Ceru London – Foodies Meetup

6 Mar Ceru - dips

Myself and Snita (@herfavfood – go check out her blog) decided to organise a little Foodies Meetup with some fellow food bloggers.

We are so lucky to live in a brilliant city like London, with incredible food from around the world. Having met some awesome people at foodie events, I wanted us to organise our own gathering with like-minded people who share the love of food; so this is how our foodies meetup first came about.

Ceru sign

I contacted the lovely Patricia from Ceru London, one of the new London pop-up restaurants that everyone’s been talking about in the world of Twitter. We decided to keep our first meetup fairly small as the restaurant isn’t that big, but there’s talk of a bigger venue coming soon, so there will definitely have to be a next time!


Ceru specialises in Levantine cuisine, serving food influenced by Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Executive Chef Tom Kime has done a great job in combining seasonal locally sourced produce with beautiful and vibrant flavours of the Levant.


We were all served drinks on arrival and there was a lovely selection of fresh juices on offer, including their daily specials. My juice was pineapple based and was so tasty.

Ceru - drinks

The aromas coming from the kitchen were just to die for! It has to be one of my favourite smells of all the cuisines I have been lucky enough to try. It made me salivate just thinking about the food that was about to be served.

To start we had a selection of dips to share with some warm flatbread. I’m so happy we got to try all of them as they were all delicious and wonderful in their own way. The houmous had a smooth, creamy texture with a slight kick from the green chilli which was a welcome addition in my opinion.

Ceru - dips

But my favourite was a beetroot dip called Pancar which consisted of roasted beetroot, yoghurt, garlic and pistachio. Usually I find beetroot to have an earthy taste, which can overpower a dish. But this really wasn’t earthy at all and in fact was fresh and tangy, which tasted great with the flatbread.

Ceru - bread

The other 2 dips were called Fadi (fried baby courgette puree with tahini, roasted garlic, yoghurt and lemon) and a spicy roast red pepper dip (with chilli, walnuts and pomegranate molasses).

Ceru - slow roasted lamb

I chose the slow roast lamb shoulder with shawarma spices for my main and it was the best decision ever! Words don’t really do this dish justice. It was melt in your mouth soft with an aromatic scent from the spices and a nice tangy dressing topped with pomegranates and pistachio. Each element added value to the dish and I have not stopped raving about it since eating at Ceru!

Ceru - sea bream

My foodie friend had the roast sea bream with oregano and chilli, topped with delightful garlic chips which I felt made the dish stand out even more as I have an unhealthy obsession with garlic. The fish was cooked perfectly and drizzled in a lovely warm lemon dressing.

Ceru - bean side

Our main came with a side of white bean & parsley salad with tomato, chilli and extra virgin olive oil, as well as some lightly spiced roasted potatoes.

Ceru - potato side

For dessert, we went for the Ice Cream Baklava which was a pistachio nut ice cream with roast nut brittle and a burnt honey caramel. It was just… WOW.

Ceru - pistachio ice cream

In my head I expected just a deconstructed baklava, which I would’ve liked as I have a weakness for baklava, however, this was a million times better!

I have tried what I thought to be pistachio ice cream before, but this was like nothing I have tried before. It tasted authentic with no hint of artificial nut flavourings you typically get with pistachio flavoured food. The consistency was incredible – so smooth and creamy. And I felt like there was just the right level of honey caramel drizzled on top to add a different flavour dimension to the dessert. I would honestly go back to just have this if I could.

Ceru - Muhalibiyya

And last but not least, we got to try their new dessert, the Muhalibiyya, which is a pudding made from milk, rice flour, sugar, rosewater and chocolate with an apricot puree centre. I know so many people who dislike rosewater in general, so it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. The flavour combinations were different and it wasn’t a heavy dessert. So both desserts were the perfect way to end our meal.

I want to thank Ceru for their wonderful hospitality and great food. Everyone who attended our Foodies Meetup had a lovely time and I have been craving the slow cooked lamb for a while now so I must pay them a visit again soon.

Ceru - Foodies Meetup

Also thank you to the lovely ladies who came along to the meetup – I hope this was just the first of many more meetup’s to come!

You can find Ceru’s pop-up restaurant at 29 Rathbone Place, London. W1T 1JG.



Amuse your bouche on Valentine’s Day!

5 Feb mushroom-sesame jelly

So a friend of mine is a gastronomist and therefore, a great cook. She is always cooking for family and friends with great success, but she wanted to take this a little further and put on a small hors d’oeuvres party for Valentine’s Day.

She asked me to spread the word to the good people of London who happen to follow or read my blog, so here’s the lowdown…

Malani has a wealth of experience in the food industry in Asia and London. Over the past 14 years she has been a personal chef, culinary demonstrator, food stylist, recipe developer and food writer. She has also worked with numerous food brands and even catered for corporate clients such as Fendi, Chanel and Guess.

Malani has worked with famous chefs from around the world, from Alan Ducasse to Maria Elia to name but a few!

So here’s your chance to be lured by the seduction of food this Valentine’s Day.

You don’t t have to know anyone – it’s a great opportunity to mingle with new people in a cosy and friendly environment on a night that is typically disappointing for singletons.

Make new friends and chat to people who are also passionate foodies, whilst enjoying an eclectic range of homemade modern Asian food, with contemporary styling.

Get ready to uncover the layer of flavours in an informal setting. There’s no formal dress code or a dining table to sit around; just come in your smart casual clothes and sit comfortably on sofas and chairs.

Date: Saturday 14th February 2015

Time: 18:30 – 22:30

Location: Colliers Wood, London, SW17 9DL


  • Devilled egg topped with coconut pea puree
  • Mushrooms & scallions served on crackers
  • Hot dogs on grilled croissants topped with onion curry sauce
  • Sesame chicken meatballs
  • Thai tuna sweet corn patties

Drinks: BYOB. Water & soft drinks will be provided.

Price: £20 per head (To be paid in cash on the night).

Reservations to be made by email to malani.g@gmail.com. Details of the full address and any further updates will be sent after booking confirmation.

Mal - food balls

I will also be attending, so I hope to see you there!

Dinner at Acciuga – #ZomatoMeetup

14 Dec DSC_0992

I was invited to a #ZomatoMeetup along with 20 or so food bloggers at Acciuga, an Italian restaurant on Kensington High Street. We got to pre-select our 3 course meal in advance and it all sounded amazing, so I was very excited by the time the day came around.

The restaurant isn’t exactly in an area where there’s a lot of footfall in my opinion, so the walk from the station took a little longer than anticipated, but it was certainly worth it.

We arrived and were greeted by friendly faces and welcome drinks. Even though I don’t drink, I could tell the people around me were enjoying Accigua’s new ‘Madness of Gold’ cocktail.


We were then introduced to head chef Guglielmo Arnulfo, who is from the Liguria region of Italy and he explained that the passion behind his food comes from wanting people to rediscover traditional Italian cuisine. And that’s exactly what we did!snacks

We got to nibble on different types of bread. Two of them were fried doughs – one was plain, but the other had the delicious fragrance of sage with a little salty kick which I loved. There were breadsticks too of course, but my absolute favourite was the Focaccia Ligure topped with caramelised onions… just thinking about it right now is making me drool! Focaccia is my absolute weakness – I can easily eat a whole slab of it in seconds, which I don’t think is a good thing…

We were then taken to the kitchen where chef Arnulfo did a demonstration of his signature poached egg with fresh black truffle. I didn’t have the best viewpoint so when I heard the whirring of a machine I was a little confused, then I realised ‘poached’ was what he was trying to make it look like – he was going for the deconstructed method.DSC_0969

The fluffy eggs certainly intrigued me but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try it on this occasion – but I suppose that’s a good enough reason to go there again, right?IMG_4666

Walking into the space where we were going to dine was very exciting. I liked the bright pop art on the walls and seeing a long table set up like this always fills me with joy. The one thing I love just as much as food itself is talking about food with like minded people.IMG_4669

A shout out to the lovely Alexandra from Zomato who came up with the genius idea for this anchovy which opens up to a list of names of all the attendees and their blogs – so clever and such a great touch! It was a great conversation starter and it allowed people to get their phones out and start following each other on Twitter & Instagram straight away.DSC_0972

It was so nice to actually put a face to some of these names. It turns out that I already follow a lot of these people on their culinary adventures and knew far too much about them than they’re probably comfortable with, but I was really pleased to meet them all in person.DSC_0978

Luckily we had already pre-selected our meals so we didn’t waste time deciding on what to order, but it all sounded incredible.IMG_4682

I went for the breaded and fried Mediterranean Anchovies to start. Did I forget to mention the story behind all this talk of anchovies? Well it’s because that’s the meaning of ‘Accigua’, which happens to be a staple ingredient of Liguria. So how could I not try the anchovies after all that?IMG_4690

It came with a simple tomato sauce in a clever tin; I think we were all surprised that it didn’t taste overly fishy, which I know usually puts people off from eating pungent fish like anchovies unless it’s hidden in things. DSC_0992

For my main, I went for the Trofie Pasta with Basil Pesto, which also had green beans and potato in it. This was the best decision ever! Everyone else had serious food envy as they’d gone for one of the meaty dishes.

I have never had this style of pasta before so I was intrigued and it certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was absolutely delicious in my opinion. I heard that someone said it wasn’t al dente enough, but to be honest with you, I thought it was cooked to perfection. I loved how the basil sauce wrapped around each piece of the pasta and the beans and potato added a fuller texture to each mouthful. I let my fellow neighbours have a try and they all seemed to love it too – what a great dish!DSC_0988

I didn’t get to try the other dishes as they weren’t halal, so I can’t really pass any judgement on them, but I managed to take a few photos. This was the Slow Cooked Beef with Nebbiolo Wine Sauce & Vegetables.DSC_0996

Piemontese Pork & Beef Stuffed Ravioli with Vegetable Sauce, which I heard some people raving about down the table. But there seemed to be some mixed opinions elsewhere.DSC_0999

The Salted Cod Fried with Garlic Sauce & Panissa would’ve been my other choice but I’m still glad I went for the veggie option – mine looked a bit more filling than a lot of the other dishes too!


For dessert it looked like everyone pretty much went for the same dish – the Cream of Pistachio Millefeuille and Raspberry. I don’t know about anyone else, but this was not what I was expecting. I also didn’t seem to have raspberry in mine, which was a shame as it could’ve done with some sharpness. But I appreciated the fact they were trying to do something a bit different – maybe the Italian take on the millefeuille?DSC_1019The pistachio cream was really tasty, but I must admit, the rest of it was lost on me. Maybe it’s because I have had some of the best millefeuille in the world when I was in Paris so this was hard to compare. But the ‘pastry’ element in this pot was lacking the flaky lightness you expect from pastry. Presentation wise though, I am a sucker for food served in jars and quirky pots!

Overall I had a wonderful night; I met some lovely people and ate some delicious food. And if I’m ever craving that basil pesto trofie pasta again, I know exactly where I’ll be going. Thank you to Zomato for my invite and for helping me discover this place.

If you’re in London and love food, then download their app – it’s awesome! And I truly mean it, because I have been able to refer to it many times recently when looking for inspiration on where to go with friends and it has been really useful.

Savoury Cheese & Vegetable Muffins

27 Nov IMG_4410

I’ve been craving savoury muffins recently, reminiscing about the delicious ones my lovely friend Sucre Belle made on her last visit to London. So I decided to make some myself to use up half a bag of grated cheese I had in my fridge and the vegetables I’d bought from the market.

I looked at several recipes online, but most of them seemed to be over complicated for no reason or didn’t incorporate many vegetables. But then I found and adapted a great one from Julie Goodwin’s website, Australia’s first Masterchef winner.

I took these into work the next day and my colleagues loved them – lots of people even asked for the recipe, so here you go guys!

Ingredients (makes approx. 16):

3-4 cups (450g – 600g) vegetables of your choice – I used the following:
Half Courgette, finely grated
3 Spring Onions, diced
1 Small Red Pepper, chopped finely
Half Can Sweetcorn
1 Medium Sweet Potato, diced
1 tbsp oil
1 heaped tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups (150g) Mature Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 cups (300g) Self Raising Flour
½ cup (120ml) milk
3 eggs
60g butter, melted

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4. Heat the oil in a pan for 1 minute before adding the sweet potato, ground cumin, 1 tsp salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes before taking the pan off the heat and tilting it to drain the excess oil. Transfer into a bowl and let it cool.

IMG_43622) Prepare all the other vegetables and place in a bowl. Squeeze as much water out of the courgette as you can. It will clump together, so make sure to separate the strands again.IMG_4366

3) In a separate bowl add the egg, milk and melted butter and lightly whisk, then set aside.IMG_4369

4) In a larger bowl, add the self raising flour, vegetables and cheese.IMG_4372

5) Mix the vegetables in with the flour until it is all well coated.IMG_4373

6) Add the egg mixture to the bowl and give it a good mix.IMG_4374

7) At this point, add the last tsp of salt and any additional pepper to taste. I also added 2 tsp of dried tarragon, just because I felt like it, but I don’t think it’s necessary as part of this recipe. I only decided to add sweetcorn at this point (hence not in the first few pictures) because I thought there may be too many vegetables at first, but I found it actually enhanced the taste.IMG_4375

8) Distribute the mixture evenly into cupcake or muffin cases, filling it approximately 3/4 of the way up and bake in the oven for around 25 – 35 minutes depending on your oven – I baked mine for 35 minutes. Make sure to turn the tray around half way through baking in order for it to brown evenly.IMG_4410

9) Now enjoy this cheesy, veggie, savoury muffin – I ended up eating 2 myself straight out the oven! :)IMG_4412


Taste of London Winter 2014

23 Nov DSC_0864

So I’ve been quite lucky recently. I entered a competition on the lovely Rachel Hosie’s blog (Handbags and Cupcakes) and won 2 tickets via Electrolux to the Taste of London Winter at the Tobacco Dock in East London.

I went to the Taste of London in Regent’s Park in the summer and had the most amazing time and got to eat some incredible food. So I was really looking forward to this.


I went on Thursday evening after work on their opening night. The venue is a strange one, you’re inside but outside so it was a little chilly, but we were lucky that it wasn’t raining. Although, I’m sure the people who went on Friday weren’t so lucky with the weather.

DSC_0864I loved the sparkliness of it all! It really made me feel like winter had arrived and Christmas was around the corner.


And would you believe it – we bumped into the one and only Michel Roux Jnr just as we entered the building! We were a little star struck and I felt a bit paparazzi stalkerish, snapping away on my DSLR camera, but it was a great start to the evening for sure.IMG_4481

We also got to see twice Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar at the Electrolux Taste Theatre. I actually went to his restaurant Benares back in the summer for my birthday and had a wonderful dinner with my friends.IMG_4496

Then the eating began…! There weren’t as many food stands as the summer event, but there was plenty to choose from for sure. I mainly tried to go to the restaurants I haven’t eaten at yet, with a few favourites thrown in too.

We started off at Assado by Cyrus Todiwala where we tried the Chickpea Xacutti in Pao – flavoursome Goan chickpea curry served in a bun.DSC_0860


We went to Ember Yard to try their creamy Truffled Mac and Cheese, and boy was it good! I loved the crumb on top, it rounded the texture and flavour off so well. I could really do with some of this right now…DSC_0866


Although I’ve been to Kurobuta a couple of times now, my friend was yet to try their incredible Nasu Dengaku (miso grilled aubergine) so it obviously had to be done! Love the candied walnuts served with it.DSC_0865


The 5* Action Against Hunger stand is always a must – 5 top chefs each put together gourmet Haute Dogs in 5 varieties to please everyone’s tastes. And to top it off, all the proceeds go to charity. I even ended up buyng raffle tickets from them – you never know eh!DSC_0883

I went for the Haute Dog designed by Alfred Prasad of Tamarind restaurant – the ‘vada pav’ which was a spiced potato ‘hotdog’ with chilli coconut chutney, mint chutney and red onions.IMG_4485

My friend went for the hotdog designed by Jason Atherton with an apple puree, onions, crispy pancetta and Gruyere.IMG_4486

I am yet to go to Shake Shack, so I wanted to try this to see what the fuss was about. My friend had the Cheeseburger and I had the Lil’ Shroom Burger which was actually rather nice.



We also tried their Pumpkin Pie flavoured frozen custard… this was interesting. The consistency was certainly different, much thicker, but I kind of liked it. The crunch from the crumbled biscuits was definitely welcomed.IMG_4487

I’ve heard good things about Gaucho before, but the only thing I could eat from there was the dessert – the Dulce de leche cheesecake. DSC_0859


The Gü Garden of Temptation was surprisingly one of my favourite things from Taste of London. We got to see the lovely Head Chef Fred do a demonstration, making a Lemon & Chestnut dessert which was delicious. I loved the set up too – like a mini winter wonderland. I also got to have a go on their swing!IMG_4502

Can you believe these baubles are made out of purely chocolate? Every single detail of it! There were a few things around the room just like it, all so impressive.IMG_4494

I was asked to help ‘assist’ in piping the first layer for this dessert, which was a little embarrassing, but no-one else was volunteering to go up so I thought, why not!IMG_4504

Andina was the last restaurant I ended up going to. I wanted to try their Peruvian Pumpkin doughnuts, served with purple maize honey. Pumpkin seemed to be the running theme, and actually I was pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the doughnuts. Although, the honey sauce may have been a bit too heavily spiced for my liking. After that I could not eat another bite!DSC_0935


Asda Extra Special had a lovely warm and cosy demonstration area set up too, which had a lot of pretty food on display.IMG_4501I kind of have a weakness for palmiers, and when they’re shaped as Christmas trees, how can you resist?

DSC_0903It was really nice to discover the B-fresh  cold pressed juice stand. These types of events are great places to sample food from all sorts of producers and it’s where I like to give new brands and businesses a try. I sampled the orange and carrot juice and fell in love with it’s sharpness.


Loved their variety of flavours as well. I’ve started making my own smoothies at home but I’m not brave enough to do full-on healthy green smoothies just yet, I really don’t know how people do it.IMG_4497

The Meringue Girls had a stand there of course, bright and full of creative displays. I always end up being drawn to them!

In summary, it was a very different experience from the summer Taste of London and definitely had a different vibe. This is great for people who like to drink – there was alcohol everywhere! In fact, that was the only thing I was slightly disappointed about, just because I found it very hard to find anyone selling non-alcoholic drinks (other than that one juice stand & a few coffee stands).

I liked how all the stalls had standard food allergy and ingredient signage, which I’m sure was very helpful for those with special dietary requirements.

The new top-up card system certainly sped up the ordering process, but the downside to this was when it came to sharing dishes with friends. It was harder to split the cost, especially if you don’t want to have a ‘joint account’. My friend and I made it work because we pretty much shared everything.

Overall, I preferred the summer event, but still had a lovely evening, which is nicely summed up by these photos :)


Banana & Nutella Swirl Muffins

16 Nov IMG_0323

I had some overly ripe bananas which I didn’t have the heart to throw away… but then I remembered I had a brand new jar of Nutella sitting in my cupboard… and we all know how these two were always meant to be together.

So I found a recipe online on a blog called The Novice Chef which only required ingredients I already had in my cupboard, so what followed next was pure magic!

Ingredients (makes approx. 15 muffins):
3 large over-ripe Bananas, mashed
1/2 cup (112g) Golden Caster sugar
1/2 cup (112g) Brown Sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups (250g) Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Nutella (approx 30 teaspoons)

1) Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 or 180•C. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, golden caster sugar and brown sugar.


2) In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the egg, oil and vanilla.IMG_02663) Add the egg mixture to the large bowl and whisk until combined.

IMG_0270 4) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and give it a mix with a spoon.IMG_02655) Add the flour to the banana and egg mixture and whisk.
IMG_02726) I wanted to make sure there was an even distribution of Nutella throughout the muffin, so I did this in 2 stages. Firstly, fill the muffin cases halfway and add 1 teaspoon of Nutella and use a cocktail stick or skewer to swirl it around – it doesn’t have to be neat!


7) Then top it up with more of the batter to fill the case 3/4 way up and add another teaspoon of Nutella and do more swirling, but this time do it nicely, as you will be able to see the swirl effect once baked.IMG_0291

8) Bake for approximately 15-20 mins depending on your oven and ENJOY this banana, chocolate, hazelnutty goodness!IMG_0323

Kurobuta – Marble Arch Review

29 May IMG_8420

Kurobuta is Executive Chef & Co-Founder Scott Hallsworth’s take on a Japanese pub, or izakaya. It has become a much talked about place to dine in London – they already have a pop-up restaurant in Chelsea which I haven’t had the chance to try out… yet.

But when I heard that a permanent location was being opened in my neck of the woods, in fact, down the road from me, I just couldn’t wait! I signed up to their newsletter and followed them on social media and anticipated their opening. As soon as they were taking bookings, I booked a table for myself and my best friend at the end of their first week and counted down the days.


I thought the location was quite fitting and appreciated the fact it wasn’t on the main road (i.e. Edgware Road). Our table was booked for early evening, so it wasn’t busy when we walked in, but I can’t say that was the case when we left – it was heaving and I’m not surprised! The staff were friendly and welcoming and I quite liked their quirkiness – really added to the whole experience. I also liked the open kitchen idea and the décor, although the low hanging lighting did seem to be a bit of a nuisance for the waiters and waitresses serving the food and drinks.


I had already checked out the menu (several times) to narrow down what I wanted to try this time round because, let’s be honest, I already knew I would want to go again. Who doesn’t love Japanese food? Especially when Kurobuta was offering some interesting twists to dishes as we know them.IMG_8358I’m sure the menu will be changing with seasonal produce, but I just wanted to share what was on offer during my visit. It has to be said that it was a bit on the pricey side, but I expected this before I went and saw it as a treat. Although, when you hear ‘Japanese pub’ I suppose you wouldn’t be expecting these prices either. But I’ll let the food do the talking…

I ordered the delicious Salmon Gravadlax and Avocado Tartare which was served with Dill Mayo, Rice Crunchies and Fresh Yuzu Zest.IMG_8374

The presentation was incredible and made the dish look so tempting. The flavours were fresh and subtle and the added textures were much appreciated. I’ve never tried a beef tartare before, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to, but I liked this dish and I’m glad I started with this, because the dishes later on were a bit more intense and would’ve overpowered these flavours.IMG_8382

This was the Nasu Dengaku Sticky Miso Grilled Aubergine with Candied Walnuts. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe how tasty these were. In fact, I loved them so much that I tried to replicate this at home, and although I can’t say it tasted like theirs, it was a fair attempt. I will perfect my recipe one day…IMG_8368I went for Kurobuta’s take on Japanese junk food… the incredible Tuna Sashimi Pizza with Truffle Ponzu, Red Onions and Green Chillies. I didn’t really know what to expect here. How can you have tuna sashimi on pizza!? But I was pleasantly surprised.

I love Tuna sashimi, but it doesn’t have a strong or distinct taste. The ‘pizza’ element was the flat crispy base, and the sharpness from the onions and chillies were complimented by the tanginess of the truffle ponzu. This left a tingling sensation in (and around) my mouth! But I quite liked the dish as a whole – I would never have thought this would work, but it did.

IMG_8377My friend ordered the BBQ Pork Belly in Steamed Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy. I couldn’t try this of course as I don’t eat pork, but I tried the spicy peanut soy sauce and it was so rich and intense – I felt like it would make a great condiment for all sorts of food! It’s also one of the dishes that all the reviews had been raving about – I’m just sad that the food isn’t halal.


We had to order dessert of course. Especially when the ever so nice waitress told us about the talented pastry chef and so we couldn’t resist!


My friend ordered the Jelly Doughnut Pistachio Parfait which consisted of Pistachio parfait, limoncello jelly, matcha meringue, hazelnut and chocolate mini doughnuts in green tea sugar. Loved the presentation; I tried a bit and liked the different textures too. I wasn’t so sure of the matcha meringues though… it reminded me of something soapy. But hey, that’s just me!IMG_8409

I on the other hand ordered the beautifully presented and delicious Japanese Carrot Cake. This came with shortbread & hazelnut crumb, shiso cream Chantilly and lemongrass & coconut sorbet. The carrot/coconut combination worked really well together. Especially with the coconut being in the form of sorbet, it made it quite light and refreshing, so it didn’t overpower the other flavours which was amazing.IMG_8408

Each element fulfilled it’s purpose and brought something to the dish. Honestly, hats off to the pastry chef for a very tasty dessert, which was both pleasing to the eye as well as my taste buds!


Like most places these days, the dishes come out as and when they are ready. We were just very patient and waited because I wanted to take this beautiful picture of our table of goods.

I’d say it’s probably best to go with a group of friends who like trying different dishes and don’t mind sharing. Although the portions aren’t huge, it just would be a shame not to order a selection and try a bit of everything. Plus it helps when splitting the bill – it seems so much more reasonable then!

I would definitely say this was a unique dining experience. And like I said before, I cannot wait for the opportunity to eat there again. 

Gooey Chocolate Brownies

20 Mar IMG_1397

I’ve made these incredible gooey chocolate brownies so many times now and have been asked for the recipe just as many times. So I thought it’s about time for me to share it with others. I’ve tweaked it slightly from a Jamie Oliver recipe, so I can’t take full credit for it, but it never fails me.

At first I used to make the basic version, but nowadays  I add a centre of white chocolate chunks, or whatever chocolate I have laying around. It really does make a difference in my opinion, so give it a go.


200g Dark Chocolate
250g Salted Butter
200g Golden Caster Sugar
6 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
4 Heaped Tbsp Self-Raising Flour
4 Medium Eggs
Optional: White Chocolate Chunks for the centre

1) Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180•C. Scrunch a large piece of grease proof paper and moisten it under the tap with only a little bit of water. Unfold and line the baking tin and set aside.


2) Add all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix to break up the lumps. Form a well in the middle.


3) Cut the butter in cubes and break the chocolate into pieces and place in another microwave proof bowl. Microwave for approx 2 minutes in 30 second bursts or until melted. This can also be done over a bain-marie if preferred. Mix to form a glossy mix and let it cool for a minute.


4) Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the cooled chocolate/butter mixtureIMG_4484

5) Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate and mix until it is fully incorporated. Try not to over stir/mix as it will get thicker, making it harder to pour into the tray.


6) Add half the mix to the baking tin and layer the chocolate chunks on top, making sure to leave a 1cm edge. I do this because I usually trim the sides off before cutting into squares.


7) Add the remaining half of the mixture and make sure to cover all the chocolate chunks.IMG_4504

8) Bake for about 20-30 mins until it’s done to your liking. It really does depend on how good your oven is, but I usually bake mine for between 20-25 minutes as everyone loves the gooey centre. 

IMG_13979) Once slightly cooled, take it out of the tin, and trim 1cm off all the sides and cut into squares – as big or small as you like. My baking tin allows me to get approximately 15 decent sized brownies. 

And everybody loves a gooey chocolate brownie – especially when it’s freshly baked and still warm from the oven. So enjoy!

Brunch at The Providores

23 Feb IMG_3299

I’ve been to The Providores a few times now and wanted to share some delicious looking photos with you because I like this place A LOT. It’s a café/restaurant co-owned & run by two New Zealanders and is based on Marylebone High Street. This is a sister restaurant of Kopapa which I have blogged about before.


I loved this wall which added real character to the place. And I especially loved the clear light bulbs hanging down and you could see the coiled tungsten but this photo doesn’t do them justice.IMG_3299

The first time I came here it was for brunch with some friends and I ordered the hot smoked salmon, which came with two poached eggs and spinach on walnut toast with yuzu hollandaise. Absolutely delicious and surprisingly filling.IMG_3310

We tried a few of the sides too: Sautéed buttered field mushrooms, smoky molasses Boston baked beans & a glass of tangy fresh orange juice.


One of my friends went for the French toast stuffed with banana and pecans with grilled smoked streaky bacon and vanilla verjus syrup. This looked delicious but obviously I couldn’t try it because of the bacon (as it isn’t halal), but I can imagine it being yum!IMG_3304

My other friend went for the grilled chorizo with sweet potato and miso hash, a soft boiled egg, garlic labne and star anise cashew nut praline.IMG_4968

On another occasion when I went again with some work mates, I went for their Turkish eggs from Changa restaurant in Istanbul – two poached eggs on whipped yoghurt with hot chilli butter and sourdough toast. This is what I had when I went for Brunch at Kopapa.


Flat White in a pretty cup!

It’s become one of my favourite places to go on Marylebone High Street and it always seems busy and stuffed with people, which I think actually says something about the place. You might have to queue for a little bit at the weekends, but I think that’s pretty much the standard for London these days.

Dinner at La Sophia

18 Feb IMG_1885

I have the best ‘Best Friend’ in the world. She is kind, caring and so thoughtful. I don’t think there are enough adjectives to describe how amazing she is. 

Anyway, I know this post isn’t about her, but she is the reason why I got to experience this delightful dinner. For my birthday last year, she looked into halal restaurants to take me to and came across La Sophia, a French and Mediterranean restaurant. 

It’s located near Westbourne Park station, and I must say that it’s a shame it’s not as easy to find because it makes it less likely that someone would just stumble across it like I have with so many other places, unless you were wondering around Portebello Road of course. But nevertheless, we found it and couldn’t wait to try what they had to offer, especially having checked their menu out online.


For my starter I had the Aubergine mille-feuille – with grilled halloumi, chilli, tomato concasse, pecan & parsley pesto. Obviously mille-feuille is normally pastry based, which was what I was expecting. But I soon realised that they used aubergine instead, which was tasty and I see what they did there, but I don’t know if I’d call it that. You can’t go wrong with halloumi though!

For my main meal I chose the roasted corn-fed chicken breast with spinach cannelloni, gratin dauphinoise & tarragon sauce. This has to be one of the best meals I have ever had. The chicken was succulent and the sauce was seasoned just right with some flavoursome dauphinoise.IMG_1890

My friend had the pan-fried marinated rabbit with ras el hanout, caramelised onions, garlic, herbs pomegranate tabouli & saffron couscous. Sounds silly but seeing as we had a rabbit as a pet when I was younger, I couldn’t get myself to try this! But she seemed to enjoy it… the monster! Haha, only joking of course.IMG_1911

For dessert, my friend went for the warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream.IMG_1918

Just look at the chocolate oozing out of it… yum!IMG_1914

And I had the delicious apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. I like the fact it was a mini version but I wouldn’t have minded it being a little bigger – but that’s just because I’m greedy.

Overall, I thought the experience was wonderful. It wasn’t busy when we went as it was mid-week, but the food was delicious, the service was good and I had a great time. My friend also had a tastecard so our meal was discounted too, but I hear that they don’t do that deal anymore. I’ve read other people’s mixed reviews of La Sophia, but I don’t share their thoughts because my experience was very pleasant and I would like to go back again for sure. 


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