Food reviews and recipes

Wilderness

Earlier this month I went to Wilderness Festival – my first proper English festival (camping and all).

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It was definitely one of the highlights of the summer. Whether it’s the incredible food, the amazing atmosphere and activities (Ottolenghi’s talk, the cricket and the hilarious barn-dancing were particular highlights), every detail was meticulously done and I loved every minute of it.

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Like with any UK festival you have to resign yourself to getting a little wet – and there is so much on offer that you’ll most definitely go over your budget, but you’ll meet some incredible people and have an absolute blast.

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Some of my favourite food stands were festival favourites Anna Mae’s and Stakehaus – I went to those in particular multiple times over the course of the festival.

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I also really liked that they sent through a list of each night’s costume themes in advance – seeing the amount of effort people went into was absolutely glorious.

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Until next year, Wilderness!

Have you ever been to Wilderness Festival? What were your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

Barbecoa, St. Paul’s

I like to think I’m a pretty organised person. If I was really on it, though, I would’ve combined a visit to the Cathedral Lates with a meal at Barbecoa by St. Paul’s.

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Barbecoa is another feather in Jamie Oliver’s cap – a steakhouse, focusing on slowcooked and dry aged meat. The kitchen at the St. Paul’s Barbecoa has a Robata grill and a Texas pit smoker, too.

It’s worth going for the view alone – I had no idea you could get such an incredible view of St. Paul’s Cathedral while tucking into a delicious steak.

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Barbecoa was full of surprises – like the fact that they have the largest collection of whiskeys in London, tucked away in a little room.

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We started off with the duck croquettes, which were so good it was the first thing my friend texted me about the following morning. Perfectly crisp on the outside, they practically melted in your mouth – and the plum ketchup was tart without being bitter. Absolute perfection.

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Given that we were both planning to tuck into some steaks and sides we split a starter, and went for the sticky creole ribs.

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Unless they’re from the Rusty Keyhole in Kampot, I’m not the biggest fan of ribs, but I did enjoy these – the apple and kohlrabi slaw in particular.

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My dinner date opted for the sirloin with wood-grilled tomatoes, marjoram and capezzana. I went for the fillet, served with bone marrow, smoked bearnaise and a herb salad.

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I much preferred my accompaniments, but I wish I had substituted the fillet for the sirloin. The bone marrow was deliciously buttery, and I also asked for a wild mushroom gravy to go with the dish, too.

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Having said that, I really enjoyed my dish – the steak was cooked beautifully, the fries were crispy and the wine (a 2015 Crystallum Pinot Noir) was delicious. We popped in on a Wednesday, where we managed to get 30% off of the wine, so it’s worth looking into if you do decide to go.

Barbecoa, St. Pauls

By the time we managed to battle our way through the steaks we were far too stuffed for dessert, so made the most of the view before having another little explore of the venue. The staff were really helpful, friendly and knowledgeable about all of the whiskeys, and they had some that were a hundred years old!

Barbecoa, St. Pauls

All in all I was pleasantly surprised and had a wonderful time at Barbecoa, and would definitely recommend it if you’re in the area – be sure to pop in to the cathedral first!

Have you been to Barbecoa? What were your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

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

Herman Ze German

I used to work right by Charlotte Street, and that made lunchtimes incredibly dangerous for my bank balance. It’s gotten even better since I stopped working around there – I love The Ninth, and you are spoilt for choice in that neighbourhood (Pied a Terre is another fantastic restaurant).

Neither of which are that friendly to your bank balance, so if you’re up for something a little more casual I’d head on down to Herman Ze German.

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It’s fairly casual, and not a first date kinda place – but it’s the perfect venue to take an old friend, and catch up over a couple of beers and some good food.

I’m always a fan of eating family-style, and sharing a few dishes. We went slightly overboard, but the staff were great about packing it all up afterwards (you can get it all to go, if you prefer) so lunch was sorted for the next few days. Winning.

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My favourite dish of the lot was Ze Wilde Bock Roll – bockwurst, curry sauce, crispy onions in a light roll with some chips on the side. The flavours and textures were so satisfying, and I would definitely go back again for this dish alone.

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The chicken schnitzel sandwich was the favourite dish of my lunch date, who isn’t as into curry sauce as I am.

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It still didn’t stop her from ordering the pommes spezial as a side – chips topped with crispy onions, curry sauce and mayo.

Did I mention we went slightly overboard? We also went for one of their wursts in a roll, which was absolutely delicious, although I much preferred the texture of Ze Wilde Bock Roll.

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The only disappointing dish for us was off of their brunch menu – the Big Faddi Bumbaladdi. A leberkase sausage patty with a fried egg and cheese, served in a bun – the meat was slightly overprocessed for us, and I wasn’t a fan of the texture.

Herman Ze German

Overall I really enjoyed my Herman Ze German experience – it’s affordable, excellent food, and a great place to grab lunch.

Have you been to Herman Ze German? What are your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

Herman Ze German Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pop Up India, Proud East

Last week I popped back to Proud East, this time to check out Pop Up India.

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Now I really enjoyed myself at their Pop Up Japan launch, but if anything their Pop Up India is better.

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I didn’t get to experience any of their events this time (Nomad Cinema are showing Bollywood films every week, and they have classes like henna, Bollywood dance, yoga and live music), but after dinner we had a few goes on the ping pong tables, which is always fun.

The food was unbelievable. Proud East have partnered with Chit Chaat Chai for the pop up, and the street food-inspired menu was phenomenal.

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The vegetarian options in particular were really outstanding – I wholeheartedly recommend the yoghurt puri (semolina balls filled with yoghurt) as well as the okra fries, the samosa chaat (vegetarian samosas in a chickpea sauce, topped with various chutneys) and the fusion chilli paneer.

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I was slightly underwhelmed by the keema pau – spiced lamb mince served in little buns – the texture didn’t really do anything for me, and in comparison to the other dishes it really didn’t stand out.

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If you’re thirsty, I’d really recommend their lychee martinis.

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Pop Up India is on until September 26th, so get yourself down there!

Have you been to any Proud East pop ups? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

Sake No Hana, Mayfair

I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop with this one.

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Yeah, it’s really pretty, and yes, maybe I’m biased because as a Japanese person, I think any attempt at fusion should be done incredibly well or not at all – but I just don’t get it.

I was so prepared to fall in love with Sake no Hana. It’s constantly on my Instagram feed, and everyone is always talking about it, but I found my experience really didn’t live up to the hype.

The last time I felt this way was when Avatar came out – for weeks, all you could hear about was how great it was – and when I finally went to go see it, I felt totally duped. Wasn’t that just blue Pocahontas? In 3D?

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While the service was impeccable, I found the rice on the sushi to be hard and somewhat stale, despite being beautifully presented.

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I went for the vegetarian main, which is an old favourite of mine – agedashi tofu, or deep-fried tofu, which was nice, but nothing to write home about. My dinner date opted for a chicken dish which was rather fatty, and somewhat clumsily put together.

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While I’m not a big fan of dessert at the best of times, I was really disappointed in this one – a coconut ice-cream and pineapple cheesecake. I really wished they had used some more traditional ingredients and flavours, but that’s just my personal preference.

All in all, I was slightly let down by my experience – but what are your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram