4-6, Market Parade, East St, Bromley, Kent BR1 1QN
4-6, Market Parade, East St, Bromley, Kent BR1 1QN
Old Street Roundabout, London EC1Y 1BE
All of the Polpo restaurants carry a very trendy, industrial and slightly worn out decor. Their bars, situated in the basement have a fun speakeasy vibe. With an extensive wine, spritz and cocktails menu, it’s not a bad place to go to while you wait for a table.
Service is uber fast, while the restaurant maintains a relaxing atmosphere. It’s balance that is usually impossible to achieve, but Polpo does so with an easy-going flare.
Now to the most important part: the food!
Must have dish is of course the meatballs. Classic beef and pork balls drowned in tomato sauce, they are generously big. Great for sharing or as a main for one.
Polpo’s zucchini is also to die for. Served raw with parmezan and basil, I guarantee you will be hooked. Oh the amount of time I have tried to recreate this salad at home…..
We have also ordered a number of fish dishes like octopus and fennel carpaccio and swordfish tartare. All of which were delicious.
Followed by a lamb neck with white beans and mint.
Of course no girls get together is complete without a bottle of Processco. This time Polpo Processo Brut, which was great with food.
Meal finished off with a little something sweet in a form of sorbet.
This restaurant definitely has something for everyone. A lot of fresh vegetable dishes as well as moorish meatballs and pastas. Polpo is also rather special in a way that it’s vibe and atmosphere can also cater to all occasions. I have celebrated a number of birthdays here, popped in for after-work drinks and catch up with friends. Polpo is also one of my absolute favourite restaurants to bring friends who are visiting London. Can be a bit of a daunting task but Polpo always makes it a hands down success.
We love sushi, we really do! Makiyaki in Wimbledon has been on the sushi hit list for a while now so on a hot summers day it was the perfect cuisine to have.
To start with we had Natsu Agedashi. Loved this dish, we are aubergine fans and love to try dishes belonging to our purple veg pal. The dish consists of pieces of aubergine deep fried in katsu crumbs and served in warm house soya sauce. It was sweet and savoury all at once.
We went all out on the sushi but have to admit it will take weekly visits for about two months till we get through the menu.
We had the Scallop Volcano which had an eruption of caviar on top. The sushi had scallops as the name suggests, octopus, crab stick, shrimp and red snapper. It was pretty sweet and I just loved the soft texture throughout. It all just melted in your mouth and was such a joy to eat.
The Kingston was another hit with tempura prawns and chilli. Very yummy and I do love a good crunch in the centre.
The Salmon Tampura Roll was another favourite with a juicy piece of soft avocado in the centre. I have never had salmon tempura but it just make the fish even more flakey.
The presentation at Makiyaki I must say needs a bit of work especially when you are competing with the likes of Stick’n’Sushi down the street. I like to think of sushi as an art form and as you can see from the pictures it doesn’t have the high finishing skills we are used to seeing. Nevertheless, the flavours and textures are good.
The staff are lovely and the interior is so quant.
We do look forward to returning and sampling the other million sushi types on offer at Makiyaki.
149 Merton Rd, London SW19 1ED
Burgers & Cocktails
We made an amazing discovery behind Selfridges the other day. Can not believe we have missed it all these years, a treasure of restaurants to fill our tummies to fuel us to shop. James St is heaving with marvellous places to eat and that’s where we found this beauty otherwise known as Burgers and Cocktails.
Contemporary interior full of colour, not rustic like a lot of burger joints these days which is a tad refreshing to see as exposed brick work has died a death since everyone is sporting it. With a cool mosaic floor and neon features here and there, I think a new burger joint interior is starting.
We decided to go for some nostalgic drinks which can only described as slushies that tasted like hubba bubba. Being called Burgers and Cocktails I know we should have had some cocktails but it was too early in the day and it also gives us an excuse to return. Saying that, the soft drinks menu is extensive so they cater for everyone’s needs.
To start with we had the Korean BBQ Wings which were meaty and sticky. Not overly sweet with a kick of chilli as an end note. The skin was slightly crisp which gave a nice crunch as you bit into it. You get four meaty pieces for just over five pounds and it’s well worth it.
For mains we had to go for burgers naturally. Amazing as they are to us they were all served with brioche buns. You know how much I love a burger with a soft brioche bun 🙂
Of course, Elena went for the burger which had the highest pork content, the matador. The pulled pork really made the burger juicy. The chorizo added a nice kick to the burger which complemented the smokey cheese.
I had the sloppy joe burger, it came hot and wet, just how I like my food. The burger was oozing ingredients. Chilli beef dripping from one part, fondue cheese from another, it was all very exciting. Great combination of savoury and spicy flavours, it was like having a party in the mouth as with every lash of the tongue you tasted something new.
For a side we ordered a large portion of sweet potato fries. They were perfect. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Only so many places get it right.
Now oddly enough this place is the sister company of Giraffe. Now, you may remember our disapproval at the food Giraffe have to serve however, this place has made us eat our words. Burgers and Cocktails will be visited again soon.
Burgers & Cocktails
35 James St, London W1U 1EA
Fried Chicken you say? Don’t mind if I do. There has been an increase in what I would like to coin as ‘gastro’ fried chicken places over the last year and you know how we love our chicken.
Chick‘n’Sours in Shoreditch is a hip and trendy chicken place which offers an almost oriental twist to fried chicken, we would like to say that they don’t advertise to having an oriental twist but the flavours used suggest so.
Being a fried menu we decided to balance out this evil by having a fresh and zesty summer salad to begin with. I doubt it did any good as we also whooped down a selection of pickled goods that were rather unique to our vocab like the pickled watermelon. Strange but nice.
For mains it was simple, chicken. Elena and I had the House Fry which consisted of a huge drumstick and thigh piece and came with some more pickled watermelon. The meat was plentiful and so tender that it flaked off the bone. Now, when we have fried chicken we love it to be heavy on the batter as it’s pretty much the best bit of the process, the amount of batter you get on this chicken is a wonder. It’s super thick and tasty. However, we did find a few health and safety issues with eating it. It was so hard and crispy that it actually scraps your palette as you struggle to get through it leaving you a tad sore. It also becomes a chore to eat with all the effort that you have to put into biting through the hard batter. So a food heaven became a bit of a food hell very quickly.
Our friends tried the Tender which is boneless pieces of chicken in the same batter so there were consumption issues there too and they also tried the Spicy Disco Wings which were grilled so easier to eat as they didn’t have the coating.
The homemade elder flower soda was so yummy and refreshing that we each knocked back three glasses. They change their drinks daily depending on the ingredients they receive so ask what’s on offer.
The place gets backed very early so expect a que after 7pm. It’s not a huge place so expect people to be waiting behind you, this can be a tad annoying.
It’s not really all we had hoped for but the drinks were nice at least. One day we will fond the perfect fried chicken place.
390 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AA
Hair and an upset stomach anyone?
Elena and I had planned a lovely day at the Design Museum, followed by mission to find a fab place to eat on Bermondsey then a spot of shopping.
All was going well until we got to the lunch part. Bermondsey is a lovely area with a horrific secret. Restaurants stop serving food from around 2:30 till 5:30pm. There is no consistency of what time they close as every where we walked into during our crawl had just closed. Disappointing.
We finally found this quaint looking Italian place called Ticino which was open and serving. We did question why but we were too hungry to go into CSI mode.
We sat down and before the Ticino waiter could leave we ordered olives and zucchini fritti. The olives for an Italian restaurant were horrific. Battered, tasteless and clearly from the cheapest wholesaler you can find. Our mood lifted when the zucchini fitti arrived. They were delicious, the best way to describe them are chips with a bit of batter around them. Elena gushed about how she would be making them at home herself, laughable.
Elena ordered a beef ragu and I ordered the tagliatelle with smoked salmon and dill. I know, I know, I have stated that this dish shouldn’t be made using smoked salmon but I thought I would try it, wish I hadn’t.
Our dishes arrived and we both started clicking away so you could all appreciate what we were eating at Ticino. Once we were done I looked at my dish a little closer and noticed a thick black hair wrapped around a piece of smoked salmon. I hope the picture shows you how rank it was. I called the waitress over and explained what I had found, she didn’t seem phased nor did she apologise. She simply took the dish away. Funny thing is I got a ‘fresh’ dish but it took under 5mins when the original wait time was 30mins.
We tucked in. Elena’s ragu was very meaty but lacked seasoning. My dish was heavy in dill which was nice but the smoked salmon was very salty so the dish was completely imbalanced. Starving, we ploughed through.
So the bill came and we decided not to discuss the issues we had had to see how the Ticino operates with regards to food contamination. WE WERE CHARGED FULL PRICE INCLUDING SERVICE. We painted a smile on our face and paid.
Now the real problems started as we got on the tube. I had started to get an upset stomach but thought nothing of it until Elena complained how she was feeling unwell. The only thing we had eaten together was at that Ticino and we could not believe that not only did we have to experience all of the above but we had also left with a parting gift of food poisoning. I am still suffering this morning. Oh Ticino.
Avoid this place like the plague. I really hate writing negative reviews but I would hate for anyone to waste a meal eating substandard food at a place where customer satisfaction is non existent.
177 Bermondsey St, London SE13UW, England
Crab Heaven is what Crab Tavern should actually be called. This restaurant sits in the middle of the city in Broadgate Circle. I love the idea of the this place, crab and seafood galour without a pretentious interior. It has such a chilled out and welcoming vibe.
We came here to dine on a Monday and were amazed to see a Monday offer of bottomless cocktails and shrimps for £20. I mean what a bargain (when you look at the prices, you will see what I mean). Now we would have totally gone for that deal but really wanted to sample the menu so we could give you a more well rounded review.
We decided to grab a couple of starters and sides which is our loved tactic to be able to try lots of food especially when we can’t decide on what to eat.
Upon the waitresses recommendation we tried the Crab Tavern Platter which consists of crab served in four different ways. Each with a different type of crab. This dish costs £10 per person and in terms of value for money it pretty much is a bargain when you think about the quality of seafood that you are getting, each of crab was fresh, sweet, flakey and juicy.
My personal favourite on this platter was the soft shell crab which was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside just, with a hint of spice on the shell, just the way I like it.
We also, tried the oysters, naturally. Big and juicy. They were served with the traditional accompaniment of lemon and red wine vinegar which made the flavours from the oysters pop.
I really think I need to perfect my oyster eating skills as I think I am the most unattractive oyster eater out there, even though it’s an aphrodisiac I think if I was with a guy they would think twice before dating me again. One day I’ll be a sophisticated as Elena, one day (que, water eyes).
For sides we decide to go for asparagus and beans and also a side of fries, again a great recommendation from the waitress. The beans and asparagus were tender but still had a bite to them. They were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The fries were lovely, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, seasoned and served with mayo, yum.
We never go to the city often to dine out but you forget how perfect it is to dine out in the evenings. The city is deserted during the evenings so it makes the perfect hustle and bustle free location to dine. Reservations are often not needed as its so quiet but I would check if your desired location is open as a few restaurants randomly close not sticking to their publicised opening times.
Can’t wait to return on my next seafood craving.
Unit, 7 Broadgate Cir, London EC2M 2QS
Dip & Flip
After sampling the Green Chilli Cheese Burger at Burger Fest 2015 a few weeks back, the hunger to find out what Dip & Flip is all about has led me to their battersea branch.
As soon as you walk in you get a very homely and friendly vibe. The staff are laid back, charming and up for a bit of banter which always makes a meal more enjoyable. They explained everything about their menu and the concept of the gravy soaked burger.
I loved the Green Chilli Cheese Burger and told the waiter of my first experience of it. I wanted to stay safe and have another but the waiter convinced me that if I had made the pilgrimage there then I had to try the Dip & Flip Burger itself. You have two options of beef or lamb and on the waiters recommendation I opted for lamb.
Omg. It was massive! I mean tall and fat. Brioche bun which I adore with a large pattie, pickles, mountain of cheese and cuts of lamb. On the side you get a bowl of gravy which you dip at your own leisure which is a wonderful idea as you get to taste the burger before gravy fest as well as control the flavours and textures. The pattie was beautiful and I love when you are asked how you want it prepared which is a lost concept in a lot of burger places. The pattie was well seasoned and you could smell how meaty and flavoursome it was. The cheese was that funny American cheese that is uber gooey and there is a real explosion of it in this burger, it’s almost like a volcano is erupting, yummy, cheese heaven. The cuts of meat at the top are such good cuts that they just melt in your mouth.
This burger is massive so it’s best to get a side to share. We had the poutine or to the common folk, chips with cheese and gravy. Well, we thought we would go all out and I’m glad we did. It was amazing.
To go with the meal we were told we had to have a milkshake. Love milkshakes. Now, I have to be objective about the milkshake as I wasn’t a fan but I can understand why it was the way it was. It was really runny. I love my milkshakes thick and I could tell there was more milk than there was ice cream so I wasn’t a fan. However, I can understand the reason for making them so runny as it would just be a bit much with heavy burger and sides.
I loved my trip to Dip & Flip and can not wait to return with Elena to sample the rest of the menu.
Dip & Flip
87 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1HW
BoxPark is the playground of Shoreditch. Lots of places to eat and drink and generally have a good time in. It’s an all round fun place to be. With lots of happy people and music in the background.
We decided to take a walk there on a hot summers day with the intention of filling our tummies with goodness. We stumbled across Korrito. It took me a day to figure out what Korrito actually means, Korean – Burrito. Who would have even thought about combining flavours from Korea and Mexico??? Well we had to give it ago.
Korrito have a three step ordering process which makes food ordering so simple, just like Chipotle.
Step 1 – decide how you want your meal: rice box, burrito or salad
Step 2 – decide what type of Korean BBQ you would like: buldak chicken, bulgogi beef or spicy pork belly
Step 3 – decide what type of rice would you like: kimchi fried rice or sticky rice
We both decided to go the the rice box with kimchi fried rice. I had the chicken and Elena went for the beef.
The base of the rice box is filled with rice, then comes the layer of your chosen meat and finally the salad which you can pick and choose bits from. The flavours and textures were AMAZING. The chicken was tender and spicy and the beef melted in the mouth. I just loved that combination of textures, soft rice, tender meat and then crunchy salad. There were pops of spicy and fresh flavours through out.
The kimchi friend rice was saucy and spicy and just packed full of flavour, I could have easily eaten a bowl full that beautiful rice.
For sides we decided to try the vegetable dumplings that were deep fried. Again, we loved these tiny bad boys. They had a real crunch to them with a tasty mushed veggie filling.
To wash this amazing food down with we decided to try the canned Korean pear juice. This stuff was lovely and we are currently searching online to get a stock for our own fridges. This juice is refreshing with tiny bits of pear floating around.
What a nice find on such a sunny day. The only issue we had was uncomfortable seating but it’s just part of the process of eating at BoxPark. Can’t wait to lunch here again.
Boxpark, Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY
When you think of Edgware Rd you tend to think of Arab foods and shisha. However, has anyone told you about a nice little Italian called Zonzo.
Admittedly it’s on the other side of the flyover near Church St and sits next to a place called Chicken Valley so it’s easily missed. However, when you step in through the doors your are transported into an odd Italian themed space with lots of references to Italy, Hollywood and vineyards. What a miss match of worlds. Now usually when I’m faced with such decor my expectations of the food are minimal and I mean no expectations at all but I was surprised that I left feeling full and content.
I can in no way sell this to you as the best Italian in the world as it isn’t. It’s nice and it’s cheap and the staff are friendly. The food is nice and with development it could be a whole lot better.
We had ordered some garlic bread to begin with and to be honest the year 7 students at my school could make better bread with their eyes closed. The bread was still really doughy so stuck to your palette. The portion of this dish was a tad ridiculous, four really thin slices for £4.95, not worth the money. We also ordered the Avocado Al Forno which is avocado in a passata topped with cheese which was marginally better but then it could be my love of cheese blinding me.
I’m glad to say that as we got to the main course things started tasting a lot better. We all ordered pizzas, I did fancy pasta but the offerings were a tad limiting. The pizzas were lovely and filling and totally worth the £10 stamp on each. This is definitely a pizza place and the other bits they have are there really to fill up the menu which is good to know. The base of this pizza was lovely and fluffy and actually tasted of something which is better than your Domino’s or Pizza Hut bases.
So, go straight for the pizza and avoid the rest.
342 Edgware Rd, London W2 1EA
Ed‘s Diner reminds me of my college days. When I would bunk off and head down to Soho to grab one of the best milkshakes known to man. I was chuffed they opened one in Angel as it allows me to reminisce about the good old days of zero responsibilities and the government paying you to go to school. How I love England.
So on an evening when I was taking Elena on a hot date to watch Magic Mike XXL (not my idea, she likes to openly watch seedy stuff), we decided to have a dirty meal before the show to wrap up our dirty evening.
We loved the interior of this places. So playful and fun. It really encapsulates a 60s American diner style with the extensive use of primary colours, photography of the stars of that time, space age shapes with the first moon travel happening around that time and crazy neon lighting. They have done wonders in converting that space from what used to be Tinder Box.
I was rather excited as I had not been to one of these for over a decade. Ed‘s have this amazing deal of either getting the burger or meat dish on its own or you have the option to get a plate for a couple of pounds more for which you also get fries, onion rings and coleslaw. Naturally we went for the plate. We also decided to go for bottomless cokes to really round of this American burger meal experience. All we needed now was a cow girl outfit and it would have been complete.
I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and Elena ordered the Chicken Goujons, all with Ed‘s plates.
The restaurant was empty on this hot summers evening and the waiters had time to come and chill and chat with us. Being one of the only customers we thought we were in for a treat as the chef can pay extra attention to our food.
The food arrived and straight away everything looked crispy and over cooked. The onion rings and sweet potato fries we so deep fried that as soon as you put them in your mouth they shattered and I mean just broken into pieces. You could feel the oil on your lips and slipping down your arteries. The fried items all tasted the same even the Chicken Goujons so they had clearly been sitting in the same fryer for ages.
My burger was rock solid and I had a tough time cutting into it. It tasted of nothing and felt like it had been over cooked. This WILL not be making it onto our burger hall of fame.
So many high hopes and all a bit of a let down. However, I will return to try their shakes at the shake bar on the ground floor to give them an opportunity to redeem themselves to the glory days of my college years. I think this meal is what we can coin as ‘waste of space in the stomach’.
Unit R7, Angel Central, London N1 0PS
Brunch, our loved meal on a day off. I have been attempting to explore Battersea more as I get into the grove of working in the area. My friend Adam kindly offered to show me the brunch places on offer in the Wandsworth area and I was shocked to see a whole street dedicated to brunching.
Konnigans can be found on Old York Rd with a whole host of other delicious dines. Konnigans classes itself as being a contemporary British restaurant so in other words a bit of everything, eclectic.
I fell in love with the old cluttered interior of Konnigans. It reminds me of an old English country kitchen with lots of different nook and crannies to sit in.
The drinks menu ranges from naughty shakes to English beers to cocktails. Naturally I refused them all and asked for a glass of prosecco. I think my friend slightly disapproved at the fact I was drinking at three in the afternoon but I used my common excuse of ‘I’m on holiday’.
I went for the eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and it was lovely, perfectly cooked egg on a soft brioche bun, you know how much I love my brioche buns. Strangely it came with a side of fries and a grilled tomato. I wasn’t going to complain as the chips were amazing. More please.
My friend went for a mammoth chicken, avo, bacon and Brie salad. There was no way that it was a light salad at all. I was slightly jealous.
Konnigans is such a cosy place that we just sat there for hours chilling. Parking is amazing in the area as it is free past 4:30pm so great for an after work hang out.
I can not wait to come back to this place but also come back to this street, what an amazing find.
344 – 346 Old York road
Afternoon Tea at Sketch
With a striking back drop Sketch makes every girl feel like a fairy tale princess. Afternoon Tea here is no standard English affair, in fact one would go as far as saying it is a magically event straight out of a surreal Tim Burton movie. You know this is worthy of the two Michelin stars that it has been awarded with its new again French cuisine.
Behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford St and in the heart of Mayfair sits Sketch, most of you will know it as the old house of Dior which it is most known for.
The interior is just breathtakingly beautiful. Playing on fantasy and dream worlds, each room has its own theme which is communicated so well. We were having our session of Afternoon Tea in the gallery room or as I have renamed it ‘the bubble gum’ room. The gallery exhibits the work of David Shirgley, one of my favourite artists during my college years. You could spent hours reading his work on the walls and never get bored. Quite the entertainment.
The Afternoon Tea is on another level of class altogether in comparison to anything we have had so far. With sandwiches filled with caviar and quails egg, fit for a princess. As we arrived we were served the most blissful cocktail ever created with hints of vanilla and raspberry. Yum.
The tea cake tray arrived with so much food and to our amazement it was all on an unlimited serving basis but trust me, you do not need to get seconds as there is just so much to be eating (okay we tried and ended up with left overs).
The sandwich selection was to die for and I’m not a sandwich person. There was one warm sandwich which was a toasted pesto and mozerrella sandwich which was heavenly. Actually everything was heavenly so I might as well drop that work. Each sandwich had a different type of bread so never did it feel repetitive like the sandwiches at regular afternoon tea can get.
The cake level was out of this world, with lemon cake, chocolate cake, strawberry tarts and a profiterole. All so light and airy. All tasting like nothing we have had before as the all seemed to have a surprise after taste for example, the profiterole had a raspberry filling and the lemon cake almost had this egg custard quality.
As soon as there was space we were brought our fresh scones served with clotted cream, strawberry jam and fig jam. One word, lovely.
The top layer of macaroons and cheesecake was the death of us and we found it hard to reach the end. £39 is a sum I would gladly pay again as its not just the food you are paying for but the overall experience.
The staff are lovely and attentive. They continuously monitor your trays to make sure everything is always looking fresh and full. They clearly love their job making the service even more outstanding.
We managed to get ourselves a great deal with the Open Table app. So we paid £39 for the Afternoon Tea set but we also got a free £15 cocktail upon arrival. Open Table is a great app and has given us some amazing deals over the years so check it out.
On to the next Afternoon Tea session.
9 Conduit Street, London
The Oyster Shed
I work just across the river from Oyster Shed and every Thursday and Friday I observe large gatherings of people spilling out of the pub onto the Thames river bank. It surely looked like a fun place to be, so one day I finally made a table booking and went there with two girlfriends for after work dinner and drinks.
We sat at a dinner table on the mezzanine level, which gave us pretty views of the river and the bar downstairs. Carefully booked for sunset time, we enjoyed sipping Prosecco while watching the colour of the sky change from yellow to pink and finally deep burgundy. The decor of the place has an eclectic nautical theme. Tables are nicely spaced out with some long wooden benches and more private cosy corners.
Since we found ourselves in a place called Oyster Shed it would have been silly not to try their oysters. Half a dozen makes a perfect starter! They were served with classic garnish of shallots in red wine vinaigrette and a wedge of lemon. Although meaty and with good flavor, I wish the chef taken greater care when shucking them, as I constantly felt small pieces of shells in my mouth.
Flushed down with another glass of Prosecco we moved onto our mains. I ordered grilled salmon, which was perfect. It came with just enough potatoes and veg n the side so you didn’t feel like you’ve just stuffed your face.
Desserts is always the highlight of any get together with girlfriends and this one was no exception. Eton Mess with berries – gorgeous! And chocolate fondant of course…!!!
The Oyster Shed
1 Angel Lane, London EC4R 3AB