Food reviews and recipes

La Belle Assiette – Marriotts Fine Dining

I’ve written about La Belle Assiette before, and I absolutely love the service – a private chef cooking you an incredible meal in your own home – what could be better?

La Belle Assiette

La Belle Assiette connects people with private chefs, who come to their home and cater for them for dinner parties, at various price ranges. There are so many different cuisines too, meaning you can experiment with different flavours  in the comfort of your own home! I hosted another dinner party at mine, this time with Chef Charlie Marriott.

La Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine DiningLa Belle Assiette

The thing I love about La Belle Assiette is how simple the process is – once you decide on a chef, you have a quick chat about any likes/dislikes/allergies, and you’ll get sent several options.

Charlie, our chef for the evening, is a trained professional chef with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Charlie’s passion for cooking started at the age of 13 where he worked washing pots in the local pub so that he could eagerly watch and learn from the other chefs. Going on to culinary college and working at some of the finest AA Rosette and Michelin restaurants throughout the UK and France, Charlie wanted to turn his passion and ambition for the finest and freshest ingredients and exceptional service into something that could be achievable in the comfort and privacy of one’s home or chosen location.

Our evening was absolutely first-class – the meal was stunning, in every possible way.

We started off with a cured sea-bream tartar, which was served with lemon puree, radish, and fennel.

La Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine DiningLa Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine Dining

It was beautifully presented, and tasted amazing – it was really a work of art, and the most beautiful dish to have ever come out of that kitchen I’m sure!

La Belle Assiette

For the main we opted for the Salt marsh lamb rump, which was served with goats curd, pistachio, baby gem and charred onion. It was a triumph.

La Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine Dining

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I’m still thinking about this dessert.

La Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine DiningLa Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine DiningLa Belle Assiette - Marriotts Fine Dining

Blood orange curd, served with Italian meringue and homemade coconut ice cream – it tasted just as good as it looked (it was beautiful).

La Belle Assiette

Again, I can’t recommend La Belle Assiette enough, and be sure to check out Charlie’s profile – you won’t regret it!

Have you ever dined with La Belle Assiette? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

Japonisme Publication Week!

I’m both excited and absolutely terrified about this week, as Japonisme is out on Thursday!

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It’s been completely surreal, and I still can’t quite believe it is happening. Earlier this week, when I was having a particularly overwhelming moment, I reached out to my mom who is currently in Japan for my grandfather’s nanakaiki. A nanakaiki is a traditional memorial service, where family members hold a service at certain intervals following a relative’s death to express gratitude for and acknowledge their continuing influence in our lives.

I write a lot about my grandfather in my book, and while I’m sad I couldn’t be there with my family, I hope I managed to pay him a fitting tribute in Japonisme. My mom, who is currently suffering from a little jetlag, sent me a recording of uguisu, or the Japanese nightingales from my grandmother’s balcony in Kamakura. It was incredibly comforting.

I’m looking forward to Thursday, and to celebrate the launch with a few close friends and family on Friday. I’ve also got the Japonisme supperclub coming up with Toral from the Urban Kitchen on April the 25th at Benk and Bo, which will be a really lovely evening of good food and inspiring talks. We have some great sponsors in Tengu Sake and Miso Tasty, who are providing sake and miso for the event. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, you can get them here.

rawpixel-com-480210-unsplashJaponisme Supperclub

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! As always, you can catch me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

 

MW Restaurant, Hawaii

It just so happened that my last visit to Hawaii coincided with UK mother’s day. It’s been a long since we’ve been in the same country together for it, and I wanted to treat her to a special meal while I was out there.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We are both big fans of a good tasting menu, and so I decided to try the 5-course menu at MW Restaurant, near Ala Moana. The venue is conveniently located – light and spacious, but nothing to write home about. The food is what we are all here for, after all.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We kicked off the meal with a chef’s selection of appetisers.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

A crab cake with garlic and black pepper sauce, unagi and butterfish arancini, kushi oyster with shiso yukari mignonette, jizori fried chicken with a kimchi garlic soy sauce and a mushroom gelee with truffle coulis.

My favourite was the arancini, closely followed by the crispy chicken and kimchi. My mom loved the umami flavours from the mushroom gelee, and raved about it for ages afterwards.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Our second course was a mochi crusted kona kampachi, and one of my favourites. I loved the combination of flavours and textures, and it was all presented beautifully.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Upon checking out the menu ahead of time, I had been most excited about the Hokkaido scallop with kona abalaone fried rice, but found the yuzu flavours slightly too overpowering for my liking.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

The red wine braised short rib with Eryngi mushroom was delicious – meltingly tender. One of the things MW Restaurant does so well is to include Japanese ingredients and elements so beautifully throughout, and this course was a perfect example.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Neither my mom or I are big dessert fans, but we were both blown away by the lilikoi creme brulee. The warm custard, combined with tropical fruits and tapioca pearls really pleasantly surprised us, and we both ended up polishing them all off (despite having convinced ourselves we were full up until that point).

My only regret was not getting the wine pairing with our meal, which was only $35 extra. We had convinced ourselves we would only have a glass or two each, and it would’ve enhanced our experience had we gone with that option.

The service was impeccable. The staff, who asked if we were celebrating anything in particular, gifted us a delicious banana bread to take away with us at the end of the meal. It was a classy, thoughtful touch, and the perfect end to a memorable meal. I would definitely recommend MW for a special occasion if you’re in the area!

Have you been to MW Restaurant?  Let me know your thoughts on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

MW Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japonisme Supperclub – How the Japanese Lifestyle Can Help You Live Healthier for Longer

I am so excited to be hosting a supperclub with the amazing Toral from The Urban Kitchen on April 25th at Benk + Bo! Tickets are available now on The Urban Kitchen website – we hope you can join us for a fun, inspiring and delicious evening!

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

What can you learn from the Japanese approach to food and lifestyle for a healthy, happy life? Join Erin Niimi Longhurst, blogger and author of Japonisme, and Toral Shah, nutritional scientist, chef, and founder of The Urban Kitchen for an evening of delicious food and talks about Ikebana (flower arranging), Aikido (martial arts), health and lifestyle.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

The Japanese-inspired menu has been developed collaboratively between Erin and Toral, and features some dishes from the book. The evening will include talks from Toral about the benefits of the Japanese diet and lifestyle, from Erin around Japanese philosophies like Ikigai, and special guests around the benefits of Aikido and Ikebana.

Ticket price of £45 includes full meal, a welcome cocktail and a goody bag.

Date: April 25th 2018, 7pm start, 7.30pm seated for dinner. Tickets available here.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

Let me know if you can make it on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Temakinho

I’m a big fan of cuisines that have been influenced by Japan – Peruvian food, for one, but Brazilian food too.

Temakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I was excited to sample what Temakinho in Soho had to offer – and even more so once I found out that they source their seafood sustainably. I’m also a big fan of caipirinhas, and really enjoyed starting the meal out with a passionfruit caipifruta.

Temakinho Soho

Their plates are definitely made for sharing, and while I really enjoyed the espetinho Brasiliero (prawn and pineapple skewers), they paled in comparison to my favourite dish of the evening – the tacos de floripa. I kind of wish I hadn’t had to share these – they were excellent. Cassava tacos with guacamole, jalapenos, onion and lime, topped with different types of seafood – buttered salmon, tuna, lobster, scallops, and octopus. I loved the combination of flavours and textures – creamy and crisp, yet soft and tart at the same time. Seriously delicious!

Temakinho SohoTemakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I went completely overboard with my main order, and ended up taking most of it home with me. My favourite rolls included the salmao completo ou picante (salmon tartar, chives, sesame seeds, flying fish roe), olho de boi completo ou picante (yellowtail, chives, avocado, creamy sesame sauce) and siri completo (breaded soft shell crab, flying fish roe, avocado, spicy mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauce).

I’m not a big dessert person, but ended up ordering the guava cheesecake and bolo de prestigio (chocolate and coconut cake). I can’t really do them justice, as I was so stuffed at this point, but the guava cheesecake really stood out.

Temakinho Soho

The service was excellent, and the restaurant was buzzing on the Saturday night – it’s a great addition to Soho, as its so convenient located.

I really enjoyed my evening at Temakinho, and will definitely be back for those tacos de floripas!

Temakinho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato