Japanese Tapas at Kirazu | London


Kirazu has very discreetly tucked itself on Rupert Street, still remains almost a secret even on a street that can be rather busy. As you enter, you will be greeted with a counter packed with all sorts of interesting Japanese tapas but for some reason, none of us noticed it when we entered. We just somehow walked pass it. I do recommend you having a browse at these selections as they do look pretty tempting.


Right in front of the counter are two long wooden tables where we sat next to strangers who seemed repose even on a mid week night. Maybe it is the vibe of the small and cosy space that exudes calm.


What I like most about this little restaurant is its almost east end décor of bare hanging light bulbs and old wooden crates on the wall sat on steel hooks.  

Agedashi tofu

We ordered quite a few little plates but did not order rice or anything substantial to go with them so I would advice ordering some ramen or rice to go with your tapas as a filler. The agedashi tofu had crispy skin and very soft wobbly inside. It was tasty with its umami sauce. The takoyaki too was really good with tender pieces of octopus and gooey filling.

Takoyaki

Salmon sashimi; Grilled eel and cucumber with Japanese vinaigrette 

I love unagi so this grilled eel and cucumber salad with seaweed was something I appreciated. It was more refreshing than the usual unagi as they have added cucumber and vinaigrette to it. As for the sashimi, it was nice and fresh.

Grille aubergine with sweet miso paste; Choi-yaki mentaiko (speared spicy cod roe)

The seared spicy cod roe was rather salty and spicy, almost like little caviars. I can see how some people might not like it but I find it interesting especially eaten with something else like rice or congee so it does not taste as strong. The grilled aubergine on the other had was nice but was not fantastic.

Overall, it is a lovely little intimate restaurant serving decent food but not one that will blow your mind away. It is worth visiting though, if you would like to have some sake with light food to go with it.


Smile..

Enjoyed the intimate setting.

Frown..

Portions are really small.

Will I return?

Yes, if I would like something light to eat and not too filling.

Kirazu

47 Rupert Street
W1D 7PD United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 0246
Closest station: Piccadilly Circus / Leicester Square

Kirazu on Urbanspoon
  

Pan Roast Juniper-Brined Pork Chop with Charred Cabbage


Brining of meat is a great way of seasoning and keeping them succulent. You can also brine the whole joint. This will make sure the entire joint will be seasoned throughout. It does not take lots of work either, the only downside is that you have to let it do its magic for hours.

Pan Roast Juniper-Brined Pork Chop

Adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:
To Brine:

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 12 juniper berries
  • Zest from 1/2 ornage
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 clove
  • 2.5L water
  • 2 tbs rapeseed oil

To pan fry:
  • rapeseed oil
  • 30g butter
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of half an orange


Charred cabbage:

  • 1 whole savoy cabbage (remove the outer leaves)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • salt & pepper


Pickled carrots:

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tbs sugar

Method:

1. To brine the pork chops, place all brining ingredients and pork chop in a container and cover.
2. Leave the container brining liquid and pork chop in the fridge for about 20 hours or overnight.
3. When ready to cook, remove pork chop from the brining liquid and place on kitchen towel to dry them.
4. Preheat oven to 200C.
5. Place the white wine vinegar, water and sugar in a bowl and mix for pickling. 
6. Shave the carrots with a peeler to make long thin strips. Place them into the bowl of vinegar and let sit until ready to serve.
7. Divide the whole cabbage into 8 wedges and place on lightly greased baking tray. Drizzle some oil over the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. 
8. Place the cabbage into the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
9. Heat the pan with some rapeseed oil and butter. Place the rosemary, garlic and pork chops on the pan.
10. Let it cook until one side is coloured then turn and cook for a few more minutes, making sure they are not over cooked.
11. Remove from pan and place on a rack to rest.
12. In the same pan, squeeze over the orange juice to de-glaze pan. Reduce the liquid until it becomes a sauce like consistency. Sieve to remove any particles.
13. Serve the pork chop with charred cabbage and pickled carrots.





Brunch at Cafe 338 | London


Good morning! Weekdays are over and a good hearty breakfast will be a great way to start the weekend! If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Bethnal Green road, there is a corner café with white walls covered in lillustration where you will see a queue of people trying to get possibly their first cup of coffee or freshly squeezed orange juice. Well, join the queue. The queue moves pretty quickly, considering the size of this café. There are about a dozen tables or so packed really close to each other, there’s only space for one skinny person to walk between them. Even though it gets very busy, service is still prompt, friendly and attentive. 


Mega breakfast with 2 slices of toasts and a cup of free tea or coffee. 

Girls, even if you think this gigantic portion of breakfast sounds great and will fill you up the whole day, think twice cause it is indeed very very filling, even for a hungry man. A girl sat next to us ordered it and left pretty much half of the plate untouched.


The pancake menu is for those of us who likes a little bit of both savoury and sweet. Remember to place the pancakes closer to your side cause who knows, the friend or boyfriend you are with might be a pancake stealer!! Yup, I only managed to have one of that fluffy pancake with overflowing golden syrup.


Smile..

There is freshly squeezed juice, cheap, good and big portion.

Frown..

There's a queue and it's cold outside but who cares if you want proper breakfast.

Will I return?

Yes

Cafe 338

338 Bethnal Green Rd
E2 0AG United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 0246
Closest station: Bethnal Green (central)


Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Are you getting bored of the typical roast chicken yet? If so, this roast chicken with Asian flavours might just refresh you a little. It is tangy from the tamarind and slightly sweet from the sugar  which will caramelise in the oven to balance out the flavour. The glaze also adds shine to the crispy skin.

If you think it will be complicated, I assure you, it is not at all. Marinade and roast the chicken like you always do and brush the glaze on the chicken at the final 5 minutes of cooking, and then again when it is ready. See, it is that easy!

TAMARIND GLAZED CHICKEN

Adapted from Jehan Can Cook


Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 4 chicken leg
  • 3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic salt & pepper

Tamarind Glaze

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 8 tbsp ketchup
  • 10 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, crushed

Method:

1.  Rub the chicken with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cover and let marinade for about 2 hours.
2.  To make the tamarind glaze, place all ingredients in a sauce pot over medium heat.  Cook for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside.
3.  Place the chicken on a baking tray and into a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or until almost done.
4.  Brush the glaze on the chicken 5 minutes before the chicken is ready.
5.  Once the chicken is ready and is out of the over, top it with a final layer of glaze.
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The Jericho Tavern | Oxford


The last I was in Oxford long time ago, was more as a tourist. And both times, it rained really heavily so I never got to see much. Now that circumstances have changed and that I will be visiting Oxford a lot more often, it's time for me to get to know this historical city and explore it like I did when I first moved to London.


 Yes, it was taken upside down. You should have seen M's photography back arch yoga stunt! 

The Bodleian Library, the main library of the University of Oxford

Above is a few touristy shots of the beautiful Oxford and below is my first find, The Jericho Tavern, a pub and music venue which we came across by accident.


The exterior of Jericho Tavern

There's also a heated beer garden at the back, with lit fairy lights covering the wall. It's well romantic for a date.

There is also a good selection of real ales, lager and cider. I was well pleased with the smooth and mellow Innis & Gunn hand-crafted Scottish beer with hints of toffee and vanilla oak. If you know me, I am not much of a beer drinker but this, I really like.

A little friendly touch, written on one of their boards:

"Our staff love their drinks and will be happy to help you pick out your perfect potion! xxx"

Handmade British Cheese Burger with additional BBQ pulled pork with paprika mayo and fries

Doesn't that look appetizing! It was one good burger even though the beef patty itself was slightly dry. I was lucky I ordered the burger with additional BBQ pulled pork as it was the highlight. The pulled pork was so tender with smoky sweetness from the BBQ sauce. The mayo was a good addition too.  

Salmon with mash potatoes and broccoli


Smile..

Quite a calm space for drinks and catch up in the day time and gets busy at night.

Frown..

Nothing much to frown about except for the slightly dry burger and non-crispy salmon skin.

Will I return?

Yes

The Jericho Tavern

56 Walton St, Jericho, Oxford
OX2 6AE United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 311775
Area: Jericho