A tourist in my own city

Eating, drinking, seeing and cooking in london

Below Zero ice bar

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The Ice bar is on Heddon St, off Regents St. Heddon street is a pedestrianised road lined on both sides with bars and restaurants and good outdoor seating which is great for summer.

Firstly you are only allowed in the ice section of this bar for 40 minutes, which is enough! Even with the capes and gloves unsurprisingly it gets chilly. It cost £14 to enter, with a drink on weekdays and £16 on thursday and friday evening and weekends.

The drinks are small but do come in a glass made from ice which is fun, and slippery so hold on to it tight. There is a good choice of cocktails covering the major spirit bases which are made really fast so there is not a long wait to get a drink.

The bar is of course a bit of a gimmick but it is fun and worth a visit. As its such a conversation starter and only lasts 40 minutes this could be the best place for a first date drink, as you can always escape before dinner is suggested.

Honest Burgers

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Another of the celebrated burger places in London, Honest Burgers now has four restaurants, we went to the soho venue.

The beef is from the Ginger Pig and is great quality meat, the patties came medium rare and were full of flavour, and the soft brioche buns which make all the difference in a burger were perfect.

The Honest (cheese and bacon) with onion relish was as good a burger as I’ve had before, i not a little small. The hand cut rosemary salt fries were nice and crisp and you can taste the rosemary.

The special was beef, bacon, deep fried camembert and cranberry sauce. The cheese oozing out of the crust and extra sweetness from the cranberry was very tasty.

With a burger and chips coming in at under £10 you really can’t go wrong here!

Hawker House

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Hawker House is Street Feast’s latest offering to London’s foodies. Its a Night food market with dj’s, bars and most importantly for something running for six weeks through November and into december it is inside! Street Feast have taken their inspiration from the Hawker centres in Singapore in the creation of this street food market, and have created a great night out, especially as its open till 2am.

Firstly the drink options, there is a hot bar where you can warm up with some hot cocktails, Street vin, which has options by the glass or the bottle and weekly magnum offerings if you really want to splash out. For the whisky lovers there is a whisky bar with over 50 different bottles to sample.

The food. Unfortunately by the time i arrived, about half nine, B.O.B’s lobster and the slider bar had run out, while Spit & Roast were out of their sit roast pork belly. No matter there was still lots to gorge on.

Rola Wala was the first stop, Essentially a 5″ naan in the style of a taco. the pulled pork with cumin, coriander,mustard seeds and curry leaves had me at pulled pork, and i was not disappointed! puffy naan with juicy pork and freshness from all the condiments and pickles that went on.

The Smokestak was next, who have a competition grade looking smoker parked outside the venue making everything around smell like smoking meat. I had the hot rib tips as the beef short rib had already been devoured by everyone who had turned up earlier. The tips were not disappointing tho, more fatty than an ordinary rib, but amazingly juicy and the BBQ sauce was so moreish, while there is no doubt these are smoked.

Yum Bun, having only discovered hirata buns a month or so ago at flesh and bun i was super exited for round two. With pork belly, cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce in one bun and roast duck with tamarind in the other i couldn’t see how anything could possibly go wrong, and it didn’t. Easily as good as my first experience of these little buns full of perfectly cooked meat, this could become an obsession.

Morito, Starting to feel a little sluggish by this point i resisted the lamb and went for beetroot borani with feta and walnuts with a freshly cooked flat bread. This was so refreshing and the lumps of feta with smooth beetroot and the crunch of walnuts really worked so well.

Baba G’s, a generous bowl of biriani, where none of the rice sticks to its friends after being cooked (i swear witchcraft is involved in this) and has a subtle spice and with the Royal Raj Rump as the topping there were little lumps of juicy lamb to add some great flavour. On the top of all of this was a little mount of fresh herbs and pickles, the lime pickle adding a real burst of heat every now and then that really keeps your taste buds interested in whats coming next.

By this point i was bursting at the seams. luckily as Sorbitium were there i could make use of the pudding stomach, and have a scoop of dark chocolate and tequila ice cream, and a bite of a white chocolate choc ice.

I am intending to go back a couple of times over the next couple of weeks to try the rest of the food on offer here. Next time i will be the first one in the queue to make sure i get some Breddos tacos sliders and a lobster roll!

The little welsh Rarebit

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I found the little welsh rarebit at the real food festival, south bank. 

They sell artisan cheese and meats as well as what i had, welsh rarebit. A crisp slice of bread with a rarebit mix, topped with pigs cheek, a blue cheese and pickled pear. The wafer thin cheek slices crisped up under the grill as the cheese became molten with pockets of flavour from the blue, and sweetness from the pears all combined to make this a great cheesy treat.

Terroirs

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Terriors, next to charring cross station on William IV street is a great wine bar with an extensive wine list for most budgets that serves great food.

I went on a wednesday evening after being a Gordons wine bar, and luckily they managed to fit us in at the bar where a very knowledgable and helpful bar man got us a great bottle of wine. The menu consists of Charcuterie, cheese, small plates and a couple of main dishes, essentially everything you could wish for with wine!

We had the deep fried pigs head, which was amazingly tender pigs cheek in a crisp batter, accompanied by bitter leaves and pickled walnuts. The selection of charcuterie, including duck rilettes which was silky smooth and wonderfully rich, which on the fresh bread was impossible not to go back to. Pork and pistachio terrine and Felino Salami.

For mains we Shared the baked Mont d”or with new potatoes, endives and cooked ham. This was a great sharing dish, spooning the molten cheese onto your plate or dipping bread strait into the pot, with the wine or endives cutting though the rich creaminess of the cheese, and the new potatoes and ham adding a great variation of texture and flavour wither with or between the cheese.

I will most certainly be going back to Terroir for some more great wine and indulgent food.

Mulberry Street, Notting hill

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Mulberry street, located on Moscow road in Notting hill sells New York style pizza and in massive sizes, I got the 20″ pepperoni, which gives you monstrous slices which hardly fit on a normal size plate.

The pizza is thin with generous amounts of cheese and a great crust, which has a slightly chewy texture and a bit of crunch.  The pepperoni has great flavour woith a hint of spice and is thicker than you would get any many other places, which i liked.

The 20″ pizza is great for sharing and is without doubt impressive and brought out the inner Adam Richmond in me, although i will not be attempting to finish one of these solo anytime soon!

Rossopomodoro, Fulham

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Rossopomodoro now has six locations across London. They import everything from Naples, using San Marzano tomatoes for the pizza sauce and buffalo mozzarella, they even import water from Naples to make the pizza dough, whether this is a gimmick or not the pizza is amazing. The pizza is as expected cooking in a wood fired pizza oven and cooks in around a minute due to the heat that is achieved in a pizza oven and the thinness of the dough.

To start we shared a brushetta that tasted very fresh, with the crunch of the bread that had been in the pizza oven and the tomatoes that were in really good olive oil and a hint of garlic, which set us nicely for the main event.

This pizza is definitely one for the tomato lover, with generous amounts of the San Marzano sauce and a scattering of fresh mozzarella. the base is super thin, to the point where you can’t pick up a slice as the dough can’t support the weigh of the toppings. The crust is puffy and with the great chewy texture that is found with a good Naples style pizza. I had a Napoletana, which came with the expect toppings of Tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies, garlic and oregano. I added friarielli and spicy salami to mine, friarielli (Neapolitan broccoli) being one of my favourite things to have on a pizza. The second pizza was a Verace which has Tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil from Sorrento and fresh basil, Also with added spicy salami.

Both pizzas were highly enjoyable, but the toppings (which are as good as you will find at any pizza place) here are almost a sideline to the amazing pizza base that is totally moreish and doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish as so many pizzas can!

The Frenchie

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The Frenchie, is a street food van i went to today at the Real Food Festival in south bank. They are definitely up there in the most luxurious ingredients stake. A brioche bun with red onion chutney, confit duck, crispy duck skin a choice of blue or goats cheese with truffle honey and a sprinkling of greenery. the confit duck, cheese and truffle honey is all combined on the flat top until its an oozing mixture.

This is real street decadence! the soft bun absorbes the fat from the duck when its being warmed up, and the truffle honey and melted cheese all soak in as well.

This is a winning combination, although should be a rare treat unless a heart attack is high up on your wish list!

The Jam Tree, Chelsea

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The Jam Tree on the New kings road was the venue for a hung over roast a couple of weeks ago. The picture above has got me into the final four for the best Instagram picture, to win a £500 bar tab, so fingers crossed!

It was a great choice of the bat as they have an entire page devoted to the various Bloody Marys that are available, from the classic to asian inspired wasabi spiced one, to one with a shot of their beef stock in. The classic was a great Bloody Mary with a good amount of spice and well seasoned.

On to the main event, roast beef which came medium rare as i ordered, i am amazed how many places ask how you would like the beef and then completely ignore that and send it out how they please. The vegetables were cooked perfectly with a good bite to them and the pigs in blanket were a nice addition to the dish. The roast comes with a proper beef jus which is generously applied by the kitchen, which negates my biggest gripe with a roast of a measly dribble of gravy artistically applied around the food. The roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings were also very good.

The main issue i had with the Jam Tree was when it came to dessert, as i don’t have a very sweet tooth if there is cheese on offer thats what i want. The horrors, there was not a single Port on offer to have with said cheese! I couldn’t bring myself to order cheese without Port so just had some more wine.

All in all The Jam Tree is a great place to get a roast and there is no need to book 2 months in advance as with so many places that serve a good roast in London.

Sous Vide Supreme

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The Sous Vide supreme is a domestic version of the water bath cooking techniques that Heston champions and Great British Menu chefs are using in seeming every dish they carefully and precisely create.

I am in love with my Sous Vide and use it so much more than i expected to when i impulsively sent £250 to someone on the internet after thinking i must have one of these. Which happens probably too often when it comes to any kitchen gadgets i come across, use it twice and forget all about it.

The basic principle of the Sous Vide is you cook whatever you have vacuum packed at the exact temperature that you want the internal temperature to be. This means it is impossible to over cook something, your steak can be in for one hour or 10 hours if the temperature is 54.4 degrees it will come out medium rare. The other benefit is that once you have cooked something, as long as it is cooled and frozen in the sealed bag will be good for six months in the freezer.

This isn’t a quick way to cook, but the results are incredible. The longer something is in the more the proteins will break down however so please don’t put a fillet steak in for 10 hours!

 I will add some of my go to recipes that I keep going back in the future.

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