Wednesday, 30 October 2013

October Round Up

Round up time.  Looking back, it's been a pretty busy month....

Finally made it to Janetira for lunch one day to try their famed Khao soi (£9.50) and I wasn't disappointed.  It consists of chicken on and off the bone, a rich coconut soup, boiled and crispy fried noodles.  Look at the sides you get with it!!  Knew it was going to be seriously good when I clapped eyes on that side plate.  Will definitely be back to try more.  Much more of interest here than you see on typical Thai menus in London.

I wished my friend Suz farewell at The Eagle one evening (she's gone home to Mexico City).  I was chuffed at the choice of venue as I'd been wanting to visit for a long time.  I had a lovely bowl of linguini with mussels and a ton of garlic.

Nibbles of olives and bread were good and the house red was very well received by our table of 6 ladies.  Lola, Suz's dog got a pork chop bone to chew so everyone was happy!

It has a very loyal following and The Eagle is widely considered to have been the trigger of the gastropub revolution when it opened in 1991.  I loved it and will be back to try more.  Open kitchen situation.  Relaxed and fun.  My dish was under a tenner, as is a bottle of house wine.

Early in the month I was invited to a brilliant event at Fish Market to mark the launch of this year's vintage of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc.  Hannah (Crump Eats) and I teamed up to create (rather, watch the restaurant chefs scramble something together from the fruits of our lacklustre Borough Market haul) this.

It was a cooking competition to see who could come up with a dish the judges (head chef Barry Macmillan and Nick-Blampied-Lane, one of the winemakers) deemed the best match for the 2013 sauvignon.  Needless to say we came last but after the cooking we got to enjoy a 3 course meal in the restaurant.  Beginning with Barry's creation to pair with the wine, scallop ceviche with chilli and lemon zest.  I'll leave the professionals to it in future!

I enjoyed my first visit to Honey & Co early in October too.  I knew I'd enjoy the meal, many friends and bloggers rave about it.  Middle Eastern in flavours, the place is tiny, so it's advisable to book ahead, we did and they lost the reservation so the first round was on them, yay!

Barry Macmillan
Barry Macmillan
Standout dish on the night for me was the slow cooked lamb with saffron rice, almonds and raisins.  We were all sharing and I was happy this dish was close to me, it was really moreish, a sweet creamy sauce with plenty of lamb lurking in the rice.  So good.  We went for the set menu which allows you a selection of mezze style starters and a main dish each for £26. 

I was also quite taken with the pistachio cake which at first look appeared to be a bit dry but was moist and sticky and everything I want in a dessert with a big dollop of cream.  We were given a freebie of chicken liver baklava as they messed up our starter and omitted some of the dishes, I was pleasantly full though and they dealt swiftly with the couple of gripes we had.  

Onto brunch with the Kid at The W Hotel.  You get slippers and bottomless bloody mary's so with those 2 boxes ticked I was happy.  Food wasn't great but it's a fun vibe and a good place to read the Sunday papers and people watch.  For £25 you get granola and fruit followed by this starter platter, between 2.

Not sure who in their right mind would think it's a good idea to pipe cream cheese onto a mini bagel, but that's what they do.  Welsh rarebit was the highlight of this selection.  This is followed by roast beef in a yorkshire pud with veggies and truffle mac & cheese, without any truffle.  I doubt I'd return here to eat, but it is a fun place to hang out.  There's a DJ, at 10am.  Fun times.  Oh and you get unlimited sweet shop style sweets.

Final treat to report is a little local find, recommended by my friends Bel and Lee, Rossella.  It's a small family run restaurant in Kentish Town, nothing fancy, a few doors down from The Southampton Arms, where a half rounded off our night nicely.  I had this special, some kind of beef stew with veggie risotto, portion sizes are ridiculous and costs are insanely low.  We ate a lot, had a bottle of house red and paid something silly like £20 each.  A starter of fried calamari was very impressive.

I should also mention London Cocktail Week.  I went for various evenings of fun and ate this at the Portobello Road gin pop up Parlour in the Seven Dials Club, where we could still smell the paint, they'd prepped the dining room earlier that day!

This was a rose veal cottage pie and it was very nice indeed.  For £15 you got this, a cocktail (Tom Collins) some bread and a little smoked salmon starter.  Bargain.  Check here next year for details of London Cocktail Week events and to get your wristband.  £4 cocktails people.

Janetira Eat Thai
26 Brewer St
Soho W1F

Janetira on Urbanspoon

The Eagle
159 Farringdon Road

The Eagle on Urbanspoon

Fish Market
16b New ST
Liverpool St

Fish Market on Urbanspoon

I dined as a guest of Fish Market

Honey & Co
25a Warren St

Honey & Co on Urbanspoon

W Hotel 
10 Wardour St

W Hotel on Urbanspoon

Ristorante Rossella
103 Highgate Road

Ristorante Rossella on Urbanspoon

No comments: