Showing posts with label Restaurant Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurant Review. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Enjoying live Music and Pizza at Pizza Express

I love eating out in London, there are so many restaurants and places to eat at. However one of my all time favorite place to eat is at Pizza Express. I love their thin crust pizzas and the fact that they have gluten free and vegetarian options too is ideal. Pizza express restaurants are dotted all around London, however on my recent visit to Greenwich I visited the newly refurbished Pizza Express restaurant in Greenwich.

The restaurant which is in the  heart of historic Greenwich in London, close to the Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark and Greenwich Park is spread over two floors. It is tastefully decorated to bring out the character of the building with large graphics art work showcasing the architecture of the area which is set within the world heritage site.

In the basement, there is a bar and seating area and every Thursday evenings the restaurant runs a live playlist where you can enjoy live contemporary music played by local artists whilst having a drink or two and enjoying a tasty pizza. I was totally impressed with the new autumn menu, which has a few new vegetarian options added, this is a definite thumps up from me since I am a vegetarian.

My evening at Pizza express was very enjoyable, I had the Brushetta for starters whilst my friends tucked into a meaty platter of cold meat, olives, pickled peppers, flatbreads and dips.

Having a spicy palate, for the main course I ordered the Leggera Pollo ad Astra which is under under 600 calories. The pizza has a topping of chicken, light mozzarella, sweet Peppadew peppers, tomato, Cajun spices, garlic oil and red onion. however being vegetarian I asked if they could make it without the chicken and they agreed. The pizza has a hole in the centre which is served with a green salad. It was delicious and the salad had a lovely tasty dressing on it.

My friends ordered the Caponata Pizza which is new on the menu.It was topped with fried aubergine cooked with green olives,tomatoes, onion, capers, oil and vinegar and topped with buffalo mozzarella and tomato and finished with Gran Milano cheese and fresh basil.

Another friend who eats a gluten free diet enjoyed the gluten free dough balls and the Broad Bean Rigatoni which has broad beans, spinach and vegetarian Pecorino in a creamy white wine sauce, with gluten-free rigatoni, finished with Gran Milano cheese, pesto and fresh parsley

I was totally full and declined the offer of dessert, although my friends did recommend the new sticky toffee pudding on the Autumn menu which apparently was amazing and I regretted not ordering it. In fact it was so delicious that I caught my friend capturing it on camera. I guess I have  all the more reason to return for another meal. I finished my meal with a cup of latte.

The evening was totally different from my previous Pizza Express visits as the live music was a lovely added touch that made the evening more enjoyable.
I was a guest at Pizza Express Greenwich and all the views expressed are of my experience of the meal.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Chakra ~ Contemporary Indian Fine Dining

Over the years I have eaten at many Indian restaurants in and around London, offering varied regional cuisines such as Nepalese, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali food. Most of the restaurants offer a large menu and dishes are always prepared and served in a very traditional and authentic way. However at my recent visit to Chakra in Holland Street, near High st Kensington with my two friends Heidi and Manjiri, I was totally taken back at how different it was compared to other Indian Restaurants. Chakra have 15 years of experience behind them, they have used creativity and flair from artisan chefs and given Indian food a modern fine dining twist.

The restaurant is fairly small and decorated in a contemporary decor, the menu is select and we were intrigued to sample many of the dishes as they were indeed unusual.

We nibbled over mini poppadoms and drinks whilst we browsed through the menu.

The tropical fruit mocktail was colourful and very refreshing and a perfect start to the meal.

The menu is fairly concise but each dish sounded amazing, Chakra has taken the traditional Indian dishes served in Indian restaurants and given them a very fusion twist. Being a vegetarian I opted for the vegetarian starters whilst my friends ordered the chicken. We ordered 4 starters to share, Each was beautifully presented, cooked to perfection  and tasted amazing.

Sweet Potato & Pea Open Samosas & Tamarind Chutney- this starter was a twist of the pastry filled triangular samosas. It was beautifully garnished with fresh edible flowers.

The other three starters were equally nice. TheSpinach Galouti, Baby Spinach Fritters, Radish & Spinach Salad was beautifully seasoned and the spinach fritters were so moreish , I could have easily eaten a plateful.The Tandoori Paneer, Basil & Mint Chutney was ok although I felt that the flavour was a little bland as the paneer was cut in large chunks and the marinade did not reach inside.

I did not eat the Chicken Tikka, Mint & Coriander Spices & Chilli Chutney as I am vegetarian although my friends really enjoyed it.

For my main course I selected the Meloni dhal, this is urad dhal slow cooked with aromatic spices until it was rich and creamy, steamed rice rice and the purple potato and ivy gourd curry which was cooked with onions and tomatoes.We also ordered the raita  and basket of partha and nan breads to share which complimented the main course beautifully.

My friends chose to have the seafood biryani, the tandoori poussin and sides of sweet potato and okra which was cooked with onions, chilli and lime. Both of them gave the thumbs up for the dishes.

After eating such lovely starters and mains we had a little break before ordering desserts. Both Heidi and I opted for the Mango Kulfi served with fresh mango and mango sauce, whilst Manjiri opted for the Gulab Jamun Caviar with pistachio toast and cardamom cream.

The mango kulfi was served in the most unusual way, small slices of kulfi balanced on shot tubes filled with mango sauce were really delectable and the fresh mango was both sweet and tart giving you a refreshing flavour in your mouth.

The Gulab jamun caviar is something I was totally mesmerised with.Traditional gulam jamuns are walnut sized round balls soaked in sugar syrup, the gulab jamun caviar has the same flavour but were a work of art and patience.They were pea sized and served in a little caviar tin.We finished our meal with masala tea, coffee and mint tea.

In all our dinner at Chakra was very pleasant.We were guests of Chakra and all opinions and photos shared are of my own experience of the meal.

Ambience - 3.5/5
Service- 3.5/5
Food- 4.5/5
Total score 11.5/15

Monday, 23 May 2016

A bloggers meet and review of Karaam Lebanese Restaurant Ealing

Through the world of blogging I have made many on line friends whilst visiting their blogs to chatting to them on social media. There are some bloggers that I have met in person at blog events and many have become really good close friends. Last Friday I met up with Jagruti from Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey. We came to know each other about 4 years ago and from time to time we meet up for lunch or go shopping together, we both share the same obsession for collecting blog props.

On Friday we went to Ealing, it was lovely to meet and catch up with gossip and look around our favorite shops. We had lunch at Karaam a Lebanese Restaurant in Ealing Broadway. Karaam has a very casual cafe style decor with wooden tables and some Middle Eastern artefacts on the walls. It is the perfect place to have a casual lunch. When we arrived luckily the lunch time rush had not started and we had full choice of tables to sit at. Being food bloggers we chose to sit at a table that had lots of natural light so that we could take some food photos.

Both of us love Lebanese food and were excited to look at the menu to select  some dishes that we had not tried before.Whilst we sipped on a chilled Lebanese drink called Jallap made from dates, raisins and rose essence,we browsed through the menu as to what vegetarian options they had and also asked the waitress for recommendations about some of the unfamiliar dishes.

We opted to choose a selection of side dishes to share instead of mains as this way we could sample a little of everything.We ordered Makdous which is a dish made from preserved baby aubergines stuffed with walnuts. The preserved aubergines had a salty, tangy bite and the walnut, chilli and garlic stuffing gave the aubergines a wonderful flavour leaving your mouth salivating for another bite. Don't shy away from the shrivelled up look they tasted amazing.

We also tried the Batala Harra Meal which was a platter with hummus, Batata harra (spicy fried potatoes), Falafel, Tabbouleh and Cheese roll (filo pastry spring roll with cheese as the filling.) The Batata Harra, which I usually adore was a little disappointing, it was bland and lacked the flavour we had expected, however the tabbouleh was delicious and very aromatic with the herbs.

Also on the menu was a side dish called Fatayer which we ordered. Fatayer were mini pastry parcels with a lovely spinach and onion filling. The pastry was light and simply melted in the mouth and the spinach and onion filling was really well seasoned and tasted delicious.

The final dish we ordered was the Mousaka'a Betinjan. Having never tried this dish before we were unsure what to expect. When the dish arrived it was an aubergine and chickpea stew with boiled rice.The stew was quite watery and sadly we did not enjoy it as much as all the other dishes.

Each dish was different in taste and flavour, however Both Jagruti and I were in full agreement that the Makdous and the Fatayer definitely stole the show, as they were really tasty and flavoursome and we could easily have eaten more of the same. Being food bloggers we were both intrigued to find out how they were created, unfortunately we did not really get a opportunity to chat to the owner or the waitress so find out the secret recipes!!!

We ended our lunch with a latte and Lebanese coffee which was served in an authentic Lebanese copper pot. Both Jagruti and I had our eyes on the pot which was gorgeous.It would make the perfect food prop!!! We did not sample any desserts so I am not sure what was on the menu.

Food - 4 / 5
Ambiance - 3 /5
Service - 3 / 5

Score - 10  / 15

We would like to convey our thanks to Karaam for inviting us to lunch and Emerz for organising it all. We were guests of Karaam and did not pay for our meal, all the views and opinions shared in this post are of our personal experience.

You can read Jagruti's review here

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Khushi Nepalese Restaurant review

I have been blogging for a number of years and  through the blogging network I have been fortunate to have made a number of lovely like minded friends who share my passion for food. I love meeting up with them whenever I get a chance so that we can catch up with each other share tales of our culinary adventures and have a fun meet up. This Friday I met up with Heidi from Heidi Roberts Kitchen Talks and Fiona from London unattached for a meet up at a Khushi Nepalese restaurant a stone's throw away from Boston Manor Underground Station.

Khushi is a Nepalese Restaurant, tastefully decorated in authentic Nepalese Artefacts with a warm and welcoming ambience. On arrival we were promptly greeted and seated at our table to enjoy drinks and poppadoms with chutneys whilst we looked through the menu.The restaurant has a wine list and my friend Fiona really enjoyed the white wine Spritzer but Heidi and I stuck to soft drinks and salted lassi since we were both driving.

Although I have visited many Indian restaurants, I had never eaten at a Nepalese restaurant so I was keen to sample traditional Nepalese dishes rather than Indian dishes familiar to me. For starters the waiter recommended Momo's, which I had never eaten before. These are steamed dumplings with an array of spicy fillings. My friends Heidi and Fiona tried the chicken and lamb, whilst I chose the vegetarian option. The momos were served with a love spicy dipping sauce and I enjoyed them tremendously.

For the main course there were many Indian/Nepalese dishes on offer but we all decided to try the Nepalese Platters. There were two types one with Dhal, Bhaat (Rice) and Takari(curry) and the second one was the Newari Bhway. I chose the vegetarian option of the Nepali platter whilst Heidi had the non veg with chicken. Fiona opted for the Newari Bhway, a  typical Newari Feast with spicy soya bean, beaten Rice, vegetables, moola/aloo achar and chhoyela (spicy lamb) served on dried leaves plate.

We also tried the side dishes of govi bhajee (cauliflower) and mushroom bhajee all served with stuffed porotha- a flat bread stuffed with spicy potato and herb filing and naan bread.The dishes were all aromatic and delicious.They were beautifully presented in Nepali style authentic brass serving plates and bowls and dried leaf plate.(Since I am prop obsessed I only wish the restaurant had given us the platters and the serving cups to take home, they were something that I could not keep my eyes off.) The feast was indeed delicious and there was plenty left over for a doggy bag to take home too.We were so full we did not even look at the dessert menu although I am not sure there was one.

Food 4 / 5
Ambiance 4.  /5
Service 5 / 5

Score - 13 / 15
I was an invited guest at Khushi Nepalese Restaurant together with my two friends. We did not pay for our meal and this is a recap of my personal experience at the restaurant. I would like to thank Emerz for organizing the meal and Khushi for their kind hospitality and service which was excellent.

You can find Khushi Nepalese Restaurant at:
Boston Road, Ealing, London, W7 2DG. 
0208 8401226

You can also read about Heidi's and Fiona s Experiences here:
Heidi -London Nepalese Restaurant Khushi

Fiona- Khushi Nepalese Restaurant Review

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Restaurant review Mangal 1.1

On a cold october evening, what is more welcoming than a restaurant that has log fire, low beamed ceilings, rustic tables and chairs and a warm ambience. You can find all this at Mangal 1.1  based in Shoreditch at The Comedy Cafe and Bedroom Bar at 68 Rivington St London, Greater London EC2A 3AY

The restaurant serves middle Eastern Cuisine. A variety of kebabs cooked on charcoal grills all served with warm bread and salads are a favorite with non vegetarians. The vegetarians can easily enjoy the fresh Mediterranean salads and vegetarian meze dishes and falafels.

My friend Heidi and I had the opportunity to sample the food at Mangal 1.1.We started off with some juices to wet our appetites and than munched on fresh bread served with Hummus a dip made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice, Cacik a dip made with cucumber and yoghurt, Ezme a salad of finely chopped vegetables and herbs and Patlican salad made with grilled aubergine and chopped peppers. 

All the dips with the hot bread were really delicious and a perfect start to the meal. I could have easily munched through another plate of these delicious salads and dips instead of the main course.

For our main course Heidi had the lamb shish, marinated cubes of lamb grilled on skewers served with a green us salad, she said it was delicious. 

Being a vegetarian, there were only two options to choose from; the Falafel deep fried chickpea balls or the Sebzeli Guvec which was a dish made with courgettes, aubergine, potato, green and red peppers with mozzarella cheese.

I was offered the Falafel which was served with salad and Hummus. The falafel were a little dry for my  taste, I guess this was probably from the double frying. 

For dessert we shared a plate of baklava, a sweet nut filling encased in filo pastry and drenched in sugar syrup all washed down with filter coffee. Baklava were delicious and had a very authentic flavour.

Mangal 1.1 is the perfect place to grab a quick meal after work whilst in London.
Heidi and I were invited to the Mangal 1.1 as guests to try out their food, all the views and opinions in this post are of my own experience.

Friday, 7 August 2015

La Belle Assiette dinner at Heidi's Kitchen Talks

I was recently invited to a dinner party hosted by Heidi who is a food blogger at Kitchen Talks. Heidi has a lovely blog where she writes about the produce she grows on her allotment, cooking with her grandchildren and all about her culinary travels to exotic places.

Heidi had booked with  La Belle Assiette, a company who provide a chef for the evening who will create a 3 course dinner in your own home for your guests. The chefs provide all the ingredients and plates and will prepare the meal in your kitchen for you and your guests to enjoy.You can request any type of cuisine as there are many chefs working with them. The prices start from 35 pounds per head depending on the type of cuisine and chef you book and do not include drinks.

Heidi had set the table beautifully and we all had personalised place settings  where we each had a very personalised gift for us with a name tag.You may think its strange why I had a courgette and a yellow squash but this is another story and I will share it in another post. Make sure you come back and read the post.

Our chef for the evening was Theo Michaels and he created a lovely menu for the party.However it was not suitable for me and so he created additional dishes for my vegetarian diet.

My friends enjoyed the menu below.

The vegetarian option that I was served roasted vegetables with fava yellow split pea hummus, roasted beetroot with vinegar,oil and garlic on a bed of roasted red,yellow peppers with goats cheese and a walnut and honey dressing with watercress. The starter was light and very delicious and it did not  leave you so full that you could not look look forward to the next courses.

For the main course I had roasted aubergine with feta, with a parsley and lemon topping and powdered feta garnish. I love aubergines especially when roasted and this was a win win dish for me.I really enjoyed it.

I was also served a wild mushroom risotto, with truffle powder and nuts. I love my risotto well cooked and creamy and I found that the rice was al dente and grainy and was rather salty.This was little disappointing as the first two courses were really nice.

The rest of the guests also enjoyed a palate cleanser which was a lemon sorbet made with ouzo.

The last course was a delicious platter of dessert, a ginger treacle tart with jasmine tea sugar sirop and a Matcha green tea icecream. This was a wonderful end to the meal, the richness of the tart was beautifully matched with the delicately flavoured Matcha tea icecream.

I was a guest at Heidis's party, all the views and opinions are of my own experience.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Restaurant review ~ Curry Culture

I love dining out and my ideal choice of place to eat is somewhere with soft ambiance and good food. I love being able to relax and enjoy my meal, whilst being able to chat to friends rather than have to shout at the top of my voice  to be heard in places with loud music.
Curry Culture is a lovely Indian restaurant which offers various regional cuisines from different parts of India and sub continents. It is located in Uxbridge a stones throw away from the town center. The restaurant is bright and airy, decorated in minimalist contemporary decor with lots of modern lighting.

My partner and I visited the restaurant one Sunday evening, fairly early at 6.30. The restaurant at that time was very quiet and we were able to enjoy a relaxing drink  and nibble on the poppadoms with some pickles and chutneys while we looked at the menus to select what to eat.

~ Both my partner and I are vegetarians, the menu had a large selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from. I ordered the Aloo Tikki chana chat, delicious potato patties served with chickpeas dressed in a sweet and tangy mint and tamarind chutney. My partner ordered the crunchy onion bhaji, a deep fried balls of onions, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts. The chef also surprised us with  gobi manchurian,deep fried cauliflower florets coated in a spicy indo chinese style coating. All three starters were really delicious and very tasty, I could have stopped at these and eaten them as a whole meal. The flavours were well balanced and the presentation was lovely too.

Choosing the the main course was harder, as we were really full with the starters so we decided to choose some light vegetable side dishes. Raj the owner recommended bhangain ka salan, a lovely peanutty sauce covering small pieces of succulent aubergines, matter paneer in makni sauce -this is indian cheese cubes cooked with peas in a very mild and creamy gravy and the tarka dhal, lentils tempered with cumin, ginger and chillies.

The sides were served with lovely fluffy nan bread and tandoori roti and pulau rice. Again the chef surprised us with a very unique mixed vegetable grill served smoking on a sizzler plate. There was grilled broccoli marinaded in a cheesy sauce, grilled sweet pineapple pieces, vegetable kebabs made from mashed vegetables and spinach  and tandoori paneer served on a bed of fried onions. Personally I did not enjoy the cheesy brocolli or the vegetable kebab both had a bitter after taste, but the paneer and the pineapple were delicious and had a lovely smoky barbecued taste.

The main course was delicious but we particularly enjoyed the tarka dhal and the aubergines in the peanut sauce which we would highly recommend. The menu also had a selection of desserts but we were too full to try any and decided to end the evening with some refreshing masala chai.

Our culinary experience at Curry Culture was lovely  the service was excellent. The menu is vast, and extensive catering  for vegetarian and non vegetarians The restaurant also has a large wine list and has a fully stocked bar. We really enjoyed the food, next time we go we will try to go a little later or visit on a Friday or Sat night with a group of friends as it would have been more enjoyable to have little more atmosphere and buzz in the restaurant.

Food 4 / 5
Ambiance 3.5  /5
Service 5 / 5

Score - 12.5 / 15

Curry Culture-33 Rockingham Road Uxbridge UB82TZ  01895231074

We were guests of Curry Culture and all the views and thoughts expressed in this review are of our experience and are genuine and honest.


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