Only a few weeks after having left London I was presenting with withdrawal symptoms. The only cure – book flights. There are a few things I have to do on each trip to LDN. Besides the obligatory dose of culture (this time round I saw The 39 Steps and went to a rather disappointing photography exhibition), being the crazy foodie I am, I always test a new restaurant. The most recent location choices were successful – for those of you who have already tasted their way through my previously posted secret list, I present you with a few more options worth trying:
The Shed – Notting Hill Gate, excellent british cuisine with a modern twist, but beware of the aubergine caviar…. seems like the chef has a slight garlic obsession
Banh Mi Bay – Vietnamese near Holborn, their vietnamese spring rolls are to die for
The Lodge Cafe – Hyde Park Corner, opened only 3 weeks ago in a former information office, nice sandwiches, salads, yoghurts, perfect for an afternoon in the park
Madison Rooftop Tapas & Cocktail Bar – great views of St.Pauls, I don’t know why I never came across this venue before
Moving on to today’s recipe. Pad Thai is an asian classic and unless you’re allergic to peanuts, you can’t go wrong with this dish. With a lack of good and affordable asian cuisine in my city, I took it upon myself to attempt making Pad Thai. It’s actually quite simple and sooooooo rewarding. Bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, peanuts and limes….. mhhmmmmm!
Pad Thai Gai
So, as I previously mentioned, I have recently started taking one ingredient and basing a menu around it. Reasoning behind this new approach is an open house I attended one evening at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. It was amazing and inspired me to up my game until I maybe one day decide to rob a bank of £30’000 for LCB’s educational fees. Until then I shall follow my own syllabus and teach myself the basics of classical cuisine. Today’s choice: Hazelnut. Why? NUTELLA, obviously! The best ever invented chocolate spread is based on hazelnuts. So….. anything made with hazelnuts must be good, right? With that in mind, I took a recipe from LCB for the main and once again attempted to be all master-chefy 🙂
P.S. For all you Nutella freaks – check this article out for inspiration on some crazy things you can do with Nutella. I’m tempted to try the Nutella, peanut butter and bacon sandwich….nom!
Sautéed Beef Fillet, Butternut Squash Purée and Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Vinaigrette
taken from Le Cordon Bleu
One of the best things about the English is their love for brunches. Correction, their love for brunching out. On weekends, going out and queueing for the highest rated brunch spots in town with the aim of indulging in decadent creations is arguably the best way to start the end of the week. The standard orders include eggs, bacon, salmon, pancakes, muffins, hollandaise, sausages, avocado, the list goes on. Why not top it off with a reviving cocktail? After all, a meal without alcohol wouldn’t be typically British now would it.
Here is a simple recipe for a classic which cannot be omitted from any brunch menu. I didn’t make hollandaise because being Swiss and all, and growing up close to the Alsace where the asparagus (with hollandaise) season is something we rave about, hollandaise just didn’t seem right to include in a breakfast dish. But feel free to re-create with a saucy accompaniment.