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.

Modern Vietnamese – House of Ho

photo (18)House of Ho is a new modern Vietnamese restaurant opened by chef Bobby Chin in the middle of Soho. (he has two other restaurants in Vietnam). The restaurant is relaxed and chic with dim lights, wooden flooring and tables for two. There are two large windows with tables looking out on to the main fare – and that’s where we were sitting!

We were advised that the whole menu is about small sharing plates and divided into Light & Raw, Hot & Grilled, Ho’s Dishes, Sides and Dessert. We were recommended to order 5 dishes between two to get a good selection.

We ordered:

  • Pickled Vegetable Rolls, Herbs and Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce – tasty crunchy fresh summer rolls
  • Stuffed Tofu with a Mushroom Medley, Cellophane Noodles in Tomato Sauce  – a pretty dish. The tofu was shaped into a box, complete with a tiny tofu lid, and noodles and mushrooms were neatly tucked inside sitting on a pool of chilli-tomato sauce.
  • Smokey Aubergine, Warm Scallion Vinaigrette with Scallions & Crispy Shallots – long strips of peeled roasted aubergines garnished with shredded spring onions and crispy shallots, it was similar in taste to baba ganoush. Really tasty – loved the smoky effect.
  • Apple-smoked Pork Belly, Braised Cabbage, Egg – my friend ordered this so not sure about the flavours but she said it did taste good.
  • Wok-Tossed Morning Glory as a side dish – this was lots of green and delicious.

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For dessert we tried the Lemon-Scented Cème Brûlée. It was a small portion, but just enough after the main food. It was not heavy at all and had the perfect consistency, not too rich or lemony.

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All the dishes were tasty with lots of flavours and tastes from sweet to smoky. I’d definitely be back here either with Neil or friends – it’s a great dinner place with food full of tasty flavours.

 

Birthday brunch at Balthazar

BalthazarA friend recently celebrated her birthday at Balthazar – great choice for a group of friends to catch up, celebrate and enjoy good food without feeling rushed.

Although Balthazar hails from New York, their style is very much French inspired brasserie food with a focus on fresh produce, home baked cakes and bread. The Boulangerie is just next door, and serves the same home baked goodies for you to take away.

The restaurant itself looks beautiful, the staff were incredibly attentive and friendly and my breakfast was delicious. Several le paniers, a basket of freshly baked breads and pastries from the bakery,.were ordered for the whole table whilst we decided what we wanted.
I was really tempted to go for the hazelnut waffles as they sounded different but wanted something that wasn’t too sweet so opted for the Avocado on Toast with Poached Eggs served on Balthazar sourdough toast with a tomato salsa. Neil went for Eggs Royale toasted homemade muffin with smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
This has to be one of my favourite breakfasts so far in London. Not only was the food great but the setting made it a perfect place to celebrate good times!

Pizza East – crusts and all!

Catching up with school friends is always fun, especially when you haven’t seen them in ages as we have a common love for Italian, we decided to go to Pizza East.

“Trendy” is the best word to describe Pizza East. Lots of wooden tables packed fairly close together give it a really buzzing atmosphere in the middle of Kentish Town! Kentish Town really has its share of authentic restaurants!

As the name suggests, it’s all about the pizzas at Pizza East, but there are no flimsy margaritas on offer. Instead its about the gourmet toppings – the pizzas are piled with fresh, seriously tasty ingredients. Despite the menu being pretty meat-heavy the kitchen is flexible and happy to make changes.

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We went straight onto ordering pizza – well it would have been rude not to given why we were here! I opted for the vegetarian pizza – portobello mushroom, spinach, egg but without the egg! The pizzas looked and smelt amazing – they were really very good and full of flavour – like somebody had gone to Naples and replicated the simple taste.

The defining feature of the pizzas here are the crusts. These things feel like they’re almost dipped in butter. Gives it a really nice texture and ensures it’s packed with flavour.

To finish up, we found space to fit in desserts – we went for the Tiramisu and the Salted chocolate caramel tart. Both were outstanding. You could only have a few bites of the tart though as it was really heavy! But the tiramisu – it was one of the more best I’ve had.

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If you want to eat amazing pizza and have a fun evening out, Pizza East will be the perfect place for you.

 

Ethiopian – The Queen of Sheba

My husband and I have become fans of Ethiopian food after trying it in Nairobi! After much searching and reading reviews online we found one that’s not that far – The Queen of Sheba in Kentish Town.

This tiny little restaurant filled with Ethiopian trinkets, furniture and art has a warm ambience and  is a perfect place for those who wanting Ethiopian cuisine. The staff are super helpful and explain all the dishes and how to order! The food takes time to make so be prepared for a wait!

Now on to the food! Ethiopian food is similar to Indian with lots of vegetarian choices. The food centres around the concept of multiple people eating from injera (sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture – like dosa but has a different tangy taste) kept on a huge centre plate is pretty unique.

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We started with the Katinga – crispy chilly injera was which really spicy but tasty. This was followed by choosing the vegetarian platter which has an assortment of ‘wats’ (stews) that was laid out enticingly on one huge injera, with other rolled up loaves being served in a separate basket. The stews we had included:spicy lentils, roasted chickpeas, cabbage with carrots and potatoes. It was very more-ish – completely different from any other curry I’ve eaten and you just want to eat more and more!

 

The only downside is that I felt it was a little overpriced – £60 for two with no alcohol. Howver, the atmosphere, the food and the staff make this a truly fab place to experience something new and delicious.

The Grain Store

Grain Store

London is full of restaurants that cater for vegetarians and recently opened is Grain Store – a veg-centric restaurant in the newly developed Granary Square, Kings Cross. Grain Store is an informal place, the building is a warehouse/granary and there’s exposed brick walls, ventilation ducts, worn-looking furniture and funky lighting. 

The menu is a pick ’n’ mix of ingredients and cuisines with a consistency of style and creative pairings that work well. The owner Bruno Loubet has a passion for vegetables – pretty colours and simple styles. Each dish on the menu puts vegetables first and there are 7-8 vegetarian dishes, plus two vegan options! The cocktail list is interesting…anyone for green tomato margarita?!? The pumpkin and maple syrup bellini was good though.

We ordered wild mushroom croquettes that came on a lump of bark covered in pine needles, Chilli con veggies with brown rice and buttermilk & caraway braised cauliflower with black trompettes & fresh grapes. All interesting dishes that were tasty!

We finished with Goji berries & carrot cake, chamomile ice cream – unfortunately you couldn’t taste the goji berries but the carrot cake was soft and smooth…

If you want to try something new and different yet healthy, I’d highly recommend a visit to Grain Store.

 

Chuck Burger Bar in Harrow

Chuck

Hubby and I love going to burger bars but there’s none close to where we live. The nearest one is either GBK in Brent Cross (hate that BX) or Hampstead (missions with parking) so was dying to try Chuck Burger Bar in Hatch End. Hatch End is known for being full of restaurants with Casa Mia, Fellini  and Sea Pebbles being favourites so it was in a great location. 

We decided to go for Neil’s first Father’s Day, so bundled up little one and went to the restaurant. It’s a really cool place with some funky wall art designed by street artist: Bejamin McCoy and a lawn outside! We were seated almost immediately and as it was after lunch wasn’t overly busy. Walls were uncovered bricks and there were a range of chairs for each table with the front of the restaurant having more of a bar feel.

I do find that burger bars don’t many veg options – usually a soya burger and that’s all. I remember when I was younger, we used to order burgers without the meat and just the salad/cheese/tomatoes from Burger King – there were no veg options then. Chuck has two tasty sounding options: Zingy Tower Burger (haloumi, portobello mushroom and pickled beetroot)  or Bandito Bean Burger (bean and veg patty).

I went for the Bandito and have to say it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The patty was well-cooked and the toppings were coated with just a right amount of sauce which gave a spicy kick to the burger experience. The best thing about the burgers were the buns used – fresh brioche rolls from Millers Bakery. It gave it that added delicious taste! Triple fried fries were obviously home made and tasted different from other burger restaurants – shame they have to be ordered separate to the burger. Neil was torn between the lamb burger, chicken or pulled pork but ended up going for the huli hili chicken burger which was a spicy chicken breast with salad, monterey cheese and jalapenos with a side of coleslaw! All I can say is that loved it!!

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We didn’t have starters as the portions are huge but I was torn between the brunch and burger menu. Of course as it is a burger bar, that was the way forward. I’ll be back to try the French Toast stack. We ended with a celebratory dessert – Lazy Brownie Sunday in a jar which was ice cream, whipped cream, brownie topped with oreos. It was delish but a little too rich – I didn’t think there was a necessity for both ice cream and whipping cream.

The meal was a little pricey and I would go back for special occasions – perhaps to even try the brunch menu. If you’re passing by then do pop in for a meal – no reservations means they will always accommodate you. The website is under construction but menu and photos on their Facebook page.