Friday, 6 July 2012

Borough fever!

I've rediscovered Borough market this week and I'm loving it. Why did I stop visiting? The stupid decisions I make, anyhuu here it goes ...

A big shout out to Bedales - a perfectly charming Spanish bar to indulge in bottle(s) of Rose, on the side walk (the barrels look pretty but the accompanying stools are uncomfortable, I'd opt for a lower seat if I were you!), and delicious nibbles (chorizo and ham is a plenty) including pinxho which I was introduced to on my last trip to Barcelona . We had a good spot to watch the laser show celebrating the opening of the Shard - Europe's tallest building. Having lived in Dubai, and witnessed the opening of the Burj Khalifah (double the height of the shard), I have to say I was more enamored by this bar that everyone else around that we're aflutter!

Last Saturday I also ventured out to Borough market, and have to say Caneles des Bordoux you are delicious - a bite sized French dessert with a custard centre and caramalised shell ..... This one had bits of orange in it too!

And lastly, my favorite, I can't go to Borough market and not have Raclette - a tremendously indulgent Swiss dish that tastes like heaven in your mouth. Imagine oozing hot cheese and potatoes and pickles, what's not to like?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hi, kifak, Ça va?

Hallelujah, South London, I shouldn't have doubted you. I had the pleasure of discovering a hidden Lebanese gem in Tooting Bec this weekend. Meza is a delightfully cosy (albeit a bit crammed but that just adds to the experience) little restaurant - with just five tables. We sat at the counter and although a table later opened up, the staff were so friendly and chatty we decided to stick around and watch them cook.

If you plan on visiting - do reserve, unless you want to have a late dinner in true Lebo fashion, tables get available after 10pm and this is what we did. If you need to kill time while waiting for a table there's a charming pub at the corner of the road Wheatsheaf where I was delighted to find wine served in carafes, mellow jazz, and a buzzing crowd.

Everything you order at Meza will be fantastic - I am truly my fathers daughter when it comes to refusing to pick up the menu at a lebanese restaursnt because i know exactly what i want. I particularly recommend the fattoush salad (not on the menu but delicious if you like pomegranates).

The bill came to a reasonable £25 for two (without drinks) - and we even took a doggy bag home! This is definitely going to become one of my regulars.

Yallah, bye!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Two pub roasts in my belly today.

It's been a day dedicated to pub grub.

Admiring her Belly of Pork
First pub: Woke up and headed to the famous Earl Ferrers pub in Streatham (or St Reatham as aspirational locals like to call it) which made it to the Guardians list of 10 of the best pubs in London. Cute and cosy spot - full of locals as its off the beaten track. Tasted both the roast beef and pork belly, both get a 7/10 score. Chased it down with Appleton cider (so cloudy so yummy) and sticky date pudding. 17 pounds a head with drinks.

David Hockney, Exposed
Pit stop: Picasso and modern British Art at Tate Britain. Focuses on the influence the artist had on contemporary Brit artists including David Hockney (love this photo I sneakily took), Francis Bacon and Henry Moore.

Second pub: I'm thrilled to say that after being rejected from The Albion in Islington several times (not for looking like a bum but because they're always fully booked), I finally managed to book a table for dinner. Yippee! The garden at the back is now open which is lovely, picture a three hour dinner, lovely trees all around, the cutest little pups passing by, great friends and delicious food. 

The roast beef comes with a side of bone marrow which instantly makes it win against any other roasts I've had to date. Dessert was aplenty - lemon posset (yum), sticky toffee (tasty) and strawberry with shortbread and ice cream (wouldn't recommend this one), washed down with a macchiato.
Damage: 40 pounds a head with lots of drinks, desserts, mains and starters

Mama Italia and Design Day

Dear foodies, Apologies for being lazy and quietly gobbling away in silence. Have been feeling rubbish for not sharing glorious food moments experienced at home and away this year (Marseille, Roma, Naples, Sicily, Windsor, Paris and Barcelona). I've decided to start small and share discoveries as I stumble along.

Enjoyed a splendidly windy Saturday at the Design Museum - check out the Designs of the Year 2012 exhibit (my personal favorite is this inflatable biking helmet) and an exhibit celebrating 20 years of Christian Laboutain if you're a stiletto fan... being the most clumbsy person alive I must admit the man makes quality shoes, got a pair of classic black pumps for my birthday (thanks shiz!) a few years ago which are still lasting me.

Headed to Greenwich for dinner, after being put off and rejected by the Old Brewery for not having a reservation we found a buzzing little Italian restaurant called Bianco 43. Sleek, simple an lively! If you're looking for homely rustic food, friendly service and a good vibe I much recommend this place.

Starter: Oyster salad with celery, potatoes and parsley
Mains: strasconati al ragu bianco di pesce e brocolli; carne with potatoes
Dessert: embarrassed to say I didn't have any space left for this
Drink: Much recommend the Pinot Grigio

Cost: Bill came to approx 30 pounds each with two generous glasses of Pinot grigio

Verdict: Very charming, defo heading back

Ciao bellissime!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Eating breakfast (like the king)

I take breakfast very seriously. And because I was an absolute slob this weekend (Saturday night highlight was watching Home Alone Part 1 with friends and eating copious amounts of junk food), I went out for brekkie not once but TWICE. And made sure both places were less than a two minute walk from my place. Don't judge, it's (almost) Christmas. 

Brew is a tiny Turkish cafe, you will almost always find a queue here, a favourite haunt of South London cool-kids. I love this place for it's quirky menu. 
I had Turkish eggs, this is a bowl of poached eggs on a bed of hung yoghurt, seasoned with garlic butter and chilies. Served with toasted pide bread.

Mustache opted for toasted banana bread with greek yoghurt and pistachios on the side.   
The smoothies here are great - I had the spurulina with apple juice and banana smoothie.

Tamra is a casual diner, popular for it's breakfast. My favourite things about this joint are:
a) the relaxed atmosphere
b) you can have pancakes with eggs and syrup. A massive breakfast fan, I am always faced with the dilemma of choosing between eggs vs. pankcaes. You can have both here. It's terrific
c) they serve hot chocolate with whipped cream. I know many places do this but I just had this yesterday so let me rant about it, enjoy and drooling over the photo 

I can't wait to go home and have breakfast, Lahore - the land of parathas and sweet milky chai. Expect a breakfast report from Pakistan soon! 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cake geek in the rain

Ran into the Ottolenghi deli in Nottinghill to get shelter from the rain today. My stomach could not resist the delicious eye candy and so we ended up walking out with the orange and dark chocolate fondant cake and vanilla rose cake with pink icing. Had a picnic outside the train station, in the cold. So darn worth it, I'm such a cake geek. Need to learn how to make these cakes myself. I think (hope) mustache man might have ordered me an Ottolenghi cook book on amazon from Christmas.

Polpo, at long last

I FINALLY got into Russel Norman's much hyped restaurant Polpo on Beak Street. After being rejected on several occasions. On the fateful day we were resolute to show up at 5.30pm, when the doors open. To our surprise the restaurant was already packed and we were asked to wait at the bar for a few minutes. Despite my crankiness about being rejected from this establishment so many times, I need to give kuddos to the no-booking policy (a refreshing change for a London restaurant). Apparently Russel has based the concept of this restaurant on cicheti - the small plates of food found in Venice's backstreet bacari, where locals eat their lunch standing up at the bar, with a small glass of wine. 

I'm not going to go into detail about the food here (lovely small plates of food) because I feel that the experience that needs to be highlighted, and the reason why people flock here is the atmosphere and the vibe.
Beware, the plates may be small, but the bill will be approximately £40 a head for ample food and drink.
Need to try Russel's new restaurant Mishkin soon - it's an Italian cafe slash Jewish deli and boy, do I heart salt beef.
The end.