Day 3 of Salads

July 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I decided I am too fat since I cannot fit into a pair of £5 H&M trousers (I blame the weight, not the fit) and so have been having salads for lunch and dinner for the past 2 days (day 3 today). Well, excluding yesterday’s lunch at Burger & Lobster which serves burgers or lobsters only  (flat £20 fee and you get either one or the other), no salad for me and of course I ate the bun. Major slip-up in the diet plan which left me skipping dinner altogether because I was still full from my 10 oz burger and 2 cans of Hobo lager.

But as not a day of mine goes by without a discovery, I came home with an amazing salad recipe which I probably would not have tried if not the meaty lunch I had: a halloumi and fennel salad found in Honestly Healthy and served by a friend for dinner. I skipped the pizza, but not the wine or the salad:

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I was worried I will not like the fennel in it but was pleasantly surprised how refreshing and crunchy it was. A keeper – I now have maybe a total of 5 salads I like!

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Happenstance in St. Paul’s

July 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

5108_131533_largeA new bar and restaurant has opened in St. Paul’s. A place with an odd name and free coffee, gorgeous interiors, sweets in the loos and  decent looking food. One cannot be full on decent looking food if it tastes rotten and sadly, half of the items on my plate did not impress.

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We arrived to find Happenstance buzzing – the floor plan serves well for the easy flow of dozens of people coming in and our cocktail in hand, the space is generous and embroidered in the most unassuming items of beauty. The salt dishes, the vases, the chairs, the slates, everything seems to be in tune. The food does not take long to arrive and looks OK if only a little staged. The tower of a burger which was actually very tasty:

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IMG_0174My 5oz steak and the inedible potatoes

I ordered a 5oz steak with double fried chips and kind prawns. The steak was good, juicy and fresh however the chips were a massive disappointment. The food attendant arrived with the bad news: the kitchen is out of double fried chips (at 1pm!) and would I mind having regular chips with my steak. Mind I do not. The food arrives and my chips remain untouched – they tasted of oil, double fried oil, reheated boiled and fried potatoes and more oil. Will I be going back for food there? Perhaps if only to try their po-boy.

Damage: £30 for a lunch which left me hungry.

Positives: I learned a new word on the day.

 

Camino St Paul’s

May 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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We have a lovely tradition in the office to go for random half-team-half-stranger lunches which last for much longer than lunch should. Camino opened it’s fourth (?) Spanish tapas place this time near Blackfriars and with a 50% discount on food, we decided it’s as good as any reason to go and have lunch there.

I am not really in a mood to rave about food here which was not bad at Camino, no, but not amazing either – it arrived on little saucers, which we were expecting, slowly, one little saucer at a time. It got better later on once the waiting staff realised which table has ordered what; the wine and the sangria’s were amazing (said in a Cate Blanchett voice) and the entire look and the feel of the place was inspiring. I could not find a half decent picture of the one we were at, so here is a little taster of Bar Pepito in King’s Cross:

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Salivating at the tiles yet? I am.

OK, back to the food which was how do I describe it…tempting, sensuous and for the lack of a better word – momentarily exciting. I say momentarily because having left the place I felt a rather unpleasant aftertaste that you get having eaten food less than fresh, perhaps it was the oil that was used one too many times. In any case, whatever it was, it slightly ruined it for me.

But I must write something good about it, must I not? The size of the portions created a fairy tale like atmosphere in my tiny table space. Yes, it is tapas, but still, it reminded me of the doll’s house miniatures (if only a slightly ethnic dolls house with clay pots and dishes and ramekins in alluring copper, raw umber, ochre and auburn), everything was in such perfect miniature, it felt slightly surreal, in particular my two golf ball sized pieces of monkfish on the oil mash, having seen which I wished this was not a tapas place and I could order this in adult/proper portion size. Shame I did not take a picture of it when it arrived, but here is a small corner of the rest which looks kind of gigantic in this picture when it really was not:

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We ate, we drank, we paid….50% discount on food got our bills down to just over £100, with the drinks coming at above £130 I would say this is probably the priciest lunch I have had in London so far considering half of the lunchers complained of being hungry when we got back to the office. Do go if you are near or around St Paul’s but have a credit card to hand.

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