22 Jun 2014


London, UK

In the spirit of the World Cup, and as an excuse to visit the new Byron that’s opened up in Shoreditch, I tried the limited edition Ronaldo Burger. Named after the 90s Brazilian football phenomenon, this double cheeseburger has crispy bacon, pickles, soft butter onions and fried onions. There are no special sauces on this burger, only ketchup and American mustard. Its price of £13 is a  hint to the sheer size of the burger, as Byron’s standard burgers cost between £7-9.  When the waitress placed it on the table, it toppled over, another hint that it was too large.  What stood out to me at the first bite was the very thin and perfectly cooked bacon, along with the classic pickles. The flavours all worked really well, but there was just too much meat. I’m not a big fan of double-patty hamburgers, as it messes with a trialled and tested meat-to-bread ratio that works so well in a single burger. I think this burger would be a lot more enjoyable with less meat, so that you manage to give more of your attention to the delicious toppings. Additionally, Byron has such tasty sides, that it is a shame to fill up on the burger without being able to enjoy enough their French Fries, Proper Olives and Oreo Cookie Milkshakes. I had to get the olives to go, as I really could not eat another bite of anything. It was nice to try it, but already when people have asked me about it, I haven’t recommended it. The list of garnishes on The Ronaldo had so much potential, it was disappointing that it just did not balance out with the patties. I’d rather stick to my usual choice of the Cheeseburger with American cheese and Byron sauce on the side.    

11 Jun 2014


London, UK

Yet another Japanese fusion restaurant has opened in London. Aside from the continually expanding burger scene, new Japanese restaurants and pop ups seem to be dominating the headlines. Upon getting word that an ex-Nobu chef of 15 years has opened a new restaurant in Marylebone, the table for dinner was immediately booked and my imagination ran loose fantasising about what dishes would be served, as Ohisama still does not have a website. Recommended by a friend as having some of the best sushi in London, I can say that my friend’s statement was right on target. Currently operated as a BYOB establishment, Ohisama can go by unnoticed and even seem unappealing from its shop front, with its uninspired interiors and harsh fluorescent lighting. Suffice it to say the ambience will not draw a crowd through its generic glass doors and onto its small sushi bar by the entrance; which is more tolerable that the seating area in the basement that is quite depressing with a tomb-like feeling.  As harsh as the interiors are, one does not go to Ohisama for the scene but to indulge in the food, where all the heart, soul and energy have been poured. The food is exceptional with only a few disappointments; such as the spicy tuna roll, which was less than mediocre; quite frankly surprisingly awful, especially when compared to the spicy tuna roll of Kurobuta. The fried oysters are also not recommendable with an overbearing taste of salt and oozing dollops of oil. Such disappointments however now seem only but a minor infraction in an otherwise delicious meal. The lobster salad was fresh and crunchy, as was the yellow tail sashimi with jalapeƱo. Both are identical to those served in Nobu; it doesn’t take a genius to recognize such signature dishes. The wagyu beef tataki with ponzu sauce is also a winner as it’s seared to perfection with a sauce that makes you want to drink it on its own. The highlights of the meal were the delectable razor clams which I still dream of, the incomparably fresh fatty tuna with a sauce that puts any sauce to shame, which was also featured on the house special roll: the Dr. Watson roll; a heavenly maki of essentially yellowtail. The icing on an otherwise pretty perfect meal was the eel maki with foie gras, which as a roll I feel is a testament to the finesse and creativity of some of the food offered at Ohisama. Despite its unattractive exterior, Ohisama ends up winning you over with its fresh and delicious food. London will soon be hearing more and more of this small outpost in Marylebone, as it wins over one Londoner at a time.

Maki rolls sushi Ohisama

Ohisama on Urbanspoon

4 Jun 2014


Los Angeles, CA

El 7 Mares is a tiny Mexican open-air restaurant in the Silverlake area of LA. I first saw it from across the road when I was having breakfast at FoodLab. I was surprised by how many people were visiting this shabby, gas-station looking eatery. I thought it looked so bad, it had to be good. Later that day I was reading an old TimeOut about cheap eats in LA, and this place was recommended for their fish tacos and ceviche. We headed down at sunset, and there was still a steady flow of people. We parked outside the little, neon-lit building which is placed in the middle of a parking lot, and had a seat in one of the plastic booths. The crowd was a mixture of hipsters and casually dressed Mexicans, creating a very LA vibe. Since we also had two taco food trucks on the list of places to eat that night, we didn't order much. From the illustrated menu above the counter we picked out shrimp tacos and fish tacos. The small portions were served with fresh lime to squeeze over, and a chilli sauce on the side that I didn't need much of due to its spiciness  Both types of tacos were a perfect blend of tangy and salty, and although fried, it did not come off as greasy. Out of the two I preferred the shrimp tacos, but would still order a variety just to mix it up. Their shrimp cocktail is also renowned, so if I ever get to go again, that will be next on my list.