Pork and apple burger


Anything with pork and apple really tickles my fancy. So when I saw this recipe last year, I made it and loved it. M decided that was the perfect brunch from the first bite. I made it again recently but with my twist and we still love it. In Malaysia, Ramly Burger is one of the most famous street burger, especially the 'burger special'. It is thin beef patty and cheese wrapped in a layer of egg, then sandwiched between the well sauced toasted burger buns. This burger egg parcel keeps the meaty juice and melted cheese contained, only to dribble out when you take the first bite. I borrowed this idea for my burger, only to contain the melted cheese since my gluttonous burger patty was very thick.


PORK AND APPLE BURGER RECIPE

adapted from BBC Good Food
makes about 6

Ingredients:


  • 6 burger buns
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Tomato ketchup
  • 6 tomato, sliced
  • Lettuce / salad leaves

Burger patty:


  • 800g minced pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • handful of sage (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Caramelised Onions:


  • 3 red onions, sliced
  • butter

Method:

1.  Cook the sliced onions with a knob of butter over gentle heat for about 30 -40 minutes. Stir occasionally but not too often as the onions will not caramelise if stirred too much.
2.  While waiting for the onions to caramelise, mix all burger patty ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
3.  When onions are caramelised, set aside.
4.  Divide the minced mixture into six burger patties and fry over medium heat for about 7 minutes each side until cooked in the middle. Let the patty sit for one minute.
5.  Beat an eggs in a bowl. Heat a clean pan with butter and beaten egg onto the greased pan. Spread the egg on pan and let cook partially.
6.  Add 2 drops of Worcestershire sauce and place a slice of cheese in the middle of the egg and let it melt.
7.  Flip the four sides in and make sure the cheese is nicely wrapped like a parcel. Repeat steps for the other five eggs and cheese.
8.  Toast the buns and spread some butter on it.

Assemble:

1.  Smear ½ a tsp of Dijon mustard and a tsp of mayonnaise on half a toasted and buttered bun.
2.  Place the cheese parcel on top, followed by a tsp of ketchup and burger patty.
3.  Top with caramelised onions, a slice of tomato and the other half toasted bun.
4.  Serve with green salad on the side or chunky chips.
5.  Repeat the steps for the other five burgers.


The Shed by the Gladwin Brothers

Situated just around the corner of Notting Hill Gate station, The Shed is tucked away from the busy main street. It felt like a cosy country shed, rustic and relaxed. This new restaurant opened its doors on 23rd October and is proving popular. The Gladwin brothers have clearly marinated their skills of a farmer, chef and restaurateur into a perfect roast.



It is narrow inside but the team managed to make the best out of it with reclaimed furnitures and mixed seating. The Colman's Mustard sign and painted metal drums made into tables were fantastic addition. They even added full size mirror on one wall to render a bigger space, which is really smart. Our first impression was very pleasant, especially when staffs were very friendly. They even offered to hang our coats.

Venison tartare with mustard and tapioca crisp


The tartare was listed in the 'mouthful' section of the menu. It was literally a canapé size, mouthful pop; small and lovely with a hint of mustard and the tapioca crisp gave it texture and crunch.


Lamb chips, lemon & parsley, harissa


We were not sure what lamb chips was when we saw it on the menu. We deliberated that it could either be lamb that looks like chips, or potato chips cooked in lamb fat, or a wacky version of potato chips that tastes like lamb but with texture of potato chips. Then we got swayed by our growling stomach and ordered lamb's cheeks, forgotten to feed our lamb chips contemplation. As if it was fate, the staff took the wrong order so we were served lamb chips instead of lamb's cheeks. They sound awfully similar. The waitress offered to change it but we thought it looked good so we had it anyway.



Lamb chips was actually slow cooked lamb made into chunky chip form, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. The exterior was golden brown and crispy, the lamb melted in the mouth and the well flavoured Harissa brought the lamb together very well with the spiciness.



Lamb's cheeks and shallots, slow cooked for hours to achieve this


Beetroot cured pollock with cockle mayo and capers


Sticky spatchcock quail with chestnut, and ground elder pesto


The quail was tender and juicy, packed with flavour and worked quite well with the chestnut and ground elder pesto. Ground elder is a type of weed with with lots of nutrients and quite a few people who knows, like it. The texture reminds me of the vegetable juice my mum used to drink, almost like blended raw curly kale consistency but not as grassy. I should have asked for a raw leaf to determine the exact taste of this weed but it did not come to my mind so I might do that next time I come across this weed to determine whether its a yay or nay for me.

Sussex beef steak, horseradish, chickweed 


The Shed doughnuts, cinnamon, cranberries, cream 


The doughnuts were pleasant although it could be lighter and softer. Probably just me trying to be as critical as Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake Off.


Apple tarte tatin with poppyseed, burnt butter, honey ice cream


The apples were soft throughout, the pastry cooked through and crisp on the sides. It would taste a lot better with more caramelised apple and edges of the pastry. The poppy seed ice cream was a fascinating addition, with salty buttery taste. Honey in it was subtle enough and not overpowering. The ice cream paired well with the tart tatin, almost as stimulating as a salt and caramel duo.
Smile..

Well cooked quality local produce, set in a cosy and relaxing ambience with friendly staff. I like that more new restaurants are starting to make small plates like they do in The Shed. Diners are able to taste many different dishes on the menu rather than be stuffed after one large main course.
Frown..

No one gave us our coats on the way out and we had to find it ourselves. We were searching for a good 15 minutes but no one came until we seek for assistance. This restaurant is only a month old so I am more forgiving on the little negatives to an otherwise commendable restaurant.
Will I return?

Definitely yes. I recommend that you make reservation to avoid disappointment as it got busy 8pm onwards.



The Shed


122 Palace Gardens Terrace
Nottinghill, London W8 4RT
Tel: +44 (0)207 229 4024

Closest station: Notting Hill Gate (central)




Shed on Urbanspoon

Coasters for the holiday season

Holiday season is just round the corner so it is time to plan décor for your warm and lovely home. I found some beautiful yet fun coasters that will lift up a plain wooden or marble dining and coffee table. This will be a small and cost efficient way to add some liveliness to where livelihood begins. Drinks!!

Letterpress Coaster : "Bottoms Up" by Haute Papier


Poinsettia Holiday Felt Coaster by Feltplanet


Rustic chevron oil rubbed bronze stone coasters by Theends, great for drinks in the garden.


Mojave letterpress coaster by Inhauspress, printed by hand on natural cork.



Pink Poodle Coaster by Sesame Press



Molly's Citrus Coasters

Meat Liquor

When my friends who enjoys shopping in London were here in May, we eventually end up in Selfridge’s. We got a little hungry at about 5pm, so I thought it will be a good idea to check out the hyped ‘best burger in town’. Thinking it was 5pm, an odd hour for lunch or dinner, I thought we might just slip into Meat Liquor without the need to queue. I was wrong!! My friend is a massive meat fan and we would not mind joining the queue but because we did not want to miss or be late for the 7:30pm Billy Elliot Musical, we gave it a miss. We ended up having Burger King burgers at Victoria Station. Well, it was not the best burger but it was enough to keep up filled up to enjoy the musical. I must stay, I have always like Burger King fries with lots of ketchup. Shhh..

One late summer day when it was sunny and bright outside, we made our way to Meat Liquor. We were expecting the queue to be shorter than usual, hoping that most people will want to spend most of the time in the park or drink on a rooftop or terrace. We were right!! The queue was manageable, we waited for slightly over 30 minutes. Even if we had to wait a little longer, it was not a big deal as it was warm.



The interior has graffiti-like murals, very dark with red lighting and loud music. It was great for a Friday night!!! Even though it was dark and that we had a hard time reading the menu, I spotted an interesting cocktail. Full English Martini; martini with bacon and eggs!! How weirdly interesting! Perfect for my crazy mood so I ordered it but the staff told me they were out of an ingredient. How could that possibly happen on an early Friday night?

Potent cocktails


Those buffalo wings came served on a metal tray. Very American. They were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sticky spicy sauce coated on the skin gave the kick and the blue cheese dipping on the side balanced out the spiciness. Finger licking good wings, although greasy. That was what the kitchen roll was for, to soak up those fat.
I first came across buffalo wings when I was a teenager. My sister decided to make some for us after her trip to America. I remember asking her, “Buffalo has wings?”. She couldn’t stop laughing.

Bacon cheese burger & Chilli cheese burger


This is a burger joint to get your hands dirty. There is no room for you to be sophisticated and eat those burgers with fork and knife. Use both hands to clamp the burger together and give it a big mouthful bite. It doesn’t matter whether the sauce or lettuce leaks out of the burger from the bottom, that is what the tray is for. The burger patty was thick and succulent, cooked medium-raw and well charred. There were satisfactory amount of molten cheese and lettuce. Real burger at an affordable price.


Smile..

Friday night vibe, potent cocktails, succulent burger and yummy hot wings.
Frown..

Too dark. Queueing in the cold.
Will I return?

When I am in the area with hunger for burger and finger licking hot wings.

Meat Liquor


74 Welbeck Street
London, W1G 0BA

Tel + 44 (0) 20 7224 4239
No Reservation

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Buen Ayre : Argentinian Steakhouse

Latin music playing in the background gave a nice ambience to the cosy and no fuss steakhouse. It is a small restaurant with tables placed very closely to each other, there is not much room to manoeuvre. One of our friend was late and we told them that he was on his way but the staff was still hurrying for us to order every other minute. I understand we were told there was a two hour turnaround which we will respect but it was not cool to be bugging us so very often. We ordered a starter first just so she could leave us alone until our friend arrives.

Finally, we ordered and were left in peace.
Grilled flat mushrooms with pesto and garnish of beans and salad. Decent.

Chips with garlic and parsley was fat and crispy.

8 oz grilled Argentine Sirloin steak

My medium Sirloin steak was generous in size, pink, nicely charred and slightly lacked in seasoning. It was served with chimichurri on the side but was not needed. We, who ordered the 8 oz Sirloin steak believed it weighed more, almost similar to our friend's 14 oz Sirloin. We were not complaining, of course. One comment though, was that the steak was all served with the same garnish of butter beans, roast pepper and salad. It was the same garnish we had for starter. Although simple and decent, they could do better with a different garnish for both starter and main. It would definitely make the diners more excited than, “Oh, the same garnish again!?..”

I will recommend the prime fillet (image bellow) over the sirloin. It was more flavourful and has less fat. But of course, it is just my preference.

10 oz grilled prime Argentine fillet steak with garnish of bean and salad

We were too stuffed by the end of the meal that there was no more space left for dessert. Normally, I will fret over not ending my meal with sweet little something but not this time as the dessert menu did not spark my temptation. Guess that was good. Otherwise, I would not be able to lift my heavy belly out of the seat. I would sum up this neighbourhood Argentinian steakhouse as reasonably priced, adequate but not brilliant.

Smile..

Generous portion. Honest well cooked steak.

Frown..

Service could be better. Dessert menu requires more excitement.

Will I return?

Will return with less expectation for a simple and affordable steak meal.

Buen Ayre


50 Broadway Market
London E8 4QJ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7275 9900

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The Ledbury : 14th best restaurant in the world

Australian chef, Brett Graham started his cooking career aged 15 and has then gone to win himself the Josephine Pignolet Award. Winning the award was a big stepping stone for him as he was granted a trip to the UK where he then worked at The Square, another excellent restaurant. He followed up his bright career with ‘Young Chef of the Year’ Award in 2002 and became head chef at The Ledbury when it opened in 2005. It was very well received by the food critics. The restaurant went on to be listed on 'The World's Best 50 Restaurant' and quickly leaped its way up from number 34 to 14 in just one year. How impressive!

Amuse bouche came, I was too excited and forgot to take pictures. Good my friend reminded me to take pictures later on, so I could share them with you.

Crispy little oyster coated in bread crumbs fried to perfection



Cornish Oyster Chantilly and Tartare with Horseradish and Dill went really well with the fried oyster


Scottish Langoustine with Natural Yoghurt, Broccoli Stem and Indian Spices Cooked in Brown Butter


Fresh langoustines on its own is enough to fill you with the sweetness of its sea essence. But bags of flavour gushed out with the curried spices and the yogurt to mellow down the spiciness. The crouton gave it an extra dimension. My favourite of the meal.


Hampshire Buffalo Milk Curd with Broth of Grilled Onions


The milk curd texture was very similar to Japanese steam egg, chawanmushi but much softer, wobbly and silky. Although the broth tasted good, I thought it buried the delicate milk curd.


Truffle Toast  with Saint-Nectaire


If only all toast could taste as good as this, I'll be a happy person eating toast every day. The toast was presented on a bark-like plate and christmas tree branches, it felt like christmas. Whoever's planning to make me smile on Christmas day will have to make this for breakfast.. *wink*


Fillet of Turbot with English Asparagus, Blood Orange and Pine nuts


Another well cooked turbot, still moist and juicy with a hint of acidity and creaminess from the foam. Then came the 'Roast quail breast with scorched pear, fresh and dried dandelion', so beautiful and tempting that I forgot to take pictures.



Fillet of beef with Cepe, Wild Garlic, Hop Shoots and Summer Truffles


The thick cut of red beef fillet was screaming out juicy and tender. It was delicate in flavour combination, even though the ingredients used have strong taste. I like the puffed potato pillow


Parfait of Dried Flowers with Wild Strawberries and Warm Tapioca with Vanilla


Petits fours to end our meal


Overall, The Ledbury is elegant and calm, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Portobello Road. Front of house was friendly and wine connoisseur, knowledgeable. Apart form the exquisite food where every dish was thrilling and had its own crunch element which I adored, our favourite wine of the night was Kevin Grant's South African Ataraxia Chardonnay.

Still smiling, thinking about it.
Smile..

Quality food and great techniques. Fantastic service and knowledgeable staff.
Frown..

Pricey but it was expected.
Will I return?

Will return but not too soon since this is not in the cheap eats section.

The Ledbury


127 Ledbury Road
Nottinghill, London
W11 2AQ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7792 9090

The Ledbury on Urbanspoon

Salmon Ceviche

Ceviche is a very popular seafood dish in South America, especially in Peru. It has been declared as part of Peru’s ‘national heritage’. There is even holiday to celebrate this dish, to encourage more people to eat it.
Salmon ceviche

This dish uses raw fish or seafood and marinade in citrus juice. The chemical reaction of the acid in citrus juice will cure the fish. Since there is no heat involved in this process, it is advised to use the freshest raw fish to avoid food poisoning.

Traditionally, ceviche is marinated for about three hours. But the modern technique has been influenced by methods of making Japanese sashimi, similar to the Peruvian version of tiradito. The recipe I am using is an adaptation from Gordon Ramsay's cookbook, which marinates the fish for about 5-10 minutes in Asian inspired flavour.


The salmon edges are turning opaque and firmer, the same way fish would when cooked with heat.


SALMON CEVICHE RECIPE

adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food: Recipes from "The F Word"
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g very fresh salmon fillet, skinned and thinly sliced
  • small handful of coriander leaves, shreded
  • small handful of young watercress (optional)
Dressing:
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 banana shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • pinch of caster sugar
Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and caster sugar.
  2. Set the dressing ingredients aside.
  3. Thinly slice the skinned salmon and arrange them neatly on four serving plates.
  4. Distribute the dressing evenly over the salmon.
  5. Let it marinade for 30 minutes.
  6. Scatter some coriander over the salmon.
  7. Neatly place the watercress in the empty spaces to make the plates look presentable.

After marination, the salmon turned opaque as the citrus cures the fish

Randall & Aubin

Tuck in the vicinity of the Soho red light scene, the seafood displayed at the window and the usually long queue definitely entice Soho passersby. That was the reason why some of us were keen to go there in the first place. The interior had shelves filled with bottles of Champagne, framed pictures of seafood on the walls and a big disco ball on the ceiling. It was dim with groovy music that will get everyone ready to continue the night with more drinks and dance in Soho.


Well presented fresh Devon crab salad with shrimp, avocado and pimento dressing


Considering this is a crab and avocado salad, the chef could be more generous with both ingredients. It lacked the sweetness of crab meat and avocado creaminess although, I like the pimento dressing and that they packed the stacked salad with lots of crab roe which I absolutely love.


Mixed grilled seafood - scallops, squid, tuna, seabass, prawns, mussels with aioli and grille garlic flatbread


The mixed seafood was well cooked except for the fish. The tuna was overdone and was not seasoned well. The seabass could be better with crispy skin. The flatbread was good but aioli was more like mayonnaise as it lacked garlic and lemon juice.


Large roasted Langoustine with garlic butter  & pommes frites


The garlic butter brought out the already fresh and sweet langoustines to live. Remember to suck the juices out of the head. That is where the flavour and creaminess is concealed. Peeling them were a little messy but that is part of the fun of eating seafood. Get your hands dirty, lick the your fingers for any seafood juices that has trickled down your hands. At least you will be provided with enough serviettes and bowls of lemon water to wash your hands.

Sticky date pudding with ice cream


A plate of warm pudding with toffee sauce and cold vanilla ice cream that is to die for. I have been searching for this sticky date heaven that is rich but light in texture for a while now, and I found it! This is only second to the ones I had in Marco Pierre White's Kings Road Steakhouse and Grill.

By the end of the night, my legs were a little numb from sitting on the uncomfortable chair but since the end of our meal was a delight, that did not bother me so much. My personal reasoning behind the awkward chair is to make sure customers are not able to sit and chat for too long while a long queue of people are waiting in the cold for their turns. It is a small restaurant, very packed and do not take reservations for dinner so get there early or wrap up tight.
Smile..

Fresh langoustines. Sticky date pudding to die for.
Frown..

Uncomfortable seats, too dark and loud music. Price and value ratio needs revising.
Will I return?

For when I have craving for pudding.

Randall & Aubin


16 Brewer Street
Soho, London
W1F 0SG

Tel + 44 (0) 20 7278 4447
Lunch time reservations only

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