Monday, 26 November 2012

This is Pho you

48 Brushfield Street

In need of a quick, healthy and filling lunch, Vietnamese is ideal. While the hub of most traditional vietnamese restaurants can be found in Kingsland Rd, it's is a bit out of the way (for us). For a working lunch, we were invited to Pho, their latest opening in Spitafields. Pho has been around since 2005 and has 6 restaurants in London now, and set up by an inspired British couple their mini empire has grown. Clearly they are doing something right, it was packed out on a Thursday lunchtime, hardly a table to spare. Right near liverpool street station, this really is an ideal location.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Salt of the Earth

John Salt @John__Salt
131 Upper Street Islington, N1 1QP

The newly open John Salt in Islington is home to a 6 month residency of Ben Spalding, formly head chef at Roganic. Despite only just opening, it's already booked out until January, so get in quick before the queue gets longer. No doubt this is due to the hype surrounding Ben after the success of Strippedback, and a few other events he's done since leaving Roganic. I've been to Strippedback a few times, and really enjoyed it. I was excited at the prospect of what could be done with a proper kitchen and team behind him, had I set the expectation bar too high? In a word, no.
What instantly hits about the John Salt is that not only are they concentrating on creating great dishes, but for good value. Wider accessibility to good food is important and £28 is value for the 4 courses (more like 7 with all the extras), but if that is too much for some their bar food all dishes are under a tenner. Now pass the salt...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Chicken Shop - On a wing and a prayer

Chicken Shop
79 Highgate Rd, Kentish Town

Chicken Shop is one of 3 Soho House Group food places to invade Kentish Town, just up the road from the forum, alongside Dirty Burger and Pizza East. The entrance is very minimalist to say the least, no sign on the door, just a 'Chicken Shop' bag attached to the handle. Walking downstairs there was a wonderful aroma of chicken and chatter from a full house, even at 10pm. Inside is a candle lit 50 style diner with food served in tin camping style dishes. I'd heard a few good things about this place from some other locals, so was looking forward to some chicken 'n' chips. As with most new London restaurants, it's no reservations, so if you are going  The Vine is nearby if you have to wait a while.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hellfire halloween at Ben's Canteen with Noshable

Halloween Dinner party - Ben's Canteen - A Noshable Event
140 St. John's Hill, Clapham

For this Halloween, Noshable, known for his previous american themed events, had organised a dinner party with the promise of suicide wings, Cuban Ropa Vieja and Pumpkin Pie. It was time for a hellish night, and with Judas is scary hot (iscariot) sauce supplied from Ribman made from naga chillis, one of the hottest on the planet, things were definitely due to heat up.