Sunday, 27 November 2011
It was a rather cold and windy Friday evening which had come after a week of way too much Uni work that I met my friend fellow blogger Amanda to try the newest sibling in the polpo/spuntino/polpetto/da polpo family and I can honesty say it was one of the best dinners I have ever had. I’m not only talking about the Jewish deli style comfort food that gets served up here, no, after being lucky enough to actually get a table on soft opening night, we were just instantly made to feel at home and didn't want to leave at the end! Walking in I was greeted by Russell Norman, the genius restaurateur behind it all, who gave me the warmest possible welcome and spent the evening chatting to us and other diners, even telling me how he came up with the legendary pbj sandwich at spuntino. He is a true perfectionist that has transformed the restaurant scene in London and who with his lovely staff ( which he told he hires based on their characters not restaurant experience because you can teach that but not how to be a decent person) truly made our night and deserve every bit of success they have had.
Even though it was opening night and everyone was apparently feeling a little tired from all the work that had been done in the run up to it (although we couldn't tell) there wasn't a single glitch and the food was absolutely delicious. It's what I love at spuntino and now here, there's a menu full of quirky, unusual yet incredibly comforting options that you can't wait to try all and although me and Amanda did our best to split everything and thus sample as much as of the dishes as possible as we left we were already discussing what to have next time! The cocktails, most of them gin based looked rather enticing too and the London cup which we ordered after Russell recommended it for our girly tastes was refreshing and like nothing I have had before!
View from the bar
For me a truly great restaurant is not about the prices, dressed up waiters or fancily decorated plates- it's about feeling at home, having a fun time and eating good food and Mishkin’s does just that. Everything about is just right and I am sure to become a regular and drag my friends along just as I will continue to do at spuntino. Thanks to Russell, Tom and all the team for basically rescuing our weeks and making us leave with a big smile on our faces!
Cod cheek popcorn
Thursday, 24 November 2011
So far I have only been talking about my favourite places to eat out so I thought it was about time to
broaden out a bit and recommend some slightly different places to go out in London. I was fortunate enough to make the guest list for the boiler room a few weeks ago. The boiler room (which yes did start its existence in a boiler room in East London) has become a bit of an online phenomenon since it started over a year ago. The basic idea is that you get to watch the best Dj's around in an intimate environment, facing the wall not you they are free to do their own thing which is then streamed live over the Internet. It is held every Tuesday and if you aren't on the guest list you will not get in. Inside it is like a mini club, literally a small room packed with people that know their music, watching dj's like Jamie xx working their magic on the decks. It's an unpretentious, seriously cool night out which definitely deserves the hype that has seen it gain over 50000 fans on their facebook page. Even if you don't make the guest list the mixes are available as podcasts and have been provided the soundtrack to my bus journeys ever since. I cannot wait to go back to the boiler room and hope that these musical addition to Tuesday nights will continue for some time to come! When I went Rustie was on the decks but here are two of my favourite previous sets to give you a taster of what its like!
Thom Yorke takeover
Jamie XX Adele Remix Boiler Room 35
Monday, 21 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Once in a while a restaurant opens that gets everyone ridiculously excited. These hyped up places more often than not when you actually get to try them disappoint but after weeks of widespread anticipation in the media and web about the opening of Meat Liquor and people queuing readily when it actually opened on 11.11.11 I can honestly say in this case it really is worth the hype. From the unusual location behind a Debenhams and beneath an old concrete car park to the interior slightly reminiscent of a grunge rock club circa 1985, graffiti filling every corner of the ceiling and walls with an obscure mix of Country and rock blurring out of the speakers- this place is seriously cool. It might be a long way from fine dining and probably not a place to take parents or vegetarians but ohh it is good and I'm not only taking about the atmosphere. This is junk food perfected, good quality ingredients, quirky takes on American classics and ridiculously good prices that make you want to come back the minute you leave completely stuffed. The burgers are almost infamous particularly the suitably coined 'Dead Hippie' which my blogging friend Ella couldn't stop drooling over (thanks to her for taking the pictures too after I forgot my camera) or the delicious buffalo chicken burger which I had and which put most burgers you can get in London to shame. This place might not be the most conventional place to eat out, you help yourself to kitchen roll instead of napkins and eat straight off a metal tray, but it is one of those places that you want to be your dirty little secret and which is set to become a regular haunt of mine.
Chili Cheese fries - at £3 almost a meal in itself
Remainders of Ella's 'Dead hippie'
Monday, 14 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Australian brunch might not sound familiar to most of you but boy its the best kinda brunch out there and it's what they do at St Ali, my favourite place to hang out on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We aren't talking about run of the mill jam and toast or even worse a full English, no, at St Ali they make brunch the most exciting meal of the day by creating unusual flavour combination that have that certain laid back, fresh feel of Australia and offer a menu full of amazing sounding dishes that make it a joy to return time after time and try something new everytime . St Ali's is originally from Melbourne with this being their first branch in the UK and with a wide wood heavy space, a slightly industrial feel and a coffee roast machine as the centre point, its a place you can easily spend hours reading the weekend papers and sipping on a flat white. Oh did I forget to mention that the coffee here is absolutely brilliant?! Because it is, probably the best in London with every cup lovingly made by barristas that know their coffee and make it a joy to watch them creating little pieces of coffee art right in front of you.
Amazing flat white, most likely the best coffee in London
signature dish of corn fritters with poached eggs, kazundi, spinach and halloumi cheese (pic courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Jennifer from Styleeast who was with me on this occasion)
My personal favourite- banana bread with coffee mascarpone and plum jam with sesame crisp, a total bargain at £4.75 and majorly addictive
St Ali does brunch and lunch everyday from 7 am to 6pm and is definitely worth a visit - a unique, cool and most importantly incredibly tasty place that has made brunch my new favourite meal time!