Sunday, November 15, 2015

La Parisienne, London

La Parisienne
84 Bishop's Bridge Road
London W2 6BB

I've never tried this place before, Inspite of the enticing aromas coming from it each time I pass by (at least once a week) But today the pull of a hot gooey chocolate crepe on a chilly evening overrode all sensible, healthy and logical thoughts and I walked right in.

Everything in the counters looks sweet and sticky and the advertised crepes are again all sweet, but I asked the guy managing the whole patisserie on his own if he had any savoury options and he rattled off a few savoury crepe combinations.

I chose the old favourite ham & cheese for my savoury option and a plain Nutella crepe for a sweet finish. All accompanied with a cafe latte to wash it down.

It wasn't the best crepes I've had, but they were good and the whole experience was enhanced by the wonderful friendly service.

The coffee came accompanied with a piece of baklava which was a welcome change. One of my pet peeves at coffee shops is that complimentary cookies or biscuits only come with cappuccinos and not lattes.

Will I go back? For the coffee and to bring a smile on to my face on a cold evening, Yes!

Rating : 4 / 5

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lahore Grill, London

Lahore Grill
330 Edgware Road
Lisson Grove
London W2 1EA

020 72248530

Lahore Grill Menu

Another Home Delivery Order.

Excellent lamb samosas (2.80 for 2 pieces). Crispy, right size and the filling was perfectly spiced.

The chicken chapli kebab (3.25 for 2 pieces) was a good innovation. Its normally made from mutton or beef and those tend to get a little chewy because of the cooking process and quality of meat used. The chicken was much less chewy, but a little low on spice for us.

The lamb haleem (8.95) was one of the better ones that I have eaten in London (the only one better than Lahore Grill's that I have tried so far is Dishoom in Covent Garden)

The nihari (8.95 - a large mutton shank with a marrow bone that is stewed overnight) was delightful. Not too glutinuous, but just right. Again a beautiful balance of spices.

The chicken biryani (8.45) was good, but personally I wouldn't put it in the "order again" category.

The grilled baby chicken with spicy sauce (6.75) was the only disappointment. There was hardly any spicing and it came with bits of coal char on it, which always ruins the food experience for me.

Some of the items are really good, while others are middling. It will be a bit of a trial & error process to find what works best for you.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

May's Chinese Cuisine, London

May's Chinese Cuisine
39 Willesden Lane
London NW6 7RF

020 7625 3388

Ordered home delivery from here today (2Pounds charge) and husband says this is the best Chinese he has had in London. I guess this is because its the closest to the Indian-Chinese food that he grew up with.

I ordered via Hungry House which had an offer of free prawn crackers for bills above 15, but if you call them directly, they offer free dishes on each bill threshold.

The food arrived quite quickly and was piping hot. The crackers were packed separately, so they hadn't crumbled. Quantities are large & prices are low, yet it is high on taste and quality. A perfect combination for takeaways & home delivery.

May's offers a range of Chinese, Malaysian & Thai Food. They are really excellent about catering to allergies. With my shrimp/prawn allergy, I'm quite hesitant to order any seafood in a Chinese restaurant, because I never know if shrimp or shrimp heads have been added to the stock or to thicken a sauce. But these guys can tell you immediately about every ingredient in the dishes on their menu.

The only 2 dishes that fell in the middling range were the pork dumplings (5.40) because their wrapping was on the thicker side and the Thai red curry (5.60), that was more of a side dish than a curry. They tasted good, but did not meet my expectations, especially compared to the rest of the food.

The roast pork fried rice (5.20) and the chicken chowmein (5.40) were very good, with lots of flavour and tender meat. Not too oily (the bane of many takeaway chowmeins) The sweet & sour chicken Hong Kong style (5.60) was yummy and the first time that I was able to eat pineapple added in sweet and sour dishes because it wasn't too sweet or sour or squishy. The kung po pork with chilli (5.90) was the standout dish of the day. Just the right amount of chilli without going over the top.

They have some special set meals like :
Sweet & Sour Chicken + Spring Rolls + Egg Fried Rice for 1 person for 9.90.
A Meal for 2 with a quarter crispy Aromatic Duck + 6 pancakes + 2 Spring Rolls + Chicken in Black Bean Sauce + Sweet & Sour Pork + Egg Fried Rice + Prawn Crackers for 23.90
A Meal for 3 with quarter crispy Aromatic Duck + 6 pancakes + 3 Chicken & Mushroom Soup + Sweet & Sour Chicken + Beef with Green Pepper in Black Bean Sauce + King Prawns with Mixed Vegetables + Egg Fried Rice + Prawn Crackers for 36.90

Really loved the food from May's & I'm guessing that we will be ordering in from here whenever someone is in the mood for Chinese :)

Take a Look at their Menu

Rating : 4/5

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Yelp Gets Handsy With The Guac - Chipotle, London

101-103 Baker Street
London W1U 6HQ
020 7935 9881

I'd seen the ads for chipotle in plenty of tube stations & I love chipotle peppers, but in my mind I thought of them as just another fast food chain until Yelp organised an event here and I was stripped thoroughly of my misconceptions!

What an amazing evening with Everton, Mith, Aita and the rest of their team.

Freshly made Margaritas greeted us as soon as we walked in. And the evening got progressively better from there.

All the meat is sourced from free range farms, every item on the menu is prepared fresh on location. No central kitchen, pre packaged, frozen stuff here.

Everton gave us a quick glimpse into the philosophy behind Chipotle before showing us a short video by Steve Ells the founder.

We were plied with nachos and dips through the entire presentation.

We then got a quick glimpse into their refrigerator and the kitchen, before we got a chance to choose our own burrito/dish/salad.

I've never eaten at chipotle before and their focus on freshness is amazing. I had dismissed them initially as just another fast food Tex-Mex place, but this evening was an eye opener.

I had a bowl with the carnitas, brown rice, pinto beans, veggies, guacamole, sour cream and topped with cheese. I also supplemented this with the fine sauces from Tabasco - chipotle & green pepper.

It was so yummy and felt extremely healthy too (not counting the cheese) The meat was soft & tender, vegetables were freshly cut, not wilted. Guacamole was all fresh.

So yeah, if there's a chipotle in the vicinity, I'd definitely consider them for a quick lunch and if it's an early dinner it can even be paired with Mexican beer & maybe a margarita!

Loving this series of master classes via #Yelptoberfeast and hope to enjoy more of them

I forgot to mention that we had the whole basement area to ourselves for the event and there were enough lulls between the presentations and demonstrations for us to have a good chat. I think this was the first Yelp event where I was able to have a conversation with almost everyone who attended.

Rating : 4 /5

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Biju Bubble Tea Room, London #YelptoberFest

Biju Bubble Tea Room
45 Old Compton Street
London W1D 6HQ
020 72874040

The Biju Bubble Tea Room, is not on a main street in Soho, but believe me, its worth trying to find this place (citymapper is on your phone for a reason) and not getting waylaid by other bubble tea rooms along the path.

Every cup of tea is freshly brewed (from leaves) to order - in an espresso like machine. You have a choice of black & green teas. You can then add any of their natural syrups to flavour your tea. The South Asian Wintermelon is an interesting novelty. This is shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice & then poured into a glass.

To this you can add either tapioca pearls (chewy), popping bubbles/boba (completely natural), jelly (nata de coco - coconut jelly - completely natural, completely vegetarian - sourced from the Philippines) or basil seeds (I know a couple of reviewers have commented on how weird they look, they are an acquired taste, but really good for you especially in the heat of summer)

Another stand out at Biju Bubble Tea is that you can specify how sweet you want your tea. All their products are organic - organic milk, organic soy milk & organic almond milk. While this tea is traditionally prepared by street vendors in Taiwan with powderd milk (so it will keep for longer, Biju can afford to use organic milk because each cup is made to order. There are no artificial flavours.

They also have the option of coconut water instead of tea which is healthier. And they have a couple of mousse tea options too which are mildly salty.

If you aren't into tea, you can always choose one of their milkshakes, the chocolate milk with egg custard was an amazing combination. They have a pistachio milk version too. And this was the first time, I actually was able to drink tea with milk because it was so well brewed.

You also have the option to request a hot bubble tea at Biju's.

Their range is amazing and since everything is brewed and prepared fresh, the only limit on the combination you choose is your imagination.

The team is young, knowledgeable & energetic. They will very helpfully explain and clarify whatever questions you may have about their teas. No sullen, morose, "don't bother me" looks here, that I have seen in other bubble tea places.

So lets tick them off
- Helpful, well informed service - check
- Fresh, healthy, customisable choices - check
- Completely vegetarian (for those so inclined) - check

So, what are you waiting for?

Rating : 5 / 5

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Yelp's Exclusive Dinner Party at Lotus

17 Charing Cross Road
Leicester Square
London WC2H 0EP
020 7839 8797

THE BEST Yelp London event so far, by a huge margin! Alex is gonna have to really rack his brains to top this experience.

Was wonderful to meet so many yelpers, some whom I already followed and it was lovely to meet the people behind the reviews.

The food was fantastic and the number of wines we tasted was somewhere in the double digits. They all paired beautifully with the food. This was my first experience of wine paired with Indian food (as an Indian, we tend to pair our food with chilled beer or some refreshing cocktails) and it was absolutely amazing.

 While the smaller table settings and the constant flow of food meant that we couldn't spend much time with people other than those at our table, it also ensured that we got to know the others at our table pretty well and had some very interesting conversations.

It was a huge menu & everything was excellent, so I'm just going to put the names down here and you can try them for yourself, until then, just look at these pictures & drool. I know I do.

A mix of poppadoms & dips / chutneys

Corn chaat Golgappa

 Interesting twist : Pigeon Masala Dosa

Aloo chaat


paneer tikka & chickpea masala

Duck seekh kebab

Salmon & queenies coconut curry, venison roganjosh, palak pudina paneer, kaali daal.

Mango shrikhand

Almond Kheer

Chef Bhaskar Bannerjee and his team were amazing. Thanks a ton to the Yelp Team and the Lotus Team for giving us such an amazing experience!

Rating : 5 / 5

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yelp Meats Potbelly

Westfield Stratford City
London E20 1EJ
01707 291607

What a fun meet up. It's always great to meet yelpers - everyone is passionate about food and you never have to feel bad about helping yourself to a second or third round of something you liked.

The food, the people and the conversations are all great fun, so what's not to like?

Today's event allowed us to choose our own sandwich, a side and a drink. We were then served up some cookies and milkshakes which were really good.

I've enjoyed their sandwiches in the U.S. And wasn't even aware that they had opened up here in London.

I had the buffalo wings sandwich - the chicken was roast sliced chicken with hot sauce and blue cheese - but what great quality tender juicy chicken slices!

The multigrain bread was soft and tender and even after toasting, there were no overly crispy or overly chewy bits.

They have a huge variety of packaged crisps / pretzels / popcorn as sides and a huge fridge full of drinks - from regular and diet coke to juicy water, ice tea and even root beer.

The root beer was good, but if you want a drink, definitely don't miss their shakes. I'm normally not a fan of peanuts and chocolate combinations. No snickers or peanut m&m's for me. But their peanut butter + chocolate shake is amazing!

The freshly baked cookies were really good too. Chewy in the centre and crispy on the sides. These may just replace "Marks & Spencer's All Butter Belgian Chocolate Cookies" as my favourite chocolate cookies...

Since it was a yelp meet, we got to interact with Mr Khan the manager / franchise owner too and he was a wealth of information. He said that they normally had live music playing in the afternoons which is an integral part of the American potbelly's. Their meat and vegetable suppliers are the best in the business and they are held to much higher quality standards than even the UK version of FDA requires.

The staff was friendly and it had more of the vibe of a familiar neighbourhood deli, rather than a soulless chain of sandwich shops (I'm not naming any names here )

I loved the peanut butter chocolate shake so much, I wanted to take one away, after shopping at the mall, but they had closed down by then (9pm)

This was shorter than most yelp meet-ups, but it was a fun and enjoyable evening.

Rating : 5 / 5

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thai Metro, London

Thai Metro
38 Charlotte Street
London W1T 2NN
020 7436 4201

Thai Metro offers free home delivery and that's what gives them the extra half star. I would rate them 3.5. Delivery was quite prompt and my order was accurately delivered. What I loved was the layer of plastic wrap before closing the boxes that had liquid to them - the curry and the stir fries with sauce.

The food here wasn't bad, but wasn't outstanding either.

I enjoyed the corn cakes (4.25) and drunken pork fried rice (6.5). The chicken with cashewnuts (6.5) had some pineapple in it which I wasn't expecting and I don't like cooked pineapple. The chicken red curry was good (6.5), but didn't come with rice - I'm so used to rice being included with Thai curries at restaurants back home)

The pork with drunken bamboo shoots (6.5) wasn't as exciting as I had hoped and used very thinly sliced lean cuts of pork which made it taste more like chicken, just tougher.

Quantities are quite large, so that makes the prices quite reasonable.

They don't deliver desserts home (probably because they all include ice cream?), but they do offer soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks too - including sake and plum wine.

Delivery available for orders over £12.00. Charge of £3.00 applies to orders under £20.00

They deliver to postcodes:
EC1 Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Barbican
EC2 Moorgate, Liverpool Street
EC3 Monument, Tower Hill, Aldgate
EC4 Fleet Street, St Paul's
NW1 Regent's Park, Camden Town
NW8 St John's Wood
SW3 Chelsea, Brompton
SW7 South Kensington
W1 Mayfair, Marylebone, Soho
W2 Bayswater, Paddington
WC1 Bloomsbury, Gray's Inn
WC2 Covent Garden, Holborn, The Strand

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Friday, August 28, 2015

Koshari Street, London

Koshari Street
56 St Martin's Lane,
Covent Garden,
London WC2N 4EA
020 7836 1056

I absolutely love this pure carb Egyptian dish. When we lived in Egypt, this was the only local dish that we truly loved (other than fattah) as the chilli sauce is served on the side and we could up the heat quotient as much as we liked.

While it's pretty easy to make at home, it's a bit time consuming with the different pastas, lentils, pastes and fried onions that need to be prepared, so it's not something I cook frequently.

Egyptian friends in London introduced us to this place and we keep going back when we want a carby overload.

Koshari street offers a selection of tomato + Chilli sauces (Mild / Hot / Mad) with their kosharis and we obviously favour the king chilli (Naga Jolokia Pepper) - the spiciest one. Other than koshari, they just have a 2 soups, 2 salads & 2 desserts and drinks on the menu.

It works well as a takeaway and can be eaten a day later too.

I always pick up an extra large container of the fried onions (they charge for it), but it saves me so much time when cooking biryanis and other Mughlai food. The onions keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

There are just a few seats, if you want to eat on location, Koshari works best as a takeaway option.

Rating : 4.5 / 5


Related Posts with Thumbnails