The Food Diaries

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ~ Virginia Woolf

There have been 20 entries in The Food Diaries! People seem to enjoy them, which I’m glad to see and I enjoy writing them because what’s not to love about food? (Except when you’re dying from an allergic reaction, ahem)

These days I’ve been craving fried chicken like a pregnant lady, so it’s only right that I must write a post about fried chicken. More specifically fried chicken burgers.

Other Side Fried were promoting on Instagram free chicken burgers for the first 100 people that headed over to Dirty South in Lewisham. My fat ass obviously had to get in on the action. Unfortunately, I missed out on the free burger but still got 30% off my order.

What came next was an unbelievable amount of happiness because their burgers are out of this world. And I don’t put that lightly.

I ordered the O.S.F burger – fried chicken, brown butter mayo, parmesan, garlic, lettuce. Whoever came up with brown butter mayo deserves an award because what the hell? What is that sweet elixir? The fried chicken was the perfect amount of crispy and juicy. Have you ever bit into a burger and the juices come running down the side of your mouth and you look like a hot mess? But you’re okay with that because the food is so damn good

Alongside the burger, I also ordered the Dirty Fries – bacon, parmesan, hot sauce, ranch sauce. Aside from fried chicken, cheese is another one of my weaknesses. (Now that I write that I’m wary that people can actually exploit me because all they need to do is give me fried chicken and cheese and I will do anything for them).

Speaking of, potatoes are so versatile, don’t you think? I could probably write a whole post on the versatility of potatoes – boiled or baked, to steamed, roasted, microwaved or fried. EVEN ALCOHOL. But anyway…

The fries were so delicious, especially with all the toppings – such an explosion of flavour in my mouth. It was a religious experience. There was a feeling of complete satisfaction when I finished the meal ~ the kind where you have to lean back in your seat and pop the button on your jeans. (I usually wear stretchy pants on food trips, but I don’t know what happened on that day)

You’ll be pleased to hear that I did manage to get a free chicken burger in the end at the opening of Peckham Levels back in December. This time I went for the Honey Butter burger – fried chicken, smoked honey butter, bacon, pickles, lettuce. It’s not me that is crying. It’s you. When the honey butter drips onto your fingers, you got to lick that shit clean because YOU ARE NOT A WASTEFUL PERSON. 😍

Could I wax any more lyrical about Other Side Fried? Yes, most likely. But then you’d all be like, “Shut up, Chynna. We get it. You love fried chicken!” when really you should ultimately be planning your next trip to Other Side Fried. Okay? Okay.

It is now me that must go to every single spot that they serve their burgers. Obviously.

Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ

Dirty South, 162 Lee High Road, London, SE13 5PR

Peckham Levels, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST

Unit 62, The Loft, Camden Lock Market, London, NW1 8AF

 

 

 

 

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity”. ~ Louise Fresco

It has been a hot minute since I last posted an entry to The Food Diaries!

Last November, I was invited to Lotus Bar to try out their new Christmas canapés. I also had the opportunity to try out one of their Christmas cocktails, as well! 

Located on Clapham High Street, Lotus Bar specialises in Italian food making an emphasis on unique flavours. Their recipes come from family secret ingredients and I could definitely tell this when I got to try their food!

Lotus Bar is a great place to hang out with friends, if you’re on a date or if you’re looking for a new place to try out solo.

My companion and I arrived at Lotus Bar and were immediately given a seat by the window. I had already emailed over my preferences for which canapés we would try and so I was excited to get going. Our waiter kindly explained what cocktails they had on offer and I decided to go for the Christmas Tease. This contained rum, dark rum and Wray & Nephew – it was like a party in my mouth. 😍 Rum is sometimes too overpowering for some, especially if there are more than one in the drink, but this was surprisingly sweet and not too strong.

It didn’t take too long for the canapés to come out and we feasted on the following:

▫️ King prawn skewers with strawberry and balsamic vinegar
▫️ Deep fried croquettes with parma ham and cheese
▫️ Bruschetta with pan-fried aubergine, fresh chopped tomato, basil and ricotta cheese
▫️ Creamed dried cod served with warm bread
▫️ Warm chocolate brownie with custard

Everything was so delicious. My favourite canapé had to be the king prawn skewers! The sourness of the vinegar was offset by the sweetness of the strawberry, making it even tastier. I really liked the croquettes, as well, although I do feel there should have been a little more ham in them. 

When the dessert came out after we finished out canapés, my eyes lit up. I love brownies and I love custard – put them together and you’ve got gold. Heartwarming, delicious and filling; I definitely could have eaten another helping!

The presentation of the canapés was really beautiful, so not only is your stomach feasting but so are your eyes. I didn’t even know where to begin when the food came out!

The service was really good and our waiter was patient in explaining everything on the menu. This is something I always look for when I go out to eat. If your waiter is rude and not willing to be accommodating, then what is the point? 

Will I be visiting Lotus Bar again? Yes! I also love that it is so local to me. If you love Italian food, then you should definitely check this place out.

76 Clapham High St
London
SW4 7UL

T: 020 7720 2516

I was provided with free food and drinks in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and are not influenced by Lotus Bar in any way.

When your friend relies on you to take them to the best food places, you kind of have to pull out all the stops. Aside from myself and Mutay’s monthly dinner, I also meet up regularly with one of my friends and take her to what I believe to be the best places to eat in London.

There have been some places which have been completely new to me, as well, however, my gut is always right and the places we’ve visited have been amazing.

Last month, I decided on Flesh & Buns for our meet up as I had been before and was absolutely floored by how good the food was. 

Flesh & Buns is an Izakaya pub-style venue located in Covent Garden. The restaurant is underground, and the decor and lighting are really nice. I found the service really good and all the waiters that served us were very friendly (and cute, but that point is irrelevant).

There are so many things to choose from on the menu – you can choose from sushi to rice bowls or if you fancy noodles or chicken wings, it is all there. They also have some delicious cocktails!

It took me ages to decide what I wanted for my main, but for my starter, I immediately knew that I wanted the prawn tempura roll and Korean fried wings. As I don’t get many opportunities to eat good sushi due to my allergies to fish, I always try and grab one when it’s presented to me. 

The rolls were absolutely delicious! Especially with the wasabi. It had yuzu mayo, avocado and tobiko.  Also, the more wasabi, the better – you gotta feel that burn in your nose! Also, I really love pickled ginger. My eyes bugged out of my head when they brought out the Korean fried wings as I wasn’t expecting them to be so big! Covered in this beautiful spicy sour sauce and sesame seeds, I would say that if you’re on a first date, maybe don’t order the wings because they are very sticky, very messy but oh so yummy. They were perfectly done with just the right amount of spice.

For my main, we decided to go for the restaurant’s namesake which is their flesh and buns. You have the option of what “flesh” you want, so, for example, you can get steak, chicken or duck. I went for the crispy piglet belly. We also went for their offer of 2 buns for £2. The crispy piglet belly which comes with a salad alongside mustard miso. It was SO delicious. The pork was really tender with the skin being nice and crispy! The buns are steamed so are super soft – you basically make a sandwich and go to town!

I left that restaurant feeling pregnant but with no regrets.

Overall, I had a fantastic time on my second visit to Flesh & Buns. The atmosphere in the restaurant is really good, the food is (of course) amazing and I loved the service. I will definitely be visiting and I would definitely recommend this place if you live in or are visiting London.


41 Earlham St
London
WC2H 9LX

T: 020 7632 9500

I’ve been to eat in the Shard one other time and that’s because I won a WeSwap competition and got a £100 voucher for Hutong. (PS. We went over the £100 and had to pay extra, but what did you really expect from me?)

Eating in the Shard is the pinnacle of fancy living. High rise restaurants with a 360º view of London? Yeah, you know you’re living the good life. Especially when you have to pay for the water…

So, my mother turned 60 last July and you only turn 60 once, right? She decided she wanted to live her best life and so she left it to me to pick a restaurant that was specifically in the Shard. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from but Oblix was the one that stood out to me!

Oblix is a contemporary grill restaurant based on the 32nd floor of the Shard. The views are absolutely stunning, however, they don’t take requests for window seats so you’ll have to be lucky to get one. Nevertheless, you can book through the website making it really easy. I also phoned the day before to arrange for them to write a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on my mum’s dessert, and everything went smoothly.

My original plan was to bring a cake to the restaurant for them to bring it out, but they have a cake charge which is per head. When the lady I was speaking to mentioned they could write the message on her dessert, I decided to go for that because it just made life a lot simpler. (We ended up getting a small cake and doing the candles and stuff at home, which you can watch here).

There’s an automatic lift that will take you all the way to the 32nd floor and as soon as you arrive they take your coats and bags to put in their cloakroom. The waitress’ uniforms were these cute flared dresses, which I absolutely adored. All the servers were so friendly as well, asking us if we had a good day so far and even saying happy birthday when I mentioned it was my mum’s birthday.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, but still had a good view from where we were sitting! The menu is quite extensive ranging from grilled diver scallops, king oyster mushrooms & hazelnuts to grilled aubergine, yoghurt, mint & pomegranate… fancy or wot? 😮

WHILE WE DECIDED…

We had some nibbles from the ‘While You Decide’ section of the menu, which was yummy. We started with chorizo, herb croutons & rosemary and also the parmesan cheese with honey. Please note these are NOT starters, they are literally nibbles because they came in such smol bowls.We were given bread whilst we waited for our meal and we had also ordered drinks. I went for the Pink Cadillac and I honestly don’t remember what was in it, but I do know it was delicious. And pink. Always a win/win. I was more interested in the main anyway, and there was so much to choose from…

THE JOSPER OVEN

I was originally going to order the rib-eye, but I spotted the lamb and I just had to order it. I’m glad I did! These lamb chops were marinated in harissa giving the meal a beautiful fragrant smell and a wonderful spicy kick with each bite. Paired with yoghurt, there was a wonderful combination was cool and hot. I also ordered the jersey royal potatoes, which gave the meal much-needed carbs. The presentation was amazing and my eyes literally lit up when the waiter came over with my plate.

The meal was very filling, as well, and I thought, “Oh no, I’m not going to have room for dessert!” but I really don’t know who I was kidding. 😂

DESSERTS

I wanted to go for the New York cheesecake, but unfortunately, it had nuts so that was a definite no go. In the end, I chose the strawberry & rose Eton mess. There were freshly cut strawberries and mini meringues which went really well with the sorbet. It was so refreshing! Again, the presentation was on point – kudos to Oblix, y’all know how to make food look pretty! For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of my dessert which is so unusual for me!

My mum ended up ordering the cheesecake, and I was smiling so big when they came over the dessert and it had the message and even a candle which they had lit up! So cute.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Oblix and I will definitely be back sometime in the future. There is so much on the menu that I want to try!

Level 32
The Shard
31 St. Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RY

T: 020 7268 6700

Feed me tapas and I’m yours forever. In fact, feed me tapas and cocktails, and I will definitely be yours forever.

Brixton has a plethora of restaurants to eat at and one day I will eat at all of them. Located inside Brixton Market, Seven at Brixton is a tapas and cocktail bar serving breakfast, lunch and evening tapas. With its mismatched tables and graffiti decor, it’s a cosy little place.

Downstairs has an open bar area with seating, which also gave off a rustic feel. It reminded me of this little bar my friends and I stumbled upon when we were in Barcelona.

Upstairs are four different rooms that serve as a space for local artists and you can take in the art installations as you eat some really yummy food.

Okay, so onto the food. Just in case you don’t know:

A tapa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtapa]), in Spanish cuisine, is an appetizer, or snack. It may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid). – Wikipedia

You can order several different tapas, or you can be lazy like we were and order a large sharing board. What I love about tapas cuisine is the sharing aspect of it. Sometimes one dish isn’t enough, but the ability to have several small dishes and just pick and choose what you want is great!

The large sharing board at Seven at Brixton is as follows: a selection of Spanish cheeses, chorizo, jamon Serrano, patatas bravas, piquillo peppers & cornichons. Served with warm focaccia & oil.

SO GOOD. HONESTLY SO, SO GOOD.

Let me pick apart the board and tell you what I think.

A selection of Spanish cheeses, chorizo, jamon Serrano, patatas bravas, piquillo peppers & cornichons. Served with warm focaccia & oil

Cheese is something you can’t go wrong with unless of course, you are lactose intolerant. So sorry if you are. The sharp tang of some of the cheeses went well with the hams and chorizo! Literally tantalising my taste buds.

Chorizo is my favourite type of cured sausage. It goes great with anything: on a pizza, in a sandwich, on its own. I could have literally had two more dishes of this delicious sausage.

I am not a fan of pickles, but I feel like the board would not be complete without the cornichons. They complimented the food really well, and actually if you took a bite of the patatas bravas (something I can’t get enough of and will praise all day if you let me) and cornichons it tastes like salt and vinegar crisps. 😂

Focaccia is a great bread and definitely went well with the meal, especially smothered in the oil. Also, it makes a great base for an open-faced sandwich with the cheese and ham.

To round it all off, they have really good cocktails! They taste yummy and they’re strong – just the way I like it. My favourite had to be the ginger beer & basil mojito (Santa Teresa rum, basil, lime, brown sugar & ginger beer). Their cocktail menu does change, and I think their Spring menu has just dropped (which is just another excuse for me to go back, obviously).

I love the chilled atmosphere in Seven at Brixton, the waitress who served us was really friendly, and they had some really good music! This quirky little restaurant is a must-visit if you’re in Brixton.

Unit 7
Market Row
Brixton
London
SW9 8LB

T: 0207 998 3309