Rochelle Canteen – Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES

Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen is in an old school yard in Shoreditch, the school building itself seems to have been taken over by New Media hipsters and their design businesses. It was a really beautiful day in London so it was fantastic sitting outside … Continue reading

The Sportsman – Faversham Road Whitstable, Kent CT5 4BP

From stevemcneill.blogspot.com

This place looks like your average sea-side pub, the dining room is casual, airy, not a tablecloth in site.

We had the tasting menu, eight courses but with a lot of extras thrown in.

The pork scratchings were soft, warm and chewy, they came with a whole grain mustard dipping sauce, absolutely delicious. These were served with pickle herring, herring isn’t my thing so no comment here.

The chilled courgette soup was creamy, sweet and salty. Served with some amazing pancetta, the sweet ham went fantastically well with the savoury courgette.

The lobster ravioli in a lobster bisque was my only disappointing dish. The bisque was too strong and seemed a bit burnt. The lobster ravioli was nice but was ruined by overly strong bisque, if this came with butter alone it would have been amazing.

The slip sole was so simple, the fish was flaky and came easily away from the bone, the seaweed butter it swam in was also beautiful, so simple but it looked beautiful, just perfect.

Turbot with summer vegetable pistou was a beautiful thick piece of fish. Accompanied by pistou with summer vegetables, beans, broad beans and strong basil.

The last savoury course was the roast lamb, this actually came in two servings, first lamb in a bread crumb batter with a mint dipping sauce, very nice, reminded me of my grandma’s crumbed cutlets. The main lamb dish consisted of three cuts of roast lamb (rack, belly and something else), the lamb was devine, so tender and soft.

For dessert the cherry ice lolly with cake milk for dipping was weird but great, sucking on a ice lolly really suits the casual atmosphere of this place. The milk tasted like a cake milkshake.

The grilled plum with kernel ice cream was also good, the ice cream is made from plum kernels and tastes kind of like almond.

As if two desserts weren’t enough we were then given a tray of four desserts, including a sorbet with popping candy, a chocolate mousse, a little raspberry tart and a nutty cake of some sort. Unexpected and all delicious, simple and fun.

We got far more than we expected, the service was casual, friendly and so knowledgeable. It was understated and warm and the food is amazing, they blew me away.

Tres Cojones!

http://www.thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk/

Sportsman on Urbanspoon

The Narrow – 44 Narrow Street, London E14 8DP

The Narrow - Scotch Egg

From meemalee.wordpress.com

The scotch egg had a wonderfully spicy and moist sausage mince, the crumb was also fantastic, I’m a  fan.

Smoked ham, leek and black pudding terrine, piccalilli – was ok but lacked seasoning and the serving of piccalilli was tiny.

The chips that came with the Narrow Cheeseburger were brilliant, crunchy but soft in the middle. The guys at the Hawksmoor should come and try them. The onion rings were also a greasy wonder, the batter was light and thoroughly covered the ring.

Unfortunately the cheeseburger was incredibly disappointing, the meat was bland and had an awful over processed denseness to it. Thankfully it came with a huge amount of pickles and a delicious bun but that still couldn’t save it. Very disappointing considering this is Mr Ramsays gastropub.

Un Cojón!

http://gordonramsay.com/thenarrow/

Gordon Ramsay at the Narrow on Urbanspoon

Masters Super Fish – 191 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UX

Masters Super Fish

From timeout.com

The chips were soggy and this wasn’t just the vinegar they were limp and lifeless, also an awful grey colour.

The fish batter was thick, it was crisp but just so thick and heavy. Maybe fish and chips just isn’t for me, it always makes me feel ill. The fish itself was ok, flakey but not so tasty.

No Cojones!

Masters Super Fish on Urbanspoon

HIX – 66 Brewer Street, London W1F 9UP

HIX

From lovefoodlovetravel.com

I’ve had a lot of asparagus this summer, I thought the menu said they were from the Isle of White but when I look online it says Lincolnshire. Wherever they were from they were amazing, a nutty sweet flavour and not stringy.

The veal chop was also outstanding, the meat was rich and tender, it was cooked expertly.

I think the bar below has more of a wow factor than the restaurant which seems a little boring when you compare the two. HIX needs a bit of that raw Spuntino look upstairs.

Dos Cojones!

http://www.hixsoho.co.uk/

Hix on Urbanspoon

Viajante – Patriot Square, London E2 9NF

Viajante

From rwapplewannabe.wordpress.com

We started with three snacks the Thai Explosion II, Crab Doughnuts and the Potato Bread and Butter. The Crab Doughnut was stodgy, a thick sponge, and not nice flavour. The Thai Explosion II was far superior, huge flavour and much more delicate.  The bread was nice but what made it were the two butters, one whipped with black pudding and other a brown butter, the brown butter was quite sweet, I loved it.

The first dish was the Squid ink with radishes and sea lettuce, it was ok but lacked flavour and just didn’t do it for me.

I enjoyed the asparagus with milk skin, I had better asparagus later that week at HIX Soho but this was good. I’m certainly pro milk skin, a crispy little treat.

The leek heart with cured lobster and leek consomme was great, the lobster was sweet and fleshy and the charred leek heart also fantastic.

I don’t understand people’s fear of egg yolks, the more runny the better. The egg yolk was served with cod and potatoes, the fish was dense and flaky and the egg yolk brought it all together.

The pork secretos with hot potato gel and cereals was disappointing, the pork was tough and dry.

Of the desserts I loved the Frozen maple with shiso and green apple, it was a  bit granita, a bit ice cream. I didn’t mind the second dessert of white chocolate with grapefruit and lemon.

Yes we had the Chocolate truffle that tasted of mushrooms, yes it was confusing, but I’m just not really into crap like that, that’s why I don’t watch Heston Blumenthal’s awful TV shows.

The staff are very nice and attentive but some are a little hard to understand (thick accents). This is quite an expensive place so not very laid back which I always find a little off putting.

Un Cojón!

http://www.viajante.co.uk/

Viajante on Urbanspoon