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Twas a cold Saturday night in London Town, in the midst of winter – ok I’m lying, it was a unseasonably warm Saturday night in London Town when a friend & I decided to meet up for Dinner. Having discussed the prospects, she decided on Boopshi’s and then proceeded to select our food, via email, days before our dinner. The email I received was the following:

Email

When Saturday Finally arrived, I did not spend my day thinking about food & didn’t even look at the menu before leaving the house!

We met up at Goodge Street Station and walked down a quiet road which led us to our restaurant of choice. Located on the corner of Whitfield Street & Windmill Street, the restaurant has large windows, benches and high tables. There’s even a bar & a downstairs to the seemingly tiny restaurant.

We were quickly seated at the restaurant that for 8pm on a Saturday seemed fairly empty, however I was quickly reassured as the restaurant quickly filled up and by 9pm, there wasn’t an empty table in site.

We picked our drinks & then shifted on to thinking about food. When we spoke to our uber friendly waitress, she assured us that:

1) She’s not a small eater & most definitely enjoys her food

2) The Schnitzel is quite filling

Turns out Despite Miss M’s list of food, apparently, there was space for negotiation.

Thank god for her honest feedback, if we’d gone ahead with the original order plan, half would have gone to waste!

We started by ordering the Whole Globe Artichoke:

Whole Globe Artichoke

Whole Globe Artichoke

Being a fan of Artichoke, I was slightly taken aback by the size of the artichoke. The dish arrived with a side plate which was placed on our table with the comment “for the leaves”. We were given no instructions or advice. Luckily Miss M used her better judgement and stated that she though we basically had to bite/suck the goodness out of the leaf. There was indeed a thin layer of flesh attached to the leaf which was subtle but yummy.

We continued in this fashion until we got to the inner most section. It was at this point that we found some feathery looking (and tasting) bits, which we swiftly removed and ended up at the heart. Despite first appearance, this was extremely filling, I’m sure it was more so because of the effort in the eating. Lucky for us, our method of eating was justified when the waitress came to collect the remains and commented that she was glad someone knew what they were doing, apparently most others simply waste the leaves and head straight for the heart – could this relate to us? More Head than Heart people!? who knows!!

Next up was the Schnitzel. Miss M went for the Pork, with duck egg & capers:

Pork Schnitzel with Duck Egg & Capers

Pork Schnitzel with Duck Egg & Capers

Whilst I went for the Chicken with gravy:

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel

Given that the plate was the size of a normal dinner plate, and the schnitzel is hanging off the edges, it is clear to see just how large these were. To say we were shocked, is an understatement. It was a bit of a task making it half way through this and neither of us managed to finish what was on our plate. Miss M quite enjoyed her pork schnitzel but had definitely had eyes bigger than her stomach when she’d decided on the duck egg.

My chicken version was very slightly dry, which i’d anticipated and had therefore ordered gravy. However the gravy sadly lacked flavour and was far too thin in consistency to provide any real addition to the schnitzel.

Whilst Miss M was full on artichoke, my excuse for not finishing my schnitzel was the following:

Spatzle 'n' Cheese

Spatzle ‘n’ Cheese

Having questioned what on earth Spatzle was, it was described as lighter version of mac & cheese containing spatzle – a dumpling made from flour & water. My god she was right – Light, soft & cheesy goodness! Even as I reached tipping point, I couldn’t stop myself picking at this stuff.

Because all of that wasn’t enough, we also ordered the house salad which was nothing special, other than the yellow beetroot which saved the salad from being a failure!

Having wasted most of the salad, eaten 2/3rds of our schnitzel & 3/4’s of the Spatzle ‘n’ Cheese, we didn’t really feel worthy of a dessert and wouldn’t have had space for one anyway. So we paid the bill and left with heavier eyes than we entered with!

 Boopshi's on Urbanspoon

Review: Pachamama

For those who read my last post, you’d know that one of the exciting openings I was very excited about was Pachamama – described as “Peruvian Food with a British Twist” .

Peruvian food seems to the big thing at the moment & I can totally understand why. Being in the know is a great thing, especially when it means you get the chance to try fantastic food at 50% off during a soft launch.

Before I went off to Sri Lanka, I made a point of booking myself a table of 8 during the soft launch, the fiancée & I decided we’d worry about who we’d fill it with when we got back.

10 days later, my bbf & I showed up at a rather funky basement restaurant on Thayer Street, which is the Wigmore Street end of Marylebone High Street (don’t be fooled!). When we arrived, two of my guests were already perched at the bar sipping on some drinks.

We were shown to our table to the left of the bar and waited as the rest of our fellow diners trickled in.

Pachamama Bar

Due to the Soft Launch, they were only serving a limited menu, however despite this the choice was still pretty good.

We started off with some Mama’s Piscos’ and Papa’s Piscos’ the house cocktail containing Peruvian Brandy – Pisco being the national drink of Peru.

Mama's Pisco

Mama’s Pisco

We then moved on to the good stuff, our waitress suggested we order 12-14 dishes to start with for a group of 8. This didn’t seem enough, so as food arrived we doubled up on lots of dishes.

The mammoth ordering started with some of “Mama’s Ceviche”:

Chilled prawns, Garden Peas, Mint, Wasabi Tiger's Milk

Chilled prawns, Garden Peas, Mint, Wasabi Tiger’s Milk

This was delicious; the wasabi wasn’t overpowering, the onions gave a great crunch & the overall dish was refreshing.

Cornish Wild Sea Bass, Samphire, Radish, Sweet Potato, Tigers Milk

Cornish Wild Sea Bass, Samphire, Radish, Sweet Potato, Tigers Milk

A number of the diners preferred this to the prawns. Again the fish was amazingly fresh, the flavours were balanced and the overall dish was excellent.

Next up was the “Josper Oven” section of the menu. Unfortunately by this point my photography skills were overtaken by the excitement of seeing the food. We ordered the following:

Crispy Duck Belly, Miso, Green Aji Sauce

Crispy Duck Belly, Miso, Green Aji Sauce

On the menu this was Crispy Lamb Belly, however they’d run out of lamb and thus we ended up with Duck belly, either way I have no complaints. The duck was cooked to perfection with a really lovely crispy layer whilst the Green Aji Sauce (no idea what it is) worked really well along side it.

Smoked Gloucester Old Spot Ribs, English Malt, Peanut Glaze

Smoked Gloucester Old Spot Ribs, English Malt, Peanut Glaze

So I think we were all hugely disappointed at the size of this. The flavours again were unfaultable (yes I did just make that word up) but the size of the pieces were tiny & we felt slightly cheated.

We also ordered the 28 day Aged Dexter Ribeye Lomo Saltado, however the fact that I have no photographic evidence can only mean we devoured it!

Onto the Robata Grill. We ordered three dishes from this section and although I don’t have a single photo, my favourite dish was the Newlyn Squid Antichuchos which were absolutely delicious. The Squid was cooked to perfection & the flavour was amazing, bursting in your mouth (yes I’m going full on drama here).

Next in line of favourites from this section was:

Corn-fed Chicken Antichuchos & Corn

Corn-fed Chicken Antichuchos & Corn

This again was delicious, the sticky, extremely flavoursome chicken was soft and yummy. The corn sauce was so delicious, there’s no other way to describe it other than wow.

We also ordered the Blackened Herb-Fed Chicken which was good, however as it came on the bone was slightly fiddly to eat. The actual chicken was again well cooked & seasoned. This was probably my least favourite of the section.

To accompany the meat affair, we ordered three salads:

Heirloom Tomatoes, Butter Beans, Lime, Cobnuts, Crisp Bread

Heirloom Tomatoes, Butter Beans, Lime, Cobnuts, Crisp Bread

Purple Potatoes, Peanuts, Mint, Crispy Onions

Purple Potatoes, Peanuts, Mint, Crispy Onions

In my opinion, both of these generally lacked flavour. My favourite of the 3 salads was however was this one:

Quinoa, Avocado, Granny Smith, Tomato, Coriander Vinaigrette

Quinoa, Avocado, Granny Smith, Tomato, Coriander Vinaigrette

This was really really good. The flavours & textures worked exceptionally well together whilst the coriander vinaigrette added a fresh flavour which lifted the overall salad.

Having made our way through a huge amount of food, there was no way we were going to skip dessert.

Rice Pudding, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Damson Compote

Rice Pudding, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Damson Compote

Chocolate Fondant, Brittle & Salted Peanut Ice Cream

Chocolate Fondant, Brittle & Salted Peanut Ice Cream

Pumpkin Cake, Sunflower Seeds, Malt Ice Cream

Pumpkin Cake, Sunflower Seeds, Malt Ice Cream

On the verge of food coma, these were the perfect ending to a fantastic meal. The rice pudding was really creamy & everything that rice pudding should be. The Chocolate Fondant was rich but cut by the sweetness of the ice cream. The pumpkin cake was definitely my least favourite!

Despite the limited menu & a slight inconsistency in presentation of dishes, the flavours were great, the food was cooked to perfection, bar the odd few dishes which were lacking flavour, I would go back to Pachamama at the drop of a hat. Since visiting I’ve rabbited on about Pachamama and have actually convinced two or three others to visit based on my recommendation!

Pachamama on Urbanspoon

It.s been some time since I’ve done one of these, but now that the summer is slowly disappearing & it’s getting darker quicker, one has to be grateful for something and for me, it’s the wonderful restaurants that will be gracing the streets of London this month.

Keu – 9 Poland Street – Opens 15th September

As I’ve said over and over again, the best way to discover new places in London is by walking around and yesterday when I was on my way to Berwick St Market to get my lunch from the PitstopCafe, I walked past what used to be a bit of a boring sandwich place and noticed the windows were blanked out. Amongst the white I noticed the word Keu. A little Google search later I found that the group that gave us Cay Tre is opening a second outpost of their Vietnamese sandwich shop.

I was saddened when Banh Mi Bay left Berwick St Market so you can only imagine the excitement I experienced when I read that they’ll be specialising in Banh Mi, Noodle Bowl & Buns as well as smoothies, Vietnamese coffee, beer & some cocktails! Bring on the Banh Mi!

Keu

Pachamama Bar & Kitchen –  18 Thayer Street – Opens October 2014

Described as Peruvian food with a British twist, this one got me interested, especially as there’s promises of 50% off during the soft launch period which will be happening in mid October.

Bought to us by the guy who was previously the head chef at Ottolenghi, expect influences of Peruvian cuisine using locally sourced produce with the addition of a swanky cocktail bar.

The restaurant which will have space for 120 diners will be spread over two main areas, with three private dining rooms and of course not forgetting the cocktail bar. For that extra attention to detail they’ve even commissioned a small ceramic studio in Oxford to create their own plates!

Ippudo Ramen London –  1 St Giles High Street

Keeping with the Asian influence, those of you who read my New York series will be aware of how much I loved Ippudo. It was on a list of recommendations sent to me by a friends boyfriend and it ticked every box on the comfort food list required for a chilly Sunday evening in New York.

As you can imagine, when I returned from New York and realised that Ippudo was planning to open its first European outlet in London, I was ecstatic. They’ve been pretty hush hush about when exactly they’re opening but from the competition currently running on their Facebook page, it would appear that they’ll be swinging open the doors to that noodley goodness very soon.

If you need some convincing as to why I loved this place or why you should make a visit yourself, have a read of my New York post.

Ippudo

Ippudo

Updated 06.10.2014

Ippudo is currently running in Soft Opening mode with the Grand Opening taking place on Friday 10th October!!! Yummy!!

Ippudo Opening

 

Babaji Pide – Shaftesbury Avenue & Duck & Rice  – Berwick St

Good old Alan (Yau) is doing it again. The guy that bought us Wagamamas, Busaba, Yautcha & Hakkasan to name just a few has two new ventures coming our way.

Babaji Pide is being described as a restaurant serving “Turkish Pizza – filled with Asian iningredients” whilst Duck & Rice will be a Chinese Gastropub. Both ventures will be new concepts that I don’t believe have been done by anyone else thus far so the excitement around them in my opinion is justified.

Unfortunately opening times on these are being kept extremely quiet and whilst both sites have been boarded up, the opening of Duck & Rice has already been pushed back numerous times.

Have you heard of any new restaurants I should add to my visit list? Leave me a comment! 

Review: Cut

Some time ago a friend mentioned that he’d hear about this amazing Steak restaurant called Cut. He’d called up the restaurant on a Friday for a Saturday booking and was practically laughed at. When he finally visited I recall him mentioning it was the best steak he’d tasted. I quickly added it to my must visit list and awaited a reason to attend.

So last week when I noticed my Fiancé had added to our joint diary that he’d booked us in for lunch with his friends who were moving to Dubai, I didn’t have the heart to say no (hell I’ve been wanting to try this place for so long, I was shocked he’d been listening).

So Saturday came and I rushed along, feeling slightly bad that I was 10 minutes late, only to find out I was the first there. This gave me enough time to tell our friendly waiter that the it was the short guy with less hair’s birthday and could he arrange a plate for him when we ordered dessert.  Mr Fiancé who is notoriously late showed up next, only 20 minutes later than the booking time & Mr & Mrs V (P) showed up last.

Although we’d booked for the £34 Salad & Steak menu, we decided to order a few of the starters because they sounded so bloody good. However we started with drinks.

Whilst the boys settled on a bottle of wine, us girls started with a special cocktail. I can’t say I know what was in it, but the waiter managed to sell it to us and boy was it good.

20140412_145003

This was Mr & Mrs V (P)’s second visit and so they were fairly happy for the Fiancé & I to pick the starters. So we did just that.

The Tuna Tatar arrived first.

Big Eye Tuna Tatar, Wasabi Aioli, Ginger, Togarashi Crisps, Tora Soy

Big Eye Tuna Tatar, Wasabi Aioli, Ginger, Togarashi Crisps, Tora Soy

The tuna was amazingly fresh, the wasabi wasn’t at all over powering, the watercress added a refreshing twist and the avocado was just perfect. Together with wafer thin but incredible crispy Togarshi Crisps, this was the perfect summer dish.

Next up was the Steak Sashimi.

Australian Wagyu Steak Sashimi, Spicy Radishes, Greek Cress

Australian Wagyu Steak Sashimi, Spicy Radishes, Greek Cress

Again, I would be mad to complain, this was delicious. The flavours were well balanced, the Steak was amazingly soft & flavoursome and the radish added a change in texture.

Next up was the Steak.

As you’d imagine, the Steak & Salad menu entitled you to the 6oz Petit Cut Filet Mignon steak and a choice of one out of the 5 salads. The Waiter pointed out that this would be a “mini” portion. As part of the menu you also had a choice of sauce.

I was quick to decide on the Wasabi-Yuzu Kosho Butter (despite not knowing what anything other than the Wasabi and Butter were). The choice of salad was a little more difficult, but I went against the recommendation and picked the Roasted Beet, Goats Cheese, Pistachio, Citrus, Micro Basic (what!!???) and Mint salad.

Petit Filet Mignon 6oz, South Devon Angus, South West England, Aged 28 Days & Beet & Goats Cheese Salad

Petit Filet Mignon 6oz, South Devon Angus, South West England, Aged 28 Days & Beet & Goats Cheese Salad

My first thought was that the Micro Basil must have been so micro that I couldn’t see it. My second thought was, “where’s the rest of my salad??”

Mr Fiancé went for the Mediterranean salad and didn’t seem to complain so I can only assume he quite enjoyed it.

Ok so really I’d come to Cut for the steak and although I was slightly confused about my salad, the steak really did not disappoint. Having chosen my standard medium rare, the steak was succulent and juicy, the sauce subtle but balanced.

We also decided on three sides.

20140412_151858

French Fries with Herbs & Wild Field Mushrooms, Japanese Shishito Peppers

For some reason I failed to take a photo of the final side we’d ordered which came highly recommended by Mr & Mrs V (P) – the Creamed Spinach with Fried Organic Egg. My oh my was this good. The Spinach was super duper creamy (I can only imagine how much butter was used in the white sauce) and the sunny side up egg was quickly chopped up and mixed through before it landed on our table. I’m not sure if it was the butter or the addition of the egg but this was truly moorish.

The chips were perfectly crispy and the addition of the Herby saltiness was great. Whilst the mushrooms were slightly mismatched alongside the dish itself, they were delicious in their own right so I happy picked at them.

Once we’d cleared our plates there was a bit of a squabble over whether we had room for dessert or not. This was quickly settled with a whatsapp message across the table confirming the need to order.

Having decided we were going to order something, the next decision to make was what are we going to order. With so many really delicious choices on the menu, it took some time but we finally decided on the CUT “Bounty Bar”

CUT "Bounty Bar"

CUT “Bounty Bar”

Mr Fiancé had no clue so it made for a great surprise & the cake was good too! Described as “Coconut almond cake, milk chocolate ganache & coconut-chocolate chip sorbet”, it wasn’t too sweet. The sorbet cut the sweetness in the cake which is always a good thing.

The problem with having so many expectations of somewhere is that if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you’re left feeling really disappointed. However Mr Wolf or Mr Gang or Mr Puk (I think it’s the last one) I was truly impressed, that is until the bill arrived (but I’ll leave that for another time).

Cut is definitely somewhere for special occasion, whilst the food is of an amazing quality and service was super friendly without being stuck up, you pay the price for it – Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

Cut at 45 Park Lane on Urbanspoon

Review: Ladudu

I read somewhere earlier this year that Vietnamese food would be big this year. With the opening of House of Ho in Soho & numerous outlets of Pho around, Vietnamese food has definitely become more accessible than it was a few years ago. However with most Asian cuisines, people need educating before they know what to order which is why going to a traditional restaurant with local waiters is great as you can quite easily learn what is what.

Having arranged to meet with a friend and her husband on a Friday (my veggie day) I was all the more conscious of having to find somewhere with yummy veg food. The fiancé & I had popped into Ladudu in West Hampstead for a drink a few weeks ago and having sampled the Vietnamese spring roll, I’d decided we’d be going back some time soon. So when my friend suggested we meet somewhere near Finchley road, Ladudu came to mind and a table was booked.

Design_logos_Ladudu

When we arrived the restaurant was 2/3rds full. We sat down and awaited for Mr & Mrs U who arrived shortly after. It didn’t take long before the waitress came round to take our drinks orders. The guys both ordered health conscious Green Tea, Mr R going for the slightly more interesting orange green tea. These arrived in pretty little glass tea pots & we soon realised that the only difference between the two tea’s was that the orange green tea had a few shavings of orange rind for added flavour.

The waitress was soon back to take our starter orders. Being a Friday, I joint Mrs U and selected a few veggie dishes for our tofu overload meal. Mr U and Mr R had a far more exciting selection of food to choose from and did a good job of narrowing down their choices.

The veggie bits were first to arrive.

I have a bit of an aversion to papaya salad so couldn’t resist the vegetarian version with mushrooms and tofu. Other than the fact that this was missing some shrimp and didn’t really need the mushrooms or the tofu, the flavours were good although not overbearingly traditional. The papaya wasn’t overly soggy which meant that it still had a great texture. Overall we were all pretty pleased with this.

Green Papaya Salad with Tofu & Mushrooms

Green Papaya Salad with Tofu & Mushrooms

At the same time as the Green Papaya salad arrived the warm rice paper crepe stuffed with mushrooms. Anyone whose tried a South Indian dosa will appreciate that this wasn’t hugely dissimilar to a dosa. Except for it was stuffed with mushrooms and was served with a dipping sauce that wasn’t green coconut chutney!! Although I would have liked the rice paper crepe to have been slightly more crispy, it was nice none the less, albeit very slightly bland. However the sauce soon sorted out that issue!

Warm rice paper crepe stuffed with mushrooms

Warm Rice Paper Crepe stuffed with Mushrooms

To round off the veggie starters, we’d ordered Chilli & Garlic Tofu.

Chilli & Garlic Tofu

Chilli & Garlic Tofu

For the veggies out there, Chilli & Garlic Tofu is  a bit of a fail safe on most Chinese/oriental menu’s. However I must admit, that the coating on this tofu was slightly different to normal which made it slightly more crispy. There was a good amount of garlic and spring onion served with it which helped to enhance the flavour of the tofu which at times can be quite bland.

Whilst we tucked into our veggie starters, the Guys made a quick start on their non veg starters, however I was quick to stop them so I could take pictures!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Although the picture above doesn’t do the best job at describing how these Vietnamese spring rolls tasted, the sounds coming out of the guys were positive so I can fairly assume that they were good. I have to admit though, as I mentioned at the start of this post, it was the Vietnamese spring rolls that I’d sampled on my last trip which bought me back, so I can vouch for the fact that they were pretty good.

I heard less comments from the guys for the Vietnamese pancake with Prawns. Other than the fact that they said it was nice, the lack of noise would suggest it was only nice, not outstanding. Its fair to say that Mr R is a self proclaimed connoisseur of all things, well anything so the fact that there was very few comments on the pancake can only mean they failed to knock his brightly coloured Ted Baker socks off his feet.

Vietnamese Pancake with Prawns

Vietnamese Pancake with Prawns

After a little pressure was put on us by our friendly waitress, we finally got round to ordering mains. Given the tofu themed starters, we decided to simply continue and order one of the few vegetarian main courses on the menu. So after a little  wait time, our mains arrived.

Miss U and I had both spotted the Tofu Hotpot on the menu and quickly decided it would be our main course. Having failed to read the description, we were quick to order a side of fresh flat rice noodles. The description however stated the dish was “fresh tofu with shiitaki mushroom, tapioca glass noodles with Ládudu’s special lemon grass sauce, served in a clay pot”.

Tofu Hot Pot, Fresh Flat Rice Noodles and Stir-Fry Fine Beans with Garlic

Tofu Hot Pot, Fresh Flat Rice Noodles and Stir-Fry Fine Beans with Garlic

I have to say, we really didn’t need the noodles at all. The Tofu Hot Pot was delicious, the sauce was lemon grassy by slightly sweetly savoury if that even makes any sense. My only issue with the sauce was the fact that it felt ever so slightly too thick. I guess however the thickness meant that the tapioca noodles held the sauce far better than they would have done if the sauce was less thick. We ordered a side of Stir-fry fine beans with garlic which were equally delicious and served to satisfy Mr U’s hunger given that his Pho took so long to arrive!

Whilst Mr U continued waiting, Mr R’s main arrived. Having read the description on the menu, we were all expecting something moist and tender with crispy skin. The following arrived:

Crispy Skin Chicken

Crispy Skin Chicken

Again from the comments I heard coming out of Mr R I can’t say I was too convinced that the chicken was either moist or tender. In fact the chicken looked slightly more dry than it did moist. Bare with me whilst I await a statement from Mr R to confirm his thoughts on the chicken.

(10 mins later)

I finally have a comment “The chicken was flavoursome, but the chicken was a bit dry, however this was expected. I would have preferred some kind of sauce with it..”

Ten minutes was about as long as Mr U had to wait for his Pho to come after all the other food arrived. However he dug into it so quickly I was unable to even capture an image of it. Despite not taking a picture I can confirm that Mr U was very very satisfied by the Pho. See the great thing with men is if they like something, it is perfectly obvious to see. The fact that Mr U was going on about how nice and clean and flavoursome and large his bowl of Pho was, I think its fair to say even though he had to wait for it, he was perfectly happy with the outcome.

We decided not to get any dessert and simply skipped to the bill.

I must say I did enjoy the food and would definitely consider coming back, if only to try the Pho. Next time your passing through West Hampstead, definitely give Ladudu a try, especially given the fact that they have happy hour on cocktails & also have freshly squeezed juices!

Ladudu – 152 West End Lane, London, NW6 1SD 

Review: Shoryu

Since getting back from new York, I’ve been having major ramen cravings. There are a number of ramen restaurants that have opened up in london in the last year and I needed a reason to make a visit.

When a dinner that had been organised some time ago finally came around, I made a snap decision to find a ramen restaurant that was veggie friendly.

We arrived at Shoryu on lower regent street at 6.30 on a Wednesday evening. Although it is one of these new style “no booking” restaurants, we were seated pretty much right away. Upon recieving the menu, we realised Happy Hour was due to be finishing in 30 mins, so we quickly chose our 4 cocktails each (yes I did just say 4) and then signalled for the waiter to take our order.

To soak up what was going to be a fair amount of alcohol & satisfy the hunger in our bellies, we also ordered some Hirata buns & the very yummy sounding Schichimi Mushrooms.

Two cocktails arrived with a side of Hirata Buns.

Hirata Bun

Hirata Bun

When I asked the waiter which of the non vegetarian hirata bun’s I should choose, he highly recommended the belly pork. So obviously I obliged. Miss Veggie went for the veg option of halloumi & shimeji mushrooms. My first issue was the fact that the actual bun was not hot, my second was the fact that they had used mayonnaise which basically made this taste like a nicer version of a McDonalds Hamburger. 

Next up was the Shichimi Mushrooms, essentially pan fried asian mushrooms with tofu & 7 spice.

Sachimi Muchrooms

Shichimi Muchrooms

I have to say, these were rather delicious. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and silky, the tofy was crispy and the shichimi spice added a kick of spice. Perfectly well rounded dish in my humble opinion.
Having finished our two starters, we were left to happily chat away and consume copious amounts of alcohol. Shoryu has a pretty decent Cocktail Menu and of the 8 drinks that we ordered I would highly recomment the Yuzu Mojito, the Rising Sun Berry Martini & the extremely delicious Espresso Martini (half of which ended up on Miss M’s trousers thanks to the guy on the next table).
20140312_190625
Having mopped up the Espresso Martini, we decided our appetites had returned, so we went on to order the ramen. Given that there was only one veg option on the menu, Miss M’s choice was pretty much made for her. I however had a much more difficult job deciding what to indulge in. I finally decided on the Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu.
Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu

Karaka Tantan Tonkotsu

Described as rich and spicy fried minced pork in white miso & garlic with added lemon, garlic and chiu chow chilli oil on the menu, I was completely satisfied when it arrived. The Minced meat made the dish slightly heavier than it needed to be, but the broth was delicious albeit slightly spicy. The meat was perfectly seasoned and the hint of garlic added a lovely addition. Whilst I was unable to get through all of the noodles, I happily slurped my way through the broth.
Miss M was equally satisfied by her Natural ramen – a shiitake & konbu gluten free soy broth, tofu, kikurage, seasoned beansprouts, spring onion, sesame and spinach.
Having made out way through started & mains, it was time for a little dessert to end the meal.
Matcha Cheesecake and Matcha & Sesame Ice Cream

Matcha Cheesecake and Matcha & Sesame Ice Cream

Miss M went for the Matcha Cheesecake, which I obviously had to sample for the sake of my reading audience (I did it for the people!). The texture which was slightly jelly like was silky and perfectly set. The matcha flavour was delicate and not at all overpowering. I definitely could not fault  it in any way.

For those who are unaware, I have a slightly obsession with Matcha Ice cream, whenever I see it on a menu, I must order it, so obviously I did just that. However to widen the barriers slightly, I ordered it with a side of sesame ice cream. Both ice creams were great, Miss M commented that the flavour in the Matcha Ice Cream was actually stronger than the flavour in the Matcha Cheesecake and I have to admit, she wasn’t wrong. The sesame ice cream was interesting, with a very slight sesame flavour, but enough to be noticeable. On the whole we were both perfectly satisfied.
When we arrived at Shoryu, it was clear to see the place was popular and by the number of bowls on tables, it is clear that the place is popular for one thing  – the Ramen. For those planning to visit, try a few of the starters but leave space for the ramen. If you only have space for one thing, the Ramen should be your choice and you will not be disappointed.
Shoryu Ramen on Urbanspoon

And so we arrived at our final day in New York. With a list of bits and pieces to finish off, we headed out and were instantly shocked by how cold it was. In fact cold is an understatement, the wind was fierce and it was bitter.

First stop for the day was the apple store, followed by Abercrombie and then to Breakfast. The original place Miss NYC sent us to was closed so we headed into The Peninsula Hotel and when their menu failed to satisfy us, the waitress offered to check with the concierge for us. The concierge advised the best place to get breakfast would be Sarabeths on Central Park South.

So we cold footed it back up 5th avenue, shimmied past Trump Tower, skipped round The Plaza and finally found ourselves at the door of Sarabeths.

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

Although Sarabeth’s wasn’t on any of the lists we were given,  I’m so glad we were sent there. The kind of restaurant for ladies that lunch and slightly over priced, but perfectly special for the last day in New York – plus they served breakfast well into the afternoon. 

We were fairly quick to order as all three of us were starving. Miss Mel & I went for breakfast options whilst Miss Mat decided on a lunch starter.

We didn’t have to wait long before our food arrived.

I went for the Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh strawberries. The pancakes were soft, light and spongy, just as you’d expect pancakes to taste in New York. The portion of strawberries was slightly stingy, but when I asked for more, they happily bought over a bowl full so I couldn’t really complain.  In good old american tradition the pancakes were served with Maple Syrup – the only thing that was missing was the whipped cream!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries

Buttermilk Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries

Miss Matt who was seeking something hot went for the soup. What appeared was a tomato, vegetable and cheese soup which was apparently quite delicious!

20140224_120900

Soup

Miss Mel however fancied something a little more eggciting  (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) and went for the Cheese Omelette with a side of Croissant. The fact that  she said very little during the eating process can only mean she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Omelette

Omelette

Having paid up and 2pm quickly approaching, we decided to partake in the last of our New York activities, so with the help of Charlie our fabulous furry friend, we froze our backsides off on a little trip around Central Park.

Central Park

Central Park

And with that it was back to our hotel to pack up our room and Au Revoir New York – Thank you for having us!

New York, New York

New York, New York

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