Ribs

Ribs-London

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.

London is fast becoming exciting when it comes to healthy choices when eating out. And when the healthier options are available at a favourite local, event better.

This local is Bumpkin; be it on Sydney Street or in South Kensington, which has a brand new guilt-free menu.

Bumpkin Created with Julie Montagu, this menu includes four hydraulic cold press juices:

The Lean Green Machine has green kale, tenderstem broccoli, watercress, Cox apple, lemon, lime, spirulina and a pinch of ginger, whilst the Carrot Digestif includes carrots, oranges, celery and curly parsley.

Don’t Beet Around The Bush is made from beetroot, pear, blueberries, Cox apple, acai berries and lime – and the Bloody Berry has red pepper, yellow pepper, rhubarb, oranges, green kale and goji berries.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsEach of the juices has its own benefits that could make you feel good on a hangover, post-gym or just in general. And as for taste, they’re great. The Bloody Berry was the most unusual of the selection and as a result, the one I enjoyed the most.

After tasting the juices, I opted for the green kale and spinach soup which came with organic quinoa and seven seed pancakes. You may have read in a previous post a year or two ago about how frustrated I was that there wasn’t much quinoa in London restaurants. Well, flashforward to today and it looks like we’re finally catching up with New York where I was eating quinoa over ten years ago.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsFor starter, the OH opted for ribs. He’s got this thing for ribs at the moment and when it came to Bumpkin’s, (in his words), they were really succulent and fall-off-the-bone. They were really good.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsFor main, we moved to the salads. Mine was as a result of the Good Healthy Combinations that is available on the menu. I chose chicken to go with the braised celery, green lentil, wild, mushrooms, granola clusters and chestnuts …

Bumpkin Healthy Options… whilst the OH opted for prawns to go with malt glazed allotment carrots, roasted hazelnuts, pearl barley and spirulina salad, topped with goji berries, bee pollen and a sesame dressing.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsWe’re both fans of warm salads and were impressed with both our choices. I particularly loved the granola clusters in mine as they added a surprise burst of texture to my dish.

But of course, with all this guilt-free dining, it would be a sin to not taste Bumpkin’s Bloody Mary – which is so good, by the way.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsAnd if you are looking for a cocktail to order, then I recommend the British Martini: Gin, fresh berries and lemon. It is so smooth and delicious. You can be forgiven for wanting to order another.

Bumpkin Healthy OptionsI like this direction which Bumpkin has taken because it now has choices for every mood or lifestyle and if you’re like me, you can always mix them up a bit for a bit of guilt-free pleasure.

Disclaimer: The lunch for two was complimentary for the purpose of the review. But this did not affect my opinion. If you give this new menu a go – or the cocktails for that matter – you’ll see why.

So the longest month of the year is over – or so it felt like it. And now it’s time to get on with 2013, forget about Dry January (if you bothered) and look forward to this being the last month of winter (officially). To help you along, here are my top 5 don’t miss tips for February 2013:

1. It’s the Super Bowl on Sunday and most of us are probably talking about Beyoncé’s much anticipated performance rather than the game. Either way, if you are planning on having a Super Bowl party then consider heading down to Bodean’s BBQ to pick up their marinated meat which are vat packed and therefore easy to cook. Here are the instructions to give you an idea.

Bodean's BBQ Window

Unfortunately Bodean’s Super Bowl party has sold out so this would be the next best thing if you do love their tasty ribs. And if you haven’t tried them yet, here’s my review from the other night.

2. Paris concept store, The Space, is coming to Austique on the King’s Road for one week only over London Fashion Week, from 14th until 21st February 2013.

The Space is a creative hub which hosts emerging Parisian designers, cutting edge fashion labels and international artists and like Austique stocks labels such as Zimmermann, Austique, Cheek Frills and Madeleine Thompson. They will also be showcasing a selection of SS13 collections, which include Parker, Camilla & Marc and lifestyle brands such as Twins for Peace, Claus Porto and Nina Peter.

Austique

3. Donna Ida’s current sale is ending on Monday 4th February 2013 with a serious bang! That is to say, 75% off with an extra 20% off. Just make sure you enter SPECIAL20 at the checkout.

Click here to find out which items are in the clearance sale.

Donna Ida Clearance Sale

4. Whatever you do, don’t miss the ‘Debbie Harry Queen of Punk: Portraits by Brian Aris’ exhibition at Proud Chelsea. It ends on 17th February 2013 and you can read my review as well as watch a couple of Blondie music videos here.

Debbie Harry

5. Don’t Miss The Hollywood Arms’ February movie calendar. With free entry and free popcorn, the films include: The Tourist, The Other Boleyn Girl, When Harry Met Sally and Greenburg. The Hollywood Arms are also introducing a monthly film club which kicks off on 11th February at 7.30pm with Senna.

Hollywood Arms

If you haven’t been upstairs at The Hollywood Arms, here is a photo of the room. It’s a great venue and you can order food as well as drinks there.

Hollywood Arms - Pub

Last night I popped in to try Bodean’s on Fulham Broadway for the very first time. I had passed it many times as well as the one in Soho and have always been intrigued. So with this weekend’s Super Bowl game in mind, I visited this BBQ shack for a taste of America – or Kansas City to be precise.

Bodean's BBQ - Fulham BroadwayDuring the day yesterday, the bf and I would IM each other ‘RIBS’ but what I hadn’t banked on was the wide selection of ribs on offer on Bodean’s menu.

Bodean's MenuIt wasn’t just a case of spare ribs. There were different types as well as variants on the BBQ theme such as burnt ends and pulled pork – the recent food trend of pulled pork had salvaged my ignorance somewhat.

So whilst trying to figure out the extensive rib menu, the bf and I decided on the Bodeans Nachos Supreme, which came with grilled grilled cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. Nachos are one of my favourite snacks and I’m always on the look-out for places that serve them well.

Bodeans - NachosIn the meantime, whilst chowing down, I broke a cardinal rule and ordered a soft drink to accompany my starter whilst the bf sipped his beer and later on, bourbon. It’s so rare that I drink a cola drink. I don’t see the point unless it’s accompanied by whiskey. Otherwise, it’s just a glass of sugar. But I could not resist the Black Cherry Soda bottle that looked so American old-school and well, everything tastes better from a bottle. And this was no exception. The Cherry Soda was sooo gooood and refreshing.

Bodeans - Cherry CokeIn the end, for our main, we decided to go all out and order the Boss Hog Platter which had pretty much everything on it. I wanted to figure out the difference between the different ribs and get a fast-track education, which I certainly did in a very delicious fashion. Check out the pile of meat!

Bodean's RibsThankfully, I had the bf with me who was ravenous. Cycling 20 miles a day kinda does that to a guy and between us, we almost demolished this platter for two. Though take note, some folks also have this dish just to themselves.

See, almost demolished!

Bodeans - DemolishedSo what was included in the Boss Hog Platter and what does it all mean?

Well, there were the spare ribs and baby back ribs. The spare ribs were your standard ribs, although these were the longest and meatiest spare ribs I’d ever tried. So juicy! The baby back ribs were shorter, leaner and a tad bit sweeter. If you’re looking for a taste of meat but not looking to over-indulge and break your fitty regime, the baby back ribs are the way to go.

The Jacob’s Ladder Beef Rib on the other hand is something else. It’s pretty much like having a steak. It’s the big piece of meat at the back of the photo. It’s thick, juicy and oh so tender. So easy to cut through. If you’re looking for a chunk of delicious meat, this is the one to go for.

Burnt Ends look like chunks of meat and have been cooked for hours. And again, they are very succulent. There are no bones involved. They are just cubes, so they’re easy to slice through and eat without getting your fingers dirty.

Also on the plate was Pulled Pork, which is pretty much slow cooked barbecued pork that become so tender, they can be pulled off the bone.

And finally, the Boss Hog Platter had Chicken Thighs and 2 smoked Sausages, which admittedly I couldn’t get to because I was saving what was left of myself for dessert. But they both did look very good.

For dessert, and yes, we did carry on … I ordered a key lime pie which I hadn’t had before and which I absolutely loved. It was so light and contrary to my expectations, the flavour wasn’t bitter at all. It was subtle; more like a cheesecake.

Bodean's Key Lime PieThe bf ended his meal with the honeycomb cheesecake, which was the cheesecake of the day. Again, very good. Bodean’s really do good desserts.

Honeycomb CheesecakeSo that was my ribs education last night and the next time I return, I think I want to give the chilli dog a try. There are so many places that do a good burger but I have yet to find somewhere that makes a chilli dog that blows me away.

Bodean’s Fulham , 4 Broadway Chambers Fulham Broadway , London, SW6 1EP

When I returned from holiday, I had discovered that the Ribstock tickets had already gone on sale and had sold out. I was gutted because I remember when the Rib Man had sent out his first tweet, musing about the idea of a ribs festival and I was excited about the idea – following a deliciously filling time at The Chilli Stand Off.

Subsequently, there was another round of tickets that went on sale but I wasn’t quick off the mark and so I ended up with the ‘corporate’ tickets: £10 to catch a glimpse of the action and to have some ribs and a cocktail.

Initially, I thought it was going to be a case of popping in and out but in the end I stayed for the entire afternoon and had a deliciously lovely time. Why?

For one, I was in the warm and dry …

And I loved The Century Club’s revamped look, which was a real delight to hang out in …

We didn’t get to to taste the ribs which were in competition and vote for the best one. But we did have our own menu, which we went through.

First, we had the ribs (of course) …


And yes, we used cutlery …

The ribs were wonderful: very succulent. I tried some of the sauce, which was fine. But to be honest, I didn’t feel that the ribs needed anything else to add to them. The meat was tasty on its own and I polished mine off without any problem.

After a couple of drinks (I stuck to the Stonewall cocktails of which I had many) …

The bf and I shared a pork belly rib slider …

As well as a hot dog …

For dessert, we tried the Lemon Posset and the Chocolate Mousse, which were both suitable palate changers: delicious but not over-indulgent.

And that suited me fine for the rest of the day. In fact, I only had a small snack after watching Avengers Assemble that night. What I do remember from The Chilli Stand Off was how full I felt and that the whole tasting experience was supposed to be just that: tasting with a pinch of ten dishes.

There was a very relaxed atmosphere at The Century Club as the Ribstock buzz continued downstairs …

But as the rain started to fall again, I was so glad to be in the dry …

Rather than queuing in the rain …

Saying that, those from outside could come inside at any time (they mostly did because the outside loos were not working properly at some point). So the fact that most decided to stay outdoors meant that the Ribstock vibe must have been totally rocking.

And after the winners were announced (which did lead to a few gasps): Cattle Grid came third, Lucky Chip was in second place and Redhook came first for the ribs, there was an after-party in the club.

 

I left as the crowd were coming upstairs. I could feel their cold but I could also feel their excited energy. So all in all, I think a great day was had by everyone – wherever you were.

These guys really know how to run a foodie festival, whether you’re a die-hard meat head, a cocktail fiend or simply just someone who enjoys doing something a bit different.

This was another successful event and I simply can’t wait for the next one. I’m just hoping that the tickets don’t go on sale when I’m on holiday again!

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