Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Nopi

Stylish Simplicity.

It's happened again. The team behind Ottolenghi have produced another gem and helped my taste buds maintain a level of refinement that my budget is finding harder and harder to comprehend.

Anyway, welcome to Nopi.




Nopi exudes a certain elegance and comfort yet with a relaxing simplicity which envelopes you as soon as you step foot through the door. Predictably, the first thing I noticed was this fabulous golden leaf lamp shade. So golden, so necessary for my house.  

Lining the shelf behind the reception desk were the Ottolenghi bibles, already firmly placed in my cookery book collection.

We were led over to our table and sat down on some of the most comfortable restaurant chairs I have ever experienced.

Opposite, chefs were busy at work in the kitchen while the lamps had me more intrigued than was probably necessary. I have somewhat unconsciously gained a greater appreciation of light fittings which appear to have become a significant stand-out element of anywhere I visit. These were of no exception and cast a romantic glow while appearing to hover above the tables.

As much as I can go on about the lights, I must apologise for the fuzzy photos. My inconspicuous little phone wasn't quite prepared to deal with the atmospheric glow and began to feel the pressure at times. I had a similar attraction to the napkin rings as I do to most golden objects (magpie alert) and have added another object to my 'for when I can have special dinner ware' list. Very much looking forward to that day!


Bread and another candle arrived and I hopped over to the salad table where Ottolenghi's classic salads were piled up and ready to serve.

Deliciously smooth aubergine with pickled cucumber and a yoghurty sauce had my full attention. The colours and textures complimented each other perfectly, with hints of dill and mint peeping through just the right amount. 

Crunchy green beans were tossed with peppers and almonds. We weren't prepared to avoid this either!


Finally, presented on a large, sparkling turquoise plate was the squash and what I like to call icing on the extremely healthy cake.

Warm polenta chips arrived with a spicy tomato dipping sauce and were like no other chips I have experienced. The inside was light and fluffy, while the breaded exterior held them together just enough.


We also went for duck breast and pink quinoa on an orangy swish. Tender and succulent with a deliciously crisp skin.
  

To our delight, the waiter arrived at the table and asked if we would like an aromatic fish dish as the kitchen had made an extra one by accident. Of course we weren't going to refuse such an offer and apart from the fish being absolutely delicious, it was a little touch that raised Nopi even further in my estimations than it already was. (Like I said, a little imagination should be initiated when looking at the photo)!
  

No visit would be complete without a trip to check out the facilities and here is where I became incredibly entertained. Mirrors which multiplied me to infinity surrounded the sink and I felt as though I had fallen into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 


Just incase there was any confusion, a helpful little sign directed you back up the rabbit hole.

Arriving back at my seat, dessert occurred. What an occurrence. This was a truly inventive and perfect end to a sumptuous meal (my adjective ridden language is really the only way I can convey the sheer length of my enjoyment)! Warm pecan muffins with an alcohol hinted coffee frijante for dipping was comforting while remaining light, and the boozy sauce added the je ne sais quoi which all desserts should aim for.

As is probably obvious, I can't recommend Nopi enough. While the sharing dishes are quite small, we ordered 4, (were given 1 extra) and a side of chips after which dessert was a delight but not a necessity. For more masculine appetites, I'd suggest ordering 6 dishes but a 'see how you go' attitude seemed very appropriate.

I'd love to hear from you if Nopi has made it onto your list or if you have already visited, if only to gush about the wondrousness of it all.

Bon appĂ©tit et merci maman. 

NOPI on Urbanspoon 
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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Triptease

Time To Travel

I have recently started working for Triptease, a review site where all sorts of travellers can save and share the best of their adventures. Whether you're a globe trotting enthusiast or simply a city dweller looking for somewhere tasty to eat (the exact reason why I stumbled upon the site in the first place), Triptease has it covered. Let me welcome you to the community and take you on a journey. Hopefully by the end, you'll be racing to dive in!




Triptease gives you the tools to bring your experience to life in a sleek and elegant format. Combining images and text, like-minded travellers can create, share and discover a whole new world at their fingertips. 


The luxury end of the global online travel market is already worth around $75 billion but Triptease is offering something new. Encouraging millions of people who never write reviews, to create and share every time they travel is part of the goal but the platform will also be one where industry insiders and happy travellers can stand side by side and share with each other. 



The review creator makes things as simple as pie (I have never understood why pie is so simple - there is actually quite an art in avoiding a soggy bottom as we all know from The Great British Bake Off, but that's for another time).

Step 1: Choose from that encyclopaedic wealth of knowledge you've gained from your travels

 Step 2: Upload your prettiest photo






Step 3: Position that baby, choose a theme, add your words of wisdom and give it a rating 



Step 4: Publish your little piece of genius and have your moment of glory

Step 5: The finished product. Pretty neat!


Check out my Triptease profile here and set up your own here. Even if you don't write any reviews at first, I guarantee you won't be able to hold out for long. I think I lasted a total of 5 minutes and since then there has been no turning back.

Don't hesitate to drop me an email or comment if you have any questions. Now get teasing! 
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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Flesh & Buns

S'mores 'n Sushi

Welcome to the much talked of Flesh & Buns. It's all in the name and certainly doesn't disappoint. Soft, fluffy hirata buns and juicy steak oozing with hoi sin sauce is not something I was going to pass up in a hurry!
  

It was a horrifically wet and rainy day so of course we decided to sneak inside at the more unconventional lunch time of 3oclock to escape England at its most conventional.
   

We had a rapid glance at the menu outside but truth be told, the decision had already been made since I have been itching to visit Bone Daddies younger sibling for a while.


Inside and down the stairs we found a long table in the centre of the room which a few hours earlier would have been jam packed full of eager beavers. Depending on how much elbow room you prefer and how awkward you want your date to be, choose your dining time wisely. 

Silver metal beakers were filled with icy cold water in front of us. I'm not entirely sure whether I'm a fan of drinking out of my toothbrush cup but it was very shiny and I appreciate shiny. 


Say hello to a little tiny teapot, or in this case a little tiny sauce pot!


First to arrive were yakitori chicken skewers which were deliciously crispy, full of flavour and dusted with shichimi pepper.


Next to the table were these little mounds of perfection; spicy tuna and salmon avocado rolls. Don't they look utterly mouthwatering on the turquoise plate?


Now for the signature item on the menu. The flesh and the buns.


The steamed buns were fluffy and light and the juicy steak was perfectly cooked and complimented by the tangy red onion pickle.


We ladened the buns with the steak, lettuce, sauce and onion and proceeded to guzzle them down. 'Phwoar' is a highly appropriate word in this instance and reflects the taste completely! This is a new take on the sandwich that I could totally get on board with. 

Penny agreed and the customary action shot had to be taken! Before we even finished our meal we were planning our next visit.

Our sticky fingers were overjoyed when this little bucket of hand towels arrived.

And so it was on with dessert. Having heard rumours of the s'mores, we ignored our already well-filled stomachs and decided to share this novel idea.

Along came our very own marshmallow burner where we could toast to our hearts delight.

Burning my marshmallow to charcoal is normally the route I take when given the option, but this time I decided to er on the edge of caution and take it slow!

My self control and lack of burn made me quite excited!


We sandwiched the marshmallow between two wafer thin crackers along with a slab of green tea chocolate. This instantly melted and we just about managed to eat our creations without too much ending up all over our faces and hands. 

A delightful trip to say the least and definitely one of the best and most entertaining meals I've eaten in London so far! Two thumbs up and a five star rating from The Little Brown Book.



Flesh and Buns on Urbanspoon

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