At the start of every year, people love saying New Year, New Me! Not for me. I’m still eating my way through London and still a ‘fattie’!! And proud of it. Also, if I don’t eat, how will you know where to eat?! If anything, I’m doing a public service. 😉
If you follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, shame on you and follow me NOW @foodiarieslon), you know I regularly tweet about my ‘foodcapades’. However, my blog posts require special time and TLC. So here I am with some of the favourites that I haven’t really mentioned before. It’s a 2 part series so stay tuned for the second part coming your way on Sunday 😉 Yep! It’s a special weekend everyone. It’s cold outside- stay indoors and read my blog 😛
Without further adieu…
TRAMSHED, Old Street:
DO you fancy eating a whole roasted chicken butt naked upside down claws coming at you in all their glory?! YES! (you should say yes!) Because this is one roast chicken I will happily devour any given day.
What with the delicious stuffing and the abundance of fries around it- heaven! Located in the trendy area of Old Street/Shoreditch (closer to Old Street station)- Mark Hix’s popular establishment is surprisingly kid friendly too. Yep, kids eat free here folks! Set timings apply.
Order the Indian Rock chicken with stuffing– you will LOVE it, if the massive claws don’t put you off. Frankly, I had a great time playing with them. My mum taught me not to play with my food but hey couldn’t resist 😛
You could also order the steak which is delicious. You either order a steak or a whole chicken here- there’s no in between. And what I love about this place is that they do these sweet little desserts for people like me who like a lil something sweet after their lunch or dinner. Who can go wrong with a mini-chocolate cake for £1.25?? The credit crunch ice cream is a personal favourite! A well balanced MEATY menu that doesn’t break the bank. Yay!
Oh by the way, don’t forget to check this lil fella out. Just another Damien Hirst Cock and Bull sculpture in the middle of your dining hall #casual
And for all the art lovers, there’s an art gallery downstairs too.
For more information, bookings and menu, click here.
THE PEARSON ROOM, CANARY WHARF:
Every time I think about The Pearson Room or go there, I’m reminded of Suits. You the Pearson, Harvey and…(I won’t spoil it for you) law firm that we all love! And yes, this place really is full of suits. But hey, don’t let that put you off because amidst all the smell of cologne and the Reebok gym next door, this place isn’t bad. Walking through Waitrose you can hear the loud talking, laughing, chatting, yelling and so on. Located bang in the middle of Canary Wharf (London’s financial district), this is the place where everyone reconvenes after slaving in front of their spreadsheets. Hey, I’m not judging! Just saying it how it is 😉 I’m sure anyone who works around here would be well familiar with this place.
So we decided to have dinner here. I love a good steak so had to order it. I mean surrounded by all this testosterone, surely they would do the steak some justice right? And they sure did! Really well cooked and seasoned meat served with salad (and generous amounts of cheese! :D) I was a happy bunny. They’ve updated their menu so it looks even more enticing. I’ve got my eye on that Ribeye with the black truffle butter. Mmmm! Gimme! You can drool over their menu here.
THE KATI ROLL COMPANY, POLAND STREET (TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD/SOHO):
Kati roll (or Paratha roll as it is known in Pakistan) is a very popular street food in South East Asia. I remember going to this popular paratha roll place in my college days in Lahore, Pakistan just opposite Liberty Market. It was a dhaba style ‘restaurant‘ where you parked your car and enjoyed the most delicious, cheesy, moorish, meaty freshly made paratha roll you would’ve had.
Kati roll is the closest I can get to that in London. I’ve been going here for the last 5 years at least! The consistency, quality and taste is still commendable. Paratha’s (fried rotis) filled with a variety of fillings from vegetarian options to really meaty ones. And the best thing is- it’s super easy on the pocket! Always great for a cheap date 😉 haha
My all time favourite is the Anda Shami Roll (I used to make these when I was little and they are the best!!) and the Aloo Roll. The chutney on the side is all you need. For all those crazy shopping days in Central London and looking for a place to hide away and eat?! Look no further! (Visit their website here)
THE AFGHAN KITCHEN, ANGEL, N1 8DU:
I LOVE Afghan food. If there’s any other cuisine I love apart from Pakistani (of course), Iranian and pretty much every other kind of food, it’s the Afghani food. I remember when we lived in Islamabad and my dad used to take me to this Afghani restaurant in Blue Area. It was the best! They do the most amazing, warm, fluffy bread served with melt-in-your-mouth meat. Not to mention, my mum’s side of the family hail from a specific part of Afghanistan so may be that could be a factor too but who knows where the massive love for this food comes from- I’m just glad it’s part of my life.
So imagine my surprise when I came across this little gem in Angel- of all places! I walked by this place quite a few times and was always curious. I decided to go eat here one day and haven’t looked back since. The seating here is limited and it gets quite busy so best to either book in advance or try coming at times when it won’t be that busy. Try your luck! Or else you’ll be sharing your table and space with other people. Either way- it’s worth it.
They have a very simple menu- no more procrastinating over what you want to eat. You choose from 4 meat and 4 vegetarian dishes. They do few dishes but they do them well! I definitely recommend the Lamb with Potatoes, Chicken in Yogurt and Aubergines with Yogurt and a side of rice and fresh bread. To be honest- I’ve pretty much had everything on their menu and it all tastes amazing. The bread can get heavy so order one between 2-3 people as there is rice to fill you up too. A very affordable meal!
WAHACA, SOHO/CANARY WHARF/WESTFIELDs etc:
I loved watching Thomasina Miers on MasterChef. Little did anyone know what a huge success she will be. The founder of Wahaca has done extremely well for herself. Her chain of mexican themed restaurants are a strong favourite among all- and the food is pretty good too! I went to their Canary Wharf branch recently and ordered by all time favourite- Taquitos. I live for their Sweet Potato and Feta Taquitos!
I did a review on it back in 2012 (WHOA!!) which you can read here . Glad to see the food is still consistent if not better! They’ve got some additions on their menu like the Plantain Tacos which are delicious and don’t get me started on the sweet potato side. Wahaca always guarantees a decent meal out! Never thought I’d love vegetarian food this much but I do! WHO AM I?!
Oh they also have a cool pay by app option- why don’t more restaurants do this?! May be with time #babysteps
Dishoom, Covent Garden:
The first Dishoom I went to was in Covent Garden and back then I didn’t think of it much. I like the concept of a Bombay Cafe based in London. The website, marketing and the whole theme around it is very clever.
However, truth be told, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Indian/Pakistani food. I can either make it better at home or it just doesn’t taste that great with the OTT food colouring, spices and oil!
That visit was surprisingly not bad. Still it wasn’t enough to convince me. Fast forward a couple of years and Dishoom has completely reinvented itself. I actually…fine I’ll say it…love their food! I went for our Eid lunch here and my opinion since then has changed. I’m a definite advocate of Dishoom. I love how they’ve incorporated some of the classic dishes from the sub-continent and especially Pakistan into their menu like the Haleem, Nihari and the Lamb Raan.
Although they can’t beat my mum’s Haleem, safe to say- Dishoom is my go-to place for Haleem among one other place, Ravi Kebab House on Drummond Street. One thing Pakistanis will always have an opinion about, is the mighty Biryani. Everyone has their own take on the perfect biryani and Dishoom tries its best to deliver. An impressive menu and a new branch in Kings Cross- I hope Dishoom keeps on getting better and better! #powertothedesis
By the way, each branch has a special on their menu which is a smart way to ensure you go to a specific branch if you’re craving Nihari or Raan but annoying if it’s too far! 🙁 Anyway have a look at their menu (search by location at the top right) and get there asap…I hear the wait time can be a nightmare nowadays so plan ahead!
DUCK AND WAFFLE, HERON TOWER, LIVERPOOL STREET:
I bet everyone went HALLELUJAH in their head when they heard Duck and Waffle was 24/7. Last time I was here, it was past midnight with me feasting on oysters and duck and waffle. #sorrynotsorry
But this time, I just went for some drinks with friends after work anwd wasn’t particularly hungry. I am such a fan of their Head Chef, Daniel Doherty and the food he does. So while chatting around the bar area, I decided to order the much revered spicy ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam and covered in smoked paprika sugar. It was everything I expected from a doughnut and much, much more! The ox cheek was shredded and spiced to perfection. It was encased in the warmth and fluffiness of this doughnut that was covered in generous lashings of the paprika sugar. The subtle crunch of the paprika sugar, warmth of the soft bread and then biting into that spiced ox cheek meat- mmmm I’m salivating right now! No wonder, it’s such a favourite. The apricot jam complimented the dish perfectly. I could’ve had two of these but then I’d have had to run extra hard at the gym haha
For my full review on Duck and Waffle, click here. (scroll down to the bottom)
CHURROS, PORTOBELLO ROAD, NOTTING HILL GATE:
What a better way to end this post than on a sweet note! 😀 I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but a strange thing has happened. As I am getting older, I am getting more craving for sweet things like cup cakes, cakes, pastries and now churros. I’d heard about this particular Churro stand and when I saw them on Portobello Road, I had to try them.
They definitely hit the spot! Warm churros overdosing on sprinkled sugar and gooey chocolate sauce to dip them in. Yep, super delicious and enough to keep you full for the rest of the day! Also, unlike me, DON’T have a whole pizza before this. Clearly, I don’t have the restraint I should have like a normal person 😛