Thursday, 21 June 2012


Russell Norman is a genius.  But you already knew that.  Everybody knows it.  His recent Bond style cover of the OFM mag confirms it.  Likely to irk a few I imagine, but good on him I say.

I visited Mishkin's a few weeks ago, having been eager to try it since my return from Oz in December.  Mainly because of this bad boy - the Reuben on rye, a delectable sandwich of pastrami, sauerkraut, russian dressing and Swiss cheese.

Some helpful twitter advise prompted me to get the double sized patty slider (said Kang) and the knish (advised Emily) and they didn't disappoint.

The steamed beef patty (x2) with swiss cheese was immense.  I foolishly left it to the end of the feast and it totally beat me.  Tasted seriously amazing though, and the patty was so juicy.  Just look at those onions!

The knish I tackled pretty much single handedly, filled with chicken, leek and tarragon served with a creamy mushroom sauce.  Mmmmmmm.  My companions who tried it noted that the tarragon flavour was a little overpowering but I actually thought it was spot on.  Having never had one before, the humble knish has shot way up in my estimations.

I ordered some market greens to go along with the pastry bomb thinking there should be some obligatory green, and they were lovely.

Having also tried some of Art's mac and cheese, I'd say I prefer the Spuntino version but they're very different beasts.  I had a meatball too, these change daily and I forget what these were but aren't they pretty?

I've loved every one of Norman's establishments, having tried all but Polpetto, which is currently awol, soon to open at a new address in Soho, relocating from it's previous digs above the French House.  Perfect excuse to go, roll on August!

Can't remember how much I paid, think it was around £40 a head, with some gimlets and cynar gin fizz' to wash it all down with.  A right bargain.  Can't wait to revisit.

25 Catherine St

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Nordic Bakery

I've worked in Soho for yonks now and only just been to Nordic Bakery for lunch.  I got a closed gravadlax sandwich on dark rye, with a latte and loved it.

Most reports I've read on this place, have raved about the pastries, and they did look great, all lined up on the counter, cinnamon buns, blueberry buns, oven pancakes and rye muffins, each looked enticing.  Alas, I'll be exposing myself in a bikini this time in 2 days so am laying off the sweet treats in the run up to that.

Back to my sandwich, it came with some nice pickled cucumber and sweet mustard and dill dressing which really made it for me.  Delicious and filling and a lovely strong latte too.  The bread is also available to buy, might pick up a loaf next time. 

The savoury karelian pie looked particularly appealing, served with an egg butter.  I'll be back for that post bikini time.  Pretty reasonably priced too, only £3.85 for the sandwich.

Nordic Bakery
14a Golden Square

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Monday, 18 June 2012


Emily and I had planned to try out Burger and Lobster, our efforts hampered by being ever late to the party, and even later to the queue (7:30ish), we were confronted by a 2 hour wait, thanks, in part, to a glowing write up from Marina in that morning's Metro.

We head back in the direction of Soho towards Copita just around the corner from my work.  I've walked by every morning since January and most days witness one of their suppliers arriving laden with delicious looking goods.  I enjoy that little glimpse into life at Copita and had been eager to try some of those ingredients out.

That evening, we arrived and with welcome ease secured a perch for 2, no hour long wait here.  The deal is Spanish small plates, ideal for sharing, or not with a daily changing menu and wines available by the glass.  Love.

We ordered a bottle of Navarra 'young' Sabina Tempranillo 2010.  At £19 a bottle, it's the 2nd, not the,  cheapest on the menu!  It was lovely.  Also 'young', the La Vendimia Tempranillo 2010 Rioja was nice and the wine list fairly extensive.

To eat we began with some bread, £1 for a generous amount of really good baguette and the pea, truffle oil and mozzarella croquettes.  I have a serious thing for croquettes, and simply can't avoid ordering them.

These ones were good, but not a patch on my favourites.  Best dish of the night was the chicken kiev.  Massively garlicky, served with a white bean mash and greens.  This dish made me return a few weeks later with a group of colleagues and the 2nd time there was no sharing!

We also tried the smoked mushroom and molten egg yolk dish, slightly gloopy in texture, luckily we had some bread left, but the flavours are good.  A crunchier offering came in the form of the tomato and anchovy on crispbread which reminded me of a similar dish at MoVida Aqui in Melbourne, that one had a tomato sorbet which sets it higher in my regard due to the accompanying sensation.  Copita's is also good.  Though, I see on the sample menu on the website, anchovy with broad bean ice cream, a similar concept.

I also sampled some sardines, boquerones style, very fresh and clean and some large scallops served in the shells in a buttery sauce.  Delicious.

For dessert Emily and I halved a custard tart and some wonderful churros with a bitter chocolate sauce, these were very good.

You can book at lunchtimes, evenings are first come first served and I reckon I'll be back, some are raving about their ajo blanco which I'd really like to try.  London is becoming a little overrun right now with Spanish eateries but I think Copita certainly carves it's own niche, with interesting enough dishes to set it apart from many of it's lesser contemporaries.  I spent around £30 on each visit so it's cheaper than many of them too.  

26 D'arblay Street

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Vinoteca, Soho

Vinoteca have expanded and I visited the newly opened Soho branch one evening last week for a few vinos and some snacks.  Having never visited either the original Farringdon bar or the Marylebone location, but having heard good things of both, I was excited to see a more central and closer to work option.

The staff were knowledgeable and easy going, happy to oblige despite our sporadic food ordering.  The menu changes daily and consists of bar snacks, starters and mains.  Wanting more of a graze than a full meal, Art and I ordered the sobrasada and some bread to start with.

I'd never had this before but it's a spreadable sausage, akin to chorizo, flavoured with smoked paprika and was great with the crusty white bread.

My favourite treat of the evening were the chorizo croquettes.  I'd say they're almost as good as the famed Barrafina ham croquettes, but not quite there.  A brilliant aioli sprinkled with paprika was the perfect accompaniment though.

Finally, we shared a British cheese plate with generous wedges of (from top down) Stawley, an unpasteurized soft goatscheese (£4), Colsten Basset stilton (£4) and Lincolnshire poacher (£3.50).

We drank a bottle of the 2010 Touraine Sauvignon, ‘Domaine de la Croix Bouquie’, Alpha Loire which is bottled on site, and once we were done with that ordered a couple more glasses.  The bread was refilled throughout the evening, a number of times and the bill came to £30 each.  It doesn't look like a lot of food but we were both full and felt very well looked after.  Having been open only a few weeks, I was very impressed with how slick everything already seems to be running here.  We didn't book and managed to walk straight in to a table on the busy ground floor, well into evening service on a Thursday.  There's a room upstairs where reservations are taken.

I'll definitely be back to try out more of the wines and some of the larger plates, all the food on surrounding tables looked more than appealing.

53-55 Beak Street

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Thursday, 7 June 2012

BrewDog, Camden

I've been off the radar recently. New job, new home, another new home soon, long hours at work, ridiculous deadlines etc. (it's all happening!) and aside from the odd late night visit to Spuntino, I've not been eating out much.  Quieter times to come thankfully, so I'll be back in action.

I spent last NYE holed up at BrewDog in Camden and recently revisited with friends on a Sunday to drink some ludicrously strong beers (not for me really, I ended up drinking the raspberry hued offering) and eat cheap burgers.

I actually really enjoyed the Californian.  Handily posed by the kitchen ready for a cross section shot, served on a little wooden board. 

It was very juicy though. Not typically a criticism in a burger but in this instance it dripped all over my new jeans. Sob.  Flavour wise, the char is not even close to the likes of Meatliquor or Goodman but I enjoyed the add ons, cheese, sauce, crisp lettuce and tomato.  Priced at £4.95 I really don't think you can complain, would be nice to have the option to add chips.

My companions tried the pizza and the pork burger, laden with sauerkraut. Also a goodun. There's a curry type offering too.

The food menu was designed by Masterchef 2011 winner Tim Anderson. I liked the guy and I liked the food here.

The beers pretty special too of course and it's nice they've given a bit of thought to how you soak up all that booze. Well done BrewDog. I'm glad you've opened in London.

113 Bayham Street

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