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    Monday, 28 September 2015

    BURGERSHACK - ROYAL OAK, MARYLEBONE

    If anyone knows anything burgers, it's the legendary Burgerac.

    He's the go-to-guy when it comes to hunting down the best patties in London. And having eaten at most of the burger joints in our Capital's fair city, he knows a thing or two about what goes into making the perfect burger so he's used all these tasty findings to create something EPIC.

    Teaming up for a joint venture with The Royal Oak pub in Marylebone, Burgerac brings you the BurgerShack.  
    One of the very few perks of living on the Met line (as in living close to a met-line station, not on the actual train) is that Marylebone is v.easy for me to get to. 

    I'm used to schlepping East for my Burger pilgrimages so having somewhere on the door-step is a feat to rejoice.

    Another massive plus-point of BurgerShack - unlike most burger pop-ups - is that BurgerShack accept bookings (hurrah). I went along on a Sunday afternoon and it was fairly quiet so booking isn't essential but I would advise it. No-one wants to get there and miss out. #FoodEnvy
    Burgerac has certainly done his research when putting the menu for BurgerShack together. You can choose between six mouth-watering burgers, three Big Apple hot dogs and a selection of sides and fries topped with ingredients straight from my dreams. 

    Burger-wise for me was the Hubba Hubba. Which I believe is named after the sound you make upon it's arrival. 

    Two 3oz mustard fried beef patties with American cheese, pickles, chipotle burger sauce and iceberg lettuce in a soft white bun (£9.50). A very solid, clasic cheeseburger.
    Tom isn't about classic. He's all about the specials. So he tried the weekly special - a smokey-sweet BBQ version of the 'Posh One' with bacon, fried onions and the works.

    It was frickin' amazing. Like one-of-the-top-5-burgers-I've-tried-in-London amazing. and he only let me have one bite. It's a shame it's only a week-long special but i'm hoping if it's popular they'll bring it back!
    Fries for me is where things got interesting. I kid you not. For years I've longed for somewhere to serve me Hot 'n' Blue Fries. It's like BurgerShack saw into my mind and knew that I longed for salty fries slathered in Buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese and put them on the menu especially.

    Seriously why do more places not do these? I basically ate the whole XL sharing portion (£4) to myself. And I'm not even sorry about it. 
    Our waitress had recommended we go for the chilli cheese fries (£6.50) as they're the favourite so in the interest of fairness we also ordered a portion of those too - yes we are greedy, please don't judge.

    Rich chunks of slow braised beef chilli and melted cheddar cheese. A little too rich for my taste but Tom loved them. They had a depth of flavour which you know can only be achieved through a long cooking process - a real labour of love.
    The table was set for our very own delicious burger feast.
    Oh and you see those little fried beauties in the pot? Those are deep fried cheesy jalapenos poppers (£3.50). Tasting a lot like deep fried cheese sauce, they're like little molten bites of ricottey-goodness. The ratio of jalapeno to cheese was a bit low - but dunked into the house hot sauce, they packed a tasty bite.
    *Homer dripple*
    Hopefully the photos alone have convinced you to try BurgerShack. If they can't convince, maybe the prospect of being in a proper boozer, being served any drink of your choice from the fully stocked bar will? Or the fact they show the Rugby on the TV while you eat? Or being able to play a game of scrabble or one of the board-game down the back will. And if none of those appeal, I don't think anything will appeal my friend.  

    BurgerShack
    The Royal Oak, 74-76 York St, London W1H 1QN
    The Burger Shack @ The Royal Oak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Friday, 25 September 2015

    SUPERSTAR KOREAN BBQ

    Korean food seems to be everywhere at the moment - something which makes my belly very happy. 

    I'm quite new to Korean food but when I find something new I like, I tend to rinse it for all its worth.

    So far, I've tried Korean in the form of steamed buns at Flesh & Buns and Taste of London and recently I delved a little deeper with rice dishes and dumplings at On the Bab but one concept I hadn't tried yet - and was desperate to - was the Korean BBQ.

    This style of restaurant is HUGE in Korea. A large hot-plate grill sits in the middle of your table and awaits you to cook whatever marinated meat, fish or veg you fancy - a bit like a DIY Teppanyaki and a hell of a lot of fun. 
    I was invited to try out the newly opened Superstar BBQ in Tottenham Court Road and as this seemed like a pretty social way of eating, I took along the lovely Megan from GottobeGourmet.

    We decided to kick things of with a few starters. I can't resist chilli squid (£6) so it was the first thing we tried on the menu. Perfectly cooked with a thin crunchy batter which didn't distract too much for the delicious squid inside...
    We also went for the beef tartare (£7.50) Some people can get a bit squeamish about tartare with the whole raw meat and egg thing but the team here put this together really well and the portion size was just right for us to share. Now it's time to fire up the grills! 
    To get cooking we ordered a feast of belly pork (£7), marinated lamb (£7.50), tiger prawns (£8.50) and eringi mushrooms (£5.50). Plus lettuce and miso paste (£3) to use as wraps and some boiled rice (£2) as a side dish.
    Our waitress explained that the idea is to cook your meats/fish on the grill, take a piece of lettuce with a dab of miso, roll the whole thing up and eat. This translates to me as basically health food right?

    It's a really novel way of eating - there's something massively satisfying about cooking your own food and I was really impressed with the quality of the food. I would definitely recommend the tiger prawns but the lamb was also delicious - I would have preferred if the belly pork had a bit of  marinade too but overall everything tasted delicious. 

    If you get dessert, I recommend going for the Super Snowball - made up of shaved ice, ice cream, chocolate, fruit and nuts. So many contrasting textures and flavours in one dish but a really refreshing end to a great meal. 
    Massive thumbs up from me on both the concept, the food and the staff. We had two waiters who looked after us on the night and they were so attentive and helpful so credit to them!

    Superstar BBQ is open Monday - Saturday for lunch between 12pm-3pm and dinner at 5pm - 11pm

     4 Central Piazza St Giles, St Giles High St, London WC2H 8AB


    SuperStar BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    * I was a guest of the restaurant. All food was complimentary.

    If you liked this post, you may also enjoy: On the Bab or Flesh & Buns

    Wednesday, 23 September 2015

    BAD EGG, FARRINGDON

    I bloody love eggs. I'm sure you can tell. I've written about them almost as much as I've warbled on about burgers - and that's ALOT!

    They're just so versatile and delicious and healthy. But it's not just me that thinks this - egg restaurants have been popping up all over London because chefs know they're freakin' great too.
    You've got Egg Break in Notting Hill, Wing Eggs in Fulham, and Stoke Newington is soon to get The Good Egg. But i like my eggs like my MJ albums and that's BADDDDD.

    Previously heralded as the king of the BBQ, Neil Rankin opened Bad Egg in the shadow of Ropemaker Street, Moorgate last year. 

    Rankin built a menu of filthy egg dishes with both Korean and British influence and as of February 2015, he went one better by creating a bottomless brunch.

    I love brunch. Maybe more than I love eggs - but not as much as I love prosecco. And that's what they serve here, free-flowing, at the weekends. (it's actually Cava but whatevs)
    For £32.50pp, you can chose three dishes from the menu and have your glass continuously topped up by the trendy and attentive waiters (hello v.drunk Saturday afternoons)

    Tom and I went last weekend as a little anniversary treat. We arrived hungry and left very drunk - but also full from the delicious dishes on offer. 
    Breakfast tacos - wow. The mixture of the salsa, chipotle and guacamole was incredible. So much flavour and totally different to any way I've eaten eggs before.
    The kimchi beans on toast was one of our favourite dishes. Essentially spicy beans, with pulled pork. on toast which would be epic for a hangover. I'm surprised they didn't put a poached egg on this dish - one of the few dishes on the menu without an egg but for me the most obvious?
    Nduja fries with fried egg were okay but nothing to sing about. The addition of the egg for me was a bit forced - I don't think it adds anything and I'd rather of had more sauce as the spicy Nduja flavour felt lost.
    With the cheeseburger hash you get everything from the Bad Egg burger sans le bun. Not a highlight for me but I really enjoyed the potato hash and the sauces Rankin uses have incredible flavour.
    Finally the Korean rib tips, delicious fatty bites packed full of sticky ginger and gochujang flavour. We loved these but both thought they felt slightly out of place with the rest of the dishes. Probably works better on the full menu alongside other dishes with Korean influence.
    Bad Egg was anything but bad for me. Portion sizes are fairly small, especially if you're sharing so you won't leave stuffed but if your waiter is as liberal with the cava as ours, you will leave drunk Plus you can't really quibble with £30 for food and drink of this standard.

    Brunch is served 10am-7pm on Saturdays and 12-5pm on Sunday - and you'll need to book.

    City Point 1, Ropemaker St, London EC2Y 9AW

    Bad Egg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Monday, 21 September 2015

    HAWKSMOOR, GUILDHALL

    Breakfast. It's one of the most important meals of the day and also one of my favourites.

    When I do breakfast, I like to go BIG and you don't go bigger than the breakfast at Hawksmoor.

    Now I'm sure you'll have heard all about their UNREAL steaks but did you know they also do breakfast? It's only available Monday to Friday and it's only served at the Guildhall branch and it's literally ah-mah-zing! 
    I took Tom for his birthday as a little treat. As it was a treat and a friday and because they were called anti-fogmatics we started our breakfast with a cocktail. Who cares if it was only 9am?

    I went for the manliest drink of the menu with shaky pete's ginger brew, made from gin, ginger syrup, lemon and London Pride ale (£9.75), while Tom went for the girly Marmalade Cocktail (£9.50)
    In terms of breakfast. We were there for one thing and one thing only. The breakfast to end all breakfasts. The Hawksmoor Breakfast for two (£35).

    It's made for two to share (clue is in the name) but it's enough to feed a small family for days! You get a huge smoked bacon chop, sausages, (made with pork, beef, & mutton), black pudding, short-rib bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans (incredibleeee), fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, HP gravy and unlimited toast - and breatheee.
    It is quite literally huge and it tastes incredible! 

    Bone marrow on toast was the highlight for me but the trotters beans were incredible too. Home-made smokey baked beans with pulled pork - seriously as good as they sound. 
    There are very few times Tom has not been able to finish a meal and this was definitely one of those times. I mean just look at the sheer size of it! 

    If you're ever in the city mid-week, you should definitely stop by Hawksmoor for breakfast. If you're not quite up to the big breakfast challenge, there's loads on the menu to chose from including eggs benedict, steak and eggs and lighter options like grapefruit or granola. 


    Hawksmoor
    10 Basinghall St, London EC2V 5BQ
    Hawksmoor Guildhall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Friday, 18 September 2015

    JAMES MARTIN, MANCHESTER

    A couple of months back, Tom & I went for a weekend away to Manchester. You may remember I wrote about our trip to Neighbourhood which is now one of my firm favourite restaurants

    Well we also went to James Martin's restaurant while we were there but I got totally side-tracked and forgot to write it up - BUT better late than never aye?

    James Martin Manchester is all about classic British cooking. You can find the restaurant in a slightly odd place - at the back of the Manchester 235 casino - and while the location is a bit strange, the food is absolutely delicious.

    For starters, Tom went for the wild rabbit with pickled carrot puree, fennel pollen and black trufle (£7.50). Really tasty and not something which Tom had tried before so we were off to a good start.
     I went for an old favourite with the Crabley's goat curd served with salt baked fennel (£6.50). I adore goats cheese - I know it's one of those ingredients which people either love or hate but i can't get enough of it! This curd was so light and creamy - really delicious and a new texture for me!
    For main courses, Tom opted for the slow cooked veal ossobuco with green olive and courgette (£18.95). Another new dish for Tom, and while he said it was well cooked, it could have done with a bit more of a sauce to go with it.
    I ordered the lamb served three ways - chop, loin and belly which came with asparagus and a mint and rice wine dressing (£18.50). This was also beautifully cooked, although we both felt that the price for the mains was steep considering side dishes were charged as extra. 
     For our side dishes, we ordered portions of cauliflower cheese, dripping chips and seasonal greens to share (£3.50 each). All of which were very good - especially the cauli - which was drenched in creamy cheese sauce.
    Of course we still had pudding and both our favourites were on the menu. Tom had bread and butter pudding....
    while I went for the Sticky Toffee. Mine was literally incredible, the combination of the hot toffee sauce and cold condensed milk ice cream makes me weak at the knees. I would bathe in a vat of this stuff if I could, but sadly I put on abut 5lbs just by re-looking at this photo!
    Overall we both really enjoyed our meal. The food was delicous, I love British cooking and I really can’t knock the quality of the food at all (I just wish there was a little more of it!). 

    If you're ever in Manchester, it's well worth a visit. There's also brilliant champagne bar just outside the casino, called Epernay which does one of the best Pornstar Martinis so that's worth heading to afterward for your night-cap!

    2 Watson St, Manchester, UK M3 4LP
    James Martin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015

    YARDBIRD, LIVERPOOL

    Things have gone a bit burger centric on the blog lately and today's post shows no sign of slowing down with two burgers from Liverpool chicken joint, Yardbird.

    Yard Bird, which is on the corner of Berry Street, in Liverpool specialises in all things fried chicken. Taking inspiration from the deep South, the menu is filled with wings, doughnuts and cocktails, all served in the surroundings of a rock n roll stylised diner - with Jamie T blasting out the stereo.
    Tom and I have walked past so many times when we're in town so we decided to head there one friday night so we could finally give it a try.

    The menu is separated out into burgers, fried chicken and extras. I can't resist buffalo chicken so Tom and I both went for burgers although I loved the sound of the Biggie Smalls fat-assed fried chicken!

    We kicked things off with eight Korean salt n peppa wings (£6) which were really good! Really meaty and with a nice crunchy coating. They also had a Frank hot sauce option which I would definitely go back to try.

    We each chose a different set of fries of the extras menu. I went for fries smothered in coconut curry sauce (£4)....
    while Tom chose the salt n pepper 'chips n gravy fries' (£4).
    For our mains, I went for the Dead man's swerve burger (£7). A crunchy fried chicken breast burger smothered in hot buffalo sauce and pickles - held together with a chuppa-chup! 

    It was really tasty and the chicken breast was huge! love buffalo sauce so could have done with a little more in my burger - or possibly some blue cheese sauce - but other than that, it was really good. 
    Tom went for an even bigger burger with the Rooster coburn (£10). A double chicken burger with bacon, swiss cheese, an onion ring and salad. Which apparently was really good - he had finished before I even got a look in!
    If you're ever in Liverpool and fancy a burger, I highly recommend Yardbird! The vibe of the restaurant is really relaxed and it would be a great place to start a night out. Plus they've got some lethal looking hard shakes which I'm desperate to go back and try!

    60 Berry St, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4JQ
    Yardbird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato