A tourist in my own city

Eating, drinking, seeing and cooking in london

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!

When mac met cheese, the Russet hackney

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When mac met cheese is a pop up currently at The Russet in hackney. They are serving up various combinations based around, you guessed it, mac and cheese.

I had the macancinis, their Carlos the cactus (mature cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and jalapeños) mac and cheese breaded and dropped into the frier. The firm crunchy exterior gave way to reveal the oozy mac and cheese with a subtle tinge of heat and fresh jalapeños.

Then Mum’s classic mac and cheese, with bacon lardons,  mature cheddar, red leicester, parmesan and nutmeg. The sauce was thick and rich,  with perfectly cooked elbow pasta. and a crust on top hiding the rich colour front the red leicester. The lardons were crisp and the flavour of bacon will never do anything but add to a mac and cheese!

Then was the deep fried Oreos, an Oreo dipped in batter fried and coated liberally in icing sugar. The Oreo goes soft and the biscuit stars to blend with the cream filling, delicious but i would have felt so guilty if i had eaten more than one.

If you have a craving for mac and cheese, then this is where you should be going, its easily the best i have had in London.

Lucky chip, Seabright arms

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Lucky chip is another one of the burger places that seems to be on everyones top 10 list so it would be rude not to try it out. I went to the Seabright arms to try it out, serving from 6pm with a traffic light which goes green when the kitchen is open (was it the greatest drunken steal of all time?) They are also at Netil market.

The Seabright is a pub i would go to without the burgers, the selection of beers on tap was massive and have a huge board of all their current offerings with the price and abv included. which is handy as they had 10%+ offerings.

I am not sure if the bun is steamed to get it warm or not, but from how soft this bun is i would be impressed if its not. A generous amount of shredded lettuce as well brings a refreshing crunch to each mouthful. I sampled the ‘kevin bacon’ and the ‘lucky burger’ with a cheesy chips side. The cheesy chips weren’t anything to write home about but the burgers were great. Medium patty with ozzy american cheese, the mentioned mound of shredded lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup and pickles. The Kevin bacon, as the name suggests it had applewood smoked bacon which was nice and crisp and a very tasty patty i was very happy gobbling my way though. The Lucky burger had Cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and lucky mayo. I preferred the lucky mayo to the ketchup and mustard and as with the Kevin bacon the bun was really soft and the lettuce plentiful.

I enjoyed these burgers and the Sambrooke’s pale ale that i washed it down with was delicious. Next time i will not be driving so i can take advantage of all the craft beers to sample!

Byron

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I went to the Byron on the Kings road a few years ago, and after being told i could have my beef anyway i wanted as long it was well done, i wrote it off as somewhere to avoid. Recently i have heard people raving about it and after seeing the triple cheesemas advertised i decided it was time to go back.

So, this beautiful monstrosity consists of ‘two 6oz hamburgers, onion and spicy Byron sauce in a glazed bun as well as the holy trinity of melted American cheese, Emmenthal and Monterey Jack’

I asked for my beef medium rare and it came just as i wanted, so my initial issues went out the window immediately. The beef was juicy and i think flavourful but it was hard to tell over the three cheeses and bacon. I can confirm the burger as a whole was delicious, as a cheese lover that is hardy surprising. The side options are also good, with coleslaw and mac and cheese a nice change to the usual fries, fries or fries.

With all reservations now expelled i am going to go back and have a normal cheese burger to see how that stands up to the other offerings around town.

MEAT mission, Hoxton market

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MEAT mission, sister venue of MEAT liquor, at Hoxton market is a short walk form Old Street. You can make reservations at this restaurant (joys) instead of standing outside for hours to get a table. You are in a side room if you reserve as the main room i believe is for the walk ins.

There is a massive selection of beers and cider, which come in 3 pint jugs or a strange measure between half and a whole pint.

We had the bingo wings, which come in hot pepper sauce which was a pleasant heat and blue cheese dip to cool it down as the burn developed the more wings i ate. Deep fried pickles, my favourite from my trip to MEAT liquor. A bacon cheese burger, medium patty and crisp bacon with american cheese, very juicy and messy in a soft bun. The highlight however was the Roast beef garbage plate, roast beef, fries, cheddar cheese and gravy garnished with onions, crispy onions and horseradish cream. This must be heaven for someone from the north while living in London. Generous mounts of succulent roast beef on top of cheesy chips all swimming in a rich gravy, and for £9 its huge.

While the wings are burger were both good, i will be going back for the garbage plate. This is for me the ultimate comfort food plate and i could probably eat it everyday, its just a shame that it takes me so long to get there.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

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Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a huge festive creation during december and into january that has fairground rides, traders selling a wide range of gifts, food stalls and the Bavarian village.

The gifts on sale are varied and great for finding something weird and wonderful for the person who is a nightmare to get a present for. There is a food option for everyone, i went for the hot roast on most of my visits, although the various german vendors selling various wurst are also very good. The rides take tokens and as the wheel cost £7 this isn’t a cheap place to get your adrenaline fix!

The bavarian village however is the highlight. A huge warehouse with long tables and lots of bars selling litre steins of german beer or mulled wine with an Oktober fest vibe including some questionable entertainment that a couple of drinks in gets everyone on the tables, outside there is fire pits and more sedate live entertainment. This is such a great place to go after work as it closes at 10 it stops the night escalating, causing the unproductive and hung over morning at work the next day.

Over christmas this is a great place to go, especially as a large group and there is never a long wait for the bar, although if you want your glass deposit back don’t loose the little green token!

Patty & Bun

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THE WINGS! Easily the best wings i have eaten, they probably over-shadow the burger, which is as good as i have had in London.  Patty & Bun is on James st (st Christopher’s place). Expect to queue though as i am yet to find a time where there hasn’t been a queue outside. Don’t be scared if it looks long, i haven’t had to wait more than 45 mins and the wings alone are worth that wait!

To make these perfect wings they are smoked and confit, then fried and covered in BBQ sauce, in nearly all other dishes i am not a advocate of BBQ sauce, spicy and vinegary is how i would order my wings, but i am a convert after having these.

The burger, The special was the mister miyagi, which was a beef patty, confit pork belly, smoked jalapeño, smoked cheddar and spiced ketchup on a brioche bun. Once again the brioche bun makes all the difference when it comes to getting the nest burgers possible. Perfect medium rare patty, super juicy making this a dangerous burger to eat unless you have your face firmly over the table. The pork belly was rich and melt in the mouth succulent, the smokiness of the cheddar and jalapeños appeared before a subtle hint of spice from the spiced ketchup and jalapeño. This all came together for a stunning burger experience, even better than than the Smokey Robinson burger i had during my previous visit. With a Beef patty, cheese, tomato, mounds of caramelised onions, bacon, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo, brioche. Once again medium rare and probably the juiciest patty i have comes across to date, this is as good as or better than the other burger places i have visited.

Definitely worth the wait and the trip. Just make sure you try those wings!

Hawker house round 2

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So, round two at Hawker House. Still haven’t made it to B.O.B’s lobster as the queue was massive. however the Spit and Roast along with the Slider Bar fro the Breddos tacos guys.

I had the classic with cheese and the blue cheese and jalapeño with bacon salt. These perfectly formed little burgers with Soft bread, juicy little patties and molten cheese. They are the perfect nibble where there are so many options. Although you have to resist the urge to eat four or five sliders, which i easily could have done.

Spit and Roast, was selling spit roast pork belly, memphis BBQ sauce and mull cheddar grits and Banhams rotisserie chicken, Boston baked beans with corn bread. I couldn’t decide so got both. The pork belly wasn’t tough and fatty which is essential when you only have a wooden fork and the grits were creamy with a rich cheddar flavour.

The chicken, was juicy and succulent. The Boston Beans soaked into the crumbly corn bread, which i love, with a really good flavour and brought a but of sweetness to the dish. Im not a massive fan of beans but these i will happy make an exemption for.

Again another great night, and when i go back for round three i will be getting some lobster.

Ottolenghi, Notting Hill

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I first heard about Ottolenghi when friends came back from Wilderness festival raving about swimming in rivers and the Ottolenghi banquets. I looked this up on line and wasn’t that taken, how good can a deli be? There are currently four locations in London.

This week i eventually took myself to Nottinghill to try it out and i completely get what the hype was about. I like salads, but this is not salad as i know it. The creativity and imagination that goes into the menu is insane. i have never seen such an array of ingredients from all other the world being combined in something as unassuming as salad. every mouthful is completely different and that is for each salad when you have two or three on your plate things you tastebuds go into overdrive.

So I had the Seared sesame crusted tuna with pineapple and sweet chilli salsa,  roasted aubergine with black garlic yoghurt, fried chilli and herbs,. Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes with raw el hanout, saltanas, kale, preserved lemon and almonds. Fennel,carrot, cabbage and orange slaw with green raisins and herbs. Now for a lunch that is a lot of ingredients. Every bite of the slaw was completely different and the aubergine had a really nice chilli hit, but it didn’t over power anything else on the plate. the tuna was firm and the sweetness with the acidity of the slaw worked really well. 

The second plate had, free-range roast chicken with lemon, chilli and oregano. chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic. Roast sweet potatoes with ginger yoghurt, lemon, pickled red onion and parsley. The sweet potato was cooked to perfection,  you could cut it with the side of your fork, but it never fell apart, and the broccoli had a nice bite, with the added smokey hint from the chargrilling. 

For dessert i had the white chocolate cheese cake with raspberry. Although it looked very pretty when it arrived i wasn’t overwhelmed by the little cupcake that was on my plate. However the flavour this little cake packed was amazing and i didn’t feel like i needed anymore at the end.

All in all this is well worth the trip, and i will definitely be going back for more, and as the menu changes daily this could become an expensive obsession as this isn’t a cheap salad, but how can it be when its this good!

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