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It has been a few weeks since the last instalment of ‘Recent eats’ and I’m proud to say that during this time I’ve still been eating. A lot. Yes, that’s right, while you’ve been sitting at your computer googling, yahooing and binging I’ve been dragging myself, tirelessly, around London and forcing meal after meal upon myself. It’s a thankless job, let me tell you!
So prepare yourself accordingly because it’s time for the next gripping episode of Recent eats.
My good friend, affectionately known as ‘Banana’, has been telling me about Tayyabs since I arrived in London some 8 months ago and finally last night the planets aligned and we were able to go.
I was unsure how the curry was going to live up to the high standards that had been built based on her reviews but the restaurant definitely delivered.
The mixed grill starter was spicy, flavoursome and overloaded with meat. Each of the curries was packed full of herbs, spices and incredibly rich and thick though not overbearing while the naan breads were cooked to perfection and insanely delicious.
Having never eaten Pakistani food before I can safely say I was very impressed and definitely recommend Tayyabs, especially because it is BYO which makes for a very affordable night out, between five people we spent £12 each and were more than satisfied. Bookings are absolutely essential though as it does get very busy.
I went to Busaba with a friend based on her recommendation and I wasn’t disappointed. Since moving to London I’ve found it really hard to find good Thai food but Busaba really impressed me.
The restaurant on Wardour Street is easily missed if you don’t know what you’re looking for but once inside you realise just how cool and chic the restaurant really is with it’s low, warm lighting and big, square shared tables.
The food was delicate, full of flavour and utterly delicious. My friend enjoyed the crab fried rice and I absolutely loved the sen chan pad Thai: rice noodle, prawn, peanut, egg, green mango and crabmeat.
Surprisingly the menu is very well priced with most mains costing between £8 – £10. If you’re looking for great, affordable Thai food in a really cool restaurant then Busaba Eathai is the spot for you, be sure to make a booking as it does get quite busy.
Princi is a an edgy Italian restaurant that features delicious hand-made baked goods including wood-fired pizza’s, breads and desserts.
It is set-up in a bakery meets canteen format, you can select your main meals or desert from the glass cabinets and sit at shared long tables to enjoy your meal with a great glass of wine. The restaurant itself is modern and chic but can be a bit overbearing during busy times.
The food is divine, though I only indulged in their dessert and wine. The passion fruit cheesecake is extremely creamy and tart – just the way it should be. The other desert I’m unsure of the name of, because I saw it and immediately ordered without even asking. Despite remaining nameless I can confirm that it was delicious, though not quite sweet enough for my liking.
The cakes were between £4 – £5 each and 500ml of wine cost £14, so while it isn’t the cheapest option for desert it is a lovely treat. If you do go for there for dinner, let me know how it is.
The Hampstead Creperie has been set up in Hampstead for over thirty years now and is an absolute must-do eating experience. A tiny van set up in the heart of Hampstead, it serves the most delicious crepes I have ever eaten.
Whether you’re in the mood for something deliciously savoury or indulgently sweet they have the perfect crepe for you. Just don’t let the potentially long queues scare you off, they move quite quickly and are definitely worth the wait.
The dark chocolate and banana crepe is absolutely life changing and far better than any crepe you could find in Paris. Enjoy!
The last time I went to Banana Tree it wasn’t a good experience, so I was hesitant to go back especially because I take my Thai food very seriously. But this time, I was pleasantly surprised.
On stopping in for lunch at Clapham Junction we ordered a Singapore Mee Goreng and sautéed Lamb with Kari Patta and Cashews and both meals were delicious. The noodles were light yet full of flavour while the lamb, which I highly recommend, was beautifully seasoned, full of spices and caramelised to perfection.
All in all I still find a visit to Banana Tree quite expensive considering it is such a large chain and it doesn’t have that same ‘special’ feel to it as Busaba does. But if you are looking for somewhere fast, easy and tasty to eat at then Banana Tree is a winner.
Slice of Ice is a premium ice cream parlor located in Hampstead serving delicious ice cream and sorbet.
Not only do they stock the classics they also have a few new delicious flavours like dark chocolate to tempt you with. Not convinced by the newspaper reviews posted outside the store, I decided to try some for myself.
Usually a straight chocolate girl I ventured into the little-known world of strawberry sorbet and it was absolutely amazing; the sorbet is so fresh and bursting full of sweet, fruity flavour. I highly recommend visiting Slice of Ice, you won’t be disappointed.
After a particularly boozy day at the rugby a very agreeable Matt and I decided to stop for a spot of lunch at one of London’s up and coming restaurants, though you may not have heard of it before as it is that ‘new edge’. Kentucky Fried Chicken or ‘KFC’, as the hipsters are calling, it is located in Clapham on the high street.
Matt enjoyed one of their top-selling combo meals including chicken, burger, chips, gravy and a drink while I settled on their classic chicken and chips with a coleslaw. The food was extremely greasy but insanely satisfying, the only let-down being the huge amount of guilt experienced afterward.
While I wouldn’t recommend this particular restaurant for a first date or anniversary dinner it is a great place to re-fuel after one too many pints. Bookings are not essential and most likely frowned upon.
I don’t think you can even classify Eat as a proper restaurant but I just have to put it on here because over the past few months the good people at Eat have changed my life by providing me with some of the most delicious soups I have ever eaten. Honestly, they’re amazing.
So I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the hard working and dedicated Eat employees slaving away over Wednesday’s Chicken Laksa, Friday’s Chorizo and Black Bean and today’s Hungarian Goulash. It’s amazing and I applaud you.
I had very high hopes for Piccadilly Institute going off its website and location; the heart of Piccadilly Circus. However, I was very disappointed by the quality of the food, drinks and the service.
The cocktails were expensive, small in size and nearly undrinkable and the food was dry, bland and overpriced. We were seated in a tiny corner, hidden away from the rest of the world and felt the need to choke down our food and drinks as fast as possible so we could get out of there.
The service staff were inattentive and I’m fairly certain could not have cared less if we were there or not. It was a disappointing experience overall and I wouldn’t recommend paying the price to go there when you could have a much more relaxed and enjoyable time at a cheaper bar in Soho. Definitely one to miss.