Dim Sum


It’s not usual I dine out on my own. It’s been done but not frequently. But the other week when I visited Harrods to review Mango Tree, I had lunch alone and it felt like a real treat.

Of course, the glass of Laurent-Perrier rosé helped a lot and so did the people-watching which I find Knightsbridge so interesting for. Mango Tree, Harrods

But as much as I was enjoying a moment of time out, I realised not long after sitting down that it’s really difficult to keep me quiet. While I waited for my dim sum starter to arrive I found myself talking to the lady on my left. She was a jewellery buyer and as our conversation meandered I realised this was one of the reasons I used to love travelling abroad on my own: you always get to meet interesting people along the way because there are more opportunities to speak to them.

Eventually the dim sum arrived and I suddenly quietened down as I enjoyed tasters from the main menu which included Wagyu beef, prawn with white truffle oil as well as prawn and chives.

Mango Tree, Harrods London

I also had a taste of the fried starters and loved every single one. They included lobster popcorn with spicy mayo (delicious!), duck, sesame prawn spring rolls and mixed mushrooms & vegetable spring rolls. I couldn’t finish everything on the plate especially with the anticipation of my main course so admittedly I took the rest away with me and enjoyed the rest later.

Mango Tree Harrods

By the time my main arrived – a taster of the spicy chicken and …

Mango Tree, Harrods London

… and the succulent and tasty beef massaman, the jewellery buyer to my left was ready to leave. And as we bid each other a good afternoon, I tucked into smaller portions of dishes that were recommended to me on Twitter. I’d been to Mango Tree in Belgravia before and whilst I thought the meal was fine, I preferred this lunch by far. I guess in some cases it’s about knowing what to order and at Mango Tree, these two dishes are winners.

Mango Tree, Harrods London

To top off the good food and great setting, the staff were really helpful and kind. Of course I was there to review and they were looking after me but I also did quite a bit of eavesdropping and noticed how courteous they were to the other customers which made me feel very comfortable being there.

This is definitely a place I’d recommend if you’re looking for a special treat.

Mango Tree, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL

It’s been a while since I thought about my first holiday without my family. I was seventeen when I hopped on a plane to Greece one summer in between studying for my A-levels, along with one of my best friends and her older sister. It was two weeks of partying, meeting folks from all around, and spending hours lounging on the beach.

Flash forward to many years later and now with a child of my own and a business, sophistication springs to mind as I walk down the stairs and into Hakkasan Hanway’s beautiful restaurant.
Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

The reason for my visit is to review Hakkasan’s new Ling Ling menu which is “inspired by the izakaya concept made popular in the East.” The Ling Ling experience is all about smaller Cantonese plates which take you from dinner to dancing.

This is made easy by the soundtrack that fills the restaurant, which is both relaxing and upbeat. It makes you feel like you could be sitting at a beach bar in Sydney or Italy. But in this case, the destination in mind is Mykonos where Hakkasan have recently opened an open-air restaurant and bar also called Ling Ling.

And if the music wasn’t enough to transport you to an outdoor bar on a Mediterranean island, the Ling Ling signature cocktail will help you on this journey. As I sipped it I had to ask myself, how does a drink do that? How does it transport you somewhere else, somewhere different? I’ve always loved Hakkasan’s cocktails but this gin-based cocktail is truly something else. It’s more than the elderflower, cranberry or any of the ingredients. It is the whole experience, the taste, the aroma that made me feel I could be sitting on a beach.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

As for the rest of the set menu, there is a choice of Fish & Seafood, Meat & Seafood and Vegetarian. I opted for the meat and seafood menu because I wanted to try this trio of dim sum platter. Impeccable. Wonderful as ever.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

I also wanted to try the jasmine tea smoked organic pork rib which was beautiful. The smoky flavour gave the ribs a fresh off the barbecue feel whilst the succulent, fall off the bone, meat indicated the care and time these ribs spent cooking.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

For the main course I had the spicy prawn with lily bulb and almond with steamed jasmine rice, which I really enjoyed. But if you’re not keen on your food being too spicy, you might want to try the grilled Chilean seabass in honey or stir-fry black pepper vegetarian chicken from the other menus.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

For all of the menus, the meal ends with a selection of macarons which I enjoyed – with a soya flat white to accompany.
Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

And as I finished my lunch and headed back up the stairs to Tottenham Court Road, it did cross my mind that perhaps it’s time I go back to Greece. After all if the Ling Ling menu is anything to go by, Hakkasan in Mykonos will be amazing.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

This menu is available at Hakkasan Hanway and Hakkasan Mayfair until 31st August 2015.

Chelsea Girl

Last week I popped into Soho for an afternoon catch-up where Alix and I enjoyed Yauatcha’s fantastic cocktails. I had the Cha la lai which includes Belvedere vodka, black grapes, oolong tea, apple juice and Champagne whilst …
Afternoon Tea at Yautcha Soho

… Alix had the Guava Bellini.

Afternoon Tea at Yautcha Soho

And it dawned on me how ideal dim sum is for a mid-afternoon treat. Light, tasty and perfect for sharing, I’m starting to see it as an alternative to afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea at Yautcha Soho

And even though we are in the middle of summer I loved seeing the steaming small plates arrive. Maybe it evokes the familiar feeling of home cooking (albeit a Michelin starred feeling) or perhaps it is the sense of freshness as well as quality that presides over each dish as it arrives; swiftly reassured by every first bite into each dumpling. Afternoon Tea at Yautcha Soho

But by the time dessert arrives, in this case the raspberry delice with raspberry, Madirofolo chocolate, lychee, I remember what a special place Yauatcha is. For example, slicing into this cake is encountering chocolate heaven. Every mouthful is culinary bliss and it is difficult to leave it unfinished. That would be a sin.
Afternoon Tea at Yautcha SohoLocated in the heart of Soho, Yauatcha’s stylish dining room has a laid back atmosphere that is matched by impeccable service. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I last visited.

Chelsea Girl

Yauatcha, 15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0DL

Disclaimer: I was Alix’s guest for this delicious catch-up. Thank you Alix! x

I can easily say September is my favourite month. It’s when I celebrate my anniversary with the OH and it’s my birthday month too. And of course, it’s a good excuse to hit the shops for a brand new autumn wardrobe. Always my favourite season to buy clothes.

September is also when Michelin-starred Yauatcha turns 10 years old. And in a custom which every birthday should enjoy,  there will be a month-long series of celebrations centred around Yauatcha’s favourite treats: dim sum, tea, patisseries and Champagne.


There will also be secret off-menu items, which I cannot disclose but which sound very very delicious. Trust me. 


If you’d like to see what else Yauatcha has to offer, here’s a review from my visit earlier this year.

So here’s to September and another reason to celebrate!

Yauatcha, 15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1F 0DL.

1. Celebrate Chinese New Year at Yauatcha in Soho and whilst you’re there, have a look at the specially designed windows by Harvey Nichols. Every guest will also receive a special treat after their meal. You can find out more here.

Yauatcha2. Or celebrate the works of one of the greatest actors alive as part of the BFI’s Al Pacino season. The trouble however is which film to watch first. Take a look at the programme here.

3. Another cause for celebration is the end of Dry January! Celebrate by heading to your favourite bar and raising a glass to the rest of the year. If you’re looking for some direction in this department, here is a link to my cocktail posts.

4. Take a look at this Oscars nominations list and choose a film to watch this weekend. I am so behind on my cinema going, partially because of baby boy but also because I’m working through all eight seasons of Dexter right now. I’m on season seven!

5. And finally, head to the West End or around Trafalgar Square for the Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday. It promises to be quite a spectacle!

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