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THE PALOMAR.

Israeli, London, London Restaurants, Modern, Soho

I first experienced The Palomar last summer at Taste Of London. I was sold from the moment I laid eyes on the neon pink sign and the business cards. ‘Branding on point’ comes to mind when I think of this cute little restaurant situated in the heart of Soho. 

The Palomar serves the food of modern day Jerusalem, influenced by the rich cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant. The menu is original, exciting and off the chart tasty. Everything we ate was beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. 

We nibbled on Parsnip Crisps with yoghurt & schug and the Kubaneh – a Yemeni pot baked bread served with tahini & grated tomatoes. The parsnip crisps were very salty and had quite an overpowering curried flavour but when teamed with the dips it worked perfectly. The bread was like a brioche and the tahini was undeniably the best I’ve ever had. 

To follow this we ordered the Beetroot Carpaccio with burnt goat’s cheese, hazelnut brittle, lentil tuile & pomegranate molasses vinaigrette, the Salmon Tartare with yoghurt, pomegranate, harissa & savoury Abadi cookie crumble and the Beef Tartare -Hand chopped rump steak, burnt aubergine cream, josperized tomato vinaigrette & toasted almonds. All three dishes were so beautifully presented and tasted divine. I’m still playing veggie so only had the beetroot dish (which was AMAZING) but everyone was raving about the salmon and beef. 

For my main I had the Polenta Jerusalem Style with asparagus, mushroom ragout, parmesan & truffle oil. The portion was tiny but it was so rich, creamy and insanely decadent that it really didn’t matter and I’d order it again in a flash. 

I tried the Shakshukit at Taste and was adamant someone ordered it last night because I couldn’t. The Deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt, tahini, “The 4 tops” & Yaeli’s pita is their signature dish and it a must have if you go. 

Sammy ordered the Octo-hummous – probably one of the stranger items on the menu. Sadly I didn’t get a photo but it did look great. There were a few ‘josperized’ items on the menu and this was one of them. Josperized octopus “steak” chickpea msabacha & cherry tomato confit. According to our very helpful and informative waiter, something becomes Josperized once cooked in a Josper oven – Josper was a guy, he created an oven, The Palomar has one. 

My Mum had the Butternut Squash Risotto with mangetout, pine nuts & parmesan labneh foam – this came presented in a tipped over bath tub style dish and well and truly wowed us all in presentation and flavour.

Dessert was Carrot Cake with raisins, coconut foam, butternut squash marmalade, walnut brittle & candied lime zest. The flavour was immense and the different textures gave it a whole new dimension. My photo came out blurry so you’ll just have to imagine what it looked like. 

I highly recommend The Palomar for special occasions but I was also quite envious of the people sat at the bar enjoyable a casual Monday night bite to eat. The atmosphere is amazing, service is great and food is impeccable. Such a dream. 

ROAD TO RIO: CABANA BRIXTON.

BBQ, Brazilian

As I’m sure you all already know, Brasil are hosting the Olympic games this summer and Cabana have gone all out with the lead up celebrations. Their Brazilian Barbecue menu is all you need to get you in the mood for Rio and the Caipirinha cocktails will make you feel like you’re already there. I was invited down to sample a very large selection of their menu and spent an evening gearing up for what is set to be a banger of a summer.

We were seated at our table, served bowls of ‘bottomless’ corn chips with ‘guaca-molho’ and there wasn’t a moment throughout the evening that I didn’t have an ice cold Caipirinha in hand. My kind of event on every level. I’ve been trying to eat out less recently and  I’m currently 6 weeks into a 7 week ‘meat free’ stint. I don’t want to outright say I’ve been vegetarian because that would be a lie, I’m too weak to say no to things like parmesan and gummy sweets but I’ve definitely tried my best. Saying no to buffalo wings last weekend was proof that I can do this so I wasn’t going to fail one week before the finish line. Cabana were very accommodating to this and although I hated myself for saying no to the ‘spicy malagueta chicken doughnuts’ I was appreciative of all the meat free options that they served us. 


  
  

The chargrilled halloumi with guava dip was a winner, as anything with cheese usually is. Guava dip though – REVELATION. 

The cheesy baked dough balls were banging and the whipped garlic butter put Pizza Express to shame.

These spicy malagueta chicken wraps looked great. I’m a big lettuce wrap fan and will most certainly be ordering these when I go back.

Like I said, chicken doughnuts. Probably not much more that needs to be said here…

This is what Cabana like to call their ‘crispy lula squid’, I like to refer to a part of the human anatomy as a Lula so I’m not sure how I feel about the name. I’m sadly not eating fish either ATM so gave this dish a miss but that malagueta dip was the BOMB.

After all the nibbley bits came the MEAT. By this point I could barely move I was so full and it wasn’t even a struggle to resist but I did try barbecued pineapple and it was without a doubt the best thing I ate all night. I’ll be making my Dad barbecue pineapple for years to come and I thank Cabana for bringing it into my life. Who needs meat when you have meaty fruit? I KNOW RIGHT.
     

As well as all of the meat we were brought over sweet potato and cassava fries, a little salad with (more) halloumi, quinoa, avocado, squash and mango dressing plus a tomato & ‘palm-hearts’ side salad so I felt fully catered for and did not by any means go hungry. In fact I could barely navigate myself out the restaurant I was so stuffed after all this food. 
  No meal is complete without dessert, no matter how full you are and this was an absolute treat. The chocolate raindrop doughnuts with Nutella were what we’d been waiting for all night and most certainly didn’t disappoint. You can always count on Nutella to end the night well. 

We were sent home with bottles of hot sauce and Cabana Bucks for our next trip. A perfect end to a delicious alcohol infused feast. I’ll see you soon Cabana baby.. 

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BRIGHTON BABES.

Afternoon Tea, brighton, Seafood

I spent the weekend in Brighton and well and truly fell in love with the place. I was constantly charging my phone because there were just too many beautiful things to take pictures of. We stayed in the most incredible Air bnb I’ve ever come across and had the most ideal weekend frollicing on the beach eating salty chips. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’ll go back soon to explore the place properly, there are so many things I didn’t get to see or do (mainly I mean eat) and I can’t wait for the sun to start shining properly so I have an excuse to go back. 

                                                                         

We had afternoon tea at Metro Deco & Lunch at The Crab Claw on the beach. Plus lots and lots and lots of chips. I’d go back for the chips alone… Email me on lucydelane@hotmail.com for details on the house we stayed in!  

 

 

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BEE’S BRILLIANT BISCUITS.

bakery, Biscuits

When you work in events and you go to events organised by other people, it’s hard not to critique where they’ve gone wrong and moan about what you would have done differently. I know it makes me sound like a prick but it’s often something I can’t help myself doing. Last night I went to an event that was absolutely perfect, it was organised better than I ever could have done myself and every single aspect made me smile.

Bee Berrie is is mastermind behind the Bee’s Bakery biscuit phenomenon and has been baking the best Jammy Dodgers in London since she gave up a career in science back in 2012. Bee has now branched out beyond just baking delicious little treats and is passing her skills onto the world with her amazing new book Bee’s Brilliant Biscuits. It’s no lie either, her biscuits are brilliant and I couldn’t recommend them more.

The book is adorable and the event was everything I could have imagined for what I’d been referring to all day as a ‘biscuit party’. The cocktails were delish, I’m not quite sure what they were but I know they involved prosecco and Kamm & Sons (which is a bit like gin but way better) – dream combo. We also got little biscuittini cocktails at the end of the night which were dreamy little creamy delights with a boozy amaretti biscuit swimming on the top. The biscuits were in abundance. Savoury poppy seed topped with cheese (the ultimate), gluten free lemon bunnies, giant Jammy Dodgers, chocolate and avocado fudge cookies, Joe’s Cold Brew Tea filled biscuit mugs (OMG), little peanut butter delights and much, much more. We made a giant biscuit mural, were treated to bespoke biscuit making AND even bashed the cookie piñata at the end of the night. 

The venue itself is what dreams are made of. Paper Mill Studios in Angel is the studio of all studios. The kitchen space makes me want to cry it’s so delightful and the marble surfaces and brick walls make it pretty much the most instagrammable place imaginable. 

Every single person we spoke to loved food, which made my evening ever so enjoyable as I had common ground with pretty much everyone in the room and Bee herself was such a sweetheart. You can email someone for years and never have a clue what they’re like as a person so it was lovely to put a face to a name and actually get to know what a babe she really is.

Buy the book, bake brilliant biscuits and invite me round for tea. Thank you. 






















    
    
 
 

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BEDLAM BREWERY.

Beer

I like a bottle of beer. It’s rare I’ll drink a beer in any other form than the bottled variety so I was delighted to receive a box of Bedlam Brewery craft beers a couple of weeks ago. It’s taken me a while to get round to trying them all but I highly recommended them. They taste good and they look pretty. Goals.  

Pilsner. Classic Pilsner lager with citrusy aroma & refreshing flavour. My favourite and perfect for pre drinks. Kimmy has teamed it with matching Whistles trousers & Topshop lipstick.

 

Porter. Pale, Crystal, Brown and Chocolate malts blended with fresh Fuggles and Goldings hops. Perfect for parties. 

Golden Ale. Bold, refreshing flavour. Natural, rich, golden colour. Perfect for summer.

Benchmark. An amber coloured Ale with refreshing bitterness and sweet, fruity notes. Nice and rich with a hint of chocolate and malted flavours. Perfect to share with your mates. 

India Pale Ale. With a full, rich flavour and amber colour this beer has a great balance and wonderful full aroma. Not necessarily perfect with rainbow bagels but it looks pretty great. 

Can you tell I enjoy colour coordination?

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SUGAR DUMPLIN CREW.

BBQ, caribbean, Cocktails

I’m currently sat horizontal across the back of a (party) bus on the way home from Sugar Dumplin in Camberley. I know – it’s a long way away but fuck it, Wednesday’s the new Thursday and it’s worth it. I’m here because my favourite galdem at my favourite PR company invited me for a night of rum cocktails and jerk chicken at Camberley’s hottest Caribbean joint and I’m not one to turn down such luxuries. 

We were picked up from London Bridge and taken all the way there in a UV lit party bus. We played party games, drank Wray & Nephews from plastic cups and eagerly awaited the feast that was being prepared for us at the Caribbean BBQ & Bar at The Atrium in Camberley. 

When we were arrived we were seated and treated to pretty much everything on the menu. All of which was an absolute dream. They started us off with Jerk King Prawns, Bajan Salt Fish & Salt Cod Fish Cakes and Sticky BBQ Ribs. Followed by soft and doughy Dumplings, tender and juicy Jerk Chicken, Guyanese Curry, Curry Goat – off the bone which is always a treat, Roti Bread, Rice n Peas, Plantain and literally allllllll the cockails; including the Bob Marley that nearly burnt my mouth off (flaming passion fruit) and the Rum Punch that got us suitably pissed and sleepy for the hour long journey home. Which brings me to now. 

The service was great, decor on pojnt and food yummy. Enjoy the photos guys. And sleep tight, I know I definitely will.

Thanks to Norris for the food and for looking after us all – you were a highlight. 

P.S. Apparently my steel drum skills are on point 

P.P.S Glasgow crew there’s a Sugar Dumplin in Princess Square too. 
                                          

    

    

   
   

    

   
    
 
  

    

 

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BELGOPENING.

beer, Belgian, Seafood

As a newly conformed mussel fan, I was really excited to receive an invitation to the Belgo Holborn reopening party this week. Aptly named #Belgopening, they pulled out all the stops to show off Belgo’s new and improved venue. It was my favourite kind of blogger bash, one where you’re seated at a table and the food comes to you. No hovering by the kitchen waiting for the canapés to come out and no excessive waste that I always feel the need to try and finish. There was also a LOT of booze.  

Pink Mojitos, Prosecco and ALLLLL the beer kept us more than happy throughout the evening – I was pretty wasted by the time I got home, hence why it’s taken me a little longer than usual to do this post. We tried a vast selection of Belgian beers that were all extremely girl friendly and appealing. Packaging and flavour are both very important to me when choosing a beer and the ones we tried at Belgo ticked all the boxes. The cute elephant beer was my fave and my matching tattoo made me ever so happy. 

A trio of starters got us going quite nicely; Cheesy Croquettes (possibly the best I’ve ever had), King Prawns in Garlic Butter & Smooth Brussels Pate with Delirium Jelly. Presented perfectly on a long white rectangular plate and all exteremely yummy. Our starters were swiftly followed by the star of the show, the mussels (or Moules if you’re Belgian). We got 2 types; Traditionelle (Cream, Garlic, White Wine & Celery – the clear winner) and Thai Green, which was nice but nowhere near as sensational as the Traditionelle. Moules Frites wouldn’t be Moules Frites without  Tripple Cooked Chips – dipped in the Traditionelle sauce, they blew my mind and confirmed that I’ve been an idiot my whole life avoiding this dish. Next we received Belgo’s take on Surf & Turf – little shot glasses of beef with asparagus and lobster cocktail – a dream. Dessert was Homemade Waffles, my least favourite thing but still enjoyable and shortly after they brought round wooden sticks the size of the room filled with Scnapps shots to get us all pissed. It worked and it was great. Well done again Belgo and huge shout outs to my girls at PR & Everything Inbetween for ALWAYS making it a good night. Looking forward to the next one… 

                                        

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DRY JAN @ STRADA. 

Alcohol Free, Italian, London

I’ve never done Dry Jan, I’ve never really wanted to or felt the need to and if I’m honest I don’t think I ever will. December was stressful and busy at work and I didn’t get to go out half as much as I’d have liked so my manager and I went for more of a ‘Wet Jan’ approach this month. All that being said, last night I went to an event to celebrate the end of Dry Jan with Alcohol Concern at Strada and I learnt that there’s a hell of a lot more to Dry Jan than I thought. It was really interesting to hear them talk about how people find it hard to say no to drinking because of the pressure of their friends and even when they’re making a conscious decision to cut back throughout the year, January is the only time they actually have an excuse and don’t feel they have to drink. I know a lot of people use it as an excuse to save money or lose weight but it’s not really about that and I do think the message can get lost. It’s all fun and games until drinking becomes a problem and it’s great that people have noticed this and are doing something about it.

Strada have introduced a range of alcohol free drinks, that to my surprise actually taste pretty good. I know to a lot of people it seems weird and that there’s not much point to it but the ‘red wine’ and the ‘bubbly’ were both actually really nice and far more enjoyable than I ever expected. I’m not saying you’ve got to go T-total and cut out drinking but if you were cutting back this would be a pretty awesome way to do so. These options will be on the menu permanatly and are very reasonable so give them a try next time you’re eating at Strada.

Informative rant over, now let’s talk about the food. The venue was Strada, Riverside – More London. They call it that because believe it or not it’s by the river. It’s also my favourite Strada ever and the views are absolutely insane. When I go there it makes me proud to be a Londoner and I find it difficult not to take photos of the water features even though I’ve seen them plenty of times before. I’ve reviewed Strada before and stand by my words when I say it’s well worth a trip and the food is on point.

They served up an abundance of Bruschetta with toppings like Cottage Cheese and Salmon, Mozzarella & Chilli, Avocado Mash and the classic Tomato and Basil – which were all of course delightful. Garlic Mushroom with Parmesan was the winner though – we ate far too many of these. Crispy Fried Squid with Garlic dip, PERFECT olives, Tiramisu and Pana Cotta all went round on plates and did a brilliant job of ruining any kind of January health kick I’d planned on doing. It was so worth it though.

   
  
  
  
    
    
  

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T2 CHAI CHAMPIONSHIP.

Indian, Tea

 The people at T2 know how to put on a party. Last night I visited the Regent Street store to witness Chai baristas from all over the UK battle it out for a place in the International T2 Chai Championships in Australia where the winner will win a once in a life time trip to the Chai motherland, India! 

With a Mumbai Meets London themed evening of chai-infused treats, Indian delicacies and some of the best macaroons I’ve ever experienced, T2 is certainly more than just tea. 

The Venison Keema Samosa with Tamarind Chutney and Chai Spices was a dream and I’m pretty sure we ate far more than our fair share of these little morsels of heaven. I was very impressed with the Dhokla (steamed lentil cake), the Mumbai Maple Chai tea and of course, the Green Tea Macaroons that were by far the most intensely creamy and delicious macaroons I’ve ever experienced. 

Well done to Krisi Smith from Bluebird Tea Co for winning last night, I’m rooting for you! 

                             

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MA’ PLUCKER. 

Chicken, Soho

Ma’Plucker is a chicken restaurant that totally caters for all the fussy eaters amongst us. You can customise your meal in four different ways; you choose your base (Brioche Bun | Salad | Maple Waffle), your sauce (MP chicken skin gravy | Chipotle chilli sauce Kansas BBQ | Herb dressing | Maple chilli glaze), and finally your chicken (Hickory Spiced Pulled, Crispy Coated Buttermilk Dipped | Rotisserie Chipotle) and there’s Crispy Coated Halloumi Cheese for those of you that are that way inclined. If you don’t like meals bespoke to you and you fancy ordering off the menu then you can do that too. We went for Chicken Fried Steak (not actually chicken at all) and The Fried Chicken & Halloumi Bun. You’ve got all the usual suspect side dishes; Crack & Cheeze (Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls) Pickles, Fries, Slaw, Buttered Corn, Mash, Greens, Baked Beans and Salad to accompany your chicken and a short but sweet dessert menu to satisfy your after dinner cravings.

The Cornflake and Caramel sundae totally won me over. It weirdly ended up being my favourite dish and completely blew me away with how delicious it was. The ice cream is actually cornflake flavour, the whole thing tastes like Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut on crack and its worth visiting on the basis of the sundae alone. The chickens pretty damn great too.

Oh and the toilets are AMAZING.