J'adior Pret-a-PorTEA

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J’adior my friends

and Pret-a-Portea.

The hottest and most awaited exhibition of 2019 (at least for the fashionistas out there) has opened at the V&A. Yup, that’s Christian Dior, designer of Dreams.

Tickets for the exhibition were almost sold out (if not completely, by the time you read this), and as the city surrenders to all things Dior, we decided to embark ourselves in an afternoon of tea, coffee, friends, fashion and Dior, a lot of Dior.

As we arrived to The Berkeley Hotel, known for its fashion ‘Pret-a-Portea’, we instantly felt we were entering a princess’ dream. Name tags and Dior sketches were all over our table, and we were greeted with Dior-themed lattes. Fantasy level was ON.

As expected, as any good afternoon tea goes, the procession of food started and MY OH MY, it was delicioso. Plentiful of tea sandwiches (I believe up to 6 different flavours) and a few savoury treats preceded what we were all wanting: the Dior cakewalk. A collection of cakes and fancies from Dior’s most iconic pieces. It was so beautiful we couldn’t contain our excitement. OK, the coffee, the champagne and the company may have helped.

But in any case, if you are out and about in the city, this afternoon tea is one of a kind adventure, on that you shouldn’t miss. It’s a bit on the pricey side (£60 or £70 per person, depending on whether you want bubbles or not), but it is most certainly worth it.

As Mr Dior himself would say: “Don't buy much but make sure that what you buy is good.” 

TCB xx

All My Loving: Spanish Food in London

You can take the Spanish out of the country, but you can’t the Spanish out of the girl. There’s certain things that won’t change and one of them is my culture. The more time I am away from home, the more I miss my own Spanish things. It’s crazy cause when I moved to London I wanted to run away from it all, I disliked it. And I couldn’t love it more now.

I was reluctant to try Spanish restaurants for years, but as time went by, I missed my home food, so I started trying, and trying, until I found my favourite (and non-expensive) Spanish restaurants. And when I mean favourite, I mean GOOD Spanish restaurants by Spanish standards.

Off you go!

HACKNEY: El Ganso

A classic for the East End locals (and my personal hangover cure restaurant on a weekend) , this low-key restaurant is run by spanish peeps in the kitchen. Their gambas al ajillo and paella are fantastic, but so are the croquettas and the huevos estrellados.

STOKEY: Escocesa

I LOVE the concept of this place. Using seafood from Scotland and recipes from Spain. As the owner told us, before the seafood goes further away, they have a stopover in London. They then take on the southern recipes to create an amazing menu. An absolute winner, in my opinion. Also, they have a paella offer over the weekend.

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DALSTON: Furanxo

This place is banging if you are missing all your spanish delicacies. Lots of seafood in tins (razor clams, octopus) and a fantastic selection of wines. It serves as a deli during the day and as a wine & charcuteria bar in the evenings.

BANK: Hispania. Spanish food goes lush. The venue is stunning and so is the food.

SOHO: Sabor

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Sabor means ‘taste’ in Spanish, and they certainly succeed in taste at this two-story restaurant. On the groundfloor you’ll encounter a walk-in tapas bar, whereas on the first floor you’ll find a more delicate restaurant, cooking specialisties from Galicia and Castile regions, mainly focusing on meats cooked in a traditional wood fire oven.

Also in Soho but only if you are feeling like splurging…Barrafina, OK! It is good, let’s admit it. However, I am slightly put off by their prices. I mean, 2 croquetas for £6? No comment.

BERMONDSEY: Jose.

This is another banging tapas bar. They have Jose as the tapas bar and Jose Pizarro as the “fine dining” option. We’ve only tried the tapas so far, and it is worth the visit to Bermondsey. Only suggestion: avoid ordering beer! With a £4 for half-pint, you are better off ordering wine. Nevertheless, their croquetas are the best in town, and their meat cuts are rather excellent.

And that’s all folks! If the restaurant you were thinking about it’s not here, it’s probably NOT worth going, but we would love to be challenged to it. If you think we are missing a great Spanish restaurant by all means let us know, and we’ll try it.

Buen provecho chicos,

TCB xx




Pasta Pasta Pasta

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Pasta Pasta Pasta

Bancone, the italian that will save you every time

Affordable drinks and home-made pasta in the heart of the West End. Shall I say more?

Bancone is a little gem, really. As the peeps at The Guardian described it: casually orgasmic and deeply affordable, the Italian restaurant succeeds in all marks. Drinks are cheap (a glass of vino for a fiver? I’m SOLD), food is excellent.

WHAT will you get? Pasta, pasta, pasta. If you want pizza, this is not your place. Pasta? As much as you like. The restaurant certainly specializes on delivering the best fresh pasta but also has incredible antipasti. If you ask us, you should definitely try the panelle with smoke duck breast, lardo & whipped anchovies and the cime di rapa (turnip tops) with garlic and chilli. Mouth is watering just reminiscing of it! As for the mains, their Beef shin ‘ossobuco’ ravioli with saffron butter is rich but incredible, and their octopus and nduja with olives is also superb.

Another thing that we really appreciated here was the service. Very attentive peeps; most servers where italian and so were the chefs, which is always a plus.

WHERE is it ? Right next to St Martin In The Fields, by Trafalgar square. More precisely, 39 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD

WHEN is it open? Great news. For once a restaurant in London serves up until 11pm! You can get there closer to the time and still manage to get all the yummy food in the menu. BOOM.

Certainly the perfect spot for pre and post-theatre food. And get this: you can book.

TCB xx

Comics & Vegans

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Confetti Girls do Vegan

Meet Genesis.

Those who know me know well that I am a self-confessed meat lover. In fact, I love meat so much that I despise fish. Unless its seafood, obvs. Who would resist champagne and oysters?

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Aaaanyway, my vegan gals have been trying to make me more conscious about the benefits of a healthy green diet, and given my recent stomach problems, I decided to listen more carefully. As if somebody was listening to what I was thinking, I encountered GENESIS on my Sunday stroll in Shoreditch. A 100% plant based alchemy restaurant concept specialising in fast casual dining and organic comfort food.

Fit for the millennials, this pretty in pink restaurant is trying to make the non-vegans like vegan food. And I must say, they pretty much convinced me.

For starters, they venue is very stylish. A mix between geeky comic book store and a heavy metal album cover! All very colourful, just as I like it.

The menu is vast and the portions are big, which is becoming a rarity these days. And the food is yum. Mexican tacos, super food salads and meat-free burgers are on the list, along with plenty of shakes and ice cream deserts. I almost felt in heaven! Though I did miss my meat a bit.

WHERE IS IT EXACTLY? 114 Commercial St, E1 6NU

WHEN CAN YOU GO? Wednesday to Sunday from 11.30am til 11pm :) GO GET IT!

Stay tuned, TCB xx

Sweet Catalan Bubbles

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Ladies and gentlemen, your wishes have been heard. There is a dessert restaurant in London, and by no other than pastry chef Albert Adria. Let me introduce you to Cakes & Bubbles.

WHY should you go? Because even if you are not a sweet tooth, you’ll have a great time. It’s not only about the food (which is obvs amazing) but rather the experience. Sit down and have some bubbles with your friends, while your waiter explains what you are about to indulge into. Needless to say that the chef Adria stamp is a big winner.

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WHAT will you get? If you like traditional pastries and sweets, this is not your place. Chef Adria loves to be innovative with its food, and you can see it in each one of his desserts. Our two favorites where the ‘Tickets’ cheesecake, flavored with hazelnut and a white-chocolate rind and the egg flan with dark caramel.

WHEN should you go? Really, anytime is good. This hot spot is looking rather pretty right now due to the Christmas lights, but I bet you it will be as amazing when the festive period is over.   

WHERE? Inside Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly (70 Regent St, W1B 4DY), super central!

Bella Lina

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Lina Stores

Iconic Italian Deli in Soho opens its own restaurant in the city, with outdoor seats in the heart of the city

Italians have conquered another hood in the city, Soho. OK, not quite literally, but the opening of Lina Stores in Soho has definitely had an impact on my latest restaurant visits. 

The iconic delicatessen store on Brewer St has opened its own pasta and cicceti restaurant on Greek St, and its results are superb.

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WHAT/ WHY SHOULD YOU GO? Because it feels truly feels like being in Italy. The restaurant decor is very hip and out of a Wes Anderson movie, and the handmade pasta is to die for.

As the Mediterraneans we are, we like ordering all of the things on the menu and share it between us. That way you get to try most things! For starters, we had the nduja con ricotta and some arancinis; and as soon as we tried these, we knew we were in for a treat. It was very difficult to choose only one pasta dish, so we went for three: the pumpkin, the ragu and the mushroom based. All three SHAMAZING. Obviously, we finished with some cannolis, cause you can’t leave without having one.

WHERE EXACTLY IS IT? 51 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4EH

WHEN SHOULD YOU GO? Any day of the week except Sundays, from 12-2.30pm for lunch and from 5 til 11pm for dinner

Hungry yet? Me too.

TCB xx



It's a Sweet Life

The craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, but I am still hungry for more. I must admit, I am more of a savory person than a sweet tooth, but I do enjoy the occasional donut from time to time. After all, I love to indulge into nice treats! Sweets are not going to be an exception. 

Whilst in the search for the best donut in town, we found some amazing gems for your do-nut care moment. Here our top favorites to date!

PICCADILLY & SHOREDITCH : Doughnut Time

Funky doughnuts have arrived to town! And these include hip names like ‘Caramacklemore’ and ‘Robertd’n’oreo’. These are probably the naughtiest doughnuts I’ve had in the city (and most expensive, sometimes close to a fiver) BUT also some of the yummiest and most filling! They also have vegan options available, which is always a plus.

VICTORIA, SOHO & SHOREDITCH: Crosstown

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They have a matcha doughnut. Shall I say more? Started as a little food stall and now is a massive franchise across several locations in town. Needless to say, these are worth every bite. My favorites (matcha aside) include creme brulee, banana chocolate, raspberry and chilli dougnuts! It will be tough for you to only choose one. Vegan options are also available :)

SHOREDITCH: Dum Dum Donutterie

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Remember the craze about cronut? Well, for the guys of Dum Dums, it still means business. The first artisan baked donut/ croissant donut brand, made only with natural ingredients and yet still so delish!

BERMONDSEY: St John Bakery

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Standalone bakery for the well-known restaurant under the same name, selling fresh bread and cakes every Saturday. And of course their infamous jam doughnut. Not to be missed if you are in the area! But make sure you get there early, as they will serve until stock sells out.


Have a sweet day, careless readers; stay tuned for more

TCB xx

Monsters Edition in Edinburgh

 

If you are out and about in this beautiful northern city, there’s many places where you can indulge. Here’s a guide on how to.

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Get Hyped like a good coffee addict

TCB doesn’t joke when it comes to coffee, so the suggestions here are serious business! Spread across town, getting your caffeine fix everywhere you go

The Milkman is right by the Edinburgh Train station, so it is definetely an easy spot to get to. Hosted at an old cigarrettes store, this Australian run bar is amazzzzing. Both pastries and coffee are superb. The only thing I would say is that they take their precious time to make a cuppa!

Cairngorm Coffee is very hip and trendy. A lot more spacious than the Milkman but a bit tucked away from all the buzz (it’s close to Dean Village). The most central is tiny and doesn’t have much ambiance, so TCB highly advises you to head to their Melville Place location.

Artisan Roast

Now, DID YOU SAY BRUNCH?

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Brunch like a champion

At Urban Angel

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EAT like a Londoner

Dishoom and Timberyard are two staples in London. Dishoom was one of TCB’s first discoveries in the City and so we have nothing but high praise about the place.

Timberyard is more of a coffee staple in the City, but they have up their game in Edinburgh, with a beautiful outdoor seating area and a menu that looks like proper fine dining.

SUNDAY ROAST like there’s no tomorrow

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We must tell you, we weren’t super keen on Gatropubs, but The Queen Arms proved us wrong. OH MY. For starters, the pub itself is MEGA. Mega cute, Mega cozy, Mega friendly. The food is TO DIE FOR, and so is the price. This is certainly a must for us.

Now, if you want to up your game and go for the full meatlovers experience in proper gourtmet style, then we recommend Kyloe. Nuff’ said.

PIZZA NIGHT like in the 90s

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Civerinos is also one of our faves in Edinburgh. Super chill vibe, the food is superb and at a really good price. Also very insta-worthy, if you are into that kind of thing. Colours everywhere!

Ready for all of this indulge? GO!

Stay tuned,

TCB xx

Hakuna Matata

Happy FRIYAY foodie monsters!

Eventhough I've been back at work for a while, there's a different feel to it this week. Everybody is back at school, and I feel I have to do my homework too. 

Having a look back at where I've been for the past few months, I realized that I forgot an amazing hot spot that got me savoring my tongue for days. I am talking about IKOYI.

It is interesting to see how sometimes amazing spots go unnoticed, and I feel Ikoyi must be one of those. Despite being in the hot dinners scene for a good while, I feel it hasn't got the rave reviews/ attention it deserves. UNTIL NOW. Their service and incredible food has got them a Michelin star! The only African restaurant with a Michelin Star in London. YIKES.

We went there a few weeks ago to celebrate one of my besties birthday, and decided to treat ourselves (as we always do, ha) to a set menu. 

WHAT? Chef Chan has worked in pretty awesome restaurants in the past such as Noma and Dinner by Heston and you can see how his cooking delivers on this. At Ikoyi you’ll find elegant small plates that reminiscence of West African cuisine, all in fine-dining style. Our personal favourite was the crunchy plantain dusted in Scotch bonnet powder but the chargrilled octopus leg with spicy ndolé was also supeeeerb.

WHERE? 1 St James's Market, St. James's, London SW1Y 4AH

WHEN? Anytime for lunch (3-5pm) or dinner (5.30-11pm), except for Sundays when it's closed.

They keep on changing the menu (a plus to come back) so I wouldn’t miss on the opportunity of checking this restaurant out!

Stay tuned for more

TCB xx

Summer Loving in Chiswick

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Summer is about to finish, and we are all looking sad about the fact that we need to go back to reality and get to work til the next proper holidays. 

In my case, on top of the holiday blues, I have to move out. Let me tell you, not a fun job! Especially if you have to do it twice, like in my case...

Of couse, it is all very exciting to be moving to a new place. There's vast opportunities to do so much decor and detox on your wardrobe! But this fun bit only comes right at the end, when you barely have any energy left...BUT let's stay POSITIVE! Despite no money left, there's always tones of things to do in London with budget. YAY! 

One of my favourite neighborhood visits this summer was Chiswick. It is rare that my gal team and I head west, but when we do, we make sure the trip is worth it. 

Our perfect day out started at the Urban Pantry for brunch. A tiny little aussie-inspired cafe that serves a delicioso menu for those who wake up hungry. Everything looked so great it was tough to only choose 1-2 plates! 

If the Urban Pantry is too busy, you should head down to No.197 Chiswick Fire Station, which despite its name, is a restaurant. This venue is gorgeeooous, and it even has a little courtyard where to sip espresso martinis :)

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After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to walk. You guys know I don't drive (crazy, I KNOW), so I walk and walk and walk everywhere. Specially if I treated my belly to such royal meal. And Chiswick is perfect for it! We paraded the high street, stopping at Foster Books to get some new (or old) reads, Bayley & Sage and the Macken Brothers Butchers if you are in need of groceries, and Chief Coffee if you are in need of a pick me up. If we talk antiques, then The Old Cinema is your spot. And if we talk beauty, I am a sucker for Cowshed.

Of course, a visit to Chiswick wouldn't be complete without a romantic walk by the Chiswick House & Gardens. If it's a sunny day, you can even sit down, relax, and have a picnic there. 

It felt so pretty, that we played alike. 

TCB xx

Smoking Goat?

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Smoking Goat

Nope, goats do not smoke, really. However, this former gogo bar has been transformed into a wine & dine spot, so hot it’s smoking!

Why should you go there? I mean, the question is why haven't you been there yet?!

A cocktail in one hand and one of their chilli fish sauce chicken wings in the other and you'll understand what I am talking about. This is FIRE! So much, the restaurant has decided to serve just that as a late-night bite from Thursday-Sunday until 1am. Isn't it the best?

The whole menu is to die for, really, and so cheap I can't cope. We recommend you to try the smoked aubergine with egg & chilli, the barbecue goat shoulder massaman curry (OH WOW) and the lardo fried rice. As for the rest, go crazy! But those three are really a must. Including the chicken wings, that is. 

Where is it exactly? 64 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ

When should you go? Anyday from 12-3pm for lunch or from 5.30 to 11pm for dinner (except for weekends, when it closes at 1am)

Listen to me clearly. Do not resist. Go grab those chicken wings PRONTO! Don't you want some FUEGO in your life?

TCB xx

Adventures with Scully

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Sorry guys, I am not talking about Dana Scully and a new sequel of the X-files, but rather about Chef Scully, former head chef at Ottolenghi's NOPI. YUM, THOUGH?

Scully Restaurant is the chef's first solo adventure, and let me tell you it is a good one; from the moment we you sit at the counter (envisioning everything you are about to indulge into), til you leave rolling yourself home. Because, believe me, you will. 

This has been by far my favorite culinary experience in 2018. Why? Let me tell you. 

For starters, the chef's mum is of Chinese and Indian descent, and his father’s Irish and Balinese. Not to mention his six years heading NOPI...I mean, you can imagine his dishes were anything but boring. And oh, oh, don't I love to be surprised...

Think of mix and match dishes, bold blend of ingredients, spices, great wine pairing, excellent customer service and the best and funniest cooks, not only catering each dish to extreme detail but also keeping you entertained while at it! If I were you, I would ditch the boring dining table and sit by the counter, that's where all the fun is at. 

What can you get? Our favourites definitely included the Puff Beef Tendons with Oyster Mayo (mouth watering just thinking about it) and the arepa as a starters, the octopus ragu (O-M-G) and the spiced goat shoulder as mains. Not to mention all their desserts...

When to go? Anytime for lunch (12-2,30pm) and dinner (5,30-10,30pm). We went for late dinner and it was a pretty spectacular show, tequilas included.

Where is it? Conveniently located in St James, right below Picadilly Circus. A little bit hidden in a little corner, more precisely in 4, St James Market. Nevertheless, the venue is lush and chic, matching it's food and ambiance. 

Expect to spend some dollah in here. Worth every penny, though. Yep, that good. 

TCB xx

Once you POP, you can't stop!

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And those who have been at Pophams Bakery now it. It is right for them to claim this is not yet another bakery, because it isn't. 

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Pophams, located in a residential street (next to Popham St!) in Islington, serves fresh sourdough bread (are you there yet?) and unique and delicious pastries. I have to say I have never seen such a long list of croissant specialties! Their star is the bacon & maple syrup swirl, but their newest addition, the Rosemary & Sea Salt twist, is definitely a game-changer. It's a 30 min walk from my house and I have already been there more than three times. Yes, it is THAT good. 

Place is tiny but if it is a sunny day in London, they also have outdoor seating, which is very nice and appreciated. 

WHERE IS IT AGAIN? 19 Prebend St, N1 8PF

WHEN DOES IT OPEN? 7,30-5,30 everyday!

Bon appetit!

Munchin' in Dalston

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Since the new year started, I've been trying to discover more my pretty neighborhood, Dalston. I have a feeling I am always on the go checking out other areas, missing how amazing Dalston is. And it is awesome!

It is becoming a Saturday ritual to start my weekend morning by shaking off any hangover/ week stress by hitting PopFit for a calorie burn-out. I can't believe it took this long to get a fab workout spot in London Fields! Of course that also means I'm allowed to indulge as much as I can afterwards. Every effort has its rewards, right? Which brings me to my discussion today: BRUNCH! 

There's plenty of choices where it comes to eating out in East London, but I've narrowed it down to three favorites, lately. What will you get? Great food choices, good prices and that little hipster touch that we all deny we like but secretly love. 

L' ATELIER

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I have to admit this little french-style spot is becoming my regular, and that is a big thing to say, given that I never repeat restaurants in London. But what can I say, if you do something good great, then the chances of me coming back are higher. 

WHAT WILL YOU GET: Brunch classics made with great fresh produce. A wide variety of croissants, toasties (our fave is the Jambon de Bayon and cheese toastie!) and plenty of avocado on toast and salads for those looking for a healthy choice. Coffee is on point and so are the fresh squeezed juices!
WHERE? 31 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
WHEN? Eeeeeveryday from 8am til 6pm.

CAFE MIAMI

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Feeling that cold chill? Yes, me too. That is why TCB loves visiting Cafe Miami! A warm cafe with plenty of color (mainly pastel) and that american diner vibe that every non-american loves. Food choices here are a bit more naughty than at L'atelier, but you are in for a treat, regardless.

Please note that the kitchen is open-space; so those who hate taking home a smelly-souvenir with them should avoid this spot.

WHAT YOU'LL GET: Tooones of toasties. You can even build your own! Anything with their Fancy bacon is a treat to your belly. We personally loved the waffle burger with chorizo and avocado, but their american pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and blueberries is also a delight for those with a sweet tooth. 
WHERE? 24 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD
WHEN? Tuesday-Sunday from 9-5pm

WELL STREET CAFE

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I must admit I haven't been to this cutsie little spot yet, but I am doing so as you may be reading this! I've got tones of recommendations from friends about it, and if my entourage loves it, I know I will too. 

WHAT YOU'LL GET HERE: a variety of breakfast baps served with tomato relish & rocket (yum!) along with the brunch classics and other more adventurous dishes such as smoked beef brisket w/ poached eggs or BBQ pork on corn tortillas with sriracha scrambled eggs (MY ADDICTION!)
WHERE? 203 Well St, E9 6QU
WHEN? Eveeerday Hoorraaay! From 8-4pm

ARE YOU GUYS HUNGRY YET? CAUSE I CERTAINLY AM. 

TCB xx

The Good Egg

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I thought it was about time I talked about one of my favorite brunch spots, and coinciding with its new launch in Soho (the original is in Stokey) this Friday, I needed to introduce you to The Good Egg (and not The Bad Egg). 

Think of Israeli brunch. THE DREAM, right? Now think of Middle-Eastern cuising with a NY twist. Still THE DREAM, right? Well, that's what you get at The Good Egg. Dreamy dishes and terrific service. 

I would love to share with you what we had for dinner last time I was there but unfortunately those pics disappeared with my stolen phone. However, this little think called internet managed to gave me a good vibe of its brunch menu, which is what this place is known for. 

WHY should you go there? Let's talk business. Their menu is short but precise. Food here is a delight that can be filled with bagels, za'tar fried chiken, roasted cauliflower (that amazingly is to die for) or dak dak salad, to name few things. Not to forget shakshuka, their breads with olive oil and tahini or the tahini ice-cream. DANG! If Middle-eastern cuisine is your think, I wouldn't hesitate trying this. You'll regret it!

WHERE is it? In Stoke Newington in 93 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0AS; In Soho it is located in Kingly Court

WHAT time is it open until? 9 til 11pm pretty much everyday except for Mondays, when they close at 4pm, at least at their Stokey location.

TCB x

Foodie Monsters LA Edition

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One cannot think well,

love well,

sleep well,

if one has not dined well

So here's our favourite Foodie Monster spots at the City of Angels

Melrose

 

  • Carrera Cafe for printed cups of coffee, including the infamous LA PLAM TREES, but also Kim Kardashian’s crying face and Ryan Gosling’s sexy look.
  • Urth Caffe is probably one of the busiest places around the area; as he name say they are very ‘earth’, healthy and organic food at its best.
  • For dessert lovers like moi, you’ve got one of the best ice-creams around: Salt & Straw and Carmela; the latter does a lavender and honey cup that is surprisingly amazing.
  • Of course, let’s not forgot Alfred Tea Room. I mean, you could not miss this spot even if you wanted! Probably the most instagrammed café of LA, this trendy spot is perfect for pink lovers and matcha addicts.

Silver Lake & Surroundings

  • Italian? Sure. Cosa Buona for authentic pizzas and Alimento for an italian menu with a twist
  • Night+Market Song is probably THE best thai in town, serving street-food style dishes from the mainland
  • Of course if there’s an Israeli place, I’ll go there; Mh Zh and Kismet are top choices, if you ask me
  • A bit out of the way you’ll also find Salazar, serving mexican tacos to hungry customers

West Hollywood

  • If you want to upscale your dining options, then you should totally pay a visit to Chateaux Marmont. Ecclectic and baroque, this place is like no other. Chilled at their indoor bar, listen to the pianist at their lounge or have a romantic meal in their garden. Such a gem! Make sure you book.
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel is definitely very LA. The place to ve for certain clientele, in here you’ll find 4 restaurants with different styles. In a sunny day, I love having brunch at their Cabana Café, dipping in to their pool, which by the way, has music underwater.
  • Another Night + Market restaurant here, a bit less crazy busy and with more seating area.
  • Guisados is perfect for a hungover fix, all their tacos are soooo good. I never know where to choose from.

Downtown LA

Downtown LA is all about rooftop bars. The Standard, Ace Hotel, Freemans...you know, he classics.

Now if we are talking food, there’s two places, at least, you shouldn’t miss.

  • Bottega Louie for that french-chic vibe. Macarons at the entrance and delicious food (incl. fire-wood pizza!) at their restaurant
  • Eggslut for a perfect american-style brunch
  • Otium for fine-dining/ contemporary american. Does Chef Timothy Hollingsworth ring a bell to you? There you go then.
  • If you still have room for dessert, hit Astrodonuts & fried chicken. Food coma.

Several Locations: In-n-Out

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A trip to LA wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t stop by at In-n-Out. I know, it's junk food! You must be thinking. But damn, these burgers are good. And there's a reason why everybody loves them.

Roll your sleeves guys, you are gonna need the energy.

TCB xx

 

Know Your Dumplings

I'm a sucker for dumplings, what can I say. If there was something I could indulge into every day (aside from bread, fries and ice-cream) that would be dumplings. It is funny because apparently

SOHO

Conveniently located off Carnaby St, Ugly Dumpling (1 Newburgh St) is the new kid on the block. It provides all your street food essentials with a twist, including pork belly, aromatic duck, satay chicken and prawn & chive but aaalso what they call “new favorites” which basically is a feast of flavors in a 5-piece dumpling platter. Lamb, harissa & yogurt, cauliflower & potato and halloume & courgette were surprisingly some of my favorites.

Not only they had a great selection on offer but also dessert dumplings! Matcha-filled dumplings bonanza or blueberry jam fried dumplings with clotted cream. I mean, shall I say more?  

CHINATOWN

Dumplings Legend (15-16 Gerrard St) is probably my old time favorite. Whenever I fancy a quick fix or just wanna hang out for a while in the area, this is always a good choice. Despite having tons of people working there sometimes service lacks attention, however quality-price is unbeatable. Also, they are open for business till 2AM pretty much every day. That’s an absolute winner in my dictionary.

Beijing Dumpling (23 Lisle St) is probably the best in Chinatown when it comes to dumplings. Also, who does not love seeing how these are made in front of you?

MARYLEBONE

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Royal China (40-42 Baker St) is perfect for Sunday Brunch (that is, Dim Sum), which not only offers dumplings but a wide range of great chinese/ hong-kong cuisine. Unfortunately, they do not take reservations and this place is quite renown by locals (and not so locals), therefore you may need to cue for a bit. The menu selection is vast, so vast you don’t know where to start, but pretty much all dishes are a winner.

HACKNEY

My Neighbours The Dumplings in Homerton (165 Lower Clapton Rd) is definitely one of my recent locals. It holds a sake bar in their basement and the food was simply exceptional. Again, a bit of an Asian mix here, which included gyozas and dumplings and even dumplings with a European twist. Their menu also includes dessert dumplings, which is becoming on of my new favorite things. Argh, so much for that ‘no-sugar’ diet…

Dumpling Shack is a MUST on Saturdays at Broadway Market. Indeed expect queuing, but this little spot hasn’t got its reputation for nothing. The wait will be worthwhile.

I'm on a Barge?

Breakfast on a loaf

Yes, please.

WHAT IS IT AND WHY SHOULD YOU GO THERE? Because at The Barge House you'll find everything you were looking for. 

From a fresh daily menu on weekdays to the yummiest bread-loaf breakfasts over the weekend, at The Barge House they will cater to your desires. I've only had the change to try their brunch over the weekend but I've heard their daily menu, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, is delish. 

But if you are looking for a different brunch spot, mouthwatering (yet instagram-worthy) food and a great location, I've got you covered. The Barge House specializes in cooking your favorite breakfasts, which include the original english breakfast, the vegetarian option, the smoked salmon and the hot stuff (kinda Mexican vibe), in a sourdough loaf! Yes, in a sourdough loaf. 

My personal favourite? Obvs the original english. Also! If you are feeling like having a drink, please try their bloody marys! They've got their own signature vodka that is a dream to your senses!

WHERE? By the canal! Could you ask for any better location?

WHEN? Pretty much everyday from 10 - 11pm (except Sundays, open til 6pm).

Hens & Chickens

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It's been a long time since I have been impressed this much, Red Rooster succeeded.

Located at The Curtain, the new kid in the members club block, Red Rooster Shoreditch is the baby boy from the original Rooster in Harlem, NY. 

Expect the unexpected from this place. Imagine Southern American food and then mix it with NY vibe, then add European style to the mix. The result is uncanny.

Also, if you are into fashion and American Culture, this will be your mecca. Louis Vuitton themed doors, lots of references to american hip-hop and basketball and live-music while wining and dining. Am I dreaming?

Now cutting to the chase, FOOD. TCB went there for dinner and tasted:

For starters we had deviled Eggs filled with chicken skin aioli and duck jerky (I mean, HELLO!?) and a Southern Heritage salad, which had seared watermelon, heirloom tomato and burrata (an excellent mix, if you ask me).  

Mains included a mixture of veggie options and Red Rooster's signature dishes: roasted cauliflower with chili and corn crumble, corn bread, Aunt Maybel's Dumplings (which are rather gnocchis, not your average chinese dumplings) and chicken, of course!!! Not to mention waffles were included...

My mouth is watering again just remembering our meal. Do not waste your time and head there ASAP!

WHERE? 45 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT

WHEN? Here comes the best part open daily til after midnight! Again, am I dreaming?! Monday-Tuesday from 5pm-12pm, Wednesday til 1am and Thurs-Fri until 2am! HOOOORRAY!