It’s difficult with new fades in the
restaurant scene emerging ever so often not to fall into certain, in my case
burger related, eating out patterns. After what seems an endless sequence of burger
joint reviews (and yes with some exciting new ones opening soon they won’t end
quite yet), I thought it was about time to explore some of the more unusual
cuisines London has to offer!
Not many of you probably know that I study
history and not just any history but the history of Eastern Europe in
particular. It’s not only an incredibly interesting area in terms of history,
having gone through everything from fascism to socialism, from dictatorship to
revolution but also harbors a diverse cuisine which until I visited LittleGeorgia I had never really tried. After doing a little research I found out
that Georgian is generally regarded as the haute cuisine of Eastern Europe, due
to its geographic location containing both Middle Eastern and traditionally
Russian elements. With growing anticipation my friend Isabella and I headed to
one of the two Little Georgia’s that have sprung up in London, a short walk
from Angel tube station. Of course it is always difficult not to go into the
gimmicky when trying to make a restaurant look distinctively representative of
one country but Little Georgia manages to create a cosy atmosphere with subtle
nods to its Georgian heritage, particularly the old black and white family
pictures and old sewing machines carefully dotted around the room, without
going into Disneyland territory.
Service was friendly and helpful particularly
as faced with a big menu of unknown dishes we needed a bit of help choosing.
Georgian food is all about the sharing and far away from the meat heavy dishes
that I feared would dominate. Fresh, well seasoned and light it was not what I
expected at all. The meze platter was served with cheese filled bread, not just
any bread though a bread famous throughout Eastern Europe and a real highlight
of our meal. Baked fresh for each order, this was probably the most flavourful
and moorish cheesy bread I have ever had. The mezze platter itself offered an
interesting mix of Middle Eastern, the spinach pate and chargrilled peppers
sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and Russian, my favorite of the platter carrots
mixed with yogurt and cumin seeds. This fusion was visible in the rest of the
dishes we tried. My blini (a thin pancake filled with cream cheese) was served
with a light beetroot salad and yogurt and had an almost Scandinavian lightness
to it while the pepper stew won with its subtle spices and rich tomato sauce. I
didn’t leave stuffed as often the case in my burger feasts (hey at least they
are always of the veggie kind) but with the satisfaction of having had the
chance to sample a wide array of different flavours and textures, all freshly
prepared and presented beautifully.
Little Georgia has the feel of a real
family restaurant yet also seems aware of the steep competition it faces in
London by offering a sophisticated yet authentic representation of what
Georgian food entails, making this a real gem of a place that has made me want
to be more adventurous when it comes to trying cuisines away from the save
Italian/Japanese/Mexican one tends to go for.
Chicken Bucket done the Lucky Chip way: chicken gravy, creamed sweetcorn, coleslaw, cheese croquettes and of course fried chicken!
Another week, another burger joint on my to try list, this time Slider bar, the first Soho venture by the guys behind Lucky Chip. Their residence at the Sebright Arms has been my to go to place for good, cheap and guaranteed to be tasty weekend dinners for the last few weeks so I was more than excited to hear that they would be bringing their burgers under a slightly different concept into central London. While Lucky Chip impresses with its back to basic, served on paper plates approach, at Slider Bar a lot of attention has been paid to the presentation and overall dining experience whilst still featuring the burgers that have made Lucky chip such a cult burger joint. Here classics like fried chicken and fish and chips get given quirky makeovers, the fried chicken for example served with chicken gravy out of a squeezy bottle, creamed sweetcorn, coleslaw and cheese croquettes, presented in cute ( I am a sucker for anything miniature), cool yet also very refined way. The same is true for the burgers. For £12.50 you can select two of the many sliders on the menu which get served with skinny fries and a rather intriguing and delicious lemonade shot,, attempting to emulate a real diner experience. Again the presentation is spotless but the burgers still of the same standard (and that standard is pretty darn good) as at their Hackney counterpart. I sampled their fillet o fish, the Daryl Hannah, and new veggie variation, a unusual but successful combination of potato cake, kimchi and wasabi mayo- both exceptional in their flavours and for me easier to handle than normal size burgers, and yes I am one of those lame girls that asks for knife and fork to cut my burgers usually! It is definitely more girly and refined in terms of portion size and concept but I personally really enjoyed the experience and none of the original flavours and quality associated with Lucky chip have been lost. It is a little more expensive especially as I could hardly say no to their amazing DIY sundae, basically my idea of dessert heaven- soft serve ice cream with a side of bubble gum and popcorn flavour sauces, honeycomb, chocolate and popping candy that you can pour on to your hearts content, but its a great place to have a proper meal out and cocktail with less of the fast food vibe that often comes with places serving burgers. Hidden in the basement of the Player bar, its a great place to take someone and let them experience a truly quirky and fun take on the current burger craze.
Mini sliders- Daryl Hannah fillet o' fish and veggie burger, skinny fries and lemonade shot (not mayo!)
Miss Selfridge asked me to come in and style some of their new 3 collection which was designed by their buying team, something that I was of course more than willing to attempt! These are only instagram snaps (follow me @stellakatterman!) taken during the shoot so I can't wait to see the final result!