THE BEST CHINESE FOOD IN THE WORLD at My Old Place, Liverpool Street, London

I think it’s fair to say that My Old Place in Liverpool Street is THE BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT IN THE WORLDDishes
WHEN:
I last went Friday 28th but have been here over 10 times in the past 2.5 years
WHERE: 88-90 Middlesex St, London E1 7EZ // 020 7247 2200
WHY: Why what? Why is it the best Chinese restaurant in the world? You should go for yourself and find out why.

I cannot explain (or put into a blog post) the happiness I get when I am at this restaurant. I have been to this place over 10 times and never have I been disappointed (apart from the time I ordered the scallops – don’t ever do that)

The menu is crazy, its a small NOVEL and has so many dishes that couldn’t be more un-westernised – your local take-away’s favourites will either not be in here or they will be written completely differently.

It’s probably easiest if I quickly run through the best dishes I’ve had/can remember…

Dry fried sweet & sour porkIn my local take-away this is called “sweet & sour pork Hong Kong style”
I’m not sure I can say anything to do this dish justice. It is sweet, sticky, delicious, well cooked, not too heavy, a great amount of pork. More than 4 of you eating and you will probably need 2 portions!

Green beans with minced lamb and garlic
Small green beans covered in garlic and yep, you guessed it, minced lamb (and a bit of chili). The beans are so perfectly cooked and the garlic is not bitter/over powering at all. This is a truly delicious dish. Again – more than 4 of you eating and you will probably need 2 portions!  You can see the marvellous little eating utensils you get alongside the green beans below..

Plate and beans

Sizzling beef filet in black pepper sauce
Beautiful small pieces of beef (not a beef filet as you would imagine) in a lovely black pepper sauce where the black pepper does not over power. Great amount of veg also.

Prawn fried noodles (they also do chicken and other meats)
Just your standard egg noodles – nothing too exciting but tasty and a great dish to accompany the more dominant flavours. All of the rice’s are great also!

Lamb skewers
These are the Chef’s speciality apparently – I can never seem to find them on the menu but if you ask for them then they usually know what you mean! They do run out of them a lot so be warned they may not be available when you go

Sizzling beef, green beans, fried boodles & dry fried pork and some happy thumbs up

Sizzling beef, green beans, fried noodles & dry fried pork and some happy thumbs up

The staff are extremely rude here, by far the rudest I have ever dealt with (they even hung up on me when I tried making a booking last time) but don’t let this put you off. The food is too good to worry about what is going on around you!

It is also very, very cheap. 4 dishes and a rice along with a bottle of house wine will cost you about £15 each and you will be truly full up (the I-can’t-physically-move type of full up)

Also – they won’t take bookings under 4 people and there normally a small queue. But who doesn’t love to queue for food? ; )

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SOME GREAT BURGERS at Greedy Cow, Mile End, London

Man I love burgers, like really, really love burgers. So when I found out there was a great burger place 3 MINUTES walk from my new flat I was overwhelmed with excitement.

WHEN: Monday 3rd March 2014
WHERE: Greedy Cow, 2 Grove Rd, London E3 5AX
WHY: Mr A wanted to treat me to a meal and I was HUNGRY

The décor is stylish and nice, nothing amazing but not bad so just nice really. The staff were great, very attentive as soon as we walked in – they were please we had booked, it got very busy when we were in there.

The menu is one big piece of trendy A3 paper. Lots to take in but clearly set out. It seems that all of the burgers come with only one or two toppings, extras are available but these are all priced at £1.65 (£1.65 for guacamole!?!) Annoyingly I think they need to re-visit that pricing structure.

We chose the Prawns & Sweet Chili Sauce and Olives to start. Both were nice, again nothing amazing – the prawns seemed a little out of place in hindsight and didn’t really suit the vibe/taste of the menu. Also the olives were supposed to come ‘with mushrooms’ but alas there were no mushrooms to be seen (MAYBE THERE WASN’T MUSH-ROOM IN THE POT? EH EH)

Olives and Menu

I ordered the Italian burger after about 5 minutes of discussing with the waiter if Beef and Parma Ham actually work together. Mr A was a little more adventurous and went for the Camel burger.

My burger arrived pretty well dressed but Mr A’s actually had nothing apart from some mayo – we were told any sauces would have “ruined the taste of the camel”. It looks like just a plain beef burger so I won’t be uploading a photo of that…but you can see my beautiful Italian burger below!
Italian Burger

We got some chips also that were…okay. I like it when they leave the skin on and they didn’t here which was a real shame (being rustic is trendy you know!)

For dessert we got some BANOFFEE PIE and it was so very tasty.

Dessert

I did really enjoy my meal here but it didn’t blow my socks off…it’s got a long way to go to be up there with Meat & Liquor and Patty & Bun but Greedy Cow is amazing for where it is and the value (the meal around £45 which is great for two people with booze!)

Check the website out HERE

(Lebanese) Meza, Tooting Bec, London

There’s no better place to award my first review to than to the truly amazing Meza in Tooting Bec.

A quick background: Lebanese tapas as I like to call it. Tucked away on Trinity street in Tooting Bec SW17, Meza can only seat 17 people at any one time and the kitchen is basically part of the restaurant (with 3 out of the 17 seats being on a bar that looks into it)
Bookings are hard to get and they have 2 sittings every evening, one at 7pm and one at 9pm.

The food is just unreal, you can tell that the chefs are well experienced and take great care in their work – which can be hard to come by with Lebanese food!
Selection of food

I have visited Meza near on 10 times now so it is probably easiest if I give you a run down of my favourite dishes (and if you have any sense you will be sure to order these when you visit)..

Hummus Awarma (hummus with walnuts and diced lamb)
The walnuts and the small amount of diced lamb contrast the hummus perfectly. I find hummus can be a little sickly/rich sometimes (especially if ‘home made’) but the addition of the walnuts and diced lamb balances the flavours perfectly – great for a starter…and a main…and to pick at when your done actually.

Grilled Kallaj (melted Haloumi in flatbread)
I’d suggest 1 serving for 2 people as this is so delicious (me and my friends always get 1 per person but that could be seen as greedy). Absolutely no squeak on the Haloumi and just the perfect amount of melting – the bread is so light you can eat bowl after bowl and still be ready to conquer your main! (Honestly, this could be my most favourite thing in the world)
Falafel

Falafel
A falafel made properly! Suitable for gluten free-ers, these falafels are made pan fried crushed pine nuts and no flour. Very delicious and give you a real taste for the authentic middle eastern flavours.

Mixed Grill
This is perfect when you can’t choose which meat to go for. Particularly good dish if there is a party of 2, 3 or 4. It covers all of the best meats and the portion size is great.

Soujouk (Garlic and chilli lamb sausages)
Beautiful ‘mini’ sausages with the right kick, they compliment the otherwise non-spicy foods that I find take over this menu (I’m not complaining though, I annoyingly can’t ever tolerate the mild at Nando’s. I am working on this though!)

The service can be a little slow at times but the staff are always so cheery and happy to assist. The staff here are always honest and tell you if you have ordered too much food – that is one thing I love in a restaurant and can be hard to come across.

Both the white and the red wine are house Lebanese wines. The red is so so tasty (better than the white I feel and I am normally a white drinker) One bottle will cost you £15 think it may be £17 now though?), a
price that will make any hangover a little more bareable. If you prefer to drink by the glass the prices are still great. Also,  they don’t tend to measure out their glasses – meaning you always get a little more than expected! (N.B. Pouring wine into a metal measuring thing before it goes into your glass is one of my pet hates – bluegh!)

When combining the cost, service, quality of food, quality of wine and authenticity of the menu/venue, I think I can go as far as saying this is my favourite restaurant. (!!!) I am never, ever(!) disappointment and my bank balance is always happy enough after a visit there!

See, there we are, taking up half of the restaurant

See, there we are, taking up half of the restaurant

WHERE: 34 Trinity Road, London, SW17 7RE
WHEN: I last went about a year ago *sad face*…I lived in Tooting for almost 2 years and went around once a month. I am hoping to visit soon (after my move east!) and will update with new points when this happens..

A handy link to the menu online…http://www.zomato.com/london/meza-tooting/menu