Bring on the heat, Chilli Cool

Friday, 30 July 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

Another restaurant blogged to death, so we’ll keep this short. Chilli Cool served Sichuan food in a rather nice airy greenhouse like building near UCL territory in Russell Square.

Chilli Cool, London 2

Sliced beef Sichuan style lavishly topped with chilli & Sichuan pepper 水煮牛肉. The strips of meat inside the bowl of chilli oil seemed more like pork than beef to me but it still was great to eat with just the right level of spiciness for me.

Chilli Cool, London 3

Mini lamb skewer fried with chilli & cumin powder 麻椒孜香羊肉串. I think this was a really awesome dish as the lamb was very well marinated, incredibly tasty and the innate lambiness of it was still strong and not muted in the least.

Chilli Cool, London 4

Twice cooked pork 回锅肉. Thin strips of really fatty pork belly fried to give a slightly crisp texture. A bit on the salty side due to the black beans. Nonetheless, very tasty with rice.

Chilli Cool, London 5

Mapo tofu 麻婆豆腐. Not a lot of pork on offer, but the flavour of this is not bad although the PigPig would prefer it a little bit sweeter ideally. The least popular dish we ordered.

Chilli Cool, London 6

Quick fried chicken with cumin & chilli 飘香辣子鸡. A much better version than the one we had in Sichuan as the chicken here has been deboned and tastier.

Chilli Cool, London 7

Chilli Cool, London 8

We supplemented the meal with lots of plain white rice. Altogether the cost was £60 for four of us including a bottle of aloevera juice making it £15 each for a whole lot of tasty food.

Chilli Cool, London 1

Food – 5.5
Service – 4.0
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 7.0


The cooks don’t pull any punches when it comes to flavours and the style is very simple and basic but that doesn’t mean it’s bad at all. Au contraire, it was great tasting stuff.

In terms of spiciness, it was reasonably spicy but I never felt pushed out of my comfort zone. It was distinctly lacking the Sichuan peppercorns though for some weird reason. Nevertheless, this is our new favourite Sichuan restaurant.

  • Best bit: oily spicy Chinese food with rice = pure awesomeness.
  • Worst bit: saturated fatty acids.
  • Weirdest bit: peeing in the toilet then finding a picture of a naked woman (?Shu Qi) on the wall. Walked out of the cubicle and found another nudie picture.
Chilli Cool
15 Leigh street
WC1H 9EW
LONDON
Tel:+44(020) 7383 3135
Official website

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Broad Bean Couscous

I've been eating lots of broad beans recently at restaurants but have never cooked them myself, so I thought I'd give it a go. I decided to toss them with some couscous and serve with the spiced roast lamb I made.

The beans reminded me of edamame beans - a giant version, so I podded them revealing their beans. Instead of vibrant green, they were somewhat dull in colour. I thought it was because I froze them, like how certain leafy veg are not meant to be frozen. Anyway, I threw them into a pot of boiling water and they started to swell. I seriously thought they were going to explode! I quickly washed them under running cold water and the skin deflated. I peeled the rubbery skin and finally found the bright green beans that I'm familar with! Apparently, you can eat the pods if the beans are young while the larger and older broad beans need to have the tough and rubbery pods removed. Another lesson learnt!

broad bean couscous

Ingredients: serves 3
  • 500g broad beans
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 spoon Knorr chicken powder
  • 1 1/3 cup very hot water
  • 1 handful parsley - coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful mint - coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
  • To double pod broad beans:
  • Remove the beans from their pods.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add beans, cook for about 3 mins. Drain.
  • Wash the beans with cold water.
  • Squeeze the beans gently to pop the green beans out. Or you can make a small slit with your fingernail, then pop the beans out.
  • For couscous:
  • Mix together couscous and chicken powder in a bowl.
  • Pour boiling hot water into couscous. Cover for about 5 mins.
  • Fluff couscous with a fork.
  • Mix in broad beans, parsley and mint.
  • Season to taste.

Broad bean couscous with spiced roast lamb
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Spiced Roast Lamb

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

It is summer but our oven has been working more than it should be. And in fact, more than the winter months. I'm not a huge fan of salads or cold noodles, I prefer my meals hot - stews and braises..YUM. Standing over the stove cooking in the kitchen without a fan now is unbearable so I resort to oven-cooked meals instead. You chuck everything into a baking dish and enjoy comforting hot food after an hour or two. This dish is rich and flavourful, spicy, tangy and I added dates for a bit of sweetness.

Spiced roast lamb 1

Ingredients:
Adapted from Angela Boggiano's recipe at deliciousmagazine.co.uk
  • 1kg Lamb Joint Half Shoulder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion - sliced
  • 2-inch piece ginger - grated
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbs harissa
  • 1 can (400g) plum tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g dried dates - coarsely chopped
  • 2 small preserved lemons - quarted, seeds removed

Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Crush the spice seeds and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar.
  • With a sharp knife, make a few slits in the meat.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and brown well all over. Remove and place in a casserole dish.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.
  • Add ginger and garlic, fry until fragrant.
  • Stir in crushed spices and harissa, fry until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, cinnamon stick, dates and preserved lemons, bring to boil. Smash the tomatoes with your ladle. Pour this over lamb.
  • Cover and bake for about 1 1/2-2 hrs or until meat is tender.

Spiced roast lamb
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Craving for Sushi...Atari-ya @ Swiss Cottage

Monday, 26 July 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

First noticed Atari-Ya when Kang first blogged about it. From his review, it seems that Atari-Ya supply top grade sashimi to some of London’s finest Japanese restaurants. I tried to double check this with a waitress during my lunch there, but I was only able to confirm that Atari-Ya started out as mainly distributors of fish before expanding into the restaurant business and that they do indeed supply “lots” of restaurants, but she wasn’t able to tell me exactly which.

Well anyway, that doesn’t really matter right? It’s all about the food. And there are lots of places to get the food too as Atari-Ya have 4 shops scattered across West London, a take away sushi bar behind Selfridges (!!) and two restaurants in Hendon and Swiss Cottage respectively. We tried the latter as it was the newest chain.

On a quiet residential area just off the busy A41, Atari-Ya was a great open bright restaurant with the front windows allowing lots of natural sunlight in. The interior had a very modern clean orderly look about it. I wasn’t much impressed as one part of the wall opposite the reception area was just bare brick, but the PigPig seemed to like its plain appearance.

Atari-ya, London 1

It’s also worth mentioning that although we only noticed two parties of Japanese, the first one was a family of four who were seated in a little section partitioned away as they sat on the floor in their traditional manner (I’ll never be able to sit like that). There was also a larger private section up the stairs.

Some hot green tea was served by default. We also had some bits to start with although I’m not sure if this is for everybody or if it’s because I ordered from the set lunch. At any rate, the shredded marinated mackerel had a slight piquant taste which worked well enough to get our taste buds up and running. Similarly, the salad also had a sour/salty dressing.

Atari-ya, London 2

O-toro sashimi
. Essentially the fattest of the fatty tuna belly, this is highly desirable simply because fat makes everything taste better hence the fattest tuna bit should taste the best. Simples.

Atari-ya, London 3

Now I am a great fan of eating food, but sadly I think I actually know very little about the stuff I eat. For example, why does my o-toro today have those irritating lines of connective tissue? Admittedly, it wasn’t chewy or fibrous at all, but it still irked me that those lines were present. I would have preferred it to just be generally marbled like in Sushi-Say. According to a fellow food blogger, both types are accepted, but if anyone else can enlighten me on the subject, I would be much appreciated.

Anyway back to the o-toro – it was great. Meltingly soft marbled fatty tuna belly. Could have eaten it everyday all day.

Black cod. Pretty good version here with the fish still being very juicy and had just enough glaze to provide the flavour as there isn’t a pool of miso sauce sitting around.

Atari-ya, London 5

Chirashi. At £10 I thought this was a steal. A fairly large portion of pretty tasty marinated sushi rice topped with generous portions of various seafood such as salmon, tuna belly, scallops, sweet prawn, flying fish and salmon egg roe as well as crab. Most other versions of chirashi I had so far was the bara type where the stuff were all diced into squares so seeing it all in big pieces was nicer as we could eat each individual piece and taste it better.

Atari-ya, London 4

*I just had the realisation that the bara from bara chirashi and bara-bara fruit (I wonder how many will recognise where this came from?) were the same and bara means split up or chopped.

Sushi set lunch. For another £10 we had this platter of 7 pieces of nigiri as well as two rolls each of California and plain tuna; even without the miso soup and dessert I thought this was pretty decent value for money already. Even more so when I realised how great the assorted fish were as they all had good texture and still felt fleshy and firm.

Atari-ya, London 6

The nigiri pieces were sized appropriately too as they were just the perfect size to pop into a hungry greedy mouth. The rice also seemed to be just right for me, well packed without being condensed or squashed and it all held together from the journey from plate to piehole. Perhaps a little bit more seasoning of salt and vinegar would have been better for the rice, but I suspect that was more to do with the liberal seasonings I’m used to at home when the PigPig makes sushi.

We had some fruits for dessert as part of the set lunch which did nothing but make the PigPig crave for some ice cream so we ordered a scoop each of matcha (green tea) and red bean. They were both ok but I thought the red bean was too sweet (always seems to be the case with red bean stuff) while we found the matcha ice cream a bit icy.

We ended up paying about £20 each for two of us but we could probably have eaten quite a bit more; we had a big dinner so we were holding back on lunch.

Atari-ya, London 7

Food – 7.0
Service – 5.0
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 7.0


The menu is actually quite limited with the main emphasis being on the sushi and sashimi. Sure there are some other bits and bobs but nothing near as extensive as a typical traditional restaurant like Sushi-Say or Kikuchi. Still, what we tried was all good and I’m certainly very tempted to come back for more.

Best bit: good sushi and sashimi.
Worst bit: having sushi and sashimi cravings the next day.

Atari-ya
Swiss Cottage
75 Fairfax Road
NW6 4EE
Tel: +44(020) 7328 5338
Official website
Other branches available

Atari-Ya Sushi Bar Swiss Cottage on Urbanspoon
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One Pot Rice with Olive Vegetable

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Do you bother cooking for yourself if you are home alone? Because I don't. I usually eat whatever I can find in the kitchen but very often cereal or 3-in-1 Milo. The only thing that I'd cook for myself is oats. Oats with matcha, agave nectar and a tablespoon of peanut butter...YUM! I can have that for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Call me crazy, yeah, crazy for oats! Some people crave for junk food, I crave for oats. Anyway, enough of oats. This is another post on another easy meal recipe. This dish can be done in less than 30 mins and even then, I won't bother cooking just for myself.

One Pot Rice with Olive Vegetable 2

PS. Olive vegetable is my BEST find this year! You can read more about it here.
Ingredients: serves 3
  • 2 1/2 rice cups uncooked rice - washed
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup olive vegetable 橄榄菜
  • 2 sticks Chinese sausages - sliced
  • 1 cup fish cakes - cut into bite size

*1 cup = 250 ml; 1 rice cup = 180 ml
*the 1/2 cup of olive veg is after squeezing out most of the oil. It was about 3/4 cup before discarding the oil.

Directions:
  • Microwave the sausages for about 1 min. You will see a lot of oil in the container. Soak up the oil with kitchen towels.
One Pot Rice with Olive Vegetable 1
  • Mix together rice, light soy sauce, sugar, pepper and enough rice to cook rice in a rice cooker pot. Start cooking the rice.
  • As soon as the rice cooker starts steaming, pour in olive veg, Chinese sausages and fish cakes, do not mix around. Cover and resume cooking.
  • Mix everthing after the rice is cooked.
  • Season to taste.
One Pot Rice with Olive Vegetable 3
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One Pot Rice with Salmon

Friday, 23 July 2010

Every now and then, the wild boar works during the night, which means he works 8-8 (pm-am) for a week. He usually arrives home at 9 am after work, and sleeps from about 10 am to 6 pm. I love this night shift system because I get the whole bed to myself (a good night's sleep). I hate it because I'm not allowed to do anything in the kitchen when he's sleeping (he's a light sleeper). So, I can't cook anything too elaborate and have to resort to simple dishes like this.

Easy and oh-so DELICIOUS!

One pot rice with salmon 2

Ingredients: serves 3

*1 cup = 250 ml; 1 rice cup = 180 ml

Directions:
  • Mix together rice, hon-dashi, light soy sauce, brine from the canned salmon in a rice cooker.
  • Top up with more water (enough to cook rice) and start cooking the rice.
  • As soon as the rice cooker starts steaming, add the frozen mixed vegetables, (no need to mix around). Cover and resume cooking.
  • While the rice is cooking, you can break the salmon into small chunks.
  • Mix in salmon when the rice is cooked.
  • Season to taste.
One pot rice with salmon
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Helluva Burger @ The Meatwagon, The Florence, Herne Hill

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

Bookmarked their website every since I saw Helen’s review on their bobcat burger but it took us nearly a year to finally go over to try, partly because of The Meatwagon’s erratic schedule (mostly weekdays it feels like) and also because getting to them involved a fair amount of travelling (they’re based in the south, and I’ve never travelled so far south before).

Eventually, on a Saturday (17/07), we finally made the trek down to have lunch at 1pm. Unfortunately, they started late (London traffic, some issue with their gas canister) and only started serving at 3pm so I was an incredibly grumpy bastard by the time I got my burger. Well worth the wait though.

The Meatwagon, London 1

Chilli cheese beef burger.

The Meatwagon, London 4

That is one superb looking piece of burger. Of the sloppy wet juicy type, beef juices were dripping with every bite I took even though I was literally wolfing it down.

The Meatwagon, London 5

The patty was really good, full of beefy flavour although it looked a bit disconcertingly raw in the middle (still ate it though). Perhaps a bit underseasoned but easily made up by the cheese. Oh the cheese. It was slimy and stuck to the gums with a rather rich mellow taste. And apparently it’s quite reminiscent of the typical American style cheese used in burgers (can’t comment, never been to the States).

The Meatwagon, London 6

So I was waiting for 2 hours to get my food and I managed to be 4th in the queue when it finally opened for orders. Every now and then I went over to the wagon to check out how my order was coming and then I saw their bacon cooking. It was the most amazing bacon I saw being cooked. It wasn’t just strips of bacon, it was diced pieces of bacon (more bacon fat than bacon) being made into a patty. BACON PATTY!! I started jumping up and down and tried to change my order of a chilli cheese beef burger into a bacon chilli cheese beef burger, but Yianni (the owner) advised it would be overkill.

The Meatwagon, London 2

Philly cheesesteak with extra bacon.

The Meatwagon

So I had to console myself with this order. Firstly, it is as big as it looks. Secondly, it was as delicious as you think it looks. Essentially strips of rump fried with onions and green peppers then laid atop more of that gooey cheese and finally, topped with that brilliant chopped bacon. We got some jealous looks from the table next to us, oh yeah.

The Meatwagon, London 8

Altogether we paid £13 for the two burgers. I think the base price for a beefburger and Philly cheesesteak were £5 and £6 each but adding each item was an extra £1.

Food – 7.0
Value – 7.0


Best bit: BACON PATTY!!
Worst bit: waiting 2 frigging hours to get my hands on a burger.

Click here to find out where and when they'd next be.

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Choc Choc Matcha Cheesecake

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

It's matchamadness

This month is all about matcha - an event organised by the matcha-obsessed Catty. Do check out all her wonderful matcha recipes, especially her matcha whoopie pies or more like matcha BURGERS! So, do join in the matcha fun and win yourself a tin of teapigs matcha powder, valued at £25!

When Catty announced this event, the first thing that came into my mind was matcha cheesecake. I'm currently in a cream cheese phase and so, have been baking a lot with cream cheese recently (posts will be up...eventually...). I decided to make this more sinful by pairing it with a chocolate base and white chocolate swirls...YUM

Matcha cheesecake 1

Ok, so you might have noticed some matcha lumps, that's a result of me being too greedy and impatient. Remember to whisk in the matcha powder bit by bit instead of throwing in tablespoons of powder then beat. Sifting the powder first before whisking in might also be a good idea to prevent lumps from forming. Another lesson learnt!

Matcha cheesecake 2

Ingredients: 9-inch cake
For chocolate shortcrust base:
  • 85g unsalted butter - cubed, cold
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
For cheesecake batter:
  • 600g Philadelphia cream cheese - softened
  • 1 can (405g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 tbs matcha powder
  • 50g white chocolate - coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
For chocolate shortcrust base:
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Place all ingredients for the crust in a food processor, process until you get a sandy mixture.
  • Press into the bottom of a lightly greased and lined 9-inch pan. Bake for about 25 mins.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminium foil to avoid leakage of cheesecake batter and water from seeping into the pan while baking in a bain marie.
For cheesecake batter:
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Melt butter and white chocolate in a double boiler. Leave to cool a bit.
  • Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth.
  • Beat in eggs one by one.
  • Add one cup of cream cheese mixture to melted white chocolate. Mix well. Leave aside for the swirls.
  • Whisk matcha powder into the rest of the cream cheese mixture. Whisk in 1/2 tsp at a time OR I would suggest dissolving the matcha powder in a bit of hot milk before adding to the cream cheese mixture to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Pour green tea cream cheese mixture into prepared pan.
  • Create swirls with the white chocolate cream cheese mixture. Here's a nice video on how to create the swirls.
  • Bake in a water-bath for 45 mins - 1 hr or until center is slightly jiggly but perimeter is set.
  • Leave to cool before refrigerating. The cheesecake will shrink as it cools, so run a paring knife around the edge of the cheesecake to prevent any cracks.
  • The cheesecake is even better the next day!

Matcha cheesecake 3


Check out my other matcha recipes:

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Chicken in Milk

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Butterflying or spatchcocking is my current preferred method of preparing a whole chicken for roasting or grilling. It involves removing the backbone and keel bone of the bird then flattening out the bird before cooking. I find that the chicken cooks much faster and more evenly. Besides, you get more browned crispy skin and can avoid the "soggy bottom" problem. And for recipes that require browning the whole chicken in butter or oil before cooking, a butterflied chicken makes this process much easier and more even browning.

The result of this recipe was amazing. Very moist and flavourful chicken. The browned curdled milk reminded me of grilled cheese, very tasty.

Chicken in Milk 6
Ingredients:
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe
  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.5kg)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 packet (about 125g) unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20g fresh sage
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 bulb garlic - cloves separated, skin left on
  • 568ml (1 pint) whole milk

Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Butterfly or spatchcock the chicken. Directions on how to butterfly a chicken here.
  • Season it generously all over with salt and pepper.
  • Fry it in the butter and a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden.
Chicken in Milk 1
  • Add in the backbone too for extra flavour.
Chicken in Milk 2
  • Remove from the heat, throw away the oil and butter left in the roasting pan.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
Chicken in Milk 3
  • Cover and cook in the preheated oven for about 1 hr.
Chicken in Milk 4
  • Baste with the cooking juice every now and then. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic. If you want thicker sauce like this, remove the foil after first 45 mins or so of cooking and let it cook uncovered for the last 15-20 mins.
Chicken in Milk 5
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The Lonsdale

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

We were invited to review this restaurant and the entire meal was paid for by the house. The following below is our independent view, but you have been warned.

Would I like to come review a recently refurbished restaurant + cocktail bar which serves steak provided by Allen’s of Mayfair in a kitchen headed by Jason Wallis, previously of Hawksmoor fame? Yes please!

So off we trotted to West London to find The Lonsdale nestled just off fashionably posh Westbourne Grove in a little quiet residential area. Recently refurbished in June 2010 but apparently this place has been popular for providing good cocktails for quite a while.

The Lonsdale, London 14

We were early for our dinner so were amongst the first ones into the restaurant on a Thursday evening. The décor is really something else here for the main restaurant. Seating 60 covers with most of them spread out on extremely comfortable leather sofas. Our seating was arranged so that the wife and I were seated 90° to each other, which I find more relaxing and intimate and also made it far easier for us to share each other’s dishes.

The Lonsdale, London 02

The Lonsdale, London 01

The drinks menu is extensive to put it mildly. Obviously the emphasis is on the cocktails here with far too many for us to make a simple choice. The descriptions include not just a list of the contents you’ll be drinking, but often also a little background information on the cocktail and the creator of said drink.

Anyway the wife had a Russian Spring Punch (Stolichnaya vodka, lemon juice, champagne, crème de cassis; really refreshing bubbly drink with a kick behind it) while I had a Black Bison (Bison grass vodka shaken with fresh blackberries, lime and Chambord; no I didn’t taste any grass essence, but it was a fruity little drink and the ice really helped on a hot day).

The Lonsdale, London 03

Along with the drinks came a little plate of olives (mostly green), spiced with some pickled onions (stayed well away from) and garlic (slurp slurp) which gave the cocktails some nice company, but made us more ravenous for the food.

The Lonsdale, London 04

Marinated & roasted Tamworth pork ribs”. Good thing we were hungry because this was a big portion for a starter with 6 ribs here, I know people who count this as a full dinner. The meat was tender but a little bit too salty I think. Couldn’t really put my finger on the exact spice/herb used as well.

The Lonsdale, London 05

Seared scallops & chorizo, butternut squash purée”. The scallops were nicely cooked and had that nice bouncy texture, but were slightly underwhelming in taste (maybe it’s just the scallops here? Don’t recall eating any nice ones lately). The butternut squash puree was excellent though and the sweetness was nicely offset by the naturally salty, oily and sharp chorizo.

The Lonsdale, London 06

After that we had a further drink each to grease the wheels. The PigPig chose an Elderflower Martini (Bison Grass vodka stirred with apple juice and elderflower cocktail) and I opted for a Vesper whose description was an excerpt of Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale in 1937 (sounds familiar?). Now we found all the cocktails eminently drinkable and I actually really liked the Vesper not only because I hoped to be more suave and dashing by association but mainly because it was a really smooth mature blend.

The Lonsdale, London 11

350 gram Rib eye”. The Scottish beef is provided by Allen’s of Mayfair, reportedly the oldest butcher in Britain and also supplies Marco Pierre White, Michel Roux Jr of Le Gavroche and can count Nigella Lawson as a fan. The steak has been hung for 28 days, expertly cooked to medium rare using a charcoal grill and was nice and pink in the middle.

The Lonsdale, London 07

Tastewise, the slab of meat was really good yet lacking when compared to Hawksmoor with slightly less beefy taste and less seasoning as well. However, that is partially made up by the blue cheese sauce which the PigPig absolutely loved.

The Lonsdale, London 09

The Lonsdale, London 10

“Triple cooked chips”. All the steaks come with a side and sauce so I opted to have chips. It wasn’t half bad and quite crunchy, although I did find there were a lot of small pieces there.

Roast rack of lamb, sweet potato & coriander purée”. This dish was perfect in every way. The lamb was wonderfully tender and pink in the middle, well seasoned and still had that great lamby taste, enhanced even more by the jus on the side. The sweet potato puree is identical to the one in the starter but the addition of coriander gave it a fresh zest as well.

The Lonsdale, London 08

Banoffee pie”. I felt this was more of a tart than a pie with a crispy base filled with fresh banana and banoffee goodness topped with cream. The banoffee tart itself was good to eat but I did think the red sauce and pistachio nuts dribbled about were quite superfluous and didn’t really add much to the tart.

The Lonsdale, London 12

Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce & clotted cream”. One of the better renditions of this classic, this was appropriately heavy and thick without being stodgy. The PigPig found the clotted cream helped counter the sweetness of the toffee sauce but I found it a bit too heavy (and I don’t like clotted cream anyway).

The Lonsdale, London 13

We didn’t pay for the meal, but I estimate that a 3 course meal would probably have cost near £40 (excluding drinks) although if I came back (and why wouldn’t I?), I would probably skip a starter. The cocktails range from £8-10 depending on the liquor involved; for example the Russian Spring Punch has champagne so is priced at £10. They do have an early bird offer from 6-8pm from a set menu, but then you’ll be missing out on the steak.

Service throughout the night was friendly and attentive from the two waitresses. However, being a fairly quiet weekday, it was only half full at best so I wonder how they cope on busy weekends. The Lonsdale had a really jiving atmosphere, helped in no small part by the bartender as well as the DJ.

Food – 7.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 7.0
Value – 5.0


I was a bit underwhelmed by the starters at first but the mains were pretty damn good. The steak here is probably one of the better ones but doesn’t reach the standard of Hawksmoor, which isn’t too bad a thing since there’s no shame being beaten by the best.

Best bit: the many many many cocktails around, you’re bound to find something you like.
Worst bit: it is quite a bit out of the way?

The Lonsdale
48 Lonsdale Road,
Notting Hill
London
W11 2DE
Tel: +44(020) 7727 4080
Official website

Lonsdale on Urbanspoon


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