Thursday, 30 October 2014

Chiltern Firehouse

Been longing to eat here for some time now, I've actually cancelled two bookings to date. Before you gasp in horror, let me tell you I am not that important or well connected to have managed three decent bookings at Chiltern firehouse! I had merely managed to secure the lamest of reservation times, one being 5:30pm on a Wednesday and a 1:30 on a Saturday with only 1.5 hour seating. Didn't happen.

So I'm sure like many other fellow 'foodies' venturing to Chiltern Firehouse I couldn't give two vagina's about how many times Rita Ora has warmed up the booth leather or which A list stick of self importance has graced these seats either.I like everyone else just wants to know is it bloody worth it.

The fence that you enter the restaurant through (there's no obvious entrance- to clarify you don't actually walk through the fence there is a gap) is manned by two smooth looking dudes that I assume are the greeters however they look more like semi-rich guests. Lovely stuff.
 As we manoeuvre our way through we are greeted by the host, she puts me in the mind of someone........who is it....yes!that's it! - the alien queen in Men in black!, ah ha just googled her ... Serleena!!although I must say the hosts cloak is actually more intimidating than the Alien queen. So now I'm thinking perhaps Chiltern Firehouse is run my some Illuminati cult of extra terrestrials and that's why all the A-lister's flock here! I've only gone and done it,I've solved the bloody mystery!YES ME!You lot have been pondering over this one for months, I just figured it out within 5 minutes of being here! ;)

Moving on.....
The host 

Serleena proceeded to show us to what I would say is one of the worse tables in the restaurant ,we are situated under the kitchen (unable to see the chefs) and my friend opposite has a nice big pillar at his side obstructing any freedom to turn, well this is what you get when you're not part of the cult, why would little ol me get a booth. I sound bitter that's not attractive. Fuck the booth.

 I get to see a menu at last! you may have noticed they don't have menu's online. I had to do a Google image of Chiltern Firehouse menus to get a peek, turned out to be a pointless exercise as the menu bar a few items was completely different to what I'd seen.

To start the 'snacks' we order THE Crab doughnuts and Cornbread fingers. I've heard a lot about these crab doughnuts. I love crab and I love doughnuts, sounds like a winner to me! They are just the right amount of sweet, fried but not greasy, soft tasty little bites with delicate lightly seasoned crab inside, however they are diddy, so for £6.00 I would suggest not bothering.The fried corn bread fingers are also very alike to a doughnut, they would have been more suited on the side of an ice cream, that said I love doughnuts so whatever, again £6.00 for the pleasure. That's £12.00 done already on unsubstantial nibbles, feels worth mentioning, if you're looking to avoid a high bill, this is where restaurants get you.

My starter of Sea Trout was served raw as a ceviche ,highly welcomed. The menu didn't actually specify how the dish would come cooked, or not in this case. I perhaps wouldn't have been so keen on a lack of description in my less adventurous days but now I think its quite clever. If you don't have a pre-conceived idea of how it will be you are more open to enjoy the chefs choice,surely?
 The thick sliced chunks of  bright orange Sea trout came marinading in what tasted like pink grapefruit and pineapple juice, Salmon roe was generously sprinkled over the raw fish - popping  in my mouth with every bite adding a pleasantly fishy taste, thinly sliced pear and coriander complimented the whole dish perfectly. Best Ceviche I've ever tasted.

Sea trout starter

For main I had the Sea bream, which my dining partner informed me, is very similar to sea bass and may sometimes be used in restaurants as a replacement when no bass has come in, most people wouldn't know the difference without looking at the fish before its final hour, he wasn't wrong It tasted exactly the same to me, perhaps more fleshy than the sea bass I've had, but the taste well you'd have to be a pro. Pan fried in butter my crispy skinned piece of loveliness sat on a bed of cima ri rapa, perhaps some cabbage and I'm sure some grapefruit was in there, the bitter (cima di rapa) sour (grapefruit) sweet (shrimps) and buttery well butter - all combined resulted in an exceptionally pleasing dish.

My side dish of al dente green beans come in this dressing that, I wish I could explain to you better, its a creamy/yogurt taste with sprinkle of mild onion rings and I think sumac, really tasty. I love green beans and would love to try them like this at home. While I'm on the subject may I mention something I read today about Chiltern's food; a negative Trip advisor review .. I quote

"Main was un interesting over-herb-encrusted salmon and uncooked beans". 

My appreciated uncooked green beans 

The salmon well I can't comment, I didn't have the Salmon. But lets talk about the uncooked beans, yes they weren't boiled to death the classic English way, the way that successfully put myself and many other English folk off green beans for decades, we are only now recovering thanks to the kind restoration of the beans dignity. With chefs giving us new ways of eating beans! If you're not big on trying new variations of food, may I suggest not leaving the house or maybe we should give Nuno a call see if he's got any spare time to pop round yours on a Sunday to get some bean cooking lessons?! 

And so that's the beans dealt with. 

Moving on to dessert, strawberry sundae, doesnt come in a sundae glass, shame I thought,but then if I'm expecting a sundae glass I'm getting just as bad as the beans lady. 

It is (excuse my immature description) soooooooooooooo yummo. MMMMMMMMM The milk ice cream,( I love milk), the strawberry sauce, caramel and biscuit perfect amounts of everything, not to sweet, not at all sour just creamy and brilliant. 

We finished up with Cocktails at the bar, I went off menu (I'm like to think I'm cool when I do that, I know a cocktail that's NOT on the menu and its not Sex on the beach! maturity right there) so now I'm classy and mature I like to order an Amaretto sour which I must say besides Donnys in Sidcup, version which was the most generous amaretto sour I've ever had - this one was the absolute ultimate in taste.Topped with foamy egg white and a twist of lemon - not that foam and rind will get me drunk, but still absolutely marvellous. He didn't take long either, its all well and good ordering a fancy cocktail but sometimes the wait is enough to make you wish you had a pint of Stella instead. 

The bill came to £214.00 for two people, three courses , 'snacks' , bottle of wine, cocktails and service. They charge a 15% service (most restaurants in London charge 12.5%) so we didn't even leave a tip.My theory is the extra 2.5% goes towards the staffs uniform cleaning bills (there are loads of them) of course not forgetting Sheelnas cloak of doom .Or maybe it goes towards the A listers free drinks fund.Who knows. 

To conclude: 

Atmosphere: Bored rich people, american bloggers (reading bad reviews of chiltern outloud at the dinner table) smug business people and ladies who lunch. Collectively quite dull, but thats not all Chilterns fault. 

I feel like I've heard moans about all the wrong things. 
The staff are not rude and I found all the food to be really and truly quite perfect. The atmosphere not bad, not electrifying but all in all I had a good time, plus should I have had a booth and an 8pm booking maybe it would have been more so.

They may have stepped up their game since reading previous bad reviews, I can't really comment on peoples experiences, but the food- could it be that inconsistent that one day its perfect and the next its 'inedible'?! as one trip advisor review read.On the flip side I can appreciate the wait for the reservation may not seem worth it as such - you can get food just as good without waiting two months for it, so I'd suggest looking forward to it, but get it out of your head that you will not be sat on a the table next to Madonna laying eggs while a flame throwing chef flambees your pancakes. Its not THAT special.

You are not prepared to spend £100.00 per head 
You are obsessed by the 'hype' 
You are not that interested in the food. (obvious it would seem)
You have to travel miles to get here. 
You like vegetables to be boiled to death. 


You have the time to work around the booking you've managed to secure
You are passionate about good food 
You have a fair bit of spare dosh. 

.Have fun xx

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bleeding heart restaurant - London

Have been wanting to eat at this place for a while, I was once shown inside the crypt which can be hired for weddings and private dining - Henry the 8th married his first wife there! Need I say more, I was never much interested in history at school, but Henry the 8th and his beheading of wives was just gripping.
I would love to tell you more about Henry's wedding feast but that would mean researching to ensure I get the all facts right,which evidently means you waiting another few weeks for this review to be posted and I quite frankly can't be arsed. 

Moving on to my review of  the Bleeding heart, I'll begin with the menu, it comprises of classic 'french' dishes - Which I really wish they could now just be called English considering we have too now proved ourselves to be more than capable of making a dinner comprising of fish/meat and vegetables taste good. 
The wine list is long, we went for a bottle of the white Rioja which was a £40.00 bottle, well worth it, I was practically downing it. I did  just notice this below though , its a webpage selling this wine at £40.00 for 6 bottles. Fuck sake - not begrudging it , I know the drink mark up is where the money is made in restaurants, just wish I had six bottles of it.

We walked through a large dining room and was led to a smaller part of the restaurant which was much more cosy, the table is the corner where we sat was nice and snug. 
The restaurant has been restored with care, its not come far away from how what I would assume it once looked like in the 16th century. 
Its very Romantic... if you take your woman here it would win you some serious brownie points,sorry that sounds lame- you'd get lucky that night put it that way, unless of course she doesn't like food, wine and old stuff. 

Bleeding heart 

After eating some complimentary bread which was tasty but the Olive bread didn't have enough olives and the butter would have been better salted but that make me sounds like a fussy bitch so I'll move on .... starter was slightly odd yet still perfectly edible. I had the Venison with Crisp Cumbrian ham. The Venison comes raw, seared and thinly sliced with accompanying black pudding beignets, which I loved the sound of - I was under the impression Beignets was French for doughnuts but these were just nuggets of black pudding in crumbs, fine but not what I imagined, the dressing with the crispy ham was tasty I just found all the elements together didn't quite work, nothing married although separate they were fine. 

My partner had the crab starter which went down well even though he's not a massive fan of Avocado, seems to be a man thing? What happened between man and Avocado in our history? something must have went down. 

For the main I choose Halibut and he had the Vension. Both were as delicious as each other, my Halibut was cooked perfectly  as was the pomme cocotte (to us English people that's pretty shaped potatoes) - Don't get me started - with Savoy cabbage and a champagne sauce. Only complaint here is not enough sauce it was too good to only have that amount on the plate, I understand not wanting the plate's presentation to be ruined so perhaps a jug of it on the side would work. 
The Venison was rich and filling, really hearty plate of grub, it came with plums and MASH POTATO. It was devoured at almost the same rate as my wine. 

When the waiter poured the last glass which I didn't even know existed I actually screeched 'YES! I thought it was all gone' with as much grace and femininity as Henry's wifes reaction when he first got his fat arse out in front of her.

The dessert of chocolate bomb and salted caramel ice-cream was likable, not mind blowing but tasty none the less, the passion fruit was definitely needed on the dish, without it would have been too sweet. 

The staff here are really good, I felt very welcome throughout which sometimes seems somewhat a rarity in London even if we do have an amazing amount of fantastic restaurants, the service mostly fits into robotic, too cool for school (and you the customer) , too laid back and just too stiff. 
This was none of those. 
It wasn't perfect but it wasn't trying to be, just a romantic well staffed enticing , history rich restaurant with no sign of Henry's fat arse although I think I may have left there with a extra pound on mine. 


FOOD: 7.5/10
SERVICE: 8.5/10

Monday, 6 October 2014

As usual I have been a lazy arsehole and not posted my latest reviews...
You have on there way.....

Ibiza reviews 

Tapas 43
Home Loo's
Le Bar
All Cafe
Ushuaia hotel
Hotel Jabaque
Space nightclub

London reviews 

Roux at the Landau
Bluebird Chelsea

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Asia De Cuba

Asia de cuba - St Martins lane hotel
(Morgans hotel group)

I have not been to ANY restaurant in London three times, okay maybe the local curry house but besides that I haven't been to no London restaurant has had the pleasure of my appearance as much as Asia de cuba has.

My boyfriend had been banging on about this place for some time, he has been years ago with his then company, he couldn't actually remember much of the evening but remembered that the Tuna was amazing. That was enough for me, when the opportunity finally arose I booked us a table to celebrate his birthday.

Asia de cuba has this contagious energy about it, fruity salsa music plays through the speakers and the design gives the room a warm , bright, welcoming feel. I felt more like downing cocktails and showing off my dodgy salsa moves than eating, apart from the grinding that's exactly what I did.We shared a punch bowl to begin, and let me tell ya they are not tight with the booze .So Already in love and I have yet to eat a thing.
We also had a bottle of wine of the table which made me feel really good about life. I'm already giggling and generally being a bit of an irritating tit and we are half an hour in. Yes me. Yes punch-bowl.

We ordered the taster menu , which for £60.00 each included the signature dishes of Calamari salad, Tuna with Wasabi mash, Cuban chicken and coconut rice and trio of desserts.
Very glad we went for this. Well worth it. The Calamari salad was like no salad I've ever tasted before. It comprised of  Frisse, Radicchio , Palm hearts, nuts and banana (which worked a treat), this was all generously topped with the crispy coated ,tender Calamari.
   Next came the Tuna which gave me an actual orgasm, I know that sounds gross and you may feel I'm being over the top however please do believe me, this is a true story. I actually groaned out loud as the waiter topped up my wine. It meh-ellllts in your mouth. I dream of this Tuna all the time ..... *drools*. The accompanying Wasabi mash was creamy with just the right amount of heat from the Wasabi to compliment the sex tuna.

The Cuban chicken which is cooked in coffee was almost as dreamy, with its crispy skin and tender meat the coffee is not at all overpowering , more like a char, the accompanying rice wrapped in banana leaf is fluffy as it should be and you get a nice portion of it too. I was starting to feel extremely full at this point. Making the Trio of desserts a tough ask to get in after this feast but I managed and I'm glad I did. The doughnuts deserve an award, or atleast a heavy pat on the back.

My other visits to Asia de cuba were once with a friend at lunch time... we had the lunch deal which was again all cooked to perfection, the place was empty though so missed out on the atmosphere, which you realise is a massive part of this place, like with anywhere I suppose.The other visit was a group of friends, we got really pissed, had some fantastic drinks, a huge glass dispenser of cocktail arrived, it has a pourer and sits proudly at your table side.Pouring your own drinks at the table and not having to wait even a minute is a dream come true for me.This truly is the way forward.Now maybe it was the excitement,( I find it hard to calm down and act like an adult when I'm with company) but I didn't enjoy the food as much, don't get me wrong it was all still to the same standard it was just the portions seemed smaller?!
It was like we got less on the plates as a group, as the plates are sharing (I should have mentioned that before) your server will suggest how many are needed,which we followed but we didn't really have enough. Not going to hold that against them, we could have ordered more and hey I was more concerned with my drink anyway.
Still a great night.

This is a little creepy I know, but before I finish I need to inform you that the toilets in Asia de cuba are perfect.You will start to notice after time that I have bit of a luxury toilet obsession and Asia de Cuba's up there with the best of them. I might do a top ten of London toilet's, so watch this space. Wouldn't want any one missing that.

Now for me to stop rambling and wrap this up.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Lies uncovered -


This is my new, much needed addition to the blog. 
I'm sick of all the P.R  pumping of crap venues, I'm standing up for the people! In-particular the misinformed tourist's visiting London.Put your Time Out magazine in the bin!!! Stop reading all the drivel these PR managed web pages are shoving down your throat. I vow to never to paid off to suck the ass of the people of the industry.
Of course everyone has their different opinions, but at least here you can trust an honest one. 


I will begin with a post I read in Timeout last week, it had a feature on Vauxhall  informing us of why we should all go there.
 Ranking 29th on the poll of most polluted roads in the UK (and that poll was done before they demolished a Sainsburys superstore and began building the American embassy I'm sure). Vauxhall the forgotten shit tip has lots more to offer than pollution don't you worry, there's also plenty criminal activity to keep you amused too.

 Vauxhall residents won't be shocked to see men in butt- less chaps at 8am when the clubs kick out and there is always plenty of wide eyed teenagers roaming the streets looking confused and ashamed on your Monday morning commute into work , I must admit that dig was partly jealously.. I'm going to work - they are still getting nutted.But still.Shocking. 

Put this all aside folks, we always have Brunswick house in which we can hide away from all the madness and black dust of Vauxhall. Try a crappy cocktail for a mere £10.00 or just just go in for the treat of Brunswick house signature scent, it smells like an old Pig and not in a pork scratching way, more so in a abandoned abattoir way. 
I must note the last time I went was last year, hopefully its all different, smells nice and the twerp that made me a cocktail with slobby egg white in has been booted out for good.

So if crap cocktails. aren't your thing you can always head on to the strip of old local- yokel Italian andTurkish restaurants under the arches.Where you are not really welcome unless you're one of them, like old country pubs where they look at you funny as you walk other the theshold.They know you're new without even turning around to look at you. They smell the freshness.  
I visited one of the Italian restaurants once, I wont mention names... I had vinegar wine and some melon with Parma ham which was pleasant but the pervy customers were not. Its like being transported back to Italy in the 1950's, you know, where a dame shouldn't be dining alone..., I must say they did all look pretty gangsta in that pretend Ive watched all the Sopranos but haven't been home to Italy in 25 years sort of way. Not selling it to ya? Well you could always head to Aqua on the Thames front where I once ... wait for it.... had a pube in my cabonara!!! YES! that was the best! What a treat, I even had to chase the waiter to get him to talk to me, yes, with the pubey pasta in hand. So got some much needed exercise that day too! Bonus! 

I am in all fairness being a complete negative Nigel here, so Ill lighten this up with a few good things about Vauxhall, to start the gyms good on St Georges wharf. Although be warned if you keep leaving your shit in the locker they will put it all in a bin liner to be collected, I give up after the third bag. 
I know this makes me sound like a cock but there's a brilliant little fruit and veg stall inside the train station that sells seasonal fruit and veg and its cheaper than the supermarket, grab some fruit and some snacks from the shop and head to the Thames for a great view of parliament for a more peaceful area than further-down the river at Southbank. Also the Young's pub which is called Riverside (on St Georges wharf) is actually quite nice for a chain pub the staff are lovely and the grubs not bad. Good wine too, and outdoor seating. Be warned they let people reserve the outside tables so on a sunny day at 5pm you may struggle so beat them to the punch and reserve one yourself. Oh and the transport is great.(I'd still advise not listening to estate agents )That really is it though.Positives done, forgive me if I've missed something. 
I appreciate I am leaving myself open for abuse from loyal residents and business owners in Vauxhall here however I have lived and worked in Vauxhall and this is my experience. I don't wish to offend anyone, Sorry Vauxhall, but Timeout's Vauxhall was just more PR Pinocchio. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bull and Bear -Waldorf Astoria - Orlando , Fl

We was taking a night off the family Disney frolics to spend time together to celebrate our anniversary in the Waldorf Astoria.

 When looking online at the menu for their restaurant Bull and Bear, I was put off by what looked like extremely high prices - not shy of paying good money for good grub but it just seemed like over the top margins for the food on offer, so anyway booked a table before we left England just in case as it appears to be very popular(Great reviews on trip advisor etc). As always I left my options open, was toying with the idea of heading to Blue Zoo .....
 On the night Bull and Bear seemed like a good option, struggled to pull myself away from the hotel to be honest, its so luscious. Really charming hotel, our suite (only a standard double was booked) must had been upgraded , GET IN.
 We was escorted to a pleasant table by the window, and got our wine ordered with the sommelier , they have one of those massive book menu's of wine that had to be tackled. Jesus christ , please just give me a tasty wine and don't suggest the one that's 90 dollars, yes , I can imagine that particular sauvingnon is extremely fantastic, but no thanks.
 For starter I had the Tuna three ways, each 'way' was pretty similar, and I found it a shame that one of them wasn't a ceviche , it came with sea paste or whatever they was calling it  - salt that was filtered and tasted like the sea, sounds fancy, tastes okay. The Tuna was very fresh and palatable just could have done with some more sass. I understand the dish is showing off the Tuna as the star but by 'way' three the Tuna was bored of itself.

 The main was something called TOMAHAWK. A big beasty piece of beef.

Look at this

This was one special piece of meat , we had the buttery mash and spinach as sides - although scrumptious who gives a shit about those.Lets talk about the Tomahawk - It was charred to perfection , pink , soft and juicy inside without being too mushy.My partner joked about eating the leftover meat off the bone, so they happily put in on his plate for him to gnaw. I was both impressed and jealous all at the same time. 
Eating off the bone in a fine dining restaurant, without any feeling of inappropriateness. Lovely stuff.  

We then had some beignets, (Doughnuts) which came with three different sauces and were a welcomed sweetness to the end of the meal, although Hunstanton sea side doughnut van doughnuts can still, to this day not be beaten. Impossible. 

VERY glad that at this stage my only mission was to get in a lift and fall into my super duper dreamy 5 star hotel bed, should really be entertaining a more sexy evening considering the occasion, but I'm just too full of Beef. Sorry. 

To conclude : This is undoubtedly a perfectly fine restaurant, attentive friendly service - at one point the waiter tells me I remind him of Jane as in 'Tarzan and Jane' I took it as a compliment although am left baffled, my partner tells me he probably says that to all the girls, I hope not.
You are made to feel welcome here, the food is good - clearly, however no WOWS from the starters which is a shame, that said nothing tasted bad at all.The quality of ingredients is evident and the chef clearly cares.
It is an expensive one, but its an occasion restaurant , a treat. Please forgive me if I'm wrong but surely the finest of dining restaurants in Orlando??

Service: 8/10
Atomsphere: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

(as always sorry for the photo quality, the restaurant was very dark and my camera is very crap, if there is a camera brand out there that would like to sponsor me - send me a decent camera to promote them, please do get in touch)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Red Lobster - Orlando

Red Lobster - Orlando Florida

Starting to get used to the whole waiting thing in America , everything is long! The queues, the drive to anywhere, the wait at restaurants........... my patience has improved some what since being here that's for sure, bigger and better apparently ..

 The buzzer is firmly in my hand, gripping on tighter than needs be, as if some new comer is going to steal it from me and take my table, sweaty palms and everything, there are people here in this foyer that look like they would happily roll over me to get seated before me.
 I study the menu to take the pain off my current circumstance. I want everything! It all sounds so bloody brilliant, combo deal , lobster feast , shrimp combo, combo lobster , shrimp and WHATEVER ELSE YOU WANT COMBO.WOW. Menus like this in England = utter crap-*ding meals and bad ones at that!seems different here, its appear they have it sussed and are capable of providing a large selection of dishes without needing to pierce lots of film lids, bigger and better hey .....

*microwave meals


We are in.
We are seated and greeted my the happiest chappy I've ever encountered, I already know what I want please ask me.
We order drinks and starters, and along comes this amazing things called biscuits, no not as we no it my English folk , not digestives, hob nobs and custard creams.No, this is an American biscuit, more of a scone, but you know what you can call it Tracy for all I care. Its YUMMO. A soft savory scone, warm in the middle and so light -you know you could eat the whole damn basket, they taste like cheese and herbs, even that makes it sound too regular, I assure you these 'biscuits' NEED to be served a complimentary starters in England, fuck the farmhouse crusty loaf,  why are we not doing this?!
My wine is going down a treat as my starter arrives deep fried beans, and lots of them.

I devour as many of the beans as I can. Still got some room for the main. 

My Combo. 

Oh jesus shit. This picture doesnt even do it justice. The pasta on the side could have been a main dish.
The coconut prawns err SHRIMP are one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth, if you havent got a sweet tooth i'd avoid as these are in all fairness the sweetest cocount shrimp ive ever had. For me sweet and savoury is perfect. 
The pasta alfredo with Shrimp was creamy and cheesy, tasted like a cabonara, as I began to fill I couldnt help but feel a bout of guilt, if I cant finish this it means my sheer gluttony and greed has caused these poor little shrimp to be killed just to be laid dead on a bed of cheesy pasta for nothing. So I ploughed through.
 The conclusion: I'm going to shrimp hell - where ill be made to lay in cheese sauce whilst the shrimp people take their revenge and prod me with their supersize forks whilst groaning 'I'm so full, probably didnt need a combo'. hahahahahahaha . AND I WOULDNT BLAME THEM. Im sorry. 
On the plus side the fellow diners - Orlando regulars had managed to lick their plates clean, these people sure do know how to take on a combo meal. 

My mums combo. 

My nieces mac and cheese , the other one had a plate of Broccoli. Strange child. 



FOOD 9/10