14 Nov 2015


London, UK

Located at the border of Chelsea and South Kensington, Brasserie Gustave serves traditional French cuisine with a seasonal twist. The low-key street presence of the entrance hints to the fact that this is not a show-off place, but somewhere you come for great quality food. After being greeted by Richard Weiss, the friendly sommelier and restaurant manager, we were seated in a red leather booth. Like the exterior, the interior is pretty relaxed, with comfortable furniture and just enough decorative accents to create the French brasserie atmosphere. 

We started off with two refreshing glasses of Kir Royale while scanning the menu. For my starter, I chose the venison carpaccio with black truffle, while my friend opted for the hand-dived scallops, also with a generous helping of truffle. The venison had a melt-in-the-mouth texture, and was lightly dressed and not too oily. I managed to get a taste of the scallops as well, which were served with a delicious and slightly bitter parsnip mash. The scallops themselves were seared to a light brown, crips perfection, while being almost sashimi-like inside. So far we were very pleased with our meal. For the mains, I went for the fillet of sea bass with roast garlic and vegetables. The crisp skin worked wonderfully with the succulent fish. My friend had the entrecote, which he happily devoured and said it was to a very high standard. For my dessert, I had the chocolate fondant, which I believe is a good gauge of the quality of a French restaurant. It was gooey and dark, but it was served with banana ice cream rather than the usual vanilla. This didn't work too well, and a classic combination like that should be left as is. My friend ordered the caramelised apple tart, one of their specials, and it is intended for two people. He did his best to finish it on his own, but after our huge and tasty meal it proved challenging. I helped him out as best I could, but at the end we had to give up and consider ourselves done with a great, classic meal. 

In addition to the honest, high quality food, something that really stood out to me at Brasserie Gustave was the atmosphere. By 8pm the room was buzzing with people, and you almost felt like you knew the strangers sitting on the next table. Everyone was happy and friendly, and the slight bravado of the sommelier helped with this. The couple next to us ordered a bottle of champagne, which was sabered in a performance for all the diners to enjoy. Despite this showiness, I would say there was very little pretence in Brasserie Gustave, and that it seems like a true neighbourhood restaurant where food and good company comes first.

Brasserie Gustave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

1 Nov 2015


London, UK

SuperStar BBQ is a Korean restaurant off Tottenham Court Road, a newly up and coming culinary destination with a high density of good quality Asian eateries. With so much choice nearby, new restaurants have to ensure they stand out from the crowd, and SuperStar BBQ does just that. As you walk past the huge glass walls, you are drawn in by a myriad of suspended sparkly lights, into a contemporary, yet cosy dining space. My co-blogger and I were seated in a spacious booth with a stove integrated into the table. We were both starving, and more than ready to get on with some cooking. We started off with some Korean beers, and had a quick glance at the menu. I am a sucker for KFC (Korean Fried Chicken, not the other one), so I obviously opted for Set Menu 2 which starts off with some spicy and crispy pieces of chicken. This was followed by a range of cold kimchi plates and an absolutely amazing glass noodle vegetable stir fry. The sesame and soy flavours that this dish brought forward was a great hint at what we could expect in terms of marinades for the meat. With generous helpings of sides and Korean pancakes, our stomachs did not have enough space for what was to come.

With two types of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, there was a lot to go through. The waitress who brought all of these delectable little plates was friendly and not overly attentive, and we were to a certain extent left to our own devices when it came to the barbecuing. As the FoodGrid consists of two individuals who rarely cook, I was worried about how this meal would unfold. I asked the waitress the slightly silly question of 'how do we know when the meat is ready?' and she seemed puzzled as if they do not get that question very often. Fortunately, ever single piece of meat I grilled turned out to be juicy and tender, probably more thanks to the amazing marinade and the fresh quality of the meat, than my own skills. Placing the various meats on the sizzling plate, we wrapped the pieces one by one into crisp lettuce leafs, and selected one of the many sauces to go with it. Because of this, I didn't realise how full I really was until the last dishes of miso soup and bibimbap were brought out. This is a place where you get small portions, but certainly not a small amount of food. The dining experience was social and interactive, not to mention tasty. SuperStar BBQ is a perfect place to bring a first date or even a work contact, as the noise level is good, which makes it an ideal place to have a conversation. The fact that it is also an entertaining way of eating is a savior if the conversation were ever to halt. When visiting this restaurant, come prepared, come hungry and with enough time to really make a night out of this meal. 

SuperStar BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

15 Jun 2015


London, UK

What I stumbled upon once as pure coincidence, has now become an all time local favourite on the corner of Fulham road and Park Walk in Chelsea. Once a traditional pub, Goat has been nipped and tucked into an uber chic gastro pub serving nothing of what one might expect by walking by. Abandoning the cliché of ‘reinterpreting’ traditional English pub cuisine, chef Marco Museli presents an array of delicious Italian dishes served to an impeccable standard one would expect from any top Italian restaurant. The chef does pay homage to the past life of the restaurant by serving one of London’s most delicious burgers which is topped with pancetta; a burger that every Londoner ought to try.  It has now been three times that I have been to Goat, and on all of my visits the consistency of the good food, great service and lively ambience has cemented it in being a local favourite perfect for a Sunday lunch in the sun, or a nice easy dinner any day of the week. When it comes to food, aside from the delicious burger, the pizzas are an excellent choice, which are wood fried and prepared with the simplest and freshest of ingredients. A favourite is the pizza with bresaola, rocket and parmesan, as well as the traditional margherita pizza. Both are fresh, and light, yet filling pizzas cooked to crispy perfection destined to please the harshest of pizza critics. With all the delicious food at Goat however, the smoking gun is the extensive cocktail list with cocktails rivalling London’s top bars. A must-order is the Earl Grey Martini, served in a bone china tea cup, and accented with flavours of lavender making it unparalleled in freshness and flavour. If ever in doubt of where to dine in Kensington and Chelsea, Goat is a definite choice that just keeps winning every time, and with a tucked away speakeasy style bar: The Chelsea Prayer room to its back, its also a solid choice for a night out in Chelsea.

Click to add a blog post for GOAT on Zomato

5 Jun 2015


London, UK

For the past few summers, Selfridges has created a pop-up restaurant on their 5th floor rooftop in Oxford Street. This year, Vintage Salt has taken over. Intended to mimic a Cornish fishing village, with maritime design and a seafood and grill-based menu, I went for weekend lunch with a friend, and I was happy to have been able to book a table online just the day before. You start appreciating the little things like this after living in London for a while. As I got into the restaurant's own lift accessed from the fragrance department, the seaside theme was already evident. The friendly waitress, dressed as a sailor, directed me to a table in the narrow outdoor space. From initial impressions, I got the sense that everyone one was there for a special occasion to try it out, and maybe it's not the kind of place that you'd return to, however it's possible that the atmosphere is a bit cooler around dinner time. I started with ancient loaf with hand churned butter. This was listed as one of the starters on the menu, and not as a side. The crispy crust and soft bread was among the best I've ever tried, I could almost have had it as a main as well. As an aperitif, I ordered the Dirty Sea Martini;  a vodka martini with some pieces of seaweed at the bottom of the glass. It was refreshing and interesting, but it smelled a bit too much of the sea, almost fishy. The cocktail menu generally looked interesting, and I'd like to go back one evening and try more of their drinks and one of their Champagne Popsicles.  

For mains, my friend ordered the Beef Burger with truffled fries on the side, and I went for the Camden Hells Fried Fish & Chips. When the food arrived I got a slight pang of food envy, as the burger looked amazing with a thick slice of cheese and an avocado topping. However, she said the meat was quite dry, and not as good as it looked. The fish and chips were pretty much what you would expect, the fish seemed fresh and the sides were tasty, but it didn't stand out as very different from what you would get served at a pub. Being a popular spot, the reservation email made it clear that you can only keep the table for 90 minutes. At the end of our slot, a crowd waiting at the bar had built up, but fortunately the waiters didn't put any pressure on us to leave. The staff seemed to have been instructed to not let a single drop of rain fall on the guests, as every time there was a cloud, they would close and reopen the roof. Luckily the weather stayed sunny and we took a quick peek at the London view before heading back down to Selfridges for some shopping. 

Click to add a blog post for Vintage Salt on Zomato

8 Apr 2015


London, UK

While the stalls on Exmouth Market are only open for lunchtime weekdays, it is lined with charming little restaurants that take care of the food crowd on weekends. One of the most popular is Caravan, serving world foods and boasting a basement coffee roastery.  Brunch is served between 10 and 4 o'clock, and compared to a lot of other London brunch spots, the wait is not too bad. It is always packed, but hanging around in the bar for 15 minutes should be enough to get a table. I have been to Caravan for brunch on three occasions, and every time I've ordered the same thing; baked eggs with chorizo. Served in tomato sauce with a runny yolk, these little dishes are amazing. They could be a bit more generous with the greek yogurt, but otherwise it is a perfect meal. As a side I recommend the avocado on sourdough bread, which is quite pricey at £5, but good enough to warrant it. Their baked goods change daily, and I was lucky enough to catch the banana bread once. It's one of the better banana breads I've tried, soft yet slightly burnt, and just sweet enough. It was so good that I got some extra to take home with me. The service at Caravan, on the other hand, is awful. The head waiter was so rude that my friend felt she couldn't leave without informing him of what she though. Not being as brave, I prefer to make my criticisms here on the blog. The lack of friendliness from the staff is what dragged down the Hanger-Meter rating for this restaurant. If you are ok with poor service, like I am, you should still go and enjoy some delicious baked eggs. 

Caravan Exmouth Market on Urbanspoon

20 Mar 2015


London, UK

Borough Market is arguably the most famous food market in London, with people from all over town flocking there on Saturdays, to an area of the city they otherwise might not visit much. It is not a live fashion show like Broadway Market, as the crowd is more touristic or family oriented. It's usually crowded and a bit stressful, so I wouldn't go for the atmosphere, only for the food. For the early birds, there is a wholesale market from 2am to 8am on Saturdays, which I hear is cheap and good, but I've yet to get up that early to check it out. Instead, I've arrived around lunch hour, when the market is packed and the queue for the cash machine stretches far. I would not only advice to get cash in advance, but to get quite a lot of it. It's not a cheap market, and the costs start to add up if you want to have a drink, a few lunches, ice cream, and some snacks to take home. As with all markets, the best strategy is to share so you can try as many things as possible. There is also an array of free tasters to grab on the way, like paella and turkish delights.

One of my favourite meals at Borough isn't technically a market stall, but a temporary BBQ grill set up outside of Applebee's fishmongers. They serve grilled garlic prawn wraps from noon onwards, perfect for a late Saturday breakfast. The prawns are served with only a bit of lettuce, garlic and dressing, and taste absolutely amazing in the wrap. This is a must, and great warm up for two to share before heading into the main market area.  Amongst the most popular stands is Northfield Farm, which always has a long line. When I saw the sign for their Wangus Burger, a mixture of wagyu beef and angus beef. With this, I decided I had to join the queue and try it. I got served after around 10 minutes, and once I dug in I was disappointed with the very first bite. The meat was chewy and kind of springy in consistency, and it seemed like no thought had been put into the garnishes; a bit of rocket and onion just doesn't cut it. When I checked their website now, it seems that the item has been taken off the menu, so perhaps I wasn't the only one who didn't like it. However, the salt beef sandwich from the same place is spectacular, an example of English bread and meat at their best. Clearly, Northfield has good quality ingredients, they just have to put effort into serving it in the right way. Once I've tried a few mains, I usually walk around and look for produce to take home. There's a great selection of juices, chocolates, vegetables and bread to set you up for the rest of the weekend.

6 Mar 2015


London, UK

Branded as ‘the’ premium vodka, and belonging to its eponymous parent Lamborghini, the vodka captures the essence of the Lamborghini brand. From the sleek and sharp design of the bottle reminiscent of the crisp contours of the cars, to the smooth crisp taste of the vodka, Tonino Lamborghini comfortably contends in standing as being one of the best vodkas on the market. The Food Grid was invited to sample the vodka at an exclusive tasting held at the Polo Lounge in the Westbury Hotel, where we were treated to a brief bio of the drink, and the plans of its distributor Fantasma drinks to supply it to London’s premier venues such as Funky Buddha and Annabel’s. Soon after being seated we sampled the vodka in three ways. Straight served with ice, in an espresso martini and dirty martini. All were expertly prepared and provided the much needed kick after a long work day. The vodka is light, crisp and smooth and to our relief didn’t have any horrible after taste; in fact it settles very well.  The lack of an after taste, after some research, stands to illustrate the fine quality of a spirit, and Tonino Lamborghini is just that, triple distilled and extracted from the best quality grains which results in the smooth and fine texture the vodka. Initially sceptical to all the hype of the PR company, all reservations were dispelled upon trying it. Entering the market (a new market) under the name of an established brand giant could either be a blessing or a curse in an attempt to live in the shadow of its parent, but Tonino Lamborghini Vodka lives up to the challenge by offering one of the finest vodkas we have tried. Tonino Lamborghini Vodka is now available to try at the Mayfair Club No.41, and we look forward to seeing it around London soon. 
Dirty Martini and Espresso Martini at Westbury

Lamborghini Vodka on the rocks

Energy Drinks and Lamborghini Vodka
Dirty Martini with Olives London

We were invited to review Tonino Lamborghini Vodka, and the opinions expressed are our own.

20 Feb 2015


London, UK

I discovered Bob Bob Ricard when I was presented with the challenge to pick a restaurant that my whole family, and most importantly my grandfather, would like on their visit to London. In addition to serving good traditional food, the criteria also consisted of finding a place with comfortable chairs and good acoustics. I'd done some asking around, and the obvious choices such as Berner's Tavern and the Wolseley were fully booked. After finishing an average dinner at Grillshack in Soho we walked past Bob Bob Ricard, which my friend suggested I go for. I had a quick google, and the lavish design convinced me that this would be an interesting place to try. 
The interior is absolutely beautiful, and transports you to a 'Gatsbian' era of glamour and luxury. Every table is a booth, clad in blue leather, with heaps of bling everywhere, reminiscent of the Orient Express. On our way in we were greeted by 6 people, which is a bit excessive, but it works in this setting. The pink graphic design of the menu and the tableware were very well carried out. Some of the luxury is a bit gimmicky such as the much Instagrammed 'press for champagne' button, but it adds to the experience.

We started off with some high quality cocktails, then got going with our starters. I can rarely resist soup on any menu, and opted for the Artichoke Soup. This was creamy and warming, and really did taste of artichoke. For mains I had the Beef Onglet served medium rare, small pieces of juicy and flawlessly tender meat. I also got to try a bite of the three-bird burger, an original and crispy meal, although not one that I would choose again when there are so many different things to try. Generally, I liked the fact that all of the dishes were quite simple and you could see what ingredients went into them, yet the flavours were distinct and delicious. It would be interesting to see how the food transitions to the summer time, as I did find it to be a very hearty menu and a cosy winter atmosphere. We were rather full by the end of our mains, so we only went for a little ice cream and Irish Coffee to finish the meal. While my aunt was having a cigarette outside, she spoke with a doorman and he explained the story behind the name Bob Bob Ricard. The restaurant was founded by Leonid "Bob" Shutov and Richard Howarth. Leonid put up two thirds of the money for the restaurant, hence the repetition of his name. Bob Bob Ricard has found a formula that works, with an interior design, food and drinks selection and staff that complete a perfect package of a special dining experience in the centre of London. I daresay you are almost guaranteed good food and a good time if you go to this restaurant. 

Bob Bob Ricard on Urbanspoon

12 Feb 2015


London, UK

Joining the welcome trend of locally sourced food and environmentally conscious eating, The World's End Market serves seasonal, healthy food on the Kings Road in Chelsea. With a whole section in their menu dedicated to burgers, this place seemed perfect for The Food Grid, so we went over for dinner to try it out. Located in an iconic free-standing building that used to be a pub, the interior feels warm and authentic, with green leather furniture and beautiful brass lamps. I headed straight to the bar to check out their signature cocktails, and opted for an Isle Garden, a gin based drink with basil leaves and cucumber. This was refreshing and yummy, and I can imagine it would be perfect at brunch for curing a hangover. We then sat down and looked over the menu, and I ordered Carpaccio of Scallop to start and whole grilled Plaice for mains. 

When the first dish arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by how delicately it was presented. Within the casual setting I was somehow not expecting a rather fine dining-looking starter. I am a big fan of scallop, and this one was perfect and fresh, with an unusual combination of Harissa salsa. I only wished there was more of it! My friend ordered the Artichoke with Buffalo Mozzarella. I had a couple of bites of it, and this was one of those rare occurrences where I couldn't decide which dish I liked best, they were both so tasty. The main dishes arrived, and with the first forkful of fish I could taste the particular flavour created by the kitchen's method of grilling their meat and fish in a Josper oven. My friend ordered the Truffle Burger cooked rare, garnished with mushrooms and halloumi. Served in a brioche bun, the meat was charred but raw and juicy inside. Whilst the truffle flavour was great, it masked the taste of the meat. In general it's best to order a classic burger if you want to judge the meat, however I can understand that it can be difficult to resist anything with truffle. Every main dish on the menu is served with salad and french fries, and these were just my type of fries; skinny and extra crispy, so that each of them tasted like those little ones that you usually get excited to find at the bottom of the bowl when you think it is empty. Halfway through the evening I realised that some friends of mine were on a nearby table. They live locally and since the recent opening of World's End Market had already become regulars. They said this place was the best thing to happen to this area for ages. I have to agree that it has an instant charm that makes you want to return. Following desserts towards the end of the night, the music had picked up and I found myself Shazamming one of the songs. I'm sure this restaurant would be a great place for having a quality meal with a group of friends before a night out. 


World's End Market on Urbanspoon

We were invited to review The World's End Market, and the opinions expressed are our own.