Bottomless Brunch at Tootoomoo

I love bottomless brunch.

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But there’s only so much enthusiasm you can muster up for poached eggs and avocado on toast (again) with a couple of watery mimosas. So when I was invited along to try Tootoomoo’s offering, I was pretty excited – Pan-Asian tapas is exactly what I crave on a hangover, so I dragged along a close friend (also similarly hungover) to check it out.

We popped into the Islington branch of Tootoomoo for their Bottomless Brunch offering, which is £35 a head for 1.5 hours, or £45 per person for 2 hours with drinks. You can get unlimited drinks and food between 12-6pm, and pretty much get your pick of the menu – a wide range of Asian tapas.

Tootoomoo Bottomless BrunchmPTootoomoo Bottomless Brunch

We started off with a jug of the Elderflower Tootoomoo, a gin, elderflower and mint cocktail before ordering our first round of dishes – wanton soup, chicken gyoza, salmon sashimi and soft shell crab tempura.

Tootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless Brunch

All the food was delicious, although the soft shell crab was a particular highlight – the only downside being that there was only one waitress who seemed to be rushed off of her feet, so there was a little bit of a wait.

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Despite the slight wait, the brunch was extremely good value, and really delicious. Once we polished off our gin, we moved onto the passionfruit caipirinha which was also really good, along with an order of BBQ Pork Ribs, vegetable potstickers and spring rolls.

Tootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless Brunch

All in all, I thought that the bottomless brunch at Tootoomoo was fantastic value for the quality and the quantity of food. The only thing I would hope is that they hire more staff for the weekend – especially around 1pm when it gets a little busy!

Tootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless BrunchTootoomoo Bottomless Brunch

Where is your favourite bottomless brunch place? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

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

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies

My mother is an excellent cook. I mostly got my love of cooking and food from her, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine. I was lucky enough to grow up in New York, where there is an abundance of Japanese supermarkets, making sourcing ingredients like dashi (stock), tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and nori (dried seaweed) really simple. When I went to Manchester for university, I found myself really stuck in terms of finding the basics I was so used to at home. Luckily, there are a few more options in London, like the Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus or Atariya. They both have great selections, but they’re either completely rammed (Piccadilly is always horrendously crowded due to all the tourists) or quite far out (the end of the Northern line, for both Atariya locations), and getting home can be a massive hassle when you bulk buy rice and other basics, like I do.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesSo I was completely thrilled when I was contacted by the lovely team from the Japan Food Hall, a Japanese online supermarket based in the UK. They have a great selection of products – everything from Japanese candies and snacks to sauces and mixes for dishes like sushi or hotpot. The website is clear, easy to use, and has great customer service (they even sent along a few snacks and treats with my first order!) It’s perfect for getting all the essentials, without the expense of lugging it all across town.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

One of the first items in my order was a bag of kinako, or roasted soybean flour. I love kinako, which is usually eaten with a little bit of brown sugar with roasted mochi, a Japanese rice cake. Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies
 
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Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80g Kinako (roasted soybean) flour
  • 200g Crushed white chocolate
  • 200g Gluten-free flour
  • 125g Butter
  • 50ml Maple Syrup
  • 200ml Agave Syrup
  • Maldon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Matcha tea powder and hot water (optional, to serve)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flours until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, fold the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate.
  4. Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces with a spatula until evenly distributed.
  5. Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spoon out the dough.
  6. Leave space between each biscuit as these will spread!
  7. Top each biscuit with a pinch of sea salt, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
  8. These are crumbly when hot, so take care when placing these on a cooling rack.
  9. Let them cool – they should be quite chewy, with a creamy flavour.
  10. Serve with some matcha or Darjeeling tea.
Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesKinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesI absolutely love using traditional Japanese ingredients and using them to take a new spin on the classic British afternoon tea. For summer, I’ve been thinking of matcha cheesecakes, cucumber maki rolls instead of cucumber sandwiches and roasted hoji-cha tea – with some sparkling fruit sake, of course!

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

Japan Food Hall have a great selection sure to get your creative juices flowing – and until May 31st you can get free UK delivery when you use the code ErinFreeDelivery3105. Japan Food Hall deliver throughout Europe, so if you’re outside the British Isles you can use the code to get £6 off your total order. To find their site, simply click on the link below, or find links to their social media site at the end of this post!

Let me know what you end up getting – I’d love to hear your ideas!

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This post was in collaboration with the Japan Food Hall – all opinions are fully my own, and I wouldn’t blog it if I didn’t love the service! What recipes and ingredients will you try? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Le Chinois Chinese Afternoon Tea, Knightsbridge

I was recently invited down by the lovely people at Joe Blogs to a bloggers’ afternoon tea at the Millennium Hotel in Knightsbridge. Those who know me well know that I’m not particularly a fan of cake, but when I was informed that Le Chinois at the Millennium Hotel offers a dim sum afternoon tea I was ridiculously excited. All the excitement of afternoon tea combined with my endless love for dim sum – what could be better?

The concept of the Chinese afternoon tea is a new one, but for £25 per person, the offering at Le Chinois is value for money especially given it’s location.

2015-01-19 15.12.35Upon arrival, I was given a glass of champagne while we were busy mingling with the other bloggers, both new friends and old!

Once seated, we were given some jasmine tea as our dim sum began to arrive. I was sat next to the lovely Olivia, who I’d met previously on my Zombie Run, and Emma from Emmainks.

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The first dish to arrive was minced chicken wrapped in lettuce. I loved the mixture of flavours and textures of this – they were really moreish, satisfying while feeling light.

Chinese lettuce wraps, le chinois

For the event, we were served everything separately, but if you pop in for the afternoon tea the dishes are all served at once, presented beautifully on a tray.

Le ChinoisLe Chinois

Highlights of the meal for me were the crispy shredded duck spring rolls, the sauteed prawns coated with wasabi cream (which I’ll be sure to recreate soon), crispy scallop rolls and steamed siu mai. Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t fret – a delicious pink and green mochi cake (a sweet rice cake filled with red bean paste) is sure to keep you satisfied!

Le Chinois duck rollsLe Chinois ShumaiLe Chinois Butterflies

Other items on the menu included crispy scallop rolls, chai siu pork buns, dip-fried prawns with passionfruit coulis and fresh sliced mango, along with pepper and beef skewers.

Le Chinois KnightsbridgeLe Chinois Beef SkewersLe Chinois Rice Rolls

The items that I tried were beautifully presented, light and appetising – a really nice alternative to a traditional afternoon tea. Having just come back from Hong Kong, and having a mother who makes the most incredible siu mai in the world, I can’t honestly claim that the dim sum was the best I’ve ever had, or particularly revolutionary, but the dim sum was pleasant and tasty.

Dim Sum Siu Mai Afternoon Tea Le Chinois

We were lucky enough to be shown how to carve a traditional Peking duck – though I was too fixated on taking pictures to try any myself, a massive error on my part!

Le Chinois Peking DuckLe Chinois Peking Duck

I am completely enamoured of the dim sum afternoon tea concept, and I think the Millennium Hotel provide a beautifully presented option which is great value for Knightsbridge. Dim sum traditionalists might not take to Le Chinois’ offering, but for £25 the Chinese afternoon tea is a safe bet for an unusual London afternoon tea experience.

Thanks so much to Joe Blogs for hosting such a fun event! Although my meal was comp’d, all opinions are completely my own.

Le Chinois Joe Bloggers

Le Chinois is located within the Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge, at 17-25 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9NU. The Chinese Afternoon Tea is available at £25 per person.

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

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Simple Korean-style BBQ Recipe

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, usually made with fermented cabbage. I lived in Seoul from the age of 1 to 3, and so this deliciously spicy and sour dish has always been a staple in my family – our fridge is rarely without it. Kimchi is low in calories and full of fiber (a winning combination), and has the added bonus of being addictively delicious. The first time I made this meal for Mr. A, I woke up in the middle of night to find him raiding the fridge for the leftovers – it’s that good.

Kimchi

Despite having lived in South Korea, the only words that still remain with me (besides the first word I ever spoke, which was 고양이, the Korean word for ‘cat’) are off a menu. If you have never tried Korean food, you should – get yourself down to a restaurant and get yourself an order of kimchi, with pajeon (a Korean seafood pancake) and Bulgogi (Korean marinated beef). I’d recommend those dishes for a newbie – but definitely not for a first date, as Korean cuisine is very garlic-heavy!

As with all my recipes, this isn’t a strictly traditional recipe for Korean BBQ. In my family, we usually have this for Sunday lunch – it’s perfect for eating family style, and can get quite messy.

Simple Korean-style BBQ Recipe
 
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As with all my recipes, this isn’t a strictly traditional recipe for Korean BBQ. In my family, we usually have this for Sunday lunch – it’s perfect for eating family style, and can get quite messy.
Author:
Recipe type: BBQ
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: One Portion
Ingredients
  • Some steak, or good-quality beef
  • Sesame oil
  • Coarse salt (I use kosher salt)
  • Lettuce
  • Rice
  • Tongs
  • Frying pan and camp stove, or hot plate
  • Kimchi (one packet)
  • A lot of napkins
Instructions
  1. You really can’t get more simple than this – prepare all the trimmings.
  2. Cook the rice, wash the lettuce, decant the kimchi into bowls.
  3. Put sesame oil in a small dish with a small heap of the coarse salt (around 5 tablespoons of oil).
  4. Once you are ready to eat, turn on the hob to a high heat and start frying the beef.
  5. There’s no need to oil the pan, and I recommend cutting the beef into small, bite-sized strips.
  6. Take a lettuce leaf, and fill with a small spoonful of rice and some kimchi.
  7. Once the beef has cooked, pop that in as well, and wrap it up into a deliciously crunchy bundle.
  8. Dip the parcel into the salty sesame oil, and enjoy the different textures and flavours.
Korean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQKorean BBQ

It’s fresh, but also feels indulgent – and is a fairly fuss free meal, too! Perfect for having friends round, as everyone can take part, and is a great for a dinner party, especially if the guests don’t all know each other.

Korean BBQServe with a nice red wine, or even some sake or soju!

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Cambodian Mango and Coconut Cupcakes

Despite the title, this recipe isn’t Cambodian – but it was inspired by my time in Cambodia, and contains Cambodian ingredients and flavours. The mango jam I used in this recipe is homemade, made by my stepmother who is currently living in Cambodia, and I’ve done a Khmer twist on the usual cupcake mixture by adding palm sugar instead of caster. I also made a coconut cream cheese icing, but I’m not sure if you can get good quality cream cheese out there – I definitely wouldn’t recommend these for a Cambodian garden party at any rate. But for our English summers I think they do quite nicely – I took them along to a barbecue last weekend and they went pretty quickly.

Palm sugar

Cambodian Mango and Coconut Cupcakes
 
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This recipe was inspired by the ingredients and flavours I encountered when I was in Cambodia - the palm sugar, mango and toasted coconut I found and fell in love with when I was over there.
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: Cambodian
Serves: Dozen
Ingredients
  • 250g butter
  • 250g palm sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 60g plain flour
  • 185ml milk
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 60g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. For the cupcakes, whip the butter and sugar together until it has a light and fluffy consistency.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients – remember to sift! – and pour into the cases.
  4. I made 18 cupcakes by filling the cases ⅔ full.
  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.
  6. For the icing, whip the butter and cream cheese.
  7. Slowly work in the vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar until it has achieved the desired consistency. Place in the fridge.
  8. Once the cupcakes are done, place them on a cooling rack while you complete the topping.
  9. In a small saucepan or frying pan, add the palm sugar and dessicated coconut to toast it lightly.
  10. This step is one you have to keep an eye on – once the coconut has turned brown pop it into a bowl.
  11. Add a dollop of mango jam on top of every cupcake once they have cooled.
  12. With a piping bag, pipe the cream cheese frosting over each cupcake before sprinkling the coconut.
2014-06-07 13.43.58dessicated coconutmango jam

And there you have it – creamy, fruity and summery cupcakes, perfect for a garden party or a BBQ!

coconut mango cupcakescoconut mango cupcakescoconut mango cupcakes

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