Thursday

Roux at the Landau


So, my (soon to be) brother-in-law is a dab hand with food. He works at Albert and Michel Roux's 'Roux at the Landau' which is nestled in a beautiful dining room at the infamous Langham Hotel, Mr D and I popped in to see him last night for a date night to FINALLY celebrate our home!

Although this will be somewhat of a biased review, I, much like his mum, think's he is the bees knees as a chef and for a big guy Jamie, Head chef Chris King, Oli and the rest of the kitchen cook some of the most de-licious, refined food and delicately plate up their labours looking as pretty as a picture. 

The Landau dining room is stunning, vast and grand. If you get there early, in fact, I INSIST you do. Head to the world famous Artesian Bar in the hotel, even at 6pm on a Wednesday the room was flying high with atmosphere and happy customers. The mixologists there are simply mesmerising and the way they serve up their cocktails is both innovative and just beautiful. On this occasion however, I had a very simple, but refreshing, prosecco.

The entrance to the restaurant is quite dramatic. A hallway showcasing some of the most exquisite wines they have to offer...




This is a restaurant for fine dining and you certainly feel special here. Intimate booths are cleverly positioned so that you feel completely on your own whilst wait staff quietly buzz around you. The restaurant is well known amongst critics for it's excellent service and you definitely notice this when dining at a Roux establishment.


Jamie kindly served up a mini tasting menu so we could taste as much of the kitchens fabulous skills as possible. Thus making this an even better blog as you lucky people get to see lots of the incredible food...

A fantastic selection of in house made bread is presented... I went for the white bread, fig roll.  



We kicked off our feast with scallop with raisins and capers. An incredibly plump, well cooked scallop went perfectly well with the sweet 'sauce' that accompanied. 




Foie gras on a savoury scone, cherries and a sweet jus. 


Mackerel for me, with beetroot and what I think were bits of fried Serrano ham - amazing


Guinea foul, truffle and boudin blanc for Mr D...



Followed by a rather scrumptious rabbit 'pie' for Mr D...




And a perfect Halibut and delicate hand made pasta 'bows' 


Pudding was next up (thankfully as I was near to popping!)

Refreshing panna cotta, as a palate cleanser for the two of us...


Followed by some breath taking(ly) beautiful desserts...

Caramel choux bun (I think!!)- one of those 'oh my god' moments with every mouthful, just incredible!


And the prettiest chocolate millefeuille - wow! Heaven on a plate... there's one thing they never fault on - their puds...



 Petite fours...


And finally... our night caps... (not needed as we paired wine with each course!!)



Although I may be biased, Roux at the Landau is so, SO special. We've enjoyed everyone of our meals there and it has (somehow!) managed to get better and better every time. 

The front of house team are so accommodating (Franco is wonderful!) and we cannot forget the kitchen never faltering to amaze us - thank you.

Cost: Minimum £70pp without pairing wines.
Add: 1 Portland Pl, London, UK 
Phone: (020) 7965 0165 reservations recommended.



 Roux at The Landau on Urbanspoon







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Friday

Flat Iron - steaks, well done!


So, Flat Iron is one of those places I walked past, saw the queue and jotted down on my list of 'go to' places to then find it always seemed to crop up in conversation, and my desire to go burnt stronger.

Us girls like a reason to celebrate and Miss K hadn't had her girls celebration yet for her engagement. So, Thursday last week we popped into Soho and knew exactly where to head. Arriving just in time for us to be able to pop our names on the door we grabbed the table buzzer and zoomed downstairs for 2-4-1 happy hour cocktails in their quaint little bar. 



Upstairs decor is relaxed and follows the trend of reclaimed and upcycled. We had what I thought was one of the nicer tables (due to it being round) for the four of us. My only gripe was that it was right by the loo. Which, when people are queuing behind you whilst eating it's ever so slightly cramped. 


 The menu is simple. For a steak restaurant one may expect a mixture of cuts etc. Well, here at Flat Iron they serve one type called, you guessed it 'The Flat Iron' recommended to be served med-rare for £10. On our visit they also had an onglet for £15 which I sampled below. 

Beef dripping popcorn was ever so scrummy. We ate the lot within seconds and were swiftly brought another. Which again disappeared within rapid time.



The two cuts on offer were sampled.

The Flat Iron by Miss E and Miss C and the onglet by your truly and Miss K. 

Flat Iron
Onglet or 'Hanger Steak'
My onglet was incredibly tender I don't think I really needed the gimmicky cleaver knives that were on the table, and had a wonderful butter-rich flavour to it. Cooked to perfection (rare) with a decent and not over-powered charring to it. I'm not the biggest fan of red meat but this may have converted me. 

I had mine with 'Fred's' sauce. Which was a tomato based chilli sauce.  Giving a decent kick to it it was enjoyable but, I have had better. 



Between the four of us we ordered all the sides....

A very, very good aubergine dish. Creamed spinach, extra salad which came with pecans and blue cheese and a yummy dressing and some expertly done chips - crispy on the outside and super fluffy within.




 There's only two puddings on the menu a chocolaty thing and this...mother of all simple, naughty, delicious puddings. Salted caramel mousse! OH-MY-DAYS...

We had two and I think I basically scraped the cup clean with my finger afterwards. It was amazing...really, light and fluffy but full of flavour. We were told to add more salt on top to being out the caramel more and it certainly did. 


Flat Iron may be one of my most enjoyable places I've been to recently of the 'no reservations' trend that has emerged which, (usually) infuriates me. That said, they do a mean steak, fantastic sides and a great drink menu. We came out spending approx £30 per person including service and (plenty of) booze - bargain!

Flat Iron on Urbanspoon

http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/view/109151/Flat_Iron?utm_source=Blog&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=Link
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Brasserie Chavot

I haven't blogged in a wee while which some people have noticed...I am sorry I've been a little busy...

So, last week was my birthday. I'm now fully into my final year of my twenties by just a week and I'm coping...just!

But, last weekend my love, my best friend asked me to marry him, and I said 'YES' amidst tears of happiness and total surprise. It's the most incredible, wonderful, indescribable feeeeeeling (I bet you're singing Aladin now aren't you?!). He asked me at my favourite place in the world which, I happen to have blogged about before, The Wellinton Arms

So, I am a week behind and now back to the food...

Mr D was away on work and therefore hoping my spare room would at least have a bed in it I demanded asked my parents to pop down and stay. The bed is still at Peter Jones and currently I have no hot water - the JOYS of home owning! But, my family still came down for a long weekend, they're good like that.

To be honest this will possibly be one of the shortest blogs I've done, ever! I didn't want to get my blogging brain on for the means of a post. I just wanted to enjoy the food and the company I was in. 

Brasserie Chavot has been awarded a Michelin star, since our first visit, and I love that it still remains very much the same restaurant I loved then. It is wholeheartedly French. I was transported back to my wonderful weekend in Paris. It's opulent, without being OTT and just feels a little bit special.

Ordering glasses of Ruinart and bottles of wine our meal commenced.  

Starter for me:



The lightest, crispest soft shelled crab. served with a whipped aioli. The crab had a great flavour to it with spice added to the batter mix. Simple but completely delicious!

Main:


Sea Bream, perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. Served with a refreshing chunky raita. 

Annnnndddd...



The Baba au Rhum was a dessert I totally fell in love with from this very same restaurant, over a year ago. I shared this with the lovely Miss G and enjoyed every.single.bit. Completely soaked in sweet rhum the sponge still stood proud and was super bouncy. Yet still managing to be light and just, delicious. The thin ribbons of pineapple gave a contrasting sharpness.

If you have a love for Paris, like me, head here. It really won't disappoint.

Brasserie Chavot on Urbanspoon


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Kurobuta Marble Arch




So one of my girls has gone and got a rather beautiful sparkler on her finger (and a new job!). Already having a larger get together to celebrate with the men in our lives, last night called for a girlie catch up and a good try on look at that sparkler. 

Kurobuta has opened another fantastic restaurant in what I could call Connaught Village but it is often described as Marble Arch. Take a short walk past Mr Blair's house and you'll find it nestled in the quaint little village-y area which is a stones throw from Marble Arch itself.


The interior is super sleek and effortless. Much bigger than it's sister restaurant which I have previously blogged about here and far, far less cramped. But, I do LOVE the charm of the Chelsea spot as it feels so much more intimate and original. 

Blagging a table at 6:30 was easy enough, although any later and we wouldn't have been seated till 9ish. The place is buzzing and has a great atmosphere even for our early sitting. 


Wine ordered, we had a bowl of their incredibly more-ish edemame beans which has been flame licked and doused in lemon, salt and butter. The butter made these little beans sing and Miss G and I quickly finished the bowl.(not photographed).

Then came the hardest part, deciding what to have. Seemingly difficult as we wanted more or less the whole menu we decided on choosing two items each and going from there. Apologies for the photos I was more interested in gossiping and it was (sadly) getting dark - at 7pm!!! CRYYYY!!!

First up Scallop sashimi with Kimchee Butter and Tobilco. 



Another flame kissed delicacy these plump beauties were swimming in a sweet/sour sauce. Topped with lashing of baby onions, roe and sesame seeds. Seemingly getting mixed reviews from some I actually rather liked the sharpness of the sauce. It was a refreshing little number...



Squid Kara-age with jalapeño dipping sauce was a little underwhelming. Perhaps as the portion size was a bit stingy for £8.50. The flavour was there and the dipping sauce was scrummy, it just didn't look as appealing as one could make it. 


Spicy tuna maki was incredibly fresh and some of the better I have tasted. But gone have the tempura crunchies I so loved at my previous visit. Still, an awesome bit of sushi and decent value.


One of my favourites to order when gorging on Japanese is miso-aubergine and here it is done excellently. Little nuggets of a smoked, sticky, silky aubergine were set perfectly against a crunchy, candied walnut. Great contrast in flavour and texture, I'm sorry my photo (especially here) does not do it justice in the slightest!


The 'Pièce de résistance' came in the form of three mini wagyu beef sliders in a steamed bun, crunchy onions, cucumber and umami mayo. Yes, OH.MY.GOD! The crisp onions were (I think) in panko crumbs so gave a brilliant crisp element to the very succulent beef. The buns were of the hirata type and perfectly light and fluffy but with a little scorched topping thus adding a slightly firmer texture from the usual. Really delicious however I'm still not over fussed on the wagyu craze, I'm not entirely sure I could tell any difference when in burger form. But, I would definitely have these beauties again.

A bottle and some glasses down we called it a night. This was actually the perfect amount for three people however, I was eyeing up the ribs on the table next door and will definitely be trying some of their house Sake the next time. It's a fabulous place. Wonderful atmosphere and yummy, innovative Japanese cooking. £40-50pp 

A: 17-20 KENDAL STREET, LONDON, W2 2AW
P:0203 475 4158
Kurobuta on Urbanspoon

http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/notfound?item=%2frestaurant%2fkurobuta-marble-arch&user=extranet%5cAnonymous&site=website




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Thursday

Fire and Feathers - Posh Nando's


So, yesterday was National Burger Day! In that case I went for a Chicken dinner at the brand new Fire and Feathers on the Fulham Road. It's a Piri-Piri joint so, a spruced up Nando's (which I must admit, for the right occasion, I'm a fan of). 

We reached the door by 7pm to be more or less the only people in here for a good 20mins or so (it eventually became pretty busy). There's a no reservations policy so, if you're craving spiced chicken then head down early(ish). 

The décor is upcycled rustic materials and there's a hint of Portuguese traditions in the tiling, which I'm lead to believe are authentic. 



We started off with some cocktails which were Portuguese twists on the originals we are familiar with. I started with a Piri-piri bloody Mary which wasn't as spiced as one was expecting but still, a pretty good BM. 


Miss A chose their 'Os Espumante’s Prosecco' with raspberry. 


The menu is short and snappy... a couple of starters and very few mains. 

Chicken 3 ways, steak, sandwich, a fish and a veggie and to be honest what more do you want?


Whilst we waited on the other members of our party to join whom were coming a while later we decided to share a few starters between the four of us.

Chorizo: Plentiful and delicious in taste however, quite a few pieces were what one would call a little 'over-charred' (AKA burnt).

The platter of Iberico cured meat was, again, on the larger side that I was expecting but who can complain about over-sizing portions?! The meat had fantastic flavour and is obviously well sourced but was just ever so slightly too thickly cut in parts. 



The girls amongst us ordered some gluten free bread to mop up the juices which was as good as gluten free bread can be... 



The all-round favourite starter of the evening were the garlic King prawns which came in a fantastic tomato/garlic/oily sauce. Half shelled for the diners ease and seriously succulent they had a good amount of spice and were simply heavenly.




For mains I think we all thought it would be a sin not to order the chicken and managed to get all three flavourings amongst us. Reading up beforehand I was aware that the 'whole' chicken is in fact a poussin (approx 550g of meat incl. bone) and we were also informed by the lovely waitress that the 'half' is actually coming off the menu very soon (possibly due to so many people being confused by the size).  

The competitive (girls) amongst us decided on the so called 'Dynamite' whole poussin chicken. And yes, they aren't wrong in telling you to get a whole chicken per person. The chicken is expertly cooked with crisp skin and succulent meat. The dynamite marinade is pretty blow your head off stuff even for the chilli fiends amongst us (it does come with a warning). But all in all I thoroughly enjoyed every (burning) mouthful!


For the £12.95 whole chicken you get a choice of side of which I went for the African spiced rice (more spice!). Peppered with peas, corn and bacon it was a great side and even greater to pour into the sauce from the above chicken.  


I sampled Mr D's Piri-piri chicken. This immediately brought me back to my childhood plonked in a shack off Val Do Lobo beach - heaven! A nice mild spice in comparison to the dynamite and again the meat cooked to perfection. The only slight gripe was that it was a little on the greasy side. 



The chips were a triumph crisp outer, fluffy inner. 


We continued the evening until the bar was shut (around 10:30pm)drinking reasonably priced prosecco and Portuguese beers. 

For a quick bite and a cheap eat en route home, this isn't a bad new spot. The relaxed atmosphere is welcoming to larger, rowdier groups (there was a large b'day party when we were in) and I think that adds to the charm of the place. It is a grown-ups (or a Chelsea) Nando's and a great one at that. We spoke about there being an additional middle spiced version between the Piri-piri and the dynamite for those wanting a chilli kick over a rather large blast!!

£45pp with booze
A: 343 fulham road. sw10 9tw
Website: hereT: 0203 0110 081 

Fire and Feathers on Urbanspoon




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