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/

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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

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/

 

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.