HONEST Burgers, London

WHERE: Honest Burgers, 4 Meard Street, London, W1F 0EF (Soho Branch)
WHEN: 12/05/14
WHY: Long overdue catch-up with a good friend

I shamefully have never been to Honest Burgers, so when my friend suggested we go, naturally I was “proper buzzing”.
It feels far more humble than Meat & Liquor (whose burgers I don’t actually rate) and the door lady was very friendly…she doesn’t make you queue – she had an ingenious system of taking your name AND TELLING YOU WHEN TO COME BACK! Who’d of thought aye, an actual system that means you don’t have to stand outside in the rain like a pillock and queue for 2 hours (I’m still digging at M&L here if you haven’t guessed)
We  asked to sit outside in the rain (under an umbrella thing obviously – were not that crazy) to avoid waiting at all!

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I love love loved the menu, so simple and small (I have previously mentioned my love of small menus) and it’s on a beautiful wooden board. 

I ordered the Cheese Burger (wasn’t feeling bacon at the time) and my dinner date went for the Honest Burger. Both burgers came with rosemary salted chips (amazing!) and we got some red slaw on the side.

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The burger was absolutely incredible….I asked for medium rare, and yes, some bits were still mooing, but it was so SO tasty. Just the right amount of condiments were on it, it wasn’t too rich and the brioche bun was to die for. Sometimes ‘trendy’ burgers can be overloaded with bits and bobs and tastes and flavours, but not this baby. The rosemary chips were great too but a little too much rosemary for me.
The waitress was lovely and we had an amazing waiter come over and take our cash, he loved telling us that he had eaten 3 mistake burgers already that day!

 The bill came to….wait for it…£20.50! For two burgers with chips and a side of slaw.

We thought it was a joke, it wasn’t.

To conclude, I had a really great time at Honest burgers and thats me being honest 😉

Here’s the website – click here to check it out

The amazing Tales & Spirits – Amsterdam

WHERE: Lijnbaanssteeg 5-7, 1012 TE,  Amsterdam
WHEN: 12/04/14
WHY: We fancied a fancy meal out during our weekend in the ‘dam

A late post I know…time has run away with me and I seem to be a little behind…oops.

SO, during my wonderful trip to Amsterdam, Mr A. and I went to this utterly incredible restaurant/cocktail bar. I was recommended (more like ordered) by a friend so visit – so we managed to get a booking and hurrah! there we were, sat down in this beautiful cocktail bar hidden on a backstreet reading a small novel (which actually was the cocktail menu) Here’s a handy link to the website where most of their cocktails are listed
Tales & Spirits

We were greeted by a lovely, smiley waitress who knew my name (nice touch!) who I had actually already been texting to confirm our reservation and ask for directions.

We were sat down and given two small wooden books – these my friends where the cocktail menus. They had a small story behind each of their house cocktails and a lengthy list of other cocktails – all with a great description and quirky name. We started off with “Bird Is The Word” (rum based) and “Quiz Fizz” (gin based) which were both lavely!

Tales

The most AMAZING aperitif Pea soup arrived shortly after our cocktails – I honestly haven’t tasted anything quite like it. The texture was beautifully smooth and the flavours were so intense and rich without being too ‘pea-y’

Our lovely waitress came back and started her well rehearsed speech in how to order…the menu was slightly different to normal in the sense all of the dishes are small so you are recommended to order two each. I was confused though  because they are not like tapas – but a weird in-between main and starter. We got stuck in though and chose the following…
Hummus with asparagus, tempura, rye-sesame crumble, baby red chard and poppadums’
This particular combination of ingredients didn’t seem like they should work together, but they did, and it was all presented in a lovely (slightly random) flower pot
Risotto with sautéed wild mushroom, rocket lettuce & Parmesan
Really incredible but a little rich alongside all of the cocktails!
Beef fillet with dauphine potato, aceto reduction and Serrano crumble
The beef was cooked to perfection (as expected) and the aceto reduction was really, really great – a must have.
Mini ciabatta’s with dukkah and extra-virgin olive oil
They were mini and in a little leather sack – who wouldn’t love that!

The beef, asparagus tempura & risotto.

The beef, asparagus tempura & risotto.


*Sorry for the rubbish photos*

We didn’t go for a desert and instead ordered two ‘Zombie’ cocktails…the ‘Zombie‘ cocktail is a combination  of rum and absinthe and other stuff and limited to only two per person…I have had similar in London a few times (a well known being the ‘Grog’ in Meat & Liquor) so nothing to write home about but still damn tasty – and they set it on fire! Whey!

All in all I had a wonderful, wonderful experience  at Tales & Spirts. The décor was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the atmosphere and staff were great! The size of the portions was a little annoying and I would prefer actual dishes but that won’t stop me going back next time I am in the ‘dam.

P.S. It all came in at a cool 92 EURO so defiantly not the cheapest place to eat out. And we probably could have eaten more.

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? ; )