Category Archives: Food

Galeto

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What is the one thing Soho has been missing? A trendy restaurant serving Brazilian street food and refreshing caipirinhas of course and now thanks to the opening of Galeto the search is over.

Located on Dean Street, the brightly-coloured restaurant is now serving up an impressive range of dishes at surprisingly reasonable prices.

There’s traditional street food to start; such as cod fish cakes, marinated chicken hearts (so much better than they sound) and spicy bean soup, and as the prices range from £1.50 – £4 you can afford to try out a few.

Move onto the mains and you can choose from a homemade burger, rump cup steak or a Galeto (£8-£12). Named after the Portuguese word “Little Chicken”, which was brought to Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s, it’s beautifully cooked. The meat is juicy and tender and has just the right amount of lightly crisped skin which is topped with dollops of creamy garlic mayonnaise.

To finish off the feast there are a selection of sweet treats which are small enough that you could possibly squeeze in two (just us?).  The passion fruit mousse is a must along with sliced bananas cooked in orange and lime and topped with vanilla ice cream (all £3.50).

Lastly the most important part of the meal – the drinks. There’s an impressive selection of wine, but for us it was all about the cocktails. Choose from a caipirinha or a caipiroska (vodka instead of cachaca) and then pick your flavour – strawberry, kiwi or acai and you’re set for the night.

Galeto is a charming new addition to Soho’s ever-expanding restaurant choices serving up a small selection of beautifully cooked dishes in a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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Min Jiang

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As far as views of London go, the sight from the top of Min Jiang in High Street Kensington, which stretches out across the park towards the London skyline, is pretty impressive.

Despite not being that high up, the hotel restaurant it’s ideally situated and a perfect viewing spot for Kensington Gardens.

Starting off with a refreshing lychee martini and a fragrant mojito I was instantly impressed by the whiter than white crisp tablecloths, gleaming clean decor, and immaculately trained waiters giving just the right amount of attention without becoming annoying.

We went for the quarter duck (order before you get your drinks as it takes 45 minutes to cook) which was the right mix of juicy, slide of the fork tender flesh and crispy, salty skin.

It was by far the best thing I’d eaten in a while especially when mixed with Min Jiang’s signature toppings such as; shredded leek, cucumber, garlic paste and crunchy sugar (it works). The rest of the duck was then bought out in a plate – we went for it minced in a spicy sauce and lettuce wraps.

This is probably enough for most people but as we were feeling pretty greedy we also went for the delicately fragranced dim sum filled with blue swimmer crab meat and a plate of very delicately crisped squid which lacked the greasy after taste or rubbery squelch you normally get left with.

Our main was a deeply blackened cod fillet which easily flaked away from the bone and was cooked with a subtle hint of ginger and a juicy succulent texture. To mix with this one we also tried a sticky rib eye beef dish with a thick deliciously rich black pepper sauce.

Finally – as with mine and Hugh’s standard track record – we ‘forced’ down two puddings – a chocolate hazelnut cake and a slightly odd creamy mango dish, which out of all the dishes on offer were the least impressive.

The clientele was largely made up of suits, salmon trousers and people staying at the hotel so we were pretty out of place but if you can look past that it’s a great view on offer with dishes, in particular the duck, which match the sights.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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London’s First Burrito App

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I love burritos, and pretty much any Mexican food going, therefore I was pretty delighted to hear that a new app has been launched today to make eating them so much easier.

Although this new piece of technology might be a bit of a catastrophe to the bikini diet, it’s a welcome addition to burrito eaters in the city.

The app comes from Poncho8 – one of the best burrito makers around – and allows customers to order a meal and pay through the smartphone app.

You can order on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and the burritos will be delivered to your address or you can collect them from the restaurant’s branches in St Paul’s, Leadenhall and Spitalfields.

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Homeslice Pizza

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I love pizza, fact, but even more so when it comes in big slabs oozing with cheese and washed down with prosecco on tap (what could be better).

Lucky then that a new pizza joint fitting all these requirements has opened and that is Homeslice Pizza, based in the Seven Dials district of Covent Garden.

You might have munched on Homeslice before when it was a available as street food but now you can sit down and take your time while feasting on the tasty pizzas and more importantly swig some beer or wine along with it (£4 each).

The best flavour (I think) is the spicy pumpkin base with bacon, soft blue cheese, organic buffalo mozzarella and fresh chives and coriander, or the tomato-based pizza with sliced bone marrow, organic buffalo mozzarella, spring onion and lemon washed watercress.

The prices are a real welcome given the location and a whole pizza costs £20 for 20 inches. Also there’s prosecco on tap (had to get a second mention) as well as double magnums of house wine with a measuring stick on the tables for customers to help themselves and only pay for what they drink (this could be dangerous).

The pizzas are made on a huge wood fire pizza oven and the place will be big enough for all your friends as it fits 50 diners.

It’ll be open on Monday 25th March and you can find out more on the website.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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The Wild Game Company

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I love occasions when I get to eat and drink with few limitations, and that’s why Struie Road is on my foodie list for this week.

It’s taking place on Saturday in Clerkenwell and it’s collaboration between Workshop Coffee Co. and The Wild Game Co., so that means some fresh, delicious coffee along with some succulent and tasty wild game. Random mix, I know, but go with it.

What’s with the name? – it’s related to a road in the Highlands where you can find some of the world’s best game and where the founder of The Wild Game Co., Andy Waugh, is from.

Expect to dig into dishes such as warm pigeon salad, Roe deer with beetroot and whisky onions and a buttermilk, rhubarb shortbread. If you’re not already salivating at the mouth – it’s all finished off with a cup of filter coffee brewed by the cup from Workshop Coffee Co.

If you’re keen you can book a table by emailing bookings@wildgameco.co.uk.

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Clockjack Oven

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The craze for chicken restaurants is clearly not dying down and the latest addition is Clockjack Oven in Soho.

It’s minutes from Piccadilly Circus on Denman Street but seems to have (so far) avoided becoming a tourist over-spill.

The food on offer is all based around chicken (obviously) and not just any chicken. Fat, juicy rotisserie chicken which tastes so fresh you expect to see the birds grazing outside. It’s different from the likes of Chicken Shop in North London because the meat here is cooked with a Tudor method on an open-flame rotisserie which leaves the chicken succulent and tender with a deliciously crispy skin.

Instead of grazing on the not so green streets of Soho, the chickens are thankfully reared in Brittany on “high quality cereals” which it turns out makes them incredibly delicious to eat.

The menu is small but nicely put together with the rotisserie chicken being the main event and I’d recommend going in a group so you get to order several of the beautifully arranged salads and sides to go along with the meat.

When it comes to the rotisserie chicken, you can get in three, four or 10-piece dishes, depending on how hungry, or greedy, you’re feeling.

I also fell head over heels in love with the Clockjack torpedo which if decency allowed I’d probably include in my daily diet. It’s a thick sandwich made of a fluffy buttermilk bun filled with chicken bites covered in ranch dressing (an obsession of mine).

Better yet – you can (and must) try the crispy chicken bites – tiny morsels of chickeny goodness fried in buttermilk and gram flour, perfect for dunking into any of the accompanying sauces.

The desert menu is minimal but perfectly adequate with the usual classics such as lemon tart and ice cream sorbets.

All in all I was pretty impressed with Clockjack. It’s a friendly place where the emphasis is on producing exceptional chicken.

It’s rare to find a good independent restaurant in this part of town which isn’t grossly expensive or rammed at the seems. Clockjack is a simple, straightforward place with, most importantly, really good roast chicken.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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Coffee workshops at Caravan

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There’s a week for just about anything nowadays but one of the best is National Coffee Week – kicking off on the 23rd April.

To mark the occasion the brilliant people over at Caravan are hosting several coffee workshops at their King’s Cross branch.

These will start on the 13th April and are a brilliant occasion to drink the black stuff and learn a little more about it.

In the latest branch there is an in-house roaster, as well as a restaurant, making it the perfect place for stocking up your coffee knowledge.

The workshops will be held by head barista, Baptiste Kreyder, who will introduce you to the different types of coffee bean, coffee production methods and let you taste individual flavour samples.

After the lesson there’s a tasting (the best part) and the coffee will be accompanied by some delicious complimentary pastries.

It costs £15 per person and classes will run fortnightly from Saturday 13th April, from 10am-11am, for up to 8 people.

You can reserve a spot by calling: 0207 101 7661.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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Tiers of Joy Afternoon Tea

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Afternoon tea is one of my favourite things in life. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savoury and the unlimited plates mean you don’t have to feel guilty about stuffing your face with finger food.

Therefore when I heard about the newest “Tiers of Joy” afternoon tea in London I thought it’d be rude not to find out a little more.

The whole shibang involves a lot of cake (natch) and the name alone suggests some pretty intense food. The best thing of all – the food for each course is served with matching Taittinger champagnes.

When it comes to the food you’ve got the usual sandwiches, such as: egg and cress, beef and horseradish and these come out with a glass of Taittinger’s original Brut Reserve (or a cup of Earl Grey).

Then it’s onto the scones and finally a delicate selection of sweets including lighter than air raspberry macaroons which will literally leave you crying with joy.

The whole thing is available at The Royal Park Hotel and costs £40.

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The Athenaeum

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Walking down Park Lane you’re almost falling over yourself with five-star hotels to visit, be it for a cocktail, afternoon tea or maybe if you’re feeling plush or in charge of an expenses card, an over night stay.

As there are so many it can be hard to pick and as most menus require you to spend a month’s budget over one meal, it’s important to pick the right place. The competition is fierce but one which has managed to retain it identity without becoming outdated is five-star The Athenaeum.

One of the best things about the hotel is its whisky bar, serving more than 270 different varieties of the amber spirit. It’s lovely and traditional and as a whisky novice, I was a little out of place, but the staff are friendly and helpful and ready to help you pick out a good drink if you’re not a connoisseur.

After a warm-up drink in the bar, my friend Rav and I tried out the hotel’s restaurant last week. It’s an elegant room, with padded chairs covered in velvet and cushions making you feel a little like royalty. The room is also set out well for intimacy as each of the tables are cleverly placed in booths leaving you quite separate from your fellow diners.

The menu is simple but successful with classic British dishes cooked well. We had the onion soup, creamy and subtly infused but nothing too special with tuna carpaccio, which was brilliantly delicate with a slightly spicy edge from the peppercorn coating.

Onto the main meals, salmon parcels with a green salad and wild mushroom risotto. The salmon was fresh and juicy wrapped in flaky pastry with spinach squished into the mix whereas the risotto, possibly a bad menu choice on Rav’s part, was pretty bland.

By this stage, after sharing a bottle of Riesling and after our initial whiskey starters, things were beginning to feel a little unbalanced. To soak up the alcohol we ploughed on to puddings and went for a squidgy chocolate pudding and a beautifully light crème brulee with crunchy shortbread biscuits on the side.

All in all the night was pleasant but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s a classic place built on tradition and everything from the décor to the food served up is based on this idea. The average age of most of the punters is around 50, so if you’re not of this age maybe find some older friends or take your parents along.

If you’re looking to go somewhere traditional it’s a strong contender in Mayfair and you won’t be left with too much of a financial hangover.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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Sophie’s Steakhouse

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London has gone steak mad recently with restaurants popping up across the city promising to serve the best-cut steak in the UK or sometimes even on the planet.

However, one steakhouse which caught my fancy is Sophie’s which can be found in Covent Garden or Chelsea.

On visiting the Covent Garden branch I was pleasantly surprised to find somewhere which kept up with the oh so high standards for steak-eating in London and gave a little bit extra.

It’s a huge restaurant and generally packed on most nights with a mix of locals, suits and tourists but don’t let this put you off. There’s also a lot of good steak on offer, a lively and exciting atmosphere and the prices aren’t as ridiculous as some meaty chains will charge you.

Starting off there’s a small selection of mini plates, with nothing that out of the ordinary. I opted for the beef Carpaccio which pretty much melted off the plate and into my mouth in a delicious delicate way. My friend went for the scallops, which again were cooked to perfection and served with pea puree to smother on top.

Next up, the steak course. You can go for something else if you want but why would you.

There’s sharing dishes such as the chateaubriand, but as a greedy person I prefer to have my own cut and went for the fillet steak while my friend had the rib eye. Both were cooked pretty much exactly how we asked, if not a tiny bit over done, and were excellent cuts of meat served with thick chips to soak up all the delicious meaty juices.

Forget pudding, the list isn’t worth a look, and go for a cocktail. There’s an extensive cocktail menu and the Covent Garden branch is open until 1am so aim to try a few.

This is not a place for an intimate dinner, it’s an open setting and packed full of people so better for a large group. As Sophie (the founder) is the daughter of Jeremy Mogford, founder of Brown’s, you can slightly see the mass-produced similarities.

But although it’s a little chainy you can’t knock the steaks. It’s not a place for meat connoisseurs but somewhere to go and have some fun while enjoying a decent, honest steak and some amazing cocktails with your friends.

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