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    Wednesday, 27 June 2018

    TASTY TACOS AT CORAZON IN SOHO

    If you thought I was going to start my review of a Mexican joint without making an awful pun – then you are WRONG hombre – because I’m here to taco ‘bout the fab meal I had down at Corazon recently. I'm sorry I couldn't help myself.
    Corazon is a fab little spot right in the heart of Soho – perfect for after work dinner and drinks with your best amigos. It has a relaxed vibe, serving up authentic Mexican eats and some seriously killer Mexcal margaritas!
    Everything on the menu is designed for sharing so you can order loads of small plates between you (my fav way of eating) and then just dig in! We kicked things off with a fresh, tangy Scallop Ceviche (£8) served with fried totopos triangles.  
    Followed by the three cheese quesadilla with huitlacoche, pea shoots and a salsa negra (£5.25). You're probably wondering what huitalacoche is, aren't you? Well, it's actually a type of corn fungus (stay with me!) but I promise it tastes A LOT nicer than it sounds!
    Next we went for the contramar tostadas (£6.25). Crispy corn discs topped with a generous, meaty slice of yellowfin tuna, chipotle mayo, crispy leeks and avocado. Dreamy.
    Followed by a trio of tacos because all good things come in threes right? Our waiter recommended the carnitas (£8.50), Baja fish (£9.50) and Carne Asada (£9.75) - and who are we to argue?!

    The carnitas are a delicious combination of slow-cooked pork collar and belly, marinated in orange juice, Mexican oregano, cinnamon & garlic - served with crispy pork skin, pickled jalapeno & salsa verde.
    The baja fish taco packs a HUGE beer battered haddock fillet inside a blue-corn tortilla with red & white pickled cabbage and chipotle mayo.
    While the carne asada is a combination of chipotle, orange & soy marinated hanger steak with pickled onions and creamy avocado.
    For sides, we ordered a bowl of the traditional Mexican corn salad: esquites (£5). If you’ve never tried it, it’s essentially grilled sweetcorn, stripped from the cob then mixed with epazote mayo, a good squeeze of lime and finished with guajillo chile powder..
    Then finally we ordered a portion of the mole fries for good measure (£4.25). Delicious skin on potatoes, sliced, fried and topped with home-made mole coloradito, queso fresco and sesame seeds.
    By now you think we’d be stuffed right. Wrong. You guys have no faith in me. Of course, we HAD to share a big slab of the oaxacan chocolate cake (£.650). It’s a flourless chocolate torte made with Mexican cinnamon and Mayordomo chocolate topped with a big dollop of creme fraiche. It's wonderfully dense and ridiculously more-ish!
    All you need is a shot of Tequilla and Sangrita to round-off a truly epic Mexican feast!
    If you fancy giving Corazon a try, they’re open seven days a week for lunch and dinner (and brunch on weekends!). They take walk-ins but I recommend booking as it was bustling when we were there!
    Corazon
    29 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 8QR
    * I was invited to review Corazon

    Tuesday, 26 June 2018

    THE BEST WURST OUTSIDE BERLIN AT HERMAN ZE GERMAN

    When we went to Berlin, I was absolutely addicted to Currywurst & Chips. ADDICTED. Like I ate it for every meal the entire time we were there. With absolutely no shame.

    It's such a weird dish though (chopped up sausage served with chips and covered in a spicy tomato sauce) and you basically can't get it anywhere other than Germany - OR SO I THOUGHT!

    Yep – tucked away on Old Compton Street is Herman ze German who have been rustling up this German-style delicacy since circa 2008 (you'll have to forgive me for being SO late to the party!) Now if you're already familiar with them - feel free to hit the X in the top right - but if like me, you've been living under a rock, don't worry because I'll fill you in!

    So what is Herman ze German? Well, it does pretty much what it says on the tin. It's a German themed restaurant (I say that loosely as this is more of a fast food joint) - all kitted out with a laid-back canteen style vibe. You pop up to the window, place your order, take a seat and then wait for your food to be whisked over to your table. 
    The menu itself is equally as simple. They do an assortment of German dishes like schnitzel and various wursts in rolls - but I was only here for one thing. The currywurst.

    First you choose which style of Currywurst you want - classic (straight up with no extras), Herman style (with crispy onions and mayo) or house pickled with saurkraut and pickled onions.

    Next you pick your heat - ranging from the super mild 'Not' to the spiciest 'Ringer' sausage. Then finally you pick your size: small (one chopped bratwurst), regular (one bratwurst and one bockwurst) or monster (one bratwurst, bockwurst and chilli beef).
    All the wursts are made in the Black Forest in Germany and imported over so you can be sure of their quality. There’s no nasty fillers or cheap cuts – just good, well-seasoned sausage meat – just like the ones I’ve eaten in Berlin!
    They also have some incredible German beers on tap - so you can get yourself a stein of Erdinger to wash it all down!
    And the verdict?
    I have to say I agree! These guys have four restaurants across London (in Soho, Embankment, Fitzrovia and a new one heading to White City) so make sure you go pay them a visit!

    Herman Ze German 
    33 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JU
    Herman ze German Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Sunday, 24 June 2018

    TEST-DRIVING THE NEWEST 'CERU' IN SOHO

    If you hadn’t guessed already (despite the 56780 times I’ve mentioned it), middle-eastern/Levantine food is my absolute FAV. Hands down. I love the flavours. I love the aromas. I love the textures. But most of all, I love the fact that all the dishes come in huge portions, perfect for sharing! 

    Now I’ve tried my fair share of Levantine food across London (and tried my hand at cooking some dishes myself) but one of the places I just keep coming back to is Ceru! Ceru doesn’t really need an introduction on this blog – I mean I’ve written about them twice before! But for the new readers among you (or the forgetful) don’t worry because I’ll fill you in. 

    The team at Ceru serve up delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired mezze. They started out with a few pop-up locations before taking up a permanent residence was over in South Kensington and now they’ve opened a super bright and breezy restaurant right in the heart of Soho on D’Arblay Street – so of course, I had to head down to check it out! Everything on the menu is designed to share and they recommend around 3-4 dishes per person - which sound a lot but trust me - you'll want to try as much as you can! Start by ordering yourself a couple of bowls of dip to share..
     I loved the Fadi (£5.50) made with roasted zucchini, garlic, tahini and tangy lemon.
    The Ceru Hammara (£5) is a tangy red pepper dip topped with walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
    All the dips come served with your choice of soft, pillowy breads or crunchy crudities so you can scoop up every last mouthful!
    Definitely order yourselves a salad (those are words I rarely say!) because the peach, feta and red onion salad (£6) was one of the tastiest things on the menu. Super fresh and studded with pistachio, chilli, mint and a gorgeous zingy citrus dressing.
    The rest of the menu is divided into seafood, meat, poultry and vegetables so I’d recommend ordering one dish from each section to share between you.

    The Karides (£10) are huge, garlicy prawns served whole on a skewer, ready to be de-shelled and scooped into the dried lime and coriander labneh yoghurt.
    You have to order the lamb shoulder (£11.50)! The meat is slow roasted for five hours in a secret blend of 12 shawarma spices and topped with pomegranate, fresh mint and a pistachio dressing. It’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and one of my absolute favs!
    The Shish Taouk (£8.50) is delicately spiced chunks of chicken, skewered and gently charred on the grill. The meat is super tender and very lightly spiced - perfect if you're not a huge lover of heat!
    The Spiced Polenta & Feta Fries (£3.50) were a really interesting dish! Crunchy on the outside and creamy and tender within - these are a really novel alternative to traditional chips. What's not to love about fried carbs?!
    If there’s one thing you HAVE to order though – it’s the roasted aubergine with chermoula. I was a HUGE fan of this dish on my previous visit so I knew I HAD to order it again! The aubergine has a real meaty quality and that fragrant, tomato sauce is an absolute dream!
    Don't be tempted to skip pudding - regardless of how full you're feeling! The desserts at Ceru are really, really excellent. Both in terms of flavour and prevention - I mean just look at my dark chocolate mousse! It's super rich, velvety and perfect for taking the edge of a big meal with hidden studs of sour cherry and pistachio (£4.50).
    The Honey and Cardamom Panna Cotta (£4.50) also tastes just as good as it looks. Super light and creamy and heavily fragranced with rose petals, pomegranate and pistachios. Who could resist a pudding served to you in a bronze challis!
    Once again I was SO impressed with the food at Ceru and honestly can't recommend it enough. It's light, tasty and incredibly good value. I think they'll be right at home in Soho so do make sure you go and check them out!

    Ceru
    11 D'Arblay St
    Soho, W1F 8DT
    * I was invited to the press launch of Ceru 

    Thursday, 7 June 2018

    RECIPE: GOLDEN OREO AND JAMMY DODGER BLONDIES

    Is it just me or does anyone else’s good eating intentions just go completely off track the closer they get to a holiday? I headed out to Ibiza last week and rather than getting into some kind of pre-holiday ‘bikini body’ routine, I basically just ate absolutely everything in sight. I even started baking – and I never bloody bake!
    Jammy-dodger-brownies
    Anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm really not a baker. I've mentioned it before on here – it’s just something to do with all the precision and patience and it’s just not really for me. This recipe though – it’s SO easy, there's no way you could mess it up! I mean if I can do it...

    What you'll need
    1 packet of Golden Oreos
    1 pack of Jammy Dodgers
    100g Butter (Unsalted)
    100g White chocolate
    2 Eggs
    75g Plain Flour
    160g Caster Sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    2 tbsp Raspberry Jam
    What you'll need to do
    1. Preheat your oven to 180c or Gas Mark 4.
    2. Using a bain-marie, melt your white chocolate and butter together then set aside to cool down slightly.
    3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and then beat these into the white chocolate mixture.
    4. Sift in the flour and mix well before adding your vanilla extract
    5. Pour into a lined 20cm square baking tin. Spoon the jam on top (I do a blob in each corner and in the middle) then using a knife, swirl the mix around to make a pattern.
    6. Next arrange your Jammy Dodgers and Oreos neatly on top
    7. Pop into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes
    8. Allow to cool and cut into squares then enjoy with a good cuppa!