Sen Nin – Upper Street, Islington, London

We decided to treat ourselves to a teppanyaki dinner, which neither of us had tried properly before. Sen Nin were doing a weekday special feast menu which consisted of 4 courses for £30 per person. There was a Miso or Tom Yum soup to start, Japanese tapas next, then the Teppanyaki course and a finished off with a dessert.

We weren’t really sure what to expect – all I knew is that we booked the chef’s table so that we could watch him to the cooking in front of us.

It was a quiet Wednesday evening in the restaurant, which I guess was why they had a deal on during the week. There were a few tables of people in the restaurant, but we had the chef’s table to ourselves.

I ordered the Tom Yum soup and Jack ordered the Miso soup. They were served in little Japanese soup bowls and were nice but nothing to shout about.

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For our Japanese tapas dishes we chose the seafood option. There was a seabass ceviche, a tuna tartare and calamari. These were presented gorgeously on a long dish so I was very impressed when it came out. Taste-wise, again, they were all nice enough. The tuna was a little stringy and didn’t really melt in my mouth the way I thought it should, the ceviche and calamari were nice though.

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Next was the Teppanyaki and out came our Chef who explained it all to us! We had ordered the scallops and the fillet steak to share with some rice and vegetables.

He was great! This is what we had been waiting for! He chatted and joked with us the whole time that he was cooking. And he wasn’t JUST cooking, he was doing tricks with all the food! At one point he let Jack get up and try out a trick as well.

It was great entertainment for the evening. He didn’t go wild and make a massive flame on the stove but he was fun nevertheless.

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The scallops and steak with the fried rice and the vegetable stir fry on the side were the best part of the meal by far. Nice flavours but I think the entertainment of it being cooked in front of us definitely made us enjoy it more.

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For dessert we got a mixture of 3 mini dessert pots and a duo of red bean and matcha ice cream and shared them all. I love matcha ice cream so that was the best bit for me (matcha is a glorious time always!) – the rest was okay but I don’t think I would have missed out if I didn’t have them.

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I wouldn’t necessarily be running back for a weekday set menu – but perhaps would come again to see what the weekend is like for the chef’s table teppanyaki as that was definitely good fun.

 

http://www.sen-nin.com/

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Pho House – Highbury and Islington, London

12I love Vietnamese food. It tastes fresh and healthy but really fills a craving that makes it feel like comfort food at the same time.

The fabulous thing about London is that it is such a multicultural city that we get food from all over the globe and we get it made well, by people who are from those countries. So it is no surprise that we have some great Vietnamese restaurants in London.

My friends and I found out about Pho House about 2 years ago as it right by Highbury and Islington Station and near where we all live.

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We all ordered a sharing seafood platter with the famous Vietnamese summer rolls, some deep fried soft shell crab and some calamaris. It was all delicious and we couldn’t wait to get our mains.20160705_212715IMG_20160705_23242420160705_212821

I personally think the best thing to order here is the special beef pho (I prefer this than chicken or seafood pho in general though). I have tried the bun before but I was not as impressed – but the beef pho is excellent!!

If you like it spicy like I do, then definitely ask for some chilli oil on the side.

http://phohouse.uk/

Meat People – Islington, London

This is a very overdue post as I went to Meat People about a year ago now. We went after work one Tuesday in Spring last year and had a lovely long dinner.

Meat People is a quaint little restaurant just off Upper Street. There aren’t many tables and it is very simply decorated.

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We started by sharing a crab salad which was a nice fresh and tasty start to the meal.

For our mains we shared a meat platter, some greens, and cauliflower cheese. It was all gorgeously flavoured. Simple food but good quality and cooked well.

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Our grilled meats platter
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The greens
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Cauliflower and cheese

For dessert we shared a gorgeous berry and pistachio posset and a cheese platter.

When they served all the dishes, they were explained to us. They seemed to know exactly where all their produce came from and what went well with what, which made the experience of dinner fabulous.

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Posset
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The cheeseboard

http://meatpeople.co.uk/

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

Le Peche Mignon – Highbury, London

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On a quiet residential street named Ronalds Road in Highbury, on a quiet little corner, there is a little cafe called Le Peche Mignon.

Last year (yes I am a little late on this post) Renata and I were feeling a bit peckish after a Sunday morning pedicure so we wondered over to Le Peche Mignon for a wonderfully French brunch.

I ordered the Eggs Royale (£7.50) and Renata ordered the Croque Madame (£6.50).

Mine was divine! The muffin was fluffy and chewy at the same time, they weren’t stingy with the smoked salmon, the spinach was wilted to perfection and wow when those poached eggs were cut through, the yolk poured all over the salmon and muffin and married well with the beautiful yellow hollandaise sauce. What an absolute treat!

Renata said the Croque Madame was the best that she has ever tasted as well. And their coffee is pretty fabulous too!

Definitely worth popping into if you are in the area!

http://lepechemignon.co.uk/

 

Cafe La Divina – Upper Street, London

IMG-20150811-WA0004After a long day at work followed by a late gym session, Jack and I decided on a meal out near our gym in Angel. La Divina on Upper Street does a 2 for 1 on the Taste Card for main meals, so we popped in there for our dinner.

It’s a quirky little restaurant with lots of photos of people eating pasta all over the walls and other random bits on the walls like a car and posters of old Italian films and random trinkets hanging on the ceiling. It has an intimate and comfortable feel to it.IMG-20150811-WA0006IMG-20150811-WA0009

I ordered a tomato based seafood risotto which was so fragrant, the seafood tasted so fresh and the rice was perfectly al dente. I definitely recommend this dish here.IMG-20150811-WA0012Jack had the creamy salmon and asparagus risotto which was more delicate in flavour than the seafood risotto but still lovely.

I had a fresh mint tea and Jack had a soft drink, as you need to order a drink each to be able to use the Taste Card discount.IMG-20150811-WA0010

£15 for 2 mains and 2 drinks using the Taste Card.

http://ladivina.co.uk/