A tourist in my own city

Eating, drinking, seeing and cooking in london

Archive for the category “Food”

The Duke of Kent, Ealing

The Best Bacon sandwich ever?…



Okay, That is a bold claim, and it isn’t.

This is however the most impressive & imaginative bacon sandwich/loaf I have seen. A full fresh sourdough loaf, treated like a garlic bread, just with bacon instead of garlic butter. This is obviously not meant for one person…I tried it solo and failed.

The Breakfast menu here is really good though and they have all the bases covered. The full English is decent too, you can see one hiding in the back ground of the loaf.

With a the biggest pub garden I know of in London and breakfasts like this, I could become a hung over regular.

Born & Raised @Real food festival, Southbank



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I was strolling around the Real Food Festival, trying very hard not to have my second Frenchie duck burger in a week when I noticed what is the most amazing pizza oven I have ever seen.

Yes that is a hole in the side of a Land Rover with a wood burner inside! I had to try this from a distance. Then as I got close I saw these beetroot infused sourdough beautys being turned out!

I couldn’t resist giving this one a go, but for non beetroot fans don’t worry the other pizzas are a normal sourdough. The pizza you see pictured is topped with Onion marmalade, goats cheese, with drops of beetroot puree a drizzle of balsamic reduction and baby leaves. The texture of the dough was good, with a nice chew to the crust and the smokiness that comes from a pile of burning wood next to the pizza.

Having looked on their twitter since they have some amazing topping combos so definitely check these guys out, you cant miss that land Rover!



TacoWars2, Hawker House


On Saturday the 29th of march was the second instalment of tweat up’s TacoWars. 8 of the best assembled  to serve myself and 499 other hungry judges there best taco in a bid to be crowned 2014’s taco kings. There was pork, beef, octopus and tuna offerings with all manners of creative adornments and maybe too many chillibacks judging from the hangover on Sunday morning.

I’m going to go through the 8 in the order I put them starting with my favourite (which wasn’t the victor, but it was in the top 3)

Kimchinary: Beer braised pork belly, pickled mustard seeds, Korean pear remoulade, oyster kimchi, gochujang and pig crunch on a smoked pork fat and sesame tortilla.IMG_4431IMG_4428  IMG_4424

Breddos Tacos (the victors): 50 day aged chipotle beef short ribs with bone marrow, beef dripping tortilla, cheese croqueta, Naga jolokia pipette smoked morello cherry jam and sweet pickled jalapeños.

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Benito’s hat: Pork belly and apple tacos with homemade avocado leaf tortillas, shaved fennel, black beans, roasted pineapple, apple and habanero salsa, lime and a sprinkling of chicharron

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b.o.b.s lobster, Sashimi grade ahi tuna, wasabi guacamole, chipotle crema, Asian slaw and seasame sees in a crunchy taco

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Rita’s: Pigs head, belly and trotter, burnt spring onion crema and blood orange pico.IMG_4403 IMG_4401

Santo Remedio: chargrilled octopus marinated in Pasilla de Oaxaca chillies with black beans, yerba santa and avocado leaf in a blue corn tortilla.

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BBQ Lab, Hickory smoked peanut butter jellypork belly, popcorn pudding, candied chillies, pickleback jell, wild garlic flowers and coriander in a 100% pork loin tortilla.IMG_4423 IMG_4453

Luardos, grilled skirt steak, slasa roja, supersweet onions coriander and lime in a homemade tortilla




Kome, at the Dolls house Hoxton square


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The Dolls house is a great venue on Hoxton Square, this is a really busy, vibrant area near old street station with loads of bars, clubs and restaurants within a five minute walk. With 4 floors and a roof terrace and a small smoking area this was a perfect location for Kome. This 4 night pop up serves LA inspired street food. 

We arrived promptly, starving and tipsy for the 9pm sitting with a tag along that they happily accepted although the event was sold out online. The only danger of the later sittings on a weekend is not getting too drunk in the couple of hours between finishing work and having dinner while in a bar.

The starters came and was one slate between two (as a group of 5 this meant extras which was perfect). There was a kimchi quesadilla, which wasn’t very spicy which for the group was probably a good thing but for me i like to know there is chilli on my kimchi, the oshinko (pickle) of cucumber,ginger and carrot which was very refreshing and a tuna tataki tostada.  These were wolfed down in seconds as we were so hungry and there were no complaints from anyone about the taste, just bickering about sharing and who had the larger half.

Next up was the Bulgogi fries, which is fries topped with korean beef, spring onions and coriander with a sauce that was kin to a burger sauce, once again sharing between two so the bitterness from the starters sharing fiasco was still fresh and the bickering continued to the entertainment of the ones who were capable of sharing. I would have happily got through one of these plates on my own as how can fries with beef on not be a winning combination which these most definitely were.

The main event came as a portion each, much to the relief of the two who had almost fallen out over the fries. What arrived was pork belly that had been glazed in agave and had perfect crackling on top of the falling apart and melt in the mouth pork. This was easily in the top 5 pieces of pork belly I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. To accompany the pork there was jasmine sticky rice, thai basil, baby leaves, asian broccoli, pickled radishes, queso fresco, crispy onions, crushed peanuts, salsa verde, sambal and a fried egg on top. When reading the menu online before booking the tickets i thought this was going to be way too much, but when all these were combined it all worked and each mouthful had a slightly different taste profile which kept me very happy. Every component of this dish was excited perfectly and therefor was great on its own and with the other parts. Full marks to the guys for putting that much effort into one dish as well.

Starting to feel quite full and rather tipsy, I was slightly worried about the size of the dessert as i would have to eat what i was given (bad habits from school). Luckily what arrived was a raspberry and hazelnut ice cream balls incased in mochi, which is rice flour and hot water combined to form a pastry that encases the ice cream, this has a pleasant chewy texture that was really nice with the ice cream, the hazelnut was by a long way the best of  the two. It is also the best hazelnut ice cream I’ve had…in fact it was so good one of the group hates nuts, but enjoyed the ice cream which is impressive.

Kome put on a great meal which was a great night out, everyone was so friendly and the service was great. i really don’t have anything bad to say about this, so if you ever see tickets available for a Kome pop up then buy them (after i have mine of course!).

Pig in the woods pop up, Hot house Hackney

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Pig in the woods popped up in the Hot House near London fields station for a 5 course feast, courtesy of the Phantom Pig, who create culinary events all over town.  This time it was on the roof (in a  marquee) of the Hot house. Even better it was only £35 for what you see above, which for what i got, was some of the best food I’ve had in relation to expenditure for a very long time.

Popcorn and caraway butter, arrived quickly on my arrival luckily as i was starving by the time i managed to find the place, and smoked salt butter was really flavourful with the soft sour dough, it was hard to save some for the soup to arrive.  The soup, parsnip, with bacon and white chocolate was sweet and silky smooth with the parsnip still the lead favour through the bacon and white chocolate.

Then onto the Sea Bream, served as a tartar on a smear of grapefruit gel, a sliver of turnip on top and olive oil powder with a winter salad. A very light and fresh dish, with a nice tartar with a bit of acidity and firm bream.

Next up was for me the star of this menu, i would have been happy if i had turned up and been given a huge portion of just this. 42 hour beef shin, horseradish and potato puree, alliums, ash. The smoothest potato puree you could wish for with a subtle horseradish heat, topped with a piece of beef that at no point needed a knife to be used. The beef wasn’t falling apart of its on accord, but as soon as the side of a fork was pressed down a juicy chunk came off. The gravy was a very rich, i assume the braising liquid, and caramelised shallots added a sweetness to the meal.

The palette refresher was ginger beer snow (granita) with cream soda air and flowers, by this point as it was about 10pm it was starting to get a bit cold in the marquee, so although it was really refreshing it was making me a bit to cold to have the whole thing. Although as I’m not a fan of cream soda the ‘air’ was really nice with the gingery ice.

The dessert that came was a masterpiece in textures. Bitter sweet chocolate bar, malt marshmallow, peanuts, crumbs,vanilla creme fraiche served with warm peanut milk. The chocolate bar, was the texture of a torte with a pile of chocolate and peanut rubble with the charred and gooey marshmallow, with a warm peanut butter milk that helped the rich sticky chocolate bar melt in my mouth. I would have preferred the peanut butter to have been less subtle in the milk.

There was nothing on this menu i could even start to complain about and as i said to start the value for money is almost unbeatable. If you ever see a Phantom pig event and can go i urge you to book the ticket and give it a go for yourself, I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

Electric Dinner, Portobello road


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The Electric Dinner and Electric cinema is as the names suggest is a cinema with a dinner attached.  There is a good range of beers. As this is called a dinner the usual suspects are on the menu, mac n cheese, burgers, hotdog etc, but the rest of the menu was a surprise, with rissoles/terrines for starters and moules/steak frites for mains and some other more refined options.

To start we shared the Duck Confit terrine, as i said before not what i expected, but i love duck confit so i wasn’t going to complain, with crisp bread to smear it on.

For mains we went for the burger which for a single is two patties and a double three patties, obviously thinner than u would normally find.  This means lots more surface area for the Maillard reaction to works its magic. Toppings were generous, Thick cut crisp bacon and pretty much a whole avocado, while each patty gets its own slice of melty american cheese. The second dish was the shaved beef rib sandwich with monterey jack. This was served with a beef jus and blue cheese mayo. the bread dipped in the the sauces really made this a flavourful sandwich and the beef rib was amazingly tender. I really wouldn’t be able to choose between the two if i had to have one or the other. For sides we went for smashed potato with roast garlic gravy and sweet pickles, which i added to in large amounts to the beef rib sandwich. Mash and gravy is one of my guilty pleasures (never lived in the north either) and the roasted garlic wasn’t over powering.

Finally the bloody marry with a mountain of the sweet pickles garnishing it, good amounts of spice and the vinegar from the sweet pickles definitely only added.

Definitely somewhere ill be going back to, although only with someone who is happy to split dishes as i don’t want to have to choose between the burger and beef rib sandwich.

Santa Maria, South Ealing


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I have lived in Ealing all my life except for four years in Bristol. So when I found this gem a few years ago (thanks to time out declaring it the best pizza in London) i was very happy. This was my first taste of ‘proper’ pizza, a base so thin it can’t support the toppings and a slightly chewy and light crust. With the smokey flavour of charred bits from the wood fire oven being so hot. There is of course lots of places to get pizza of this quality in London these days but Santa Maria is still my favourite.

The restaurant is tiny so expect to queue in the evenings. The oven probably takes up a 6th of the front. The pizzas are in the oven for literally a minute, and the quality of toppings is amazing. Unlike say Rossopomadoro where the tomato sauce is very generously applied, there is restraint here, which means the cheese to tomato ratio is more to my liking. The Neapolitan sausage is chunky and friarelli which I first experienced here is now a go to topping for me these days.

I can’t encourage anyone enough to try this place and if you live within a 15 minute drive then get a take away.

The Truscott arms



I went to the Truscott arms near Warwick avenue station for sunday lunch and had one of the best roasts I’ve had.

Firstly the presentation was great, the board was for two people, so this is a generously proportioned meal, and for £16 taking into consideration size and quality i had nothing to complain about.

I really enjoy when a roast comes out as a serve yourself affair. You can leave off any bits that you aren’t so keen on and in this case go back for seconds.  The beef was perfectly medium rare as we ask for and they vegetables still had some bite to them and good flavour, with crisp roast potatoes. The gravy was rich and flavourful with a good constancy (watery gravy is a thing of nightmares). The only thing i could have wanted for was a larger yorkshire pudding, but that is just gluttony.

Along with the Jam tree and Roast, this is a new go to place for me on sundays, and with a laid back attitude its also an enjoyable place to spend your sunday afternoon without lingering waiting staff trying to get rid of you to free up the table for another party to come in.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a top quality roast in west London, which is surprisingly hard to find.

Bell and Brisket, Dukes Head


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Bell and Brisket serves salt beef in generous quantities inside either a Brick lane bagel or black rye bun.

The black rye bun was really flavourful and very soft, I had the ‘Kount von Kraut’ in the rye which was dill and garlic kraut and melted cheddar. The kraut makes every bite so juicy and with the sharpness from the vinegar in the kraut making a good contrast to the delicate beef, which has great flavour and the melted cheddar adding a richness the pickled fillings cut through so well. On the bagel i had the ‘Viscount Kimchi’ which was kimchi and melted cheddar. The kimchi had a noticeable heat form the chilli which i like, and once again generous amounts of the amazing salt beef. The third one also on a bagel was the ‘Lord Rupert’ which consisted on pickled red cabbage, gherkins and melted cheddar, possibly my favourite combination, as the gherkins, pickled cabbage and salt beef is a combination that can never be bad. Next time i would have this one on the black rye.

The fries we went for were the hot ones, fresh horseradish and melted cheese, there was a good amount of the horseradish that was cooled down by the melted cheese. Most importantly there was a quality chip underneath the toppings, as however good the toppings on flavoured fries are if the fries aren’t good nothing can save that.

Peel & Chimney, Harringay market

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Peel and Chimney make Neapolitan style pizza anywhere with their oven on wheels. I prefer my pizza more cheesy which i know isn’t authentic. On a cold sunday morning this was very welcome (the box kept my hands so warm).

The crust had the slightly chewing texture that i love and the tomato sauce rich and fresh. A good pizza, especially as its a market stall, i can’t think of lots of restaurants that could compete. Next time i will make sure i am not with a margherita lover as the beetroot and feta looked amazing!

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