Park’s Edge, Herne Hill

Park’s Edge

HERNE HILL

Sep 24, 2018

I am always super excited to discover a new eatery local to where I live, because if great, its easy for me repeatedly return, with ease of getting home, avoiding trains, tubes and hoards of people.

Parks Edge Bar and Kitchen is located on the Norwood road opposite Brockwell Park, the restaurant is cosy enough to feel like a neighbourhood restaurant, but it looks more like a west end restaurant because of the carefully considered interior, including beautiful light fittings, blue upholstery and a vintage art work.

There is a clear Caribbean thread running throughout the bar and food menu. The bar menu, is appropriately named “Island Cocktails”, and heavily features different rums, sorrel and tropical fruit. The food menu has more of a sprinkle of Caribbean influence, with the use of jerk seasoning, plantain and rum cake.

The starter was an easy choice, and I ordered the Jerk Hummus, Pineapple, Yoghurt, Flatbread (priced at £7.50). The jerk added a warm kick to the hummus, which worked really well. In the middle of the hummus a pineapple chutney and yoghurt which balanced out the heat of the jerk.

For main, I ordered the Grilled Whole Mackerel, Black Cabbage, Shrimp, Lime, Ginger and Chicken Skin on Rice (priced at £16.50). The Mackerel was grilled to perfection, the skin crispy and the flesh almost melt in the mouth. The dish itself was cooked well, I just felt that there was too many things going on at once, both in my mouth and on the plate.

  • Jerk Hummus, Pineapple Chutney, Yoghurt and Flatbread

    £7.50

  • Grilled Whole Mackerel

    £16.50 (including rice)

The mackerel came accompanied with something referred to as ‘chicken skin on rice’, which actually tasted more like a cross between rice and peas and risotto. On its own very nice, but given that my main was already very busy, it added an unwanted further confusion to my taste buds.

I ordered the fried plantain with indo (priced at 3.95), which was not what I was expecting. Where plantain is usually served, fried, plump and sweet, this plantain was not particularly sweet and dried.

  • Chicken skin on rice

  • Fried plantain with Indo

    £3.95

It was absolutely not necessary to order a dessert (is it ever?), but I did anyway. The Banana and Rum Cake, Pineapple, Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream (priced at £6.50).

The Banana and Rum cake was delicious, moist and delicate. The huge dollop of coconut foam that covered the ice cream, went on to over power everything else on the plate, to my disappointment.

Similar to the main, I just think that if they had stripped the dessert back, to simply the cake and the ice cream, it would have been divine.

The Banana and Rum Cake Pineapple, Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream

As someone who has eaten in restaurants extensively for the past 18 years, my key take away from eating at my favourite burger restaurant to my favourite Michelin star, is that they use the best quality ingredients, and keep it simple. Those that do not keep it simple, create art for the taste buds, carefully constructed dishes, with a perfect balance of all flavours on the canvas.

Park Grill ticks many boxes, on what a great restaurant is made up of, the environment is lovely, the staff and service friendly and attentive, the food quality was unquestionable, I simply believe that they have a very enthusiastic chef, who cooks very well, I just personally felt that the dishes were over-complicated and unbalanced.

  • Food

    6/10
  • Vibes

    8/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    7/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Gazelle, Mayfair

Gazelle

MAYFAIR

Sept 08, 2018

I had never really thought about the fact that ‘all that glitters is not gold’ can apply to eating out, until today. Located on Albemarle Street in Mayfair, the location, décor, presentation and the food at Gazelle would suggest gold, but my view is that it was definitely just glitter.

Modern European cuisine served on small plates, we took guidance from the waiter on the number of dishes to order between two. We ordered ten dishes plus bread, and I left the restaurant peckish and disappointed. So much so that I refused to order dessert, through fear of being further disappointed, leaving the restaurant with £70 less in my pocket than when I entered. Fortunately I bagged a 30% discount off the bill due to the Code App, which is an amazing app which offers restaurant discounts for those of us who work within the hospitality industry. On the topic of price, the price of food only ever becomes an issue, when the service, and quality (I include tastiness within this) fall short, as lets face in dining in Mayfair rarely comes at a small price. I ended up going to another restaurant for dessert and drinks, which fortunately turned my evening around.

The number of covers on the 1st floor, I estimate to be no more than 30-40, the restaurant was at 50% capacity on a Wednesday night. It is for this reason it was to my surprise that the service fell flat. Several waiters asking the same questions, within seconds of one another (offering water, readiness to order, am I ok), throughout the evening, contributed to what felt like being harassed whilst being starved.

We ordered Cucumber, Coconut and Oscietra Caviar (priced at £14), Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Berries and Long Pepper (priced at £9), Squid, Sandlewood Cured Jowl, Girolles (priced at £9), Leek Hearts, Chicken Vinaigrette (priced at £8.50), Turbot and Sea Herbs (priced at £15.50 ), Monkfish, Burnt Seed & Pistachio Sauce (priced at £15), Mushroom, Pine Nut, Wild Garlic (priced at £9.50), Crispy pigtails with Jerusalem artichoke (priced at £15), Presa, Salted Carrot Puree (priced at £16), and lastly the Beef Juniper, Salted Plum (priced at £19).

  • Cucumber coconut oscietra caviar

    £14.00

  • Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Berries, Long Pepper

    £9.00

  • Squid, Sandlewood Cured Jowl, Girolles

    £9.00

  • Leek Hearts, Chicken Vinaigrette

    £8.50

  • Turbot, Sea Herbs

    £15.50

  • Monkfish, Burnt Seed & Pistachio Sauce

    £15.00

  • Mushroom, Pine Nut, Wild Garlic

    £9.50

  • Crispy pigtails with Jerusalem artichoke

    £15.00

  • Presa, Salted Carrot Puree

    £16.00

  • Beef, Juniper, Salted Plum

    £19.00

To reiterate the restaurant interiors were beautiful, as was the food, but the only dish that stirred any strong emotion was the Beef, Juniper, Salted Plum, it was simple, and cooked to perfection. In summary the food at Gazelle was not bad, it just was not good, the quality of ingredients were top notch, though the dishes reminded me of what background music in a restaurant should be, and did not feel like the main event.

  • Food

    5/10
  • Vibes

    5/10
  • Service

    5/10
  • Price

    4/10
  • Overall

    5/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Scarlet Green, Soho

Scarlet Green

SOHO

Aug 31, 2018

I love google, I love the ease of typing in the name of a restaurant and being inundated with opinions, reviews and pictures. When quickly glimpsing google, what you are not always able to tell is the profile of the users leaving the reviews ( I’m sure you could with some time spent), and so upon googling Scarlet Green Soho, I was met with reviews which all exceeded 4 out of 5. Being a relatively new opening, there were not hundreds of reviews, but there were enough for me to give it a try.

Upon approach to the restaurant, I loved the pop of pink on the signage and on the art displayed within the restaurant. The restaurant I can only describe as a causal and cool, brunch spot, where you could catch up with friends, whilst eating a fairly guilt free brunch or lunch.

Daisy green, the company owning Scarlett green describes itself as providing a “unique, uplifting Australian experience”. I couldn’t help but notice that 95% of the diners were between the ages of 20-30, and I felt like the old lady in the club…not that I cared, just an observation.

As someone who has a daily battle with staying fit through exercise, versus my love for good food, I was excited to explore the aussie way to brunch. In my bid to taste as much of the menu as I could, I ordered much as would fit on the table!

We ordered the Broccoli & corn fritters, avocado, poached eggs, chilli pesto (priced at £12.40), Spicy tuna tostadas (priced at £2.80 each), Halloumi fries, pomegranate dressing (priced at £7.80), Seabass ceviche, avocado, tigers milk, crunchy corn (priced at £9.80), and Famous chicken parmigiana (priced at £16).
  • Broccoli & corn fritters, avocado, poached egg, chilli pesto

    £12.40

  • Halloumi Fries, pomegranate yoghurt

    £7.80

  • Famous chicken parmigiana

    £16.00

A dessert was so not necessary ,but curiosity got the better of me, and I ordered the two most indulgent desserts that I could find on the menu. The chocolate vegan cake (priced at £6) and the Melbourne mars bar cheesecake ball (priced at £8.60)

Vegan chocolate cake and Melbourne mars bar cheesecake ball

£6.00 & £8.60

Whist all of the dishes aesthetically looked pleasing, vibrant and colourful, they fell short on taste, and flat on flavour. I almost felt like this restaurant is designed for millennials, the food is presented picture perfect for social media, but I unfortunately did not enjoy a single dish. The Chicken Parmigiana was over cooked, to the point of the chicken being very dry, the fritters tasted of unseasoned vegetables, and the tuna tostadas were underwhelming, and overpriced, at £2.80 for one.

The service was also really poor, from a mistaken drinks order, to having no stock of another, the waiting staff were constantly needing to be prompted for something, including the bill.

All in all, I walked away from Scarlett Green feeling very underwhelmed, and wanting my money back!

  • Food

    4/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    4/10
  • Price

    5/10
  • Overall

    4/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Naughty Piglets, Brixton

Naughty Piglets

BRIXTON

Aug 27, 2018

Have you ever had one of those days, when you eat a very large lunch (because it was offered to you), knowing full well that you have dinner plans? I tried to convince myself that my elasticated stomach would stretch, to house two large meals for the day, but I was wrong.

Upon arriving at Naughty Piglets, and catching sight of the small plates being served to the other tables, I was filled with regret. My usual ‘fill the table’ approach was not happening tonight, and so I would describe this review as a ‘sampler’, as I was only able to share three small plates and a dessert.

The sampler was enough to convert me into a raving fan of a very talented chef, as all of the dishes were presented beautifully, and tasted even better than they looked. Naughty piglets is the love child of married couple Margaux Aubry Sharrat and Joe Sharratt, a chef and sommelier team, and the restaurant open since 2015, is continuing to thrive in popularity.

The 30 cover restaurant, serving small plates, was jam packed, without a table in sight available (to be expected, in Brixton on a Friday night), and here’s why….

Our first plate was the Chargrilled mackerel, gooseberry, coriander (Priced at £10), delicately grilled, with equally as delicate presentation, the gooseberry dressing perfectly balanced out the strong and sometimes overpowering fishy flavour of the mackerel.

Chargrilled mackerel, gooseberry, coriander

£10.00

This was closely followed by the Burrata, Datterini tomatoes, and basil (priced at £9), this was served with accompanying bread, and pretty much fell in line with my expectations on having some damn good cheese and tomatoes.

Buratta, Datterini tomatoes, basil

£9.00

My favourite dish was the Devon crab, peanut and picked cabbage (Priced at £11). As far as I am concerned, crab, peanuts and the vinegar from the pickled cabbage is truly a match made in taste bud heaven.

To finish we ordered the Doughnuts, lemon curd and sour cream (Priced at £6), quite simply a perfect to a delightful snack.

  • Devon crab, peanut and pickled cabbage

    £11.00

  • Doughnuts, lemon curd and sour cream

    £6.00

Now whilst I think that the dishes eaten were faultless on flavour, quality of ingredients and presentation, I could not help to feel a little short changed on the portion sizes versus price, even given my large lunch. How I personally define value for money is made up of environmental, service, quality, taste and price. For me the price, service, and environment combined, is what has led me to this conclusion.

The environment was uncomfortably hot, with a single fan struggling to keep us cool (within the back section of the restaurant), and my visit was during the peak of our unusually hot British summer. The service was casual, our waiter had extensive menu knowledge, though seemed thinly spread between the number of tables he was waiting. The décor is reminiscent to a quaint French brasserie, loads of wood, with a stripped back simple appearance.

Whilst the menu pricing did not sit comfortably with me, I will return to Naughty Piglets, purely because I was so impressed with the dishes ordered, and I am now left wondering curiously, what the rest of menu has to offer. If I was to sum up my visit to Naughty Piglets, I would use three words, flavoursome and beautiful food.

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    7/10
  • Price

    6/10
  • Overall

    8/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Champagne & Fromage, Brixton

Champagne & Fromage

BRIXTON

Aug 24, 2018

I have visited this little gem, maybe three or four times over the years. I keep on coming back because Champagne and Fromage just does what it says on the tin consistently well, great cheese, great champagne, and a few other French delights such as charcuterie, baguettes, salads and desserts.

The two I have visited in Brixton and Covent Garden, a fairly small, holding no more than 25 tables, and dressed like a quaint French bistro. The group operate a total of four within London, with others locations in Greenwich and Newington.

Let me just expand on why I am such a huge fan of this concept. As someone that has avidly explored champagnes over a number of years, and having arrived at a place, of understanding the good from the bad steering well away from mainstream (lower end) champagnes, I was happily surprised to find a list of 25-30 champagnes, varying in style, non vintage and vintage, with about 25% of them served by the glass. The cheerful French waiter explained that the champagnes have all been produced by award winning, family owned producers…non of which are recognisable brands ( I smile at this!), and with this is sold at much more reasonable pricing than any Champagne within a typical restaurant. Glass prices start at £8, and if unfamiliar with Champagne styles, ordering the flight (priced at £21), is a easy way of trying three 70ml glasses of three different types of champagne.

Sharing boards in a bistro is for me a tasting menu in a fine dining restaurant, allows me to try as many delights as possible within one sitting. With a cheese selection spanning 50 cheese, and a list of extensive charcuterie options, I simply described my likes/dislikes to the waiter, to later arrived with a board of the most wonderful selection to compliment my bubbles.

We opted for the Gastroboard XL (Priced at £30), which included five cheese, five meats, cornichons and three tapenades. On the face of it, £30 may seem fairly high in price, for a bit of cheese and ham, the quality and portion size are enough for this to quite easily act as lunch or even dinner.

  • Gastroboard XL

  • Gastroboard XL

I just love ham, cheese and champers, and so will more than likely visit Champagne and Fromage again at some point soon. If you love all three, then a visit is a must!

Bubbles

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    7/10
  • Service

    7/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    7/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Ikoyi, Piccadilly

Ikoyi

PICCADILLY

Aug 13, 2018

What I love most of all about living in London, is that you can eat almost every type of cuisine, at almost every price point. That said, there are some gaps, and every year there are new ’emerging cuisines’, coming to the forefront. This usually transpires from takeaways into the street food scene, festivals, and then later casual dining restaurants. This is the path I have seen Caribbean Food take within the the past few years, and so here we are with a ‘Fine Dining, West African’ restaurant opening just over 12 months ago in Piccadilly. Upon hearing about the opening last year, I was of course excited to hear that it was coming, but I also did wonder how it would be received. The journey of West African food with the UK, has been very different to that of Caribbean Food, and most other  ’emerging cuisine’. I have personally only ever enjoyed West African Food at weddings, or restaurants, that have an unapologetically ‘for us by us’ feel. Simply meaning fellow Africans come and enjoy the authentic delights of their home countries, in a no frills environment.

Ikoyi is a fairly small space, with anywhere between 50-60 covers, and the tables cramped so closely together that you would not struggle to take part in neighbouring tables conversations. I did not like this at all (especially as this restaurant has the label fine dining, and in keeping with this, is charging fine dining prices), but I do understand it. Rent in central London is astronomically high, and so it is essential that every square meter works for restauranteurs.  The decor is simple, colourful and tasteful with careful consideration to the detail.

Plantain is one of the many loves of my life, and so of course I had to order the Buttermilk Plantain (dusted in a raspberry salt), accompanied by a scotch bonnet (Priced £5.50). It tasted as good as it looked.

For Starter, I ordered Monkfish Cheek Mbongo, White Yam and Cep (Priced £13.50)

  • Buttermilk Plantain & Smoked Scotch Bonnet

    £5.50

  • Monkfish Cheek Mbongo, White Yam & Cep

    £13.50

For my main, I ordered for the Iberico Pork Suya (Priced £35), and the Jollof Rice with smoked bone marrow (Priced 11.50). Jollof is one of the most common dishes served throughout many countries within West Africa, and the one dish of personal familiarity. The Ikoyi version was delicious, and the bone marrow added a richness to the well seasoned rice.
  • Iberico Pork Suya, Hibiscus & Condiments

    £35.00

  • Jollof Rice & Smoked Bone Marrow

    £11.50

  • Wild Nigerian Tiger Prawns, Banga Bisque

    £29.00

My friend ordered the Wild Nigerian Tiger Prawn (Priced £29), which was packed with flavour, but unfortunately left her wanting more as the portion was very small.

I loved that Ikoyi has arrived in London, experimenting with West African flavours and ingredients with a twist. What I do think though is that “fine dining” by definition is not about the food quality alone, it is also about the environment, and the service. The food and service definitely qualify as fine dining, but I question whether the environment does.

All in all a delicious meal, just a bit on the pricey side for its casual setting.

  • Food

    8/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    6/10
  • Overall

    7/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Kricket, Brixton

Kricket

BRIXTON

Aug 9, 2018

Two things that I really love is small plates and Indian food. I have stumbled across a few restaurants that combine the two very well, but who knew this gem was literally on my door step in Brixton.

Chef Will Bowlby is the creative behind Kricket, which is essentially Indian small plates with a twist. I always have a really good feeling about food that looks and smells good, and I sat waiting for one of my friends (who do not understand the concept of time keeping) as I looked on, with food envy as plates of food arrived to the neighbouring tables. The food looked fresh, colourful and tantalising. I was excited!

With a simple food menu of ten dishes, plus two accompaniments, the menu size makes it quite easy to order the entire menu. I dined as a table of two, but any larger group, could have definitely ordered the lot. The waiter ( who I later read online to be the other co owner Rik Campbell) recommended that we take up to six dishes between two. We modestly opted for five plus an accompaniment the ‘Malabar Paratha’, which was plenty. What I was not prepared for is the amazing ride of culinary and creative delights that Kricket was to take me on.

Before the food, came cocktails, opting for the ‘Dark Matter’, this well balanced, and flavourful cocktail combined sweetness of mango, agave and spiced rum, with heat of pink peppercorn and green chilli (Priced at £8), I really could have done with a straw, given the size of the ice cubes, though it was simply to delicious to care. These are the types of cocktails that I adore, simple yet punchy.

Dark Matter Cocktail

£8.00

Typical to the tapas service style, the dishes arrived at the table as and when they were ready, and the first to arrive was the ‘Goan Sausage Pao’, (Priced at £6) which is a spiced sausage served in a slider, along with ‘Bhel Puri’ (Priced at £5.50), which was what I would describe as an explosion of flavours made up of puffed rice, vegetables, mango, tamarind and yoghurt.

Goan sausage pao and bhel puri

£6.00

Both delicious dishes were packed with flavour, and were closely followed by the ‘Pig Head Vindaloo’ (Priced at £12), which did have me wondering precisely what part of the head, I was eating?! Next came the ‘Macher Johl’, which was a fillet of cod on a bed of curried fennel, and wild garlic (Priced at £10.50), the ‘Malabar Paratha’ (Priced at £2), which is an Indian flat bread, and last but not least, but the unusually placed ‘Keralan Fried Chicken’ (priced at £6).
  • Pig Head Vindaloo

    £12.00

  • Macher johl

    £10.50

  • Keralan fried chicken and malabar paratha

    £6 & £2

After this meal, the five star reviews made sense. The only dish that I did not love was the fried chicken , and I am not sure if that was because it didn’t ‘fit’ with the other dishes, or simply because I have had better fried chicken in Southern Restaurants in the UK, and over the pond.

The service was causal, informal and friendly. The environment was loud ( as in the chatter really travelled across the room), and being under the arches on Atlantic road, meant that you can clearly hear the trains passing overhead. Value for money is always that balance of service, quality and cost, and Kricket felt like a real treat given that the spend per head excluding cocktails was actually only £23.

I finished the meal with the ‘Cocoloco’ cocktail, coconut rum based with cardamom, lime and mint, which was quite simply a perfect end to a near perfect meal.

I will definitely be coming back for more delights at Kricket.

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    6/10
  • Service

    8/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    8/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

The Dutchie, Croydon

The Dutchie

CROYDON

Aug 07, 2018

Jamaican food is admittedly the love of my life, I am not really sure how better to describe it. Its so near and dear to my heart, there is a very different level of critique and expectation, when I visit a Jamaican restaurant for the first time. The one thing, I never expect from a Jamaican restaurant (by this I mean Jamaican owned and run), is speed of service. Somehow, no matter where in the world you are service is never in a haste, and sometimes it is more than worth the wait.

The name of the restaurant does set an expectation of authenticity, as ‘The Dutchie’ is an alternate name for Dutch Pot, which is a cooking pot made from either cast iron or aluminium, which holds pride and place in every Jamaican’s home. It is used to cook anything from curry goat, fried fish and oxtail, and is probably the most common kitchen tool used to produce Jamaican food.

Dutch Pot

Having heard rave reviews of The Dutchie, I was eager to try the delights on offer. Upon entering the building, and walking down the stairs into the restaurant, I grew more and more excited, “The Gleaner” articles (a Jamaican newspaper, that my dad often read when I was a child), is plastered onto the walls to form a messy but tidy wallpaper on the staircase. The news stories seemed carefully considered, with nothing but good news showcasing the wonderful island that is Jamaica (yes I am admittedly biased).

Entering the restaurant itself, it is rustic, vibrant, colourful, and embodied the stripped back feel of the Caribbean, without the sun. Even though the restaurant is underground, the lighting is well lit enough for you to not even notice.

Keen to try as much as I could, I ordered the Jerk Chicken and Pork Mix (£9.95), The Jerk Lobster (£18.95), and the Curry Goat (£10.95). All of this nicely accompanied by Rice and Peas, Mac n Cheese (Priced at £4.50), and a portion of plantain (Priced at £3.50). The service was attentive and friendly, and the food was served after about 45 minutes, which I was prepared for.

It was worth the wait, the food was authentic, generously portioned, and quite simply delicious. The reviews were pretty much spot on, and so if you are wanting to experience some amazing Jamaican food, similar to that experienced in Jamaica, or at a elder Jamaican relative, The Dutchie delivers on all fronts. Just a word of warning, do not visit if your limited for time!

  • Jerk Pork Chicken Mac-N-Cheese Plantain

    £9.95

  • Jerk Lobster Rice and Peas

    £18.95

  • Food

    8/10
  • Vibes

    7/10
  • Service

    6/10
  • Price

    9/10
  • Overall

    7/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Hakkasan, Mayfair

Hakkasan

MAYFAIR

Aug 06, 2018

Hakkasan is pretty special, it is one of few Asian restaurants to hold Michelin star (this location in particular has held this status since a year after opening in 2011). The vibe of Hakkasan has always reminded me of the type of venue, that my besties from Sex and the City would frequent. Dimly lit, wooden panelling, and chillout but funky background music, the environment feels comfortable and relaxed.

I personally love restaurants that can create a really comfortable space for a mix of different types of people, whilst never wavering on food and drink quality. It means that the restaurant can cater to multiple occasions, a causal business lunch, celebratory dinner and everything in between.

Time and pocket permitting, I will always go with a tasting menu at a restaurant such as this one, it allows you to more easily taste a broad array of what’s on offer, as opposed to visiting on several occasions. The ‘Taste of Hakkasan” set menu prices start at £32 per person, right up to £120 per person for the “Signature Menu”.

There is certainly no shortage of Asian restaurants in London, and one of my absolute favourites is Hakkasan. Yes, I am reviewing a restaurant that has been operating for 8 years, which in London terms, is pretty much ancient. My excuse is being a certified Brumdoner (Brummie come Londoner), and so I am simply playing catch-up on the old, whilst still seeking out the new.

The menu had multiple pages, and so I asked the waitress to point me in the direction of the set menu’s, to her response of “Do you want the £32 menu?”. Now the entry point menu may well be extremely popular (and could very well be the reason for her suggestion), however I was offended by her assumption. I understand it that the job of the waitress/waiter is to guide the customer through the menu, giving advice where necessary or requested. The job of a waitress/waiter is definitely not to play the guessing game on the customers tastes or bank account, especially when no prior probing questions were asked. It was actually a black woman asking me (another black woman), this question, and so whilst service was seamless, this question, left a bad taste in my mouth.

I opted for the £120 Signature menu (nothing at all to do with the presumptuous waitress!), which was genuinely enough to feed a family of six, and so I recommend that you DO NOT do as I did….unless you have not eaten all week.

In total this menu included three starters, four mains (plus rice), two desserts, and a glass of champagne. Below are some of the highlights from my feast.

  • Steamed Har Gau with Gold Leaf

  • Peking Duck with Prunier Caviar

  • Roasted Silver Cod Alaskan King Crab in XO sauce

  • Stir-fry Rib Eye Beef with Lily Bulb in Black Bean Sauce

  • Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Though I preferred certain dishes over others, the food was delicious, the service was attentive (apart from the psychic waitress), and for a second time Hakkasan has reminded me why it still remains a favourite for Londoners after such a long time.

Restaurants such as Hakkasan is always a stark reminder of how bad the Cantonese food was from my local takeaway 20 years ago, but also how great this food can be when done well within the right environment. Forever one of my favs!

  • Food

    9/10
  • Vibes

    9/10
  • Service

    7/10
  • Price

    8/10
  • Overall

    8/10

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

Ola Porto!

Ola Porto!

PORTUGAL

Jul 07, 2018
This was a long weekend away, with a few firsts. My very first solo weekend away, and my first time in Portugal. The right decision on all counts, as Porto is friendly, safe for solo female travellers, easy to navigate (with the help of google maps and uber!), and has plenty to do…..and more importantly to eat and drink. My only culinary expectations were to have amazing port, and my expectations were surpassed as I not only had amazing port, I enjoyed phenomenal wine, delicious traditional food, and dipped my toe into Porto fine dining too.

Porto is aesthetically charming, buildings packed in close proximity, it is colourful, ceramic and coastal.

My first stop was Quinta Do Castro, which is vineyard located on the Douro River. Epic views of the acres of vineyards, and unusually placed swimming pool overlooking the river. To my surprise, they actually produce more wine than Port, and the factory, and cellar tours were followed by a wine tasting, and hearty three course lunch. Some of this vineyards largest export markets are Switzerland, and Germany, but I do not recall seeing much Portuguese wines heavily featuring within restaurants within the UK, that is not to say they do not feature. The producer explained that the UK is a growth market for Portuguese wine exports, and one with great opportunity due to the the volumes of wines that Brits consume. My visit was a full day trip, with a 90 minute train journey to/from the centre, and so with 3 hours of travel, and a lot of food and drink, I concluded day one with a early night.

  • Douro River

  • Wine Cellar at Quinta Do Castro

My favourite places to travel, are those rich in culture, and tradition and so organised by a company called Taste of Porto, I arranged to do a “vintage food tour”, which was 3.5 hours wandering the streets of Porto, and trying all of the traditional foods of Porto. Firm favourites included Loja das Conservas (House of Canned Foods), where they had every fish type imaginable and seasoned in a variety of ways. I also learnt that Porto is one of the largest exporters of canned fish into the UK market, producing on behalf of big brands such as John West.

Loja das Conservas (House of Canned Foods)


Next on the trip was a place called Mercearia do Bolhao, where I enjoyed a few different dishes, my favourite being a hearty bread with smoked ham and sausage through it called Folar de Murca.

Folar de Murca

My favourite and most ‘familiar’ dish on this food tour was at a restaurant called Tacso. A dish called Patanisca de Bacalhau, which is codfish deep fried in egg, flour, parsley and onion, was near identical in both taste and looks to one of my favourite Jamaican snacks Saltfish fritters. Portuguese migrants went to Jamaica back in the 1400s, and as a result Jamaican cuisine takes influence in a couple of dishes.

Patanisca de Bacalhau

The perfect end to the vintage food tour was of course tasting the cities most obvious and popular export, Port. The port was delicious, but ended up being a lowlight because the food was just so good. The number of restaurant stops totalled 7, and by the end of it, I was bursting by the seams. A food tour is a really hassle free way for a solo traveller, or even a group to be guided throughout the centre of porto, tasting the traditional foods at a really reasonable price.

Port
Porto is a great walking city (wear flat shoes though, it is very hilly), and the best way to do this was by being shown the sites of the city, by the locals. A company called Porto Walkers, arrange for free of charge city tour lasting over 2 hours, taking you through the history and key landmarks of the city. Ceramics have heavy feature on many building, churches and restaurants.
On my final day in Porto, still having almost half of my trip spending money (it is really cheap to eat in Porto), combined with the heavens opening up, I decided to treat myself to a Porto Michelin star experience. Having been so impressed by all the food and drink consumed so far, I figured, it would be worth its while, and I was right. I contacted several restaurants on the morning of the booking (to my surprise such a small city hade several one Michelin star restaurants), and managed to book a table at Antiqvvm. Opting for the tasting menu (of course), each dish presented like a work of art, with views and service to match. An absolutely perfect way to end a spectacular city break, and food tour in Porto.
When travelling on a short weekend break , you have to accept that you simply will not see it all. The part of Porto that I will definitely be returning for to explore the coast. Porto, you were amazing, I will be back! x

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Share this post

  • 1
  • 2

Copyright © 2019 Food Reigns
Cookie Policy