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

——————————–

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

ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling ling

The Parla Pop-up is a Minimalist’s Dream

parla pop-upParla Pop-up | Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate | Map

I get a little bit giddy anytime a favourite brand of mine expands. Especially when that brand is an independent one, with a strong emphasis on talented females. Enter Pärla, an East London store based in Boxpark Shoreditch, whom you may remember from some of my previous posts. I’ve been chatting about the brand online – and off – for a while now, which makes their new pop-up even sweeter for me.

Being the fangirl that I am, I decided to go check out the Parla pop-up as soon as it opened. And I don’t think I’m going to be the only one falling in love with it.

The Summer Parla Pop-Up

Pärla may have started with an East London store, but some of you will be glad to hear that they’re now expanding West. Yep, their special Summer pop-up is based in none other than the famous Portobello Road, Notting Hill. The new pop-up is airy, bright, and filled with contemporary jewellery and gorgeous lifestyle items (including lingerie and candles). The usual jewellery design players are all there: V Jewellery, Jessie Harris, Clarice Price Thomas, Smith/Grey, and more. And this time they’ve been joined by a few fashion designers too, such as Danielle Foster, Jody Shafton and others.

I personally can’t stop by Pärla without adding a hundred things to my wish-list, and buying several of the ones already on it. This time I added a piece of V Jewellery to my collection; a little bling to perk up the numerous ear piercings I’m stacking up. And naturally I added everything from Clarice Price Thomas and Jessie Harris’s new collections to my wish-list. It’s safe to say that the new Parla Pop-up is everything I had hoped for, and I can honestly say it’s a minimalists lifestyle dream.

You can visit the Parla Pop-up yourself at 201 Portobello Road, until Sept 3rd.

parla pop-upparla pop-up parla pop-up parla pop-up parla pop-up

I’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Getting MarriedI’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Wait, what? Yes I’m getting married. Don’t worry I’ve been pretty quiet about it, only occasionally referencing it. It’s pretty typical of me, and my fiancé is even more subtle. That said, Ben and I have been engaged for a few years now. However we had both agreed that we would wait to get married until the perfect moment. And after viewing an amazing venue a few months ago, it would appear that that moment is now. Well, Summer 2018 to be more precise. It’s incredibly exciting, but at the same time very frightening.

I’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Why is it frightening? Well because unless you didn’t already know, this is my first time getting married. I did stop and think of hiring a wedding planner, for all of five seconds. Then I remembered how much of a perfectionist I am, and how that would never work. So the task comes down to me (and Ben). However I’ve only been to one wedding in my adult life, and I wasn’t involved in any aspect of it. Unless you count eating, celebrating and partying. And if that was all there was to it, then I’d probably be a lot less nervous, and a lot more qualified. But let’s be honest, there is way more to getting married.

And luckily for me I was recently invited to the notonthehighstreet.com wedding press day. Everything was laid out so expertly, making things seem so simple…and appealing. Alongside some amazing friends who have offered to help me along the way, it showed me that wedding planning doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. And I want to be involved in all of it along the way, even if it is a little frightening.

I’ll be documenting my wedding along the way, so keep an eye out!
You can find the products featured in this post on notonthehighstreet.com.

Getting Married Getting Married Getting Married Getting Married Getting Married Getting Married Getting Married

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in AarhusIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Aarhus, Denmark!

24 Hours in Aarhus

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark

  • Do breakfast at Bills Coffee 
    • The Danes know their coffee, but they know their pastries even better. And Bills Coffee won’t let you down on either front. They offer up the best pastries in town (in my opinion), and a relaxing atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to chat to the staff – who are super lovely – they’re full of great recommendations.
  • Tour Aarhus City Hall
    • If there’s one thing you don’t want to miss in Aarhus, it’s the city hall tour. This architectural marvel is the epitome of Danish design. You can find photos and tour information here.
  • Enlighten your senses at ARoS
    • The art museum features an array of amazing artwork, and possibly the world’s most colourful rooftop.
  • Refuel at La Cabra, Coffee Roasters
    • This ridiculously stylish coffee shop also offers up plenty of fresh, local produce. My recommendation: the crayfish sandwich, which is hands down the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had!
  • Fancy some retail therapy?
    • The streets around Vestergade are littered with independent designers, well known brands, and Magasin department store.

24 Hours in Aarhus

  • Take a bus out to the Deer Park
    • Just a 10min ride from the central bus station is Dyrehaven (Deer Park). This piece of woodland is open to the public, but you’ll have to share your walk with some of Aarhus’s friendly deer – and there are lots of them!
  • Stop by the beach!
    • The woodland borders the Kattegat sea by Dyrehaven, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are showers and changing facilities for those who are brave enough to take a dip.
  • Choose street food for dinner
    • Conveniently located next door to the bus station is the Aarhus Street Food market. You’ll find a wide variety of cuisines, including traditional Danish food. But don’t fork out on the alcohol, instead…
  • Finish the night at a local craft beer bar
    • Mig og Ølsnedkeren is a cozy – some might even say hygge – spot, filled with groups of young stylish friends and couples. Their main offering is a variety of specialised craft beer, but don’t worry they also serve other drinks.

24 Hours in Aarhus

If you have some extra time…

  • Visit Den Gamle By
    • A must-visit for budding architecture nerds and historians alike. Den Gamle By is a small recreation of a Danish town throughout the years, including houses, shops and more.
  • Pop by the Botanical Gardens
    • Nestled right next door to Den Gamle By, and with free entry too! It’s small, but worth a visit – especially for the butterfly room!

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus 24 Hours in Aarhus

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

Yauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha City

 

5 Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

It’s been a rough time for Instagram. There have been scandals, controversy and people have generally lost their interest. But us long-term plans have stuck by it, and so I thought it was time to bring back my ‘Instagram 5′ series, and this time I’ve picked out 5 of my favourite inspirational Instagram accounts, to keep us all motivated.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @asiyami_gold
Where? Worldwide
Why? Asiyami is a lady of many talents. As an art director and visual storyteller, her Instagram boasts beautiful images from her travels across the globe. However my love of her Instagram comes from her authentic, heartfelt messages, and inspirational designs.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @streetview.portraits
Where? Worldwide
Why? I was first introduced to Streetview Portraits by Worshipblues. The account is run by someone with agoraphobia and anxiety, which limits them from travelling. Therefore they decided to see the world digitally, via Google Streetview. There’s something very inspirational about understanding where this account is coming from, not to mention travelling the world through someone else’s eyes.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @vikkeview
Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
Why? 
Karen’s account is centred around ‘urban minimalism’. Her unique take on architecture, Danish lifestyle, and people is incredibly refreshing. Not to mention it’s extremely colourful and fun. I really love how she interprets ‘everyday’ things, and creates something beautiful from the ‘mundane’.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @mikkoputtonen 
Where? London, UK
Why? You won’t find a more stylish guy than Mikko. His Instagram account effortlessly blends fashion, architecture and design. So much so that it reads like an editorial feature in a lifestyle magazine. I’m constantly inspired by Mikko’s dedication and individual photo style. Not to mention, he’s a great guy.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @colorpalette.cinema
Where? n/a
Why? If you’re a photography/cinematography geek like me, then you’ll find inspiration in Colorpalette Cinema. The account takes stills from iconic movies, and combines them with their colour palettes. Design aficionados will find the Instagram useful, as well as an inspiration for their own work.

Do you have any favourite inspirational Instagram accounts?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

XU London – Authentic Taiwanese Food Worth Waiting For!

XU LondonXU London | Taiwanese | Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus | Map

My inner friend circle is pretty much made up entirely of foodies. When I think about it, food is actually the thing that brought a lot of me and my close friends together in the first place. Which means it’s not odd to see us getting excited about new restaurant openings, or the latest street food craze. One of said friends is Joe, who first introduced me to Taiwanese food. And we’ve been on a mission to find the best Taiwanese food London has to offer ever since. So when Joe messaged me about XU London (the team behind Bao) opening, we agreed to make a reservation straight away.

My first impressions of XU came from their Instagram. I was pretty much sold straight away, but part of me wondered if it could live up to such a perfect image. Little did I know, it would be even better than I expected.

Xu London

As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the restaurant is sharp and sleek. It really does feel like you’ve been transported back to 1930s Taiwan, with nods to the era in the dark wood and art deco stylings. The menu – in the shape of a newspaper – also mirrors the feel of the restaurant.

But what did we order? Well we decided to go for a selection of smaller plates, to share…

  • XU’s House Blend Tea (for the table)
  • Selection of Bak Kwa (Taiwanese jerky)
  • Xiao Tsai (
    • Lotus Crisps – chilli, peanut, wintermelon syrup
    • Tomato & Smoked Eel – dried soy daikon
  • Mian Shi
    • 2x Xian Bing (2pc) – pan fried aged pork pancake, vinegar & chilli oil
    • Taro Dumpling (3pc) – taro stuffed with Taiwanese sausage, kow choi oil dressing
  • Cocktails
    • Lo Tsui Ke – Hong Yu tea, gin, white miso, apple
    • Takkiri – 10 Year oolong, Kavalan Single Malt, curdled milk soda

Our total came to £64.13 (with 12.5% service charge). Not overly pricey when you consider we had cocktails, but it certainly isn’t a cheap lunch. However I should point out that whilst the menu does include some pricier dishes, it also has it’s fair share of cheaper ones too.

Does it live up to the hype?

Quite frankly…yes. Taiwanese food really doesn’t get enough love in London, so XU is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Right from the service (exemplary), down to the dishes. Authentic flavours and ingredients are scattered across the menu, and presented elegantly. My personal favourites from our visit were the Tomato & Smoked Eel (refreshing, unique flavours), XU’s House Blend Tea (light & thirst quenching), and the Xian Bing (juicy, soup laden dumplings made with quality meat). The Xian Bing were so good we ordered another portion. In fact everything was so good I would have ordered it twice. I can’t wait to go back to XU – numerous times – and work my way through the menu.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

XU London XU London XU London XU London XU London XU London XU London XU London XU London