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Food, London food discoveries, restaurants

London food discovery: Maitre Choux, South Kensington

September 24, 2015
Maitre Choux - South Kensington

Maitre Choux – South Kensington

I haven’t written one of these posts for a while but after visiting Maitre Choux I felt COMPELLED to tell my readers that they pay homage to this little patisserie in South Kensington. What I’ve always loved to do when I have visited Paris is to visit all the lovely patisseries. The French have a dedication to pastry making that has made it an art. I’m sure if I lived there I would soon be very, very, fat and probably wouldn’t care.

Maitre Choux is leading the popularity of eclairs in London and is fast gaining recognition. After discovering them on instagram I made a visit to their shop during the week. Now I have to warn you they sell out fast so get there early or order online beforehand.

Maitre Choux Eclairs

At the helm of Maitre Choux is 3 Michelin Star Pastry Chef Joakim Prat, who came to London to take on the role of Joël Robuchon’s Head Pastry Chef at L’Atelier, before moving on to Mayfair’s The Greenhouse.

I opted for a box of four eclairs, and I admit it I ate them all! My favourite eclair was the Persian pistachio cream with an intense yet not overpowering flavour. It has ground pistachios sprinkled on the glazing for texture and undertones of roasted nuts.

Maitre choux pastry eclairs

Eclairs make great gifts for friends and the ones at Maitre Choux are pure food porn.

MAITRE CHOUX

15 HARRINGTON ROAD
LONDON – SW7 3ES
MONDAY TO FRIDAY – 8:00AM TO 8:00PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY – 10AM TO 7PM

Food, restaurants

35 New Cavendish restaurant, Marylebone – review

December 24, 2014

35 new cavendish restaurant

When it comes to great restaurants Marylebone is home to many and 35 New Cavendish is for sure a new star in Sherlock Holmes old neighborhood.

When we entered the restaurant we felt relaxed and welcome, good indications that we were going to have an enjoyable experience. The atmosphere at 35 New Cavendish is very 1940’s. The restaurant takes inspiration from its owners who are financiers; staff were dressed in banker style uniforms.

The head chef at 35 New Cavendish is Alfonso Lillo Fas, a graduate of former world’s best restaurant El Bulli – we felt in good hands and had confidence in the interesting Mediterranean inspired menu.

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bread at 35 New cavendish

For starters we had Scallops with smoked cauliflower purée, and yellowfin tuna tartar. They tasted absolutely delicious – a tribute to the sea, and were presented perfectly.

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tuna tartare

For the main course I had a second helping of tuna, this time it was I chose the chargrilled yellowfin tuna version. My partner opted for the secreto (iberian pork shoulder served with very naughty triple-cooked fries). If you choose to dine at 35 New Cavendish know that this is a restaurant that urges you to forget about the gym and the calories to burn and just be happy with your food.

Both dishes were so fab and well prepared that it would be foolish not to recommend.

iberico pork

yellow fin tunas

triple cooked chips at 3 new cavendish

The waiters at 35 New Cavendish are doing a good job of creating a relaxed enjoyable atmosphere for their customers. We had perfect service; our waiters had a solid knowledge about the menu, the products used to create it. With all their knowledge and expertise at serving they were an extended arm of the kitchen. They expressed a lot of respect for their head chef and we were in no doubt that they loved their jobs.

The restaurant manager at 35 New Cavendish is Andrea Sgamma, he is a classically trained waiter meaning he is educated in the trade of being a waiter giving you the kind of service that you would not expect to receive unless you were eating in a Michelin starred restaurant.

I believe that whatever we do in life, we should do so being proud. Mr Sgamma definitely lived up to this mantra with his presence and professionalism.

I haven’t had Crêpes Suzettes Flambées in many years, Mr. Sgamma made quite a show for us, and they tasted heavenly.

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35 New Cavendish, is a restaurant, where you bring your good friends and family. It is a restaurant with honest service and food, a place for laughs, for love, for life.

Food, restaurants

Kouzu Japanese Restaurant: Honesty In Belgravia

December 15, 2014

Kouzu Japanese restaurant

Belgravia is an upperclass oasis in London, where there the streets are clean, the houses white and uniformed and is home possibly to the best Japanese restaurant in the world.

When you arrive at Kouzu Japanese restaurant you are greeted by staff with “Irasshaimase”. It means welcome in Japanese and when you enter this modern, open spaced restaurant you truly do feel it, they want you to feel welcome and they are proud of working there.

We started as always with a cocktail in the bar. Having a drink at the bar before you eat is a good way of seeing the kind of service you will receive. Its also another way to get a sneak preview of the craft they apply to the kitchen. We were impressed; the cocktails were smoothly shaken and served. The two delicious cocktails we tasted made a promise for something extraordinary to come.

Kouzu japanese restaurant cocktails

Kouzu japanese restaurant

The menu at Kouzu is a heavenly parade of Japanese food. We were lucky to have help choosing dishes from the superb Kenichi Kakuta, who is the restaurant manager for Kouzu. He explained and helped us choose our starters:

Yellow tail and white truffle dressing

Yellow tail and white truffle dressing

Yellow tail and white truffle dressing

Beef – Sirloin Amiyaki

beef sirloin kouzu

beef sirloin kouzu

Salmon with Youz soy dressing

Salmon with Youz soy dressing

A special collection of sushi 

kouzu restaurant sushi

A special collection of sushi

All the dishes were extremely well prepared. The dishes were like art pieces, simple but mind-blowingly executed. Kouzu’s secret lies in their use of the best possible products; these are chefs who take pride in making perfection.

Kouzu spicy tuna roll

Kouzu spicy tuna roll

Sharing is the way to dine in a restaurant like Kouzu as the menu is so rich in variety. We had Mr. Kakuta roll out a red carpet of dishes: Sushi, Makimono rolls, and Nigiri. It was overwhelming. By the time we had finished we were like fattened calves.

Sushi chef Nobuyuki Yamaguchi showed us the honor to come to our table, and explain how he creates sushi and how he only uses special rice from a certain area in Japan. He also educated us by explaining that there isn’t just one type of soy sauce. Soy sauce has as many varieties as Balsamico.

Nobuyuki Yamaguchi

Kouzu sushi chef Nobuyuki Yamaguchi

The desserts we tasted where also sublime, delicate and well executed. Each mouthful had fireworks going off in our mouths. They were a nice way to end a fantastic meal.

dessert Kouzu restuarant

Kouzu’s style is clean and sharp and when you first enter you may think it is a little too utilitarian to be pitched as high class. However, when you visit please sit down, order your food, and the penny will drop. Kouzu is all about the food they don’t need a funky or rich décor to please their customers. A visit to Kouzu is all about honesty; a higher experience and they do not cut corners.

Please do yourself the favour, and visit them, it’s a treat, it is an experience and they will not let you down.

Food, restaurants

Nozomi Japanese Restaurant Review, Knightsbridge

October 18, 2014

Nozomi-knightsbridge

On a warm September evening, we traveled to Knightsbridge to visit Japanese restaurant, Nozomi as a guest of Nozomi’s brand ambassador Max George.

London is slowly getting its feet back on the international food scene, why it has taken so long is unknown as London truly is the capital of Europe when it comes to culture and diversity in cuisine. Hopefully the days where restaurants put time limits on how long you can stay and dine are over and people will actually start demanding their food to be made with passion and quality.

Nozomi gives you all this; excellent service, surroundings that make you forget where in the world you are, pure craftsmanship and attitude in their food all presented in a relaxed and smooth way.

We visited to try their new a la carte menu, and found it be very inspiring. Devouring the huge variety on the menu was best done with a cocktail
and their huge Cocktail menu was mouth-watering just to read.

watermelon-cocktailberry-berry-cocktail

My guest chose a Watermelon Bumbum And Sake Cocktail, with vodka, fresh watermelon and cucumber syrup. I had the Mango Mai Tai. Both of the cocktails were absolutely delicious. The cocktails always give away, how dedicated the restaurant is, so this was promising.

For starters we had the Nozomi Nigiri Sushi selection and the Seafood Dumplings. The sushi was artistically styled on a plate, it was so tasty and I have to say some of the best I’ve ever tasted in London. The Dumplings, filled with sea bass, scallops and prawn, was also tasty but I found the presentation and taste terribly boring compared to the sushi.

Nozomi’s French restaurant manager keeps a cool flow in the restaurant, so you feel the waiter’s intention is to make your experience perfect, without having them constantly at your table.

The main courses are complemented with a well thought-through wine selection. It was nice to see, that small brands are well represented in their selection. You can travel all over the world and enjoy superb wine from Cloudy Bay, New Zealand, to the great Brunello from Tuscany in Italy.

We enjoyed glasses of Chianti that went perfectly with the Wagyu Beef and the Black Cod. The Beef itself was a masterpiece in cooking. It deserves a standing ovation. The Chef has prepared a dish, where both the eye and the heart of any foodie, will be pleased and satisfied. The Black Cod, served in leaves, is grilled to perfection. Its caramelized skin was delicious and the fish itself was full of flavour and so juicy. Not many can prepare a fish dish like this!

sushi-nozomi waygu

After being pampered with the amazing food it was hard to fathom dessert, but luckily we took up the restaurant manager’s suggestion and shared a white chocolate fondant with ice cream and two absolutely naughty dessert Cocktails. It was a wonderful end to a dreamy food experience.

chocolate-fondant-heaven

naughty-dessert-cocktails

Nozomi takes you away with its combination of calm, excellent service and superb international kitchen, dazzled with dope cocktails.

 

Nozomi

14-15 Beauchamp Pl, London SW3 1NQ

020 7838 1500

Food, restaurants

A review of Bistrotheque Restaurant, Bethnal Green

February 20, 2014
credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749

credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749

I am not quite sure how Bistrotheque managed to escape my radar for so long. When my date told me he was taking me to a nice restaurant in Bethnal Green my first thought was er….Bethnal Green..seriously? Oh dear.

Bistrotheque is a French style restaurant housed in an old warehouse hidden down the back streets of Bethnal Green. It is popular with the East End fashion pack and in true fashionista style there are no signs on the front to tell you its there (probably why it had escaped my radar for so long).

We dined early on a Monday evening and found the restaurant quiet. Bistrotheque is decked out in utilitarian chic with a painted concrete floor and brick walls, Crittall windows, industrial drop lighting, marble-topped tables and black bentwood chairs. It also has an open kitchen which is nice for those of us who like to see how our food is prepared.

Now for the food, for my starter I chose the charcuterie while my date went for the steak tartare. Both nice enough to start with. Next the main courses. I was torn between going for the longhorn rib of beef with portobello mushrooms and the whole wild sea bass and salsa verde. As it turns out I made the wrong choice. I didn’t end up enjoying much of the fish as it was filled with the tiniest bones, after almost choking a few too many times I abandoned my sea bass and joined my date tucking into his beef haha! The longhorn beef was adequate but for 32 pounds I would have expected to be blown away. Still it’s not all negative, we both chose creme brulee for desert which was delicious.

The best part of the night was the entertainment. It turns out that Bistrotheque has its own choir! Not many restaurants can say they have that. The choir performed two songs one of which was Nirvana’s ‘Entertainer’! We certainly were entertained and it did kind of make up for some of the disappointment on the food front.

Overall l, I enjoyed my visit to Bistrotheque, it definitely is a unique dining experience, however I’m not sure the food lives up to the hype.

Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms

Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms

Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde

Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde

creme brulee

creme brulee

Bistrotheque house choir

Bistrotheque house choir

Food, Hotels, restaurants, review, Things to do in london

A Review of Afternoon Tea At The Wellesley Hotel, knightsbridge

January 3, 2014
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The Wellesley Hotel, Knighstbridge

First blog post of the New Year!

So in my last post I talked about how I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging in January….

However, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Wellesley Hotel for some afternoon tea. Trying to find a place for afternoon tea close to Christmas is a bit of a mission. So we took a bit of a gamble with The Wellesley but it definitely paid off! The hotel is a fairly new addition to Knightsbridge and is situated next door to the Lanesborough Hotel. Decorated in an art deco style this place is all about detail, elegance and luxury.

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The Wellesley’s impressive marble floored entrance

We arrived on a windy and wet Sunday evening to be greeted by staff  at The Wellesley and were shown to the beautiful  Jazz lounge. Not having had the chance to check the rooms out before we had booked I was blown away by the opulent and luxurious interior, especially the larger than life chandelier ( bling bling)!

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The Jazz Lounge at The Wellesley Hotel

After we had settled into our seats the waiter explained to us the various types of tea and we were given the chance to  test their aromas. I opted for a black tea which had vanilla notes. This proved to be a good choice to counter the sweetness of the pastries.

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Vanilla Black tea

Courtesy of the chef we received a surprising and very tasty extra, a strawberry pannacotta.

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strawberry pannacotta

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Lanky Girl getting ready for some delicious pastries,

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Afternoon Tea and pastries at the Wellesley

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The afternoon tea was pretty extensive – we enjoyed a selection of homemade finger sandwiches,  assorted pastries, warm raisin & plain scones  homemade preserves & clotted cream. While we took tea we were quietly serenaded by a pianist.

For 35 pounds we thought the afternoon tea at The Wellesley was definitely worth every penny. Staff were very attentive and we had as many refills of our teapot as we needed. We couldn’t even finish the array of pastries that we were given, luckily we got to take the rest home in a goody bag!

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Food, London food discoveries, restaurants

London food discoveries – Upsy Daisy Bakery, Stamford Brook, Hammersmith

November 5, 2013
upsydaisy bakery

upsydaisy bakery

One of the best things about living in London is the plethora of places to eat and shop. London food discoveries is a new thing that I am adding to the blog – short and sweet I hope you will enjoy these posts enough to give these places a try.

One of my recent London food discoveries is the Upsy Daisy Bakery and tearoom in Hammersmith. Last saturday a friend  took me to there for spot of tea and cake.

The bakery sells the most scrumptious and unusual cupcakes which are available to takeaway or try in their small but perfectly decorated tea room. We tried the earl grey and lemon and chocolate flavoured cupcakes, washed down with some lovely vanilla tea.

Classic chocolate cupcake and vanilla tea

Classic chocolate cupcake and vanilla tea

Earl Grey and Lemon cupcakes.Upsy Daisy Bakery also offer a fabulous range of afternoon teas staring from 6 pounds for a cream tea. its definitely a place worth visiting if you find yourself in the area and have some time to kill.

restaurants, review

Ffionas British Restaurant – Kensington -a review

October 19, 2013

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Ffionas is a quaint and homely little British restaurant in Kensington run by a formidable lady named Fiona. Recently I was to invited to try their brunch menu.

Situated on Kensington Church Street (we almost missed it! ) the restaurant is small and perfectly formed. I loved the homely look and feel – the musical notes on the ceiling, blue print wallpaper and fresh flowers made it easy to relax here. I suspect it is one of the reasons why the restaurant appeals to customers – it will be celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

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Ordering from the brunch menu my date who was nursing a hangover chose the all day breakfast. When it arrived I was slightly jealous having gone for pancakes, bacon and egg.

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Both of us attacked our food with great gusto and finished it all. Happily full cured of his hangover we both agreed that the food was good and simple, just like your mum may have made at home.
If you find yourself in the area give them a try.

Up until December you can get 25% off Brunch at Ffiona’s which is a nice incentive.

Food, restaurants

An Exclusive preview of Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu

October 17, 2013
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The Gaucho Picaddilly

It’s Chocolate week! Around the UK tastings and events from the UK’s best chocolatiers are underway. To celebrate Gaucho restaurants have launched an chocolate inspired menu and recently I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive preview at the Gaucho Piccadilly.

Gaucho’s Chocolate Week will see the British love of chocolate combined with Argentina’s renowned beef and Malbec to create a memorable dining experience.

The first part of the evening entailed us being introduced to Malbec family of wines by Gaucho sommelier Ian O’Reilly before going on to taste them with different flavoured chocolates.

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Malbec Wines

Othe guests at Gaucho

Cavas de Gaucho wine room

The first chocolate we tasted was a 70% dark chocolate chosen to highlight the classic match between Malbec and chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate was countered by the sweetness of the tannins that Malbec is so famous for. The second chocolate was coffee and vanilla flavoured  and was chosen to extract the oak influence of the Vina Patricia Malbec. The final and most controversial choice of the evening was the violet flavoured chocolate. Malbec is extremely well known for its floral characteristics with violets always present. The violet chocolate was chosen due to its strong character. It highlighted the Malbec’s ability to tone down the strength of the chocolate whilst the chocolate lifted the floral side of the wine.  I have to say out of all the chocolates I enjoyed the Coffee and Vanilla most for its silky feel on the pallet.

After this it was time to eat and boy we were in for a treat! The first course of braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus was delicious, for me there was just the hint of the chocolate which worked well with humita.

Braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread

Braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus

The next course was slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork. I was worried the chocolate would be overpowering but it complemented the pork beautifully and chilli gave the dish a nice kick.

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Slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork matambre

The menu ended on a high with a gorgeous desert of white chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline served with a glass of Zuccardi Port Malbec. I polished off every bit of the desert and the zucardi provided a perfect blend of sweetness to compliment the white chocolate moose.

White chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble

White chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline

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Gaucho Chef

The Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu costs £65pp and is available at all 14 Gaucho until Saturday 20th October so hurry!

For bookings for the Chocolate Week Menu, please contact your local Gaucho restaurant  www.gauchorestaurants.com



Food, restaurants, review

A Review of McQueen Restaurant and Bar – Shoreditch

October 1, 2013

Where do all the cool kids go for dinner? Apparently Mcqueen restaurant in Shoreditch. Recently I was invited along to try out McQueen’s pre-theatre menu. Most people know McQueen as a funky bar/club in Shoreditch but it actually does excellent food too.

McQueens Restaurant -Shoreditch

McQueens Restaurant -Shoreditch2

McQueens Restaurant -Shoreditch3

The interior of the restaurant is  vintage and retro with huge leather Chesterfield sofa´s, padded walls which are covered with photos of the great Steve McQueen. Lighting was warm and intimate which in my opinion makes it sexy and inviting a great place to bring a date.

For the first course I went for butternut squash and coconut soup which was more was really rich and smooth, it was more butternut than coconut and the chilli gave it a nice kick. My fellow dinner Tiny Cook N kitchen, opted for the Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad which she liked so much she has said she will tried to make at home.

butternut squash soup and coconut

butternut squash and coconut soup

Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad

Fig, toasted goat’s cheese, crispy parma ham and roasted hazelnut Salad

Next was the main course I went for the grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choi and peppercorn sauce. The sweet potatoes were so creamy and sweet I could have eaten a whole bowl and the pork was nicely done. The bok choi I found to be bit overcooked and to be honest It didn’t really add much to other parts of the dish for me. My dining partner opted for the mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken and salsa verde which kind of reminded me of something we often eat in Nigeria.

Grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choy and peppercorn sauce

Grilled rib chop of pork, crushed sweet potatoes, wilted bok choy and peppercorn sauce

Mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken, salsa verde

Mixed pepper and leek rice, roasted breast of chicken, salsa verde

Lastly came dessert which we both agreed was delicious! I am now a fully fledged salted caramel convert. I chose the mixed berry cake which was light, moist and creamy.

Assorted ice cream Salted caramel

Assorted ice cream Salted caramel

mixed berry cake

mixed berry cake

Mscqueens Shoreditch Bar

All in all I really enjoyed my trip to McQueen and considering the pre-theatre menu is only 15 pounds this makes the meal a bargain, I will be back!

 Tiny cook n kitchen said:

I can’t speak for the rest of the menu but the pre-theatre menu is a steal! My dishes were well presented and more importantly, really delicious. I’m still salivating over the goat cheese and fig salad starter and the ice cream for dessert was a winner. The bouncer we encountered on arrival was a little grizzly but our waiter for the evening was charming with the right level of tact, which many restaurants often fail at. Best served with a bunch of good friends or with a dinner date.