Madison – St Paul’s, London, UK

Madison is an absolutely awesome roof top bar in the city that has the best view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is perfect for a post work summer sunset drink outside.

We recently went for dinner there for Kuda’s birthday. It was my first time eating there and I was intrigued to find out what the food would be like.

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Burger and chips
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Lobster roll and chips

The bar is really nice but I think the set up of the restaurant is really oddly placed in the middle of the bar with people standing around waiting to order drinks or just standing and drinking around you. I feel like maybe it should be a little more secluded as a restaurant area.

The food was really nice and it was well priced – it was nothing mind blowing – but still really nice and I could not fault any of it. I think that maybe because it was all served on individual heavy wooden chopping board it gave a bit of a posh pub grub feel to it.

Most of our group ordered the burgers which were all cooked perfectly and the patty big enough for the brioche bun so it looked great too (my pet peeve if a restaurant serves you a shrived up, dried up meat patty hidden somewhere in the massive bread bun). I ordered the lobster roll and the lobster was cooked and sauced wonderfully and then placed in a brioche roll. Their chips are perfectly cooked but I think the obvious highlight of the side dishes was the mac and cheese. It was maybe my highlight of my meal. It was intensely cheesy with a crunchy top from being baked.

Unfortunately the service was pretty awful from seating us to serving us to billing us which was surprising as the restaurant wasn’t full.

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The cutest mayonnaise jar ever.
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Lamb wrap and chips
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The stunning view. This was a Friday night on a sunny day so it was incredibly busy and there was a DJ playing music out on the roof.

The views are so stunning and I think they definitely make up for the over-priced drinks. 100% worth a visit on a sunny day!

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Still a gorgeous view as we were leaving in the lift.

http://www.madisonlondon.net/menus/

Mission E2 – Paradise Row, Bethnal Green, London

IMG-20150809-WA0004I love the vibe at Paradise Row in Bethnal Green. This little street looks like it used to be all warehouses and now holds some great restaurants and craft drinking spots.

Astrid, Renata and I decided to have brunch at Mission E2 one Sunday before we headed off to Colombia Flower Market.

The first thing you will notice is the interior decor. I love it! It is very 1920s and chic, but the weather was warm and sunny (a rarity in London) so obviously we had to sit outside and take it all in. The next thing you will notice is the service. It is fabulous! The waiters and waitresses seem passionate about their food and they give some great advice about what to order.
20150809_140651I think I could have literally eaten anything on the menu – it all sounded so good.

We ended up deciding on the buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, the scrambled eggs on toast with chorizo and the avocado and poached eggs.

My favourite was definitely the pancakes and I am not usually one for sweet food, let alone pancakes, but they were phenomenal. They were fluffy but still quite dense and filling and you could really taste the buttermilk which was delicious. The bacon, maple syrup and pancakes married up really well together because it was nice to have some savoury in the mixture.20150809_140700The scrambled egg was so soft and creamy and the chorizo gave it a little kick which worked well. 

The avocado was in its skin, which was great for presentation but I think it could have had more flavour and been easier to eat if maybe the avocado was mushed with some chili, salt and pepper, then put back into the skin. It just felt a little bit like it wasn’t finished, or that it was missing something, but was still tasty all the same.20150809_140920 We ordered some toast, seville orange marmalade and rhubard jam to nibble on and some spring greens with chili and garlic on the side.

The bread for the toast was a seeded sourdough (my absolute favourite) and the jams tasted homemade and were gorgeous. The greens were stir fried with garlic and chili but were not overwhelming with garlicky flavours and still had a fresh crunch to them.20150809_140654

20150809_140934Overall the food, the service and the place were all exceptional. Great brunch menu as well. I definitely recommend a try!
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http://www.missione2.com/

The Magic Roundabout – Old Street, London

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One Friday evening after work, Jack and I made our way to The Magic Roundabout as we had heard about it from friends and it is right by my new office.

It was a buzzing atmosphere but still quite relaxed and not ridiculously busy. We could still order drinks and food easily without waiting in any stressful queues or crowds and we still found a spot to sit down. It is a no frills pop up joint with just two stalls, one craft beers and coffee stall and a main bar where you can get the usual main stream bar drinks.

With music in the back ground (no too loud that you needed to shout into your friends ears) and great weather that evening – it was a really nice place for a chilled out post work dinner and drinks – and something a bit different.

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We shared the Tiger Prawn Slider which came with a loving portion of fries and a seafood sauce to dip them in. The prawns were beautifully grilled and popped into a brioche type bun with some fresh lettuce. Wonderful seaside flavours.

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We then made our way round to the much talked about Burger Bear stall.

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Jack got the Grizzly £10 (above) which has bacon, bacon jam (a recent foodie sensation) and cheese. Although I find a tenner a little steep for just a burger and no sides and buying from a stall – but the price was easily forgotten when we bit into these juicy, meat filled brioches.

I had the Burger Bear £7 (below) – the original Burger Bear cheeseburger. I am not a fan of raw onions so had to pull those out, but apart from that it was equally as delicious. You can taste the excellent quality of the burger meat and it is ever so slightly pink on the inside (perfectly cooked for a proper burger) and still oozing with juices as you bite into it, then there is the cheese melted over the top and then placed in a brioche with all the salad trimmings.
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http://www.londonpopups.com/2015/06/the-magic-roundabout-on-old-street-with.html

http://www.burgerbearuk.com/#about

https://www.facebook.com/prawnographyldn

Brunch at Blixen – Spitalfields

The brunch crew and I decided to try Blixen on Saturday for brunch a few months back when it first opened up.

The interior had a feel of a green house even though it is based in the middle of the city. It was fairly eclectic but I still found it tasteful.

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I ordered the Croque Madame (£8.50) which had a little twist to it – It used Iberica Jamon as the ham, Raclette as the cheese and a duck egg on top. It came looking grand, but also tasted delicious. It was perfectly browned and crunchy on the outside and the middle was soft but not soggy. As I cut into it, the egg yolk oozed over the top and it all married very well together.

Fiona had the Potato Rosti with Spinach, Poached Egg and Parmesan (£7.00) and James had the same but with Salt Beef, Poached Egg and a Mustard Hollandaise (£8.50), which both also looked lovely.

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We stayed for a while and service was great. It was very relaxed and we didn’t feel rushed at all. If you haven’t been – I definitely recommend a try!

http://www.blixen.co.uk/

The Breakfast Club – Spitalfields, London

Its all about brunch these days and one Saturday Brunch Time Astrid, Renata and I went to The Breakfast Club to have their famous all day breakfast menu.20131214_112003

They do not take reservations and so (especially on a weekend morning) you will find a line of hungry foodies outside the restaurant.

We must have only waited about 20minutes before we were inside and seated. The interior reminds me of an 80’s diner, but brighter and more eclectic.20131214_133028

20131214_115617 I was going to go for a naughty Bloody Mary, but decided to go for a Beetlejuice (£4.10) instead, which was a beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger juice. It was very gingery and a great refreshing start to the day!20131214_121503 Renata went for the All American (£10), which came with pancakes, eggs, sausage, home-style fried potatoes, streaky bacon and maple syrup. Renata is a big fan of having sweet and savoury together so this was a winner for her. Renata and Astrid both went for iced lattes (£2.50) for their caffine kick.

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I went for the Full Monty (£9.70) which was supposed to be bacon, sausage, black pudding, eggs, home-style fried potatoes, mushrooms, beans, grilled tomato and toasted multigrain bloomer – but I swapped the potatoes for some spinach instead.

My poached eggs were perfectly cooked with the yolk runny so that I could dip my bacon and sausage into it. I think the grilled portabelo mushroom was a great touch and had a lovely bbq-like flavour to it and the spinach was steamed and very fresh tasting as well.

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Astrid went for the Veggie All American (£9.60). She isn’t a vegetarian but just loves veg. This came with pancakes, eggs, veggie sausage, mushrooms, home-style fried potatoes and maple syrup.

Its definitely one of my top brunch spots.

http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/our_story#/our_story

Goodman – Canary Wharf, London

I am currently working in Canary Wharf and decided to try out Goodman one evening.

The thing that really stood out to me as soon as we got there was that the service was great. As you walk in they take your coats to hang up for you and lead you to your table. The waiter then comes to your table and describes the cuts of meat that they have available and can even bring them out for you to see and choose. We knew we wanted a porterhouse (about £8 per 100g) so he told us about what they had and where they were from and gave us his recommendation. He would have even helped us with our choice of wine if we needed, but we already knew what we wanted.

We chose the Scottish 700g porterhouse, truffle chips (£5.50) and creamed spinach with gruyere cheese (£5).

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The steak in The Goodman Restaurants is quite special. They really put a lot of love into the process. They dry-age their meat onsite with a specific temperature and humidity, which gives the meat a more concentrated flavour. When cooking the steak, they have a charcoal and wood oven that they use, which gives the steak a wonderfully smokey flavour. We ordered the steak medium because it was on the bone and it was cooked to perfection with still some pink in the middle which was so tender it melted in your mouth and the outside was smokey and meaty. Divine!

The truffle chips had an earthy flavour to them and beautifully crisp and crunchy. I ate most of the creamed spinach and to me (with my love for cheese) this was perfect. It had a creamy texture yet still had the stringy cheese.

We went on a Tuesday evening so it was a little quieter than I am sure it is towards the end of the week, but most of the tables were still filled, so I would definitely recommend making a reservation.

Definitely one of the best steak houses in London!

http://www.goodmanrestaurants.com/

Bistrot Bruno Loubet – At the Zetter Hotel, Farringdon, London

Midday one Saturday, Renata and I had a catch up brunch at Bistrot Bruno Loubet in Clerkenwell, which is part of the Zetter Hotel. It is a stunning French Bistro owned by Chef Bruno Loubet who has won many awards for his work. The place has a warm, cozy feeling to it but it is spacious at the same time. Renata and I have been incredibly busy since the end of the summer and so we had loads to catch up on. We had an iced latte as we chatted away about everything we’ve missed.

20131109_123526Renata went of the French Toast with Maple Syrup and Applewood Smoked Bacon (£8). The bacon was a great addition to this dish. The french toast was light and fluffy and the maple syrup was thick and caramel-like and the bacon gave it a smokey flavour and added a bit of salt to the dish. Delicious.

I’m going through a baked egg phase. Yes, its true, I am a little obsessed and will order it whenever I can. I am in love with the poached egg. Now, a baked egg is very similar in texture with its runny yolky middle, but way more exciting in a pan filled with all sorts of wonderful goodness in a tomato base.

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So, I ordered the Shakshouka (£9), which is a baked duck egg with red and yellow peppers, spiced tomato sauce, feta and dukkah all baked in a pan together. It came on its own at first but I asked for some fresh bread, which I used to dip into the yolk and the tomato sauce. It was absolutely stunning and had some amazing flavours that all went very well together.

A great brunch spot!

http://www.bistrotbrunoloubet.com/

http://www.thezettertownhouse.com/events/bistrot-bruno-loubet