Thursday 29 April 2021


Let's be honest, there hasn't been much to do in terms of fun activities in 2020 (or indeed 2021 thus far) so one had to find ways to keep entertained.  

Apart from walks (so many bloody walks), another national hobby and past time emerged: queuing for a takeaway flat white and fancy pastry mainly because this was about the closest thing anyone of us was going to get to a restaurant experience. 

This eventually inspired my mission to find London's best almond croissant. Really I blame my local coffee shop, and life line during times of Corona, Friends Of Ours, for getting me hooked on almond croissant. I was never a big fan of them before but their fresh-out-of-the-oven, oozing with almond paste, and topped with melted white chocolate version was SO good that I got a little obsessed with trying London's most hyped bakeries and their versions of this French classic.

There were some surprises, some disappointments and I learnt some rather useful tips if you want to get your hands on a heavenly flaky pastry rather than leave empty handed (mainly to get there as early as humanly possible on a weekend day).

So get out there and try some for yourself - hey it's not quite like a culinary tour of Italy but a pretty tasty culinary project for the time being.



This a pimped up almond croissant like no other, and I am not only say because Friends Of Ours is also my local coffee shop which has kept me sane, fed and supplied with good wine during the Pandemic. 

No, this croissant is special. Oozing with the most amazing almond paste, the croissants gets topped with melted white chocolate, more almond paste and flaked almonds. It sounds OTT and it is, but in the most utterly delicious of ways. 

They don't make too many of these beauties each day, so get down early! You will look like a total mess after eating it but will be back for more trust me!



In terms of perfecting a classic almond croissant you cannot get better than Ottolenghi's version. The pastry is impeccable, the almond paste full of flavour and the whole thing not overly sweet. 

I have been dreaming about having another one ever since my first bite and no other croissant has really compared to it ever since. 

The only caveat of getting your hands on one? These beauties (and their other breakfast items) are for now only sold during the week. The delis also only open at 10am which is not exactly ideal if you are working.  BUT there is always a way so make the most of a day off or bank holiday and walk, jog or cycle to one of their London branches, you will NOT regret it.



I had never heard of this little but mighty bakery in Southwark, about 10 minutes walk from Borough Market, until I started on my quest to find London's best almond croissant and did some online research, but boy am I glad I finally came The Little Bread Pedlar!

That is because it is quite possibly the best bakery I have come across in London, at least from the 3 pastries which I tried across a weekend, twice failing to score an almond croissant and instead trying an equally outstanding cinnamon bun (Copenhagen kinda good) and an awe strikingly amazing hazelnut chocolatine - a twice baked pain au chocolate, filled with hazelnut paste and drizzled with dark choc and more hazelnuts, which was on another note one of the best pastries I have had in my whole life and should get a shout out on it's own. 

The almond croissant I finally managed to get my hands on (last one left at 10:24am on a Sunday FYI) was also fantastic, a minor point reduction for the slightly dry top half of the croissant BUT don't even just come here for the croissant, this place is incredible and I am shocked I had not heard about it before. A firm new favourite on the London foodie map for me!



This chocolate almond croissant from Gail's Bakery is a valiant effort for a chain bakery. Not amazing but still heads above what you would get at a Pret and the like! 

A good option, especially if you get an almond croissant craving a little later in the day as they usually have stocks to last till the late afternoon.



Ooff. This is going to be a controversial one as Flor is one of those super insta hyped bakeries that people literally queue around the block for. 

After several failed attempts to buy an almond croissant - yes, getting here for 11am on Saturday IS too late to get about 90% of their baked goods for the day, I did finally get to try their almond croissant and.... well it was MEH. 

Edible, sure, not cheap at £4.5 and just not memorable or worth the effort of getting here at the crack of dawn on a weekend as they are only open Thursday-Sunday so IMO one to skip!



A fine, not spectacular almond croissant from Pophams bakery with decent pastry quality. Be prepared to queue a good 20 mins + regardless the weeke day. If you are nearby a good option but no must visit.



I LOVED the hint speculoos in this version from Pavilion as well as the wonderfully fragrant almond paste, plus you get quite the large croissant for your money so that there really weren't any complains from me. Indeed this was a very fine croissant that I would have any day!

There are a few branches in London and always a decent amount of baked goods available so you should be able to get your hands on a croissant on most days plus the staff is always super friendly and the vibe not too overbearingly hipster.

Tuesday 27 April 2021


I am currently just a little bit obsessed with overnight oats as they are pretty much not only one of the tastiest but also healthiest breakfasts out there. 

I of course shared my recipe for cinnamon overnight oats the other day but I thought it was time to take things up a notch with this rather snazzy, and dare I say Ottolenghi inspired, take on baked oats

Because, as it turns out tahini and oats are a match made in heaven, especially with some maple syrup and fresh figs added! 

A total breakfast taste sensation that also happens to be vegan and very filling without weighing you down! A very dreamy and easy to make dish to set you up for the day in style.

Serves 1


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons tahini 
  • 2 - 3 super ripe figs, quartered
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

  • Combine all ingredients in a mason jar in this order: oats, almond milk, maple syrup, tahini, and stir well! 
  • Put a lid on it and refrigerate overnight or for 6 - 8 hours.
  • Mix the tahini, maple syrup, nut milk, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl or small measuring cup until smooth, cover and refrigerate until your oats are ready.
  • Remove the oats from the fridge, add to a bowl then finish with lashings of the tahini sauce and arrange the quartered figs on top.
  • Add a final sprinkle of sesame seeds AND ENJOY!

Monday 26 April 2021


This vegetarian lasagna is all kinds of fabulous and packed full of flavour! I am a massive fan of roasted butternut squash as it is, but here roasted until its tender enough to be mashed with a fork, it is combined with ricotta and chopped sun-dried tomato for the most delicious lasagna filling which even a meat lover won't be able to resist. 

A cheese sauce is spiced up with dried basil and plenty of nutmeg and the assembled lasagna gets topped with toasted pine nuts for extra crunch. 

Surprisingly light, a total crowd pleaser and the perfect main course to prep ahead of a dinner party, this lasagna is definitely a new favourite in my pasta repertoire.

Serves 3-4


  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed (about 1 medium squash) 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped 
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Comte cheese, grated 
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 x 250g packet ricotta
  • 2 cups Gruyere, grated
  • 1 jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained and chopped
  • 1x packet fresh lasagna sheets 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees celsius. 
  • Grease a 9x13 inch baking tray.
  • On a baking sheet, toss together the butternut squash, olive oil, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender. 
  • Keep a few butternut squash cubes to top the lasagna with later
  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. 
  • Add the garlic, sage, and basil and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. 
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the Comte cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. 
  • Stir until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth. Set the cheese sauce aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the roasted butternut squash until mostly smooth. 
  • Stir in the ricotta, gruyere and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Spread 1/4 of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. 
  • Top with 2-3 lasagna sheets. 
  • Spread with 1/2 the butternut squash mixture and then another 1/4 of the cheese sauce. 
  • Place another 3-4 lasagna sheets on top, and then top with the remaining butternut squash mixture and another 1/4 of the cheese sauce. 
  • Add the remaining lasagna sheets and pour the remaining 1/4 of the cheese sauce over top. 
  • Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, a few cubes of the roasted squash and a good scattering of pine nuts.
  • Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the top has bubbled up and browned a bit.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Thursday 22 April 2021


A healthy wholesome breakfast that also tastes amazing? Yup, you heard right! I've seen overnight oats hyped in all corners of the internet but never made them until now because, not being a massive fan of porridge, I really didn't thin I would enjoy them much. 

Well turns out I was wrong! Soaking the oats in almond milk overnight gives them an almost custard like, creamy texture and with the right spices added to the mix this is a super yummy, filling and satisfying breakfast to set you up for the day. 

The cream cheese topping is not a must and a little indulgent but bloody fantastic, and hey this is still a lot more healthy than any morning pastry!



  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • A good grating of fresh cardamon
  • 1tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Handful of blueberries

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • A splash of vanilla extract 
  • Icing sugar to taste

  • Add oats, cinnamon, cardamon, brown sugar and vanilla extract to a mason jar. 
  • Mix until combined. 
  • Add your almond milk and mix together. 
  • Place in fridge for at least two hours but preferably overnight. 
  • In a small bowl beat together cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar, cover and leave until your oats are ready.
  • Pour oat mixture into a bowl and top with cream cheese (or pip it if you are feeling fancy) and the blueberries AND ENJOY!

Tuesday 20 April 2021


Hear me out on this one. On paper this Japanese, Italian fusion dish sounds a little odd but the final dish is utterly out of this world and full of "Unami" taste notes. 

Kombu, dried, thick sheets of seaweed with distinctive and strong flavour, is used to first infuse the pasta cooking water and later the cream sauce.

Raw asparagus gets sliced up (turns out I have lived 29 years on this planet without realising HOW GOOD BARELY COOED, CRUNCHY ASPARAGUS IS?!) and tossed with the cream sauce, sliced red onion and the pasta before a splash of rice vinegar gets added for some extra zing. 

The final dish gets topped with seasoned nori sheets (often eaten as healthy snack), thinly sliced for lots of crunch, and a good helping of corse sea salt. 

The flavours once put together are outstanding, I can't quite describe why, but all the unusual elements create something quite special when fused  and make it one of the best and most interesting pasta creations I have made in my time in the kitchen. 

Leave the doubts to one side, find your nearest organic or Asian supermarket for the more niche ingredients and make this for dinner asap. You won't regret it.


  • 20 grams of seasoned toasted nori (I got this from my local organic supermarket)
  • 2 (4-inch) squares dasima or kombu (dried kelp) - again available at most Asian supermarkets and organic shops
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 500g rigatoni 
  • 1 ½ cups double cream 
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 
  • 200g fresh green asparagus, thinly sliced at an angle 
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

  • Fold the toasted nori sheets in half and, with very sharp kitchen shears or a chef’s knife, slice into thin strips. 
  • Set aside for serving. 
  • In a large pot, combine 1 Kombu square with 8 cups cold tap water. 
  • Bring the water to a boil and season with the kosher salt. 
  • Tumble in the pasta and cook for half the time the package tells you is al dente. 
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. 
  • Drain the pasta, then add it back to the pot. (Discard the Kombu.) 
  • Add the remaining Kombu square, cream, red onion, garlic, black pepper and reserved pasta water to the pasta. 
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. 
  • Stirring occasionally, cook the pasta until the onion-infused cream has thickened significantly, thinly coating the noodles, 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat. 
  • Add the vinegar and asparagus, and stir to combine for 1 minute. 
  • The residual heat from the pasta will gently cook the asparagus to tender-crisp. 
  • Divide the pasta among serving dishes, discarding the Kombu, and top with the reserved nori strips and a big sprinkle of flaky sea salt. 
  • Serve immediately, before the nori wilts and turns soggy.

Thursday 15 April 2021


I am a big fan of aubergines in most recipes anyways but this super spicy and fragrant dish,which was inspired by my favourite Thai restaurant in London, Rosa's Thai, elevates this vegetable into something quite outstanding and very memorable! 

Perfect as light lunch for one, as main with rice, as side dish and generally when you need to wow and wake up your tastebuds a little!


  • 1 medium aubergine
  • Corn flour
  • Sunflower oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2–3 red chillies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chilli paste (available from Asian supermarkets)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • Large handful of Thai basil (available at Waitrose)

  • Slice your aubergine into chunks then lightly coat each chunk with corn flour. 
  • Fry in a pan with sunflower oil until golden brown and set them aside. 

  • Pound the garlic and chillies together using a mortar and pestle.
  • Heat the oil in a wok set over a high heat, then stir-fry the garlic and chilli mixture until golden brown.
  • Add the roasted chilli paste, stir well, then mix in the aubergine chunks.
  • Be gentle so they don’t break into pieces.
  • Add the sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and chicken stock. 
  • Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes
  • Stir in the basil leaves and remove from the heat.
  • ENJOY!

Tuesday 13 April 2021


WOW, WOW, WOW. There are great home cooked dishes and then there are those rare cooking efforts that are truly restaurant worthy and this flavour packed green risotto with a wonderful roast hazelnut, parmesan and sesame oil pesto and the most creamy yet tangy whipped goats cheese is just that! 

Outdoor restaurant dining may be possible again in the UK from this week but if you haven't managed to get a booking, popular restaurants are literally booked out till June (or when the next lockdown will hit as the cynic in me thinks), this a pretty spectacular dish to serve up your nearest and dearest for an al fresco dinner in your garden, on your balcony or wherever you can find a bit of outdoor space close to your kitchen so you can host while being Covid safe of course!


Serves 2


  • 50g kale, any tough stalks removed
  • 50g green aspargus
  • 50g fresh parsley
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan 
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few drops toasted sesame oil
  • Dash red wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 450-550ml vegetable stock
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 50g butter
  • Juice ½ lemon


  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • To make the green purée, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the kale and asparagus for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. 
  • Put in a blender or food processor with the parsley, spinach, olive oil and plenty of seasoning, then blend until smooth.
  • For the hazelnut pesto, put the nuts on a lipped baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden. 
  • Cool a little, then coarsely chop by hand..
  • Put in a small bowl and stir in the grated cheese, olive oil, sesame oil and vinegar. 
  • Season to taste and set aside.
  • For the risotto, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan. 
  • Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until softening but not coloured. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  • Stir in the rice and cook for another minute, then pour in the wine and let it bubble until almost completely reduced.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the vegetable stock until simmering. 
  • Add the stock to the rice (you might not need it all), a ladleful at a time, stirring. 
  • Let the rice absorb most of the added stock before adding the next ladleful.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the goat’s cheese, cream and a glug of olive oil until smooth. 
  • Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  • Once the rice is al dente (cooked but with some bite), stir in the green purée and warm through. 
  • Stir in the butter to give the risotto a shine, then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. ry.
  • Divide the risotto among serving plates and top with dollops of goat’s cheese and a scattering of pesto. ENJOY!

Thursday 8 April 2021


This sweet potato curry is literally comfort in a bowl and pretty healthy and nutrient packed at the same time!

I love the fragrant broth in which the sweet potatoes and lentils cook, made from a mix of coconut milk, peanut butter and red Thai curry paste. 

Then there are the crispy chickpeas, pan fried with soy sauce and sesame seeds, which offer the most amazing finishing touch to a dish that is rustled up in less than 30 minutes but taste better than any takeaway curry, plus you know what goes in it! 

And to make it even more of a crowd please if you leave out the fish sauce and this is also totally vegan friendly.

The perfect supper dish now that we are back to winter temperatures for the time being!

Serves 2 generously 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce (or extra soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 rounded tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped plus more for serving
  • cooked rice for serving
  • pomegranate seeds for serving 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 
  • When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and cook 3 minutes until soft. 
  • Add the ginger and sweet potatoes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in the curry paste and cook another minute. 
  • Add the 3 cups broth, lentils, fish sauce, soy sauce, and peanut butter. 
  • Bring the mix to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. 
  • Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the sweet potatoes tender. 
  • Meanwhile, make the chickpeas. 
  • Heat a large, high frying pan over medium heat. 
  • Add the 2 tablespoons oil and the chickpeas. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas are crisped all over, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the soy sauce and sesame seeds, tossing to combine. 
  • Cook 1 minute, remove from the heat.
  • When the lentils are cooked, stir in the coconut milk, spinach, and lime juice, cook 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat and add the coriander. 
  • To serve, divide the rice among bowls and ladle the curry overtop. 
  • Top with chickpeas, coriander, and pomegranate seeds. 
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday 6 April 2021



These little vegan, veggie packed bao buns are super fun to make and look rather impressive. Even better they taste like the real deal, packed full of fresh flavours and with buns that have a lovely pillow like texture!

Don't be intimidated by the cooking steps and dough assembly involved, they don't have to end up looking perfect to taste insanely good and I loved learning how to achieve a proper Chinese bun like texture by both pan frying and steaming the buns!

A perfect weekend project while we await for the outdoor hospitality to reopen next week in the UK!


  • ⅔ cup warm water approx. 95°F (35°C)
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar optional
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour + more for dusting

Veggie Filling
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil ⁣ for frying
  • 1 stick leek finely chopped
  • 7 oz white cabbage shredded
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 7 oz smoked tofu finely chopped (or sub mushrooms, *see notes)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp sriracha

For frying & steaming
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup water

To serve
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp  honey
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sriracha or sambal oelekoptional


Making the dough
  • Mix the yeast with the water and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for around 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. 
  • Pour in the water with yeast slowly and stir with a chopstick (or wooden spoon) until it clumps together. Transfer to a work surface and knead with your hands (or use a mixer with dough hooks) until a smooth and soft dough forms, about 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rest for about 45 minutes, or until the ball has doubled in size.

Preparing the filling
  • Heat the oil in a pan and finely chopped mushrooms. 
  • Add the leek, cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender.
  • Then add the soy sauce, salt and sriracha to taste. 
  • Mix well and set aside to cool.

Assembling the buns
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and knead it briefly to remove all air bubbles.
  • Then roll it into a long log and cut into 10 pieces (or more for smaller buns). 
  • Work with one piece at a time and cover the rest with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Flatten one piece of dough with your palm and roll it into a round wrapper with thinner edges, about 4.7-inch (12 cm) in diameter.
  • Add about 2-3 tablespoons of filling to the center, then fold the bun up and around the filling, making sure to seal the top. 
  • Repeat until all the buns are assembled.

Cooking the buns
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. 
  • Place the buns in the pan with the pinched-side up (make sure to not overcrowd the pan!), 
  • and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Once the bottoms are golden-brown and crispy, flip them over and carefully, pour in ¼ cup of water to create steam. 
  • Immediately cover the pan, reduce to low heat and allow buns to steam for about 10 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
  • Remove from pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the dipping sauce as desired. Enjoy!