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

The problem with most places that I go to eat out at is that I have to be super careful with my allergies. It’s one of the reasons why I rarely visit Thai restaurants because of their use of peanuts. Nevertheless, I try not to let that stop me because then I wouldn’t go anywhere, would I?

Mutay and I always have monthly dinner dates (something I’ve mentioned before and is good for my sanity). Last month’s date took as to ROKA on Charlotte Street!

ROKA is a Japanese restaurant with spacious surroundings and a central, open top grill kitchen in the middle. You can see the chefs bustling around preparing everyone’s food, which is something I love watching. We had a table situated on the side, so we didn’t get to see much but it was still pretty cool.

ROKA specialises in robatayaki cuisine. 

In Japanese cuisine, robatayaki (炉端焼き, literally “fireside-cooking”), often shortened to just robata (ろばた in hiragana), refers to a method of cooking, similar to barbecue, in which items of food on skewers are slow-grilled over hot charcoal. – Wikipedia

We got a table through Bookatable, so ours was a special deal which meant we got 3 courses and a glass of bubbles for only £33 per person. 

The waitress explained that the majority of their starters used a fish based sauce, which was very unfortunate for me because I’m allergic to fish (honestly, I’ve no idea how I’ve survived on this earth for so long either, guys). Thankfully, she said that she would speak to the chef and they’d come up with a specialised menu. 

I particularly love that there wasn’t that much of a fuss made and I commend her for handling it so well – it happened again later with the dessert too because they used nuts in the dessert I wanted originally, but they made a special version of it for me, instead. 

My only annoyance was that I didn’t get to have the kimchi that I was so looking forward to because they used fish stock, but it was only a minor issue.

For the starters, our confusion was that we had to pick one, but the lady explained that everything on the list was a starter. Imagine our excitement! The original menu included kimchi, sashimi, beef dumplings, and sashimi tempura but with the alterations, it was slightly different.

We started off with these edible leaves with a really nice dressing. I’m sorry to say I don’t know the name of the dish, but it was very yummy! We also had gyuniku to goma no gyoza (beef, ginger & sesame dumplings), which is definitely something I recommend you try. Paired with the sauce, it was delicious. Next was the vegetable tempura, which was great! Tempura is just a dish of either seafood or vegetables battered and deep fried. It makes for a great snack, actually. Also, because I couldn’t have the sashimi, they made cucumber maki for me instead which was still yummy.

Starters! Not pictured is the cucumber maki.

There were no problems with the mains, so nothing was altered. I opted for gyuhireniku no pirikara yakiniku (beef sirloin, chilli, spring onion), which also came along with steamed rice. The beef was so tender, it practically fell off my fork. I’m not exactly sure of the sauce it came with, but it was extremely tasty and I’m guessing it was soy sauce based. You can’t really go wrong with rice, either. I wish the main course didn’t end so quickly, but I guess that’s because I wolfed it down like I hadn’t been fed in a hundred years. 

Look at the presentation! Amazing 😍

The last course was dessert, for which had to be altered, but I’m extremely grateful they went out of their way to do so. I went for hokkaido no yawaraka cheesecake (cotton soft cheesecake, robata grilled pear, cream cheese ice cream). It was a great way to end what was already a fantastic meal!

This was amazing cheesecake and paired with the crunchiness of the pears and softness of the ice cream, it was delightful!

We had a really enjoyable dinner, and I’d just like to bring up again how lovely the servers were and how accommodating they were. I absolutely wish more restaurants were like this – it definitely makes it a lot easier for people who enjoy eating out but are restricted by allergies. 

37 Charlotte Street
London
W1T 1RR
United Kingdom

T +44 (0) 20 7580 6464

It’s been a century and a minute since my last post.

I briefly mentioned this restaurant in my Paris post, but I feel this place deserves a post all for itself. Hardware Société, located in Montmatre, is a café-inspired restaurant putting an Australian twist on French breakfast classics. Originating in Melbourne, the owners Will and Di decided to open up this restaurant in Paris after falling in love with the city (I can attest to that sentiment).

Picture this, it’s mid-morning and you’re starving, but you’re not really sure where to go because you’re not familiar with the city you’re currently in. In steps TimeOut and out comes Hardware Société. I wasn’t quite expecting such a queue when we arrived, but alas there was one, and a waitress to take our names whilst we waited for the table. 

I eagerly watched a couple eat a delicious looking dessert whilst sitting outside and tried desperately not to drool.

After a little while (somehow a couple who arrived after us managed to get a table before us, but I’m not bitter or anything), we were led to our table in the slightly elevated sitting area near the back. It was nice and airy, especially with the big windows complimenting the room. Made for a lovely view.

My only slight gripe is that it isn’t that spacious. The smaller tables for two are round and grouped close together with other tables, so it’s like you’re sharing your dining experience with people you don’t know and you can practically hear their whole conversation. Also, we had to do a bit of juggling when our food came to fit everything on the table. Nevertheless, I loved the decor in there: marble table tops and black and white tiled floors with tea cups hanging on the wall. Quaint, af.

I really need to talk about the menu, more specifically the quote by Virginia Woolf that is on the front page: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Hallelujah, someone finally said it.

I immediately ordered a house-made chai tea latte, which definitely hit the spot and was almost too pretty to drink (almost), alongside a butter croissant that came with orange and grapefruit jam. I love that the word for grapefruit in French is pamplemousse. It makes me laugh so much. Paris definitely knows how to turn it up when it comes to pastries, and my croissant was soft, buttery, flakey and delicious. 

croissant

Obnoxious flatlay alert.

The fact that I have a stomach that never ends is what had me ordering my main: Pork Belly & Fried Eggs – potato and bacon hash, spiced tomato and apple relish, smoked sourdough. It was ridiculously good. I usually only have potato hash, so the fact this had bacon in it as well made me so much happier. The crispy skin on the pork belly sent me to lechon heaven and it took me so much strength to not swallow my meal whole. The relish complimented the food, and there were all these different flavours; sweet and savoury – so, so good!

img_2828

Exhibit A: Foodgasm

As we were in a rush to meet my cousins at Marché Bastille, we went and paid the bill at the counter where we came across this punny sign:

change

?

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Hardware Société and would definitely visit again! I would love to visit their first café in Melbourne, as well. The staff were really friendly and I loved the overall laid-back, friendly atmosphere, and it makes for an awesome place to have brunch. Bonus points for getting to see the Sacré-Cœur after you finish eating, too!

10 Rue Lamarck
Paris, France
 
+33 1 42 51 69 03