Category Archives: Asian

Makiyaki

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.

012b636857359d27d09b99af59bad058070f5e4624

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.

01833831aca70cb6c10e236e3e4ab488c62baf2ed5We 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.

01a337752f647d0ee582e79aa0118379d7883bff4a

The Kingston was another hit with tempura prawns and chilli. Very yummy and I do love a good crunch in the centre.

017bbc1ea1cfaba86c2cd61c82a67f762d81401395

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.

0119fb95bc4553470e4c33a482154a6c27850a6c8e

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.

01a05080118141b2489928112f7407088b33067cb6

We do look forward to returning and sampling the other million sushi types on offer at Makiyaki.

Makiyaki
149 Merton Rd, London SW19 1ED

Advertisements

Hong Kong Guide

Fork & Talk are back!

My gosh, how much fun we’ve had in Asia this past week!

I hope you guys enjoyed our live blogging from Hong Kong. There was so much to see and so much to eat! We have tried to sample a variety of what Hong Kong offers. We went down with the locals at grimy cafes and up into the skies above the city for a cocktail or two. One week in Hong Kong is definitely not enough and with our reviews we have barely scratched the surface of foodie finds.

Never the less, we have put together a little Fork & Talk Guide to Hong Kong. We hope you find it useful. Enjoy!

Breakfast

IMG_0156

Urban Bakery
Must try: Egg custard croissant
Fun Fact: This hip and urban cafe is inspired by London’s Borough Market

IMG_0494

Kam Fung
Must try: Traditional Chinese sweet bun
Take note: If there are not enough of you, you will be seated with others

Dim Sum Lunch

IMG_2619-1

LockCha Tea House
Must try: Steamed mashed Lotus seed bun
Take note: This tea house is located in Hong Kong Park, to get there, you will be putting yourself in mosquito danger zone, so dress accordingly.

IMG_2510

Tim Ho Wan
Must try: Pork buns
Take note: When you see a queue, do not wait your turn, go straight to the front and grab your ticket number. They will call you when your table is up

Best Asian Burger

IMG_2719-0

Little Bao
Must try:
Pretty much everything, but if you have to choose go for truffle chips and pork belly bao.
Take note: This restaurant can get pretty busy on weekends, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Dinner with a view

IMG_0747

Sevva
Must try: Anything from the dessert menu
Take note: Strict dress code applies to your male companions

Japanese offerings

IMG_2137-0

Tonkichi Tankatsu Seafood
Must try: Katsu king prawns
Take note: Everything on mixed katsu platters looks the same, so make sure you ask your waiter  to point out the chicken and the pork.

IMG_2263

Sen-Ryo
Must try: Tuna sashimi
Fun Fact: Restaurant introduced screening system where a microchip is placed under each dish to ensure the foods’ freshness and quality.

That Famous Roast Goose

IMG_0794

Yung Kee
Must try: Apart from the goose, of course, try prawn fried rice
Take note: if you order roast goose ‘to go’ you will have to pay 50% deposit.

Dining with the Locals

IMG_0475

Crowd Restaurant
Must try:
Hairy crab
Take note: Remember that green tea pot waiting for you on the table is for washing your plates and cutlery first, and drinking later.

IMG_2237

Crystal Jade
Must try:
Sweet and sour fish

Coffee & Dessert

IMG_2166

Lab Made Cafe
Must try: Unfortunately their ice cream flavors change every two weeks…
Fun Fact: It only takes 60 seconds for Lab Made cafe to create your scoop from fresh ingredients.

IMG_2486

Teakha
Must try: Rose tea
Take note: They do not sell coffee, only tea

Yung Kee

‘I want roasted goose’, the chant we couldn’t stop hearing from our friend Birth who joined us in Hong Kong from Thailand. So on our last day we went to the prestigious Yung Kee Restaurant near Central Station. Yung Lee’s roasted goose is so famous that they offer a packaging service for their goose should you wish to take it on a flight home. Of course, our friend Birth had to take advantage of this service as soon as we arrived and got them to prepare two whole gooses to take back to Thailand. He paid a whooping 1200 HKD for two roasted gooses so you can imagine how pricy the rest of the menu is going to be.

IMG_0797

The decor is very stereotypical of what we would class as a ‘Chinese’ restaurant with the rich and royal colours of gold and red, Ming vases and gold Chinese dragons. It really is a treat for the eyes. The restaurant has been running since the 1940s and it has that air of class and elegance from this period. The restaurant are so proud of their accomplishments over the years that the first five pages of their menu are dedicated to the awards that they have one.

IMG_0788

Naturally we ordered the roast goose for ourselves but only a quarter for 200 HKD. Honestly, I’m not sure what all the fuss is about and it was the first time I have eat goose and I won’t be rushing to eat this meat again. The glaze which was used to make the skin so crispy was nice and sweet but after two slices I couldn’t eat anymore.

IMG_0785

Another recommendation from reviews we read was the shredded jelly fish. The idea of eating the jelly fish was not the most appetising thought but when in Rome……
It’s a cold dish with translucent jelly strips and sprinklings of sesame seeds. Looking at the dish you would never think it’s jelly fish. Taste and texture reminds me of seaweed. However, we could only must a bite or two before the idea of it being a jelly fish we were consuming became to haunt the tummy.

IMG_0793

We also ordered prawn fried rice, BBQ pork vermicelli noodles, beef flat noodles and egg plant with crab meat.

IMG_0783

Now, I’ve mentioned this before, if you avoid pork and try and follow a halal diet you need to be careful in Hong Kong, they love putting pork into the most strangest dishes without even stating so in the menu for example putting it on top of a seasonal vegetable dish or in this case cutting it into chunks and putting it into a dish called prawn fried rice. Best advise I can offer is to speak to the waiters that can communicate in English and make it very clear that you can’t eat pork. However, I’m sorry to say that some lie so it’s best to have a friend who speaks the lingo. Anyway, rant over.

IMG_0790IMG_0789
The food here is good but out of everything we have eaten it is nothing to rave about. It is a good tourist attraction to just say you have been here. For what we were eating the total cost was ridiculous and the bill came to 1,298 HKD between four people. It was the only place that has charged for green tea for our entire stay not sure how that can be justified.

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

Sevva

Since we arrived in Hong Kong our friend Catherine wouldn’t stop talking about Sevva, the roof top bar her fiancé took her too for their first date and proposal. We could tell it meant a lot to her so Elena and I decided to book dinner and drinks there to kick off her hen party. We spent the entire week avoiding her requests to go there for some drinks just so we could surprise her.

IMG_0704

Sevva sits on top of the 25th floor of the Prince’s Building in Central. It has a roof top bar with a stunning view of Hong Kong and the islands close by as it sits near the harbor. During the evening it has the most stunning views as the whole city lights up so we can understand how it made an impressive first date. Sevva has an indoor restaurant which just stunning.

The menu is a fusion menu so expect to see some strange combinations of foods and some adaptations of some world classics.

IMG_0713
A selection of starters including caprese salad and pea soup.
IMG_0715
‘Gems of Neptune’ sushi selection.

IMG_0714

IMG_0717

IMG_0725
Wagye beef cheek and ox tongue pot pie with porcini fries.
IMG_0726
Braised chicken
IMG_0724
Triple cheese macaroni with seafood
IMG_0728
Spaghetti with champagne sauce, king prawns and crab roe.

Like most of these places that cost a fortune and are in the most stunning places, the food is not the best feature by far and well Sevva was exactly that. This is the reason why I won’t be going to details of each dish.

IMG_0747

Service however was at a five star rating. The staff were attentive and most helpful throughout. The restaurant manager was so kind and gave us a complimentary dessert platter when he heard we were a hen party. The best dessert we have had in Hong Kong so far, with cakes so light and airy.

IMG_0765

After dinner we spent hours on the roof top bar reminiscing about the old days and talking about the possibilities in our futures as we gazed over the skylines of Hong Kong. We truly had an incredible time!

IMG_0759

Cost wise it was the most expensive meal in Hong Kong as would be expected. We paid 1,572 HKD each which is about £130 which included drinks and meal. Regardless of whether the food wasn’t up to scratch everything else made it worth it. We love Sevva but maybe it’s more a drinks and dessert place rather than a full meal.

Sevva
Prince’s Building 25th Floor, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong

Breakfast in Hong Kong

One of the things that kept coming up in guide books and online tourism blogs is that Hong Kong doesn’t have a breakfast culture. Shock and horror! Surely, we thought, Hong Kong residents cannot be starting their busy day on empty stomach. After arriving to Hong Kong we have discovered that their breakfast does exist but it is nothing like London where you sit down for ‘the most important meal of the day’, roll out your napkin, arrange cutlery and await your fruit salad with eggs Benedict and a pot of Earl Grey.

Since Hong Kong is a real mix of foreign styles and cuisines we have decided to try both ends of the breakfast spectrum. We didn’t want to be thrown in the deep end so  decided to start off with the familiar ‘western style’ breakfast first.

IMG_0151

Urban Bakery has a number of branches across the city. Decorated in a very hip industrial style, this shop offers freshly baked croissants with a range of creative fillings.

IMG_0154

IMG_0155

We opted for somewhat Asian inspired egg custard croissants with coffee. I have to be honest I was very pleasantly surprised because unless I am in Paris I have very little faith in croissants. But this piece of pastry was perfect!

IMG_0160

Crunchy top layer and the middle flaked easily. The egg custard filling was dreamy. Not too sweet with lovely smooth texture.  It was such a delicious breakfast! So tasty in fact, it made me feel a little bit guilty.


The next day we finally gathered enough courage to try the traditional Chinese breakfast.

IMG_0492

After a brief queue to get in, we sat down at a table at a very small and crowded  Kam Fung cafe on Spring Garden Lane in Wan Chai. Kam Fung cafe has been established in 1956 and is a classic example of a Hong Kong cafe.

As there were only two of us, the waiter wasted no time squeezing a local couple on a bench at our table. We tried not to let a sign that said ‘NO SPITTING’ to spoil our appetite and ordered cold milk tea with sweet buns.

IMG_0494

I have never been a massive tea drinker but somehow white being in Hong Kong i have developed a real taste for it. Milk tea is now my favourite cold drink. I have tried it in Starbucks in a form of a ‘frappaccino’, which was lovely and light, and it is also a very surprising flavour for ice cream (Lab Made Cafe).

IMG_0495

Kam Fung’s milk tea was nice and strong which is exactly what you want to start your day off with. Sweet bun was served with a slice of butter, which wasn’t particularly needed as the bun was really fresh, soft and moist already. Taste was similar to a brioche bun, but perhaps a touch less sweet. I could definitely do with a meal like this everyday.

IMG_0496

Our bill was served on a tiny piece of paper, for 54 HK dollars in total we could not complain.

Although this breakfast was very different to Urban Cafe, I would definitely recommend Kam Fung as a place to experience Hong Kong culture and how locals live.  But if you want your soya milk flat white and place to catch up with a few emails, then do head to Urban Cafe for some peace and quiet.

Urban Cafe
Room 322, 3/F, The Landmark, 12-16 Des Voeux Road Central, Central Connaught Pl, Central, Hong Kong

Kam Fung
G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai

Crowd Restaurant

Being in Hong Kong a country surrounded in water you are guaranteed to have some amazing fish. We had to find the best seafood in Hong Kong and I’m pretty sure we have come close to it.

In the back streets of the Wan Chai district is a little restaurant where you see the integration of the expats and the locals over the fruits of the seas.

IMG_0472

Crowd Restaurant on Gresson St is a small local restaurant with no frills so expect to be seated shoulder to shoulder to strangers.

As we sat down to feast our expat friends started doing the most unusual things which we now understand are standard practice in places like these for good measure.

IMG_0467

The waiters gave us our chopsticks and crockery and a teapot of green tea. One of our friends proceeded to wash the chopsticks and crockery in the green tea to clean them. We noticed the other tables were also conducting this process. We found out that even though establishments like these washed their utensils people preferred to re-wash them for hygiene assurance.

IMG_0475

We ordered the famous Hong Kong hairy crab that everyone kept telling us about. We also ordered: razor clams, Thai seafood soup, scallop and prawn stir fried vermicelli noodles and sticky rice.

The hairy crab is covered in fried garlic which is lovely with the crab meat. It was the most expensive dish on their menu costing 200 HKD but so worth it. The crab is covered in batter and deep fried which makes you keep licking the shell. Damn, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

IMG_0473

The razor clams look so odd, almost like small pieces of bamboo that have been split open. They are coated in black bean sauce so go great with the rice. The meat in the clams isn’t the perfect oval we are used to so prepared to pull something stringy looking out of the shell. Don’t worry, it tastes better than clams.

IMG_0476

Our favourite dish was the scallop and prawn stir fried vermicelli noodles. I for sure couldn’t stop eating it at all. The noodles we so light with a generous helping of scallops and prawns fresh from the sea.

IMG_0477

The Thai soup had a different range of fresh and tangy flavours which you naturally associate with Thai food.

The food came to a grand total of 680 HKD between five people were we’re stuffed. Paying £13.60 each for the amount of fresh seafood we consumed feels like we were almost stealing.

IMG_0468

If you don’t mind a tight squeeze in a charming local dine then definitely visit Crowd Restaurant.

Crowd Restaurant
14A Gresson St, Hong Kong

Crystal Jade

Something we have learnt about China is that there is NO CHINESE FOOD. What we mean by that is that there are 10 regional cuisines that make up Chinese food: Shanghaiese, Chui Chow, Hakka, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Yunnan, Beijing and Xinxiang. There are a few more but these are said to be the most predominate here in China and Hong Kong. Each from a different region or a settlement.  So we are being awfully abstract when we say we feel like ‘Chinese’ tonight.
  
We went to a lovely restaurant called Crystal Jade in Wan Chai. Shanghainese food from what we have found is a lot mellower and has a slight sweetness to it in comparison to your other Chinese regional cuisine. Noodle soups are a big thing but unfortunately as they has pork added to all their bases so I couldn’t have any. However, Elena and the rest of the crew ordered a pot of beef noodles and peanut noodles to start with. There were a number of condiments available to add flavour which is another process for eating Shanghaiese food. 

  
    
 
The restaurant were kind enough to give me a bowl of plain vermicelli noodles so I could add condiments without the pork based soup so I was happy. 

  
For main we ordered sweet and sour fish and steamed vegetables. The sweet and sour fish looked rather impressive. The flavours are a lot more subtle than that tangy and intoxicatingly sweet stuff we get in London. Usually chicken is the meat we would associate with sweet and sour dishes, but our local friends said that fish was actually the preferred choice in Hong Kong. The fish is deep fried and covered in the sauce. The meat just melts in the mouth and is delicious. 

Crystal Jade is a nice and cosy place to eat with groups of friends. Seating is made up of booths and tables and it has a traditional yet modern look about it. 

Crystal Jade

Shop 310, Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road Wan Chai.

LockCha Tea House

So after our questionable Michelin experience at Tim Ho Wan yesterday we searched for another dim sum eatery and came across LockCha Tea House situated in Hong Kong park.

We hoped that our second experience of dim sum would settle the question of whether dim sum is really meant to be squidgy and wet or are the textures right from what we know of dim sum in London.

LockCha Tea House is in the stunning location of Hong Kong park with its iconic water feature and peaceful atmosphere. The tea house has a huge range of Chinese teas to offer for any palette. The waiters are always ready to assist you in making a selection which for novices like ourselves was a big help.

Once the tea is selected the waiters will perform a traditional tea ceremony ritual which we were in ore of.

    

Watching the gentle movements of the washing of the cup and the brewing of the tea brung a sense of calm which was a total disconnect to what Hong Kong is all about. Where ever you may go in Hong Kong to eat there is the feeling panic and a culture of service with no smile but service with a growl. The staff at LockCha are friendly and approachable and it was nice to have that western touch to service after being without it for three days.

The dim sum on offer is all vegetarian and there is only a small selection to chose from which makes life a lot easier when you think about the length of the menus you are usually subjected to in most restaurants in Hong Kong.

 


As you can see we pretty much had most of the menu and regretted NOTHING. We ate and ate and yet we felt so good eating it.

  

The dim sum was largely steamed and were all made up of fresh vegetables so it felt like we were eating uber healthy in comparison to the majority of the week.

    

This has been the best dim sum experience ever. Such a range of subtle flavours and textures added with the fact you can’t feel you arteries clogging up with oil just makes it a double thumbs up.

The dim sum wasn’t gooey or wet like at Tim Ho Wan and after having this dim sum meal we can now confirm that LockCha Tea House has the best dim sum in Hong Kong. Luck was on our side today as we didn’t even have to wait for a table, we had heard horror stories of wait times but we managed to get away with it. Luck of the British 🙂 Beware, LockCha Tea House do not take reservations so build in some time just incase you have to wait.

Whilst making a trip to LockCha make sure you spend some time looking around the Hong Kong park, it truly is lovely.

Calm, peaceful and the best dim sum we have tastes so far.

LockCha Tea House
Ground Floor, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Park, Central, Hong Kong

Little Bao

‘Been around the world, ayayayayaya, I can’t find my burger….’, UNTIL WE CAME TO HONG KONG!!!!  

 

Fans, as you know we have been on a life long mission to find the best burger in the world and well we think we have found the best one (so far). The unusual thing is that it can be found in Hong Kong of all places in a little place called Little Bao in the Soho expat district. 

  
Begone the brioche bun and hello the steamed bun!

Begone the pattie and hello pork belly or Szechuan chicken fillings!

It’s time for us to leave the UK and USA and embrace Asia. 

  

Little Bao is a tiny diner style restaurant in Soho. Not really a big gathering kind of place as you will either be facing the wall or the kitchen. 

The tunes were banging out funk, as chefs were flipping burgers to the beat. We were quickly talked through the menu and decided on four starters and a burger each. 

  

This is one of those places that puts all it’s passion into food and good service. There are no frills to your dining experience, it’s stripped back to a plate, chopstick and a napkin.

  

We started meal off with Brussels sprouts, which you would think is an odd thing to find in Hong Kong. But with a sprinkle of fresh chilli, peanuts and fish sauce this could-be-boring dish was re-styled as a great starter with an Asian twist. We are definitely stealing this recipe for our next Christmas dinner.

   
 

Next up were Truffle Fries topped with fried mushrooms. We could smell the truffle oil even before they landed on our table, it was a truly moorish sharing platter. Give them a quick toss and tuck in! I’d choose those over cheesy fries anytime!

  

Hot chicken was a real show piece. I kick myself for not taking a photo of these drum sticks next to a bottle of coke for scale, but they were practically the same size. Giant succulent spicy drum sticks. The batter crust was almost caramel like, you had to tap it with your chopstick and like a creme brûlée, it would crack open to revel a very tender chicken meat.

  

Short-rib pan fried dumplings were yummy! Rib meat was minced and so tender with pasty light and crunchy. You’d think we had finished our meal, but no no no, we haven’t even got to the mains yet!

  

Bao, typical Chinese steamed bun, was warmed up on a stove before it took in ridiculous amount of stuffing. We tried their famous pork belly Bao, Szechuan chicken and beef. 

   
   

  

Now this was the perfect burger. Flavours were delicate and extremely delicious. No ingredient was overlooked. Bao bun made it really easy to stuff in your mouth and in true burger style it was a messy affair.

We can’t recommend Little Bao enough, whether you are in Hong Kong for a week or a day please make time for Little Bao, as we guarantee it will be a meal to remember!

Little Bao

6 Staunton St. Central, Hong Kong.

www.little-bao.com

Tim Ho Wan

Fancy Michelin starred food for less than a £15 for two???? Well head to Tim Ho Wan for apparently the best dim sum in Hong Kong. This cute place has been awarded with one Michelin star and well we couldn’t pass up the chance to tick it off our list. 

The owner of Tim Ho Wan once used to be the head chef at the Four Seasons Hotel and was crowned the dim sum specialist. He then ventured out on his own to bring us Tim Ho Wan.  

Turn over is quick and this is definitely not a fine dining experience so please be prepared to sit at Hong Kong train station for this dine. The clients are both locals and tourists which gives you a good idea of the buzz it has. 

  
Ordering – You are expected to fill out the menu card to state what you want before you are seated and the dishes are brought to you as they are made. Expect bamboo baskets to fly across your face as the waitress are continuously running around cleaning dishes as you finish. It is not the most relaxed atmosphere. 

  
Cheap it definitely is, we are just not sure what we think of it. The only reason we say this is that the textures are a lot different to what we know and it was all a bit too squidgy and slippery for our liking. However, saying that this could actually be how dim sum is meant to be, so we would like to try another dim sum place while we are here, to be able to safely say whether this is the best or not.  

  
Saying all that, the food is lovely and we can recommend the beef meat balls and the fried prawn dumplings. The seafood dishes are definitely the ones that stand out.

  
We were not a fan of the bean curd as we found, too wet and tasteless. 

  
We were later told the signature dish is the pork rolls, which unfortunately I was never going to have. Elena shed a tear as she never got to have them, so if you manage to have it then let us know what was missed. 

  
  
Tomorrow, we will be going to LockCha Tea House for lunch so will compare and let you know. 

Tim Ho Wan

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station

Teakha

A trendy and kitch tea shop, Teakha really made an awesome tea experience this morning. Home blended teas and freshly baked cakes and pastries, this little sanctuary really put a smile on our faces as we took shelter for the code black torrential rain that swept across Hong Kong this morning.   

  
We got to the tea shop at 11am to staff who happily told us their tea was not ready and their cakes hadn’t finished baking. One thing you will realise in Hong Kong is that they are not early risers and nor are they breakfast people so expect the start to the day to be slow. Usually Elena would have had a heart attack at the thought of being denied food yet as we saw they were brewing their own teas and were frantically mixing batters and shoving them into ovens, well we knew we were in for a treat. 

   
 
The staff kindly allowed us to take shelter indoors while they finished and we shift through their menu. I ordered the Rose Tea which came with a frothy top, caramel drizzle and edible rose petals. The aroma is that of fresh rosa petals and the taste is just like sweet rose water. Will definitely try and make something like this at home. Elena ordered an aromatic black tea which was earthy in flavour and rich. 

  
We ordered the most amazing cakes. Elena ordered a chai caramel brown which came straight out of the oven so was warm and gooey on the inside. I ordered a chamomile, buttermilk and custard tart which reminded me a lot of a traditional New York cheesecake, milky, light and airy. Delicious. 

  
Beware, it is not a traditional tea house and is very modern. It is an expat hotspot as the flavours here are more for the western diner. This place is cute and stunning and we wish we could try the other things on the menu. 

  
Two things Teakha made us realise were: 

1. We should always pack a scarf or sweater as the air conditioning inside was freezing and that goes for all restaurants in Hong Kong 

2. We really want to try a traditional Chinese tea house before we leave and obviously share those details with you

Teakha

Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Road SOHO Sheung Wan.

Spice Society

Who doesn’t love a good Indian on a Saturday night?

IMG_9897

If you ever find yourself in Elmers End, Beckenham then head straight to Spice Society. It’s one of the best asian restaurants in the area. Quite large establishment with ambient decor and extremely polite staff. I have been there a number of times and have never have been disappointed.

IMG_9898

Now my partner in crime would probably give you a lecture how ‘Indian’ restaurants in England are all actually Bangladeshi owned and what you are eating is not Indian at all. But since I am no expert on originality of these dishes I go by taste alone.

IMG_9900

They have a very extensive menu, whether you feel like prawn or lamb there is something for every craving. All dishes are so fresh, you get overwhelmed by fragrance when they serve them on your table.

IMG_9899

Some of the dishes we ordered were lamb biriani served with vegetarian curry, chicken masala and paneer. What a feast! All plates were heaped, which meant my lunch next day was sorted. Sweet!

Spice Society
139 Croydon Road, Beckenham BR3 3RB

Thali & Pickles

IMG_0082

I often spend my Sunday’s watching Indian Soaps and admiring the unique ‘thali’ way of eating. The idea that you get to try 7 dishes all during one sitting sounds incredible for a foodie like myself. So when I drove past Thali & Pickles in Balham I just had to give it a try.

IMG_0088

IMG_0089

With its rustic interior, stripped timbre cladding and an array of hand painted bollywood film posters, it has a very cool and modern feel to the place. Thali & Pickles is known for its Thalis and Indian street food so I was delighted to see some of my favourites on the menu so naturally had to order lamb samosas and the mouth watering pani puri. The pani puri was refreshing and a mix of sour and tangy, I loved the fact we could add our own tamarind water as it just added to the messy fun.

IMG_0087

In theory a thali is a serving for one person in which you get: rice, naan, one main curry, veg curry, pickle, daal, raita and a dessert. Sounds like a lot but the portions are small so enough for your tummy. Thali & Pickles doesn’t just serve thalis but also biryani, regular portioned currys and tandoori dishes. The food is South Indian in flavour so is low on spicy in comparison to your regular Indian so the flavours are more creamy.

IMG_0086

Whilst at Thali & Pickles you must try their mango lassi, even in the middle of winter it was creamy and sweet with an under tone of mango sourness. Delicious.

IMG_0085

IMG_0084

The waiters are lovely and ready to serve, exactly what you need on a Thursday night after work. We will defo come back for seconds at Thali & Pickles.

Thali & Pickles
5-6 Balham Station Road, Balham, SW12 9SG
http://thaliandpickles.co.uk/