Inko Nito London | Where to Eat in London

Inko Nito LondonInko Nito London | Soho | Japanese Robata | Map

I cook a lot of Japanese food at home, and I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. So when a new Japanese restaurant opens up in London, it takes a lot to get me out of the house and believe in the hype. Well hello Inko Nito, a Japanese fusion robatayaki (fireside cooking) restaurant based in the heart of Soho. I was recently invited to their press event, and after reading the contemporary menu I was intrigued. In fact I was more than intrigued. I was drawn in by the promise of flavour explosions – and an umeshu negroni – all in a minimalist scandi setting. Basically, my dream kinda restaurant – I was there with bells on!

What did we eat?

  • SALADS
    • Edamame, soy, mirin, ginger, sea salt
    • Avocado, quinoa, edamame, green bean, apple wasabi dressing
    • Romaine lettuce, spicy cashew nut miso
  • NIGAKI
    • The cali; Portland crab, avocado, wasabi tobiko, yuzu mayo
    • The veggie; avocado, yuzu, garlic, crispy rice
    • The chirashi; salmon, yellowtail, wasabi shiso
  • HOT
    • Panko fried chicken, chili garlic yogurt
    • Fried shrimp, spicy Korean miso, sesame seeds, lime
    • Tofu kara-age, miso mayo, nori
  • MEAT
    • Chicken wings, ume-boshi, green chili, mint, sansho
    • Bone marrow, smoked soy, garlic toast, shallot
    • Prime beef short rib, peanut chilli oil, spring onions
  • FISH
    • Grilled prawn toast, sesame, wasabi mayo, katsuobushi
    • Cobia collar, brown butter ponzu, lemon
  • VEGETABLE
      • Cauliflower, garlic soy aioli, parmesan panko
      • Tenderstem broccolini, onion wafu
      • Baked potato, yuzu kosho sour cream, spring onions
  • THE SWEETEST THING
    • Charred coconut soft serve, soy, pocky, Japanese granola

Final thoughts on Inko Nito London

I wish I could go into detail on how much I enjoyed the individual dishes we ate, but no one has time to read a blog post that long. Instead I’ve highlighted my personal favourites (above) and will give you a short summary.

Alongside the spacious interior at Inko Nito, you’ll find a pretty vast menu, but don’t let that deter you. Honestly it’s the kind of restaurant where you’ll enjoy any dish that you order. A lot of well known Japanese flavours are featured on the menu, as is to be expected. However you’ll also find a whole bunch of innovative and moreish fusion delights to please your palate. Would I go back? Definitely! Price-wise it costs around £30pp, which isn’t too bad for a decent meal in London. In fact since I was invited to the press launch I’ve already been back with friends, and paid with my own money. If that doesn’t say how much I enjoyed eating at Inko Nito London, I don’t know what will.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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Inko Nito London

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Galvin at The Athenaeum | Where to Eat in London

AthenaeumGalvin at The Athenaeum | Mayfair | British cuisine | Map

On possibly one of the hottest days of the year, I decided to brave the tube. Why? Because at the other end of the line, Galvin at The Athenaeum was calling. Based in the Mayfair hotel, the restaurant comes from Michelin-starred London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. Known for their French-inspired menus, the brothers have stepped away from their trademark for the first time. All in favour of championing Britain’s delicious homegrown produce, and supporting independent farmers across the UK.

We arrived feeling slightly overheated, so of course a drink was in order. We headed straight to the beautifully designed THE BAR at The Athenaeum. Plush interiors cooled us down, whilst the small nooks invited us to take a private seat. Our choice of drink, gin & tonic; from their substantial collection of premium gins. As we sipped away, and nibbled on bar snacks, we chatted about what we would order on the menu.

So what did we eat?

  • Terrine of ham, chicken and foie gras with red onion marmalade
    • Chunky meat and subtle flavours complimented well by a sweet marmalade.
  • Smoked duck, plum, poached egg & hollandaise
    • A step-up from your usual ‘benedict’ – I definitely had food envy after stealing a bite of the smoked duck.
  • Fish pie (daily special)
    • Fish pie is one of my go-to comfort foods, so I can be critical. That said, I was let pretty satisfied after trying this one. It was packed full of cod, prawns and salmon, with a thin layer of mashed potato. My only con was that it didn’t use eggs, and I would have liked to have seen some smoked fish in the mix.
  • Sunday Roast
    • The roast here comes with the option of chicken, pork or sirloin beef. Ben went for sirloin, which was cooked pink and seasoned well. It was superbly tender and melted in my mouth – I couldn’t resist trying some.
  • Dessert/Cheese buffet (unlimited)
    • A novel idea, the dessert buffet was full of well-known favourites and a few surprises. I was personally delighted to see ‘Apple, pear & almond tart’, which I piled onto my plate alongside sugary meringues and freshly whipped cream.

The Weekend Lunch Menu comes with unlimited bubbly.

Final thoughts on Galvin at The Athenaeum

Our visit to Galvin at The Athenaeum was the perfect way to spend a Summer afternoon. We were completely won over by the bar, and as you can tell from above we fully enjoyed our meal too. My only regret is that I filled up on my starters and mains, and I would have loved to sample more of the desserts and cheeses (I was too full to try any) on offer.

Would I go back? Oh yes! After experiencing the weekend lunch menu I’d love to see what else Galvin at The Athenaeum has to offer. Perhaps afternoon tea, or dinner? Almost definitely drinks and bar snacks!

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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This post is in collaboration with Galvin at The Athenaeum, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

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Abd el Wahab London | Restaurant Review

Abd el Wahab LondonAbd el Wahab London | Belgravia | Lebanese cuisine | Map

I’ve always loved Lebanese food, so when I heard a new restaurant was popping up I just had to try it. The latest addition to Belgravia is Abd el Wahab, situated on Pont Street – the first branch to open outside of the Middle East. The elegant interiors of the restaurant compliment the neighbourhood well. Pplenty of thought has gone into the decor, and it’s contribution to the dining experience as a whole. With a ‘living wall’ of plants, tons of natural light, and comfy chairs, I was suitably impressed. Now all they had to do was win me over with their food…

Our menu for the evening

Cold Starters

  • Fattouch Salad
  • Tabbouleh
  • Mixed Pickles
  • Moutabbal (smoked aubergine dip)
  • Hummus
  • Stuffed Vine Leafs
  • Flatbreads

 Hot Starters

  • Sojok (sliced spicy sausages)
  • Pan Fried Eggs with Kawarma Meat
  • Cheese Rolls
  • Kebbeh (deep fried ball stuffed with minced meat)

Main

  • Mixed Grill

Dessert

  • Maamoul Flake
  • Lebanese baklawa

Final thoughts on Abd el Wahab London

The hot & cold starters are not to miss at Abd el Wahab, and I would recommend eating them with plenty of friends and family. Why? Because it means you get to order and share even more!  Luckily for us we were able to try all of the dishes. My personal favourites were the ‘Pan Fried Eggs with Kawarma Meat’ (we all agreed it would make a great brunch food), the ‘Sojok’ (ever so slightly spicy), and the ‘Hummus’ (because, hummus).

However, the stars of the show are admittedly the desserts. The ‘Maamoul Flake’ was a masterpiece, which was quickly devoured…once the appropriate amount of photos had been taken, obviously. And the ‘Baklawa’ did not disappoint my cravings for the honey soaked pastry. In fact I enjoyed it so much I may have just stolen some from the table next door.

My personal opinion is that some cuisines are so good you don’t need to go to an upscale restaurant to enjoy the best of them. Lebanese is one of these cuisines. That said, if you live in West London or you feel like something slightly more fancy, then Abd el Wahab is the place for you.

Would I go back? If I was in the area, I’d love to stop by for coffee and baklawa. Or perhaps some prosecco, if appropriate (when isn’t it?).

Check out more: Where to Eat

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This post is in collaboration with Abd el Wahab, however all words and opinions are my own.

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Cosy Winter Eats at The Sipping Room | Restaurant Review

winter eatsThe Sipping Room | Drake & Morgan | European | Map

I have something to admit. I love West India Quay. I love being by the water, and staring up at the gigantic buildings that feel as though they’re hugging me (it reminds me a lot of Tokyo). And I love the hidden little gems dotted around, some of which you might not associate with the area. But I realise that not everyone feels the same way as me, so I always jump at the chance to bring someone along on my visits. And such an opportunity occurred last weekend, when VA and I decided to go for some Winter eats at The Sipping Room.

Hygge-worthy Atmosphere

As Autumn ends, and Winter starts to draw in, I begin looking for a different kind of restaurant. I start looking for somewhere that serves comforting food, with a cosy & warm atmosphere. The Sipping Room seemed like the perfect place for this, with their warm lighting, enticing menu, and friendly staff. Some might say it’s hygge-worthy. And you can see why, with the Scandinavian stylings and the family-friendly atmosphere.

Cozy Winter Eats

With VA as my foodie sidekick, we perused the menu with ease, and chose the most delectable sounding dishes (favourites are bolded):

  • Cocktails
    • London Spritz (Tanquery gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint & soda)
    • Vignard (Botanist gin, dark grape juice, lime, sugar syrup, egg white & lemon thyme)
  •  Starters
    • Scotch egg (chorizo & smoked paprika mayonnaise)
    • Salt szechuan pepper squid (lemon mayonnaise)
  • Mains
    • Free-range half chicken Sunday roast (Yorkshire pudding & pigs in blankets)
    • Rib of beef Sunday roast (Yorkshire pudding & horseradish sauce)
    • All served with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, broccoli & gravy
  • Pudding
    • Creme Brûlée (biscotti)
    • Chocolate brownie (vanilla ice cream)

Our 3-course meal for two people came to a total of £74.70 (£37.35pp) with two cocktails. Not bad for a treat, however it is on the pricier side if you just fancy a casual Sunday meal. That said, we were pretty indulgent during our visit. I would definitely return for their cocktails, and that Scotch egg! Is that possible? Well if it is, I’d love to go back and check out their new outdoor igloos, where you can wrap up in a cosy sheep skin. The perfect Winter warmer!

Check out more: Where to Eat

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This post is in collaboration with Drake & Morgan, however all views, photos and words are my own.

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Dinner Date: My Private Chef Experience

Private Chef Experience

Have you ever been sat at home thinking ‘I fancy hiring a private chef to host a dinner party for me’. No? Yeah me neither, that is until a few weeks ago. An email landed in my inbox from La Belle Assiette. They offered me the chance to have a private chef visit my home, and cook a 4-course menu for myself and a selection of guests. Maybe I was on a high from perusing their menus, or maybe I just felt like a real adult for once, because I said yes. And so began my private chef experience.

My Private Chef Experience

Living in London means my flat isn’t exactly a mansion. But we are lucky enough to have an open plan kitchen-lounge, with a reasonably sized dining area. So we invited a couple of friends over, for drinks and dinner.

I was introduced to my chef beforehand – Lina Lin. A talented chef who works for Roka during the day, and has a passion for supper clubs in the evening, Lina was a perfect match! We chatted beforehand via WhatsApp and a phone call where we discussed the menu and my needs. As much as I love Japanese food, I decided to go for Lina’s Singaporean menu (she has a couple to choose from), because honestly, it just sounded too delicious to pass up.

The Menu

  • Appetiser
    • Crispy Potato Curry Puff
  • Starter
    • Tauhu Goreng (Fried Tofu layered with Bean Sprouts, Cucumber, Carrot, Scallion and Special Peanut Sauce)
  • Main Course
    • Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Rice cooked in Coconut Milk and Pandan leaf, served with Beef Rendang, Sambal Prawn, Anchovies, Peanut, Cucumber and Sambal Chilli)
  • Dessert
    • Mango Sago with Coconut Milk

Lina was incredibly knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. And not to mention, an accomplished chef. Originally I thought it might be a little awkward having a stranger in my kitchen. Everything from laying the table, down to washing the dishes is done by your chef – so you get the whole evening off. After I calmed my urge to help, I relaxed and enjoyed a few drinks with my guests, before we were seated.

The meal itself was even more delicious than it sounded, and I loved how Lina explained the dishes and the origins behind them. After we had finished, we chatted about Singapore, food, and London life. It genuinely felt like we had just had dinner with a close acquaintance.

La Belle Assiette is an experience that I will never forget, and I don’t think my guests will either. If you fancy a night off, you can hire a private chef in London via La Belle Assiette (prices start at £39pp)

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This post is in collaboration with La Belle Assiette. Photos were by a professional photographer, however all views and words are my own.

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Ling Ling: Scandinavian stylings meets Cantonese cuisine

ling lingLing Ling | Hakkasan group | Cantonese | Map

If you’re living in London, you’ll know the Hakkasan group well. Yauatcha, Sake no Hana, and of course, Hakkasan. But did you know that they have restaurants in cities across the world? And much like their London counterparts the restaurants vary in style, dishes and cuisines. Well one of those cities just so happens to be Oslo, and one of those restaurants just so happens to be Ling Ling. Which was lucky for me as I was just about to take a break in Norway’s capital city.

Ling Ling Oslo

Ling Ling is the younger sibling of the Hakkasan group. Located in the trendy area of Aker Brygge. It’s vibrant, fun, and stylish; this much is clear when you walk into the harbour side restaurant. From the simple Scandinavian stylings, right down to the innovative cocktail list. And there’s no better way than starting a journey at Ling Ling than with one of their cocktails. We tried the delectable Plum Sour (Akashi Tai Ume-shu, Johnnie Walker black label whisky, lemon, lime, egg white & Boker’s bitters), and the popular Red Shéng (Aquavit white, raspberries, ginger, lime & lychee).

We could have easily spent the rest of the day on the stunning rooftop, overlooking the Oslo Fjords. However we decided that a diet of cocktails alone wasn’t for us – we wanted food! So with eyes bigger than our bellies, we chose the Ling Ling Journey menu:

  • To Start
    • Peking duck with Oscietra caviar
    • Supreme dim sum platter
    • Golden fried chicken and mango salad in sweet chilli dressing
    • Spicy Norwegian scallop in glass vermicelli noodle
  • To Continue
    • Barbecue char siu pork
    • Grilled silver cod in ginger soy
    • Norwegian langoustine in samba sauce
    • Stir-fry three style mushroom
    • Jasmine rice
  • To Finish
    • Soy caramel and banana delice (peanut, milk chocolate, vanilla chantilly)
    • Apple bavaroise mousse (sea buckthorn, caramelised white chocolate, Chinese five spice)

At 988NOK (around £97) per person, the menu is available all day for parties of 2 or more.

Scandinavian stylings meets Cantonese cuisine

My personal favourites have been bolded above, however I do want to give a few shout-outs. The Peking Duck features crunchy, fatty duck skin sandwiched between caviar, duck, cucumber & pancakes. If it was socially acceptable, I would eat a whole one. As for the Grilled Silver Cod, let’s just say that I’ve never tasted cod like that done at Ling Ling. It was chunky, flavoursome and buttery soft. And to finish with a dessert, you can’t visit without experiencing the Apple Bavaroise Mousse, even if it’s only for the photo opportunity (although it is also refreshingly light & moreish).

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a Norwegian restaurant serving Cantonese cuisine. However I left feeling that the team behind Ling Ling have definitely done their homework. The merger of Cantonese dishes and Norwegian ingredients works perfectly at this contemporary location. Largely helped by the fresh seafood that features throughout the menu. From the location, to the service, ingredients, and execution; Ling Ling is an outstanding experience.

Check out more: Where to Eat and Oslo

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This post is in collaboration with Hakkasan however all views, photos and words are my own.

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The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is Hot!

Yauatcha CityYauatcha City | Dim Sum Teahouse | Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street | Map

Working right next to Yauatcha City used to be oh-so convenient. Anytime I fancied one of the most beautiful desserts in London, I’d just skip on over. So when my office moved, I was almost certain that was the end of my love affair with the dim sum teahouse. But it was just my luck that I was invited back to try their new Summer Tasting Menu last week, which I dragged my friend Zarna along to (spoiler: she wasn’t unhappy).

And so rather than being petty and keeping all the good food in London to myself, I decided to let you all know about it too.

Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu comes in two varieties: meat or vegetarian. We both chose the meat option, however Zarna can’t eat beef, and Yauatcha were very kind and replaced her venison puff (incl. beef gelatin) with a duck spring roll. I like to mention these little gestures as customer service is very important to me, and all these little things add up to an even better experience.

But of course I’m here to talk about what we ate…or more accurately, what we devoured:

  • Cocktails
    • Asian Daiquiri
    • Thea Martini
  • Steamed Dim Sum
    • Champagne scallop & prawn dumpling
    • Wild mushroom dumpling
    • Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin
  • Fried Dim Sum
    • Venison puff
    • Mushroom spring roll
  • Mains (1pp)
    • Stir-fry sliced beef
    • Stir-fry pepper chilli seafood with asparagus
  • Sides
    • Chinese vegatables
    • Jasmine steamed rice
    • Macarons (2pp)
  • Tea (1pp)
    • Classical beauty
  • Desserts (not included in tasting menu)
    • Fromage Frais
    • Tropical Dome
    • Chocolat Mint Delice

How hot is the Summer menu?

My favourites from the menu were: Venison Puff (the pastry & filling is to die for!), Stir-fry Sliced Beef (melted in the mouth), Thea Martini (sweet & fruity), Fromage Frais (beautiful & tangy), and the Chocolat Mint Delice (rich, indulgent…with popping candy!).

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is £34 per person (min. 2 people), which includes a glass of wine/cocktail, macarons (2pp) and tea. For such a generous menu, I think the price is more than fair. We were pretty much full by the time our main course came round, but of course we couldn’t let good food go to waste so we devoured everything.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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