Lizi: Hiroshimayaki – Abeno, Holborn
I met a friend for dinner tonight who is the friend I was visiting when I first travelled to Japan, so naturally Japanese was our cuisine of choice for the evening. I have had okonomiyaki with prawns earlier this year so I went for a Hiroshimayaki with pork which is much the same as okonomiyaki, but with noodles cooked in with it. Delish! There aren’t many places where you can find okonomiyaki in London and so this place is an absolute gem and their food is delicious. I love their katsuobushi onigiri too. I’ll have to come back and try out their yakisoba sometime and see whether it’s true to what you would find in Japan as that’s really hard to come by in London.
After our dinner, and despite already being full, we walked around the corner to My Old Dutch for pancakes and I ordered a plateful of poffertjes with fresh strawberries. I honestly expected the portion to be much smaller, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t finish it.
Mark: Oki Amai Udon – Oki, Wimbledon
My sister Claire came round for dinner tonight and offered to pick up some food at Oki on her way. This udon dish was a catch all of ingredients so I thought it was worth a go. Overall a nice dish, and the noodles were well cooked. The prawns weren’t the best though and I don’t think having three different meats added anything to the flavours. This could probably be made into a vegetarian dish and be just as good!
19/05/2015: Tonkotsu ramen – Tonkotsu, Soho
Mark and I met up with a friend from uni this evening and I was pretty excited about where we were meeting for dinner. Bao London serves Taiwanese steamed buns which I was pretty excited about trying, but after waiting outside in the queue for a pretty long time we decided to give up and try somewhere else. We ended up at Tonkotsu and had their tonkotsu ramen with black garlic oil. The broth was delicious especially with the garlic, but again I was slightly disappointed with the noodles. I’ve been spoilt by going to Shoryu ramen in Soho and I can’t wait to go there for dinner soon and write about how perfect their ramen is. Watch this space. Still, Tonkotsu was a pretty good shout at our time of need!
After our ramen, we all ordered some mochi ice cream balls. I had a trio of raspberry, mango, and yuzu which is a small Japanese citrus fruit with a tart flavour that’s somewhere between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. It seems to be having a moment in the world of food and its popularity seems to have boomed over the last year or so.
20/05/2015: Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel – own recipe
Not much to say about this apart from easy and yum. Bagel + Philly cheese + smoked salmon. I also sometimes like to add a couple of capers and a squeeze of lemon juice.
21/05/2015: “Penang-Bang” chicken salad – Giraffe, South Bank
Mark and I were out with a couple of friends to see the play “Nirbhaya” by Yaël Farber. It’s a brilliant play or rather a series of accounts of real life experiences of the performers who have been inspired by the Delhi gang rape attack in 2012 to tell their own stories of gender-based violence. We all thought it was a truly fantastic play and were all glad we went to see it and contributed to spreading their message. However, we weren’t ready to go our separate ways straight after the play and so went to Giraffe on the South Bank for dinner to lift our spirits a little! In case you’re wondering what a “Penang-Bang” chicken salad is, it’s apparently shredded chicken, chopped peanuts, noodles, bok choy, nappa cabbage, cucumber, snap peas, radish, spring onion, mint & coriander with spicy thai lime, chilli & ginger dressing. Did you get all that? I was once again let down by the noodles but apart from that it was a pleasant enough meal.
22/05/2015: Spring pasta salad with asparagus, bacon and feta – Marla Meredith
Mum and Dad were arriving tonight and having dinner on the way, and Mark and I were later home than normal, so we picked something fairly quick to prepare. We didn’t make the homemade ranch dressing as used in the blog, but instead made our own quick mayo dressing like the one used for the broccoli salad with bacon and cheddar here. We also steamed the asparagus rather than blanching it.
23/05/2015: Okra and aubergine curry – Cay Tre, Hoxton
Tonight Mum and Dad fancied trying Vietnamese as they’ve never had it before so where better than Cay Tre, Hoxton? There’s another Cay Tre in Soho, but I much prefer the Hoxton branch as they have a slightly better menu in my opinion and feels less crowded. We ordered a few plates to share, and our main dish was this okra and aubergine curry that my friend and colleague Ash raves about. It’s quite a spicy dish so we were glad to have ordered plenty of rice, but DAMN this curry is good. The flavour is perfect and the aubergines are so juicy that when you eat them it’s like a little flash flood of flavour in your mouth. I have no idea why they don’t have this on the menu at Soho? We also tried some of the Rabata Grilled Duck which was perfectly cooked and deliciously tender with a sesame and peanut sauce on the side to round it off. YUM.
24/05/2015: Spiced lamb meatballs with greek pasta – own recipe
We took inspiration from two dishes to create this meal. The greek pasta was inspired by our dinner on 20th April, and the spiced lamb meatballs were inspired by our lamb wraps on the 19th April. We mixed the lamb with the spices and onion, then cooked them through and served with a simple greek pasta salad and tzatziki. Mum and Dad seemed to enjoy them and I think they worked out pretty well.