14 May 2014

Sushi Boats & Cocktails

Saturday was my first indulgence day after Vegas. A very welcome one it was too.

Having had a quick skim around the bag and shoe departments, I headed downstairs to meet up with Laura in the Harrods Food Hall for a lovely Saturday lunch - courtesy of Pan Chai. 

Pan Chai and its sister Mango Tree work practically side-by-side in the food halls, both producing vibrant and exotic Asian dishes to a constant stream of busy and hungry shoppers. While Mango Tree serves up Thai options, Pan Chai are all about pan-Asian food; you can enjoy sushi, sashimi, fresh seafood (their live lobster's claws are still clicking beneath the deli counter!), tempura, soups and hot dishes. 

Laura and I sipped on a gorgeous glass of bubbles as we surveyed the menu. We wanted something to share that was satisfying but not too heavy (no-one wants to bloat in Harrods). The hugely friendly deli staff suggested we give the Shogun Platter a whirl. It's one of their most popular items on the menu and is designed for two to share.

The platter consists of edamame or miso soup, a selection of twelve sashimi, ten nigiri, California rolls, salmon and avocado wraps and a decent-sized snow crab salad.

Now I'm not a sushi or sashimi expert by any means. Preferring hot food, raw fish is not something I tend to choose when I eat out. Having said that, I have had it in restaurants a couple of times before and I've sampled the stuff you get in Pret and Boots - I was pretty sure I knew what to expect.

It turns out I didn't.

It arrived in a huge boat! With steam!

This was brilliant! Food excitement! A much more dramatic entrance than any sushi I'd had before. Fortunately, it tasted great too as did the crab salad and miso soup that accompanied it.

But I did need something hotter. I'm not very good with just cold food. We eyed up the Beef Bulgogi - Wagyu beef in a Korean sauce - and before we knew it, it had appeared alongside the sushi ship (with even more steam!) in all its meaty glory. 

The beef was incredibly tender and the tangy sauce was a dream. For a girl like me who would have hoisin sauce with almost everything if she could, this was a treat of a dish. I couldn't stop picking at the divine little oriental mushrooms - I could probably eat a plate of them alone!

Our lunch was so much more than I had come to expect from a department store concession. We had great service, impressive food and I was blown away by the presentation! I want steam to come with all my meals from now on...

After our long lunch, Laura and I headed east to Hoxton. Following a little write-up we did on Apres bar a couple of months back, the owner Jez had invited us along to sample a few of the exciting new cocktails at his latest venture Made In The Shade.

You may be wondering where the name is derived from. "Made In The Shade" is an old 50's saying meaning 'having everything you ever wanted in the comfort of your very own palm tree'. It's also a 1975 compilation album by The Rolling Stones - you'll most likely hear a few of their tracks being played here amongst other timeless rock 'n' roll classics.

The bar is the brainchild of Jeremy Thompson Jewitt, Jim Wrigley and Peter Lewis; three cocktail creators with a combined experience of over fifty years in London and around the globe. We settled on the comfy sofas and chatted of our forthcoming girlie holiday to Lindos (yay!) as we sampled a few of their unique cocktails.

I started off with the No Sé. Described on the menu as an expresso martini 'on steroids', this is the classic cocktail with a Latin American twist. Ingredients include Mozart dry chocolate spirit, coffee rum liqueur, tequila and Illegal Mezcal - a brand of Mexican artisanal liquor with a notorious history that includes smuggling and week-long parties in a clandestine bar in Guatemala.

Not your average cocktails!

Others we tried were the Block Rocking Beets (Hendricks gin, Chambord black raspberry liqueur, beetroot juice, fresh lime and agave syrup) and the Young Lady (their take on one of my favourites, the margarita - tequila shaken with peach cream, blue Curacao, fresh lemon and egg white). They even went off-menu to rustle me up an apricot margarita (above right) which ended up as my delicious drink of the evening!

Made In The Shade is a friendly and chilled out bar with an adventurous streak. We had a great evening. It's well worth a visit  if you find yourself in the Hoxton area wanting somewhere relaxed and casual with lively drinks. They also serve Caribbean food well into the evening if the mood should take you. We didn't get round to trying it unfortunately....blame our big boat of sushi!

Made In The Shade
177 Hoxton Street
London, N1 6PJ

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  1. Wow that's quite the indulgence day! I thought mine were good with pjs, brownies and Breaking Bad. I need to up my game!

    FooNerd x


    1. Ah I don't know, that sounds pretty good to me! :D

  2. This looks amazing! Hope you had fun! :-) Rebeka x

    Rebeka Taylor

  3. A boat of sushi... Now I've seen it all! All the food looks delicious. Perfect day finishing with cocktails! I'm so glad that although the food looked good, they didn't fall on taste either. AND that little lobster can live another day!

    Katie <3

    1. I felt bad for the lobster :( I know it's a bit hypocritical as I'm not a vegetarian but I could never pick one out when it's still alive. The sushi boat tasted great as well as looking great x

  4. Blimey! A boat! Very cool and tempting....! x

  5. Wow, that's got to be the coolest sushi presentation I've ever seen! Was the steam that came with the wagyu for aesthetics too?

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

    1. Certainly was! They went all out with presentation! Very impressive x

  6. Sushi is just the bomb :) I'm so glad to read that you loved it - I rarely manage a week without it
    AND it's so good for you.
    So nice to see you out and about in London again Mrs Glam
    x x x
    {The Lobster & Me}

  7. those drinks looks great! v exotic http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/live-life-to-the-full.html

  8. That food looks insane! :)



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