I am a greedy girl and I love eating out a lot, especially as I seem to be constantly cooking both at work and at home, so eating out is integral for me not only for the much needed break from the kitchen but also to continue to inspire me to come up with new ideas, flavours and recipes.
But the truth is, the older I get, the more I gravitate to more simple, less fussy and pretentious, home-cooked style food. I worked in high end and Michelin-starred restaurants (in my marketing and events days) for 16 years and so I’ve been fortunate to have my fill of fine dining. These days, I struggle to get past a really good bread basket with a side of good salty butter because simple food is always best and stands the test of time beyond any trend. Give me a nice bowl of Vietnamese Pho, simple in essence, humble in content but refreshing, revitalising and utterly delicious or a really good pizza, done really well and you’ll have me purring like a kitten with contentment.
The most important thing I take very seriously is the responsibility I undertake when sharing food recommendations with people. Bad meals never make it onto my social media, I only share pictures and content about food I enjoy and ingredients/products I find genuinely useful. As I get asked constantly about where I eat and where to go for this and that kind of meal, I have put together this little list and I hope you will enjoy it and give some of these places a try (but don’t blame me if you get fat/addicted… THAT I cannot help you with) So here we go, and in no particular order…
Most Visited in 2016
Kiln, Brewer Street, W1 – www.kilnsoho.com
For, basically, everything on the small menu but fish larb, langoustines and dry pork curry are my favourites.
Hoppers, Frith Street W1 – www.hopperslondon.com
For the goat roti, mutton rolls, Gotukola Sambol, Black pork kari, Hoppers, short rib Buriani and their fantastic drinks list.
Padella, Borough High Street SE1 – www.padella.co
For the most famous Cacio e Pepe in the country and pretty much everything else you can cram in.
Yosma, Baker Street W1 – www.yosma.london
For Turkish lamb Manti dumplings, Aliz Nazik kebab, Haydari, Antakya Durum,Pirzola and Kunefe. They also do a great Turkish breakfast on the weekends.
The Wolseley, Piccadilly W1 - www.thewolseley.comFor Breakfast, Afternoon, Steak Tartare and the best banana split, ever!
Barrafina, Adelaide Street WC2 – www.barrafina.co.uk
For suckling pig, Arroz de Marisco, Carabineiro prawns, oozy potato tortilla & crab croquetas
Sacro Cuore, Chamberlayne Road NW10 www.sacrocuore.co.uk
Melazane Parmigiana, Diavola pizza, Salsiccia Friarielli pizza, Calzone Ripieno, Pizza alla Nutella.
Best for Afternoon Tea
The Wolseley, Piccadilly W1 - www.thewolseley.comA no-brainer for me, nowhere offers better value in elegant surroundings with great service, quite like the Wolseley do. £28.50 per person, which to me is what an afternoon tea should cost and it is a fine and traditional afternoon tea, too. Especially great for taking overseas visitors to as well as spoiling family and loved ones as it always feels so incredibly special.
The Modern Pantry, St John’s Square EC1 – www.themodernpantry.co.ukTo date, I have still not had a more unique and interesting breakfast experience than Modern Pantry. If you want a sensible breakfast of Muesli, you can have that. If you prefer a traditional English breakfast, you can also have that. But if you’re anything like me, then these options are more exciting. Grilled chorizo, slow-roast tomatoes, plantain fritters - Sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette, green chilli, spring onion, coriander, smoked chilli sambal - Turmeric & coconut waffle, rhubarb & lemongrass compote, Greek yoghurt & ground pistachios. I rest my case.
Hafez, Hereford Road W2 – www.hafezrestaurant.co.ukYogurt & garlic, smoked aubergine Mirza Ghasemi, Soltani mixed kebab & Jujeh (poussin) kebab on the bone.
Kish, Kilburn High Road NW6 – www.kishpersianrestaurant.comKashk-e-badenjan, Chelo kebab Chenjeh, Chelo kebab Soltani and Loobia Polow.
Places I’ve Yet To Visit But Have Heard Incredible Things About
Jikoni, Blandford Street W1 – www.jikonilondon.com
Som Saa, Commercial Street E1 – www.somsaa.com
Black Axe Mangal, Canonbury Road N1 – www.blackaxemangal.com
Smokestak, Sclater Street E1 – www.smokestak.co.uk
Honey and Smoke, Great Portland Street W1 – www.honeyandco.co.uk