12.01.2015

BRASSERIE GUSTAVE

November has been a very busy month for me, first because I started a new role and secondly because I had friends and family visiting every weekend. To celebrate my new role, my boyfriend and I went to Brasserie Gustave.

We arrived there a bit earlier than we should. The atmosphere was a bit quiet at the beginning, but it became better after few minutes. I was surprised by the number of walks-ins this evening which filled up the entire dining room in a couple of minutes. 
The decoration was more like a 'posh' brasserie with traditional red banquettes, old French advert posters on the wall and in the background a nice playlist of some old French classics such as Edith Piaf and Gainsbourg. 

We started our meal with a glass of Champagne.
Then we had a starter each, my boyfriend had the duck foie gras terrine. It was served with fig and port chutney. The piece of terrine was big and very good. I opted for the carpaccio of venison with black truffle dressing. This dish was superb, it was flavourful and light. I liked the hint of truffles with the venison. 
Our starters were served with a glass of Muscat and a glass of dry and aromatic Pinot blanc from Alsace.

As a main I had a fillet of beef served with pan fried foie gras, spinach,  truffle and Madeira jus. My beef was cooked as I requested and it was lovely, the foie gras were perfectly cooked too. The dish came with a crostini underneath the meat, it didn't add any flavour to the dish apart from an oily taste. It was not properly cooked and tasted awful so I left it on the side. I think the dish would have been perfect without it, which I mentioned to our waiter at the end of the meal. 
My boyfriend stayed very classic and had a beef entrecôte. Again the quality of the meat was perfect and cooked as requested.
We had our main with a side of French fries and a glass of Pinot Noir from Burgundy. 

For dessert, we both had a vanilla crème brûlée. It was alright but not the best we had. The custard was a bit heavy which made it difficult to finish. At the beginning I thought it was a bit weird to have fruits on it, but in the end I quite enjoyed the freshness and lightness the fruits gave to this heavy crème.

Overall my boyfriend and I had a beautiful evening, service was faultless. We thought Brasserie Gustave was great and is probably a great addition for local residents but we probably wouldn't travel a distance to go there again.

7/10

I was invited to review Brasserie Gustave


Duck foie gras terrine, fig and port chutney
Thinly sliced raw fillet of venison, black truffle dressing
Fillet of beef pan fried with foie gras, spinach, truffle and Madeira jus
Beef entrecote
Vanilla crème brûlée
Brasserie Gustave
4 Sydney Street
London SW3 6PP
Twitter: @BrasserGustave
Brasserie Gustave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal
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11.08.2015

VIET FOOD

Recently Dozo opened it's new sister restaurant Viet Food, specialising in Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant is based on the south side of Wardour street, next to the gates of Chinatown.
I was quite excited to have lunch there as I really like Vietnamese dishes.
I went for lunch with my friend Melissa Foodie . The place was busy, so we only managed to get a table on the ground floor next to the entrance with a view of the kitchen.

To start our meal, my friend ordered a tea. Unfortunately because of the trendy use of enamel glasses to serve tea in this restaurant she didn't manage to drink it until the end of her meal as it was too hot to touch.
We shared two starters : the coconut calamari with sweet chili and the Vietnamese spring rolls. Both starters were good and crispy. I didn't really taste coconut while eating the deep fried calamari but they tasted lighter than the classic ones. The sweet chili sauce was quite tasty, it came in a small tube which gave a modern touch to the dish.
Regarding the spring rolls they were pretty small andI only had a tiny bite however my friend seemed to enjoy them. She switched the classic nuoc cham sauce for the spicy red sauce available on our table.

As a main dish my friend ordered the Pho Chin which was a slow cooked marbled beef in soup. To quote my friend, she thought her pho was literally a bowl of hot water and tasteless noodles. It was the worst pho she had for a long time. I tried a spoon of her pho and it's true that it could have been a bit more flavourful. It was nothing compare to the pho I tried at Ngon Ngon.

My dish was a bun tom nurong, a massive plate of plain noodles with coriander, mint, cucumber and chargrilled fresh tiger prawns. It came with some nuoc cham sauce to pore over the plate. It was alright but there was nothing really special about it. Again it needed a bit of flavour to be better.

Overall I don't think I will go back to Viet Food  and so does my friend, as apart from the starters, the dishes were flavourless. I would rather commute to get a proper good and tasty Vietnamese meal in Clerkenwell (Ngon Ngon or Banh Mi Bay) or in Shoreditch (Mien Tay).

4/10
Viet Food 
34-36 Wardour Street
London W1D 6QT
Twitter: @VietFoodLondon
Vietfood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal
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10.28.2015

RECIPEASE JAMIE OLIVER

Last weekend my boyfriend and I had an usual Saturday night !
We went to the cookery school of Jamie Oliver based in Notting Hill: Recipease. We wanted to improve our cooking skills and especially our knowledge of how to make filled pasta.

While we were waiting for the class to start we were offered a complimentary glass of Prosecco.
We were all standing around a massive bar in the middle of the restaurant. The class started with 10 minutes of marketing campaigns for Jamie Oliver restaurants, shops and products ! Needless to say this wasn’t really my cup of tea as I was here to spend a good time with my boyfriend, learn new skills and cook. I was not expecting to listen to a Jamie Oliver's advertisement otherwise I would have stayed in, in from of my TV.
After the long ten minutes of adverts, the class finally properly began and the chef explained how to make filled pasta.

The first step was to make the pasta dough, then knead it and let it rest. While our dough was resting, we prepared our filling. The filling was pretty simple and cheap (frozen spinach and ricotta).
The second step was to roll the dough by using a pasta machine.
The third step was to shape and cut our pasta dough, filled and cook them.
At the same time we were preparing our sauce which was a butter and sage.

What I really liked about this class was its concept. The chef showed us step by step the process and then we did the same thing between each step for our own pasta. What I didn’t like was the price, I thought the class was a bit pricey considering we cooked with very cheap and frozen ingredients. Also to make her plate of pasta the chef use the same amount of ingredients which was given to share between two people, and I think they could have be a bit more generous with their portions. It was surely the most expensive spinach and ricotta pasta plate I ever ate : £50, but it was homemade.

Overall we are glad we did this class as we will be able to prepare our own filled pasta at home with our new pasta machine. However we will probably not go back again to Recipease as it was a bit overpriced for what it was.

5/10
Recipease Jamie Oliver
92-94 Notting Hill Gate
W11 3QB London
Recipease Jamie Oliver Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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10.24.2015

NGON NGON


There has been a lot of new Vietnamese restaurants opening around London recently : Viet Food in Soho, FOLD on Brick Lane and Yum Som in the City which I have planned to visit pretty soon.
Seeing all the vietnamese dishes on my Twitter timeline I decided to pay a visit to my old local restaurants around Holborn - Banh Mi Bay.

On that occasion we were not very lucky with my boyfriend as Banh Mi Bay was already full. We went instead on Clerkenwell Road (3 minutes away) to Ngon Ngon.
We arrived around 1.30pm. Ngon Ngon was absolutely packed too but we managed to get the last empty table. While we were ordering, we were informed that unfortunately they had totally sold out of banh mi. My boyfriend was a bit disappointed.

We started our meal by sharing some prawn, pork and squid spring rolls. They were very light, crispy and full of flavour. I liked the fact they had squid in as it gave an extra texture to the usual classic prawn and pork spring rolls you get anywhere else.

As a main dish, my boyfriend had the Pho tai, which was rice noodles in a clear beef broth with slim rare cuts of beef. It came with some chili, lime and herbs on the side.
I tried his dish, the broth was packed in flavour (even without herbs and spice). The beef was also really tasty and not chewy at all.
I had stir fried flat noodles with chicken (Pho Xao Ga). It came with some crispy vegetables: carrot, pak choi, courgette and crispy onions on top. I thought the dish was pretty good, and also had the perfect balance of meat, carbs and vegetables. I remember at Banh Mi Bay the portions are usually slightly bigger but you end up with more noodles than meat or vegetables.

Service at Ngon Ngon was pretty good and quick, we waited only 5 minutes between ordering and getting dishes on the table. Our waiter was the restaurant Manager, who was pretty efficient, nice and friendly.
Overall I think Ngon Ngon was close to be the perfect restaurant for a short lunch break for £10 or less per head. All the dishes were delicious and smelled amazing. It would have probably been the perfect place if they hadn't sold out of banh mi by 1.30pm.

8/10
Ngon Ngon 
144 Clerkenwell road
London EC1R 5DP 
Ngon Ngon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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