Thursday, April 28, 2011

Benito's Hat - Wedding Special!

Benito's Hat is one of my favorites for burritos in London - I used to visit the Goodge Street location but now there's one in Covent Garden, quite close to where I work (hmm... dangerous). I was invited to try their chicken mole that they're doing as a wedding special until May 8th, so A and I headed over for lunch to check it out. We both had it in burrito form - Ben, the owner, recommended it with black beans and without salsa so that you don't lose the flavor of the mole sauce. The chicken was unbelievably tender and the spice and chocolate notes in the mole sauce were fantastic. It's nice to know that there are places willing to source authentic Mexican ingredients to make these dishes. The horchata (a rice based drink) and hibiscus flower drinks were refreshing - I have a soft spot for horchata and now I know another place to get it! Since it was my birthday, I also splurged on a dessert - the buñuelos which are crispy tortilla strips covered in cinnamon sugar, with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. If you're at all interested in trying out mole, head over soon - it's terrifically difficult to make so well worth ordering out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Bull

2 High St

After an invigorating walk on Ditchling Beacon to build up an appetite, we headed down to The Bull for Sunday lunch. The pub is adorable and picture perfect for parents - sadly the food was not nearly as stunning as the decor. I had fish and chips - the fish was very soggy on the underside and the chips were disappointingly mushy as well. Everything was a tad underseasoned. My dad's Sunday roast rib of beef was ok, but the roast potatoes were nowhere near crispy and the Yorkshire pudding was burnt. Mom fared a little better with her fried calamari. Dessert was ok but didn't redeem the entire meal - a pain au chocolat bread pudding was good enough to finish, and the deconstructed Black Forest gateau was mostly eaten. Basically, I'd come back for a drink to soak up the charm of the place, but I think I'll give the food a miss in the future.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Bali Brasserie

Kingsway Court
First Avenue

We were looking for a restaurant that A's aunt and uncle and my parents would all enjoy, and since Bali Brasserie came with many good reviews, we headed off to try some Indonesian and Malaysian food. The restaurant is in a strange location, but once you make your way through what looks like the lobby of an apartment building, you come into a karaoke bar area and then through that is a surprisingly nicely decorated restaurant in the back. There was an option for a buffet dinner, but we decided to go a la carte as no one was hungry enough to do justice to a buffet. We ordered so many dishes it is hard to remember them all, but the beef rendang, sambal udang, ikan lemak and nasi goreng stood out. I'd definitely go back here - the atmosphere was buzzy but not too loud, and the food ranged from very good to absolutely amazing. A great way to introduce everyone to each other over a fabulous meal.

Monday, April 04, 2011

El Mexicano

7 New Road

We were looking for a quick bite to eat next to the Royal Pavilion and El Mexicano fit the bill - a cheap lunch special of 4.95 for a panini and glass of wine caught our eye, and A and I tried the grilled chicken and meatball paninis. I always thought paninis were grilled, pressed sandwiches - what emerged was actually on a baguette and was decidedly not grilled. Nor was it Mexican. But for a fiver a head, I suppose it did the trick. My dad finished his grilled chicken panini without much commentary, and my mom had nachos, which at least were generous and came with proper tortilla chips, not the travesty that is Doritos that you occasionally find in Mexican restaurants in the UK. Wouldn't necessarily come back here, but nor was it the worst thing to eat in the vicinity.