Monday’s Summer Food Heroes in London 

Kuriya Keiko, Holloway:

I learnt to make sushi for the first time and lived to tell you how it all went down! I was meeting my “peeps” at Zomato for the Zomato Meetup along with 12 other eager foodies like myself. Such an evening is never short of entertainment! Food, talking about food, going into a food coma, eating and some more eating…you know the drill.

Japan holds a special place in my heart. Having traveled there when I was a teenager, I camped and hiked through the most beautiful locations there. I completely fell in love with the people, culture and their food (even though it was a bit hit and miss for me at first)

Entering this lovely Japanese establishment and meeting their lovely staff reminded me of the fantastic time I had. We were welcomed by Urakawa Keiko who is the owner and instructor at Kuriya Keiko. We were given an enthusiastic introduction, what we had gotten ourselves into 😀 and told to make our way to the stations. What unfolded from there onwards can only be expressed in photos! 

Each one of us had our own station which had everything neatly laid out for us.

Our ingredients for our sushi….yum!

Keiko showing us how to work with the sushi rice…this was going to be fun!

Never thought I’d be able to conquer the sushi rice…it’s sticky as hell!

And voila! I made my very first sushi roll- I was quite proud of myself.

And then came the California roll…WHO AM I?!

There is a technique to cutting the sushi roll perfectly and Keiko showed us how…for that you’ll just have to attend one of her classes! 😉

  

(I couldn’t wait to sit down and eat after so sneakily ate a few of the the sushi pieces. Obviously everyone saw what a pig I am… #sorrynotsorry)

I LOVE gyozas. They are perfectly bite sized and I can down a dozen of them in one sitting. So to learn how to make them was a dangerous prospect for me. I would never leave my kitchen!

 

 

Keiko showed us exactly how to make a perfectly wrapped gyoza and the grilling technique to get it just right.

Just look at these gleaming beauties! And they were ALLLL MINE!

We took our masterpieces back to our table and we were also treated to some of the restaurant’s signature dishes like the baskets of crumbed tofu. I’m not a massive tofu fan but the way this dish was made and the sauce that was drizzled over the crumbed tofu made it hard for me to resist. We also sampled the teriyaki chicken and salmon. The salmon literally melted in my mouth.

 

One dish I am glad I had space for was the Azuki Bean Cigar with Vanilla Ice Cream. Normally, I’d rather fill myself up with savoury than sweet. The texture of the filo pastry filled with the azuki bean mixture and the ice cream with fresh raspberries was out of this world. It was an explosion of flavours in my mouth. I will be honest, when it was placed in front of me I wasn’t so sure, as I’m not a fan of fruity desserts but one spoon of that and I was hooked! 

All in all, a fantastic experience and evening organised by Zomato. I came away not only as a sushi expert (verification of this claim not needed!) but some amazing friends too! You guys can also organise something similar for your friends, family or even something as a team activity with your work friends!

Location: Studio 7, The Studios Islington, 6 Hornsey St., Holloway, London N7 8GR (connected to Piccadilly, Victoria & Overground lines)  

More details about Kuriya Keiko can be found here.

Blixen London, Spitalfields- Liverpool Street:

Liverpool Street, Spitalfields and Shoreditch are the trifecta of food heaven! Every other day there is a new restaurant, pop up, food stall or food truck and it is SO hard to keep up. But I try!

I was recently invited to a Bloggers’ Dinner with Locappy. Now you may ask, Locappy? Well, Locappy describes itself as a “neighbourhood app”. What does that mean? That means this app will show you a live feed of the neighbourhoods you choose for e.g. Soho, Notting Hill, Shoreditch etc. I downloaded the app and tried it- I love the user interface and the flow of information on the app. It’s not too in your face and you get to read live reviews of people who’ve been to restaurants or cafes in your choice of neighbourhood. To find out more about this app, check out their website.

Let’s get back to what we do best- talk about the food!

Blixen recently launched some new dishes for their summer menu so we got together to sample their delicious creations. While we were waiting for the mains, we were treated to a side of Padrón Peppers. These kind of peppers are mild in taste so don’t be scared to try them. These with bread and butter on the side- great way to wake up your stomach!

 

The poussin dish was cooked really well. The various textures of the meat, fennel and sweet corn along with the salsa verde brought the whole dish together. However, the corn didn’t add much to the dish in terms of taste other than making it more ‘summery’.

Half poussin, fennel, salsa verde // 12.0

The cheese and chive mash on the side was a perfect accompaniment to the dishes. However, I didn’t taste the chives that much. I wasn’t complaining though as it had the full-on cheese factor! (I LOVE CHEESE!)

Next up was the Sea bream with white beans, broccolini and hazelnuts. The sea bream was cooked perfectly and the white beans gave it the right balance so you wouldn’t need to order a side with this dish unless you want more vegetables. It’s a complete dish on its own.

Sea bream, white beans, broccolini & hazelnuts // 13.0 Blixen London

My favourite, though, was their slow cooked lamb shoulder with farro, eggplant, peas and rocket and pistachio pesto. This dish may sound and look overwhelming, it was anything but! It also looked like quite a popular dish as a lot of diners had ordered it. It was such a favourite at our table, we had to order another one to share. This is summer menu done right! 

 

Slow cooked lamb shoulder, farro, eggplant, peas & rocket, pistachio pesto // 16.0 Blixen London

To put Blixen in a box would be wrong. Their menu is so diverse and every dish is unique. You can’t help but salivate when you go through their menu and my next mission is to go there for brunch! So, see you soon guys!

If you want to salivate too, then click here for their menu.

Smack Lobster, Bond Street:

Making my way downtown
Walking fast
Faces pass
And I saw…SMACK LOBSTER!

(Sorry Vanessa Carlton, bet I made everyone cringe with this one haha! :D)

 

I LOVE Burger & Lobster (The photo below is a testament to my love!)…I’ve been to every one of their branches in London and will soon go to the Bread street one too.

But we’re not talking about Burger and Lobster today. We are going to talk about their Smack Deli- a spin off of Burger and Lobster.

Located on Binney Street, just off Bond Street is this lobster roll deli. Just spot the smack skeleton (pictured have a fabulous time above) on the street and you’ll know where to go!

All they do is different kinds of lobster rolls and lobster meat. A perfect summer meal!

Takeaway or eat, it’s up to you. There is a lot of open space with high benches and tables to sit outside the deli or by the window.

 

I went for the Mexican lobster roll and their courgette fries (YUMMY!). The brioche roll was perfectly toasted and the lobster meat was in abundance with the jalapeños giving it the right amount of kick! There was too much red pepper which I wasn’t a fan of so I will go for a different roll next time. But it was a perfect summer lunch and I will go back for those courgette fries again!

For more info and their menu, check out their website here.

There you have it guys! Monday special with three ‘summery’ menus to choose from, just in time for the looong weekend…wohoo! xx

 

 

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