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  • The Plot Twist

    Beans on toast.  Steak and chips.  Wine and cheese.  All pretty familiar meal time combinations.  But Hungarian food together with Italian food?  Never heard of that one before!  While both of these cuisines rank pretty highly on my list of favourite foods, I’ve never eaten them in the same sitting.  There may well be a reason for that, which I shall come to later.  However, I found myself indulging in the staple food of both of these great nations thanks to The Plot Twist and their new pop-up restaurant in Holborn.  If comfort food is your thing then you need to hit these guys up because you won’t be disappointed. The…

  • Tang at St Giles

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love autumn.  In fact, it’s probably my favourite time of year.  But the combination of the clocks going back and stupidly long hours spent in the office have left me in need of a little pick-me-up.  And pick-me-ups don’t get much littler than Tang.  Not because it didn’t have the desired effect, but because it is genuinely tiny.  This weeny Chinese restaurant is hidden away in one of those strangely unpalatable parts of the West End, just off Tottenham Court Road, and you’ll definitely need to keep your eyes peeled to find it.  It’s worth wandering up and down the tourist-choked streets of WC1, however, because Tang is a hidden…

  • Chifafa

    You don’t mess with a man’s kebab.  No, that’s not a euphemism.  This was a piece of advice given to me by my teenage crush John, back when I used to hang out in the dive bars and clubs of Newport.  You see, John was more interested in his post-club styrofoam container of kebab meat and chips than he was in talking to me so, in a fit of pique, I knocked it out of his hands and on to the floor.  It did not have the desired effect.  With his faith in the five second rule clearly intact, John gathered his food off the pavement and so spoke those words of wisdom.  I have…

  • A Mexican adventure with Yelp

    Everyone’s a critic these days.  And with so many apps and websites around, having your say on a bar, restaurant or hotel has never been easier.  But how do you pick your weapon of choice?  Really, what’s the difference between them all?  Well, most of you have probably heard of Yelp.  But what you may not know is that they also organise events and reward their members with something other than a virtual badge.  If you write lots of reviews, you eventually get made into a “Yelp Elite” which gives you access to all sorts of goodies.  I’m not a “Yelper” (as they like to call themselves), but I was…

  • Mercato Metropolitano

    Every now and then, a magical night happens in London.  They are little gems, strung together like a Swarovski bracelet, that remind you why you love living in a big, chaotic city.  I recently experienced one of those nights at, believe it or not, a disused factory down the road from Elephant and Castle station.  Sounds a bit odd?  Well, this old factory has been transformed into the most wonderful food market called Mercato Metropolitano.  If Italian food is your thing, then this is the place to be.  And if Italian food just makes you yawn and shrug your shoulders, then this is definitely the place to be, because your mind will be changed. Mercato…

  • Tayyabs

    First dates are the worst.  I particularly hate first dates that involve going to a restaurant because I get so nervous that eating – such a simple thing – becomes impossible.  So a first date that involves not just food, but very spicy food, really is the stuff of nightmares for me.  On the plus side, however, this date took place at Tayyab’s.  Despite the fact that the relationship eventually crashed and burned, I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to this gem of a restaurant. Tayyab’s is a Punjabi restaurant tucked away down a side street in Whitechapel.  It is something of a local institution, with people prepared to queue…

  • 10 Food Brands You Need In Your Life

    I’m guilty of being horribly lazy when it comes to food.  There are so many new brands coming onto the market every day that working out what’s what can sometimes feel like way too much hassle.  Recently, however, I’ve dragged myself out of my food rut and complied a list of speciality food brands which will amuse your bouche. Zooteek With the arrival of restaurants like Pix and Eneko, Basque food is finally having its moment here in the UK.  It’s perhaps best known for pintxos – small snacks such as slices of bread topped with meat or fish and held together with a toothpick – but don’t make the mistake of thinking…

  • Artusi

    London’s a strange one.  You move here all bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited by the endless variety and eager to explore all that the capital has to offer.  Fast forward several years and you find that the city has shrunk to a bubble of “home” and “work”.  That’s why it’s great to suddenly find an excuse to venture beyond the borders of your own little world.  For me, that excuse has been flat-hunting – and my search took me to Peckham and Artusi. Peckham’s association with Only Fools and Horses is long gone.  These days you’re more likely to find a beardy hipster sipping on a Negroni instead of Del Boy knocking back…

  • Cafe Murano

    Mondays suck.  There is very little doubt about this.  Dragging yourself out of bed at an unreasonably early time, squishing onto the sweaty tube, dealing with emails before you’ve had a cup of coffee.  No thank you.  However, there are one or two things that can improve a Monday.  Leaving work at lunchtime always helps.  A visit from your mum and lunch at a top restaurant, like Cafe Murano, pretty much guarantees a better start to the week. Here’s the thing.  Cafe Murano isn’t actually a cafe.  It’s a rather sophisticated restaurant from Angela Hartnett, former chef-patron of The Connaught.  The “cafe” element comes from the fact that it’s a more laid-back version of…

  • Bao

    I used to date a guy whose motto was “we don’t queue, we don’t pay, we just large it”.  Many years later, I can safely say that I do pay and I’m not really sure that I large it.  I do also often find myself queuing, much as I dislike it.  Therefore queuing for a restaurant is something I try to avoid, especially when there are plenty of bookable, queue-free options around and when London weather is not exactly queue-friendly.  This is why I had never been to Bao.  Until now.  And yes, I did have to queue.  And yes, it was totally worth it. A bao is a Taiwanese steamed bun…