Aman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I love a good pop-up. After my last incredible experience at Frescobaldi’s Winemakers Dinner, I was really excited to head over there again – but this time, to try some Turkish fare.

Aman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I fell in love with the story behind Aman da Bravo, a ‘bistronomique’ from Istanbul started by two friends – Inanc Baykar and Melis Korkud. Having established a successful catering company, the two women were offered several spaces to host a restaurant, including hotels, but nothing felt quite right. They then decided to pop a table in the kitchen of their catering business, which is in a largely residential area of Istanbul – only open for lunch, and seating only twenty, the two entrepreneurs managed to turn it into a success via word of mouth.

In Turkish, the name ‘Aman da Bravo’ is apparently play on words (‘what a great idea’) – which apparently one of them had suggested sarcastically.

Their menu is seasonal, and developed out of what is available at their local farmer’s market – and until the 17th of September, they have brought their dishes to London, at the fabulous Frescobaldi.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I love Turkish food, but I’ve never had it like this. We were lucky enough to sample everything on the menu, and started off with spinach roots and pears, which were baked in olive oil with fennel and tangerine zest.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

We also got to sample the delicious calves liver with tabbouleh – marinated in molasses with celeriac. While delicious, my absolute favourite starter (and the must-have dish of the lot) was the manti – Turkish dumplings filled with lamb, sage butter, and pine nuts. Served with a little shaved parmesan, these were almost like tortellini, and were so moreish – I could’ve done with a few plates of the stuff.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

Then we were onto the mains – the standout dish for me being the octopus. It was cooked to perfection (no rubbery flesh here) – it had been poached in red wine, and was served with grilled Romaine lettuce and a sun-dried tomato salsa.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I also adored the cauliflower, ground meat and egg dish – roasted with turmeric, it was smoky, but the runniness of the egg gave it a creaminess to the dish, too.

Just when I felt I was fit to burst, the desserts arrived. Not being one for desserts particularly, the Sütlaç (rice pudding) was not one for me, as it was rather sweet, but the curd cheese, figs and honey were a perfect way to round off the meal.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

An evening of lovely food, and of course, being Frescobaldi, fantastic wine – in such a lovely venue, too! It’s also got me hankering after a trip to Istanbul, to visit the actual premises, but make sure you get over to FrescoBravo before the 17th! You won’t regret it.

Have you ever tried manti? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Edwin’s, Borough

A visit to Edwin’s has become an almost weekly occurrence.

The restaurant is located just about Borough station, and it’s quite easy to miss – just a little blue door nestled between the station and the next café over.

Edwin's, BoroughEdwin's BoroughEdwin's Borough
Follow the stairs up and you’ll find a bright and charming room filled with eclectic but modern furnishings. It’s always got such a nice atmosphere, but it’s never rammed (although I’d strongly recommend making a reservation to avoid disappointment).

Edwin's, Borough
I always describe Edwin’s as ‘new English’, which has fast become one of my favourite cuisines – traditional dishes and ingredients, but presented in a contemporary and interesting way.

I highly recommend getting a few of the small plates to share – they are all so delicious, and I love getting to try a little bit of everything.

Wood pigeon, Jerusalem artichoke, mushroom & port, Edwin's BoroughEdwin's, BoroughEdwin's, Borough
I’ve been about five or six times now, but only ever during the week, but everything I have tried on the weekday lunch menu has been absolutely fantastic.

Edwin's, BoroughPurple sprouting, duck egg, cobnut & beurre noisette, Edwin's, Borough
My favourite small plates include the purple sprouting broccoli, which is topped with duck egg, cobnut and beurre noisette. The combination of flavours with the duck egg and the hazelnuts is really incredible, and is definitely a dish I get every time.

Rabbit, spinach polenta, Edwin's BoroughRabbit, spinach polenta, Edwin's Borough
The rabbit with spinach polenta, which is served with a little parmesan is also lovely, but the wood pigeon with Jerusalem artichoke, mushroom and port is the real star of the small plates. It’s absolutely incredible, and while you might have to keep an eye out for shot, it’s really not a dish to be missed.

The roasted plaice with salsify, fennel, Pernod and mussel sauce is also delicious, and the oxtail stew that I’ve had previously is so comforting. The stew is served with garlic mash, and the sauce is heavenly – if you don’t mind a bit of a fiddly dish, then I’d really recommend you try it.

Roast plaice, fennel, salsify, Pernod & mussel sauce, Edwin's, Borough
The only downside for me is that the desserts all seem to be flour-based, so I haven’t managed to try any, but given that I’m not one for desserts anyway it’s not too much of a problem for me at all!

Edwin’s is perfect for client lunches, or lunch with friends – it’s got such an intimate, quiet and lovely atmosphere, so if you’re ever in the London Bridge area I wholeheartedly recommend you check it out.

Have you ever been to Edwin’s? What’s your favourite dish? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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

Restaurant Review: The Bear Inn, Stock

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As much as I love London, there are times you need to get away for a bit to clear your head. It makes me appreciate it more when I’m back. This weekend I went to stay with family and I re-visited one of my favourite gastropubs – The Bear Inn, in Stock.

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The Bear is really cosy on the inside, with beautiful exposed beams and decorated with eccentric trinkets throughout. The owners, Richard and Brenda, have really done it up beautifully, but what always gets me coming back is the amazing food.

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I started off my meal with a trio of pan-fried scallops, which topped a grilled tomato and pea puree. Scallops can be a bit hit-or-miss: but even looking at the picture of my starter is making my mouth water again!

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I ended up having the Bear burger (unfortunately not actually made of bear), which came with red onion salsa, coleslaw and french fries. The burger was perfect and the salsa to die for. This is the type of English food I missed so much when I was abroad! It all washed down well with my glass of Chilean merlot. I ended up opting out of having a dessert, but when I was surrounded by amazingly presented banoffee pies and creme brulees I got food envy all over again. A mistake I won’t be making next time!

If you’re ever in the neighbourhood I suggest you check it out – you won’t regret it.