Wolkite Kitfo – Highbury, London, UK

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For Rick’s birthday recently we went to Wolkite Kitfo – a family run Ethiopian restaurant in Highbury, London.

You wouldn’t think that there would be a restaurant on the street as there isn’t much around the area and it you might feel a little unsure when you see it on the outside but when you walk you feel like you are no longer in London and suddenly you are transported to a local restaurant in Ethiopia. It is a simple, chilled-out atmosphere with murals on the walls and a little television in the corner.

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Beverage wise, they serve the usual soft drinks, beers, spirits, but they also serve a homemade honey wine that they make themselves. It is served in a vase-like bottle and we were told that you are supposed to drink it out of the bottle, not pour it into a glass to drink. It is sweet like a cider and it does grow on you (although I’m not sure whether I was just amused by the fact that it is homemade and I felt very suave drinking it through the little bottle).

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We didn’t know what or how to order as none of us had ever tried Ethiopian before but our waiter helped us to pick a good selection of curries.

Large crepe-like platters were placed on our tables and then out came the curries in little pots. The waiter scooped out spoonfuls of curry and placed them in need circles around the platter. We also had some extra rolled up crepes on the side which we were told to use to eat the curry. It was a no-cutlery, sharing-platters-in-the-middle affair and it was really quite fun. A very social way of eating with your friends.

The crepe was slightly sour and fluffy and took me a couple bites to get used to, but the curries were absolutely delicious (although I couldn’t tell you what we ordered)! Even when we were full, we kept nibbling at it all.

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Next came the traditional coffees which was very ceremonial (in fact I actually read up about this afterwards and realised that it is a full on ceremony in Ethiopian culture). They roast the coffee beans and set the on the table for us to small the smokey aroma while the beans cool down. Next they grind the coffee, add boiling water and serve alongside burning incense sticks and a small snack of popcorn to accompany it.

The coffee was rich and intensely flavoured and you could really taste the smokiness of the roasted beans.

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It was a really fun eating experience and I would definitely go with a group of people again.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d3932437-Reviews-Wolkite_Kitfo-London_England.html

Plum and Spilt Milk – Kings Cross, London, UK

Jack and I recently went to Plum and Spilt Milk just by King Cross Station (before he went gallivanting around France following the Euro Cup). Downstairs there is a cocktail bar with a bar snack menu and upstairs is the dining room, which is where we sat.

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We ordered the dressed Portland crab, crushed avocado & sourdough croutons to share between us as a starter. This was such a fresh tasting dish and a perfect, light way to start the meal.

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For mains I had a grilled lamb chop and braised lamb shoulder (which fell apart when I put my fork into it – gorgeous!) on a bed of barley and lentils (which was little creamy risotto underneath) and Jack had the sirloin with a peppercorn sauce. We shared some minted jersey royals and some heritage carrots and coriander between us as well.

The food was really good quality and so delicious but we ordered a little too much and it was surprisingly filling.

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A quiet, quaint little spot with great quality food and excellent cocktails – In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the busy King Cross area.

http://plumandspiltmilk.com/

S&K Salt Beef Bar – Edgware, London

For a good old traditional Jewish deli meal, I would definitely recommend S&K Salt Beef Bar in Edgware, London. Pop in a take away some succulent, moist salt beef, a few crisp latkas, a tub of fresh coleslaw,serve with English mustard and boom there you go for the perfectly traditional Jewish deli lunch. Add some pickled gerkins for an extra touch.

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http://www.bksaltbeefbar.com/

Dotori – Finsbury Park, London

Getting a table at Dotori in Finsbury Park is like seeing  a unicorn. Okay – maybe more like seeing a shooting star.

No one ever picks up the phone, you cannot just rock up because its always booked up, and when you go there you need to go during their opening hours and book at least 1 week in advance.

You hear stories about people going Dotori and having such a good time and it sounds like its a fairy tale or a myth!

Well, my turn has come to tell my tale of the time I finally got a table at Dotori.

Emma and I went for our housemate Christmas Meal at the end of last year. and we got ourselves a feast of glorious Japanese/Korean goodness.

20151220_193402The Salmon Temaki (£3.80 each) is a salmon and roe hand roll which was a refreshing start to the meal – the seafood is so fresh I would definitely recommend some sushi/sashimi/temaki with your meal. The Tofu Jeon (£4.50) was a bit more bland than I thought it would be so I wouldn’t recommend.20151220_194406

20151220_194541Samgyeopsal (£7) is a Korean style BBQ pork which comes with lettuce leaves that you use to wrap around the pork (like a fajita, ish) and that was gorgeously flavoured and came served on a sizzling hot plate. The Ebi Tempura (£7.50) is a prawn tempura dish which was crisp and authentic.

And finally the Haemul Pageon (£7) a seafood pancake which is a favourite of mine and it comes on a massive dish so its perfect for sharing.edited_1450639613067If you have the opportunity to visit the legend that is Dotori – You must! It is a tiny little place, always super packed but the service and food are fabulous!

 

http://dotorirestaurant.wix.com/dotorirestaurant

https://www.zomato.com/london/dotori-finsbury-park

Finks Salt and Sweet – Highbury, London

In Highbury, nestled in the suburban townhouses, the is a very small cafe called Finks Salt and Sweet that I would absolutely recommend. In the summer there are little tables outside so you can sit out in the sunshine.

They do a great cup of coffee and they have a simple fresh menu and are so well priced.

I ordered the avocado, rose harissa and goats cheese on sour dough toast £5 and I asked for some smoked salmon £1.50 to go on top. I was surprised how well the harissa went with the avocado and added an element of Mediterranean spice to it but still had a freshness to it. It definitely kept me full for ages and tasted amazing!

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As I have realised my obsession with mashed avocado on toast, to end to end this post I have written:

An Ode to Avocado on Toast

You are bright and beautifully coloured,

You are healthy and so super great,

You taste fresh and fill me up,

And you look perfect on a plate.

Avocado,

When you are smashed,

When you are mushed,

And you are bashed,

You are absolutely wonderful to me.

 

http://finks.co.uk/

 

The Hill – Haverstock Hill, London

Jack and I had a Saturday day out at the London Zoo recently which was so lovely. We fed a Giraffe, had Monkeys and Lemurs jumping around us and over our heads, and we were faced up close with a Pygmy Hippo and a big Silverback Gorilla. It was really interactive compared to how I remembered the zoo to be.

After the zoo we took a stroll to the top of Primrose Hill and took in the gorgeous view, before we headed off for dinner at The Hill in Haverstock Hill.

It is a gorgeously traditional British pub with old vintage furniture and fireplaces, but as it was a nice day, we sat at a table outside for drinks and dinner.
IMG-20150718-WA0025We both got the Hanger Steak with came with fries (£17 each) and shared a side of Caesar Salad (£3.5). The steak was beautifully cooked and very tender and the fries were still hot and crunchy and the salad crisp. The food was really good and I really liked the location, the service, and the vintage interior.

A must try if you are in the area.

http://www.thehilllondon.com/

Cinnamon Village – Highbury, London

There are a couple of Cinnamon Village restaurants dotted around North London and they always look quite good for brunch. There is one specifically on Blackstock Road, attached to a creperie, which is painted a pastel turquoise candy colour with picnic benches outside and it just looks so cute and inviting. We decided to check this place out for brunch one Sunday before we headed to the gym for a casual spa session.
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Jack had a Full English breakfast which usually when you order an Full English, the plate feels overwhelmingly full, but this plate felt a bit like something was missing. It could have been the presentation or maybe they could have put the toast on the plate or added an egg, a sausage and a hash brown or something. It was just very average and looked like something that if I was lazy at home and that was all I had left in my fridge, I would have made myself.

On the other hand, I was so excited to find out that it was a Turkish family owned restaurant and that they served Menemen! This was my favourite dish when I went to Istanbul recently. It is a scrambled egg dish but cooked with spices, tomatoes and mixed peppers – sometimes they add some Turkish cheese and spinach as well.

I ordered the Classic Menemen which is cooked with spices, tomatoes and mixed peppers and it was delicious! I was so pleased. It came with a basket of Turkish bread to dip into it but to be honest I was really happy with just the Menemen on it’s own. It was full of flavour but not too strong tasting to be the first thing to eat in the morning.

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It was well priced and they made a great coffee and do fresh juices and smoothies. I wouldn’t go for an English Breakfast, but definitely do go for their amazing Menemen.