Gyoza Bar

It had been a while since I had been out to dinner in Covent Garden – I find it’s full of chains so tend to go to Soho or towards Fitzrovia. Covent Garden has changed with lots more upcoming restaurants….one of the latest additions is: Gyoza Bar.

This new Covent Garden spot serves gyoza (surprise!) – with plenty of bar seating around the big open kitchen so you can watch the dumpling creation in action.  Gyoza are small dumplings stuffed with your choice of meats, salmon or vegetables and topped off with chilli oil, soy or garlic vinegar before being steamed, pan fried or deep fried.

In addition,  there’s lots of Japanese-inspired tapas style dishes including ramen and bao buns, but obviously gyoza are the stars of the show here.

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Apart from the tasty veg gyoza, we had the Japanese sweet potato and lenkon chips. For mains I had the veg ramen which was served with spring onion, stem broccoli, beansprout, inari sweet tofu. The veg ramen was delicious and definitely worth choosing if you go here.

The restaurant is clean and minimalist, with the focal point being the open kitchen. It’s a good place for a quick meal after work but not one I’d rush back to.

 

 

cheese, chilli and garlic mushroom omelette

Omelettes are a fantastic brunch, lunch or even dinner option – so simple, easy to make and very filling. Plus you can adapt it to your taste and what’s in season.

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My daughter loves a cheesy omelette as a lunch option so we decided to join her by adapting the recipe to make it more tasty.

  • butter
  • sliced mushrooms – one pack is enough
  • chopped spring onions
  • finely chopped red chilli
  • finely sliced garlic clove
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • handful of rocket

Heat butter in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms until most of their liquid has evaporated. Add spring onion, chilli and garlic to the mixture and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper and put aside.

Wash the pan and add butter before pouring in the beaten eggs. Season and cook gently. When the omelette is almost set, sprinkle over the cheese then spoon over the mushroom mix until the cheese melts. Add the rocket and put onto a plate.

Cream cheese on toast with strawberries, honey and granola

I was suitably envious when I saw the lovely Vikki Chowney posted a delicious breakfast dish and had to try it.

Here’s my version:

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  • Griddled bread – we used a french baguette and toasted it with a little butter on both sides
  • Once toasted, spread some cream cheese or ricotta
  • Slice strawberries on top
  • Add a generous sprinkle of Granola – Lizi’s granola is super tasty
  • Drizzle of honey on top

Vikki’s recipe used ricotta and orange marmalade but I didn’t have either so used cream cheese.

This toast has it all: crunchy bread, creamy cheese, sweet strawberries, luscious honey, and crunchy granola to round it all off.

Bon appetit!

Family celebrations at Dishoom – Brunch

For my dad and my birthday celebrations, we decided to go for brunch to Dishoom. I’ve been to Dishoom several times but mainly for dinner and have had brunch here once.

Based on the Irani cafes in Mumbai run by Iranian immigrants,  Dishoom is Indian as can be seen by the ethnic origin of the dishes listed on the menu, but it’s ‘evolved Indian’, which offers a hint of Bombay’s famous street grills and food stalls including paneer tikka, biryanis, pau bhaji and filled rotis. It’s a popular lunch and dinnertime venue with various Mumbai style dishes and there’s often a really long queue so I was glad to see that you can book for breakfast.

We started with the bottomless chai – hot and beautifully spiced made with ginger and pepper and spices. After lots of chai, we ordered our dishes.

I knew what I was going to order from the beginning – egg naan roll where the naan comes wrapped around two fried eggs with runny yolk, chilli jam, cream cheese and coriander with a side of mushrooms. We ordered: Kejriwal, chilli cheese toast and eggs, Keema per eedu, pau served with chicken kheema, chicken livers, fried egg and sali crisp chips, The big Bombay – Full english with masala beans and a Bombay Omelette which is an omelette of chopped tomato, onion, coriander and green chilli.  Reya had the bun muska and a fried egg.

The food came quickly and was super tasty. Our dishes had the perfect combination to mix traditional Bombay Irani food with the classic British breakfast. In particular my egg naan roll was sweet with a hint of chilli.

I loved the brunch and it was great to try something different. Dishoom has a delightfully vintage ambiance and is really buzzing for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Japanese junk food pop-up Shackfuyu

It’s been almost a year since I last blogged – work has been crazy and I haven’t had any time. But I promised I’ll get back to it starting with this lunch trip to Japanese pop-up!

During Easter, we ventured into town to walk around, mooch and have a late lunch. We headed to Soho for lunch and were torn between Hoppers and Shackfuyu. Unfortunately Hoppers had a one hour wait so we went to: the Japanese junk food pop-up with on-trend fusion food, cocktails and a rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere – Shackfuyu!

The idea behind Shackfuyu is to “playfully highlight foods current in Japan today”, with influences from Korea and China. The lunch food menu was extensive for pop-up with lots of options for vegetarians and of course Neil had lots of meat dishes to choose from.

I opted for the Miso aubergine which was a standout dish – it’s made with four types of miso and bubu arare. One thing missing was a dish with the bao buns for veg. But the chef was really accommodating and he was more than happy to send me the buns to go with my starter.

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Neil ordered the chashu pork and apple sauce which he said was the best bao bun he’s ever had and very tasty. We also ordered the hot stone rice dish – the chef made a veg version so it’s worth asking for this. This is based on Korea’s bibimbap mixed-rice dish. The food was tasty and really filling. We also ordered the sweet potato fries but cancelled these as were too full!

But the highlight of the lunch was the Kinako French Toast with Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream. This show-stopper dessert is said to be the dish you absolutely need to leave room for. But it’s huge – so easy to share between two. The waiter also gave Reya a cup with ice-cream.

Overall, Shackfuyu is a great place to visit in Soho’s trendy food scene – a perfect for a meal with friends, great for drinks and the best dessert.

Breakfast at Hubbarb & Bell

It seems like having brunch or breakfast in hotels is now the done thing in London! Hubbard & Bell London is the café/restaurant located inside the Soho House Group’s newest hotel – Hoxton Hotel, which confusingly, is located in Holborn. It’s very New York style with an open plan lobby – a perfect spot for creative types to work with their macs. Tucked at the back of the lobby is the Hubbard and Bell oozing a chilled diner feel with long wooden table, leather booths and white brick walls.

Instead of my usual french toast or the full english, I opted for something a little different – the sourdough pancakes with browned sugar and pineapple. My dining partner opted for the Eggs Benny. The portions were generous and the pancakes were really tasty. The menu also had lots of choices for pressed juice, and hot drinks!

This combination of food and drink was honestly heavenly. And rest of the menu looked so great, I will be back soon to try out more. The service was quick and there was a cool atmosphere.Hubbard & Bell is cosy, fun and good value.

I will be returning and if you are around Holborn and fancy a delicious breakfast then I highly recommend making a visit.

Banana bread

IMG_9144Every house has bananas that have gone ripe…I hate throwing food like that away so always make a banana loaf when the bananas have become ripe. It’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t have too much sugar so I used the BBC Good Food one and combined with a few extra ingredients to make it tastier so we can all enjoy…

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g soft margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • Chopped almonds
  • 2 spoons of honey
  • 3 tsp of baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Butter or line with baking parchment a cake tin – any is fine
  2. Put flour, sugar, honey, margarine and eggs into a bowl. Blend with wooden spoon or whisk until well mixed.
  3. Peel the bananas and mash. Stir into flour mixture with the baking powder and almonds.
  4. Put into prepared tin, and bake for 1 hour. If necessary cover with foil to prevent burning. Test with a skewer to see if the cake is done. Turn out onto wire rack to cool a little before cutting.
  5. Stores well for 2-3 days or longer, sealed, in the fridge.