Turkish eggs at Kopapa

Latest food loves in London you MUST try!

I’ve been to so many amazing restaurants recently and I could not wait to share my experience with you guys. You may have been to a few of them or heard of them. And these are some of my most favourites at the moment. I’m quite enjoying doing these series of posts for you guys where I review a couple of restaurants in one go. It also gives you a good selection to choose from whilst ogling at their drool-worthy food photos! Without further adieu, let’s get cracking! 😉

MAZI, Notting Hill Gate (Greek restaurant)

London has been taken over with cuisines from all over the world and it’s a fantastic place to be for foodies and restauranteurs at the moment. Before MAZI, I hadn’t really tried Greek food and to be honest I didn’t find a place enticing enough to make me try it. MAZI is a breath of fresh air. They’ve been gaining popularity quietly tucked away on Hillgate Street in Notting Hill Gate. The decor is modern, fresh, crisp and there is a lot of natural light! I love the personal touches of quirky frames hanging on the walls. The restaurant exudes a very comfortable and homey feel. They also have a lovely garden at the back to enjoy the weather (if it’s ever nice!)

MAZI in Notting Hill Gate

Let’s start talking about the food then! They start you off with a complimentary bread selection. CARBS!! 😛 The buckets comes with a selection of breads and the quality is superb. Although I’d suggest going easy on the bread if you want to order a lot of food. Their jars are one of the best things on the menu. They go really well with the bread especially the Spicy Tiropita and Filo Pastry Jar (my absolute favourite!) and the Fish Roe Mousse Tarama (lovely texture and a slight tangy taste). I could fill myself up with the jars and some bread- yum!

We ordered the wild cod but as pretty as it looked and the dish was constructed well- it didn’t really click with me. I’d prefer the Black Truffle Chicken Hunkar Begendi. If you love mushrooms, then this dish is for you.

complimentary bread selection at Mazi Notting Hill Gate

Mazi Notting Hill Gate

Jars at Mazi, Notting Hill
Squid Ink fava bean purée and fried calamari- £6
Hot jars, MAZI
Potato salad with quail egg ( not on the menu any more)
Hot jars at Mazi
Spicy Tiropita, broken filo pastry, leeks and chillies (V)- £6

 

MAZI’s signature dish
Wild Cod, black garlic skordalia, sweet and sour beets £19
Collage of lunch at MAZI London
(Clockwise from top) Fish Roe Mousse Tarama, Spicy Tiropita, broken filo pastry, leeks and chillies (V) and Black Truffle chicken Hunkar Begendi £16

If you’re on Instagram then you should definitely follow MAZI. The photos are enough to make you want to go there! This place is one of my favourites and if I’m ever looking for a restaurant to take my friends to around Notting Hill Gate, then MAZI is my top choice. Have a look at their menu and other information about MAZI here.

Blanchette, Soho (Parisian style bistro, Tapas)

My friend and I wanted to go eat at Bocca Di Lupo but since it was full (should’ve booked!), the lady there suggested we try Blanchette. I was a bit apprehensive. I wasn’t in the mood for French food and I was starving. After a mini pit-stop at Gelupo (only the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had!) I thought why not give Blanchette a go. The place wouldn’t have been recommended if it wasn’t good so we made our way there. Luckily! they had a table for us and it was right by the window. The weather was so nice that sitting by the window whilst enjoying our dinner was the perfect start.

Blanchette is located on D’Arblay St in Soho. Their staff is so nice and welcoming. The music is charming and staring out at the street, for a while, you do feel like you’re not in London.

I’m a huge fan of tapas style menus and sharing food. You wouldn’t normally associate tapas style with French food. The menu is young, fresh and fun! So all my apprehensions were already gone. This is a huge credit to their head chef Tam Storrar.

Tuna at Blanchette Soho
Seared Peppered Tuna with Grilled Broccoli and Ratatouille £7.75

We ordered various small plates and a dish or two from the fish and meat section. The cheese beignets were so moorish. Little pockets of cheese served with onion confit- mmm keep em coming! Salmon Tartare was fresh and combined with cucumber, dill and creme fraiche turned out to be the perfect summer dish. The seared peppered tuna was cooked to perfection. It had a silky texture and melted in your mouth. The ratatouille was a perfect accompaniment and anything more would’ve just overshadowed the tuna.

Salmon Tartare at Blanchette Soho
Tartare of the Day with Cucumber, Dill and Crème Fraiche £7
Starters at Blanchette Soho
Cheese Beignets with Onion Confit £3.5

Moving onto our meaty dishes- the braised lamb shoulder was a beauty to watch. It was constructed so well- it pained me a little cutting it in half! 😛 The soubise sauce kept the meat moist and gave a really nice flavour to the lamb.

Lamb Shoulder at Blanchette Soho
Braised Lamb Shoulder with Anchovy, Rosemary and Soubise Sauce £8.25

Braised beef shin with spring vegetables was okay. The meat was a little too chewy for my liking. The star of the show had to be the “Roast Quail with Jambon Sec and Herb Croquette, Peas and Mustard Jus”. But it pains me to say I completely forgot to take a photo as I was too busy stuffing my face with it. One thing I do recommend you have to order is this quail dish.

Lamb at Blanchette Soho
Chou Farci of Braised Beef Shin with Spring Vegetable £8.25

All in all a great evening filled with music, decadent food and great company. Merci!

Kopapa, Covent Garden (fusion food):

While browsing photos of food before sleeping (yep, I’m weird that way!) I came across the most mouthwatering eggs in red chilli buttery goodness. My mouth started salivating and that was a sure sign I had to try these eggs. More research took me to a spot in Convent Garden I always ignored- the Seven Dials. Kopapa, ladies and gentlemen, is the place to brunch in Covent Garden. You have to visit them at least once, if only to try these Turkish eggs. Perfectly poached eggs in yogurt and hot chilli butter- you’re left wanting to lick the bowl and soak the bread with all the delicious juices of the yogurt combined with the butter. It’s clearly not for the health freaks!

The recipe is from Changa Restaurant in Istanbul. I will definitely find this place on my next trip to Istanbul. I’ve always gone for a brunch here but judging by the experience so far, I can only imagine good things for rest of their menu.

Turkish eggs at Kopapa

Kopapa Brunch menu

Turkish eggs, Kopapa
‘Turkish eggs’ from Changa restaurant in Istanbul – 2 poached eggs with whipped yoghurt, hot chilli butter & 2 slices of toast 8.90

On my next visit, I wanted to try something different. So while my friend ordered Kopapa’s hot-smoked salmon on toast with spinach, 2 poached eggs & yuzu hollandaise, I decided to go with a light meal of Soft-shell crab burger with Asian salad, spicy peanut mayonnaise & avocado. Even though it was a burger, I didn’t feel like I was going to explode. It really was a light meal– what do you know! ha! I had been craving crispy soft shell crab for a couple of days and the crunchiness of the asian salad with the softness of the avocado made it a tasty treat.

brunch at kopapa
Kopapa’s hot-smoked salmon on toast with spinach, 2 poached eggs & yuzu hollandaise 12.00

 

soft shell crab burger, kopapa
Soft-shell crab burger with Asian salad, spicy peanut mayonnaise & avocado

So next time you’re around the Seven Dials, give this place a go. View their full menus here. It’s always best to book considering this place is so popular. Once you’re done with your meal, walk down to Monmouth Coffee and have their creamy and frothy high quality coffee and their one-of-a-kind chocolate brownie. Bliss!

Tapas Brindisa, Soho (Spanish tapas)

I love surprises! And surprises that involve food are the best 😛 I stumbled upon this place by chance as the restaurant I initially wanted to visit didn’t have any spaces and I’m glad they did not. It was a sunny day and the weather in London was fantastic, for a change. It looked quite dark from the outside but once we went inside, the dining area was brightly lit up thanks to the glass ceiling. I love the decor of this place. It’s cosy, welcoming, homey and you just want to have a chilled out time with your friends- talking, laughing and eating! My friend had his Nikon with him and took most of these photos (all the best ones are by him- thank you Relish aka Rich Ellis! :D)

The first time I had Gazpacho was in Malaga, Spain. The idea of a cold vegetable soup was quite grotesque but one spoon of that and I’ve never looked back. So when I saw this as a starter on my second visit to Tapas Brindisa, I decided to order it and see whether it compared to the one I had at Toro in Malaga. Suffice to say, I was trying to get the very last drop of this soup and I would have happily had another bowl or two of the same.

Gazpacho at Tapas Brindisa Soho
Gazpacho (tomato and summer vegetables soup) £4.25

 

I love tapas and I’ve already said it a million times! If you’re not someone who likes sharing food then this place isn’t for you. The idea is each person orders at least 2 dishes off the menu and everyone shares everything. The dishes arrive as they are prepared in the live open kitchen at the back. Since we were seated right next to the kitchen on the high stools, we had a perfect view of all the action.

Tuna, Tapas Brindisa Soho
Marmitako Di Bonito (seared tuna loin steak) £9.50

The seared tuna was cooked to perfection. My teeth just sunk into the silky soft meat with the sauce and garnish as the perfect accompaniment. No Spanish feast is complete without a portion of prawns. This dish is by far the best version of Gambas I’ve had. Thank God someone had the sense to peel the prawns so we weren’t stuck trying to peel the prawns and just focused on eating and swooning in delight. The side order of bread came handy as we dunked it in the chilli garlic oil. This was just the beginning. Four grown adults who were too busy eating and loving the food than talk! That’s when you know the food is fantastic.

gambas at Tapa Brindisa Soho
Gambas Al Ajillo (chilli garlic prawns) £8.95
ox cheek, tapas brindisa soho
Ox Cheeks with Sweet Potato Mash £9.75

Now ox cheeks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but hey! I like pushing my boundaries when it comes to food 😛 ha ha Never realised how tender the meat is. Fat pieces of garlic and sweet potato mash was all this dish needed- nothing more and nothing less.

frittata, tapas brindisa soho
Tortilla De Chorizo

My friend devoured the Tortilla and this is one guy who’s always hungry AFTER you’ve had a meal. He gave it a double thumbs up! That means you need to order it folks.

meatball, tapas brindisa soho
The Meatball (rump steak and Iberico pork marcilla meatball stuffed with montenegro goat’s cheese) £7.75

The meatball dish was very aesthetically prepared. Loved the crispy strips of potato with a large juicy meatball right in the middle. I was told it was like an Easter egg– the goat’s cheese stuffing is a pleasant surprise!

chicken leg, tapas brindisa soho
Corn fed chicken leg with spinach puree and tomato and hazelnut dressing £6.25

Anyone who’s a fan of chicken has to order the house specialty of corn fed chicken leg. The chicken was juicy and full of flavour. The spinach puree gave it a earthy flavour where as tomato and hazelnut dressing kept the dish fresh. The whole combination worked wonders!

lamb steak, tapas brindisa soho
This lamb steak dish is not on the menu any more 😦 Nooo!

I just had a look at the menu and the lamb steak is not on the menu any more…. WHYYYYYYYY!?!!? ;( And those mushrooms….mmm yum! This dish should be brought back on popular demand unless you can up this one some how with another one!

Having completely annihilated our stomachs with this mind boggling variety of food- I didn’t think I’d have space for dessert BUT I did! No surprises there 😛

My friend ordered the Chocolate Paradise where I went for their homemade chocolate ice cream. When I saw the chocolate paradise, I was full of envy!! If only I’d ordered that instead of the ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, the ice cream was one of the best I’ve had but hey you can’t compare the two. This is why I was determined to order it on my second visit to Tapa Brindisa. However, I was so disappointed when I ordered it. It was not only a visibly smaller portion to the one my friend had but the ice cream had half melted. I neither had the heart to send it back nor the will to take the photo. I kinda felt let down…. 😦

dessert at Tapas Brindisa Soho
Chocolate paradise…gave everyone dessert envy (with a vengeance!) £6

 

chocolate dessert Tapas Brindisa Soho

 

Other than that, the dinner from start to finish was FAAAAAN-TASTIC!! Every single bite, texture, smell, taste was unique. The meal is not on the cheap side but neither is it too expensive. It is just right! Plus for the quality of food and the experience, it’s worth every pound 🙂 (even though I was slightly let down by the dessert on my second trip)

And my friend who always ends up at McDonald’s after a meal- well he went straight home and slept happy and satisfied. 

View their full menu here.

dessert at Tapa Brindisa
Galician Tarta De Santiago (traditional almond cake with vanilla ice cream) £4.95
home made ice cream at tapas brindisa soho
Homemade ice cream

home made chocolate ice cream

 

Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower (European and British influence):

I’d been wanting to go to Duck and Waffle for AGES! But annoyingly it’s always fully booked on weekends when people usually want to go out to eat, unless you make a booking a month or two in advance. If you happen to stumble in around midnight, which weirdly enough, is when I went here with my friends then you may get a table without a booking. It was a joyous occasion as one of our friends was turning one year younger 😉 that night.

I saw foie gras crème brûlée on the menu and I was like shot gun! I’m getting this! Perfect crunchy top of a creme brûlée that cracks open with the lighted touch of a spoon and fat juicy pieces of lobster on top- what more can you ask for??

We dunked the toasted brioche in the slightly sweet and creamy deliciousness while we all placed an order of Duck and Waffle. I think we were all too hungry or selfish to share at that point! 😛 Plus I didn’t want to share my duck and waffle with anyone else. So ordering anything different from the menu was out of question. I’ll save that for my next trip!

foie gras crème brûlée, duck and waffle
foie gras crème brûlée / 16 butter roasted lobster / toasted brioche

Finally the moment I’d been waiting for (and trust me I’d waited a while!!) came and I dug into the dish. The duck was cooked to perfection. Crispy skin but when cut through gave way to mouthwatering juicy meat. Add a waffle and a fried duck egg along with mustard maple syrup and you’re in heaven. I salute their chef who thought of this dish. Visually, it’s a very simple dish. But taste wise, it will take you on a roller coaster of flavours you’ve never experienced before. 10/10 from me!

Hats off to their Executive Chef Daniel Doherty and their whole team who have done an excellent job with the menu.

duck and waffle
duck & waffle / 17 crispy leg confit / fried duck egg / mustard maple syrup

duck and waffle close up

 

Did you also know Duck & Waffle is open 24/7?! So what are you waiting for- book your table today! Beware of crazy early or late times though but if you’re adventurous then add this to the whole experience you will have!

View their full menu here .

That’s it for now folks. I think this is the longest post I’ve done to date. I was just too excited to write these posts individually so just did a combination piece. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it and it wasn’t too long!

I’ve eaten at even more places since so don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @foodiarieslon to get the latest updates on what I’m eating next!

Have you read my other food reviews? Some of my favourites have been:

Franze & Evans

Flesh and Buns

Sushi Samba

Cafe Caribbean

The Fish & Chip Shop

Till the next one! xxx

 

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