There’s not really much that needs to be said in this post. Other than the fact that La Di Da Sweet Treats have succeeded in creating the worlds most wonderful thing.
The Chocolate Covered Cookie: A whole Oreo submerged in chocolate and chilled. Available to buy from the bakery counter at Selfridges as of today for £1.20 a pop.
That is all.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but Farringdon is slowly but surely making it’s way to the top of London’s restaurant scene. Last night I experienced dinner and cocktails (many, many cocktails) at Exmouth Market’s Italian Kitchen, Paesan. We were introduced to a selection of delicious hearty italian dishes and small plates with head chef Mattia and were treated to cocktail after cocktail all night long.
Highlights for me were the Toblerone cocktail (sexual creamy dream), Arancini balls with gorgonzola and pumpkin, hand cut pappardelle with braised rabbit and wild mushrooms, steak tagliata and the fritto misto (deep fried calamari and red mullet). Every morsel was delicious and I’d salivating at the thought right now.
Exmouth Market is full to the brim with cool little places to eat and drink so you’re spoilt for choice – I’d start at Paesan and work your way round. Thats exactly what I’m going to do…
I’m not the biggest of tea drinkers and there’s usually a slice of cake or a biscuit to dunk involved if I’m seen with a cuppa but I do love a party and I’m not one to turn down an invitation when it’s as impressive as the one I received for the T2 Regents Street launch event.
T2 isn’t your average tea shop and there’s far more to think about than Earl Grey and English breakfast. They specialise in some of the most imaginative and exciting loose leaf teas I’ve ever heard of and sell an abundance of beautiful tea pots and china to go with it. The launch event opened my eyes to Ice Tea cocktails, Tea infused canapés and the T2 way of life, which is something I’m now keen to know more about. T2 isn’t just a place to buy posh tea – it’s the creme de la creme of Britain’s favourite hot beverage and although it’s originally an Australian brand, it seems to be doing pretty bloody well over here.
If tea time if your favourite time of day then get yourself down to one of T2’s many London stores to see what all the fuss is about. I can’t promise you’ll get salted caramel brownies and gin cocktails but I can assure you you’ll be impressed.
Bill’s is one of those restaurants I’ve walked passed a thousand times but have never visited. It’s always busy and I’ve heard good things but I’ve just never had a reason to go. Their new summer menu has changed that though. Tonight I got to sample a few of the new dishes they’ve got on offer and I enjoyed every single bite. It took me a while to decide what to go for because the menu is extensive. It’s perfect if you’re eating in a big group or with fussy eaters. There’s something for everyone, even my fussy family would be satisfied.
We were HUNGRY so started with cocktails & nibbles; Crispy Crumbed Halloumi, Kale Crisps, Bill’s Green Garden & Amaretto Sours.
Then we had our starters; Crab, Chilli & Prawn Cakes and Crispy Lemon Squid.
Followed by our mains, I had the Crunchy Kale Leaf Salad with Chicken, Chickpeas, Red Cabbage, Radish, Quinoa, Red Onions, Chargrilled Vegetables, Almond & Ginger Dressing, topped with Avocado, Toasted Sesame Seeds & Flaked Almonds. Chloe had the Pan Fried Seabass with Chunky Tomato, Avocado & Caper Salsa with a Crispy Spring Onion & Parsley Potato Rösti. We shared the Tenderstem Broccoli and washed it all down with a Raspberry & Rosehip Collins.
We finished with an Espresso Martini & the Treacle Tart with Honeycomb Ice cream and Caramel Sauce. Highly recommended and delicious.
We visited the Soho branch but there are Bill’s absolutely everywhere so you’ve got no excuse not to pop in and check it our for yourselves. The restaurant is really nicely decorated and they’ve got an amazing selection of treats that you can buy to take home with you; including Marc De Champagne Truffles – which are my favourite things EVER. All in all I give Bill’s a big thumbs up, thanks for having me guys!
When I want to cook something I’ve never cooked before I usually spend some time doing my research and read a few recipes before adapting my own concoction under the watchful eye of the likes of Jamie and Nigella. Not tonight though. My years of avid Food Network viewing have finally paid off and I’ve created a recipe completely from scratch that would make Ina Garten proud (if you know then you know). This Pearl Barley Risotto is super healthy and super easy to make, even if you’ve never made a risotto in your life before.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 white onion, diced
200g Pearl Barley
3 Baby Aubergines (you could use pretty much any veg)
Broccoli (half a head)
Peas & Sweetcorn (I used frozen)
1 Celery Stalk
Stock (I used Jewish Chicken Soup Mix but you can use chicken/veg stock cubes/pots, fresh stock etc)
Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (you could use basil/mint/coriander)
Zest of 1 Lemon and Juice of Half a Lemon
Low Fat Fromage Frais (you could use creme fraiche/low fat yoghurt)
Seasoning; Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Dried Oregano
Coconut Oil & Olive Oil
Rinse the pearl barley and add it to a saucepan with enough boiling water to cover it – you don’t want it to dry out. Let it boil whilst you prepare the vegetables. Fry the diced onion in the coconut oil until it’s soft. Whilst the onion is cooking slice the baby aubergine and toss it in olive oil and salt then add to the pan and cook through. Chop the broccoli and celery and add to the pan. After the pearl barley has softened a bit drain it and add it to the vegetables and add your first lot of stock. The amount of stock will depend on how quickly its absorbed so just pay attention to it and keep stirring! Add the lemon juice, zest, chopped herbs and seasoning and stir. I added about 1 and a half pints of stock in 3 lots and I let it simmer for about half an hour. It does need a fair bit of attention but its not difficult and its most definitely worth it. When it looks like its nearly ready and the pearl barley is cooked through, add the peas and sweetcorn and stir in the fromage frais. Stir everything through one last time and check the seasoning. Once it’s thick and creamy, serve and garnish with lemon zest and fresh parsley.
DELICIOUS. Even if I do say so myself.