Friday, April 30, 2010

The Royal Standard

1 St. Peters Hill
Flushing, Falmouth
TR11 5TB

A gloriously sunny weekend in Cornwall was capped off by a great dinner at The Royal Standard, a pub with views of the sea and fantastic, reasonably priced pub food. The menu changes daily and is put up on a chalk board by the fireplace. To start, A and I shared the broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup. Surprisingly, I loved this - I usually hate anything with blue cheese in it. The Stilton was so subtle though that I slurped down quite a bit of the soup - it was silky and full of broccoli flavor. For mains, I ordered the fish and chips and A had beef lasagne. The fish was cooked perfectly - fresh, flaky fish within a crisp beer batter was accompanied by a delightful homemade tartar sauce full of dill and capers. Chips were golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy within. A's lasagne was hearty and beefy and everything you could wish for on a chilly evening. All in all, one of my favorite meals out in Cornwall - I will definitely be back.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt

After the lovely potato salad at Lantana, I decided to try out my own version at home. We were clearing out the freezer for a party, so corn and prawns were added, and my chive plant has gone gangbusters now that spring has sprung, so I threw those in as well. A gave this a big thumbs up. We had it as dinner, though it would make a great side dish as well.

Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt


500g baby salad potatoes
150g Greek yogurt (I used Fage fat-free)
3/4 cup corn
150g prawns
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
salt and pepper


Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender. If using frozen corn and/or prawns, drain the potatoes over the corn and prawns so that the hot water thaws everything out. Cut potatoes into smaller pieces, and add to a big bowl. Add corn, prawns, yogurt and chives to bowl and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sandwich Plus

3 Clove Crescent
E14 2BB

I admit, I feel a little weird writing about a breakfast sandwich that is located in the middle of nowhere. Well, not nowhere exactly - it is close to East India DLR Station. It's just that I only go out there to do some pro bono work with ASAP, and so if I wasn't doing pro bono work, I would never ever ever end up in this part of town, and I certainly would never travel to this part of town just to get a breakfast sandwich. Also, when you're in this part of town, there are almost no food options, so I was a bit worried about trying this sandwich shop. That said, it was exactly what I needed, the day after the gin shenanigans, and it was a good thing I had it as well since the day was so busy I didn't manage to eat again until quite late in the evening. Then again, it can't be that hard to put together fried egg, bacon and a roll. Looking at the picture, I think the egg yolk was punctured and fried hard - I don't mind this because that's how my dad always made eggs growing up, but I would have preferred a runny yolk. And the bacon was unremarkable. But it still came together for a pretty tasty whole.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


1 Piccadilly Gardens

M1 1RG

Kro in Piccadilly Gardens is a convenient place to meet up in Manchester - it's close to the train station and pretty central. It also has big tables, which is good when you walk in with eight people for brunch without reservations. Service was pleasant, and the menu veers from very normal "British" food (think full English breakfast and sandwiches) to Danish food (including herrings and biksemad?!) No matter, I went with things I know well - a tuna melt and a burger, shared with A. I preferred the tuna melt, mostly because the burger was overcooked and lacked flavor. The potato wedges were excellent though, and I snuck a few of A's chips as well and thought they were decent. The menu is wide enough that everyone happily found something they wanted, and we went off to catch our train with our bellies satiated.

Monday, April 26, 2010


10 Poland Street

Ok, I have an excuse this time for the dismal picture - I went to Bodean's following a Martin Miller's Masterclass for the Gintelligentsia. I'm surprised I have a picture at all, to be honest. But what better way to soak up multiple gin martinis than with some pulled pork sandwiches and fries. I've been to Bodean's several times - usually the Soho branch but I did venture out to the Notting Hill one once. I'd stick to Soho if I were you - better atmosphere, I think. Anyway, a large pulled pork sandwich sorted me out enough so that I could get home, though my memories are very fuzzy. Apparently I enjoyed my sandwich (as I always do), but sadly I can't recall eating it. Oh well, I'll just have to go back again and check that it's still good...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

El Rincon

244 Deansgate
Manchester M3 4BQ

A quick weekend in Manchester allowed us to try El Rincon, which H and G had booked for our large group. We went with the party menu which resulted in a quick stream of tapas being brought out. The picture above is disgusting (sorry) but the food was pretty good. Standouts for me were the meatballs and patatas bravas. There was a really odd tuna mayonnaise dish though that I found dubious, and the fried calamari was too rubbery and greasy. I managed to spend most of dinner talking with C about how we both have problems with knowing when to stop eating, especially when there continues to be food in front of us, and what do you know, I left El Rincon way too full. This is primarily because after all of the tapas, an enormous serving of paella was brought out to tip us all over the edge. If you go, may I recommend: 1) not waiting until you are starving to eat, 2) if you are ordering the party menu, order it without paella rather than with; and 3) going with a smaller group and maybe ordering a la carte rather than doing the party menu.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


13 Charlotte Place
Marylebone, London W1T 1SN

After reading multiple raves about Lantana from some of my favorite food blogs over the last year or so (here, here, here, here, and here), it was probably about time to go try it myself. Thankfully it was in the area that J and I frequent for our Wednesday lunches, and since we were ready for lunch at noon, it seemed like a good time to snag a seat at this tiny cafe. Good thing we did, because about 30 minutes later the place was rammed. I went with the chicken kebab with choice of two salads, and I opted for potato salad and chickpea salad. Everything tasted incredibly fresh and I loved the use of yogurt in the potato salad rather than heavy mayonnaise. The chicken skewers were grilled perfectly and were still tender and juicy. I suppose 8.50 for the above plateful is not too steep - I certainly left full - but nor does it seem cheap, so this may be a treat for lunch rather than a regular haunt.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lime and Coconut Cake

I was asked to bring dessert to a friend's house and had no idea what to make. Smitten Kitchen to the rescue - I knew we had a lot of limes sitting around, and some desiccated coconut from one of A's pancake recipes that needed using, and voilà, this lime and coconut cake fit the bill perfectly. The coconut flavor is quite mild - it's the lime that really brings this cake to life. I liked the rum in the icing as well - it made the whole thing feel a little more grown up.

Lime and Coconut Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup desiccated coconut
1 stick (113.5 grams) salted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest (I used zest of 1 lime)
2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
1 3/4 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided (this was the juice of 2 limes for me)
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 170°C/350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a round cake pan (mine was 24cm but I think smaller might be better since the cake seemed kind of thin).

Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 5 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and pour over cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Black Beans

Black Beans
Adapted from Allrecipes

1 (400g) tin black beans (or use dried black beans)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add black beans and enough water to come 3/4 up the way of the contents of the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Season with coriander, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, and serve.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

Adapted from Epicurious


1 large onion, sliced
3 red or orange or yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
500g chicken - I used diced breast meat and thigh meat
12 flour tortillas


Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano and thyme and continue cooking 1 minute.

In a separate pan, heat oil and add chicken. Salt and pepper to taste and fry until golden and cooked through.

Add chicken to vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Serve with flour tortillas, cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, and black beans.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lime Blueberry Corn Muffins

I wanted blueberry muffins, but I was a bit bored with the old recipe so did a bit more searching for a different recipe. I found one for lemon blueberry corn muffins, but as I had many many limes and no lemons, it got tweaked into lime blueberry corn muffins. I also found the butter content way too high so I halved it, and reduced the sugar as well to compensate for my dried blueberries. These are nice and crumbly with a bit of crunch from the cornmeal. The lime flavor is quite subtle but still noticeable.

Lime Blueberry Corn Muffins
Adapted from Epicurious

60g salted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup dried blueberries


Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F and grease muffin tin.

Melt butter and cool. Into a large bowl sift together flour and baking powder and whisk in cornmeal, sugar, and zest. In a bowl whisk together melted butter, milk, egg and lime juice and add to flour mixture with blueberries, gently stirring until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake muffins in middle of oven about 15 minutes, or until tops are golden and a tester comes out clean. Remove muffins from cups and cool on a rack. Muffins keep in an airtight container at room temperature 2 days.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dom im Stapelhaus

Frankenwerft 35
50667 Köln

For our last meal in Cologne, we went to Dom im Stapelhaus, another two-for-one offer on the Cologne Welcome Card. There's a special menu they give you when you use the card, which unfortunately isn't online, so I can't even tell you exactly what we ordered, except that both dishes ended in -wurst which was the only way we had the slightest clue what we were getting. There was another couple behind us that didn't know any German and we could here their panicked mutterings to each other as they tried to decipher the very long full menu. Anyway, we ended up with two sausage dishes, but the one above was the one I picked and it was slightly more interesting due to the sausage coming out as a meatloaf-shaped rectangle. Some really excellent fried potatoes with an oozing fried egg on top and a little pile of tart sauerkraut finished off the dish. The potatoes were what really got my attention - I think there were bits of bacon mixed in as well, so needless to say they were super tasty.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bierhaus en d'r Salzgass

Salzgasse 5
50667 Köln

Another welcome two-for-one discount from the 
Cologne Welcome Card made dinner here incredibly affordable (and it wasn't even expensive in the first place). This bierhaus serves Päffgen Kölsch and we were quickly brought two Kölsch while studying the menu. We ordered Bergische Bauernmettwurst mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffelpüree (a local sausage served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes) and Schweineschnitzel (pork schnitzel with mushroom sauce and fries). The schnitzel was incredible with the rich mushroom sauce - Germans clearly are not into diet food. I liked the sausage as well, but the schnitzel was definitely the winner in this meal - it's hard to go wrong with tender pork cutlets, breaded and fried and smothered in mushrooms. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Haxenhaus zum Rheingarten

Frankenwerft 19
50667 Köln

The marvelous Cologne Welcome Card gets you all kinds of discounts - to museums, restaurants and bars - and it also serves as a 24 hour public transport pass. For our €8 per person cards, I estimate we saved at least €50 between us. Haxenhaus zum Rheingarten is one of the places we visited along the river to get our free Kölsch. Since we were getting our beers free, we ordered the Flönzthaler (4 Stück) as a snack. Sadly A and I have no German skillz whatsoever and thus did not know that we were eating blood sausage, sandwiched between dry slices of pumpernickel rye bread. At the time, all we knew is that we both did not like this dish at all, and now that I am back home and translating what I ate, I am even more disgusted.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Brauhaus Sünner Im Walfisch

Salzgasse 13
50667 Köln, Germany

Embarrassingly, we only went inside 
Brauhaus Sünner Im Walfisch because of the enormous glass tubes of beer they had propped up in the window. You can order 3 or 5 liters of beer here, and it comes in a massive tube with a little tap at the bottom so you can keep filling your glass. Sadly, we were not brave enough to attempt such daunting quantities of beer and ended up just snacking on a Cologne specialty, the Halve Hahn. Contrary to its name, which translates as half a chicken, there is no chicken in this snack. Rather, it is just a roll with semi-mature Gouda cheese (and onions, though ours came without). The roll was warm and crusty and the cheese was good, but in the end, it's just a cheese roll. Probably best for late night snacking after too many Kölsch.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bäckerei Merzenich

Wallrafplatz 4
50667 Köln

Merzenich is a bakery chain - we saw several when we were walking around Cologne. While we had a couple of sandwiches there that were completely ordinary, we also had a couple of really amazing specialties. First up is the Schinken-Käsebrötchen, a glorified ham and cheese roll. It's basically a yeasty roll smothered in a blanket of cheese and bacon pieces. What's not to love about that? The other spectacle was the Käse-Kirschkuchen, which was a cake, split in half and filled with vanilla cream and cherry jam, and then covered in powdered sugar. It sounds disgustingly sweet, but surprisingly I found it very balanced, with the mild vanilla cream and tart cherry filling. If I had more stomach space I would have tried more things, but alas. The picture of bunny pastries is only up because I thought they were adorable (and very appropriate for Easter, obviously). 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Obenmarspforten 7
50667 Köln

We happened to wander by this place and the lime-green display windows full of pastries and chocolates caught my eye. We walked in, thinking we'd have a quick look to see if there was anything that particularly cried out "Eat me!" and of course, as soon as A saw the cheesecake, he was a goner. We snagged a great table in a room that reminded me of the grand hotel tea rooms of London, and quickly settled on cheesecake along with hot chocolate and coffee. The cheesecake was nothing like A's Platonic ideal of a bricklike New York-style cheesecake, but it was delicious in its own right. If I had to guess, I'd say it was made of ricotta and it had a light citrusy tang to it. There were nutty chunks in the crust, probably hazlenuts, and a very thin layer of lemony glaze on top. Everything else in the display case looked so lovely that I'd be happy to spend a gluttonous day trying a little bit of it all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brauhaus Sion

Unter Taschenmacher 5-7
50667 Köln

Another brewery, for another brand of Kölsch. Brauhaus Sion apparently does tours, not that we went on one. Instead, we popped in to the restaurant part for some Kölsch, but we couldn't resist getting a sausage as well - they serve a meter of sausage here (meant for four people) but we went with the more modest Baseler Kalbsbratwurst. This came on a mound of what the waiter said was cabbage, but tasted more like cabbage and mashed potatoes, mixed together? Whatever it was, it was incredibly good with the sausage, which was almost crispy on the outside. Plenty for the two of us to share - look at the size of that thing!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Früh am Dom

Am Hof 18

Köln 50667

Früh am Dom seems to be one of the biggest and most popular breweries in Cologne. It's located right next to the cathedral, which is pretty convenient, and since it's mentioned in pretty much every guide to Cologne, A and I started there for our first meal and our first Kölsch. Thankfully the menu was partially translated into English, so we quickly ordered two Kölsch and Schweineschnitzel mit Pommes Frites und Salat and Frische Bratwurst mit Bratkartoffeln und gemischtem Salat (Pork Schnitzel with chips and salad and fresh sausage with roasted potatoes and mixed salad). The salads were quite tasty, with a tangy almost coleslaw-like dressing, but the meat and potatoes were what we were really there for. Both dishes were great and reminded us why we like German food - it's hearty and savory and no nonsense, perfect for blustery cold evenings. The great thing about the brauhauses is that they keep bringing you more Kölsch; as soon as you finish one glass, it's replaced with another, unless you put your beer mat on top to signal that you're done. The Kölsch pairs perfectly with the food and with conversation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ditsch Pretzel

Köln Hauptbahnhof

Ok, I realize I have just posted three pictures of pretzels, which may be a little bit over-the-top. However, this is only because I want to make sure no one else makes the same mistake we did, which is to buy the first pretzel you see when you get into the train station in Cologne. That would be the bottom picture, a large pretzel to the tune of 1.60. It was sad, dry, and most definitely not fresh. About 5 meters away, at another shop, we noticed a pretzel machine making hot-out-of-the-oven pretzels (middle picture). For only €0.60! So we immediately put our first pretzel away and bought another one, which is the top picture, because my goodness, the difference between a fresh pretzel covered in plenty of salt and an old pretzel with a paltry scattering of salt is like night and day. The fresh pretzel place is called Ditsch. I beg you, make sure you get your pretzels from a hot pretzel oven. Don't be dumb like me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Larder

91-93 St. John Street
London EC1M 4NU

P and I were looking for a restaurant in Clerkenwell to have dinner at and I noticed Toptable had a 50% off deal at The Larder, so off we went, along with L and N. What a fantastic dinner it was - I started with seared tuna over some raw vegetables with a spicy sauce that was perfect for the dish. I then had the duck confit over baby bok choy - duck confit done right is one of my favorite things to eat. For some reason, the menu listed chorizo as part of the dish as well, but I didn't detect any. Lastly, a selection of two cheeses was brought out (the third cheese was a blue cheese and they omitted that for me). All this, with a bottle of white wine, brought the bill to around 20 quid a head. Not bad, for what was very accomplished cooking. Sadly, the process of getting the bill was a shambles - first we were told our bill had been paid (no it hadn't), then we were brought one without the 50% off, then we were brought one that charged us twice for a dish and didn't apply the 50% off correctly, and on the fourth try we were all so frustrated with it that we just paid and left with a somewhat disgruntled feeling. Everything had been going really well up until the bill fiasco, so I guess I might still go back, though there are plenty of other places to eat well without the hassle at the end of your meal.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Tuna Casserole

This dish reminds me of when I first lived in London with my roommates E and N. Being poor students, we devised quite a few economical dishes to make for dinner and this was one of our favorites. I've tweaked it a bit since I had a few things in the fridge that needed using and so it's slightly more elegant than the old school version, but still just as comforting. Though I may secretly miss the crispy top layer of crushed potato chips that we used to use...

Tuna Casserole


2 cans of tuna in water

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 chillies, deseeded and diced
1 bunch of parsley, minced
500g fusilli pasta (or any other short pasta that would hold sauce well)
1 cup of breadcrumbs


1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
3. Put onions, carrots, celery and chillies into a large pan and saute over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add cream of mushroom soup and stir to combine. Drain water from cans of tuna, add tuna to the pan and stir to combine. Add parsley and stir to combine.
4. Add pasta to tuna sauce and mix well. Pour pasta and sauce into a baking pan (I used one 9" x 9" and one 6" x 12" pan). Sprinkle breadcrumbs over casseroles. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown on top.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Med Kitchen

51 Saint Martin's Lane

London WC2N 4EA

Med Kitchen is a chain that I've seen all over London, but it's taken me 4 1/2 years to actually go inside and eat. This time it just happened to be the restaurant closest to the theatre where we were seeing Bedroom Farce. Much like the play, while there were some positives, I was thoroughly underwhelmed. We started with an antipasti platter which was decent, but how hard is it to screw up what is essentially bought-in cured meats and a pile of rocket & parmesan on the side? For mains I chose the grilled sea bass on spinach with roasted tomatoes and A had roasted cod on olive oil mashed potatoes. Both dishes were pleasant, but unremarkable, and I thought A's cod was slightly overcooked. All this, plus one glass of wine, came to a rather stunning amount, which was unfortunately the only memorable part of the dinner. Not worth it, I say.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Scolt Head

107A Culford Road
London N1 4HT

This is one of my favorite meals in recent memory, and it's at one of my local pubs! The Scolt Head was a regular haunt last summer because of its fantastic beer garden, and while I knew they served food, I didn't try it until now. Silly, silly me. Sunday lunch options all sounded great but I went with the whole grilled lemon sole with brown shrimp, capers and lemon-butter sauce, served alongside a gratin of fennel. The menu changes daily to reflect what is fresh and seasonal and based on this one dish, I'd say the kitchen really knows what its doing. The fish was cooked perfectly and the gratin was scarfed down even though I would usually avoid fennel. I am definitely coming back to try more dishes here and have some more pints in the sun once it warms up outside...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Le Relais de Venise

5 Throgmorton Street

So our first visit to this chain of steakhouses was in Manhattan, and we were hooked by the simple concept - everyone gets the same food - a salad with mustardy dressing, and then two plates of steak and chips with a buttery, rich sauce. You can choose your steak rare, medium or well done. And that's the only decision you have to make. Well, aside from what you would like to drink. A and I tried out the branch in the City of London and it was even better than I remembered - the steak was perfectly cooked and tender and beefy, and the chips were outstanding - crispy and plentiful. I even liked the mustardy salad, which is funny because I don't usually like mustard. We had a half bottle of the house red, which went very well with the meal. I'm sure we'll be back - our receipt came with a 20% off voucher for our next meal...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Pronto Grill Bar

51 Strutton Ground

During a rainy lunch break I just wanted somewhere warm to sit down and have some hot food, which ruled out Strutton Ground Street Market. Thankfully there are covered restaurants in the area as well, so I popped in here to see what was on the menu. I opted for their fried cod and chips, and as you can see, this is a breaded filet of fish, rather than battered. That was fine by me since it made it a little lighter and less greasy. Everything was fried to order, so while it took a while for my food to come out, at least it was hot and crisp and fresh when it arrived. I think the fish was probably frozen, but it was still pretty tasty, and the chips were excellent. Nothing amazing about the food, but it hit the spot on a damp and chilly day and service was friendly and quick, so I have no complaints.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Strutton Ground Street Market

Now that I've started working around the corner from this street market, expect a few more posts as I try my way through the stalls! First stop was the Caribbean stall where I got a curry mutton lunch with rice and peas. There were whole scotch bonnets floating around in there so you know it's properly spicy. This was wonderfully savory and spicy, with a heat that built up gently and left my mouth tingling for a good 20 minutes after finishing. It was a bit too much food for lunch (I know, I almost never say that!), so I unfortunately had to throw away some of it. In the contest between this place and Peppers and Spice, I think this curry mutton just edges out the competition - it seemed a bit more complex to me. So I expect I will be back to try their rotating lunch menu - jerk chicken or ackee and saltfish next?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Long Room

130 Mitcham Road
SW17 9NH

After a morning of knocking on doors in Tooting (a friend is running for a councillor seat there in the coming May election), we stopped off to refuel at a pub. I'm starting to understand that when you go to an average pub that you don't know anything about, your best bet is to stick to average pub food (i.e. don't go wild and try fusion/ambitious dishes as you will most likely regret it). Therefore, a tuna melt and a cheeseburger were ordered and split between two of us. The burger was beefy, though it could have been cooked a bit more rare, and the tuna melt was as expected - crispy bread sandwiching melted cheese and lemony, peppery tuna salad. Salad looked like it had dressing on it but tasted completely bland, and the chips were a bit flabby. Prices seemed reasonable - about 7 quid for burger and chips, 5 quid for tuna melt and tortilla chips. I'll classify this as decent, but not memorable, but it's what I expected from an average pub.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pizzeria Oregano

19-20 Saint Alban's Place
N1 0NX

After a drink at The Compass (which is not so much a pub as a restaurant, weirdly - it looks like a pub but there was only one table at which we could sit and have a drink as every other table was for eating at), a few of us wandered along Upper Street looking for somewhere to eat. P remembered Pizzeria Oregano as being pretty good, so we gave it a try. I am so glad we did - this Four Seasons pizza was absolutely amazing with an unbelievably thin crust. The toppings (ham, mushrooms, olives and artichokes) were well chosen as there were salty hits in every bite without it being overwhelming. I am going here next time a pizza craving hits.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Book Club

100 Leonard Street

C and I met for brunch at The Book Club since it was conveniently located next to a Pilates class. Embarrassingly, neither of us actually made it to Pilates, but we still treated ourselves to some food. The space is light and airy - tables are spaced out nicely so you're not invading anyone else's personal space. A good soundtrack was on at a moderate volume - I saw the bar staff dancing to some Chuck Berry at one point and it was adorable. The food is really reasonably priced - C's french toast was 3.50, and the grilled kippers on buttered toast that I chose was 5 quid. I was completely full afterwards - if anything, I would only complain that kippers get a bit monotonous after you plow through such a giant serving. Service was friendly and since it's a cafe, you can stay at your table for as long as you'd like. Great for catching up with friends - I'll definitely be back to try some more of their menu. There are some interesting events on in the evening as well - check out their website if you're curious.