With the London Marathon taking place this Sunday 13th April, a number of restaurants in London have created ‘one-off’ offers for competitors.

Any marathon runners who show their medal at Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack will receive ‘The Marathon’ cocktail for free.

The cocktail is based on the original ‘Marathon’ Snickers bar with: Frangelico, white cacao liqueur, lemon, chocolate bitters & slice of Snickers.

 

Marathon cocktails

Shake Shack  in Covent Garden is also offering guests who show their marathon medals a complimentary scoop of their daily custard.

 

Marathon custar

Finally, the team behind BBC Sport have created a list of ’10 top tips to help you complete the London Marathon’ – which is most definitely worth a read!

 

 

 

 

In light of Chowzter’s The Best Steak House on Earth Awards we interviewed Mark Schatzker, a steak enthusiast with a fascinating new book devoted to steaks from all over the globe.

 

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When dining, what do you look for in a steak?

I look for a steak that is good, as they say, in and of itself.  I’m not looking for a good sauce, a good rub, or artistic plating.  I care about tenderness and juiciness, but the main thing I’m after is flavour.

 

How do you like your steak restaurants to be?

I don’t care.  I prefer a restaurant that is pleasant – not too loud, too dark, uncomfortable seats, poor service, and so forth.  But like love, a good steak can happen anywhere.

 

At what point did you realize that you were a steak enthusiast?

I suppose the realization was gradual.  When I was in my teens, my dad and I would go up to the family cottage (that’s what we call a cabin next to a lake) for a weekend and there would be a discussion about what cut we were going to get, how thick and all that.  I traveled to South America in my early 20s, and eating superb steak featured prominently in that adventure.  But I probably didn’t fully realize I was an enthusiast until I began writing about steak.  Part of the problem is that there isn’t an organized body of enthusiasts, as you have with wine or cheese.  That’s changed quite a bit in the last decade or so.  But back when I first got interested in steak, asking questions about things like breed and feed marked you as an eccentric.

 

If you had to name your top five foodie cities, what would they be?

That’s a tough one.  We often think of cities as the places to go for great food, largely because you find the loudest voices in cities as well as the most expensive restaurants.  My advice is to be wary of loud voices and expensive restaurants.  But I will say this: Two of my favorite countries to eat in are Italy and Mexico, and in both countries the best gastronomic experiences – at least for me – have never been in the big cities.

 

In comparison to the US, what do you like about the London restaurant scene?

People in the US always talk about a new restaurant as a “concept”.  There’s a sense of contrivance to it, as though they’re trying to hit upon the next big thing.  I lived in London for two years and what I loved most was that chefs seemed to be speaking more from the heart.  They were sharing what they thought was good.

 

High-quality steaks are one of the growing trends in the London restaurant scene.  What kind of new trends are you interested in?

Since the steak book I have become extremely interested in how and why food is flavorful (This is what my next book is about, which will be published in about a year.)  That isn’t exactly trendy, and I’m not sure it ever will be.  I don’t care.  I find myself becoming more and more disillusioned by the whole idea of trends.  For example, hay oil got trendy a couple years back.  Now you don’t hear much about hay oil (at least in Toronto).  Why is that?  If hay oil tasted good two years ago, shouldn’t it taste good now?  Or were we all just pretending it tasted good two years ago?  I recognize that, as with all things, food is subject to fashions that come and go.  But I really wish the people who write about food would devote more attention to how food tastes, and why, than whether or not it’s hot or trendy.  Which brings me back to the question of high quality steaks. I desperately hope this is not a trend.  I hope it is an end to the long dark age of steak mediocrity.

 

What were the most surprising things you learnt while writing your new book; Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef?

A) That most of the world is eating mediocre steak.  B) That most steak enthusiasts know very little about the meat they love – they’re rolling the dice every time they eat steak.  C) That outside of Japan, the beef industry doesn’t much care about quality.

 

The steakhouse culture in UK is very much still growing in the UK.  What kind of drinks go well with steaks besides red wine?

Drinks that contain alcohol.

Seriously, I would advise that people stay away from sweet drinks.  But I don’t like sweet drinks, even without steak.  Acidity is seen as good because it cuts the fat.  But there’s a danger there.  Good wine can enable a bad steak.  A lot of steaks, especially here in North America, are fatty and tender and have no flavor.  A steak like that doesn’t have much to recommend it.  But if you take a bite of a steak like that, then cut the fat with a sip of Barolo, the interplay of fat and acid tells its own little story.  This is the very model followed by many steakhouses – serve people crappy tenderloin bathed in butter with a decent red and everyone will think the food was good.  My own preference, when it comes to a great steak, is a more subtle red, like a good Burgundy.  The problem is I can’t afford as much good Burgundy as I would like.  Donations are welcome.

 

You’re coming to London to lead the world’s first steak symposium on April 26th.  What will the event involve and what will you hope will be the outcome?

I’m going to be delivering a talk about where flavor comes from in beef, and how steak lovers should think about flavor.  There is also going to be a a steak tasting.

 

Finally what was the best steak you’ve ever had?

Impossible to answer.  It’s like asking which of my three children I like best.  I have had a handful of steaks in my life that have nearly scarred me they’ve been so good.  Doesn’t happen often.  And then when it does happen, you run out trying to find it again but never seem to until eventually you begin doubting that steak ever was that good.  And then – blammo! – it happens again.  The last extraordinary steak I had was in Calistoga, California, with my friend Douglas Hayes.  The steak was sent from Alderspring Ranch, in Idaho, which I wrote about in the book.  I hadn’t had an Alderspring steak in quite some time, because it’s hard to get them over the border into Canada.

Steak-1

 

Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef can now be purchased in the UK on Amazon.

 

 

*** We’ve got three pairs of tickets to Chowzter 2014 World’s Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards . To be in with a chance,

answer the simple question correctly and enter your name and email address below by 11am on Monday 21st April.***

 

 

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Terms and conditions

  • The competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of Sauce Communications
  • No purchase necessary
  • The three winners will be chosen at random from all those entrants who have selected the correct answer
  • All entries must be made using the form above. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost or delayed, or which are not received for any reason
  • The closing date for the competition is 21 April, 2014
  • To enter, you must be: (a) A UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry

 

Busaba Eathai are collaborating with Fairground to create a Thai New Year Songkran Festival in the heart of London’s East End on Sunday 13th April 2014. Entrance to the event is free.

When – Sunday 13th April, 2014. 12pm to 11pm
Where - Fairground, 260-264 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG
Tickets – Free event, just turn up on the day
Food offering – Selection of new Busaba dishes following Executive Chef Jude Sangsida’s recent month long trip to Thailand
Don’t miss – CookThai classes led by wok master Hasham Daud
What to expect – “The Busaba Songkran pop up will look like a ‘deconstructed’ version of Busaba. Many of the elements familiar to our loyal customers will still be there, but people should expect something fun and quite different.” Development Director Joel Falconer
Hashtag  - #BusabaSongkran

What is ‘Songkran’

Executive Chef Jude Sangsida explained “Songkran is a time to renew, refresh and cleanse. Part of that is water, so in Thailand we have a big water fight! It’s humid and steamy, we find the nearest bucket or buy water pistols and go out into the streets and play.”As water fights in London during April are best avoided, Chef Jude has been busy developing new dishes to commemorate Songkran.

busaba eathai

The team at Busaba are very excited to work with Fairground on the opening weekend of the new venue, from Street Feast founder Dominic Cools-Lartigue that will quickly become a staple of the London summer scene. Busaba Eathai will be joined by Andy Oliver’s Som Saa and Yum Jungle in the Songkran Thai takeover of Fairground.

Songkran Busaba Eathai

Busaba Eathai’s Songkran Festival will be on Sunday 13th April 2014 at Fairground.
Entrance to the event is free.

Address: Fairground, 260-264 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG.
Operating hours: 12pm to 11pm
www.busaba.com
@busabaeathai
facebook.com/busabaeathai
#BusabaSongkran

 

Irish Fries at Shake Shack, Covent Garden

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Shake Shack Covent Garden is offering a special new Shake Shack dish: ‘When Irish Fries are Smiling’ – fries smothered in horseradish sour cream, scallions (spring onions) and crispy Wiltshire cured smoked bacon (£4). For those who wish to accompany their Irish fries with a ShackMeister Ale, Shake Shack is giving away St. Paddy’s Day Shack branded Steins to take home with you as part of the St Patrick’s Day promotion (£10).

  Continue reading

Thursday 20th March is the first day of Spring – and the first day the Sign of The Don will serve breakfast at its newly-opened  bar and bistro in St Swithins Lane, London.

Aimed at City workers arriving from both Cannon Street and Bank Stations the menu will feature a range of dishes for hungry commuters from a Breakfast Club Sandwich, to a Lobster Omelette plus a selection of bespoke Vegetable smoothies and own-baked croissants and pastries for the not so hungry.

Fully-licensed for those who want to kickstart Spring with a Buck’s Fizz or a glass of bubbles ,The Sign of The Don will serve breakfast from 7.30 am till 11 am. Continue reading

Chowzter 2014 awards website

We are pleased to announce that the Chowzter Awards are back for 2014 and are even bigger than last year.

If you want the inside tip of where to unearth the best dishes in any city around the world in 2014, then the Chowzter Awards have been devised to help you. Taking place at the L’Anima Cafe in London on 27th April, The World’s Tastiest Fast Feasts awards will reveal a list of the best dishes in the world as selected by top food experts from around the globe.  Passionate foodies and bloggers have been handpicked from over 100 locations worldwide and asked to nominate what they consider to be the must-try dishes in their city in a range of categories including pizzas, noodles, veggie and more. Check out this year’s full Chief Chowzter list here.

For further information and to see who won awards in 2013 please visit the website here.  

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elBulli 2005-2011

“A collection of some of the most innovative and influential recipes over the last decade by one of the greatest chefs in our history.” Heston Blumenthal, The Fat Duck

elBulli 2005-2011 is a catalogue raisonné of elBulli, which was widely regarded as the world’s best restaurant until its closure in 2011. Having held three Michelin stars from 1997 to 2011, and regularly being voted ‘World’s Best Restaurant’, elBulli was at the very forefront of the culinary scene when Ferran Adrià became sole head chef in 1987. The restaurant only opened for six months every year and despite nearly two million annual requests for tables, it could only accommodate 8,000 diners each season. Adrià and his team spent the rest of the year developing a completely new menu for the next season. Hours of development work went into the creation of each spectacular dish at the purpose-built elBulli workshop in Barcelona, and the gastronomic innovations of the creative team have since influenced restaurants and chefs around the world. Continue reading

Last week,  The Telegraph released their Top 10 food accounts to follow in 2014. Whilst the accounts are filled with fantastic food pictures, most were taken by those out of the UK.

As lovers of food and Instagram, we thought we’d list some of our favourite foodies capturing restaurants, bars and hotels across London and beyond that you should be following in 2014.

 

1. @charlala

‘Eatin’ and picture-takin’ around London’. A natural photographer where food often takes centre stage in her self titled blog.

@charlala

2. @clerkenwellboyec1

King of the collage. Beer lover. Wine drinker. Food eater. London tweeter.

@clerkenwellboyec1

3. @davidgriffen

Located in South West England, David’s a professional food photographer and leading expert in ‘photography for food blogs’ and ‘food photography for social media’. In 2013, we worked with David on a Mobile Photography Masterclass at Michelin-starred Lima.

@davidgriffen

4. @eatlikeagirl

Niamh Sheilds loves to cook, eat and write about it and as with all great blogs, comes great photography and eatlikeagirl.com is certainly no exception.

@eatlikeagirl

5. @mondomulia

An ‘Italian living in London’ who loves brunches, coffees and taking idyllic photos of her travels. Guilia started her blog in late 2011 as a way of improving her food photography and baking skills and we certainly enjoy admiring her work.

@mondomulia

6. @nathanoutlaw

One of a growing number of chefs on Instagram, follow Nathan’s Instagram for an insight into his culinary creations, daily happenings and beautiful surroundings.

@nathanoutlaw

7. @paulwf

Paul is a professional food and drink photographer based in London and his meaty adventures are ones to follow in 2014.

@paulwf

8. @rosielondoner

Rosie is the author of a lifestyle blog ‘bursting with food, travel, fashion and adventures’. It is no wonder she has such a huge following when she posts delicious photos of new creative dishes… dig in!

@rosielondoner

9. @theboywhobakes

Following Edd Kimber’s British Bake Off win in 2010 he has had a whirlwind foodie journey. We think he’s one to definitely keep up to speed with his regular recipes, tips and creations.

@theboywhobakes

10. @topwithcinnamon

Izzy Hossack, aged 17, learnt to bake from her American-Italian mother’s hand written, family recipes. In keeping with original style, her food based photographs are natural, simple and inspiring.

@topwithcinnamon

 

 

11. @wilkes888

London based food and drink-o-phile‘. Trawling through the London pop-up and street food scene: tasting, drinking and guiding loyal followers on the latest London trends. Wilkes is our 11th Instagramer to watch. A friend of Sauce, read Wilkes review of our Mobile Phone Photography masterclass here.

 

@wilkes888

 

So who did we miss? Is there a foodies Instagrammer we should be following? Let us know on Twitter and we’ll add out favourites to the list.

And you can follow Sauce on Instagram here.

Welcome to the New Year! We’d also like to welcome you to 5 London openings in 2014 we think you have to know about…

Big Easy, Covent Garden

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London’s Chelsea institution, Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack will open a new restaurant in Maiden Lane in February 2014. Taking inspiration from its King’s Road sibling it will offer a serious evolution of the beloved ‘crabshack’ in a more urban West End setting. The new venue will provide the most authentic, American fresh-smoked Bar.B.Q, seafood, cocktail and drinks offer in the UK. Continue reading

 

 

 

Foodcycle, an award winning charity founded in 2008, is hosting a Mardi Gras themed fundraising dinner on the 27th February at the Carpenters Hall. The charity has taken inspiration from its main aim, to provide nutritious meals for people in need from supermarket surplus, and given it a creative twist by enlisting a selection of Michelin starred chefs to cook a seven course meal using only surplus ingredients.

Mardi Gras, otherwise known as ‘Fat Tuesday’, is a carnival known for its vibrant colours, music and food. To reflect this, the night will incorporate these factors and feature Mardi Gras inspired music, live comedy and even a Mardi Gras dress code (or lounge suits for the less adventurous types).

The chefs taking part include the following: Salt Yard’s Ben Tish, Foodcycle patron Giorgio Locatelli, Cyrus Todiwala OBE, Anna Hansen MBE, Claude Bosi, and Bruce Poole. There will also be one mystery chef whose identity will only be revealed on the night.

To quote Locatelli: ‘In this day and age throwing food away is madness, especially when some don’t have enough to eat and we have the means and technology to recycle and put leftovers to good use’.

Go to Grubclub to purchase a ticket(£180 a piece or £1,200 for a table of eight) and have a wonderful evening and help tackle food poverty in communities across the UK.

New Year’s Eve is creeping up on us and reservations are quickly getting harder to come by. So, now is the time to decide where you want to see in 2014!

Here at Sauce we have compiled a list for you to mull over and help with your decision (aren’t we nice).

Min-Jiang-Restaurant-2013-8@gallerymain

Min Jiang is serving an exciting five course lavish banquet for New Year’s Eve. Enjoy this fine-dining Chinese experience along with its with stunning views over London (there will be party hats, crackers and novelties for all). Highlights on the menu include the legendary wood-fired Beijing Duck and the Yellow Bean Alaskan King Crab.  Click here to book.

 Location: Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street | London W8 4PT |020 7361 1988 |High Street Kensington  | £160

British seafood restaurant, Kensington Place, is open for dinner on New Year’s Eve where head chef Dan Loftin has created a menu with a delectable choice of fish and meats.

 Starting with an amuse bouche, dinner guests will be served a three-course dinner, followed with coffee and petit fours to finish. The menu boasts dishes including palace garden smoked salmon, cream cheese, toasted crumpet and caviar, followed by roast fillet of beef, truffled potato purée, Jerusalem artichoke and wild mushrooms.  Yum. Click here to book.

Location: Kensington Place, 201 Kensington Church St | London W8 7LX | 020 7727 3184| Notting Hill Gate | £60

Hutong

Experience the diverse cuisines of Northern China at Hutong with a specially created nine course menu and take in the stunning views from the 33rd floor of The Shard. For those wanting a lighter meal, seats can be also be reserved to have canapés and a glass of champagne at the bar. This is an ideal spot to see some traditional Chinese entertainment, watch the midnight fireworks, and dance away to the DJ until 3am. Click here to book.

Location: Level 33 The Shard, 31 St Thomas St | London SE1 9RY | 020 3011 1257 | London Bridge tube station |£245 or £55 for Bar

Skylon Bar

Celebrate with glitz and glamour at Skylon‘s gala dinner, where you can enjoy a luxurious tasting menu (vegetarian menu also available) and views of London’s fireworks from the Royal Festival Hall’s outdoor terrace as Big Ben strikes midnight. With live music from The Urban Soul Orchestra you will no doubt be dancing until it shuts at 2am. Click here to book.

Location: Royal Festival Hall  | London SE1 8XX   |020 7654 7800  | Waterloo or Embankment tube station | £265 

Giovanni Room

Quaglino will be hosting a celebratory night consisting of two differently priced sittings.   There will be a DJ, with dinner guests at the main slot having the pleasure of listening to Ticklers Big Band while sipping on a glass of Champagne as the new year rolls in. Highlights of the menu include the 7 hour braised iberico pork with apple cider & salsify, as well as the vegetarian porcini & chestnut royal with parmesan sauce & tarragonp earls. Private dining rooms are also available, namely the Giovanni room (pictured above) and the larger Prince of Wales room. Click here to book.

Location:16 Bury Street  | London SW1Y 6AJ | 020 7930 6767| London Bridge tube station | £55 early sitting, £135 main, £30 at the bar

 Butlers Wharf Chop House opens its doors for New Year’s Eve, serving a delicious three course meal and the option to enjoy a unique dinner and boat cruise, including champagne. This is the perfect way to see in the New Year if the extravagant fireworks are your thing as you will be located just by Westminster Bridge! Click here to book.

Location: 36e Shad Thames | London SE1 2YE | 020 7403 3403| Tower Hill tube station | £200 for cruise, £80 for dinner at the restaurant

We hope this helps!

Christmas season is now in full swing, and with just a couple of weeks left at work, there are events popping up (quite literally) all over the place.

How are you meant to figure out which ones to pick and which restaurants to visit when there are so many to choose from? Well let Sauce give you a helping hand…

1. Christmas Pudding Race

Christmas Pudding Race

If you find yourself in Covent garden tomorrow morning then the Christmas pudding race is a must. As the name suggests, the participants of this event have to quite literally balance a Christmas pudding on a plate, but to add to the fun, they are festively dressed. All the money raised goes to Cancer research UK. The official ‘Royal’ opening is at 11.45 but the grand final sprint doesn’t take place until an hour after that so rock up when you like and enjoy the charity raising antics.

Details: 7th December | Covent Garden Market, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8RF | Free to watch!

2. Lodge D’Argent

Lodge D'Argent

In the mood for thick animal-skin blankets, antique skis, fondue and a selection of special hot cocktails? Then venture up to the rooftop restaurant Coq d’Argent which has transformed its terrace into a chalet-inspired winter wonderland aptly named ‘Lodge d’Argent’. Here at Sauce we think it is the perfect escape in the heart of the city, probably due to the fact that there are miniature polar bears tucked inside some the snow globe style jars on the table.

If you post your favorite #LodgeDArgent moments on Facebook and Twitter you will also have a chance to win amazing prizes like complimentary après work cocktails and nibbles for two.

Details: Now until the end of February | Coq D’Argent 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ

3. Skylodge

Skylodge

Another rooftop option (aren’t they great) is Platterform’s new space, the Skylodge, which is inspired by the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Here, a Hackney Hothouse has been transformed into a cosy heated rooftop lodge equipped with a series of heated dining booths and sofas around a fire. Events are being run throughout December, ranging from experiential cinema nights to festive feasting evenings where you can toast your own rocky mountain marshmallows. If that isn’t enough to tempt you then lest not forget the array of vibrant characters that you will meet inside (examples above!)

Details: 14th November onwards | Hothouse Rooftop, Martello Street, London E8 3QW | £20

4. Bluebird Ice-rink

Bluebird Ice rink

Bluebird has teamed up with Belvedere vodka, to bring a festive ice rink to the courtyard over the winter months – but for one night only, the rink is being transformed into a roller disco extravaganza! The 80s inspired, neon clad event will take place on Wednesday 11th December and you would be crazy to miss it.

Kicking off at 7pm, guests will have two hours to maneuver their way across the dance floor, and plenty of time to indulge in a Belvedere cocktail or two. The partnership with Bluebird marks the re-introduction of (BELVEDERE)RED, a Special Edition bottle that will raise proceeds for The Global Fund, fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Details: 11th December | Bluebird, 350 King’s Road, London SW3 5UU | £20

5. The Sign of The Don

If you want to celebrate winter in style then here is an insider’s tip from us at Sauce. The new City bistro and bar, The Sign of The Don, is offering guests a Magnum of Laurent Perrier champagne for the same price of a bottle right now, saving you a massive £44. The offer is available in the bar from 5-6pm Monday to Friday but only until the 20th so get down there quick!

Details: Now until 20th December | 21 St Swithins Lane, City of London, EC4N 8AD

Haiyan Aid is the project set up by The Clove Club and it’s aim is to help those affected by the Haiyan Typhoon. There are currently over 9 million people  affected by the disaster, with many struggling to survive without basic amenities.

Haiyan Aid has chosen to support and donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee as it is a group that brings the 14 main UK aid agencies together during times of crisis.

Here at Sauce we have created a series of eBay auctions, with an amazing selection of prizes donated by our clients and a host of other restaurants in The City. ALL the money raised is going directly to DEC Haiyan Typhoon Fund.

Current auctions have been donated by (click on the name and it will take you straight to the auction): OrreryFish Market, SaturelleSartoriaPaternosterKensington PlaceShake ShackJoe AllenAmetsaSpice marketLaunceston placeHutongDehesaThe HalkinSplendiferousSalt Yard, Le Pont, Lima, Flesh & Buns, Bone DaddiesOpera Tavern, Min JiangTommi’s Burger Joint and The River Café

We are continuing to add to this list as more clients offer incredibly generous prizes, take a look here to see the full list of all the current auctions. The final few auctions will go live tomorrow evening, so be sure to keep checking as we have some exciting new donations!

To raise as much money as possible we have arranged that all auctions will end at 8pm on Monday 25th November. Happy bidding!

We are all incredibly passionate about the cause, we’d love for you to share this with your friends, family and colleagues so that we can raise as much as possible.

This week, Sauce HQ travelled west to the Berkshire countryside, to one of Exclusive Hotels beautiful destinations, The Royal Berkshire.

Fuelled by sweets (from the amazing sweet treats counter!) and topped up with a lovely lunch and glass of fizz, we set out on a day of brainstorming, fact finding and lots of laughter. We thought we’d share a few of our favourite moments with you.

Meet the Saucettes (Sam was taking the photo!)…

Continue reading

Introducing.. British Sausage Week!

British Sausage Week is a ‘celebration of the taste, quality and diversity of the traditional pork sausage’ and has run this year from the 4th to the 10th of November. If your keen to get involved then we’ve created a small pick of some of London’s great sausage destinations.

Shake Shack

Born in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, Shake Shack is notorious for its quality burgers, flat- top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. With their first UK venture located in the heart of Covent Garden, it is a great stop-off point. We highly recommend their ShackMeister Sausage; ‘Sillfield Farm Cumberland pork sausage topped with cheese sauce and crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots’, the perfect Saturday night treat!

Continue reading

This week we’ll be looking at London’s best Christmas Party venues.

 

 

Is it just us, or has anyone else noticed the selection of Christmas cards that have popped up on the high street these past few weeks? It’s the first sign that mulled wine and mince pie season is quickly approaching, and a sure way to get some of us into a mild panic about present buying and party planning.

Thankfully we still have 88 days to get our presents together, but party planning takes a whole lot longer. If you’re struggling to find the perfect venue for this year’s Christmas party, here’s a selection of London’s most impressive venues….

Joe Allen

 

If you’re after a taste of America in the heart of Theatreland then Joe Allen is the perfect venue. Steeped in history, the 36-year old restaurant has long been the unofficial ‘staff canteen’ for Theatreland’s stars, producers, critics and composers. With an extensive cocktail list and a large selection of US beers, Joe Allen is the ideal venue for those looking for an authentic American experience in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. They can accommodate between 24 and 50 people in their private dining room.

13 Exeter St,London, WC2E 7TD

Tel: 020 7836 0651 Email: info@joeallen.co.uk

 Paesan

Serving authentic Italian grub, Paesan is a restaurant that uses simple ingredients to prepare honest and flavoursome food. The menu includes roast lamb with fagioli uccelletta and parpadelle with rabbit ragu, a welcome change from turkey. The newly opened cocktail bar serves vintage Italian cocktails such as Aperol Spritz and Bellini’s and to make things better, they are all half price between 6pm-8pm. Head Barman Paris Mattocks has also created impressive infusions including mushroom vodka, chocolate bourbon, and olive gin. They are currently taking Christmas bookings and can accommodate parties from 2 to 50 people in the restaurant and up to 80 people in the cocktail bar.

2 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4PX

Tel: 020 7837 7139 Email: info@paesanlondon.com

The Ritz

 

Probably the most well known venue on the list, The Ritz is a truly impressive place to hold your Christmas party. A number of different rooms are on offer at The Ritz, including The Marie Antoinette Suite, with its ornate Louis XVI style. The William Kent House, home to the most impressive banqueting suites in the country, can also be hired as a whole or as individual rooms. These cater for a range of party sizes from 16 – 120 people. Canapé menus start from £16 per person and set menus start from £75 for 3 courses.

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR

Tel: 020 7300 2507 Email: events@theritzlondon.com

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

 

With its shiny new Michelin star, Ametsa is perfect for a Christmas meal with a difference. Located in the Halkin hotel in Knightsbridge, Ametsa is a unique collaboration between The Halkin and a team that includes chef Elena Arzak– voted Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. The lunch tasting menu is priced at £50 and the dinner tasting menus start from £125 or £160 with wine pairings.

The Halkin by COMO, Halkin Street, London, SW1X 7DJ

Tel:  020 7333 1234

MASH

 

Inspired by traditional American steak houses, MASH (Modern American Steak House) is located in an architecturally stunning building near Piccadilly. The art deco setting allows you to party in style and the killer cocktails are sure to create some next day stories in the office. The steak is top quality and the menu allows you to choose from a wide range of steaks from all over the world, ensuring every taste requirement is met. Private dining rooms can be hired for Christmas Parties.

77 Brewer Street, London, W1F 9ZN

Tel: 0207 734 2608 Email: info@mashsteak.co.uk

1 Lombard Street

 

1 Lombard Street is in the heart of The City and a favourite with bankers and business men alike. The restaurant is a traditional, classy venue and offers a wonderful private dining room that feels like your very own Member’s club. The dining room was also voted best private dining room in the City by Square Meal Magazine. The 1776 restaurant is located behind 1 Lombard and can also be hired out for Christmas events. The menu is British with some international influences and includes dishes like English snails and pancetta in a potato nest.

1 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AA

Tel: 0207 929 9511 Email: events@1lombardstreet.com

 

AD12 at Tower 42

AD12 at Tower42 is a 12 week pop restaurant from acclaimed Michelin starred chef Anthony Demetre. Located in high rise building Tower 42, it offers fantastic views of London in a relaxed dining setting. The Christmas menu includes classics such as beef Wellington and Baked Alaska, and diners can choose between a 3 and 5 course menu.  They can accommodate 8-100 guests in their private dining room for Christmas parties.

AD12 at T42, Tower 42,25 Old Broad Street, London,
EC2N 1HQ

Tel:  020 7877 7703 Email: reservations@ad12.co.uk

 

inamo

inamo is perfect for those who want to take control of their dining experience and have a lot of fun whilst doing it. The Oriental fusion restaurant and bar enables diners to place orders through the interactive menu on the table, as well as play games and watch kitchen staff live at work. They are offering a 4 course menu for £35 per guest; this includes options such as mackerel sashimi and black cod in spicy miso.

134-136 Wardour St, Soho, W1F 8ZP

Tel: 0207 851 7051 Email: gloria.castillo@inamo-restaurant.com

The team behind Plum + Spilt Milk are offering you the chance to win a delicious Sunday Brunch for two.

Housed within The Great Northern Hotel, the restaurant has views overlooking London’s newest public square, the King’s Cross square, and St Pancras International. Set in an elegant yet informal space, the menu has been created by Mark Sargeant, to include classic British and European dishes for breakfast, brunch and all day to evening dining.

To enter simply retweet our tweet or copy and paste the following, posting it from your account:

Win a delicious Sunday Brunch for two @PlumSpiltMilk! Simply RT to enter.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Competition ends on Wednesday 11th September, 2013
  2. The winner will be emailed within two days of competition closing
  3. Prize consists of a complimentary Sunday Brunch experience for two people when dining at Plum + Split Milk
  4. This will be Sunday Brunch for two from a set menu (at the value of £50 per head)
  5. Must be booked in advance quoting the prize winner’s name and details of the prize to be claimed
  6. Guest must present printed email confirmation to redeem at time of dining
  7. No cash alternative or change will be offered for this prize
  8. This is a one-off prize for one winner (and their one guest)
  9. Prize must be redeemed before the 30th November 2013
  10. Subject to availability
  11. Limited time offer

 

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons presents the Springboard September Banquet
Date: Monday 23rd September
Tickets: £250 each, or £2,400 for a table of ten
The price of the tickets includes: access to the Le Manoir gardens, a champagne reception, 4 course gourmet menu with matched wines, coffee and petit fours, as well as the chance to bid on some money can’t buy prizes in our exclusive auction on the night.
To book your place please email Laureen Walsh on laureenw@springboarduk.org.uk or call on 02075298627
 
Team Velo Challenge – Pullman London to Pullman Paris cycle ride
The Challenge
The challenge is a very simple one. In teams of 4 you will cycle from the Pullman Hotel London to Pullman Hotel Paris. We offer a suggested route via Newhaven and Dieppe, but it’s up to you if you want to take an alternative route, as long as your team check-in at the various checkpoints along the way. The team that does this in the quickest time be crowned the winners of the Team Velo Challenge 2013.
This event is an amazing opportunity for everyone that takes part to make a difference to those that need it most as well as being a great team building challenge that no doubt will keep you fit and healthy.
 
Date19th -22nd September 2013
Team registration: £200 (maximum of 4 per teams). The price includes 2nd stay in Gourney-en-Bray, cycling jersey, BBQ, Breakfast when departing London and cocktail reception upon arrival in Paris. All teams are encouraged to aim for a fundraising target of £2,00 in sponsorship, which will be used to help fund Springboard’s vital work.
 
To register your team visit http://teamvelochallenge.co.uk/
 
Follow us on @TeamVelo_2013 and @SBUK_Events

The event taking place from 6:00pm-8:00pm, provides the perfect opportunity for guests to learn how to take extraordinary photos of Lima’s Peruvian cuisine using just a camera phone. Taking part in the exclusive event will be 18 well-established food and lifestyle figures, with the final two spaces awarded to the winner of Lima’s photography competition. To enter, entrants must upload their favourite food based photo taken by themselves to either Twitter or Instagram using the hastag #LimaPhotoComp. The winner will be chosen by David and the Lima team on Wednesday 28th August.

The team at LIMA are extremely excited to showcase Peruvian cuisine in London and tell the country’s colourful culinary story through this exciting photography masterclass event.

David Griffen from South West England has a real passion for food photography and has recently worked with a number of acclaimed chefs and restaurants including Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Rick Stein’s Seafood School to name but a few. Alongside this, David is a leading expert in the fields of ‘photography for food blogs’, ‘food photography for social media promotion’ and ‘food photography with a mobile phone’. The latter will be the central theme of the upcoming event at Lima Restaurant.

Gabriel, co-owner of Lima said: ‘We really admire David’s work and were delighted when he agreed to host the mobile phone photography masterclass, here at Lima. We take pride in the appearance of our menu, using different colours and textures to make the dishes appealing and interesting. With social media being so influential, and the use of food imagery increasingly popular, we felt this was the perfect collaborative event.’

David said: ‘Food and photography have always been great passions of mine and I was delighted when Lima London approached me with the idea of a mobile photography masterclass. The beautiful Peruvian cuisine creates the perfect subject for the use of different techniques and styles I aim to share with some of London’s top bloggers’


Last July Lima opened on Rathbone Place (W1T 1JH) in Fitzrovia and has already won Best new Latin American restaurant in the Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2012.  The creation of chef Virgilio Martinez and the Gonzalez brothers, LIMA integrates both traditional and contemporary Peruvian cuisine, representing the gastronomic expansion that has taken place in Peru in recent years.

ENDS

Notes to editor:

LIMA

31 Rathbone Place

London

W1T 1JH

www.limalondon.com

@Lima_London

David Griffen

01208 269 813

www.mobilephonefoodphotography.com

@DavidGriffen

  • Virgilio’s team at Central is headed up by his fiancée and sous-chef Pia Leon.

For further information regarding the event please contact: tabitha@saucecommunications.com or 020 8600 3600.

 

Bank Holiday Weekend

It’s that time of year again when the streets of West London become a whirlwind of sights, smells, tastes, sounds and totally out-there costumes. Bank holiday weekend can only mean one thing- Notting Hill Carnival, a celebration of our West Indian community and multiculturalism.

Caribbean cuisine is an exciting fusion of local dishes from St. Kitts to Trinidad, a sumptuous array of jerk meats and plantain, stewed goat and salt fish and if you want to make the most of your bank holiday weekend, here is Sauce’s Foodie Guide to experiencing the Notting Hill Carnival vibes, whilst escaping the crowds…

 

The Rum Kitchen

Notting Hill

A Caribbean beach shack right in the heart of Notting Hill. If you’re looking for a sommelier-compiled wine list or molecular gastronomy, this is not the place for you… The Rum Kitchen boasts a wealth of soul food from Jerk Chicken supreme with yam bubble ‘n’ squeak & jerk gravy to Mama’s Seafood Gumbo with cornbread. At around £10-17,  if you’re looking for a modern take on these traditional dishes, the Rum Kitchen is perfect.

6-8 All Saints Road, W11 1HH

Email: bookings@therumkitchen.com Tel: 0207 920 6479

 

White Men Can’t Jerk

Pop-Up Tooley Street

Ok, so they’re not actually located in the Notting Hill area but that’s doesn’t mean that their pre-carnival feast won’t make you feel right in the thick of things. Hosted by the pop-up ‘Platterform’ at Skyroom on Tooley Street, the ironically named ‘White Men Can’t Jerk’ will be wowing diners with an absolute culture clash of a menu featuring (are you ready for this?), Curried Mutton Shepherd’s Pie and Jerk Halloumi with Aubergine. This pop-up feast is only for tonight (Friday 23rd) so, get in there while you can. They’ll also be popping up as a rum and jerk shack by the Rough But Sweet Sound system during the carnival.

5th Floor, Magdalen House, 136 – 148 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU

Email: info@platterform.com

Floridita

Soho Latin-American

Gallons of rum-based cocktails? Check. Traditional Son music? Check. Insanely good sharing platters heaving with spit-roast suckling pig, yucca fries, salt & pepper squid and marinated sardines with hot mustard? Check. This Soho-based homage to the original Floridita in Havana in the early 20th century, brings the soul of Latin America to the heart of London and is a welcome respite from the madness of the Carnival.

100 Wardour Street, W1F 0TN

Email: info@floriditalondon.com Tel: 0207 314 4000

 

Granny’s

Lower Clapton, Hackney

If you want a decent Caribbean meal that doesn’t break the bank, then pop into Granny’s for a takeaway. You won’t find flair or frippery here but what you will find is home cooked comfort food, from a well-rounded breakfast of cornmeal porridge or green plantain to an evening dish of brown stew fish with rice and callaloo. Make sure you try some soursop juice, not only is it delicious but this little tree fruit is also good for your health.

113 Downs Road, Lower Clapton, E5 8DS

Tel: 020 8985 4823

Unless you’ve been living under a moss-covered rock in the Outer Hebrides with no 3G on your smartphone for the last week, you couldn’t have missed the news of the latest offering to the culinary table… the lab-grown burger, made from stem cells grown from a cow’s shoulder muscle. Yummy.

Is Frankenstein’s patty the answer to the global food shortage or a step too far? The opinions are divided but can this non-meaty meat product ever be a replacement for the real deal?

If you want to do some ‘scientific’ comparisons of your own, here’s our run-down of some unique burger joints in London… if you fancy getting your chops around real animal product that is…

Northern Soul Food @ The Three Compasses, Dalston

Menu created by Bingley boy Nathan Dunn whose personality is nearly as unusual as his dishes. He wants to bring Northern Soul to the Big Smoke one homemade burger patty at a time. Keeping to the theme, he brings us the ‘Wilson Piglett’, a zingy salsa-laden cheeseburger with smoked bacon (a disco inferno for the mouth) and the ‘Ewe Got Soul’, a fresh greek style lamb burger replete with feta and tzatiziki.  If you’ve never tried Dr Pepper Pulled Pork, then quite frankly you haven’t lived and you should consider reserving yourself a table down at the Three Compasses as a matter of urgency.

Ingredients are locally sourced, supporting everything from the butcher to the baker (and potentially even the candlestick maker). Meat comes courtesy of Butcher of the Year 2012 ‘Meat N16’, all in line with Dunn’s ‘Say no to supermarkets’ approach to food.

We hear from a reliable little birdie that a new dish will be added to this fledgling kitchen next week, a russian roulette game of burgers called ‘Sui-Sliders’ anyone?

At it’s heart this food is honest, down to Earth and full of soul… much like it’s creator.

Kitchen opening times:

Monday to Friday- 6-10pm

Saturday & Sunday- midday-10pm

99 Dalston Ln, London E8 1NH

020 7923 4752

Tommi’s Burger Joint, Marylebone

The atmosphere of Tommi’s makes it incredibly stylish indeed…. the burgers make it incredibly addictive. All handwritten signs, cages and wood, this recent import from Iceland boasts a a menu that is small in size, big in taste. Choosing between beef, cheese, veggie or steak, you can get your burger with fries and a soda for a mere £9.90… virtually unheard of in London’s gourmet burger epidemic.

The fries are salty, golden and moreish but the piece de resistance here is so obviously the burger. We love the steak, cooked medium rare. Disclaimer: you may end up with meat juices dripping down your chin but hey, it’s all part of the fun.

Who knew that the most American-style burgers in London would come from Iceland?

Kitchen opening times:

Monday to Saturday: 11.30am-11pm

Sunday- midday-10pm

30 Thayer Street, London , W1U 2QP
07823 557 945

 

Shake Shack, Covent Garden

 We are delighted that Shake Shack has finally reached our shores a mere month ago and hasn’t had a quiet day since. Why you ask? Because their burgers are out of this world. Our pick of the menu would have to be the Shack Stack, a juicy cheese burger with extra added Shroom burger, salad and sauce.

One of our favourite things about Shake Shack is that they realise how much we love our dogs here in the UK… so much so, they’ve added a special canine friendly section to the menu. If Rover gets hungry, Shake Shack is the only place to be.

Kitchen opening times:

Monday to Saturday: 11am-11pm

Sunday- 11am-10.30pm

24 Market Building, The Piazza, WC2E 8RD

0203 598 1360

Red Dog Saloon,  Hoxton

Red Dog Saloon at it’s heart is a BBQ restuarant on the corner of Hoxton Sq but deserves a mention here for a (not so) little thing they call ‘The Devastator Challenge’. In this Southern US themed and surprisingly cavernous establishment, you can pay £25.20 to gourge yourself on Britain’s biggest burger (three patties, six bacon rashers, six slices of cheese and pulled pork), fries, coleslaw and a fearfully thick icecream based milkshake. But this is not just any meal, this is a Red Dog meal and you have only ten minutes in which to do so.

Though Red Dog may not be top of our list for quality gourmet burgers, it’s certainly a contender for one of the most hands-on, sociable eating experiences in East London. It’s rowdy, it’s crowded, it’s hectic but it’s perfect just as it is.

Kitchen opening times:

Monday to Thursday: midday-11pm

Friday and Saturday: 10am-11pm

Sunday- midday-10.30pm

37 Hoxton Square  London N1 6NN
020 3551 8014

To celebrate Kaspar’s first appearance at Taste of London, they offered guests the chance to win a VIP dining experience for two at The Savoy.

This prize included:

- Dinner for two at Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill

- Private champagne river cruise

- Behind the scenes tour of The Savoy kitchen

To enter guests simply had to…

 Visit the Kaspar’s stand at Taste of London and take a fun photo of themselves and Kaspar before uploading it to their profile on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #KasparsLondon

We are pleased to announce that the lucky winner was Margot Lohan

 

Nope, we didn’t think it was possible either, but according to the BBC, the temperature in the South East of England this week is going to soar for a 3rd week in a row to over a scorching 30 degrees°C . Blimey. 

So this week’s Foodie Friday will again be about how to make the most of the heatwave in London. 



View Sauce’s Best Drinking and Dining with a View in London in a larger map

Dining in the sky

Take a break from the humidity of London’s streets, and take in the spectacular views of this iconic City in the sunshine. Here’s a helpful list of some of the best restaurants for dining in London with a view.

Hutong Level 33 The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY

Hutong launched this summer in The Shard, delivering a mouth-wateringly diverse range of contemporary Northern Chinese cuisine against panoramic views from Europe’s tallest skyscraper. Signature dishes include Crispy de-boned Lamb Ribs and Roast Peking Duck prepared in a special duck-roasted oven. The restaurant offers a selection of Chinese medicine inspired cocktails available from the Hutong bar. This is unlike any other Chinese restaurant.

Rooftop @ The Boundary 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD 

This seriously stylish rooftop bar and grill, nestled above the trendy streets of Shoreditch, offers amazing views of the City plus the bonus of the surrounding trendy streets. Here you can enjoy a Mediterranean inspired menu such as steaks and fish under a pergola or beneath the canopy of grapevines and wild herbs.

The Big Chill House 257-259 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9NL

The bright and fun pop art style decor of the rooftop at Big Chill House is designed to evoke the spirit of The Big Chill festival all year round. The breakfast and lunch menus are simple and hearty – expect burgers, huge sharing platters with everything from pork belly and chicken liver parfait, all washed down with some delicious cocktails. By evening the DJ’s come out to provide the perfect summer soundtrack.

SUSHISAMBA London Heron Tower110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Why not have lunch or dinner on the dizzying 39th floor of the Heron Tower? A very scenic lift takes you up to the outdoor terraces, where their delectable food is served. The restaurant manages to mix the food and cultures of Japan, Brasil and Peru, guaranteeing an unforgettable evening and close up view of the Gherkin.

Orrery 55 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5RB

The Orrery Rooftop Terrace is at the top of a beautifully renovated stable block, overlooking picturesque views of Marylebone Church gardens. A perfect spot for some romantic, yet cosmopolitan al fresco French dining.

Frank’s Cafe 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Storey Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15

You can pretty much see the whole of London from the top of this multi-storey car park in Peckham. The pop up bar and cafe returns every summer to spice up Peckham’s social scene. Pair something from the bistro-style menu with one of the many Campari-based cocktails on offer and watch the sun set with your aperitif. Perfect!

Angler Restaurant Terrace 3 South PlaceLondon EC2M 2AF

This beautiful seafood restaurant sits above the award-winning South Place Hotel in the heart of the City of London. Try a signature Summer Slider (cooked on the outdoor grill) in the shade of olive trees, relax into Patricia Urquiola furniture and wait for the house DJ’s to ring in the evening. The cocktails here, created by Shoreditch House’s Nathan Dixon-Jones, are incredible.

 

Here at Sauce Communications, we love delving into the vast array of bars in London and finding a few gems. Here’s our pick of the bars in the capital, from East London cool to organic and eccentric. Cheers!


View Sauce’s Favourite Bars in London in a larger map

Beagle 397-399 Geffrye St, E2 8HZ

Beagle is the new place to be seen in East London for hipsters and foodies alike. Nestled inside the beautifully restored arches of Shoreditch Overground station, Beagle focuses on the utmost quality in cocktails, craft beers and British cuisine. The rhubarb bellini is a must try.

The Blind Pig @ The Anthologist  58 Gresham St, City of London, EC2V 7BB

You can’t get further from the faceless city bars than in this speakeasy style bar which is why we love this little fighter. Tucked away amongst skyscrapers, every Thursday and Friday night at Blind Pig you can take a trip back to the 1920s, sip gin and bourbon from teacups and listen to jazz.

Callooh Callay 65 Rivington St, EC2A 3AY

Calloh Callay is one of Shoreditch’s best cocktail bars – it ha sa few awards under it’s belt. We keep going back for the bags of personality and the secret wardrobe which leads you to room with a pop up theme which changes every 6 weeks. Shoreditch at it’s brightest.

The Crown and Shuttle 226 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6PJ

The only real option when you’re looking for a beer garden in Shoreditch, the Crown and Shuttle is a recently reopened former strip club. This time round it boasts an enormous shuttle bus serving street food cooked in a wood oven and seriously cool decor that puts it right at home against the backdrop of the Shoreditch tunnels.

The Dairy 15 The Pavement, Clapham, SW4 0HY

Husband and wife run The Dairy bar and bistro is a slice of the country in the city but with a bohemian twist. All the produce is locally sourced, or from their gorgeous urban garden. A highlight is the wine, which is from their own vineyard in Italy, made using organic and sustainable techniques.
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On 28th April, the inaugural Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards will announce the world’s tastiest food items as selected by top food bloggers from over 30 countries. Hosted by actor and comedian Alexander Armstrong and supported by Coca Cola, the event will be held at East London’s Village Underground and is set to be one of the most exciting foodie events of the year.

Taking entries from the Chowzter app, which shares the best fast feasts in over 100 categories from over 100 countries, Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards will announce the best of the most popular categories ranging from Pizza and Dumplings to Tacos.

Top food bloggers, nicknamed ‘Chief Chowzters’, from each country will oversee foodie communities in over 100 cities, selecting what they consider to be the seven unmissable dishes in each category, namely pizzas, burgers, curry, fried  or roast chicken, sandwiches, dumpling and tacos.

Winners will be chosen by the Chowzter team, who are travelling the globe tasting and testing the entries, as well as the bloggers themselves who will battle it out to argue the case for their personal favourites via online debate. Top London food blogger Niamh Shields, for example, is representing London and has carefully picked what she recommends as the best dishes in the capital.

The Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards are open to the public and tickets are on sale now, priced at £25 per person.

However, we have two pairs of tickets to give away to two randomly chosen people who enter their details below:

The draw will be made on Friday 26th April at 3pm and the winners will be contacted by email.

Good luck and we hope to see you on Sunday!



This week, Foodie Friday takes a look at one of the hottest trends this year-the Street Food revolution. No longer does the extent of street food consist of a greasy burger and chips. One can now find a vast array of delicious, healthy and tempting foods sold from all manner of vans, carts and wagons. The craze of street food has blossomed across the country, in particular the capital, so look out for the next van/stall near you and keep a close eye on this ever-growing global food trend.

 

 Chowtzer World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards

 

 

On Sunday 28th April, the inaugural Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards, will announce the world’s tastiest food items as selected by top food bloggers from over 30 countries. Hosted by actor and comedian Alexander Armstrong and supported by Coca Cola, the event will be held at East London’s Village Underground and is set to be one of the most exciting foodie events of the year to which everyone is invited. Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards will announce the best of the most popular categories ranging from Pizza and Dumplings to Tacos. Nominations will be revealed next week so follow @Chowzter7 on twitter to find out! Tickets are on sale now, priced at £25 per person.  For ticket sales go to www.chowzter.com/awards

 

 

Shake Shack opening this July in Covent Garden

 

 

Get ready London! Shake Shack is on its way! Born in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, Shake Shack will be opening their first ever UK shack this July, located in the historic Market Building near the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden.  Shake Shack is a modern day ‘roadside’ burger stand serving the most delicious all-natural burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. The menu will showcase all the Shack classics, as well as a selection of location-specific items using fresh, simple ingredients. From its ingredients and employment practices, Shake Shack puts great emphasis on its environmental responsibility, design and community investment and aims to serve high quality food at a great value. A fun and lively community gathering place, Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following around the world and we predict London will be next!

This Monday, Sauce and Shake Shack will be attending Burger Monday to sample some mouth-watering burgers, created by Blueprint cafe’s head chef Mark Jarvis. We will let you know how we got on in next’s weeks edition.

 

 

 Street Feast London

 

 

Tonight marks the first night of Street Feast London, a celebration of all things street food, right in the heart of the Capital.  Each Friday between now and June, the street food market will take over the former Travis Perkins builders Merchant Yard on Kingsland Road and play host to over 200 people celebrating the start of the weekend.

Open from 5pm until midnight, the Merchant Yard in trendy Shoreditch will be packed out and selling food from all corners of the globe from the chicken on offer at Mama’s Jerk Kitchen to the Big Dog at Big Dog Hot Dogs all washed down with an array of cocktails and drinks.

Find out more here: www.streetfeastlondon.com

 

 

The Street Food Revolution- It’s a Dine of the Times

 

When people think of street food, they wouldn’t be wrong if packed out markets and bazaars across Asia, India and South America spring to mind. But thanks to the likes of festival food stalls and a need for cheaper, fresh food on the go, street food is now an ever- growing trend across the UK, with food stalls popping up in almost every city across the country. So, it may be worth forgetting the idea of formal sit-down restaurants in favour of eating with a plastic fork off a napkin, as it seems like it’s a foodie trend here to stay.

If you look outside of London, you can stumble across some real treats. Manchester and Bristol are both cosmopolitan cities and could be great places to start. Guerrilla Eats runs regular street food events across Manchester with a great range of foods on offer from colourful paella to wood- fired pizzas. www.guerrillaeats.co.uk

And for those in the heart of the South West, join the queue at College Green, Bristol every lunch time when a familiar yellow and red umbrella is wheeled onto the green marking the arrival of Meat & bread, Bristol’s best street food. The stand is responsible for keeping the city’s people well -fed with massive sandwiches filled with delicious flavours like their favourite beef Jamaican curry. meatandbread.co.uk

 

And finally…

 

Even Sainsbury’s have got in on the act

Sainsbury’s rolls out street food range, 8th April

The UK retailer is set to launch a range of on-the-go lunch options in a bid to tap into the demand for street food in the country. The chilled range will comprise wraps, salads and flatbreads inspired by food from the around the world, the retailer said today. Products will include Jamaican Jerk Chicken wrap and Pad Thai King Prawn and Chicken Street Salad. Sainsbury’s street food will range between £2.80 and £3.50 and will be in-store from 29 April.

 

 

By Florence Clarke and Lauren Hill

 

Feast on fine food and wine in the glamorous heart of Soho, and support Comic Relief 2013!

MASH Steak House, with its iconic art deco interiors, is hosting an evening of fun and opulence

in aid of Comic Relief 2013

Where: MASH, 77 Brewer Street London W1F 0RH

When: Monday 11th March

Bookings: Available from 17:30 – 23:00

Tables can be booked for 2 – 24 persons

MASH has created a delicious 3 course menu at £50 per person, which includes signature dishes, such as Danish rib eye and Uruguay New York Strip steak 

£20 of the proceeds will go direct to Comic Relief 

You are invited to bring your own favourite wines, to drink or trade with other guests and in the spirit of the evening MASH is also looking forward to sharing their favourite wines with you (including their own bespoke brand 2011 “No Bull” Syrah)

Follow this link for more information and click here to view the menu in full.

To book a table please contact MASH reservations on:

E-mail: reservations@mashsteak.co.uk

0207 734 2608

Please quote “Menu Relief” at the time of booking

*If you know the wine you will be bringing, and even better, a wine you would like to trade it with;

please let the MASH team know at the time of booking!

MASH London team up with Red Nose for a special foodie fundraiser

On Monday 11th March, MASH restaurant in Piccadilly, London will host a one off night celebrating wine and food as part of Red Nose Day’s brand new Menu Relief, to which everybody is invited.

To accompany a specially created three course menu, guests will be invited to bring and swap their own favourite bottles of wine on the night for which no corkage fee will be charged.  MASH’s team of ten expert sommeliers led by MASH’s head sommelier Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen will be on hand to guide guests through the array of wines which will on offer to drink throughout the night.

For £50 per person, guests will be able to enjoy a three course menu with £20 of the proceeds going direct to Comic Relief.  The normal price of this menu is £55 and will feature dishes such as the restaurant’s signature 250g Danish rib eye and Uruguay New York Strip steak together with fries and sauces to share followed by MASH’s classic cheesecake with strawberry sorbet.

MASH, which is noted for its rare and developed wine collection particularly from the Americas, will be showcasing their own wine including their bespoke 2011 “No Bull” Syrah blend over the course of the night.  The wine will be sold as individual and magnum sized bottles at a special price of £33 and £70. A donation of £10 for all single bottles sold and a donation of £20 for each magnum will be made to Comic Relief.  MASH will be offering glasses of their two favourite wines over the course of the night for guests to sample.

Menu Relief from now until the end of March. By dining out and donating to Comic Relief there’s an opportunity to help

people living in unimaginably tough lives across the UK and Africa.  To find your nearest Menu Relief restaurant go to www.rednoseday.com/menurelief

 To book a table please contact: MASH on 0207 734 2608 and quote “Menu Relief” or E-mail: reservations@mashsteak.co.uk

 

Notes to Editors:

  • A three course vegetarian menu will also be available priced at £40.00 plus a 12.5% service charge of which £10 will be donated to Comic Relief
  • MASH stands for Modern American Steak House and combines the informal Danish approach to eating and drinking with the sophisticated modern American steakhouse in elegant and comfortable surroundings
  • MASH London is based at 77 Brewer Street, London W1F 9ZN
  • For more information about Red Nose Day  please visit: wwwwrednoseday.com

 About Red Nose Day:

  • Red Nose Day 2013 is heading your way on Friday 15th March when the great British public will once again be asked to Do Something Funny for Money
  • Raising cash this Red Nose Day can help to change lives forever. That’s because Comic Relief spends the money raised to help change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the UK and Africa
  • Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985, live on BBC One.  At that time, a devastating famine was crippling Ethiopia and something had to be done.  That something was Comic Relief.  The idea was simple – Comic Relief would make the public laugh while they raised money to help people in desperate need.  Before too long, Red Nose Day was created and the first ever event in 1988 raised a staggering £15m
  • This year, 2013, marks the 25th anniversary of Red Nose Day which has raised over £600m and helped to change lives both in the UK and Africa
  • Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)

 Please drink responsibly.  UK Chief medical Officers recommend that men do not regularly exceed 3-4 units daily and women 2-3 units daily.  Avoid alcohol if pregnant or trying to conceive.  www.drinkaware.co.uk

To book a table please contact MASH reservations on:

E-mail: reservations@mashsteak.co.uk

0207 734 2608

Please quote “Menu Relief” at the time of booking

For more information about MASH please contact:

Jess@Saucecommunications / 020 8600 3600

This week’s Foodie Friday is getting loved-up in time for Valentine’s Day, so we’ve had a look at how you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with perfectly romantic, foodie treats…

Whether you’re loved-up, flying and always smiling, or single, think all that’s naff and just up for a laugh, you’ll know that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. The whole city is brimming with teddies hugging hearts, red banners declaring their love to passers-by, heart-shaped balloons swaying contentedly in the crisp, February wind, and the sound of a satisfied sigh somewhere down the tube.

For some fine dining around our romantic capital, we bring you some special Valentine’s Day meals hot off the Sauce HQ press, exclusively for your heart-shaped eyes only…

1 Lombard Street

Iconic City restaurants 1776 and 1 Lombard Street are teaming up with the luxurious lingerie brand, Agent Provocateur, to create a truly seductive treat for their loved-up diners. All ladies dining at the restaurants on the 14th February will be given a naughty-but-nice goody bag worth £55. The truly indulgent Dégustation menu at 1776 offers lovebirds decadent dishes including black truffle risotto and caramelised black cod. The menu is priced at £90 per person or £140 each with matching wines. The three course menu at 1 Lombard Street is priced at £48 per person and features the wonderfully romantic pink champagne risotto, and the fantastically indulgent fillet mignon with foie gras.  

 

 Launceston Place

Valentine’s Day is all about spoiling your loved ones, and Michelin-starred Launceston Place has devised the ultimate treat for romantic foodies this February 14th. Head chef Tim Allen will create a bespoke menu for each couple, based entirely around your lover’s favourite foods. Whether your other half has a flaming desire for three chocolate courses, or a menu that is an unadulterated celebration of cheese, anything goes. To make the evening extra special, diners will also be presented with a special bouquet of beautiful Valentine’s Day flowers. To top it all off, you get to eat your uniquely tailored meal in the chef’s private office, where you can watch the kitchen action through a live television link. Reality TV just got interesting…

 

Sauterelle

A diamond is forever, right? To truly wow your loved one, treat her to Sauterelle’s six-course Valentine’s Day menu. The mouth-watering choices include scallops served with caviar d’Aquitaine, buttermilk panna cotta with Lincolnshire rhubarb and Champagne granite.
Not enough? Well, to truly make it a night to remember you will receive a one-carat Ashoka-cut diamond ring with 62 facets, surrounded by a further 0.55 carats of round, brilliant-cut diamonds on a platinum band.

We bet she will never forget this Valentine’s day!

 

Take a peek inside the Evening Standard which lists Launceston Place and Sauterelle as their “Most Exclusive Table” and “Most Expensive Dinner” respectively, in their Ideas for a Valentine’s Day Blowout.

 

Inamo

 Groundbreaking pan-Asian restaurants Inamo and Inamo St James are making technology romantic this Valentine’s Day. Happy couples will have the chance to customise their interactive tables with images of their choice, creating a unique ambience for each couple. The specially created four-course menu is a romantic foodie heaven, including brand new dishes such as heart-shaped salmon and avocado maki rolls, and Szechuan carpaccio of beef. The menu is priced at £35 per person, and is available until 16th February: the perfect excuse to extend the delicious combination of food, fun and romance!

 

 

Union Jacks

Over at Union Jacks, celebrate Valentine’s Day the good, old British way with the Great British Valentine’s Day menu. Enjoy winter-warming iron bark pumpkin soup, and succulent Scottish hake fillets in the relaxed, retro atmosphere of this fantastic Chiswick joint. The meal is priced at a tantalising £30 per person.

  

Valentine’s Day Great British Menu

Thursday 14th February  2013

 

On arrival

A Cornish Champagne cocktail for the Jills or UJ’s Hedgerow Sling for the Jacks

 To start choose between either

 West Mersea Oysters served 3 –ways

Adnams  Bloody Mary Sauce – old school shallot & red wine vinegar –crispy bacon & a dash of Lea & Perrins

~

Roasted Iron Bark pumpkin soup

and marjoram oil..

 

Then for your Main Course

 

Slow Braised Hereford Ox cheeks

with creamy “herby”  mash and loads of rich red wine and port gravy

~

Scottish Hake fillet

served with lemon butter sauce, toasted hazelnuts and heritage Jersey potatoes

 

And for pudding

 

Homemade spiced plum sorbet with twice baked fennel and hazelnut biscuit

Washed down with a  mini British Plum Daiquiri

~

Food fight British cheese plate (£3 supplement)

with a glass of Berry Bros & Rudd St James’s finest reserve port

 

Then finally, your choice of tea or coffee.

 

£30 per person

 

FOR RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL THE RESTAURANT ON 0203 6179988 OR DROP IN & RESERVE YOUR PLACE IN PERSON.

MANY THANKS FROM ALL OF US HERE AT UJS.

217-221 CHISWICK HIGH RD , CHISWICK , W4 2DW 

 

 

 

 

With all these exciting dining experiences going on, we took a look at some food that has been getting the Valentine’s touch too, such as this enamoured egg from www.thefrisky.com


So whilst we cut curves into our sandwiches, and swirl hearts in our coffees, we thought we’d take a look at how Valentine’s Day has inspired food around the world…

 

Time, Japanese Cafe Offers Chocolate Face Truffles as Valentine Gifts, Yue Wang

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, and the tradition holds that women should present their male friends or partners with chocolate. Time reveals that Fab Cafe in Tokyo took this one step further this year when they offered to make bespoke chocolate moulds… of your loved one’s heads.

 

From Argentina With Love, Heart-shaped Alfajores for Valentine’s Day, Rebecca Caro

Entering the world of spice and Latino love, in Argentina, we found some Valentine’s inspired Alfajores, a sweet, honey and almond cake, which is a lovely, easy-to-make gift to delight anyone’s taste buds.

 

Time Out, Derrière

And lastly, getting classy and chic in the City of Love, Paris, we found this quirky restaurant that lets diners get a little more intimate over their dining… by eating in the restaurant bedroom.

We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Lidia Szmid, Charlie Mundy and Elena Toselli

 

With ten days to go before Christmas, this week’s Foodie Friday kicks off with a corker story about Champagne prices ranging from a fizzy £10 to an explosive £121,060.50, read on to find out more as well as other interesting food stories

The Evening Standard: The London Cocktail Line, Richard Godwin

 

 

With the festive season in full swing the Evening Standard have created a Tube map Inspired by the recent restaurant map produced by the food blogger Cheese’n’Biscuits (cheese’n'biscuits), to find the most characteristic bars of the capital, from the Sloaney hangouts of the west to the opulent hotels of the centre and the scuzzy speakeasies of the East. Each tube line has been appropriately been renamed to match the boozy theme.;

- Liquorloo Line
- Mentral Line
- Mortal Line
- Pissedrict Line
- Hammered, Sloshed & Squiffy Line
- Cosmopolitan Line
- Naughty Line
- Pickledsilly Line
- Wreckedoria Line

 

The Guardian: The Pielympics, officially the games of the XXX OlymPIEad, or more commonly known the World Pie Eating Championship, Martin Wainwright

Desperate Dan from the comic The Dandy Photography; DC Thompson

This week saw the return of the World Pie Eating Championships hosted at Harry’s Bar in Wigan. Competitors are challenged to eat a very pleasant smelling range of 12cm by 3.5cm pies with a maximum side angle of 15 degrees and at least 66 percent meat content excluding pastry in the shortest amount of time.

The world record is held by Civil Servant Neil Collier, who two year ago did the business is an impressive 29.19 seconds! However like any other great sporting event controversy surrounds this remarkable effort which resulted in “sweepers” having to be employed to check the floors for any sneakily discarded material. There was also a photo-check of the initial heats when Collier was accused of starting to grab his pie before the pie master’s yellow starting stick had fallen.

Some participants are taking inspiration from London’s Olympic Games and have created the “Pie-bot” where they act out holding an invisible pie in two hands in front of their mouths, a craze they’re hoping could sweep the nation like the “Mo-bot”.

 

The Times: Player wins big on the tables but looses on the bubbles, The Times

 

We all like to splash out around Christmas time but Dexter Koh, who owns a public relations company in Shoreditch went a little over board. After a big win on the poker tables Koh decided to spend his wining at Aura Mayfair and racked up a staggering bill of £121,060.50.

 

The Evening Standard: No food poisoning cases recorded but Westminster council presses on with rare burger crackdown, Jonathan Prynn

 

Restaurants offering rare or medium-rare burgers face a grilling after Westminster council decided to crack down on the dishes for safety reasons.  Restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill and Soho house run by Nick Jones might be affected. Westminster safety chiefs were then accused of a “massive overreaction” after admitting there has been no recorded case of food poisoning from eating rare burgers in the West End. The disclosure provoked disbelief in London’s restaurant scene where rare and medium rare burgers have been taken off menus after council inspectors ordered a St James’s wine bar to change the way they cooked them.

And finally…

The Evening Standard: Hard times can’t dampen our appetite for champagne, Andrew Neather

 

Five Christmas party seasons into this recession and our national appetite for champagne remains astonishing. Last year we shipped 34.5 million bottles of the stuff, down only about 11 per cent on the last year of the boom, 2007. It seems the supermarkets are helping us to enjoy the bubbly stuff this Christmas as they engage in price wars. This Christmas you can pick up a bottle of Champagne from leading supermarkets for under £10 however don’t except to find the likes of Veuve Clicquot at this price.

 

Hazel Henbury and Alexandra Wardall

It was the week that saw new twists and extremes in food sustainability and sourcing, and the price for Christmas food reached new dizzying heights.

The Guardian: Squatters are not home stealers, Steve Rose

 

A more positive side to squatting has been seen, after a couple in their twenties moved into an abandoned plant nursery near Heathrow airport and created a small community to grow and sell organic vegetables. They rely on wind turbines and solar panels for energy, and therefore have virtually no carbon footprint. Joe Blake and Reuben Taylor have named the scheme ‘Grow Heathrow’ and also put on workshops for the local community.

 

Daily Mail: Here comes the Christmas veg – and it could get ugly, Paul Sims

 

Supermarkets are to relax standards and sell ‘ugly’ vegetables for the first time after bad weather and flooding left many crops small and misshapen. Stores, including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, are making the change in order to support struggling farmers. It’s a great development in food sustainability and waste issues, as previously farmers have been throwing away up to one fifth of their produce because it didn’t meet supermarket guidelines.

 

 ‘i’: The Only Masterchef in the Village, Samuel Muston

 

 

Swedish chef Daniel Berlin has taken food provenance to new heights, by only using produce that comes from Skane, his childhood hamlet in rural Sweden. The Swedish chef creates an exquisite 12-course tasting menu, and finishes by personally driving people back to their hotel. Berlin, who previously won the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup and is the rumoured heir to Rene Redzepi’s legacy, produces dishes such as steak tartare with smoked beetroot and marrow, and iced goat cream with blackberries and jam.

 

The Daily Mail: The Early Bird Catches the First….Bird, Sean Poulter

 

M&S has announced that for the first time in its history it will be opening storesat 12am on Christmas Eve morning in a bid to lure last minute shoppers. The chain will open over 160 stores across the UK at this early time joining a number of supermarkets who will have been trading around the clock in the build up to Christmas. The decision came after Chancellor George Osborne refused to allow large shops to extend Sunday opening hours on the 23rd of December, typically the busiest day of the year for food shopping.

 

World’s most expensive Christmas dinner costs £125,000…but would you eat beef heart wrapped in gold, and cat poo coffee? Martha De Lacy

 

 

Turkey, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a handful of tangerines are on most people’s shopping lists this Christmas. But then chef Ben Spalding of Roganic isn’t most people. On his list this year you’ll find dry ice, caviar, truffles, Wagyu beef heart, gold leaf, a £37,000 bottle of Champagne that pre-dates World War One (served, naturally, in diamond-studded champagne flutes), a limited edition Japanese watermelon costing £2,600 and beans of coffee berries excreted by the Asian Palm Civet cat. Spalding has set himself the task of creating the world’s most expensive Christmas dinner, available for just one group of four for an eye-watering total of £125,000.

 

And finally…

 

The World’s Most Expensive Mince Pie, Alistair Foster

 

Do Mr Kipling’s mince pies no longer quite cut the mustard? Well, The Salt Yard’s Executive Chef Ben Tish has created the country’s most expensive and most luxurious mince pie for charity- coming in at £3, 500. Decadent it may be, but Ben’s ingredients were carefully chosen to make the perfect tasting festive treat. Foie gras replaces the traditional beef suet for richness, whilst rare manuka honey, brandy-soaked goji berries and sherry-soaked mixed fruit add moisture and the necessary boozy touch. White truffle and white truffle essence balance the sweetness. The necessary accompaniment is a dollop of brandy butter, and a rare XIII cognac, that costs £800 a shot no less. For that final festive touch, Ben decorated the finished pie with gold leaf. The mince pie will be part of the mince pie raffle at Taste of Christmas, which opens today at Excel London.

 

Hazel Henbury and Alexandra Wardall

Supper last week was a piscatorial delight.  It had started to rain and the dark, wet streets around Oxford Circus were stuffed with scurrying bodies all with heads down, marching forwards to get under cover. So it was with a huge sigh of relief that I escaped the throng and stepped inside the tiny white clap board clad shack that is Bonnie Gull

Bonnie Gull on Foley Street

Born from a pop-up seafood shack in Hackney last year and with the successes of further projects (The Bonnie & Wild and the Bonnie-on-Sky) under their belts the folks there have decided to take things up a step and open up a full-time permanent restaurant on Foley Street, just off Great Titchfield Street.

Bonnie Gull's very Bonnie Mary

The menu is simple and sweet. Two large suitcases brimming with glistening crustacea sit behind the bar, reminiscent of chests of Pirates treasure. We duly sampled the oysters, Isle of Lewis mussels with Aspell cider, creme fraiche and bacon (so good I was drinking the glorious liquor from the enamel pot after all the mussels had gone), Beer battered North Sea haddock chips, mushy peas and onion rings and special mention should be made of the Bonnie Mary – locally infused vodka, roasted clamato juice and served with an oyster. Super cute and very delicious – much like the restaurant itself!

By Laura Tovell

www.bonniegull.com

21A Foley Street
London
W1W 6DS
Book a Table: reservations@bonniegull.com

 

London’s love of the ultimate fast food brings Scandinavian legend to town

It really does amaze me, as I write my first blog post in my new position at Sauce Communications, that the people in London are still absolutely mad about burgers!  And I use the term ‘absolutely mad’ in the best possible taste, as it probably was never considered a trend that would set the London food scene alight.

We’ve had burger vans turned restaurants, major chains rising from modest beginnings in a very short time, and even world renowned Michelin starred chefs making room on their menu for minced meat in a bun.  Next on the list for London burger fans is the legendary Tomas Tómasson, who boasts an impressive career as restaurateur, burger eater and globe trotter with his Burger Joint in Marylebone.  While only being open for a few days, the social media buzz for Tommi and his take on the burger has already turned a few heads!

Walking into Tommi’s joint transported me back into my childhood tree hut (the one that I always imagined), with hand written signs coloured in with “felt tips” and James Bond posters on the walls as an ode to the person ‘I wanted to be when I grow up.’

Before ordering, eyes are drawn to the huge framed picture of a grey-bearded man, which turns out to be the man himself, Tommi.  With facial hair that thick I’m sure a few drops of tomato ketchup or mustard have found themselves lodged once or twice over the past few years.  Ordering from the menu is easy, and what I really find pleasing is that this place isn’t trying to be a burger joint disguised as a restaurant, it’s proud to be a burger joint! A burger joint that doesn’t need to disguise itself as anything else.

So to the main event: the burger.  I went for the standard cheese burger with chips, and when it arrived, wrapped in paper with a side of chips, together as one in its 50s diner-style wooden basket, it certainly didn’t disappoint:  easily unwrapped, perfectly sized for even the most modest of hand spans and the full force of the flavour you would expect from a gas-grilled beef burger, with well-matched burger accompaniments of lettuce, onions, tomato and a special house cocktail sauce.

What really is apparent when tucking into one of Tommi’s Burgers is the dedication to select great quality meat, which is tender, juicy and full of flavour; everything you would want form a top-quality burger.  At under £10 for a burger, fries and a drink, I reckon this will prove to be a popular place for the London burger craze to continue.  One thing’s for sure, I will be back very soon to try the steak burger with cheese and béarnaise sauce, and hopefully fit in a board game or two while I am at it.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TommisBurgerJoint

Twitter: www.twitter.com/BurgerJointUk

By Ryan Bartley

 

This is a quick round up of some of the mind bogglingly brilliant places my two sisters and I ate and drank at in New York earlier this month…

PDT

PDT is the hot-dog joint for grown-ups.  Accessed through a vintage phone booth within Crif Dogs, a fast food joint known for its deep-fried frankfurters, PDT (aka Please Don’t Tell) is a lot of fun.  Don’t be thwarted by the obstacles to getting inside: the tiny space, rules of beahviour, the fact the earliest you can make a reservation is 3pm on the same day, not to mention then actually finding the booth hidden inside a hot dog joint, just think of it as a grown up’s equivalent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and you magically appear the other side and into the perfect little speakeasy.  It just works.  The staff were lovely and the cocktails were smashing.  Mixologist Jim Meehan (formerly of Gramercy Tavern and Pegu Club) clearly knows his stuff and likes to whip up unusual seasonal concoctions such as an Old Fashioned made from bacon infused bourbon and maple syrup. It’s a fun spot just make sure you leave time to eat at Momofuku Ssam Bar nearby afterwards…

PDT113 St.

Mark’s Pl. , New York, NY 10009
nr. First Ave.

Inside PDT

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room

We enjoyed a stonkingly good dinner at April Bloomfield’s latest gastro-grub outlet, The Breslin, an English style pub from the forces behind popular West Village gastropub The Spotted Pig and housed within The Ace Hotel which opened late last year on West 29th  St.  The staff wear t shirts and tattoos, the booths are dark and leathery, the tables covered in butcher paper.  There’s plenty to drink (a seven page wine list) but it’s the meat which meat is the main event here.   The protein heavy menu includes heart stoppingly unctuous terrines, crispy sweetbreads, ham, pig’s foot and steak.  We snacked on curly salty fried pork scratching served in little paper bags, then a Scotch Egg, followed by a small but perfectly formed intensely flavoured beef and stilton pie and the hit char-grilled lamb burger served with tangy feta and sweet potato triple fried chips and a pot of cumin spiked mayonnaise ($17). We failed to make room for puddings and judging by a quick snoop at some of our neighbouring tables this was an error.  Next time…

The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
Ace Hotel
20 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001

Momofuku’s Ssam Bar

For our last night in New York we opted for David Chang’s insanely popular Momofuku ssäm bar (“lucky peach” in Japanese), I was practically drooling with excitement having heard nothing but great things from the likes of Rene Redzepi and Heston Blumenthal (it’s #37 on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best list if you’re counting). The bar is casual and the food inventive: here Chang fuses Korean, Southern and Soul cooking with extraordinary results, his flavours really pack a punch.  You can’t book but we were lucky enough to nab a table by the kitchen, the room was throbbing with hungry chattering New Yorkers. The constantly changing menus display a familiar fondness for pork (“We do not serve vegetarian-friendly items,” says the menu at Momofuku Ssäm Bar) the menus revolve around country hams, raw bar items and “off cuts”. From Monday – Friday the ssäm bar serves an all-rotisserie duck menu for lunch.  Small dishes average about $10 and bigger dishes $12-26. The bar next door, Booker and Dax is open late but let’s face it, it’s all about the food. We had:

We had:

naked cowgirl oysters – ham powder, lime, satsuma
spanish mackerel – black garlic, strawberry, lime
steamed buns – pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions
bbq bun – crispy pork belly, coleslaw, smoked mayo
chili soft shell crab – avocado, tomatillo, mole
poached chicken – sticky rice, maitake mushrooms, spring onion
spicy pork sausage & rice cakes – chinese broccoli, sichuan peppercorn
tri-star stawberry sorbet – celery root, ritz crunch

Reservations are only accepted for the bo ssäm pork shoulder (serves 6-10 people) and the whole-rotisserie duck (serves 3-6 people)

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 second ave @ 13th street
New york city
http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/ssam-bar/

By Laura Tovell

One could be forgiven for not noticing La Bodega Negra at the end of Old Compton Street. Disguised as a sex shop from the outside, I am sure it has resulted in quite a bit of confusion for unassuming diners. Dimly lit with edgy decor, the cushioned bonkets made for a welcome and comfortable change from Soho’s recent influx of new on-trend restaurants. The underground restaurant is deceptively large with seating areas hidden around corners and in nooks and crannies so the likes of Keira and Kylie can enjoy their tacos away from prying eyes.

We decided to kick off with some refreshing mojitos and guacamole with sesame tostadas before moving onto a selection of starters and mains to share. The crab tostadita was a delicious mound of meaty crab with mango and lime, contrasting the crunchy tortilla and making for a satisfying starter when paired with chorizo tacos which packed a serious punch with plenty of chorizo, squash and sweetcorn. The white bean and chorizo side was moorish but a tad runny. However, it complimented our seafood and rice main which had plenty clams, mussels and prawns; a Mexican paella if you will. I imagine the white bean side would have mixed in nicely with the green rice to make a substantial and tasty main. Our potatoes with mole negro sauce came as an un-ordered extra but turned out to be the star of the show with a rich chilli, chocolatey sauce and crispy potato wedges to dunk. With churros off the menu, we decided to bypass pudding and go for another classic mojito to cleanse the palate and round off our Latin American feast.

With the buzzing atmosphere and friendly knowledgeable service at La Bodega Negra, this new underground restaurant is sure to be a hit with the Soho crowd.

www.labodeganegra.com

Laura Urquhart
Food and Restaurant PR

 

After a rather entertaining Friday night in Clapham a month ago, a friend and I felt the need for a hearty pub lunch.  We chose to walk the taxing 200-metre journey from where we were staying to The Railway Tavern (18 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UR).

There are tables outside, perfect for people-watching when the sun is out but on this stereotypically rainy, British day we opted for the warmer option.  Inside has a very quirky, art deco look, which I love.  There is a vintage feel about the furniture with many mismatched retro/antique-looking tables and chairs both downstairs and upstairs.  From my first experience here I have decided that it is, in my mind, the ultimate place to eat out for a relaxed weekend brunch.  They serve great gastro pub grub at extremely good prices and as an added bonus they have board games aplenty – perfect for an afternoon of recreating childhood memories with your friends.  To eat, I had a delicious meal of Gloucester Old Spot sausages,  mash made of cabbage and potato mixed together and a  red wine gravy.  WOW!  I can honestly say that it was definitely the tastiest sausage & mash that I have ever had.  I have to get my hands on some of those Old Spots!

I returned to The Railway this weekend (Sunday 6th May) but unfortunately my favourite S&M dish was nowhere to be seen on the menu. I have since discovered that this was because we were looking just at the Sunday Menu, so I need to return on another day of the week to enjoy my new foodie obsession of Gloucester Old Spot sausages.  On this second visit, to replenish my body after a big 1940s themed night at the Blitz Party in Shoreditch, I chose their gourmet burger.  It was giant;  one of those that needed a thick wooden cocktail stick to keep it all together.  Crispy streaky bacon, lettuce, mayo, a slice of chunky beef , oozing cheddar cheese and a crispy white bap made up this gem of a burger.  It went down a treat and was only £9.75!

This time we made the most of the board games on offer and so our food was accompanied by an epic game of Cranium.  One table next to us braved The Game of Life with a bit of Scrabble on the side; they were either Railway Tavern veterans or maybe just a tad over ambitious.  Nevertheless, it seems that good pub food with board games on the side is a popular combination.

So, if you are looking for somewhere to go for brunch the morning after an eventful night out then The Railway Tavern near Clapham North station is the place to go. I have two visits under my belt and have loved them both but my relationship with this place, and in particular the Gloucester Old Spot sausages, has only just begun…

www.therailwayclapham.co.uk

By Lizzie Scanlan
Restaurant PR

What an evening!  As a Fortnum’s first-timer, aware of its astounding reputation, I was expecting big things at the launch of the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon on Thursday 26th April; and Fortnum’s did not disappoint.  The elegance of the David Collins Studio interior design combined with the classic Fortnum & Mason pale blue was a beautiful sight.  Guests were flocking in even before the event’s official start time – obviously eager to sample some of Fortnum’s delicious Battenberg cake, macaroons and chocolate Sacher cake accompanied with a gorgeous, old fashioned glass of champagne.  The exquisite playing of the pianist enhanced the atmosphere with classical favourites from Einaudi, Hans Zimmer and even Coldplay – there was something for everyone.

Whilst on a wander around the room I noticed a table of guests being educated and entertained by one of the Fortnum’s tearistas who had a tray of various flavoured tea leaves with him and was expertly pouring tea for the entranced onlookers to sample.  I myself was mesmerised and stopped my room-amble to watch the spectacle.  When he had satisfied the table with his tea knowledge and brewing skills, he received a well deserved round of applause, in which I was quick to join.

The evening seemed to whizz by and even when it was almost 8 o’clock the guests didn’t seem to want to leave.  Would Fortnum’s offer an all night lock-in I wondered?!  People did start to leave fairly soon after this thought entered my mind though and when they were leaving they couldn’t stop praising the event.  When I asked one man what he thought of the evening he commented that he hadn’t had a nice evening, he had had a fantastic one!  All 350 guests received a gorgeous Fortnum’s goodie bag on their way out with some jam and loose tea included and, as you would imagine, these went down a treat.

As my first Fortnum and Mason’s experience it was everything I hoped it would be and more.  I can’t wait to take some of my visiting Australian friends in order to showcase a store that, since the early 18th century, has been one of a few London-based department stores to epitomise British culture.

By Lizzie Scanlan

Restaurant PR

 

The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon launch pianistCakes at Launch party for Diamond Jubilee tea room, Fortnum & MasonA tearista at Launch party for Diamond Jubilee tea room, Fortnum & MasonLaunch party for Diamond Jubilee tea room, Fortnum & Mason - Goodie Bag

This bread is ridiculously easy to make and comes from the lovely people at my favourite bakery and chocolate shop: Cocomaya. It requires no more effort than simply mixing together copious amounts of uber healthy seeds, some wholemeal flour, buttermilk, honey and whacking in the oven. You can then have it simply toasted and buttered or jazzed up with some sumac cream cheese and smoked salmon…

For the loaf: Makes one 18cm seeded loaf
55g whole meal flour
55g white bread flour
5g baking powder
5g salt
35g oat flakes
20g sesame seeds
20g poppy seeds
20g sunflower seeds
20g linseeds
170g buttermilk
15g sunflower oil
50g golden syrup
 
Handful of extra seeds for the top
 
To finish:
75g smoked salmon
6 slices seeded loaf
Sumac cream cheese
 
For the sumac cream cheese:
200g cream cheese
3tbsp double cream
1tsp ground sumac powder
1/2tsp mint chopped
2tsp red onion finely diced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4tsp salt

For the seeded loaf:

Pre heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C for a fan assisted oven, gas mark 4.  Spray and line the long sides and the bottom of an 18cm loaf tin with silicone baking paper.   In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt, oat flakes and all the seeds In a different owl mix together all the wet ingredients.  Make a well in the centre if the flour and pour in the wet ingredients, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough.   Pour the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle with some seeds.   Bake for 60minutes in the pre-heated oven until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf.   Remove from the oven and let cool for a while before unmoulding.  Leave to cool completely before slicing

For the sumac cream cheese: In a mixing bowl soften the cream cheese with the double cream to a more spreadable consistency.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Check for seasoning, you might need some more salt and lemon juice

To Finish: Lay the slices of seeded bread on your chopping board and spread a layer of sumac cheese on each slice.  Divide the smoked salmon between three slices and cover with the remaining slices of bread. Then eat heartily….

Laura Tovell

Food and Restaurant PR

Just before Easter, some of us were lucky enough to have a caipirinha masterclass from Rio born Brasil enthusiast David Ponté from CABANA.  Deadly but delicious, David proved that an authentic Brasilian caipirinha can be made in under three minutes.

Ingredients:
1 lime
2 tsp granulated sugar
A handful of ice cubes
Cachaça Rum (conveniently sold at Waitrose)

 

  1. Cut one lime into quarters and put in a tumbler with 2 tsps granulated sugar. Using a small rolling pin (or similar utensil) squeeze as much juice out of the lime as possible.  
  2. Bash a few ice cubes into medium sized pieces, not too small, and add.
  3. Top up to the brim with cachaça, stir, and enjoy

 

Tip: David says the secret to a good caipirinha is in the ice, try not to crush into too smaller pieces or it will melt too quickly. Drink without a straw.
www.cabana-brasil.com

By Laura Urquhart

I recently visited Trullo (300 – 302 St Paul’s Road, London N1 2LH) which is located just by Highbury and Islington station. It opened last year and serves Italian food. The head chef is Tim Siadatan who trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.

I went on a Saturday lunch time and the restaurant had a really nice buzz, it wasn’t too packed. The clientele was quite young – 30 somethings and it seemed to be a local crowd. The room was very pleasant – wooden floors and navy blue furniture and walls. It was a nice sunny day so even though it’s quite a small restaurant, it felt airy and spacious. They have a mezzanine which is where we sat, but they also have nice tables along the front window – good for people watching. The waitresses were quite young and trendy, and were really nice and helpful. Our waitress talked us through the dishes and seemed to have a really good knowledge of the menu.

I ordered butternut squash fritters which were delicious, but maybe a little too oily after you’ve eaten a few. My guest had spaghetti with a lemon and pepper sauce which was really good. For main, we both had roast lamb which came with sautéed aubergine and was delicious! The lamb was cooked really nicely. We were super greedy and ordered three desserts to share as we both wanted to try their salted caramel ice cream which was amazing! We also had caramel pannacotta and chocolate and quince tart – both were fantastic and the dessert was definitely my favourite course. Price wise it’s quite reasonable for a smart restaurant – starters are around £7, mains £16 and desserts only £5. Definitely worth a visit!

By Syamala Upham

 

 

On a little island of quietness situated between the Friday night hub of Regent Street and Golden Square sits So Japanese. Its fringe Soho location marries well with the understated feeling of quality and calm as you walk in, greeted by several smiling faces waiting to serve you.

There is seating for 35-40 in addition to the sushi bar on the ground floor and further tables downstairs. We were offered some crunchy pickled cucumber to assist with our pondering of the drinks menu, I chose a slightly underpowered Lychee Martini whilst my guest ended up with a gin, melon and lemonade concoction which looked as though it had been syphened straight from a tube in Wonkas factory but was not offensive.

Edamame beans were presented with plenty of salt and the fried tofu was delicious. The aubergine was good enough for us to order a second plate as soon as my guest misunderstood my request to share the last fifth of our original order. According to my guest the tuna Tataki was sensational. Five little melt in the mouth squares of tuna seared around the edge, beautifully soft and flavoursome.

Giles Coren has been known to eat at the bar for lunch on more than one occasion and it is easy to see why. The sushi was well put together and beautifully plump and fresh.

So Japanese is worthy of more than a fleeting lunchtime visit. The staff move at less than a quick pace but at the same time the food is delivered well before you’d begin to wonder at what stage the preparations may be. Fairly priced, a fantastic little find and seemingly much more staying power than the various frantic alternatives in the south westerly corner of Soho.

By Natalie Dunbar

Jose, the first of Jose Pizarro’s two Bermondsey restaurants, opened in May 2011 and is yet another small, no bookings place (groan). Since that is where so much of the exciting, best value food is to be had at the mo, I sighed and sucked it up. Or rather, I found a sneaky way to get round it, by going at midday on a Sunday – we were the first ones in the door. 40 minutes later it was full with a queue…

The venue itself is perfectly pitched to the after work, often creative crowd  in the area: pretty pared down, only bar/counter/stool-based seating with some barrels serving as occasional tables. The lack of comfy seating doesn’t encourage lingering, which I suppose is fair enough given that it’s tapas,  but given the quality of the cooking itself, some might prefer a cosier atmosphere in which to enjoy it. Having said that, service was very attentive, meaning that dishes were served in succession and potential plate pile-ups were avoided.

Now for the food. Moreish, indulgent plates ranged from elegant to in your face (in the best way possible). Braised lamb shoulder with white beans was gutsy and warming on a freezing day, ham and blue cheese croquetas melty and salty and well-balanced, charred squid with chilli, aioli and capers a punchy standout dish I would go back for again and again. Tortilla was squidgy perfection and an unusual chocolate tart finished with salt and olive oil rounded things off nicely.

Dishes are very well priced, and entry level wines and sherries by the glass equally affordable. Our bill came to about 70 for two, but that included a greedy seven or eight dishes and several sherries, you wouldn’t need to spend anything like that to eat and drink well.  As for the ultimate test of whether I would spend my own money there? For sure. Another raging success story for Jose… but then you knew that, didn’t you?

by Jenny Goss