Tag Archives: London

Funky Fusion To Share…

Soft, sweet and sticky octopus

A new entry into the best kept secrets archive this week from Spitalfields twix Whitechapel.  The nearest tube station to this London hidden gem is Aldgate East.

Yuu Kitchen is the ultimate relaxed, trendy dining experience for South East Asian fusion cuisine, sharing style.  Picking 3-4 dishes per person to share opens up incredible combinations from soft shell crab bao buns to wok fried crispy kale with shitake mushrooms.  The stunning BBQ octopus is one not to miss.  Powerful ginger and soy umami flavours working wonderfully with the soft and sweet octopus.

Funky cocktails, crisp Asian lagers and an excellent selection of world wines pair very nicely with the relaxed but sophisticated food offer.

A unique dining experience for me, and one I could get very used to.

Yuu Kitchen

29 Commercial Street

London E1 6NE

http://www.yuukitchen.com/

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Casual, confident, convenient…

The Laughing Gravy delivers a trendy, relaxed and impressive dining experience.

The Laughing Gravy delivers a trendy, relaxed and impressive dining experience.

Firstly, a welcome back to all my readers and fellow foodies! It’s been an extremely busy Summer after coming very close to appearing on the BBC’s ‘Masterchef’, to numerous trips packed with some fantastic dining experiences. I’ll certainly be looking to apply for Masterchef again having reached the final stage prior to the televised heats, and there will be lots of exciting news to share on here in the coming weeks.

Straight back into the action, I’ve got a cracking bar and restaurant to add to the ‘best kept secrets’ archive.

Southwark, a stones throw from my regular London destination, Waterloo, is home of ‘The Laughing Gravy’. The name is taken from the 1931 Laurel and Hardy film about a scruffy pooch and Stan and Ollie’s landlord’s ‘no pets’ policy. The chilled atmosphere lends to a few casual drinks at the bar, or a trendy but relaxed dining experience that rivals far more upmarket eateries in the capital.

My highlights from the menu include a delicious Confit belly of pork with apple puree, Hog’s black pudding and pork sausage roll starter, although the Honey-cured smoked Loch Duart salmon fillet, salmon scratchings, broccoli and watercress bavarois is equally as impressive. To follow, I would opt for the cider-marinated lamb rump with parsnip and thyme dumplings, broad bean piccalilli and crushed truffle minted pea and broad beans. Simply stunning in flavour and presentation, the dish comes with all the elegance you would expect with such fine ingredients, but delivers the type of hearty punch you’d expect from a cosy Sunday lunch in the countryside.

Dessert can be the deal breaker for some of my readers, and ‘The Laughing Gravy’ delivers a drum roll worthy Salted caramel fudge and shortbread filled chocolate cylinder with a cashew nut cluster and peanut emulsion. A mouthful in every sense. Rich, indulgent and simply wonderful!

Ideally situated a few minutes walk from Southwark tube station, if it’s a flying visit or a relaxed evening of food, ‘The Laughing Gravy’ delivers with aplomb.

The Laughing Gravy
154 Blackfriars Road
Southwark
London

http://www.thelaughinggravy.co.uk/

The warmest welcomes can be the hardest to find…

Comfortable setting, friendly welcome and exceptional seasonal ingredients at Charlotte's Place

Comfortable setting, friendly welcome and exceptional seasonal ingredients at Charlotte’s Place

Firstly, a very Happy Easter to all my readers and fellow foodies. I hope the break has allowed you to sample something new and exciting or a well established favourite. Either way, a good slab of quality chocolate is a must!

I’m a seasoned professional at heading East on the London Underground from central London. It’s rare that you’ll find me West of Victoria, but today’s entry into ‘best kept secrets’ is hidden in a West London neighbourhood.

Ealing, famous for first bringing together the Rolling Stones, boasts a truly exceptional local neighbourhood restaurant in ‘Charlotte’s Place.’

On arrival, you are invited to ring the door bell, which is answered by a friendly member of staff. It’s very much got a feeling of being invited over to a friend’s house for dinner; but this friend sources the finest seasonal ingredients money can buy!

Our highlights included a beautifully flavoured chicken liver mousse starter which was served with a homemade piccalilli. Piccalilli always reminds me of Christmas time, a family favourite for the Boxing Day spread. But this tangy mustard pickle was the perfect foil for the meaty, garlic flavours in the mousse. Another starter on our table was a beetroot cured salmon, which inspires an upcoming recipe for this blog. The scarlet colour penetration on the delicately thin slices of salmon an attractive base for any plate of food.

A final recommendation of the dark chocolate and hazelnut brownie, served with salted caramel ice cream. Dessert heaven for those with a sweet tooth, need I say anymore?

The atmosphere relaxed and service attentive throughout, it was a true pleasure to experience Charlotte’s Place. Hidden away in Ealing, the restaurant is well and truly deserving of a place in my ‘best kept secrets’ archive.

An ever-changing, seasonal, fresh menu. So you better move quick if you want to get your hands on that brownie!

Charlotte’s Place
16 St Matthew’s Road
Ealing
London

http://charlottes.co.uk/place/

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