L’Eto Caffe

L'eto Caffe (7 of 42)
The 6th and newest L’eto caffe branch in South Kensington

L'eto Caffe (10 of 42)
Selection of great desserts available like any other branch!
History and Background:

Meal courtesy of L’Eto Caffe, Brompton Road, the newest of the 6 branches and opened late 2014. Midway between South Kensington and Knightsbridge, L’Eto holds an exquisite display of patisserie and desserts at the shop window leaving many Londoners eyeing up for more. A family orientated business with Italian influences.

The first ever L’Eto opened up on Wardour Street, Soho in 2011, and there has been no going back since. The Brompton branch radiates an ambience of tranquility and benevolence, which is a stark contrast to its busy and often-crowded Soho counterpart!

L'eto Caffe (11 of 42)
The lower floor of L’eto caffe, a small but spacious dining room fit for private use

They have a healthy selection of salads and main courses available to takeaway in its various locations.

The meal:

L'eto Caffe (14 of 42)
Butternut Squash Ravioli, Almonds, Rocket, Dry Apricots £10.95

L'eto Caffe (15 of 42)
Sundried Tomato Stuffed Gnocchi, Pesto, Pine Nuts £8.95
The gnocchi was my personal favourite from the starters, with the sundried tomatos and pine nuts in full flavour and gnocchi cooked at the right texture. The ravioli would have been perfect if it was boiled a bit more, the ravioli skin was slightly undercooked. Along with 3 courses, we had an opportunity to try 2 cocktails and 2 smoothies which made such good thirst quenchers!

L'eto Caffe (18 of 42)
Copacabana at Dawn £7.95, Cherry Lime £7.00
Shrenee chose the Copacabana which we thought came out too strong, but we’re both not naturally great drinkers! Consists of cachaca, passion fruit, chocolate and cream. The chocolate and passion fruit are purposeful complements, with the right proportions they develop a sophisticated and exotic aroma. “A must-try brazilian favourite”.

I had Cherry Lime consisting of gin, cherry puree, lime and sugar syrup. “Elegant and tangy” and indeed met my expectations of a light, crispy and fresh drink!

L'eto Caffe (19 of 42)
Watermelon, honey and mint smoothie £5.95

L'eto Caffe (20 of 42)
Blueberry and jasmine smoothie £5.95
I’m an absolute sucker for smoothies, absolutely loved these and very fitting for the summer. If you’re coming by for the patisserie, have a smoothie too.

L'eto Caffe (26 of 42)
Wild seabass fillet, quinoa, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes £21.95

L'eto Caffe (31 of 42)
Porcini mushroom risotto £15.95

L'eto Caffe (33 of 42)
Filling mains, and of course it would not be a meal without my favourite mushrooms!
The wild sea bass was soft and the juices were well preserved within the fish. The quinoa a clever and light accompaniment and gears you up well for the rich desserts to come.

L'eto Caffe (34 of 42)
Some of the meals available for takeaway or eat in, that are ready made at the counter

L'eto Caffe (36 of 42)
This Roasted Turkey with Rosemary looks like it will be good with gravy!

L'eto Caffe (37 of 42)
Our next temptations…

L'eto Caffe (38 of 42)
Honey Cake

L'eto Caffe (40 of 42)
Chocolate Caramel Slice
I am such a big fan of their desserts, notably the green tea cheesecake I received on my birthday. Trying something new, we opted for the chocolate caramel slice and honey cake which were heavenly. Honey cake was remniscent of the same spongy cakes I had in Amsterdam, creamy, light, and sweet.  The chocolate caramel slice was biscuit-like, and teasingly crumby. It wasn’t too sweet even with the caramel which was great for me! It was a shame we didn’t finish, but 3 courses is more than enough and the portions are very moderate.

Service: Young staff, friendly but not intrusive.

Price: £

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London Without Limits, 3 Little Birds (Grub Club)

3 Little Birds (10 of 12)
A series of blindfolded dinners for RLSB charity – eating with your other senses!

History and Background:

All photos taken for this post has been taken blindfolded (well, apart from the welcome drink, espresso martini).

A Taste is a regular pop up event managed by Australian chef Chris Jordan. In a collaboration with Sarah Blisset, together they held a 4 course blind tasting course earlier this year in aid of The Royal London Society of The Blind. Fia, Allan and I attended a trial run of London Without Limits 2015 at the newly opened 3 Little Birds, in Clerkenwell. They have been showcasing this event every week in the month of July, with the final installment finishing on the 25th July, so be sure to check it out!

Using your other senses beside your sight, such as taste, smell, sounds and touch, we were propelled into an evening of adventure and sensory creativity.

(I actually make a tiny appearance on the promo video – see if you can spot me here!)

The meal:

3 Little Birds (1 of 12)
Espresso Martini

I don’t want to give too much away, but it really is amazing how we can eat using just 4 out of our 5 senses. To facilitate our hands we had bamboo sticks separating the diners and outlining our eating area.

3 Little Birds (2 of 12)
Fia trying to take a drink from her glass of wine
3 Little Birds (3 of 12)
Actors who photo bombed! They assisted with creating a Shakespearean themed atmosphere on the night

By trying to take photos and documenting what I eat, I realised I had no control of who or what was in my photo! No worrying about angles and proportions here, I was absolutely blind!

3 Little Birds (5 of 12)
We had no idea that there was even anyone around us!
3 Little Birds (8 of 12)
Our food served in a bowl to ease the difficulty eating blindfolded
3 Little Birds (11 of 12)
Our dessert for the evening. Sweet and crumbly, finished it all up in an instant.
3 Little Birds (12 of 12)
I’ve deliberately not mentioned what we ate here, you can see for yourselves!

You can find more about 3 Little Birds and also the London Without Limits series here. You’re taken to sensory heights with a blindfolded meal, Chris Jordan deserves all the credits he gets for hosting a great dinner with great food.

Price: ££

Juma’s Kitchen (Grub Club)

Juma's Kitchen (8 of 16)
It’s a full house tonight at Juma’s Kitchen – can you spot the bloggers?
History and Background:

Meal courtesy of popular start-up pockethighstreet.

Pop-ups and street food are becoming the latest hype in the London restaurant and food industry, but it’s not going to be slowing down any time soon. Philip Juma showcases his expertise in Iraqi cuisine with Juma’s Kitchen, (you can find his events and others similar on Grub Club, or reach out to pockethighstreet).

Serving traditional Iraqi food from the Northern region of Mosul

Philip has an impressive resume, having worked at Michelin starred restaurants to his build up of Juma’s Kitchen, such as Gordon Ramsey’s Maze. Being a British born Iraqi, he finds his roots through his latest venture, Juma’s Kitchen is a continuously sold out and popular event, visited by many. A website to come soon.

The meal: (Usually a 4 course meal for a fixed price)

Juma's Kitchen (3 of 16)
Lamb bourek, falafel, spiced baba ganoush (mixed meze bites)
Having never had Iraqi food before, I was met with surprise at how elegantly plated Philip’s courses were and the flavours that arose from each of these. The meze was ate in an instant and was crisp, the sauces were distinctive and certainly never tasted before.

Juma's Kitchen (5 of 16)
Dijaj Bilmynarinj

Juma's Kitchen (6 of 16)
This beast of a starter!
‘Boneless, crispy chicken thigh served on wafer-layered potato with a rich saffron sauce, garnished in caramelised onions’

One of my favourite courses of the night, flavours were brought out in full force and caramelised onions complemented the savoriness of the chicken well.

Juma's Kitchen (7 of 16)
Kubba Hamuth
Handmade lamb dumplings with Iraqi spices in a rich tomato sauce with turnips, onions and garlic. Garnished with mint oil, and turnip crisp.

Juma's Kitchen (9 of 16)
Fattoush salad to complement the main
Philip illustrates the concept of sharing plates for the main, an eye-popping course that keeps diners salivating for more. This is JUMA’s signature dish, tender lamb chop with rice filled vine leaves.

Juma's Kitchen (10 of 16)
Dolma

Juma's Kitchen (11 of 16)
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make my own plate look pretty would it? Tantalizing french trimmed lamb chop on display

Juma's Kitchen (12 of 16)
Tender lamb mince marinated in Iraqi spices with rice, wrapped in vine leaves, onion shells and baby peppers, slowed cooked in lemon, garlic and pomegranate

Juma's Kitchen (13 of 16)
Knafa
We can’t forget desserts, concluding the evening with Knafa. Warm baked cream and soft cheese with shredded filo pastry. Blossom water syrup added the sweet taste to the baked cream and pistachios gave it that extra nutty flavour. I can’t usually take creamy courses, but this one was so dribble inducing, I’m not sure where to start…

It’s best off you try it for yourselves and experiences the intensity of these ingredients when cooked together! A highly recommended and enjoyable affair.

Juma's Kitchen (15 of 16)
What a pretty dessert – baked cream and soft cheese topped with shredded filo pastry. Served with blossom water syrup and pistachios

Juma's Kitchen (16 of 16)
I could have eaten 3 of these…oops
Service: Style of service is very different at a pop-up, a more personalised and friendly encounter with those who actually run it. Phillip did well – and it was a meal thoroughly enjoyed.

Bits and bobs:

  • Locations may vary since it’s a pop up
  • There may be various discounts if you use particular sites – such as pockethighstreet

Price: ££

Percy and Founders

Percy & Founders (1 of 43)
Full house on what was a Friday night!

History and Background:

I came here for the 50% off soft opening week along with three others. Opened in April of 2015 at what was formerly the Middlesex hospital, the restaurant houses 200, though, for such a large restaurant, it can look very sparse and desolate when even half empty. Nevertheless, ideal for relaxed drinking and group bookings.

Diego Cardosa, is the new executive chef at P&F, known for working under Gordon Ramsay, and also running Murano. The founders introduced a new concept of pub dining as their main marketing strategy;

Experience the evolution of public houses

Upscale dining? Gastropub? Not sure here… but you can do the googling.

It might be worth to note though, the food is more worth the price I paid at its soft opening that at its full price, it is seemingly overpriced for what you get.

The meal: (Full prices are shown below)

Percy & Founders (5 of 43)
Starters: Crispy Short Rib – Radish and Mustard Creme Fraiche £8.50
Percy & Founders (10 of 43)
Ordered a feast between 4…something that happens when you eat with PYC

The crispy short rib, slightly eccentric design to start off with, and gave a good first impression too, crispy and crunchy. Potato skins below was one of my favourite nibbles, made as a bar snack to complement with cocktails if you’re at P&F for drinks!

Percy & Founders (12 of 43)
Snacks: Potato skins £3.00
Percy & Founders (14 of 43)
Snacks: Courgette Wafers with Cream Cheese & Iberico Ham £4.50
Percy & Founders (15 of 43)
Bar snack: Scratchings £4

Some more bar snacks ordered, the iberico ham somewhat forgetful, but reminiscent of the bread pillows and iberico ham that I had at Ametza.

Percy & Founders (16 of 43)
Bar snack: Burrata £4
Percy & Founders (20 of 43)
Sea Bass – charred broccoli, lemon and samphire £18.50

I ordered the sea bass since the others all ordered the lamb breast, samphire gave additional flavouring alongside this particular white fish, but for a main worth a near £20, I’m not sure it gave it its worth. Truffle fries are a must order here, so aromatic – if you are a regular reader, then you know that a meal consisting of truffle is a regular occurrence..

Percy & Founders (24 of 43)
Sides: Truffle fries £4
Percy & Founders (26 of 43)
Main: Crispy lamb breast, champ and gravy £17.50
Percy & Founders (32 of 43)
Chicken Wellington (£19 per person) – this is 2x (£38)

I don’t know why we ordered this, don’t ask me why, bar snacks, sides, main and desserts were more than enough, yet we ordered chicken wellington. Not a great fan of wellington and I may have been too full to like it.

Percy & Founders (36 of 43)
Desserts: Percy’s mistress’ and maple syrup butter £7.50
Percy & Founders (39 of 43)
Lemon and Yoghurt £7.50 (almond crumble and prosecco sorbet)

My photos don’t really do these desserts justice, but lets call it a bad photography day. Magdeleines were warm and served hot, alongside something called maple syrup butter…heavenly. Crepe Souffle, which I thought would be too creamy for my liking, but warm, sweet crepe cooked in its iron pan with meringue couldn’t have been made any better.

Percy & Founders (40 of 43)
Desserts: Crepe Souffle, and orange caramel £7.50
Percy & Founders (43 of 43)
The front interior of Percy & Founders, inside Fitzoy Place, a recently developed £750 million pound investment…

Service: Friendly staff all with probable previous restaurant experience. 12.5% service charge

Price: £££

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WA Cafe

WA Cafe (38 of 51)
Multiple visits to WA cafe
History and Background:

This post has taken me a while to write, fuelled by the ambitious plan that I will try out the whole entire menu before posting about it. WA cafe are continuously inventing new recipes and adding new things to the menu so this slightly hinders my not-so-achievable plan!

Look out for updates at WA cafe on its social media sharing sites, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course, its own website.

What I love about WA cafe is how authentic it feels, from its freshly made patisserie to traditional Japanese curry buns – it even has an automated door system exactly like in Japan! Bread and cakes are made fresh right out of the kitchen, you can even see them making it from the small kitchen window by the counter.
You can see some of the most common products they sell at WA cafe here: http://www.wacafe.co.uk/products

Opened by the owners of popular chain restaurant Hare & Tortoise, late 2014/ early January 2015.

The meal: (Takeaway prices shown)

WA Cafe (12 of 51)
Matcha Marble Bread (£2.10)
A buttery and aromatic soft bread beautifully layered with Matcha cream/ Sweet Potato. Available on Saturdays only.

WA Cafe (9 of 51)
Purple Sweet Potato Bread £2.30
WA Cafe (29 of 51)
Choux Trio £3.60
A trio of crusty choux pastry filled with a whipped sesame, matcha and azuki custard creams. Rasberry and Pistachio tart below was amazingly fresh, consists of pistachio frangipane tart decorated with a lightly whipped custard cream and fresh raspberries.

WA Cafe (1 of 51)
Raspberry and Pistachio Tart £4
WA Cafe (3 of 51)
They also have amazing fluffy and filling sandwiches!
WA Cafe (32 of 51)
Chicken Katsu sandwich £4.50
Chicken Katsu sandwiches consist of deep fried chicken in breadcrumbs with sweet BBQ sauce, mayo and salad.

WA Cafe (4 of 51)
Green tea latte £2.90
WA cafe also has my favourite type of green tea, houji-cha! (Roasted green tea)

They have teas for a pot for £3.00

  1. Houjicha
  2. Genmai cha
  3. Green tea
  4. Soba cha
  5. Yuzu cha
  6. Ume cha

WA Cafe (5 of 51)
Soft bread and a heavenly matcha filling!
WA Cafe (6 of 51)
Green Tea Azuki pan £2.10
Above we have the Green Tea Azuki bun, a soft green tea bread filled with a sweet Azuki bean paste and cream cheese. The two below, small white roll filled with Chicken Kara-age pieces and salad with mixed of Ketchup, Mayo and sweet BBQ sauce. Pumpkin mini roll is a small white roll filled with Pumpkin Croquette and salad with mixed of Ketchup, Mayo and sweet BBQ sauce.

WA Cafe (10 of 51)
Chicken Kara-age bun £2.50
WA Cafe (11 of 51)
Sweet Potato Croquette bun £2.50
WA Cafe (14 of 51)
Matcha Roll £3.60
WA Cafe (16 of 51)
Dense and rich, a must try
WA Cafe (27 of 51)

WA Cafe (37 of 51)
Japanese curry buns!
WA Cafe (28 of 51)

WA Cafe (48 of 51)
The insides
On our last trip here we went for seconds on the curry buns, and witnessed it running out twice in 30 minutes!

WA Cafe (42 of 51)
The strawberry shortcake £4
Japan’s own signature patisserie, the strawberry shortcake, and WA cafe does it!  A delicate sponge with a lightly textured whipped cream and sumptuous fresh strawberries.

WA Cafe (44 of 51)
Mont Blanc £4.20
WA Cafe (49 of 51)
Teriyaki Chicken – A soft white roll with caramelised onions and teriyaki chicken, dressed with mayonnaise.
Service: Since it’s a cafe, minimal interaction – but very nice friendly staff. Look out for the owner/ manager Yvonne, very welcoming.

Bits and bobs:

  • It’s not as far as it seems, and it’s certainly worth the travel. Right next to Ealing Broadway station, Central, District and Piccadilly line
  • Try not to over order – eating the whole menu in one day is impossible!

Price: £
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ASSA

Assa (5 of 10)
Arguably one of the best hotpots in London

History and Background:

A little history on the internet on ASSA while I’ve researched where I can, it has been around since at least since 2008 with 2 branches, one on Giles Street, and the other, Romilly Street (near Kyoto).

Giles Street branch has since closed down due to the renovation works ongoing at Tottenham Court Road. An insider tells me the owner of the building block on Giles Street intends to knock down and rebuild it upscale residential flats. We shall see…

I have only ever been to ASSA for its hotpot, catered for all spice levels, and a variety of different hotpots you can choose from. Other food such as it’s kimchee pancake, and rappokki are very much recommended.

ASSA lists an extensive set of Korean dishes alike, such as rice cake soup to alcoholic drinks such as cucumber soju.

The meal:

Assa (9 of 10)
Rappokki (Ramen with rice cakes, fish cakes) £6.90

I’m a sucker for Korean food, probably stems from doing a homestay for a month in Seoul when I was 18. Ramen with rice cakes and dokbokki is a favourite of mine, if you like it like it spicy and sweet at the same time, definitely try this out. Ramen is 70% cooked, how I like it.

Assa (2 of 10)
Beef and Kimchi Stew £22 (recommended to eat between at least 2 people)

When you’re waiting for the gas to heat the soup base, don’t play around the pan just yet! You can order extra condiments (it’s pretty normal to do so, otherwise you don’t have much in the pot). Extra condiments vary in price but you’re given an extensive choice. Ask the waiter if you don’t know what they are. Some extras can be vague, i.e. ‘noodles’, ‘ramen’ and ‘glass noodles’, so what kind of noodles are ‘noodles’?

Assa (1 of 10)
Extra add-ons (£1-4) Ramen, 2x eggs, Ham, rice cakes, glass noodles, pork
Assa (4 of 10)
Generous serving on beef makes me happy
Assa (7 of 10)
Joceline was supposedly on a no carb diet so she got samgyupsal i.e. pork belly slices and lettuce wraps…

This was okay, nothing special, and wasn’t that hot, very fatty pork. I like my meat more lean…

Assa (8 of 10)
A feast for 4!

Service: Like most hotpot meals, or BBQ meals, there is expected, minimal customer interaction, but fret not, they’re friendly and helpful when you raise a hand or 2.

Bits and bobs:

  • They have karaoke rooms downstairs
  • Spread over two floors
  • Can always ask to refill the soup base when hotpot is drying out, or gas
  • As far as I remember, Korean BBQ there is grilled before serving, no DIY here!

Price: ££

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