BREAKFAST AT FIVE AT THE BRIDGE:
This morning I had a late start getting to work and decided to go and get some breakfast. I drove to Hampton Court to a cafe where I had been meaning to try the breakfast. I posted about a lunch I ate there on my fashion blog a little while ago now, their sandwiches are totally delicious, packed full of filling and really good value for money.
Today was a chance to give the breakfast a go and, on a rainy Monday morning, I couldn’t think of anything better to do. The cafe has a view of Hampton Court Palace, tucked just away down a side street. There are tables outside which are usually frequented by people sipping coffee and smoking: it’s the perfect place to sit on a warm day. Today, however, I sheltered inside by the radiator as classical music played and did some people-watching. Sometimes you even find the odd tourist that has strayed away from the castle who has, lucky, stumbled into Five at the Bridge.
The cafe is a true find. It is a fairly normal cafe, more polished than a greasy spoon perhaps but nothing overly modern or trendy. The breakfast menu has what you would expect to find: English breakfast, pastries, scrambled eggs on toast etc. and found it hard to decide which dish I wanted to try the most.
The dishes are all prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients and the meat comes from the top-class butcher’s down the road. In fact, Five at the Bridge was actually once profiled by a quite-famous reviewer in a national broadsheet. He declared the lunch he ate to be one of the finest he’d had all year, so I was really eagerly waiting for the poached eggs on toast that I had decided to order for my Breakfast.
The food came quickly and was hot and looked delicious. I know from my own experience how hard it is to cook a perfect poached egg. I rarely (if ever) achieve the desired outcome but, oh my… the chef at Five the Bridge had. Soft, fresh and still a little runny, but not too much, the yolk was perfection. They were undoubtedly the best poached eggs I have ever eaten. I relished every mouthful. The toast was crisp and with just enough butter to compliment the tasty, tasty eggs which were finished off with a light seasoning. After I had finished I knew I could eat another portion, which is dangerous. I left the cafe knowing I would be back again for more and couldn’t stop talking about what an amazing breakfast I had eaten all day.
I was camping in Sussex in the summer and went for a walk to a local pub. The food on the menu sounded so good. I had a really nice and simple salad but it was the sandwich that my brother had which made my mouth water. The triple layered sandwich had wedges of smoked cheese, tomatos, beef, garlic mayonnaise and to top it all of a layer of ghurkins which made it perfect. When I got back home from the holiday I went out, brought the ingredients and tried to replicate the sandwich but it it was nowhere near as good.
The second picture is of some Thai fish cakes that Russell had. Those looked pretty tasty too.
HOME MADE QUICHE FOR DINNER:
For dinner I had a home made quiche. One was vegetarian with courgette, onion, mushroom and feta cheese filling. The other had ham and egg for a filling. Both tasted so fresh and light and so much nicer than one brought in a supermarket.
HIDING IN A CAFE ON A RAINY DAY:
It was pouring with rain on a Saturday a few weeks ago and so I decided to spend lunchtime in a cafe called Chair and Chai in my town. I had never been in there before but wanted to try it rather than the usual over priced Costa or Starbucks.
I sat in the window as the rain poured down outside and watched different people as they ran into the doorway of the cafe to shelter from the down pour of rain on a warm day. The menu had the usual items, paninis, sandwiches, salads. I chose to eat a goats cheese and tomato salad and Russell chose mushroom risotto. Both were fresh and light while filling us up at the same time. The staff were so friendly and there was a family atmosphere. I am definitely going to go back.
Delicious temaki rolls:
After a long day running around London a lot of the time I really do not feel like thinking about what to cook for dinner, let alone actually making it. My new favorite place to grab food after a long days work is Yoobi, a new Temakeria in Soho.
The new sushi restaurant, situated on a corner of Lexington Street in Soho, London had come to my attention a few times before but I had never ventured in. Soho is full of amazing food places so it wasn’t a suprise to see a new sushi place pop up. It may have been the clean lines, fresh wood and open space or the fact that, on that evening after work, I was particalrly hungry but something clearly interested me and I was enticed in.
Yoobi is London’s first Temakeria. The rolls come with unusual fillings that are packed with carefully considered tastes and influences from around the world, including Brazil where, apparently Temaki is big news! I chose to sun dried tomato and cream cheese filling for one roll and cucumber for my second. My boyfriend Russell chose to have spicy tuna and salmon fillings which, just like mine were so fresh and really delicious. I even went back the next day for more. Honestly. I could eat some right now.
A little naughtily, I also had a few side dishes to accompany the sushi (I told you I was hungry) which I brought from a Japanese supermarket called Arigato on Brewer Street in Soho. They sell a range of Japanese food products and also have a fresh food counter where I purchased some vegetable spring rolls and some very yummy korokke. I was so full but so happily satisfied after all of that.
A CURRY WITH THE FAMILY:
On Sunday night, instead of having the usual roast I went out for a meal to a new Indian restaurant in my town, Simply Masala. I have been meaning to try it for a little while now, it looks modern and fresh and I have heard good things about it so I happy to hear that we had a table booked for 8pm on Sunday.
The menu did not have the normal dishes that you would expect from an Indian restaurant, there were curries but they were interspersed with pancakes and wraps. I chose to have vegetable samosas for start which were ok but apparently the chicken samoasos were amazing, packed full of meat rather than potato. All of the other starters were huge and full of flavour. The Aloo Tikka Chat starter which was boiled potato cutlets, chickpeas and mango chutney was rich with flavour and texture.
For the main I chose to have Masala Dosa, an apparently traditional dish of crispy rice pancakes filled with potatoes and served with coconut chutney and sambar. It was a little dry but full of vegetables and potato. Maybe a bit more moisture was needed but it was a definitely a hit.
Another dish that we ordered was the fish curry, marinated fish in traditional spices cooked slowely in curry sauce. It was apperently amazing with layers of flavour and fish that melted in the mouth. Perfect.
The naan bread was not greasy but fluffy and light as were the popadoms which were crisp and fresh. Everything was cooked fresh there by the chef and the staff were very polite and attentive (maybe a little too much - personally I hate it when they keep coming back to pour the rest of your drink out for you)
All in all a really interesting and modern take on the adopted British dish of curry. I am definitely going to go again for a meal and will try a curry dish next time. Everybody came home stuffed full and saying how delicious the food was.
TRYING OUT KOYA:
I always love to try out new Japanese restaurants that, ones that I haven’t been to before. It was suggested to me that I should try Koya on Frith Street in Soho. I was told that there is often a wait for the restaurant at lunch and in the evening so arrived fairly early, around 6:30pm and I still had to wait for around 15 minutes for a table.
Entering the restaurant through some electric blue curtains I was greeted by the usual bustling business of a normal Japanese restaurant. Promptly given the menu I decided that I was in the mood for tempura so I chose vegetable tempura donburi which was light and tasty with a wide selection of vegetables. My friend chose to have mackerel udon, the restaurant’s speciality is udon so he had to try some, apparently the dish has a lovely grilled flavour, maybe not enough mackerel to udon ratio however.
We also shared a side of onsen tamago which is a poached egg in spring onion water. It had a very strange texture but I am sure it is something that you become accustomed to.
There was a nice happy atmosphere to the restaurant and, although it was busy I didn’t feel too rushed and was able to have time to sit and chat. It wasn’t the cheapest of places to have something to eat and as you can see, it is a fair bit of money for a short space of time eating but the food was good and that is the main thing.
I CARRIED A WATERMELON:
I carried a watermelon and then I ate it. I was juicy and refreshing, just what was needed on a hot summer’s day. I forgot how good watermelon tastes, I want to make watermelon ice lollies and more now.
TRYING OUT A RECIPE:
I fancied making something nice for dinner to share with the rest of my family and came across the recipe for this meal in the Jamie Olive 30 minute meals cook book. I very rarely make anything from cook books, especially celebrity chef ones but this recipe looked interesting and included some of my favourite ingredients.
I used a big ciabatta which was filled with gherkins, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and all sorts of others tasty fillings. There was also a meat dish with hams layed on a board around a celeriac mix
For desert I made crushed ice with mint, yoghurt and raspberries which turned out to be particularly tasty.
I will try and find a link to the actual recipe and post it here at some point.