Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hoi Polloi



100 Shoreditch High St 
London 
E1 6JQ

Hoi Polloi is in the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch - I meant to see if I wrote about this the first time around (my birthday last year) but I am too lazy and this meal was amazing enough to write about it again anyway. This time it was A's birthday and he was excited to come back - we had some fabulous cocktails to start, along with a few oysters, and then jumped into giant main courses. My duck breast with a pearl barley risotto was so full of duck flavors - I think every bit of the risotto tasted of duck as well, I almost risked licking the plate clean. A went with a special - the enormous rib eye you see above, which was superbly cooked and juicy as hell. He just about got through it though it was not looking possible for a little while - I had to help him out (poor me). I still love the ambiance of this place - perfect for a slightly special occasion. It may become our go-to celebration spot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stokey Bears



129 Stoke Newington High St
London
N16 0PH

On a nice rambling walk up to Stoke Newington, A and I stumbled across Stokey Bears, a new burger and beer restaurant that resulted from a collaboration between Bear Hug brewery and Burger Bears. We were trying to keep enough room for a big dinner plan, so we decided to split a burger and fries. It was pretty excellent and I was a little sad I didn't have my own. That gorgeous brioche bun was perfect for the cheeseburger and the fries were thin and crisp, just as they should be. I'm thinking this place might be a good way to bribe A to go for more walks in Stoke Newington.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Sasa Sushi


422 Saint John Street
London 
EC1V 4NJ

I've passed by this place hundreds of times but never stopped in even though I love sushi. After finding out that an event we were going to go to was actually in the diary by mistake (bad A!) we had to quickly come up with an alternative plan, so I seized the opportunity to try it out. We had a sushi set - salmon roll, shrimp tempura roll, and then five pieces of assorted nigiri. Sadly the tempura was quite mushy - as if it had sat out too long - and while everything else was okay, it didn't really inspire me to order anything else. I should note that a few weeks later I went to a birthday party and there was a large tray of sushi from Sasa Sushi that was very good - so not sure if we just got a slightly off meal there or not, but I'm not in a big hurry to return.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Indi-Go



35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road
London 
E1 6LA

A and I wanted to see Whiplash (which we liked, by the way) and since it was playing at Rich Mix we decided to grab a little food at the Indian street food place in the lobby. We were both a little dubious about whether it would be good or not, but it turns out the food is excellent. A lamb shish wrap and a dosa were plenty for two and the flavors were spot on. One of the dishes had quite a kick - turns out it was the potato filling in the dosa - so we needed plenty of water but I'd rather it by spicy than bland. A great option if you need something cheap and delicious before a movie.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Smoking Goat


7 Denmark Street
London 
WC2H 8LZ

So the food experts of London have been raving about Smoking Goat, talking about the ridiculous queues and the incredible platters of grilled meat. P and I perked up our ears and made plans to visit on a Monday night - we went early, around 6pm, and it was a bit rainy, and there were plenty of tables. I don't think the place was ever full during the entire 2.5 hours we were there, so maybe the craziness has died down. We ordered a couple of beers and the fish sauce chicken wings, which were so delicious that we got a second order of them. The coal roasted aubergine dish was really smoky and lovely as well - I think I am growing fonder and fonder of aubergine. Then we decided on the lamb ribs, which came with sticky rice and a green papaya salad. I liked it all, but the chicken wings were my favorite. I'd love to go back with more people and really get into the duck and pork belly options as well - even though P and I are greedy we just couldn't fit in any more food.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Uchiko



4200 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78756

So this year, in a rare aligning of all the planets, my mom, dad, brother and I were all back in Austin at the same time, without any other people staying with us. It was like a reunion of family life back in 1998! J and I wanted to take the parents out for dinner for all the birthdays and other random things we have missed, and I made a reservation at Uchiko since I had eaten at Uchi a long time ago and still have fond memories of that meal. Sadly I did not take into the account how uncomfortable my parents would be with the price of the dishes. It was only tempered by the fact that our 6 pm reservation allowed us to ask for the happy hour menu, which our waiter was kind enough to arrange even though apparently it is usually restricted to the bar area. Anyway - the happy hour menu is full of reasonably priced things, so we ordered a bit off of that, but since it was a celebration dinner we still wanted to let my parents have anything else they wanted. My dad spotted mackerel, which he loves, but he did not clock that ordering it as sashimi would mean it was raw. And everyone at the table except for me DOES NOT like raw mackerel. On top of that, 7 tiny slices were $20. I know fish can be expensive, but mackerel is one of the cheapest fish to buy, so that was hard to reconcile. There were some dishes that were standouts (in particular a salmon and kale dish) but also a few that were just ok but nothing special. In the end, while the parents appreciated the gesture, I think they would have been happier at a more mid-priced restaurant, so let's try again next year.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Num Pang


140 E. 41st Street
(Btw. Lexington & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY

I knew I was going to get hungry at some point during my travels from NYC to Austin so before I went to the airport I picked up a sandwich for later. I was staying at my friend V's apartment (thanks V!) and this Cambodian sandwich shop (Num Pang) was nearby and came highly recommended. The woman at the counter was very friendly and when I asked her which sandwich would travel best, she recommended the coconut shrimp sandwich. It was probably four hours later that I actually ate it, and it was pretty damn delicious - but like with most things I think it might have been even better if I had it fresh when it had just been lightly toasted and handed over to me. Still, the flavors were great and it felt relatively healthy due to the amount of veggies in it - it's certainly on the expensive end of takeaway sandwiches but let's just call it a treat.