"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!"


Posted on Monday, 9th November 2015


Bao, the Taiwanese sensation that is the talk of Soho, was everything that I expected it to be and more. Bao serves BAOs, Chinese steamed buns with a variety of fillings plus a number of other Taiwanese specialties. It’s a no frills kinda place, simply decorated, tiny and cramped with little wooden stools. Yet all this matters not when you taste the sensational flavours that Bao dishes up. Little wonder that there are constant queues lasting for upwards of an hour out front.

Bao came from humble beginnings, more specifically from a Taiwanese trio in their twenties (including a brother and sister). The three first set up a food stall in North-East London and quickly gained a loyal following. Enter, the Sethi family as backers, the people behind the Michelin starred Trishna, Gymkhana and Lyle’s, and Bao on Lexington Street was born.

Everything was really, really good, but the classic bao (£3.75) with slow braised pork belly, preserved vegetables and peanut powder was my favourite. The pork was superbly tender with a lovely sweet tenderness to it. The bun was light, airy and sweet, and I loved the aroma and nuttiness that the peanut powder provided. Finally, the preserved vegetables added a touch of acidity to cut through some of the richness of the pork. This was nothing short of spectacular.

BAO - London Food Blog - Classic bao

BAO – Classic bao

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Umu Japanese Restaurant at Frieze Masters

Posted on Friday, 6th November 2015

Umu Japanese Restaurant in Mayfair is a favourite of the many who work at the Japanese Consulate, and understandably so. Executive Chef Yoshinori Ishii previously spent nine years at Japan’s three Michelin-starred Kyoto Kitcho and recently won Umu its second Michelin star. Chef Ishii’s haute cuisine approach to Japanese cooking means his food at Umu is graced with a touch that is both elegant and precise.

Every year Umu runs a pop up restaurant at Frieze Masters, the annual 5 day art fair that brings together several thousand years of art from over 130 of the world’s leading galleries. The last day of Frieze Masters was on the 18 October, but I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Umu pop-up restaurant before Frieze Masters finished. The Umu pop-up only offered a limited selection of starters, sushi, sashimi, and mains from the original Umu menu, but it was still a great showcase of the flavours of Umu, drawing on similar dishes and ingredients from the same sources. Umu Head Chef Yoshinori Ishii remained in charge of the pop-up and worked the sushi bar as we ate. Also in attendance was a legion of full time staff from Umu in Mayfair.

From the starters a tuna tartare salad (£17) was deliciously meaty and sweet from a fabulous shiso dressing. Dressed with micro cress, the tartare was topped with some thin and crunchy lotus root chips that worked a treat with this generously portioned dish. A seafood salad (£17) with prawn, scallop and abalone was also delectable. The seafood was delightfully fresh and sweet and worked well with the lovely lightness and acidity of the accompanying tosazu jelly.

Umu Japanese Restaurant - London Food Blog - Tuna tartare

Umu Japanese Restaurant – Tuna tartare

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Reform Social & Grill

Posted on Wednesday, 4th November 2015


Reform Social & Grill has a presence in London and Dubai, with the restaurant in London being housed within the Mandeville Hotel. The restaurants pride themselves in providing a British experience, offering a complete experience of afternoon tea, brunch and an a la carte menu that showcases a number of British classics.

The décor of Reform Social & Grill London was tasteful, taking its inspiration from a traditional British gentleman’s club. There were a variety of photos and prints, eclectic without being impersonal. The seating was comfortable with a mix of tables and chair and dark leather booths. There was punk-era music playing in the background at a suitable volume, non-intrusive until you take the time to notice.

The menu opens with a variety of sharing platter options to suit all palettes: fisherman’s platter, baked cheese platter, butcher’s platter. Starters followed including Crispy South Coast Squid, Chicken Liver Pate and Hendricks Gin Salmon.

Along with salads, classic main dishes including Fish and Chips and Braised Ox Cheek Pie are offered alongside some “Josper Grill” specialties. We feel that people who utilise Josper Grills mean business so we looked no further, feeling spoiled for choice with a range of meats: Burgers, Glazed Beef Short Rib, Minted Lamb Cutlets, Butchers Steak, Rib Eye Steak, and Pork T-Bone.

There was a reasonable selection of wines by the glass on the menu and we started the evening with a couple of glasses of Chapel Down Brut, English Sparkling Wine. We enjoy finding English wine more frequently on restaurant menus, and it certainly holds its own against the fizz from the continent.

Bread arrived at the table and these were nothing special, nor were they a representation of the meal to come.

To start we had the squid (£7) and the salmon (£7.50). The waiter brought a small glass of gin to accompany the salmon which was presented as thin slices with a creative ‘tartare dressing’. The salmon was firm with delicate flavours and, when eaten before a sip of gin, the gin was far more fragrant and palatable than it would be if drunk neat. The ‘Tartare’ was broken down into separate elements: scattered capers, gherkin and heavily whipped cream placed on top of the salmon. The concept had potential, but the cream masked the salmon’s taste. If the cream was infused or flavoured in some way, perhaps this effect could have been dampened.

Reform Grill - London Food Blog - Salmon

Reform Grill – Salmon

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Posted on Monday, 2nd November 2015

Quilon opened in 1999 and quickly established itself as one of the pre-eminent Indian restaurants in London. Located in the St James Court Hotel, Quilon exudes an air of smart, refined elegance. Chef Sriram Aylur discovered his love of food at a young age when he first stepped into his father’s kitchen. He gave up a career in law to pursue his cooking career, joining the Taj Luxury Hotel Group in 1989. Chef Sriram hails from the South West coast of India, and as such, seafood is at the heart of the Quilon menu. Despite that, Quilon also offers an eclectic range of meat, poultry and vegetarian options, with many dishes designed for sharing. Chef Sriram’s approach to Indian cooking is contemporary and progressive, importing many of his spices from India. In 2008 Quilon won a Michelin star which the restaurant has retained ever since.

A starter with a fitting name of Fisherman’s catch (£16) contained a selection of lovely, fresh seafood. On the plate were some well-flavoured pepper shrimp; a crab cake plump with fresh, sweet crab; a beautifully cooked piece of lentil fish topped with a gorgeous chilli and mango relish; and a succulent piece of grilled scallop.

Quilon - London Food Blog - Fisherman’s catch

Quilon – Fisherman’s catch

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Prime Burger – Euston

Posted on Saturday, 31st October 2015


Last week I attended the launch party of Prime Burger’s new branch at Euston Station. Located on the first floor of the station, it is a burger joint that specialises in creating efficient, diverse, and high quality burgers that you can eat-in or takeaway. Their menu extends from breakfast to lunch and dinner, and their policy clearly states that all burgers must be done within 8 minutes or the customer has a right to claim a refund.

Prime Burger - London Food Blog

London Food Blog

Prime Burger was well-lit with Brit-pop blasting and the smell of burgers permeating throughout the restaurant. The place is really clean and has a small number of tables that fit 4-5 people. The was an outdoor sitting area and the large window seats were appropriately designed for those who wanted to keep an eye on their train departures as they ate.

That night I tried two types of burgers, the Prime Truffle Burger (£8.95) and the Crazy Larry (£7.25), as well as the garlic butter fries, with and without cheese (£3.50). The Prime Truffle Burger was the winner as it had a rich tomato sweetness, with a tiny hint of the truffle aioli and truffle cheese. The creamy texture of that, with the prime cut patty and fluffy bread produced a good balance of soft, sweet and savoury.

Prime Burger - London Food Blog - Prime truffle burger

Prime Burger – Prime truffle burger

The Garlic Butter fries were delivered freshly hot. It didn’t have a strong garlic taste, and the chives on top didn’t add too much them. I later tried the same fries with cheese on top and this really elevated the taste. According to the menu, the garlic butter fries are listed without cheese, but I would definitely ask for cheese to be added.

Prime Burger - London Food Blog - Garlic butter fries

Prime Burger – Garlic butter fries

My spice tolerance is above average, but the ‘Crazy Larry’ burger has got to be the spiciest burger I have ever had in my life. The burger consisted of fresh chilli jalapeños, hot chilli salsa, onion, mayo, tomato and lettuce. One bite into it, and my lips looked like Angelina Jolie’s. They felt flaming hot, but somehow I wanted more. A quarter of the way into the burger I had to stop, with the help of chips and water, the spiciness calmed down a bit more. In my opinion, if you need to get full to the brim and have a high spice tolerance, go for it. But order it as a meal (with fries and a drink) because it is more powerful than you’d think.

Prime Burger - London Food Blog - Crazy Larry

Prime Burger – Crazy Larry

Overall, Prime Burger is great for those on the go and willing to spend over £10 on burger and chips. It’s an ideal pit stop for a delicious burger before enduring a long ride on the train, and less of the type of place to linger and have a calm and long conversation with friends. As it is in a prime location, there may be times when it will be busy so be prepared for a lot of noise. As for the food, the Prime Truffle burger is definitely aa unique and great if you want something cool, fancy, and different amongst the other cafes and food places within Euston station.

A guest post by Nicole Chui – Instagram: @nicolemmapearl


1) The garlic butter chips (especially with cheese)
2) The prime truffle burger
3) The cleanliness of the venue


1) The service was slow and the venue was very noisy.

Food rating: 3.5/5
Service rating: 3/5

Burgers: £6-£11
Burger Meal deal (Burger + a drink + a side): £10-£14
Breakfast: £3 – £8

Website: http://www.prime-burger.co.uk/

Prime Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tilda Curry Supper Club

Posted on Wednesday, 28th October 2015

To celebrate National Curry Week a couple of weeks ago, Tilda Rice threw an intimate Tilda Curry Supper Club at The Little Yellow Door, a quirky, fictional flatshare pop-up in in Notting Hill with a ‘little yellow front door’. Hosting and cooking at the event was Indian food writer, columnist for the Evening Standard and Indian cookbook author Mallika Basu. Mallika cooked for us some beautiful curry dishes, with the inspiration being how leftovers can be given a twist and transformed into a delicious dinner.

My favourite dish of the evening was the Bengali chingri malaikari – tiger Prawns steeped in a spicy sweet coconut and caramelised onion curry. This was really special. The prawns were firm and tasty, and the sauce had a wonderful, sweet intense flavour.

Tilda Curry Supper Club - London Food Blog - Tiger prawns

Tilda Curry Supper Club – Tiger prawns

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Muscadet Magic – Billingsgate and more

Posted on Monday, 26th October 2015


Krista from Passportdelicious.com and I recently took a tour through the world of muscadet magic. We began our trip bright and early one Saturday morning, meeting at Billingsgate market at 6am! It was a bloggers event and the objective was to discover the delights of matching muscadet with seafood. But there was a competitive element to the event as well. Working in pairs (me with Krista), we were all given a budget and tasked with purchasing some seafood with which to create a dish that would best work with muscadet. The winning dish – which was judged by Jon Massey of The Wharf newspaper and Douglas Blythe (writer, consultant, presenter, high-society sommelier and enthusiastic cook) – not only brought with it the honour of the number one spot, but six bottles of muscadet as well.

Muscadet Magic - London Food Blog - Billingsgate Market Market

Muscadet Magic – Billingsgate Market Market

To set us up on our day, we feasted on some scallop and bacon baps from the legendary breakfast haunt at Billingsgate, Piggy’s Café. Bellies full, we ventured out into the heart and sole of the bustling market in search of our ingredients before making our way up to the Billingsgate Seafood School. Here, CJ Jackson, the CEO of the school and author of Leith’s Fish Bible took us on a guided journey into the secrets of scaling, gutting, filleting, and prepping seafood. It was an eye opener, very informational and wonderfully educational. And then we were ready! Ready to step it up another gear and begin cooking. For this, we made our way to the Central Street Cookery School where a plentiful larder had been laid out for us, and some cold and crispy Muscadet awaited us.

Muscadet Magic - London Food Blog

Muscadet Magic

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Posted on Saturday, 24th October 2015


We had a gorgeous meal at Antidote Wine Bar recently, a lovely little number just off Carnaby Street in the heart of Soho. Although a wine bar, there is a strong focus on food at Antidote as well. Antidote’s Head Chef is Michael Hazelwood, who cooks under the guidance of Mikael Jonsson, the Chef Patron of Hedone. More than just a one Michelin star restaurant, Hedone is also ranked as the number 60 restaurant on the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list.

On the ground floor is an all day wine bar offering cheese, charcuterie and small plates, and on the first floor is the restaurant which offers both an a la carte and a tasting menu. The wine list focuses mainly on French wines with a select few options from other countries. All the wines at Antidote are organic and biodynamic with no artificial additives used.

Our excellent meal began with some lovely breads and butter from Hedone. Mikael Jonsson studied the art of bread baking with one of the finest bakers in France, Alex Croquet, and much has been written about the bread at Hedone. Suffice to say, the bread was delicious with a light springy texture.

Antidote - London Food Blog - Breads by Hedone

Antidote – Breads by Hedone

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