Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Balthazar's Keuken

Elandsgracht 108
1016 VA 
Amsterdam, Netherlands

PaulyG was clever enough to make a late dinner reservation here - they only do a prix fixe menu which is nice in terms of making it quite easy to order. Service is amiable but slooooow - we were even given a free first round of cocktails as a sort of apology for the time it took for us to get anyone's attention. Much like the previous night's dinner, the starters were a selection of small dishes with no choice (though since PattyG is allergic to fish they did make him a couple of small non-fish bites as a replacement). The bacon was especially nice, as were the mussels. The olives, for some unknown reason, were drenched in cumin which was way too strong for any of us to eat. There were two options for mains - steak or fish. I went for steak again (not entirely sure why as I love fish) - it was very good but PaulyG's fish choice looked better. And then I'm sure they must have brought us dessert but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was and I didn't manage to remember to take a picture either, so sorry. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Van Kerkwijk

Nes 41
1012 KC 
Amsterdam, Netherlands

In case you couldn't tell from the name, this place is in Amsterdam. It is frickin' awesome (except for the no reservations thing). The starters are a mix of lots of different little things - you don't pick, they just come like that, and then the waiter comes by and tells you what they have on offer at the moment for mains, and you choose one of the four or five options (PaulyG and I went for steak, PattyG had some crazy good Indonesian chicken I think) and wine is ordered and everything is just warm and convivial and great, and then you get two or three options for dessert, which is also fabulous, and then you stumble out into the street, full and merry and you meet your Dutch friend's friend who comes screeching up on her bike, tries to park it but instead ends up shoving it over while shouting "I'm so drunk!" and then you get invited to an electro techno DJ party that everyone you are with says HELL NO to and then you go home for a sleep.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Red Dog Saloon

37 Hoxton Square
N1 6NN

I had another one of my massive cravings for buffalo wings and happened to be walking past Red Dog Saloon (or at least their little fast food takeaway joint next door) - and then I found myself going inside. So - in my hunt for delicious buffalo wings around town, I have so far approved of the ones at Meat Liquor and at Duke's Brew and Cue. This is another one to add to the list - these were the biggest wings, and very nicely fried so that they stayed crisp even after a drenching in authentic buffalo sauce. I would have liked some celery sticks on the side, but all I got was blue cheese sauce which I still haven't discovered a taste for. But at least I now have three places I can go to get a fix.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beer & Buns

3 Appold Street

PattyG and I found out that this little pop up bar above K10 in Liverpool Street has pinball machines, and that on Monday night they are free. So the first Monday we were free, we got ourselves in there to play pinball to our heart's content (with a bit of free foosball thrown in as well). There are only two pinball machines, but that was completely fine as there were only two of us. Interestingly, most of the other people at the bar seemed interested only in the food, which meant we had very little competition for the machines. But this is a food blog - so I should mention that the fried chicken wing were crisp and meaty (though a little sweet for my liking) and the buns are soft, pillowy and tasty - I'm not sure I'd go there again without the pinball attraction, but it was certainly a fun night out. Oh, and they have my favorite draft beer (Asahi).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hoi Polloi

100 Shoreditch High St 
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
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

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.