Went to Manzo at Times Square, Causeway Bay with a dear friend for lunch. It was a rather hurried lunch but I enjoyed the food and service there. The waiting staff were all very friendly and even offered me free dessert! I ordered a braised beef ravioli and it came with complementary bread with a delicious roast whole garlic.
Parents came to visit and in our little shot at famous restaurants we went for Jamie’s Fifteen, the trattoria side of the restaurant.
This is what we had:
- Fifteen’s Signature Antipasti
- Radiatori with a rich pork and beef ragu, flat leaf parsley and Fontodi Estate olive oil
- Roast pork loin
- Black pepper tagliatelli with carbonara
- Vegetable filled ravioli
When we arrived we were invited to sit at the bar tables and have a drink as the trattoria hasn’t really opened yet (we arrived about 5-10 minutes before 6pm). We ended up ordering our drinks at the table as by the time we had decided on what to get the table was ready. We ordered their version of Pimm’s, which is made with Tanqueray gin instead of Pimm’s No. 1, it was delicious. (I will most probably put up a recipe on here at some point) The waitress for our table was wonderful, she was born to be a waitress — friendly, bubbly, knew what to recommend and knew all the answers to our questions. We had quite a nice time and despite hearing different things about Jamie Oliver, this restaurant proved to be a decent one and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed, casual dinner place.
Inspired by the recent visit to Wahaca, I decided to make a Mexican-style dinner. Many of you meat eaters may agree with me in that mince meat is often chewy and not tender enough unless you cook it for hours. For a quick, easy and meat-free dinner, try this recipe:
Veggie Bean Burritos
[Enough for 12 burritos, but you can always freeze the leftover once it’s cooled]
- 1 x large tin kidney beans, drained
- 1 x large tin black beans, drained
- 1 x small tin spicy refried beans, including congealed liquid in tin
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 x chillies, chopped
- Sprinkling of cocoa powder (optional)
- Plain flour/corn tortillas
- Soured cream
- Tomato salsa (on this occasion I’ve bought a burrito set from the supermarket so it was ready-made salsa)
- Handful of shredded lettuce (about half a pack of prepared lettuce leaves)
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Add in the three types of beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, chillies and water. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer. Season and reduce until thick and gooey. (I find cocoa powder helps with thickening and colouring so if you don’t mind this tasting just slightly of cocoa go ahead and add some in)
- Make guacamole while beans reduce (see guacamole recipe below)
- Heat up tortilla wraps (pierce the plastic bag and heat in microwave on full power for 35-40 seconds)
- Dish out the soured cream, salsa, lettuce and cheese in separate plates/bowls.
[enough for 1 meal of burritos; you can of course make more and store some in jars but it’s such an easy recipe I would advice against doing so as the tomatoes water a lot and the avocados will go brown]
- 1 x tomato, finely chopped
- 1 x green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 x ripe avocado, cut in cubes
- 1/2 x lime
- Mash the avocado cubes until mostly gooey but slightly chunky (you can food process it if you want a smoother texture)
- Mix in tomatoes and chillies and squeeze in half the juice of the 1/2 lime and add in some zest.
- Season with salt and pepper, mix well.
This is definitely one of my most highly rated restaurants in London. Arang is in Golden Square, Picadilly Circus (take Exit 1 at the station) and serves quite authentic Korean food.
To start with, you get given a variety of appetisers. There is kimchi, the classic Korean version of sauerkraut. Then you get a mustardy potato salad with cucumber and carrot chunks, and then marinated beansprouts.
For meat-eaters. definitely order the raw beef starter (Yuk Whe). It sounds daunting yes, but I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t like it after trying it. It is a wonderful concoction of thinly cut strips of raw beef in a tasty soy and sesame oil marinade mixed with a raw egg and sliced pear. The only way I can describe is a carnivore’s heaven.
Then order Chap Che, delicious stir-fried glass noodles with beef. The glass noodles has a really nice texture, it’s not as soft as your average noodle but at the same time totally absorbs the marinade and the seasoning.
The Jeuk Bokkeum (spicy stir-fried pork) is another must-try. It is slightly spicy but very tasty.
We then ordered deep fried beef with terriyaki sauce. The beef is so tender it’s almost like eating butter. All the beef pieces are lightly battered and the teriyaki sauce is just sweet and sticky enough to coat the beef pieces.
The staff there are always friendly and welcoming without being intrusive. We got there on time for our reservation but the people at the table before us stayed for later than they’d expected so we got offered free drinks on the house. That’s good service!
For more details (like a number to book a table there for!) go to their website http://www.arang.co.uk/
Went to Wahaca for dinner this evening, it was amazing! Everything was served to us hot and fresh, the waitress was friendly but not intrusively so.
To start with we ordered some tortilla chips with guacamole. The guacamole was fresh and was very delicious. Then we had a portion of tacos to share, it was made with soft flour tortilla wraps and beef. Then I had a British Steak Burrito for my main — the black beans were very fragrant and the beef was tender, slightly pink;
If only I had another stomach I would have ordered their churros for dessert but unfortunately I was full to the brim after having had all that tasty food!
Would definitely recommend Wahaca for anyone who loves Mexican food!
Went to Le Bouchon Breton at the Old Spitalfields Market with some friends last night followed by Albion on Shoreditch High Street for dessert.
For starters we had Salade de Tomates et Mozzarella, Les six Escargots de Bourgogne and Remoulade de Haddock et d’Endives. They were all very tasty, especially the escargots which were really well seasoned and tender.
Then for our mains, we ordered a Chateaubriand, Poisson du Jour (which was seabrill) and Steak Tartare. The Chateaubriand was cooked to perfection (we ordered it to be cooked rare and it came rare), the Béarnaise sauce was delicious; the only exception was the steak tartare which was too mustardy for my taste but it was prepared in front of us, a very nice touch!
For dessert we walked to Shoreditch High Street and ate at a nice little café restaurant called Albion. At the table we had Eton Mess, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Bakewell Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding, Apple and Blackberries Crumble. The best surprise was the pot of tea that I ordered, I would go as far as saying it was a perfect cup of tea — it was properly strong without being overpowering (I suspected it to be yorkshire tea)
I would definitely recommend these two places to whoever’s reading this. Look out for discounts at Le Bouchon Breton as well, all the things we ordered were 50% (apart from beef dishes which were only 30% off)!