"After years of continuous eating,'A Girl has to Eat', a self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, has been spurred on to create her own food guide & blog. Read about her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. This and more!"

Zayane

Posted on Monday, 25th April 2016

ZAYANE

On the hip-and-happening strip that is Golborne Road is a new addition, Zayane, a modern Moroccan restaurant owned by Casablanca-born Meryem Mortell. With Zayane, the effervescent Meryem has brought her love of her homeland to life with a beautiful traditional Moroccan décor that is both attractive and welcoming. Think colours of oranges and blues, tea-lights in Moroccan styled brass candleholders and plush cushions. What’s more, on the night of our visit there was a singer on hand belting out soulful Middle Eastern tunes which were literally ‘music’ to our ears. Zayane was definitely not short on atmosphere!

The head chef is Chris Bower, previously of Michelin Starred Thackerays and The Ivy, and his remit was to combine the vibrancy of Moroccan cooking with modern cooking techniques and the use of seasonal British ingredients.

I visited Zayane as part of a bloggers’ dinner, and we were welcomed with a Zayane Passion, a passion fruit and vodka cocktail which was absolutely delicious. It was fresh and sweet with a hint of acidity and I would recommend this as a way to start the meal.

Zayane - London Food Blog - Zayane Passion

Zayane – The Zayane Passion

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Tsukiji Sushi Bar

Posted on Tuesday, 19th April 2016

TSUKIJI SUSHI

Tsukiji Sushi Restaurant is a contemporary sushi restaurant housed at the Westbury Hotel, a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of Mayfair which is also home to the One-Michelin starred restaurant Alyn Williams at The Westbury. Tsukiji is a sleek intimate affair which seats only 20, and boasts of clean lines, red woodwork and an open sushi counter. The menu by Head Chef Show Choong is a delightful fusion between traditional and modern, blending classic Japanese flavours with innovative touches to create inventive dishes such as salmon tartar with parmesan cheese.

Chef Show Choong sources organic and seasonal ingredients in his ever-evolving menu. But the true highlight at Tsukiji is the seafood, particularly the sashimi and nigirii which showcases the freshest seafood available. But there is also a varied list of tempting appetisers and grilled dishes, not to mention a selection of set menus ranging in price from £22.50 for a set lunch, to the Kyodosakusei Tokubetsu champagne menu priced at £395 for two. The drinks menu concise lists a carefully selected range of wines, champagne and sake.

We began our meal with some rock oysters (3 for £10.50) which were wonderfully fresh and made all the more delicious with a yuzu ponzu, jalapeno and truffle citrus soy. The dressing gave the oysters sweetness and acidity with a hint of heat.

Tsukiji Sushi - London Food Blog - Rock oysters

Tsukiji Sushi – London Food Blog – Rock oysters

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Barbecoa Butchery Class

Posted on Wednesday, 13th April 2016

We attended a butchery class at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa at One New Change.

The restaurant has a small section cornered off behind black curtain walls for such events. Dimly lit, with a few tables laid out and a shelved wall filled with a range of whisky bottles, we were drawn to a large table in the centre: a large chopping board, butcher’s knife and bone saw with a spotlight above, literally setting the stage for what was to come.

Whilst we eagerly waited, glasses of prosecco were served and there were portions of crispy pork crackling at each of the tables to whet the appetite. Moroccan spiced lamb puff pastries followed: rich and hearty lamb shoulder, smoked for 14hrs and densely packed into puff pastry. This was tender, flavoursome meat, complemented well by a zingy romesco dipping sauce.

Barbecoa - London Food Blog - Lamb puffs

Barbecoa – Lamb puffs

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London House

Posted on Tuesday, 5th April 2016

With London House, Gordon Ramsay ventured out of his usual central London locations to set up in Battersea. London House is a neighbourhood bar and restaurant and resonates with suburban chic. The restaurant overlooks the lovely Battersea Square and boasts of a décor that is modern and classy, yet intimate and welcoming. The menu offers a comprehensive range of modern British dishes, but also boasts of a cocktail lounge bar and a beautiful garden for al fresco drinking (and dining) for those who simply want a tipple.

I recently visited London House as part of a bloggers dinner, and the evening began with some tasty canapés of ham hock and Keen’s cheddar croquettes with mustard mayo and veal Scotch eggs with homemade piccalilli. Both were abundant with flavour, well seasoned and perfectly crisped.

Dinner consisted of three courses including some delectable sourdough bread to nibble on before our starter of Wye Valley asparagus with kale pesto, poached duck egg, wild garlic and hazelnuts. This was an accomplished dish, with each element being extremely well executed. The asparagus maintained a nice crunchiness and the kale pesto was alive with freshness. The poached egg was soft and runny, but had not been seasoned. The wild garlic and the hazelnuts were also lovely and added a nice dimension to the dish.

London House - London Food Blog - Bread basket

London House – Bread basket

London House - London Food Blog - Wye Valley asparagus

London House – Wye Valley asparagus

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Donostia – Visit #2

Posted on Tuesday, 29th March 2016

Donostia, a tapas restaurant has its roots steeped in the Basque region of Spain. It is a stylish little number, with dark wood floors providing a contrast to the restaurant’s long, sleek and white interior. Donostia rings with a comfortable and contemporary casualness, and has a menu that lists many temptations. Located on trendy Seymour Place, it is neighbours with its sister restaurant Lurra, which I also visited last year.

I first went to Donostia in 2012 and at the time I liked the experience, but felt that in certain areas the cooking could have been better. Visit number two, and this time around I felt like I couldn’t get enough.

A mini wagyu beef burger (£5.60) was flavoursome and very enjoyable. It was a teeny tiny thing, so not ideal for sharing. But it was packed with flavour and nicely fatty and juicy. The toasted bun was soft and sweet, and the crunchy purple potato crisps went nicely with it.

Donostia - London Food Blog - Mini wagyu burger

Donostia – Mini wagyu burger

A dish of skrei cod with arroz negro (£14.20) was a touch salty, but otherwise this was a stunning plate of food. I love skrei cod from Norway. It’s a beautiful delicate piece of fish that flakes ever so nicely, and is abundant with flavour. At Donostia, they did the fish proud as it was perfectly cooked. The arroz negro was also very tasty and deep with the flavour of the squid. It was nicely done, but as mentioned, a touch salty.

Donostia - London Food Blog - Skrei cod

Donostia – Skrei cod

We really enjoyed the foie gras (£5.60) with walnuts and PX vinegar served on a slice of toasted sourdough. The foie gras was unctuous and rich, and it paired really well with the sweet, slight acidity of the vinegar. The use of walnuts was a wonderful addition as it provided some crunchiness.

Donostia - London Food Blog - Foie gras

Donostia – Foie gras

I had a disappointing dessert experience at Donostia’s sister restaurant Lurra last year and so I initially had reservations about trying the dessert at Donostia. But despite that, I found myself to be really impressed with the torrija with mint ice cream (£5.20). Similar to a bread pudding where the brioche bread had been soaked in milk, there was a lovely lightness to the torrija, not to mention a beautiful creamy taste.

And the mint ice cream? Well I am not a big fan of mint ice cream. On most occasions I find the mint too overpowering. But here, the use of the mint was very well judged and perfectly delicate. The pairing of the two proved to be, surprisingly, an excellent choice. This is a special Easter dessert and so unfortunately will probably no longer be available.

Donostia - London Food Blog - Torrija

Donostia – Torrija

We were well satisfied with the quantify of food that we ordered, but easily could have eaten more. Everything was really delicious and far more accomplished than I remembered from before. Donostia is a sleek, well-tuned affair with excellent food. The service was also very good.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:
Likes

1) All of the food was delicious, particularly the skrei cod (even if it was a little salty).
2) I adored the torrija – it had a beautiful texture and flavour.

Dislikes:
1) The skrei cod was a little salty.

Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 3.5/5

Prices: About £35 to £45 a head.

Website: http://www.donostia.co.uk/

Square Meal

Donostia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Morada Brindisa Asador – Calcotada

Posted on Monday, 21st March 2016

Morada Brindisa Asador is part of the Brindisa family, but instead of focusing on tapas, it brings Castilian tradition to London with an emphasis on roasting meats in an “asador”- a vast wood fired oven.

Morada Brindisa Asador - London Food Blog

Morada Brindisa Asador

We attended a traditional calҫotada earlier this month, held at the restaurant only on weekends in February and March. A calҫot is a Catalan onion, described as a vegetable somewhere between a spring onion and a leek. We could have never imagined this vegetable could be such a highlight in the delicious, social gathering that the calҫotada is.

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The Little Yellow Door

Posted on Monday, 14th March 2016

One of London’s longest standing pop-up bars, The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill is back with a vengeance. The quirky pop-up bar is based on a fictional flatshare, and is decorated in such a way that makes you like that you are in someone’s cosy and quirky London home. Think very East Village New York! Since opening its doors in October 2014, The Little Yellow Door has rapidly become a West London institution. Its infamous house parties have seen long queues, and The Little Yellow Door’s Friday Dinner Party has achieved widespread fame, selling out every week since it opened.

The flatmates have secured an extension to their lease extension, and with it they are bringing on a new all American housemate, Hank. This means that The Little Yellow Door will be able to continue their infamous house parties, retro gaming nights, kitchen suppers, Thursday takeovers and supper clubs with the chef-in-residence, The Wandering Chef.

Hank, the newest housemate, will be the inspiration behind the latest food and drinks menu at The Little Yellow Door. This means that the Wandering Chef will be serving up an array of American classics such as Philly Cheesesteaks with pulled beef shin, Swiss cheese and pickled chilli and onions and Buffalo wings.

P and I popped along for a bloggers event recently, to taste their all American Friday supperclub menu (four-courses including a welcome cocktail for £35). Starters included a wedge salad with burnt ends, grated egg, ranch and tobacco onions; thick cut bacon with red eye mayo; and chilli apple and pickled watermelon all of which was really tasty and robust with flavour.

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - Starters

The Little Yellow Door – Starters

Also delicious was the soup course, a New England clam chowder with Shrimp and Corn. It was rich and creamy with a healthy dose of clams.

The main course was a veritable feasting board of bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends, served with pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad, mac ’n ’cheese, watercress and pickles and burnt onion ketchup. The meat was succulent and meltingly tender. Also moreish were the salads. The mac ‘n’ cheese was also really enjoyable.

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - Bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends

The Little Yellow Door – Bourbon glazed ribs, pulled beef shin, buffalo wings, smoked sausage, burnt ends

The Little Yellow Door - London Food Blog - pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad

The Little Yellow Door – pickled chilli and kraut slaw, potato and bacon salad

To finish off the evening there were some tasty desserts of an oreo, banana and bourbon hard shake and a brownie with malt cream and raspberry.

I loved the vibe and the energy of The Little Yellow Door. The concept is truly unique and inviting and fun, and I can see it as a place to easily make lots of new friends. What’s more, the food at the Friday night supperclub was homely, extremely tasty and very well executed. Great venue, great vibe, tasty food – all of which makes for a really fabulous supper club.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:
Likes

1) Love the venue – its fun and quirky.
2) The food, although simple, was tasty and well executed.

Dislikes:
1) As an overall experience – couldn’t think of any.

Food rating: 3.75/5
Ambience/vibe rating: 4.5/5

Price: £35 a head for the Friday supperclub four-course tasting menu. Includes one cocktail but excludes other drinks and service.

Website: http://www.the-little-yellow-door.co.uk/

The Little Yellow Door Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Dining Room at The Oakley Court

Posted on Monday, 7th March 2016

THE DINING ROOM AT THE OAKLEY COURT

The Oakley Court is a quintessential four-star country house hotel, set in a 33-acre estate in Windsor, about an hour’s drive away from London. Running through the estate is a stretch of the River Thames, which makes the property ideal for long walks or for exploration by bike. The property is well equipped with its own gym, indoor swimming pool, tennis court as well as a 9-hole golf course. Most famously however, Oakley Court has been the setting for many a movie including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Oakley Court - London Food Blog

Oakley Court

We stayed in one of the Director’s Suites at the hotel, a spacious, comfortable and well-appointed room overlooking the lovely groups of Oakley Court as well as the River Thames. This was as quintessentially country English as you can get with charming antique furnishings.

Oakley Court - London Food Blog - Director's Suite

Oakley Court – Director’s Suite

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