Venchi the gelato gem | London

Hampstead is like a green village tucked away in the North West of London. It is such a special little gem that I came to discover thanks to P. He told me to wear some comfy shoes cause we will be doing some long walk. He warned me ahead so I won't make him piggy back me all the way.

After a rather long walk from Finchley Road up and into the hilly residential area with mansions tugged in the midst of greenery, we arrived in Hampstead. There was a shop there that sells one of the most amazing designer furnitures. It was as if a little museum, with the few pieces you would probably find in V&A museum.

With the little calories burnt after the walk, we topped it up some well worth calories. Gelato of exquisite quality, made in the premise. I have already made a note to bring my sister and dad here when they visit this summer.






Dark chocolate and coconut gelato






Venchi

65 Hampstead High Street
NW3 1QP London,UK

Jamie's Italian at Threadneedle Street | London

Jamie's Italian is all so familiar. It is a name and brand that is known by everyone and in every household. It is somewhere you would visit for a family-friendly rustic Italian meal. I have been to it's Canary Wharf branch a few times and had always enjoyed my experience there.



This time, we thought we shall visit the Threadneedle Street branch, situated right in the heart of the City of London. The building and interior reflects the grandeur of what used to be an old bank. Jamie's team has embraced the style of thisVictorian building and interior, making use of the high ceiling and marbled pillars to its advantage. They matched the incredible architecture and interior with custom-made chairs, solid oak tables and some impressive chandeliers. Even the menu is not the usual Jamie's rustic style. It has been geared up a notch to match its decadent setting. The prices too, were reflective of it.

When I arrived, P had already made himself really comfortable sipping his glass of red waiting for me. He had poured me a glass from the bottle he ordered which as expected, he would be the one finishing up three quarters of it by the end of the night. That's the benefit of my lack of drinking ability. While I lacked in alcohol tolerance, my food intake capacity makes up for it. Oh, 'lucky' him, we eat almost the same amount!







While we were still making decision on our meal choices, we ordered the 'world's best olive on ice' to tame our growling stomach. They were indeed some very very good olives, served alongside some crispy music bread and black olive tapenade.






We ordered the 'octopus carpaccio' and 'seafood plank' to start. Octopus is such a seafood that needs to be cooked with attention as care as to keep them tender. The fact that it was tender and thinly sliced made my day. I have had rubbery ones and they weren't pleasant. A little extra zing and seasoning would have made this carefully made octopus sing an opera.







As P is a fan of pasta with butter, the French in him ordered the 'Summer truffle tagliolini'. It was a simple plate of fresh pasta with silky truffle butter and shaved summer truffle. The pasta was very well made and delicious. Though, I thought it was a little too plain for my liking. My 'Salt marsh lamb' came so prettily presented I forgot we were at Jamie's Italian. The lamb were cooked three ways; stuffed, grilled and crispy. Some extra sauce would have made the dish come together much better as they were a little dry. Sides of crispy polenta chips and vignole (spring vegetable and herb stew) was a joy.






Desserts weren't to miss, even after all the food we had. I had a craving for the panna cotta while P felt like having the white chocolate semifredo. But then we both agreed that we must try the tiramisu. So we ordered three desserts!! Please don't judge our gluttony. It's only fair that we eat to our hearts content after a stressful work week. It was a Friday after all. Panna cotta with black cherries and dark chocolate passed the wobble test. It was light, trifle-like and summery though the dark chocolate was not needed. The white chocolate semifredo was nice. Tiramisu was indeed light, as promised in their menu but we both agree though nice, was not good enough. It was made too fancy, and missed the indulgence body of a traditional tiramisu. The tiramisu was crying out for more love and big fat hug.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience here. The interior was fabulous, food was well cooked and presented though lacked 'je ne sais quoi' for the price. The most memorable dish was for me, the side of vignole. It was simple yet packed full of flavour, something the other dishes lacked; a lift. Our server who was sweet and lovely was a joy to have. I will happily recommend anyone to try this place out for it's sheer difference in it's overall experience compared to other Jamie's Italian branches I have been too.


**Disclaimer: I was invited by Jamie's Italian to review the restaurant. Everything written above are my own honest opinion and will not mislead you in any way or form.

Jamie's Italian (Threadneedle Street)

38 Threadneedle Street
EC2R 8AY London,UK
  

East Street | London


 
Gyoza and Bulgogi

Bulgogi

Chap Chae

Chicken Pad Krapow





I’ve walked pass East Street dozens of times and each time, I was curious. Finally, we made it here. East Street is made to convey the South East Asian street food experience which I think was almost spot on. The colour, d├ęcor and noise felt like home. We ordered the Korean bulgogi of marinated grilled beef and griddled gyoza (dumpling) to start. Then we moved on to Thai Pad Krapow with rice and Korean Chap Chae for mains. The best of the lot was the Pad Krapow and the rest were a little disappointing for me. The bulgogi tasted nice but was dry, gyoza was lack of flavour and Chap Chae was just ‘meh’. My Spanish friend loved them though. Maybe I am just being a tad picky with my food.

Although the food was not up to par for my standard, we still enjoyed our time there. It was a very casual, fun and exciting place. I can see how many will like this place. It is the perfect place for cheap food off Oxford Street after a full day of shopping and possibly spending lots of money on clothes that we would probably only wear once. I might actually give it a second try next time, with a different selection from the menu. Maybe Nasi Goreng. Who knows. I will let you know my verdict again soon.

East Street

3-5 Rathbone Place
W1T 1HJ London,UK

East Street Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bill's | London

Photo via Bill's

Photo via Bill's

Photo via Bill's












The first time I came across Bill's was when I visited a friend in Oxford. We had brunch there and was impressed by the concept of the restaurant and quality of the food. Just this week, P and I was heading towards Kingsland Road for some Vietnamese but ended up at Bill's in Hoxton Square. It was the terrace that attracted us since it was a rather sunny day. We have learnt to soak up as much Vitamins D as possible while in London as you never know what the weather's installed for us the next day.

We started from the terrace and later moved indoors as it became chilly. That did not stop us from enjoying the evening of well cooked food with quality ingredients. Kale chips was a good healthy start to snack on while our hungry tummy waited for the rest of the food. The pork ribs was tender and succulent with chips that's crisp and fluffy. The coleslaw could have been more moist. It was on the dry side. The fish and chips was good though could have more crisp on the batter. Our happiest moment was when we had our dessert alongside a glass of port. The eton mess was refreshing and not too sweet but the warm treacle tart with honeycomb ice cream was star of the evening! The tart itself was enough to make me return for more.

Bill's is worth visiting especially for a cosy and casual dine out plus a little romance. The staff was a joy, very friendly and nice. They were still very nice when I accidentally knock off the glass on the table behind me while I was wearing my jacket. I'm still not sure whether it was the port's fault or just my pure clumsiness.

Bill's Restaurant - Hoxton Square

1 Hoxtp Square
N1 6NULondon,UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 739 7689

Bill's Restaurant on Urbanspoon