Burgers and Cocktails at Bar Boulud

by Chelsea Girl on August 10, 2014

You may have seen my tweet about Bar Boulud’s cocktail, La Juliet, as I admired the rose petals in the ice. It was so good. It included imperial silver vodka, kwai lychee liqueur, lychee syrup, rose syrup and soda water. Divine.

Bar Boulud

Last week, I had popped in for a drink with the OH but as soon as we sat down we knew we had to order one of their burgers too. There were too many around to ignore.

I had the Yankee burger: beef patty, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickle and sweet onion with a sesame bun … 

Bar Boulud

… whilst the OH had the Frenchie: beef patty, confit pork belly, rocket, dijon, tomato compote and morbier cheese with a peppered bun.

Bar Boulud

I’m not a burger connoisseur so I won’t wax lyrical about why Bar Boulud is considered one of the best places for a good burger. I just know between the juicy meat, light bun and flavoursome cheese, both the OH and I enjoyed our very late lunch or very early supper. We were there around 4.30pm on a Saturday afternoon and it was very easy to get a table as we arrived just before the evening rush.

The highlight of the afternoon however had to be the Koko Alfonso cocktail, which included koko kanu, mango puree, apricot liqueur and lime, which has a limited availability each day. And looking at how much preparation it must take to make one of these, it’s no wonder. Apparently, the prep includes a balloon and various stages of freezing. This cocktail was utterly divine. If you love mangoes you will love the richness of this experience. Just wonderful and so easy to sip.

Bar Boulud

Bar Boulud is a great place to pop into, be it for a drink or a delicious bite to eat. There was a first date at one table (pardon the eavesdropping), a mother and daughter spending quality time together and a woman grabbing a burger and sipping wine as she killed time before meeting up with a friend. It’s one of those laid back places where you can enjoy burgers and cocktails on another level. I loved it!

Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA.

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Sunday lunch at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

by Chelsea Girl on August 10, 2014

If you are looking for somewhere special to go for Sunday lunch, I can’t recommend Hawksmoor Knightsbridge enough. The food is great, the cocktails are divine and if you have a young family, the staff here are the friendliest I’ve ever encountered. And to top it off, their Sunday roasts are amazing.

Here, take a look. The OH ordered the Sunday Roast and I had serious food envy as a result.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

I had a rib eye steak, medium rare, which was also very good …

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

… and I had Bernaise sauce with it.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

For sides, we ordered the triple cooked chips.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

… tomato salad …

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

… and popping my macaroni cheese cherry which I never order but because we were at Hawksmoor and because OH had never had macaroni cheese, we decided to try it. It was really good!
Hawksmoor KnightsbridgeWe also had starters before. I had the charcoal-roasted scallops with white port and garlic …

Charcoal-roasted scallops with white port & garlic

… and the OH ordered the Tamworth belly ribs with vinegar slaw. Both excellent choices.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

For a while I’d been craving an Aperol Spritz and so I ordered their Sinking-Spritz which ticked the box effortlessly.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

The OH enjoyed his Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew, which included gin, homemade ginger syrup and lemon juice, topped with London Pride.

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge

Along with a couple of complimentary glasses of Champagne which all customers were being treated to and a glass of Malbec each, our Sunday lunch was a real delight. So much so, I already have an urge to return especially as we didn’t have a chance to try any desserts.

There is also a small bar area before you enter the restaurant which looks like a good spot to pop into for a drink

My one word of warning is that you have descend some stairs to reach the restaurant so if you do arrive with a buggy, it’s best to have someone to help you take it down the stairs. Little Man was fast asleep and the descent didn’t bother him one bit. And when he woke up, the charming staff kept him very much entertained.

Can’t wait to go back!

Hawksmoor Knightsbridge, 3 Yeoman’s Row, Knightsbridge, SW3 2AL.

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Vegan and Wheat Free Discoveries at Riccardo’s

by Chelsea Girl on August 3, 2014

I’ve known about Riccardo’s restaurant since it opened and have visited it quite a few times over the years. But it was only relatively recently I’d learned that Riccardo’s wasn’t just any delicious Italian restaurant in London.

Quite the institution in Chelsea, Riccardo’s terrace dining is part of the local landscape. If you’ve walked along the Fulham Road from South Kensington, there isn’t any doubt that you would have at least glanced at it.

Riccardo'sSo what is this special something I’ve recently discovered about Riccardo’s? If you are coeliac, vegan or if if you have special dietary requirements you’ll appreciate this. On the menu, you can find wheat free and vegan dishes which will not compromise your taste buds. That’s right, I woke up the following morning after an indulgent Italian meal not feeling bloated.

Last week I was invited to Riccardo’s latest Fashion Supper Club along with a few other bloggers and the evening started in the best possible way: An espresso martini to kick start the evening deliciously.

Riccardo'sSoon after, an array of starter dishes arrived for us to try. They included this gorgeous artichoke and prosciutto dish with truffle oil drizzled over it. The surprise of the truffle oil was a feast for my tastebuds and the evening was already getting better.

Riccardo'sThere were also crudités with warm anchovy and garlic dip …

Riccardo's… as well as this gorgeous aubergine dish, which was my favourite. There was also wheat free and yeast free bread to try too.

AubergineFor my main, I ordered the pasta and venison ragu dish which lived up to the hype around the table. The meat was tender and the whole dish was a true delight. I know, I know, this dish doesn’t shout vegan or wheat free but you can order spelt spaghetti or penne; corn maccheroncini, which is gluten free, and kamut fusilli.

Riccardo'sAdmittedly there was also a lot of food envy when I looked at what everyone else had ordered, from the meatballs to the fish and prawns. It looked like everyone had ordered well.

Riccardo'sAs night started to fall and after we’d finished our mains we were again given a chance to try most of the dishes from the dessert menu and it really is difficult to say which one I preferred. They were all very good. The tiramisu was melt in your mouth dreamy. I’ve never tasted tiramisu like Riccardo’s. This gluten free (below) chocolate dessert was also amazing. So rich and moist, you don’t have to be coeliac to enjoy it. There were other desserts, which we tried including pineapple and one that I remember having surprising bursts of almond. And there was of course the cheese.

Riccardo's

I had such a fantastic summer’s evening locally and the food and drinks were a real treat. Thank you Riccardo’s for a great evening and thank you for the OH’s cadeau, which he really appreciated. Next time, I’ll bring the Little Man along too which I can’t wait to do.
Riccardo's

Riccardo’s 126 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW3 6HU. Riccardo’s also home delivers: 020 7370 6656

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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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