There have been 20 entries in The Food Diaries! People seem to enjoy them, which I’m glad to see and I enjoy writing them because what’s not to love about food? (Except when you’re dying from an allergic reaction, ahem)

These days I’ve been craving fried chicken like a pregnant lady, so it’s only right that I must write a post about fried chicken. More specifically fried chicken burgers.

Other Side Fried were promoting on Instagram free chicken burgers for the first 100 people that headed over to Dirty South in Lewisham. My fat ass obviously had to get in on the action. Unfortunately, I missed out on the free burger but still got 30% off my order.

What came next was an unbelievable amount of happiness because their burgers are out of this world. And I don’t put that lightly.

I ordered the O.S.F burger – fried chicken, brown butter mayo, parmesan, garlic, lettuce. Whoever came up with brown butter mayo deserves an award because what the hell? What is that sweet elixir? The fried chicken was the perfect amount of crispy and juicy. Have you ever bit into a burger and the juices come running down the side of your mouth and you look like a hot mess? But you’re okay with that because the food is so damn good

Alongside the burger, I also ordered the Dirty Fries – bacon, parmesan, hot sauce, ranch sauce. Aside from fried chicken, cheese is another one of my weaknesses. (Now that I write that I’m wary that people can actually exploit me because all they need to do is give me fried chicken and cheese and I will do anything for them).

Speaking of, potatoes are so versatile, don’t you think? I could probably write a whole post on the versatility of potatoes – boiled or baked, to steamed, roasted, microwaved or fried. EVEN ALCOHOL. But anyway…

The fries were so delicious, especially with all the toppings – such an explosion of flavour in my mouth. It was a religious experience. There was a feeling of complete satisfaction when I finished the meal ~ the kind where you have to lean back in your seat and pop the button on your jeans. (I usually wear stretchy pants on food trips, but I don’t know what happened on that day)

You’ll be pleased to hear that I did manage to get a free chicken burger in the end at the opening of Peckham Levels back in December. This time I went for the Honey Butter burger – fried chicken, smoked honey butter, bacon, pickles, lettuce. It’s not me that is crying. It’s you. When the honey butter drips onto your fingers, you got to lick that shit clean because YOU ARE NOT A WASTEFUL PERSON. 😍

Could I wax any more lyrical about Other Side Fried? Yes, most likely. But then you’d all be like, “Shut up, Chynna. We get it. You love fried chicken!” when really you should ultimately be planning your next trip to Other Side Fried. Okay? Okay.

It is now me that must go to every single spot that they serve their burgers. Obviously.

Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ

Dirty South, 162 Lee High Road, London, SE13 5PR

Peckham Levels, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST

Unit 62, The Loft, Camden Lock Market, London, NW1 8AF

 

 

 

 

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity”. ~ Louise Fresco

It has been a hot minute since I last posted an entry to The Food Diaries!

Last November, I was invited to Lotus Bar to try out their new Christmas canapés. I also had the opportunity to try out one of their Christmas cocktails, as well!

Located on Clapham High Street, Lotus Bar specialises in Italian food making an emphasis on unique flavours. Their recipes come from family secret ingredients and I could definitely tell this when I got to try their food!

Lotus Bar is a great place to hang out with friends, if you’re on a date or if you’re looking for a new place to try out solo.

My companion and I arrived at Lotus Bar and were immediately given a seat by the window. I had already emailed over my preferences for which canapés we would try and so I was excited to get going. Our waiter kindly explained what cocktails they had on offer and I decided to go for the Christmas Tease. This contained rum, dark rum and Wray & Nephew – it was like a party in my mouth. 😍 Rum is sometimes too overpowering for some, especially if there are more than one in the drink, but this was surprisingly sweet and not too strong.

It didn’t take too long for the canapés to come out and we feasted on the following:

▫️ King prawn skewers with strawberry and balsamic vinegar
▫️ Deep fried croquettes with parma ham and cheese
▫️ Bruschetta with pan-fried aubergine, fresh chopped tomato, basil and ricotta cheese
▫️ Creamed dried cod served with warm bread
▫️ Warm chocolate brownie with custard

Everything was so delicious. My favourite canapé had to be the king prawn skewers! The sourness of the vinegar was offset by the sweetness of the strawberry, making it even tastier. I really liked the croquettes, as well, although I do feel there should have been a little more ham in them.

When the dessert came out after we finished out canapés, my eyes lit up. I love brownies and I love custard – put them together and you’ve got gold. Heartwarming, delicious and filling; I definitely could have eaten another helping!

The presentation of the canapés was really beautiful, so not only is your stomach feasting but so are your eyes. I didn’t even know where to begin when the food came out!

The service was really good and our waiter was patient in explaining everything on the menu. This is something I always look for when I go out to eat. If your waiter is rude and not willing to be accommodating, then what is the point?

Will I be visiting Lotus Bar again? Yes! I also love that it is so local to me. If you love Italian food, then you should definitely check this place out.

76 Clapham High St
London
SW4 7UL

T: 020 7720 2516

I was provided with free food and drinks in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and are not influenced by Lotus Bar in any way.

When your friend relies on you to take them to the best food places, you kind of have to pull out all the stops. Aside from myself and Mutay’s monthly dinner, I also meet up regularly with one of my friends and take her to what I believe to be the best places to eat in London.

There have been some places which have been completely new to me, as well, however, my gut is always right and the places we’ve visited have been amazing.

Last month, I decided on Flesh & Buns for our meet up as I had been before and was absolutely floored by how good the food was. 

Flesh & Buns is an Izakaya pub-style venue located in Covent Garden. The restaurant is underground, and the decor and lighting are really nice. I found the service really good and all the waiters that served us were very friendly (and cute, but that point is irrelevant).

There are so many things to choose from on the menu – you can choose from sushi to rice bowls or if you fancy noodles or chicken wings, it is all there. They also have some delicious cocktails!

It took me ages to decide what I wanted for my main, but for my starter, I immediately knew that I wanted the prawn tempura roll and Korean fried wings. As I don’t get many opportunities to eat good sushi due to my allergies to fish, I always try and grab one when it’s presented to me. 

The rolls were absolutely delicious! Especially with the wasabi. It had yuzu mayo, avocado and tobiko.  Also, the more wasabi, the better – you gotta feel that burn in your nose! Also, I really love pickled ginger. My eyes bugged out of my head when they brought out the Korean fried wings as I wasn’t expecting them to be so big! Covered in this beautiful spicy sour sauce and sesame seeds, I would say that if you’re on a first date, maybe don’t order the wings because they are very sticky, very messy but oh so yummy. They were perfectly done with just the right amount of spice.

For my main, we decided to go for the restaurant’s namesake which is their flesh and buns. You have the option of what “flesh” you want, so, for example, you can get steak, chicken or duck. I went for the crispy piglet belly. We also went for their offer of 2 buns for £2. The crispy piglet belly which comes with a salad alongside mustard miso. It was SO delicious. The pork was really tender with the skin being nice and crispy! The buns are steamed so are super soft – you basically make a sandwich and go to town!

I left that restaurant feeling pregnant but with no regrets.

Overall, I had a fantastic time on my second visit to Flesh & Buns. The atmosphere in the restaurant is really good, the food is (of course) amazing and I loved the service. I will definitely be visiting and I would definitely recommend this place if you live in or are visiting London.


41 Earlham St
London
WC2H 9LX

T: 020 7632 9500

I’ve been to eat in the Shard one other time and that’s because I won a WeSwap competition and got a £100 voucher for Hutong. (PS. We went over the £100 and had to pay extra, but what did you really expect from me?)

Eating in the Shard is the pinnacle of fancy living. High rise restaurants with a 360º view of London? Yeah, you know you’re living the good life. Especially when you have to pay for the water…

So, my mother turned 60 last July and you only turn 60 once, right? She decided she wanted to live her best life and so she left it to me to pick a restaurant that was specifically in the Shard. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from but Oblix was the one that stood out to me!

Oblix is a contemporary grill restaurant based on the 32nd floor of the Shard. The views are absolutely stunning, however, they don’t take requests for window seats so you’ll have to be lucky to get one. Nevertheless, you can book through the website making it really easy. I also phoned the day before to arrange for them to write a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on my mum’s dessert, and everything went smoothly.

My original plan was to bring a cake to the restaurant for them to bring it out, but they have a cake charge which is per head. When the lady I was speaking to mentioned they could write the message on her dessert, I decided to go for that because it just made life a lot simpler. (We ended up getting a small cake and doing the candles and stuff at home, which you can watch here).

There’s an automatic lift that will take you all the way to the 32nd floor and as soon as you arrive they take your coats and bags to put in their cloakroom. The waitress’ uniforms were these cute flared dresses, which I absolutely adored. All the servers were so friendly as well, asking us if we had a good day so far and even saying happy birthday when I mentioned it was my mum’s birthday.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, but still had a good view from where we were sitting! The menu is quite extensive ranging from grilled diver scallops, king oyster mushrooms & hazelnuts to grilled aubergine, yoghurt, mint & pomegranate… fancy or wot? 😮

WHILE WE DECIDED…

We had some nibbles from the ‘While You Decide’ section of the menu, which was yummy. We started with chorizo, herb croutons & rosemary and also the parmesan cheese with honey. Please note these are NOT starters, they are literally nibbles because they came in such smol bowls.We were given bread whilst we waited for our meal and we had also ordered drinks. I went for the Pink Cadillac and I honestly don’t remember what was in it, but I do know it was delicious. And pink. Always a win/win. I was more interested in the main anyway, and there was so much to choose from…

THE JOSPER OVEN

I was originally going to order the rib-eye, but I spotted the lamb and I just had to order it. I’m glad I did! These lamb chops were marinated in harissa giving the meal a beautiful fragrant smell and a wonderful spicy kick with each bite. Paired with yoghurt, there was a wonderful combination was cool and hot. I also ordered the jersey royal potatoes, which gave the meal much-needed carbs. The presentation was amazing and my eyes literally lit up when the waiter came over with my plate.

The meal was very filling, as well, and I thought, “Oh no, I’m not going to have room for dessert!” but I really don’t know who I was kidding. 😂

DESSERTS

I wanted to go for the New York cheesecake, but unfortunately, it had nuts so that was a definite no go. In the end, I chose the strawberry & rose Eton mess. There were freshly cut strawberries and mini meringues which went really well with the sorbet. It was so refreshing! Again, the presentation was on point – kudos to Oblix, y’all know how to make food look pretty! For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of my dessert which is so unusual for me!

My mum ended up ordering the cheesecake, and I was smiling so big when they came over the dessert and it had the message and even a candle which they had lit up! So cute.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Oblix and I will definitely be back sometime in the future. There is so much on the menu that I want to try!

Level 32
The Shard
31 St. Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RY

T: 020 7268 6700

Feed me tapas and I’m yours forever. In fact, feed me tapas and cocktails, and I will definitely be yours forever.

Brixton has a plethora of restaurants to eat at and one day I will eat at all of them. Located inside Brixton Market, Seven at Brixton is a tapas and cocktail bar serving breakfast, lunch and evening tapas. With its mismatched tables and graffiti decor, it’s a cosy little place.

Downstairs has an open bar area with seating, which also gave off a rustic feel. It reminded me of this little bar my friends and I stumbled upon when we were in Barcelona.

Upstairs are four different rooms that serve as a space for local artists and you can take in the art installations as you eat some really yummy food.

Okay, so onto the food. Just in case you don’t know:

A tapa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtapa]), in Spanish cuisine, is an appetizer, or snack. It may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid). – Wikipedia

You can order several different tapas, or you can be lazy like we were and order a large sharing board. What I love about tapas cuisine is the sharing aspect of it. Sometimes one dish isn’t enough, but the ability to have several small dishes and just pick and choose what you want is great!

The large sharing board at Seven at Brixton is as follows: a selection of Spanish cheeses, chorizo, jamon Serrano, patatas bravas, piquillo peppers & cornichons. Served with warm focaccia & oil.

SO GOOD. HONESTLY SO, SO GOOD.

Let me pick apart the board and tell you what I think.

A selection of Spanish cheeses, chorizo, jamon Serrano, patatas bravas, piquillo peppers & cornichons. Served with warm focaccia & oil

Cheese is something you can’t go wrong with unless of course, you are lactose intolerant. So sorry if you are. The sharp tang of some of the cheeses went well with the hams and chorizo! Literally tantalising my taste buds.

Chorizo is my favourite type of cured sausage. It goes great with anything: on a pizza, in a sandwich, on its own. I could have literally had two more dishes of this delicious sausage.

I am not a fan of pickles, but I feel like the board would not be complete without the cornichons. They complimented the food really well, and actually if you took a bite of the patatas bravas (something I can’t get enough of and will praise all day if you let me) and cornichons it tastes like salt and vinegar crisps. 😂

Focaccia is a great bread and definitely went well with the meal, especially smothered in the oil. Also, it makes a great base for an open-faced sandwich with the cheese and ham.

To round it all off, they have really good cocktails! They taste yummy and they’re strong – just the way I like it. My favourite had to be the ginger beer & basil mojito (Santa Teresa rum, basil, lime, brown sugar & ginger beer). Their cocktail menu does change, and I think their Spring menu has just dropped (which is just another excuse for me to go back, obviously).

I love the chilled atmosphere in Seven at Brixton, the waitress who served us was really friendly, and they had some really good music! This quirky little restaurant is a must-visit if you’re in Brixton.

Unit 7
Market Row
Brixton
London
SW9 8LB

T: 0207 998 3309

The problem with most places that I go to eat out at is that I have to be super careful with my allergies. It’s one of the reasons why I rarely visit Thai restaurants because of their use of peanuts. Nevertheless, I try not to let that stop me because then I wouldn’t go anywhere, would I?

Mutay and I always have monthly dinner dates (something I’ve mentioned before and is good for my sanity). Last month’s date took as to ROKA on Charlotte Street!

ROKA is a Japanese restaurant with spacious surroundings and a central, open top grill kitchen in the middle. You can see the chefs bustling around preparing everyone’s food, which is something I love watching. We had a table situated on the side, so we didn’t get to see much but it was still pretty cool.

ROKA specialises in robatayaki cuisine. 

In Japanese cuisine, robatayaki (炉端焼き, literally “fireside-cooking”), often shortened to just robata (ろばた in hiragana), refers to a method of cooking, similar to barbecue, in which items of food on skewers are slow-grilled over hot charcoal. – Wikipedia

We got a table through Bookatable, so ours was a special deal which meant we got 3 courses and a glass of bubbles for only £33 per person. 

The waitress explained that the majority of their starters used a fish based sauce, which was very unfortunate for me because I’m allergic to fish (honestly, I’ve no idea how I’ve survived on this earth for so long either, guys). Thankfully, she said that she would speak to the chef and they’d come up with a specialised menu. 

I particularly love that there wasn’t that much of a fuss made and I commend her for handling it so well – it happened again later with the dessert too because they used nuts in the dessert I wanted originally, but they made a special version of it for me, instead. 

My only annoyance was that I didn’t get to have the kimchi that I was so looking forward to because they used fish stock, but it was only a minor issue.

For the starters, our confusion was that we had to pick one, but the lady explained that everything on the list was a starter. Imagine our excitement! The original menu included kimchi, sashimi, beef dumplings, and sashimi tempura but with the alterations, it was slightly different.

We started off with these edible leaves with a really nice dressing. I’m sorry to say I don’t know the name of the dish, but it was very yummy! We also had gyuniku to goma no gyoza (beef, ginger & sesame dumplings), which is definitely something I recommend you try. Paired with the sauce, it was delicious. Next was the vegetable tempura, which was great! Tempura is just a dish of either seafood or vegetables battered and deep fried. It makes for a great snack, actually. Also, because I couldn’t have the sashimi, they made cucumber maki for me instead which was still yummy.

Starters! Not pictured is the cucumber maki.

There were no problems with the mains, so nothing was altered. I opted for gyuhireniku no pirikara yakiniku (beef sirloin, chilli, spring onion), which also came along with steamed rice. The beef was so tender, it practically fell off my fork. I’m not exactly sure of the sauce it came with, but it was extremely tasty and I’m guessing it was soy sauce based. You can’t really go wrong with rice, either. I wish the main course didn’t end so quickly, but I guess that’s because I wolfed it down like I hadn’t been fed in a hundred years. 

Look at the presentation! Amazing 😍

The last course was dessert, for which had to be altered, but I’m extremely grateful they went out of their way to do so. I went for hokkaido no yawaraka cheesecake (cotton soft cheesecake, robata grilled pear, cream cheese ice cream). It was a great way to end what was already a fantastic meal!

This was amazing cheesecake and paired with the crunchiness of the pears and softness of the ice cream, it was delightful!

We had a really enjoyable dinner, and I’d just like to bring up again how lovely the servers were and how accommodating they were. I absolutely wish more restaurants were like this – it definitely makes it a lot easier for people who enjoy eating out but are restricted by allergies. 

37 Charlotte Street
London
W1T 1RR
United Kingdom

T +44 (0) 20 7580 6464

Nothing gets much better than pizza. There, I said it. You can preach about everything being better than pizza to me, but I will resolutely stand by what I just said. Nothing is quite like a circular dough base covered in tomato sauce, cheese and any topping you want.

A new pizza restaurant opened up in Crystal Palace called Four Hundred Rabbits boasting their sourdough pizza and craft beer. Too right they should boast. They already have one branch in Nunhead, but as that is not a place I usually go to I am glad they opened up one in Crystal Palace, a place I frequent often. 

decor @ 400 Rabbits ft. my friend’s head

I’ve visited twice now, and I’ve been impressed both times. I was originally meant to visit around Christmas time with some friends, but when we arrived they had closed early for a staff Christmas party. Kind of sucked, but we did end up in Pizza at the Palace which was really good. That’s for another post, though.

Located on Westow Street, Four Hundred Rabbits serve delicious organic sourdough pizzas: “Lavish toppings come in the form of seasonal British produce, all complemented by San Marzano tomatoes and fior de latte mozzarella.” Mozzarella is honestly my weakness. I love cheese in general, but give me mozzarella and I’m yours forever.

My first visit I ordered their iberico chorizo, pickled chillis, tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza. I dreamt about it that night. I remember when I was younger I was never a fan of thin pizzas. Every time my Lola or my mother took me to Pizza Hut, I would always opt for deep dish. I only really started enjoying thin pizzas a couple of years ago when I went to Franco Manca. I’d been to Pizza Express before, but I’m not really a fan of their pizzas (shock, horror). The pizza at 400 Rabbits was really good, and it was just the right amount of spicy and if you want to add extra punch, they do have chilli oil, as well.

iberico chorizo, pickled chillis, tomato, mozzarella and basil 🍕

Alongside pizzas, they also have craft beers and dessert. I didn’t try any of their craft beers because I don’t really drink beer in general, but I did try their dessert. I didn’t get any on my first visit, however the server was really nice and actually gave me a waffle biscuit and said I could steal some of my friends’. 😂 My second visit I did end up getting two scoops of milk chocolate gelato topped with marshmallows. It was so delicious!

all the different craft beers available 🍺

honestly, their rabbit branding is so cute 🐰

The mini marshmallows were everything 😍

My second visit I ordered the ground, aged hereford beef, green chilli, onions, tomato and mozzarella pizza. So, so good! It is a pretty messy pizza, but in a good way. There was quite a bit of onion on my pizza, which gave it an extra crunch. Although like half the toppings would slid off when I grabbed a slice because the base was so thin so probably couldn’t handle all that, it was really tasty. 

ground, aged hereford beef, green chilli, onions, tomato and mozzarella 🍕

Overall, I really enjoyed 400 Rabbits both times I visited. The food was delicious and the servers were really friendly, as well, which is a plus. Would definitely be making this a regular haunt!

30-32 Westow St
London
SE19 3AH

T: 020 8771 6249

First things first – I hate being misled. If you’re offering all you can eat KBBQ for lunch AND dinner, that is what I expect to have when I turn up for lunch. It even advertises this fact outside the restaurant, too. I should have really taken a picture of the poster outside as evidence, but whatever.

Despite this misfortunate event, I still had a somewhat enjoyable experience at Kalbi Korean BBQ & Sushi.

Kalbi Korean BBQ & Sushi restaurant is situated in Islington and was fortunately only a one bus journey from where I live. From my research, it is also one of the very few places in London that do all you can eat KBBQ. Understandably, I was disappointed when I didn’t get to experience it but I will for sure be coming back in the evening to try it out.

We were lucky to catch their special 3-course lunch which included a drink, appetiser and main. The waiter also served as kimchi and kongnamul-muchim side dishes, which were so yummy! Depending on what you order, the lunch deal can be as low as £9.90! Kalbi has quite a selection to choose from, so I’ll start with the appetisers.

kimchi can leave me on read, m8

Appetiser

You can choose between: mandu, kkanpunggi, agedashi tofu, salmon & avocado roll, California roll

I opted for the mandu. Mandu are dumplings that can be grilled, fried, steamed or boiled. They are usually filled with minced meat, tofu, green onions, garlic and ginger and served with kimchi and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar and chilli. The ones I were served were absolutely delicious and although it did take a while for them to come out, actually arriving AFTER my main, it was worth the wait.

My friend went for the kkanpunggi. Kkanpunggi is spicy garlic fried chicken stir-fried with vegetables and a sweet, sour, spicy sauce. She let me try a piece and I absolutely fell in love. It was delicious and the flavours in my mouth were delectable. Something tells me this dish would go great with an ice cold beer 😋

kkanpunggi :: photo cr; sharmayne

Main

It was quite difficult deciding what we wanted for our main as they several things to choose from including hotpot, bibimbap, and katsu curry. We had to send the waiter away several times because we still hadn’t decided what we wanted! 

Eventually, I ended up going for the sizzling bulgogi, specially marinated top side beef, and my friend went for the chicken teriyaki, grilled chicken thigh with teriyaki sauce. Both dishes came with a side of rice, which definitely made my day.

check out the smoke on that bad boy 😍

My dish was so tasty – I especially loved that when it arrived you could hear the sizzle of the beef indicating it was freshly cooked. The beef was tender and I loved the onions and vegetables that came with it. Paired with the rice, it was the perfect lunch. 

My only gripe, of course, is the advertisement of lunch KBBQ when in fact there was none. The service was also a bit slow. Other than that, the food definitely made up for these things, and I will definitely be coming back again!

36 Rosebery Ave
London
EC1R 5HP

T: 020 7278 0008

I always find there’s no need to go out and eat Filipino food when I can just get it at home. I actually only visited a Filipino restaurant for the first time in London a few years back – totally worth it; but you’d understand why I don’t need to really go. It’s like for our Christmas lunch at work, my colleague suggested a place called Dutchies that specialises in Jamaican food – again, why? When I get that at my Lola’s every week?

Anyway, I digress.

Whilst I was in the Philippines, I actually got to meet up with Tiff of The Pandie Explorer for lunch! It was so lovely seeing her again, and even nicer for the fact that I was on her home turf. Meeting up with bloggers in real life is so awesome. It’s so nice to put a face to the blog – like, even though you know what the person looks like already, it’s so much better in real life. I honestly can’t wait until I get the chance to meet even more bloggers 😊

We went to a restaurant called Victorino’s located in Quezon City, Metro Manila. I was lucky enough to have my Tito drop me off, so I didn’t have to brave public transport to get there. I would have totally got lost, I bet.

The restaurant is lovely and spacious. I actually arrived first and was seated in the front dining area. They have a little shop located in that area selling various products from Ilocos, which is cute. The waiter immediately filled my glass with cucumber water, and continued to do so throughout the entirety of the meal which was nice. My mum hung around cause she’s a loser and wanted to meet Tiff 🙄😂, but she actually bought a scarf from the shop whilst we were waiting for Tiff.

Once Tiff arrived, we immediately poured over the menu to decide what we wanted. Boy, was it hard. Everything on the menu sounded so delicious. I’m not an expert on food from the Ilocano region, so I settled on what I already knew which was a longganisa platter serving 3 different kinds of Ilocano longganisa (longganisa refers to sausages flavoured with indigenous spices, with each region or province having its own variation) alongside vinegar dipping sauce.

adobo rice × tender beef cubes in olive oil × longganisa platter

We also opted for the adobo rice, which had adobo bits with garlic chips and lastly beef salpicao, my absolute favourite dish of the three, which was tender beef cubes in olive oil.

The longganisa was so so tasty, especially dipped in the sauce and the beef was so tender and melted right in my mouth. The rice? You cannot go wrong with rice especially when it has adobo in it. Honestly, everything was so righteous and the portions were so massive we couldn’t even finish it all. I got to take some back in a doggy bag, and whilst the food was being packed away we were able to concentrate on ordering dessert (despite looking like I was about to burst 😆).

We tried the red velvet cake because I have a stupid weakness for red velvet, and my eyes nearly dropped out of my head at how big the slice we were given was! Were my arteries clogged afterwards? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell. yES. A good red velvet cake, in my opinion, has not-too sweet frosting with a perfect creamy consistency that it just slides on your tongue like butter. If this cake didn’t do JUST that 😍 Sigh.

hellooooo, fatties 🎶

Overall, my experience at Victorino’s was really good. Thank you to Tiff for recommending the place, and when I’m back in the PH I will definitely be back here to try some other Ilocano dishes.

11th Jamboree, Diliman
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines


T: +63 2 922 8558

It’s been a century and a minute since my last post.

I briefly mentioned this restaurant in my Paris post, but I feel this place deserves a post all for itself. Hardware Société, located in Montmatre, is a café-inspired restaurant putting an Australian twist on French breakfast classics. Originating in Melbourne, the owners Will and Di decided to open up this restaurant in Paris after falling in love with the city (I can attest to that sentiment).

Picture this, it’s mid-morning and you’re starving, but you’re not really sure where to go because you’re not familiar with the city you’re currently in. In steps TimeOut and out comes Hardware Société. I wasn’t quite expecting such a queue when we arrived, but alas there was one, and a waitress to take our names whilst we waited for the table. 

I eagerly watched a couple eat a delicious looking dessert whilst sitting outside and tried desperately not to drool.

After a little while (somehow a couple who arrived after us managed to get a table before us, but I’m not bitter or anything), we were led to our table in the slightly elevated sitting area near the back. It was nice and airy, especially with the big windows complimenting the room. Made for a lovely view.

My only slight gripe is that it isn’t that spacious. The smaller tables for two are round and grouped close together with other tables, so it’s like you’re sharing your dining experience with people you don’t know and you can practically hear their whole conversation. Also, we had to do a bit of juggling when our food came to fit everything on the table. Nevertheless, I loved the decor in there: marble table tops and black and white tiled floors with tea cups hanging on the wall. Quaint, af.

I really need to talk about the menu, more specifically the quote by Virginia Woolf that is on the front page: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Hallelujah, someone finally said it.

I immediately ordered a house-made chai tea latte, which definitely hit the spot and was almost too pretty to drink (almost), alongside a butter croissant that came with orange and grapefruit jam. I love that the word for grapefruit in French is pamplemousse. It makes me laugh so much. Paris definitely knows how to turn it up when it comes to pastries, and my croissant was soft, buttery, flakey and delicious. 

croissant

Obnoxious flatlay alert.

The fact that I have a stomach that never ends is what had me ordering my main: Pork Belly & Fried Eggs – potato and bacon hash, spiced tomato and apple relish, smoked sourdough. It was ridiculously good. I usually only have potato hash, so the fact this had bacon in it as well made me so much happier. The crispy skin on the pork belly sent me to lechon heaven and it took me so much strength to not swallow my meal whole. The relish complimented the food, and there were all these different flavours; sweet and savoury – so, so good!

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Exhibit A: Foodgasm

As we were in a rush to meet my cousins at Marché Bastille, we went and paid the bill at the counter where we came across this punny sign:

change

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Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Hardware Société and would definitely visit again! I would love to visit their first café in Melbourne, as well. The staff were really friendly and I loved the overall laid-back, friendly atmosphere, and it makes for an awesome place to have brunch. Bonus points for getting to see the Sacré-Cœur after you finish eating, too!

10 Rue Lamarck
Paris, France
 
+33 1 42 51 69 03