Posts for the 'Overseas locations' Category


Cinnamon Bazaar

CINNAMON BAZAAR

Cinnamon Bazaar is the latest addition to the Cinnamon Collection, a group of Indian restaurants run by Vivek Singh, restauranteur and a celebrity chef regular on a number of television cookery shows such as BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Vivek first made his name with his flagship restaurant Cinnamon Club by championing a brand of modern, innovative Indian cooking. His contemporary approach has further translated into his other restaurants: Cinnamon Soho, Cinnamon Star and now, Cinnamon Bazaar.

As the name suggests Cinnamon Bazaar plays on the idea of a “bazaar”, a central marketplace where for centuries ideas and ingredients were exchanged, and cultures converged to come together to create one big melting pot. The fusion concept translates well at Cinnamon Bazaar with the restaurant’s menu drawing inspiration from countries dotted along the trading routes of old. The design of the restaurant also plays on the theme of a bazaar, offering a laid back environment where diners can relax and share a varied selection of dishes and drinks.

Laid over two floors, Cinnamon Bazaar is richly decorated in vibrant colours such as deep blues and fresh greens. The restaurant has made use of organic, natural materials which reflect the history of India. Finally, Illuminated lanterns and hanging ceiling drapes complete the eclectic bazaar ambience.

We visited Cinnamon Bazaar as part of a bloggers’ evening where we were treated to a variety of items from the diverse menu which includes a selection of snacks, chaats and main plates. We were firstly welcomed with a variety of delicious canapes from the snack menu such as crab bonda – pleasantly spiced Calcutta crab with a hint of tangy beetroot in a crispy chickpea batter; creamy chicken Haleem (pate) on some crunchy sourdough toast; and some velvety smooth chana masala hummus.

Also wonderful was the grilled aubergine with sesame peanut crumble, labna and toasted buckwheat. Although not actually a ‘snack’ but an item from the main plates, the aubergine was delicious. It had been beautifully cooked with the aroma of the sesame and the crunchiness of the peanut in the crumble adding a wonderful texture and vibrancy to the soft warmth of the aubergine.

Cinnamon Bazaar - London Food Blog - Aubergine in a canape size

Cinnamon Bazaar – Aubergine in a canape size

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Thai Silk

Thai Silk in Southwark is the latest addition to the Royal China Group, a Chinese restaurant chain that made its name throughout London popularising dim sum. With Thai Silk, the group has diversified, looking to offer a different and a more complete experience for those guests that wish to not only eat, but also to drink and party. The restaurant proper at Thai Silk is a large generous space, big enough to serve about 100 covers. Sitting adjacent to the restaurant is a separate bar which has both indoor and outdoor seating. Here, the cocktail list is long, and on Friday nights there is a DJ in the house – ideal for young party goers. And for an added twist, Thai Silk also houses two private karaoke rooms.

The a la carte menu is your standard run-of-the-mill type stuff. However Thai Silk has also devised a new street food menu. Designed by Head Chef Mr Pornthep Kongha, the idea is to embrace London’s culturally diverse foodie scene. The street food menu is interesting, and includes tempting sweet, salty and spicy dishes include crispy dried pork; steamed fish in lemon sauce; glass noodle salad; deep dried rice salad with minced pork; papaya salad with small crab; Thai sour spare ribs; hot & sour soup with spare ribs; Thai sausages; and minced pork cake. Influenced by Bangkok’s street food scene, the street food dishes are priced from £6.25 and offers a guests a way to line their stomachs before having a dance at the bar.

Website: http://www.thai-silk.co.uk/


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The Frog – A Parmigiano Reggiano Celebration

THE FROG -PARMESAN CELEBRATION

I reviewed a lovely meal at The Frog recently, but last week was an opportunity to try more of Adam Handling’s excellent cooking at a bloggers’ event (again at The Frog), this time to celebrate parmesan cheese. Adam Handling “leapt” to fame as a finalist in Professional Masterchef in 2013 and since then has gained further awards along the way. And on our night to celebrate Parmigiano- Reggiano, Adam came up with a creative 3-course menu take us through the various ages of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a much revered cheese, not only by Italians, but in every corner of the world.

The event started with a lively reception in the conservatory area of the restaurant. Italian prosecco Ca’di Alte accompanied a generous array of Italian cured meat antipasti – a spread of Parma ham, bresaola, mortadella as well as freshly baked bread with olive oils. Plates with chunks of Parmesan cheese were dotted around tables to flag the star ingredient of the evening. We had to be careful not to nibble too much as the dinner was still to come, although good quality Parmigiano and fresh bread were hard to resist.

The Frog - London Food Blog - A celebration of parmesan

The Frog – A celebration of parmesan

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Lao Cafe – Laotian masterclass

A few weeks ago I attended a masterclass in Lao cuisine hosted by Saiphin Moore, Chef and Co-Owner of Rosa’s Thai Cafe at the School of Wok. Born to a native Lao family in Thailand, Saiphin has a diverse understanding of both Thai and Laotian cuisine. And on the back of her success of her pop-up restaurant Lao Cafe earlier this year, Saiphin will open a new Laotian restaurant called Lao Cafe at 60 Chandos Place in Covent Garden later this year.

I love Laotian food for its freshness, spiciness, herby fragrance, acidity and other things nice such as ginger and garlic. I travelled through Laos last year and therefore had a great chance to taste the best of Laos – you can read about my Laotian eating experiences in Luang Prabang in Laos last year in this blog post here. But more to the subject at hand – on the night of the masterclass Saiphin took us through some of her classic family recipes including free-range chicken soup with black sesame seeds, mixed mushrooms curry with ant’s eggs, and the most classic of Laotian dishes, a salad of laab pork Laos style.

Lao Cafe - London Food Blog - Chicken soup

Lao Cafe – Chicken soup

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Lonely Planet and KinoVino – A Journey Across Spain

Lonely Planet, one of the planet’s most well-known travel books, has launched a series of cookbooks called From the Source that aim to discover the classics of various countries, right from their source. The first is From the Source Spain (£19.99), which offers a collection of mouth-watering regional classics gathered from the some of the best cooks in Spain. This highly versatile book also seeks to show the diversity of Spanish cooking by showcasing recipes ranging from local home comfort cooking to high-end Michelin fine dining, thereby offering a little something for everyone.

Lonely Planet - From the Source Spain

Lonely Planet – From the Source Spain

Recipes include dishes such as one of my all time favourites and one of the most revered Spanish dishes, Paella Valenciana (paella with chicken and rabbit), a selection of pintxos (Basque tapas), and cochinillo (suckling pig).

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Visit Stellenbosch at TheLondonFoodie

VISIT STELLENBOSCH

Stellenbosch Wines and TheLondonFoodie hosted a special #VisitStellenbosch evening recently to celebrate the wines from Stellenbosch. The evening demonstrated the quality of the wines from this famous South African wine region, and its diversity in pairing with a range of flavours. TheLondonFoodie – chef, author and supperclub host – is also extremely well known on the London food scene, having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu to run his own highly successful supperclubs to publishing his acclaimed cookbook “Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way”. TheLondonFoodie provided a specially selected Japanese and Nikkei menu to pair with the Stellenbosch wines that we had the opportunity to sample. The combination of amazing food and incredible wines made for an exceptional event.

Visit Stellenbosch & TheLondonFoodie - Selection of Stellenbosch wines

Visit Stellenbosch & TheLondonFoodie – Selection of Stellenbosch wines

The evening kicked off with a reception with canapés of pan-fried leek and tofu gyoza, and wasabi and butter flavoured popcorn. This was served with L’Avenir MCC Blanc de Blanc 2011, a blanc de blanc which was exceptionally creamy with rich flavours of nuts, biscuit and citrus. It had a superb crispness, and the delicate titillation of tiny bubbles left a lingering impression. This was an attractive bottle and incredibly easy to drink.

Starter 1 was a tasty salmon and Sicilian prawn with a fennel Nikkei ceviche in a passion fruit and aji amarillo tiger’s milk. This was served with a Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc, a delicious and easy drinking wine with concentrated aromas of guava, lychee and sweet melon, and subtle oaky notes which gave the wine a full and elegant finish.

Visit Stellenbosch & TheLondonFoodie - London Food Blog - Prawn & salmon ceviche

Visit Stellenbosch & TheLondonFoodie – Prawn & salmon ceviche

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Zima Russian Street Food & Bar

ZIMA

When Zima ‘Russian street food and bar’ opened next to Ronnie Scotts in Soho, we were very hopeful. Russian cuisine has struggled to break onto London scene up until now. Maybe this is because it has taken Russia a couple of decades (after the fall of communism ) to start growing its own chef talent. But right now, the Moscow restaurant scene is frothing with people and places that dig into their Slavic roots, combining them with the techniques of the brave new world (just look at ‘White Rabbit’ in the top 100 restaurants this year).

Zima - London Food Blog

Zima – The menu

The man behind the Zima menu is Alexei Zimin, a known chef on the Moscow restaurant scene. With a bushy beard, kindly intense eyes and just a smudge of a smile, he fronts the brand perfectly –a kinda 21st century style Russian bear. Zima is located in a Grade II listed building. Originally Zima was only a bar that occupied the tiny basement, but it has since expanded and taken over the ground and the first floor in the building– a sure sign the guys were doing something right.

We sat on the first floor, which was all starched white table cloths and understated colours , with the ‘Russianness’ of the place only being hinted by some (well curated) hip and happening Russian art. The ground floor ryumochnaya (vodka bar) had a livelier vibe of mainly Russian speaking youngsters. Russian rock music and vintagy enamel bowls of homely food boded well in the bar, but upstairs seemed out of place (and was frankly a tad boring as there were so few customers – we are in Soho prime estate after all).

The service was warm and friendly, with recommendations on what to choose given with a genuine twinkle.

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Vegan Food Products That Everyone Needs To Try Once

When it comes to food, we all know what we like. Some of us have a sweet tooth and love desserts and baked goods. Whereas some of us prefer the taste of savory foods far more. Many of us probably eat too much of the foods we like and not enough of the foods that are good for us. This can leave our weekly meals feeling a little predictable and dull. Why not bring some excitement back to your taste buds and try some vegan products instead. Here are some tasty, fun and exciting products you are bound to love.

The Beast Burger

Instead of sticking to your usual ham or beef burger, why not give the Beast Burger by Beyond Meat a try. This 100% plant protein product is a healthier option that has fewer calories than a meat-based burger. It also boasts a number of benefits from having 23 grams of protein to containing plenty of antioxidants and iron. It is soy-free, gmo-free and gluten-free, which leaves you with a delicious and succulent tasting burger. If you love throwing family BBQ’s in the summer, this product could become a fast favorite. While also keeping everyone fit, lean and healthy. You can find these from most vegan food stores or from online retailers.

Many people don’t realise that Famous Amos Sandwich cookies are in fact vegan. They are an iconic brand that serves flavoursome cookies and baked goods. With flavours such as Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Macaroon, there’s bound to be a flavour that you enjoy. Bought by vegans and non-vegans alike, they are enjoyed by both young and old and make a brilliant snack. They are ideal for movie nights at home or trips to the local park. Or just as a treat after a long day at work.

Alternatively you could try vegan-friendly cookies from Trader Joe’s, Hampton Creek or Nature Valley instead. For Hampton Creek info and Nature Valley info, head to their respective websites to see what products they have on offer.

Cheezy Mac

If you’re trying to cut down on your cheese intake or remove dairy altogether, Daiya’s Cheezy Mac could be a fantastic solution. Daiya produces products that are dairy, lactose and gluten free. But full of calcium and protein. Their Cheezy Mac comes in three different flavors and creates a meal the whole family will enjoy. With it’s creamy, rich flavor, you’ll forget that it’s a substitute for the real thing. It’s convenient, healthy conscious and allergen free, as well as still tasting fantastic. Even if you like to cook your own mac and cheese, there’s no denying the benefits Cheezy Mac has. Daiya also produces other tasty products such as spreadable cheese, pizza, and dressings.

Mac and cheese - London Food Blog

Mac and cheese

Whether you are a fully fledged vegan or just looking for something new, these products are bound to appeal. You never know, they may become your new favorite snack or weekly treat. Look in vegan cookbooks and online to see what other vegan foods are waiting to be discovered.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links.


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