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/

Wright Brothers – Borough Market, London Bridge

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I have written about Wright Brothers in Borough Market before, but that was about 3 years ago, so it is time for a refresher.

After a scrumptious Monmouth coffee and a stroll around Borough Market, we got ourselves a table at Wright Brothers for some fresh seafood lunch. We got the fruit de mer petit platter to share between us and a bottle of white wine.

There were whelks, winkles, prawns, shrimps, oysters, clams and mussels presented on a bed of ice. It was all so fresh and reminded me so much of the seafront restaurants in Cannes in the South of France.

We chatted away and nibbled on fresh seafood for ages – it was a really relaxing vibe and the waitresses and waiters were really friendly and helpful.

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A must try if you haven’t been yet!

http://www.thewrightbrothers.co.uk/borough-market.html

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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

Ippudo -Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

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After some shopping around TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) in Hong Kong which is a great area for shopping, Jean and I were famished and came across a cute little Japanese ramen bar in one of the shopping malls.

We were seated by a lovely Japanese waitress and on the table in front of us were all the cute little trimmings including; a sesame seed grinder, a garlic crusher and two little salads.

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We decided that all the starters sounded so delicious and we would just order loads of them and just share one bowl of ramen – which ended up being a good shout because we got to try a bit of everything.

We got the calamari, the fish roe stuffed chicken wings, the gyoza and a bowl of their spicy pork ramen. The calamari were perfectly cooked – still soft (not rubbery) and the batter was a light and flavourful dusting (not the thick tasteless batter that you can get sometimes). The wings were lovely and crisp on the outside and the gyoza were lovely too. The ramen was super spicy but tasty all the same.

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The perfect no-frills-restaurant for a post-TST-shopping-spree-dinner.

http://www.ippudo.com.hk/en/

http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/r-ippudo-hk-tsim-sha-tsui-japanese-ramen-r52892

 

Spicy Crab Restaurant – Temple Street, Hong Kong

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Temple Street is a night market in Hong Kong where you can buy jade stones, Chinese tea sets, trinkets, bags etc. As you walk along the street you will find an interesting array of vendors, fortune tellers and opera singers. Yep – they stand on stalls singing away (no joke!).

Spicy Crab Restaurant is on the corner of one of the streets and here you can get fresh seafood every night. Just pick a number of seafood dishes and share in the middle of the table. It is very much on the street so it isn’t the nicest of venues but its a good experience being in the middle of the hustle and bustle having street food.

Steamy Seafood Cuisine – Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, food is very much about the experience as well as the flavour. There are hot pot dinners, cartoon character dim sum brunches, the Chinese 12 course banquet -style dinners and even outdoor barbecue spots where you have a buffet of foods available to cook.

The current new craze is the steamed seafood restaurants, which I had never been to before, where they steam an array of different dishes and then underneath there is a congee to finish off the meal which is flavoured by all the seafood, meats and vegetables that have been steaming on top. It is GLORIOUS!

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My Mum, her childhood friends and I went to Steamy Seafood Cuisine in Jordan. I had never been to one of these restaurants before but a banquet of dishes came over to our table for steaming in the middle of the table in an in built steamer.

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There is a section in the restaurant where you can create your own sauce to go with your food. I made mine with soya sauce, fresh chilies, garlic and coriander.

The meal began with seafood (lobster, scallops, razor clams, clams and fish) and then we moved onto some chicken, steak, vegetables and Chinese turnip cakes.

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Then once all the steaming had been done, the steamer came off and in the pot underneath (instead of water boiling like a normal steamer) there was congee cooking away the whole time so it had absorbed all the flavours from the foods that had been steaming above it.

It was a really good experience and the food was really fresh. The food was so fresh in fact that they have all the aquariums with the seafood swimming around at the front of the restaurant. I definitely recommend.

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http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/r-steamy-seafood-cuisine-jordan-guangdong-hot-pot-r474217

Bistro Manchu – Soho, Hong Kong

If you like spicy food or if you are just a dare devil and want to try to consume mouth numbing chilies – then Sichuan food is the food for you! The Sichuan peppercorn, which is used in a lot of their dishes, is so spicy that is creates a tingling, numbing sensation on your lips! Their dishes are usually balanced out with cooling dishes as well.

My friends Jean and Chris introduced me to Bistro Manchu, a Sichuan restaurant in Soho, Hong Kong. It was so good that I took my mum there to try it as well!

The famous Kung Pao Chicken
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The famous Hot and Sour Soup

Two dishes that you would recognise in your local Chinese restaurant that originate from Sichuan are Kung Pao Chicken and Hot and Sour Soup which I had when I was with Jean and Chris.

With my Mum we had dumplings that are filled with soup. You are supposed to bite off the top and then suck out the soup before you continue to eat the rest of the dumpling.

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Soup filled dumplings

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My Mum and I
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A spicy beef noodle soup

We also had a spicy noodle soup which was filled with the mouth numbing peppercorns. I felt like my lips were swollen after from eating them, but it was so tasty I couldn’t stop!

It is a quiet restaurant, hidden away on a quiet street in the super busy Soho area in Hong Kong, which serves good old traditional Sichuan cuisine.

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Bistro Manchu

 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g294217-d2484867-Reviews-Bistro_Manchu-Hong_Kong.html