Tuesday 29 November 2016

Yuu Kitchen

Asian tapas, fusion style

Wok fried eggplant with miso glaze

Japanese sake cocktails, manga murals collaborated with Hong Kong artists, baos, and chicken wings…Asian fusion food is so hot on the plate in London’s food scene right now. Here’s another one for you, only this Asian tapas restaurant comes with a powerful background. The head chef, a born and bred Australian who have thrived the “London Dream”. He worked in the Nobu for a good 8 years before joining the Bone Daddies empire. Are there any influence from these two gourmet giants? Yes, but only the good ones.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Wild Rabbit

Best of Cotswold

roasted cod, shrimp, cauliflower

Wild Rabbit, the newly Michelin awarded gastropub in Cotswold is a sure favorite of mine. It is led up by Tim Allen, who used to be the head chef at D&D's Launceston Place last year. The style of his cooking is exactly the kind I just absolutely adore, it is a blend of creative flair with fine attention to detail. Tim is also a very progressive and forward thinking chef. So since my first visit in the summer, I expect something quite different, plus more novel elements. From my long autumn weekend break, below are some of the highlights over my two visits :

Tuesday 15 November 2016

London Cocktail Week 2016

Recap of the biggest cocktail festival in the UK

Another year of London Cocktail Week (LCW), under new management for the first time, it was a week of pure joy with plenty of fun and eyeopening experiences. The LCW village Spitalfields Market featured many interesting and engaging pop up bars, such as the Caorunn's 'flavour wheel'. The major change for me this year was the high number of "big brands" that took part. I would have preferred a higher ratio of craft and independent brands, as I think LCW is an ideal place to explore new things you wouldn't usually have the chance to.

Key highlights:

Ford Gin at City Social

oysters and martinis matching
Cod, spicy ponzu, squid and miso
Hazelnut plaisir sucre with gin &milk

This has to one of the very best LCW event of all time, a 3 course dinner at the Michelin starred City Social by Jason Atherton, it was a dinner full of joy and excitement. Bar Manager Jamie explained how martinis and oysters worked with some of the most unique drink pairing I have encountered, from Asian-inspired to stout-infused martini. All the dishes by Executive Chef Paul Walsh was top notch and I especially enjoyed the dessert which worked wonders with a gin and ice cream cocktail.

For more information, please visit: http://www.fordsgin.com/

Buffalo Bourbon Empire

Eagle Rare 10
Cocktail masterclass
Antique Collection tasting

The lads from Buffalo Trace always came up with some really fun and engaging concept, this time was no difference. New to this year was the bartender stalls, where an informal cocktail class took place to learn everything about American Whiskey cocktails, from the history to how to make it with ease. To finish off the night, we tasted some of the latest antique collection which just landed in the UK. The Sazerac was the most enjoyable in the collection, rich and complex without being challenging on the palate. The antique collection was truly exquisite, it was easy to understand why it had won so many major whiskey awards.

For more information, please visit: http://www.buffalotrace.co.uk/

The World Class House

Love Scotch cocktail class
Bullet Barista Booth
Tanqueray 10's Future Forest

The World Class House once again delivered a glamour and spectacular pop up in 2016. The "Love Scotch" experience offered a sensory journey and education about the diversity of Scotch Whisky. "Future Forest" offered a DIY cocktail session with a twist, where guests could hand pick fruits and herbs to create their very own Tanqueray cocktail. My last stop of my LCW experience was the "Bullet Barista Booth" where the brand ambassador educated us about Bullet Whiskey, and how the brand worked with a coffee barista company to come up with a truly special coffee based cocktail. 

For more information, please visit: http://www.alexanderandjames.com/


Salt Yard does Italian

Pork Rib-eye, Occhiato Bean Puree, Grilled Courgettes

Veneta is a brand new restaurant by the team behind the Spanish restaurant group Salt Yard. Headed up by Ben Tish, Salt Yard as group has produced some very successful restaurants, such as Ember Yard and Opera Tavern, taking modern Spanish cuisine to a high level and gain a solid reputation. This time around, the group is trying their hands on Italian cuisine with the launch of Veneta at St James' Market, covering two floors, the restaurant features a raw bar as well as an open kitchen, with mostly sharing dishes on offer.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Lobos Meat and Tapas Soho

Meaty Spanish feast

Sirloin on the bone

Lobos came from ex members of the ever popular Brindisa tapas chain. I dined at the the first Lobos in Brough Market back in 2015 and I really enjoyed it. Lobos focus on Spanish wine, sherry, meaty tapas and pork especially, and well known Iberico pork is perhaps the very best pork you get in the world. The new Lobos at Soho located on Frith street, similar to the first site, the space is fairly limited with not much room. As I have been to the original Lobos a number of times, I ordered a few dishes that is excursive to the new Soho site. 


Beyond Temping 


For regular readers of my blog, you all know how much of a fan I am of Smokehouse. Smokehouse has changed the way how I feel about BBQ, instead of just cheap cut of meat with a bit of ketchup and salad, Neil Rankin (Ex executive chef of Smokehouse) has taken it to the next level. He has turned BBQ into refined and well constructed restaurant dishes, that can easily sit in a high end restaurant without losing the essence of BBQ. He had just recently launched his very first restaurant: Temper at Soho, a basement restaurant that focused on BBQ with a light touch of Mexican influence.


Missing the premium edge

Salmon Cured in saka and seabass

From the same people behind the Japanese ramen joint Tonkotsu, Anzu is a brand new Japaneses restaurant in the newly developed St James Market. Unlike the casual Tonkotsu, Anzu is a lot more premium in the decor, as is the cost of the dishes. The menu is mainly focusing on Teishoku, a main course portion that serves with rice and miso soup, it also has a small selection of small plates which are ideal for sharing.