Tonkotsu Bar and Ramen

by Chelsea Girl on July 27, 2014

You know when you’re en route to somewhere, needing to grab lunch in a hurry? But you don’t know where to go, only that you want it to be good and of course, quick? Well, that’s how I finally got to try Tonkotsu – whilst darting through the streets of Soho one afternoon, not so long ago.

Crossing Dean Street from Old Compton Street, I spotted it … this place … where after various options, I finally decided to stop.

Tonkotsu

I loved the interior upon stepping inside, although sitting outside is also another attractive option if you enjoy people watching. Tonkotsu

I also loved the fresh garlic on the table, which I didn’t try but admired nonetheless.

Tonkotsu

For starter and sides, the OH and I ordered King Prawn Katsu …
Tonkotsu

… Red Mullet Tempura and some Pork Gyoza …

Tonkotsu

… whilst I sipped the delectable Ginger Plum cocktail …

Tonkotsu… and the OH had an Asahi beer.

TonkotsuFor main, I had the Tonkotsu Ramen, which included pork belly with thin noodles and half a seasoned soft-boiled egg, menma, bean sprouts and spring onions.

Tonkotsu

I enjoyed my ramen and had as much of the thick broth as I could. This dish was very filling but not in an overstuffed way – and with it, I sipped another cocktail. This time I had a plum with sake and Cava concoction which I also recommend. The OH was still on the same beer which is testament to how good the cocktails are here.

Tonkotsu

The OH had the Toykyo Ramen, which involved the same ingredients as the Tonkotsu Ramen but with a soy sauce base and pork and chicken stock as well as thick noodles instead of rich, sea salt-based stock which my ramen came with.

TonkotsuOur lunch completely hit the spot and the cocktails were a great match. And although we were in the hurry, we actually didn’t feel rushed because the restaurant has a wonderful laid back feel. It was a quiet afternoon. But the best part was grabbing something to eat that felt a lot healthier than a burger. Now I feel like I’m going to try the other noodle bars which received a lot of hype last year. Late to the party because last year I was preoccupied with becoming a new mummy. Still, I look forward to a delicious catch-up.

Tonkotsu Bar and Ramen. 63 Dean Street, London, W1D 4QG.

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Al Fresco Lunch at Maniocomio on Duke of York Square

by Chelsea Girl on July 20, 2014

With all the beautiful weather we’ve been having (overnight thunderstorms aside), I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite al fresco places to eat.

Manicomio, not to be mistaken by Manicomio Poco which I also love, on Duke of York Square is a great spot for lunchtime in the sunshine.

Manicomio RestaurantI had lunch there recently, which I started with an obligatory glass of Prosecco.

Manicomio RestaurantWhilst the OH enjoyed his beer, he also delighted in his octopus starter.

Manicomio RestaurantAnd I ordered the yellow fin tuna crudo, which was a real treat.

Manicomio RestaurantFor our mains, the OH had Grilled Brixham monkfish ossobucco which he relished and which I had a little taste of and thought was a particularly good choice!

Manicomio RestaurantSaying that, I really didn’t have any food envy because my lobster tubetti with tomato, basil, chilli and garlic was also on another level. Just gorgeous!

Manicomio RestaurantBut our lunch wasn’t just about the food, the wine was superb. I’ve always had quite a nonchalant interest in rosé wine, great for summer but I’d never discovered any with much substance. Until now, that is. The Sancerre rosé which I tried at Manicomio had depth and flavour, it’s made me fall in love with rosés for the first time.

Manicomio RestaurantSo overall we had yet another successful lunch at Manicomio and I’m looking forward to going back!

Manicomio Chelsea, 85 Duke of York Square, London, SW3 4LY

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A Taste of London

by Chelsea Girl on June 21, 2014

Yesterday I went along to Taste of London in the gorgeous sunshine. It was my first time and I had no idea what to expect.

Taste of London

When I arrived I discovered a wonderful festival vibe with countless stalls from restaurants and food shops. There were also a number bars set up and music playing in some spots. The atmosphere was relaxed and the choices were overwhelming. Where to go first? What to try first? What to do?

Taste of London

My first stop ended up being MEATliquor for a cheeseburger slider.

Taste of London

I also enjoyed a pork belly in a bun from Flesh and Bun …Taste of London

… as well as a prawn tempura roll which has quinoa inside, from Sushisamba. Everything was so good!

Taste of London

For drinks, I had this amazing lychee cooler cocktail from Sushisamba which I urge you to try if you get a chance …

Taste of London

… and of course, a glass of Prosecco. There are also Champagne bars dotted around.

Taste of London

As you walk around, there is plenty to taste whilst en route to your next destination … Taste of London

… and I love this from outside Mahiki’s bar.

Taste of London

There is also a whole area specifically for Thai cuisine with many recognisable restaurants and brands setting up shop for you to try their goods. What I loved especially were the market stalls and spotting one of my favourite fruits on display: I first tried mangosteen in Thailand and it is easily one of my favourite fruits: so bubblegum yummy. It’s also packed with antioxidants which gives it a health bonus too.

Taste of London

I was also happy to see Chia Pod at Taste of London, which I also love. I tend to buy one or two before heading into the gym because it’s packed with plenty of protein goodness and it’s a delicious alternative to say an energy bar or anything else snacky. You can pick them up at Whole Foods.

Taste of LondonGiven that the Taste of London tickets are for four hour slots and given there is so much to do, it’s definitely worth knowing what you want to get out of it: do you want to try the cooking demos, discover popular restaurants, shop for food from around the world? Saying that, if you just fancy lounging and seeing what comes your way (like I did), you’ll have an equally fantastic time.

If you’re looking for something to do, I say head down to Taste of London!

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Artesian Bar at The Langham, London

by Chelsea Girl on June 19, 2014

Recently I popped into The Langham, London, hotel …

Artesian bar - Langham London

It wasn’t my first time and it wasn’t my first visit to their Artesian bar which officially holds the World’s Best Bar title. Here’s a short video which shows you why …

Artesian bar - Langham LondonBut it was my first encounter with their Artesian cocktail menu which I absolutely loved. Using a slider on the side of the metallic menu, you can spin a dial that takes you through the choices of cocktails on offer.

Artesian bar - Langham LondonIn the end, I chose the Reality Czech because I was tempted by the lychee and raspberry combination and because it was a warm afternoon.

Arriving in a chilled tankard and with a butterfly shaped ice cube inside, this cocktail was not only refreshing but it was packed with layers of flavour which really surprised me. I thought I had some idea of what to expect but every sip left my tastebuds tingling with curiosity: which flavours was I tasting with each sip?

Artesian bar - Langham LondonI hear on the grapevine that the Artesian bar are launching something exciting, sometime soon, and I for one can’t wait to return to try it!

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Bloggers’ Bake For Bumps afternoon

by Chelsea Girl on June 19, 2014

This is an overdue post by a month! But I am still compelled to write it because as much as I had a fantastic time at the bloggers’ Bake For Bumps afternoon which Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi organised, I don’t want to lose sight of the reason for this event: Sparks.

Bloggers bake-off for Sparks CharitySparks is children’s medical research charity that works towards finding ways to diagnose, treat and prevent conditions in pregnancy and birth, babies’ early stages and childhood.  When I found out that Emma was asking if anyone would be interested in doing a bake-off and giving the money we would spend on say going out for tea and cake to charity, I leapt at the chance to help. Being a mother brings these issues a lot closer to home.

Though, admittedly, being a mother – a working mother of an 11 month old also means that baking is a luxury I couldn’t afford. So, instead I bought some mini cupcakes from the fabulous Storm in a Cupcake whilst also donating to charity. Here is our Just Giving page, in case you’re interested.

Luckily, there were some bloggers who had the time to bake and I must single out Jess on the Thames‘ red velvet cake which was utterly divine.

Bloggers bake-off for Sparks charity

Bloggers bake-off for Sparks charityThanks again for organising such a great event Emma and to all the bloggers who came along. You were all wonderful company.

I’m looking forward to the next bake-off and hopefully next time, I’ll have some spare time to bake. ;)

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