13 Apr 2014

BURGER BASH FINAL

London, UK
The London Burger Bash arranged by Young & Foodish was the final cook-off between some of the best burger joints in town, held at Borough Market. After several qualifying rounds, the finalists were Bleecker StBurger, Patty & Bun, Burger Bear and Fred’s. I arrived at 2 pm, and although the space wasn’t particularly packed, there were long lines for everything. I was a bit confused about where to start, especially because Patty&Bun was cooking from the Street Kitchen air streamer. After circling around for a while, I got into the Buger Bear queue. Their beef patty was served with a sloe gin bacon jam and American cheese. The finishing touch on the disco burger was glittery, edible paint on top of the bun. The jam was a bit too sweet tasting in my opinion. Burger Bear should be given credit though for having the best bacon of the show. It was crispy, but not burnt, and complimented the beef patty perfectly. I then lined up for Fred’s Bacon Cheeseburger. This was really tasty, with balanced and straightforward garnish, but I found the very yellow colour of the bun and its texture a bit strange, so it didn’t get my vote. After a breather and a beer, we went to the Bleecker St black pudding double cheese number. I haven’t had black pudding since I was little, so I was a bit afraid of tasting this one. It turned out to work really well! The texture and flavour was great, although maybe a bit too greasy. The final burger was Piggy Rascal by Patty & Bun. This was the most complicated burger, thus I won’t list all of its ingredients. It had a delicious and runny sauce that spilled everywhere. My final vote went to Patty & Bun, but I was so full at that point that I wasn’t thinking clearly, so don’t trust my choice. Usually these burgers cost around the order of magnitude of £ 8 for a full burger, so getting four half burgers for the price of £47.5 wasn’t the best deal. There was however a slider by included in the price, a sweet coffee by Bicerin, and a huge portion of tasty and filling potato and sweet potato chips by Almost Famous Burgers. The chips were sprinkled with bacon crisps and a little Percy Pig sweet. I really enjoyed them despite being extremely full, and it was very upsetting to throw them in the bin almost untouched. Although I liked the atmosphere and food, I think the concept is slightly flawed. It was difficult to judge impartially when I was hungry for the first burger, ok for the second, full by the third and sick by the fourth. It would be better to try all the burgers at their full size on separate, and equally hangry occasions. Generally I prefer classic cheeseburgers, so the advanced concepts of these meals were not ideal for me. I should have skipped breakfast so I could have been more impartial in my judgement and gotten more value for money out of this event.

The winner was: Bleecker St Burger









7 Apr 2014

SPIT & ROAST

London, UK

Spit and Roast manages to satisfy two cravings I almost always have; a craving for a good burger and for fried chicken. In London, burgers are all over its food grid, but when it comes to fried chicken, it still remains a rarity to come across that excellent piece of juicy and crispy poultry. This is not say there aren't any good places serving fried chicken; it’s just not as common as finding a good burger, which makes the experience of finding a place that perfects it ever the more precious and enjoyable. Enter Spit and Roast, which I had the pleasure of trying on one of my lunch breaks from work at my new favorite eating spot in London: the Kerb food market in Granary Square. The Kerb is also home to The Grilling Greek, and the previous home of Bleecker Street Burger, both of which have been reviewed on the Food Grid. It was a sunny Wednesday, and arriving at the Kerb the queue stretched quite far back, but I happily waited eager to try the food emerging from the van with the longest line. Thirty minutes later, I ordered their classic and most famous dish, the fried chicken bap alongside an order of French fries, naturally. Ready within five minutes, I rushed to find a place to sit and dig in. The burger not only looks delicious, it tastes amazing. The fried buttermilk chicken is tender, crispy and just the right amount of oily, complemented with their crunchy slaw and Korean hot sauce, making this burger a fusion burger I suppose. With the summer season upon us, I have no doubt the lines ahead of Spit and Roast will keep getting longer, but I will gladly wait to have another one of their delicious fried chicken baps. 

28 Mar 2014

KUROBUTA

London, UK

What started as relatively low-key pop up restaurant on Kings Road has quickly become one of London’s most sought-after dining destinations, with tables booked weeks in advance. Kurobuta is a gem of a place, rare in its breed in London’s food jungle, serving fresh quality Japanese fusion food in a cozy and comfortable setting. It’s indeed very fitting to its location; it screams Kensington and Chelsea, in that it is small, charming, charismatic and the people are just beautiful boasting the latest designer fashions as they walk through its small inconspicuous door. Kurobuta came to my attention by coincidence while walking on Kings Road and I stopped to chat to a friend I ran into, otherwise it's very easy to miss as its store front is very low key, which let's face it makes it even more endearing. I immediately booked a table. As I write this post I have been to Kurobuta twice already within a 2-week time period and the culinary highlights include the Tuna Sashimi Pizza that comes served with a truffle ponzu sauce. The flavours of this dish ignite fireworks in my mouth. Next up are the Wagyu beef sliders at £20 for two, which are bite-sized patties of pure delight and quality; the texture of the beef is unparalleled. The Maki Rolls are also phenomenal, their take on the spicy tuna roll is refreshing and equally delicious; on both dining occasions the spicy tuna was ordered twice! The beef fillet tataki and yellow tail sashimi were also excellent and spurred flurries of joy and delight; each bite drew a smile on my face. We also ordered spare ribs and pork hirata buns, neither of which were good. In an otherwise perfect meal, these pulled the impression down. Special mention must be made however to a snack that is so often taken for granted and overlooked in Japanese restaurants: Edamame. The edamame here is unmatched by any that I have had; it's flamed with Sake, lemon, butter and maldon salt. An innovative approach to such a simple dish, this is testament to the finesse and reinvention of many dishes prepared at Kurobuta. With many new restaurants always opening, Kurobuta jumps to being one of our London favourites, and we are just anxiously awaiting our next meal there and very much look forward to their main restaurant opening in summer. An interesting fact: none of the chefs are Japanese.  
   




































































































Kurobuta on Urbanspoon

24 Mar 2014

AUTOMAT

London, UK

A long-standing fixture on the Mayfair scene, Automat continually draws Londoners and visitors alike through its doors under bright yellow canopies on the ultra-chic Dover Street. Long considered as one of London’s original gourmet diners, Automat still manages to set itself apart from its competitors by offering delicious food in a comfortable and uniquely London ambience. The restaurant is laid out in three sections, where the front section facing Dover Street is a casual brasserie style section. Past the brasserie is the old school ‘American glamour’-style diner space, reminiscent of New York in the 1930’s with velvet booths and dark wood panelled walls and dim lighting; perfect for dinner on a gloomy London day. On the rare sunny days, the section towards the very end is my favorite dining spot, as it sits under a glass roof flooded with natural light and bustling with energy, making it the perfect getaway for a weekend brunch.  Typically the cheeseburger is my go-to order at Automat, as it serves an excellent burger, but on my latest visit with a friend I ordered the Eggs Florentine, whereas my friend ordered the Waffles, and we both opted to share a Truffle Mac n Cheese. The food arrived swiftly and with no fuss, and in moments we were devouring our entrees and side dish. The Eggs Florentine were very good, the brioche bun was well toasted, both the spinach and eggs were perfectly cooked and the hollandaise was made to a very good and expected standard; though it did not blow me away. However to be fair it can be hard to be blown away by Eggs Florentine, nevertheless I was very pleased with my choice. The Waffles were also very good; some of the best in London actually, and came served with cream, strawberries and blueberries. The Truffle Mac n Cheese on the other hand stole the show. I am usually very picky with mac n cheese as it can be hard to get it right with the accurate amount of cheese and correct texture. This small side dish was exploding with flavours and deliciousness and had just the ideal hints of truffle; it wasn’t overwhelming as truffles can be. Be warned though it is small but it’s very heavy and I do not recommend ordering it as a main dish as it can get a bit too much. Our meal left us happy, stuffed and satisfied, and as always unsurprised (in a good way) as Automat consistently delivers excellent food and great service.

Automat on Urbanspoon

16 Mar 2014

MY CHOCOLATE

London, UK


The Food Grid was invited to attended a chocolate-making event at MyChocolate off Leather Lane Market, hosted by 'MyChocolate', which cater events for team building, birthdays, hen nights etc. Upon arrival we were served a glass of Prosecco, and given seats along tables that were prepared with equipment and a selection of chocolates for tasting. The interior is simple, with white painted brick walls and colourful containers of various chocolates on shelves. They took us through the correct way of tasting a piece of chocolate such as allowing it to melt slightly before swallowing it, and taught us how to distinguish low quality chocolate without cocoa butter from proper chocolate. We were also told some interesting stories about the history of chocolate, for instance why Hershey’s tastes so artificial due to the poor vegetable oil substitute to premium cocoa butter. On this particular occasion our task was to make truffles. When it came to the actual making of the truffle, we were shown the techniques, which when demonstrated seemed very simple and easy to do . However once our cooking skills or rather our lack of cooking skills were put to the test, it didn’t turn out so well. It was clear that we were the only food bloggers in attendance who don’t actually cook, as our chocolates were misshapen to say the least. A fast-setting mixture of chocolate was used due to the short timeframe we had at the course, so I think it would taste better if we had more time. Our lack of skills at least contributed to creating a joyous and funny atmosphere, as there was nothing else to do but laugh. Another attendant kindly allowed us to photograph her chocolates for the blog, as ours were simply not presentable. After decorating the chocolate truffles with coconut, freeze dried raspberries and other delicious stuff, we got to wrap them in neat packages. This was a fun final touch, and we excelled at this compared to the actual culinary work. After another glass of Prosecco, we headed home after a really fun and different team-building event.  







 


www.mychocolate.co.uk


We were invited to review MyChocolate, and the opinions expressed are our own.