extremely popular to both the locals and tourists. On my visit in the early afternoon, the place was jam packed with a flood of people waiting outside trying to get in, it had no chairs whatsoever and standing room only like most other classic tapas bars so the turnover was pretty quick. What I really liked about the place was the massive and impressive collection of fine spirits and wine on the shelfs, some very rare rums and whiskys that you wouldn't even see in a fine dining restaurant in Barcelona. We ordered a massive selection of sea food tapas and pretty much everything was cured or straight from a tin. 

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Tapas 24

Trendy modern tapas bar

Tapas 24

Tapas 24 is the brainchild of Carles Abellan, who used to work under the legendary Ferran Adria of El Bulli. I visited his flagship restaurant, 1 Michelin starred Comerc 24 two years ago and was really impressed how Carles had taken the humble tapas to a whole new level, full of creative and cutting edge elements. Tapas 24 on the other hand is much more informal with a no booking policy and you can be in and out in less than an hour. I didn't manage to have a full meal there, rather I was visiting for some pre-dinner drink and snacks as a lot of locals still do. 

Sunday 20 September 2015

Noob's sipping rum guide

My top 5 picks for under £40 a bottle

1) Pusser's 15 Yr Old Navy Rum

Perhaps the very best rum in the world for under £40, rich and powerful with great depth of flavours. Pusser’s Rum is a blend of rums from stills located in Guyana and Trinidad. The blend is heavily influenced by century-old wooden stills, an important ingredient in “navy rum”. Each rum is hand-selected for its individual smoothness, flavor, and mellow depth— creating the perfect balance of “esters” and “congeners”. The rim is then aged for fifteen years in oak wood barrels. The full, rich flavor is all natural, no flavoring agents are added.

RPP: £40

2) Ron Abuelo 12 Year Old

A good value 12 year old rum, settled and smooth, great for short cocktails as well as sipping it neat. Made with a blend of rums aged 12 years, Sublime distillation, the best selection of white oak barrels and the passing of time under the tropical heat have resulted in this extraordinary product. Its character, softness and complexity will give satisfaction to the most sophisticated and challenging palate.

RPP: £32

3) Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Extremely mellow and smooth with a good level of sweetness and oak tone. Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva is an elegant and complex sipping rum, carefully crafted from the purest of sugar cane honeys. It is delicately distilled in ancient copper pot stills and aged in small oak casks for up to twelve years. Marrying a unique body with excellent balance has made it a reference for rum lovers and connoisseurs throughout the world.

RPP: £40

4) Dos Maderas PX 5 5

A rather unusual rum that aged in two types of barrels. First resting for five years in the Caribbean, then for three more at the Williams & Humbert facilities in casks which have aged "Dos Cortados” (Palo Cortado), Dos Maderas 5+5 rum once finished then undergoes a third stage of ageing in butts which have previously aged "Don Guido" sherry (Pedro Ximénez) for 20 years, thus giving origin to the extraordinary Dos Maderas PX rum. Both "Don Guido“ and "Dos Cortados" have been aged for 20 years as certified by the oldest Denomination of Origin in Spain: that of Jerez-Xérès-Sherry.

RPP: £40

5) Appleton Estate 12 Year Rare Blend

A mainstream yet very delicious rum, the mild smokiness and spicy notes make this a great rum to pair it with cigars. Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old is a ‘minimum age’ rum as indicated by the number 12 displayed on the bottle. The rum is aged in Number One Select American Oak barrels. A constantly evolving taste experience – you’ll find deep oak, fruity, and cocoa notes, followed by delicate molasses, vibrant orange peel, rich vanilla, subtle coffee, with a hint of toasted oak and almond.

RPP: £34

Wednesday 16 September 2015

A Little Lusciousness Supper Club

Ginger Spice

Rosie aka A Little Lusciousness

A Little Lusciousness, Grub Club's top rated chef, and Hardeep Singh Kohli, comedian and chef extraordinaire, are joining forces to cook you a seven-course, Indian inspired feast, to raise money for charities supporting the refugee crisis. Join them for a night of food at West London's coolest venue, Storeys, on top of the old BBC Centre car park in Shepherd's Bush. All profits will be donated to Action Aid's refugee crisis appeal. Please note - this is an outside venue. There is marquee cover over the tables, but please wrap up warm!! Drinks available to purchase from the venue on the night. Wine from £20 a bottle, and large cocktails at £8 each. 100% profits to refugee charities!!

The menu!

To book, please visit

Monday 14 September 2015

Gauthier Soho

Summer tasting 


Charentais melon

This is my 4th visit to the ever popular French restaurant Gauthier in Soho, dining at Gauthier is one kind of a special experience that you can't find elsewhere. The cooking is classic French in principle but with small elements of contemporary touches, spreading across three floors with 5 private dining rooms, this is one of the cosiest fine dining restaurants you can find in London with a warm ambiances and top notch service to match. To celebrate five years since it was launched at its current location in Soho, the restaurant has come up with a pretty special treat for its email subscribers which is a two for one offer for its summer tasting menu.

Friday 11 September 2015

Launceston Place

The Last Supper

Launceston Place 

It was my 10th, and sadly my last visit to Launceston Place, the Michelin starred restaurant is my personal favourite fine dining restaurant. The super talented chef Tim Allen has decided to move on to Wild Rabbit  in the Cotswolds after 3 successful years acting as head chef, winning countless acclaim including 4 AA Rosettes and a Michelin star. The refined, modern and innovative approach of his cooking is just pure music to my ears, every time when someone asks me to suggest a good fine dining restaurant, Launceston Place is always the first one that I recommend. So as soon as I discovered that Tim was leaving, I even moved forward my planned birthday dinner to experience his cooking one more time in London while I still had the chance.

Wednesday 9 September 2015


Luxurious fine dining



Occupying the former space of the 1 Michelin starred The Apselys by Heinz Beck, Celeste is located inside the newly furnished stunning 5 star The Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner. It has been over a year in the making, with new owner (Oetker Collection) investing multi millions of pounds into the renovation to create one of the most luxurious and glamorous hotels in London, with the cheapest room costing £700 a night upward with a personal butler for each room, I don't think you can get more prestigious than that. The talents behind Celeste itself is nothing to be sniffed at also, chef patron Eric Frechon is holder of 3 Michelin stars at Epicure in Paris while executive chef Florian Favario was head chef at the same restaurant so my expectation was rather high.

Monday 7 September 2015

Flesh & Buns

Contemporary Izakaya cuisine

Flesh & Buns

Part of Ex-Zuma head chef Ross Shonhanies' ever growing empire, Flesh & Buns is an underground restaurant serving Izakaya pub-style Japanese cuisine, it gained a hipster reputation back in 2013 with its contemporary take on classic Izakaya cooking in a trendy and spacey dark setting, and of course, the infamous Japanese cartoon artwork in its toilets which are somewhat bizarre and not something you would want yours kids to see. I love Bone Daddies (part of Ross' restaurant empire) so Flesh & Buns has been on my to try list for a while and with the hype having finally worn off, securing a table is no longer a nightmare and a walk-in is finally a possibility!

Thursday 3 September 2015




Petrus, a French restaurant in Belgravia from the Gordon Ramsay group is one the last few Michelin starred restaurants left in their UK portfolio. Once one of the hottest tickets in London, the original Petrus was headed by Gordon's former protege Marcus Wareing and which created an absolute storm back in early 2000s, gaining two Michelin stars in 2007 along the way. But these days Petrus is a totally different beast, now at its third location in Kinnerton Street with Neil Snowball as head chef, it is no longer the media's darling and you can easily secure a table. 

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Galvin La Chapelle

Classic Taste of Galvin

Parfait of Goosnagh duck liver,
Armagnac jelly and toasted sour dough
Galvin La Chapelle has always been a pretty solid choice when you are after some top quality traditional French cusine in The City, the 1 Michelin starred restaurant by the Galvin brothers offers some very accessible cooking at any price level, ranging from £29 for a 3 course dinner set menu leading up to £70 for its 7 course tasting menuTo celebrate its 10 year birthday, Galvin La Chapelle has come up with the "Classic Taste of Galvin Menu", a 5 course menu which covers some of its most popular classic dishes and costs only £29 per person as a birthday treat from the restaurant.