24 January 2015

Breakfast At Berner's


It took me a while to decide where to book for breakfast this Saturday morning. Alex and I wanted to do a bit of shopping at Westfield in Shepherd's Bush afterwards so we decided that central was a good bet. I trawled through the breakfast menus online and before long I had my three finalists;  Heddon Street Kitchen, The Wolseley and Berner's Tavern

They all seemed amazing choices with a decent variety of dishes on offer (I do resent a limited breakfast menu!) but in the end, Berner's Tavern was my winner. I was swayed by kippers.

It was a treat to be back in the gorgeous grand dining room.


We were seated in a comfy corner and I reviewed the menu again despite knowing exactly what I was about to order.


For morning drinks it was a simple black coffee for me and a tasty banana, honey & granola smoothie for him. 


The grilled kippers came with herb butter and a watercress & parsley salad. That definitely wouldn't have been enough for me so I ordered two poached eggs and avocado to keep it company. 

The fish was delightful (not too boney!), the eggs were perfectly runny and the avocado ripe and fresh. I love avocado.


Delicious! The perfect low carb breakfast!

It was a Full English for Alex. Two eggs any style, a pork, garlic & herb sausage, Middle White back bacon, a grilled tomato, a portobello mushroom (rejected by Alex) and Stornoway black pudding.


The review was: good eggs but underwhelming meat. And another sausage wouldn't have gone amiss; they were hardly huge! To be honest, although my food was great, if I hadn't ordered the two side dishes to go with the kippers I think I'd have had an issue with the portion size too!

So would I recommend the Berner's Tavern for breakfast? Yes, I probably would as long as you're prepared to pay out for a couple of extra side dishes if you're hungry.

Although in a pleasing turn of events, Alex and I ended up having breakfast for free! We were advised by our friendly waitress that the restaurant's card system had failed. A real shame...

Alex and I headed off for a hard afternoon's shop, fueled by our unexpectedly complimentary breakfast. Not a bad start to the day at all!


***

This will be my last post before I head off on holiday. I'm going to Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan and I can't explain how excited I am! Thailand I adore and I can't wait to spend a night in Victoria Harbour and discover Tokyo! In fact, if anyone has any recommendations of where to go and what to do in Tokyo, I'm all ears! Please do tweet me or comment below!

I am hoping to blog as I go (depending on the hotels' internet!) so I shouldn't be absent for too long. 

See you on the other side!


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19 January 2015

My Big Fat Greek Luncheon


The regular readers amongst you may recall how last year Laura and I jetted off to Rhodes for a few days of sun, sea and stunningly beautiful views. We sunbathed, sipped on cocktails and ate very, very well. I've long been a big appreciator of Greek food, in particular their prolific use of cheese and filo pastry. Yummy!

With holiday memories in mind, I suggested to Laura that we pay a visit to new Kings Cross based restaurant and delicatessen, The Greek Larder. I was so excited to catch up with my best blogger buddy and enjoy some authentic Mediterranean grub.


The brunch menu is a delightful combination of traditional Greek dishes along with more modern creations. According to the website, their emphasis is on clean flavours and seasonal ingredients freshly prepared with simplicity. That sounded good to me.

It was recommended to us that we choose five or six dishes to share. 


But first thing was first - drinks! I ordered a Metaxa Rabbit; carrot juice combined with Greek spirit, Metaxa. Probably my first ever carrot-based cocktail and I can confirm that it certainly packed a punch! Laura went for a classic espresso martini. 


Pretend you didn't notice the lipstick on my teeth...

Ladies and gentlemen - our Greek feast!


We had spinach filo pie with fennel & tzatziki, lots of warm flat bread with taramasalata, octopus & fava (yellow split pea puree), Kefalotiri saganaki and venison, chestnut & quince pilaf. 


What beautiful dishes!


It was a delightful variety of tastes and textures; we made our selection well! We adored the saganaki (fried cheese) with charred red onion & candied chanterelles and I couldn't stop dipping the delicious fried flatbread into the creamy taramasalata. The venison dish was the only real let down (I thought it was a bit lacking in seasoning) but overall, it was a very enjoyable and authentic meal. You can tell both by sight and taste how fresh their ingredients are.

For dessert, we shared the baklava served with a scoop of beautiful Greek mountain tea ice cream and drizzled with honey. It tasted a bit like a mince pie! It was so nice I wished we'd ordered one each but after that huge lunch, it was probably just as well! I have a bikini to get into next week after all!


The atmosphere at The Greek Larder is very relaxed and informal. So much so that Laura and I easily spent three hours there, catching up on London, life and blogging. We were the last two left when the manager brought us over a couple of complimentary shots of Ouzo! 


Opa! 


I can confirm that we did leave the restaurant eventually but there was much more catching up for us to do yet. We found a nearby bar and spent the rest of our evening there; our Sunday lunch had turned into a taxi home at 10pm! What a wonderful one it was too.


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15 January 2015

For The Love Of Eggs


I think eggs are awesome. Scrambled, poached, fried...I love them all. Recently I've changed quite a few of my eating habits in the wake of my new and improved diet but if someone suggested that I give up on eggs, I'd swiftly show them the door. And that's no yolk!

Eggs are packed with protein (half in the white, half in the yolk) and pastured eggs provide more than a dozen essential nutrients including vitamins A, B12, D and E, brain-healthy choline, omega-3 fatty acids and eye-healthy lutein. All these are found in the yolk (as is the deliciousness).

In view of this love, I had to get myself along to try Neil Rankin's new restaurant Bad Egg as soon as I could. 


Located in City Point near Moorgate station, Bad Egg has something of a modern American diner atmosphere. There is a no reservation policy and it was very busy when we arrived but the ultra-friendly staff managed to get us a table in just a couple of minutes.

They have a nice selection of drinks including wine, craft beer and mezcal cocktails. We decided upon their rather delightful prosecco.


As one would imagine, eggs play a prominent part in the menu. It's set out in sections; With Eggs, Fried Pork Belly Ribs, Tacos, Burgers and Slaws & Salads.

As we so often do, Mary and I chose a few plates to share.

We had the goat's cheese tacos (fried cheese, salsa, chipotle and my new favourite thing, guacamole), huevos rancheros (scrambled eggs, masa harina, chilli, chorizo, peppers, salsa & guacamole served with tacos), the Peking fried pork belly ribs and a plate of three different salads and slaws - shiitake & kale, fennel & apple slaw, cucumber, avocado & grapefruit salad.


The goat's cheese tacos were very pleasant and I can't deny how creamy and soft the scrambled eggs were. However, I was left a little disappointed. The flavours in the huevos rancheros that I expected to jump out and slap me in the tastebuds weren't quite there and I found the salads a little uninspiring. In hindsight, perhaps I should have eaten each dish one by one instead of together on my plate because I just didn't think the tastes and textures all came together as well as I'd hoped. We also thought the portion sizes were a little on the small size.

Having said that, I loved the Peking fried pork ribs. The meat was delicious and the coating brilliantly crisp. 


Bad Egg don't do desserts yet so our pudding was another nice crisp glass of prosecco! And who's complaining?  The service we received was excellent and the restaurant had a buzzy, lively feel. Yes we were a little underwhelmed with our food and the location is a little unusual but we still had a lovely time. I will definitely keep it in mind next time I'm on the hunt for breakfast or brunch!


My egg chat doesn't stop there.

After lunch we headed over to the Queen Of Hoxton pub to hang out on their pretty, fairy-light adorned rooftop - Woodlandia. 


Up there you'll also find a rather fine wigwam - reminiscent of a Glastonbury drinking spot - warmed by heaters and a huge crackling barbecue in the centre. 


Their festive cocktails include hot buttered rum, Bloody Mary, hot toddy and - the drink I'd been wanting to try all over Christmas - the egg nog!

Ah, my first ever egg nog. It's made with eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and Monkey Shoulder whisky. I thought it was quite delicious.


In fact, you could say it was eggs-cellent!

I'm so sorry...
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