Sambal Shiok (At The Sun & 13 Cantons)

Sambal Shiok is resident at The Sun & 13 Cantons until 1st October 2016. It has been serving Malaysian flavours at the pub, which is located in London.

The menu is simple with the main sections – snacks, laksa noodle soup and rice dishes.

We tried the Hainan Dumplings (£6) which comes in two options, with meat or vegetables. We choice the meat option which was chicken dumplings with ginger chilli sauce.

The pastry of the dumpling was firm and moist. It was not too thick but not as thin as the pastry you will find on a gyoza (Japanese dumplings).

Sambal Shiok

Ayam Goreng is Malaysian fried chicken served with peanut sauce (£6.50). The chicken was crispy with a spicy batter coating and goes well with the peanut sauce.

Sambal Shiok

There are a range of rice dishes on the menu to select. I tried the Nasi Lemak Rendang Daging (£13). This is beef rendang cooked with 11 spices, served with coconut pandan rice, cucumber, sweet pickled red onions, peanuts, deep fried anchovies and egg. It also comes with spicy sambal sauce which I requested to be served separately to make the dish milder.

The dish overall was okay with wonderful flavours from the 11 spices. However, I would had prefer the beef a bit more tender and moist. 

Sambal Shiok

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (£12) is Malaysian fried chicken served with coconut peanut sauce, coconut pandan rice, cucumber, sweet picked red onions, peanuts and deep fried anchovies.

For both rice dishes we ordered, the rice itself was slightly on the dry side. It felt like it was in need of some more water.
Sambal Shiok

As well as a selection of rice dishes, the menu also offers a selection of Laksa noodle soup. The Kari Laksa Istimewa (£13) is made up of chicken, prawn, tofu puff served in a rich spicy coconut chicken and prawn broth.

Sambal Shiok

We finished the meal sharing the Cardomon chocolate cakes which comes served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cake was fluffy with a light hint of cardomon.

Sambal Shiok

There is a small selection of Malaysian drinks including Teh Tarok, which is a Malaysian sweetend tea (£3.50)

Sambal Shiok

I tried the Cibcau (£3.50) which is a herbal grass jelly. I was not that keen on this drink as it was like drinking sugar syrup. Instead I prefer the version with coconut milk.

Sambal Shiok

I found the dishes at Sambal Shiok too spicy for me, so unfortunately its not shiok (shee-ock) – “Wow this is delicious!” But if you do enjoy your spicy food than Sambal Shiok might be a place you will want to try before their pop up at The Sun and 13 Canton pubs ends.

Sambal Shiok (at The Sun & 13 Cantons)
21 Great Pulteney Street,
London,
W1F 9NG,
UK

http://www.sambalshiok.co.uk

Vicino Restaurant

Vicino is an Italian restaurant situated in Parsons Green. It is walking distinct from Parsons Green station on the district line. The walk is pleasant from the station, through the small park and passing the upmarket local stores.

The restaurant is casual with a rustic feel of Tuscany. In the warm weather the windows at the front of the restaurant are opened up which allows you to enjoy the greenery of Parsons Green.

Vicino’s menu has a range of choices which are not just pasta. There are a selection of fish and meat dishes. The menu will cater for different dietary requirements, including those who are gluten intolerance. Dishes are flagged on the menu to indicate if they are suitable for vegetarian and/or gluten-free.

For our starters we tried the Calamari e Zucchine Fritte (£7) which was a deep-fried squid & courgette strips served with tartare sauce. Both the squid and courgette strips were beautifully fried. The tartare sauce is light in taste which compliments the lemon.

Vicino Restaurant

Insalata di Granchio (£8) was a refreshing starter that is excellent during the Summer season. This was made up of fresh Cornish crab with cucumber, chilli and shallots served on a toasted bread. The different flavours from each ingredients worked well together. The crab was light in flavour and was brought alive from the flavours of the other ingredients on the plate.

Vicino Restaurant

One of Vicino house speciality is their Linguine con Aragosta Vine Bianco Aglio e Peperoncino (£29.50) which is a whole lobster with linguine, white wine sauce, garlic and chilli. The dish was cooked beautifully with al dente pasta and lobster cooked just right.

Vicino Restaurant

Tagliolini Speck (£11) was another beautiful pasta dish at Vicino. It was made up of mushrooms, speck ham and generous shaving of truffles. This dish is full of flavour and well seasoned.

Vicino Restaurant

For dessert, we choice Vicino’s homemade dessert and one of these had to be the tiramisu (£5.50). It’s a beautiful rustic dessert with flavours of coffee and amaretto liquor.

Vicino Restaurant

The crème caramel (£5.50) had a rich egg custard flavour with a light sweet taste from the sugar sauce. The pudding has a lovely texture and is a nice light dessert to finish off a meal.

Vicino Restaurant

Although, Vicino is a local restaurant the presentation is not forgotten. Every dish is nicely presented. The portion size is decent and good value.

(Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Sponsored by JPR Media Group

Vicino Restaurant
189 New King’s Road,
London,
SW6 4SW,
UK

http://www.vicinorestaurant.com

Tombo Poké & Matcha Bar, Soho

Tombo opened a second store a few months ago in London Soho. The store has a much smaller menu than their original cafe in South Kesington. The Soho branch concentrate on serving Poké, their popular Matcha drinks and desserts. 

Poké are basically sushi bowl served in a contemporary way. Tombo offers it with black and white rice or courgette noodles. The courgette noodles is the lighter version which is nice alternative to a salad in the Summer weather.

There are a variety of hot and iced matcha drinks including teas, latte, matchiato, juices and milkshake. It is defintely a place for matcha lovers.

The most popular items on Tombo’s menu has to be their dessert. Their matcha soft serve ice cream comes in the choice of a cone, pot, sundae (£5.40), manaka (£3.90) and affogato (£6)

Tombo sundae comes with matcha soft serve, red bean paste, matcha brownie, rice crispy bottom and a waffle stick. The matcha soft serve  is less milky than places like Tsujiri and has a stronger green tea flavour. It is perfect for those who prefer less milky and stronger matcha flavour soft serve.

Although it is not as milky, the soft serve is still creamy and not watery base like the one I had at Kanada-Ya. The ice cream itself was not too sweet but I did find the matcha brownies very sweet.

Tombo Matcha Sundae

Getting a soft serve does not come cheap, even on its own the price starts at £3.50. The sundae itself in the takeaway portion is even more expensive as it priced at £5.40. But the price is comparable to other places in London that serves matcha soft serve. It is defintely a luxary ice cream.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of visit)

Poké & Matcha Bar – Soho
28 D’Arblay Street,
W1F 8EW,
London,
UK

http://www.tombopoke.com

Little Bay Kilburn

Little Bay is a restaurant that offers modern European style cuisines. The Kilburn branch was not as theatrical looking as other branches. But it could be the dark romantic setting that meant there was not much I could clearly see. However, I did notice there was some theatrical balcony table upstairs.

The restaurant offers a three course menu at very attractive prices. If you order before 7pm starter is £2.75, main is £6.20 and dessert is £2.75. After 7pm starter is £3.85, main is £6.20 and dessert is £3.85. However, it does mean you are restricted to only a selection of dishes.

We were provided with complimentary bread to nibble while we waited for our food to arrive. The bread was nothing special but felt it was a nice to get complimentary nibbles.

Little Bay Kilburn

Starter I had the profiteroles with crab meat and citrus hollandaise, which was recommended by a friend as a dish you must order at Little Bay. I thought it was a nicely created dish and it did have similar resemble to profiteroles. But do not expect crab meat freshly extracted from a crab.

Little Bay Kilburn

Another starter I tried was the Slow Cooked Duck Legs in Filo Pastry with buttered Leek and Grand Marnier sauce. I thought this was a nice alternative to the crab.

Little Bay Kilburn

Main I had the Duck Two Ways which is made up of duck breast, savoy cabbage, pak choi and duck en croute in a honey ginger jus.

Little Bay Kilburn

We got complimentary sides of warm vegetables and potatoes, which went well with many of the mains. So we did not need to order additional sides. Even with out the complimentary sides I felt most of the mains was good enough to have with out sides.

I did not go with any of the dessert that was part of the offer, although there was a good selection. Instead I opted for the Homemade tiramisu (£4.25) to satisfy my craving.

Little Bay Kilburn

You can see the effort in the presentation of the dishes. However, it’s not fine dining level but then you are not paying crazy expensive prices.

Little Bay is a nice casual place to dine and with their menu offer it is affordable. The Kilburn branch is walking distance to Kilburn High Road overground. It is advisable to book, especially if you want to dine at one of the balcony table.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of visit)

Little Bay Kilburn
228 Belsize Road
London,
NW6 4BT

http://www.littlebaykilburn.co.uk

Mahdi Restaurant

Mahdi restaurant serve Persian cuisines. This place was busy and we were glad that we booked, since we did have a large party. The food was good and the staff were really friendly. My highlight of my evening has to be the Naan which was freshly baked and was nice on its own or with homous made of mashed chickpeas, garlic, sesame and olive oil

Mahdi Restaurant

We ordered the mixed grills which comes in the choice of being served for 2 people (£25.90) or 3 people (£34.90). We ordered the portion for 3 people and felt it could be shared between 4 people.

The mixed grills consisted of grilled lamb fillet, grilled chick fillet, grilled minced meat and grilled chick on the bone. This was all served with saffron rice with barberries and grilled tomatoes.

I felt the minced meat was the best grills on the plate, followed by the grilled lamb fillet. The chicken was my least favourite as it was on the dry side.

Mahdi Restaurant

Mahdi Restaurant

The meal went well with Iranian aromatic tea and to warm up in the cold winter weather.

Mahdi Restaurant

You won’t walk out the restaurant feeling hungry as the food is not just good but a decent size.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of visit)

Mahdi Restaurant
215-217 King Street,
London,
W6 9JT

34 Mayfair – Sunday brunch

The restaurant has an old classic feel that is grand but casual at the same time. We were seated near the front entrance at one of the leather couch seats.

Once seated we were served a selection of breads and flat breads. These were not actually complimentary because there was a £2 cover charge added to our bill.

34 Mayfair

There is a range of dishes on the brunch menu including waffles and pancakes. However, I was more attracted to their savoury dishes.

I ordered the Salt beef hash which comes with double fried egg and mustard sauce (£13.50). This was not a very heavy dish and was just right for brunch. I was surprised that the mustard sauce was not creamy or as strong as I thought it would be in taste. It was a nice compliment to the beef hash and egg. My only criticism would that some of the dish had the look that they had been sitting around for some time before getting served.

34 Mayfair

As it was Sunday, 34 Mayfair offers a Sunday roast which is  slices of roast beef served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetable (£24.50). This was a posh roast with the vegetable served separately and as did the two different sauces that came with it.

34 Mayfair

It was a nice place to have brunch in such a classic atmosphere. You can tell the restaurant has been around for some time as the paint on the plates have started to fade.

The service at 34 Mayfair were as you expect from such a classy place and you would not want to expect any thing less with the price you pay and cover charge that come with the bill.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of visit)

34 Mayfair
34 Grosvenor Square,
London,
W1K 2HD,
UK

http://www.34-restaurant.co.uk

Foley’s Restaurant

The food at Foley’s restaurant is creative where it uses different flavours from around the world to bring you modern dishes. It is small plates which make it great concept for sharing.

Foley's Restaurant

It has a simplistic menu which is split in to four section – bits and bobs, veg, meat and from the sea. Each section is not big but enough to give a selection of dish to choose.

Our meal started with complimentary lotus seeds that has been turned to popcorn like snacks. It was crunchy with a spicy kick. The flavour reminded me of the taste of Indian cuisines.

Foley's Restaurant

Bits & Bobs
We tried the Ceviche endive tacos (£6.50). This dish is endive filled with tuna, octopus, cucumber, coconut miso leche and peanuts. It was refreshing dish that had flavours of Asia but combining the concept of tacos and ceviche from Latin America.

Foley's Restaurant

Charcoal grilled chicken thigh ‘ends’ (£6) are small pieces of moist chicken thighs garnished with spring onions and sesame seeds. The chicken did not have much flavour and rely on the dip to bring it alive. I could not taste the Korean BBQ that was listed as one of the ingredients for this dish.

Foley's Restaurant

Veg
The only dish we ordered from the veg section was the Aubergine (£8). This was served with pomegranate, dates, chilli lime yogurt, puffed quinoa and feta. It was the least favourite dish by every one on our table. The flavour of the dish did not work for me. I found the dish too fragrant for my taste buds. A friend described it well that it was like a breath of washroom air freshener.

Foley's Restaurant

Meat
Cornflake crusted popcorn chicken (£8) is served with pickled shimeji, corn, endive, and choriz. The chicken is in a crispy coating which you bite in to moist chicken. The flavour does not come from the chicken but combining it with all the different components on the dish, especially the refreshing corn sauce.

Foley's Restaurant

Sticky beef (£9) is served with daikon cucumber som tam, avo & kaffir lime purée and crispy shallots. The beef was tender and the texture seem to me as beef cheek. Just like the chicken the beef is best enjoyed with the som tam and purée.

The som tam has a light vignette flavour, otherwise it could easily spoil the dish. The kaffir lime purée is another refreshing dish. It seem to be a popular theme on the menu at Foyle’s restaurant.

Foley's Restaurant

Pork belly (£9) consist of tamarind BBQ, apple, green papaya, buttermilk, cured red onions, toasted cashews. This had the same fragrant flavour that we found in the aubergine, but a bit more subtle. In terms of flavour and texture I do prefer the beef over the pork.

Foley's Restaurant

Lamb rump (£12) is confit belly, herb hummous, spiced peppers, cornbread, feta and dukkah. This dish is flavour from mediterranean cuisines. I like corn but I am not a fan of cornbread which would not be a surprise that this dish did not get my liking. It is not a dish for those who do not like the flavour of lamb as it was fairly strong.

Foley's Restaurant

From the sea
Nori wrapped tuna (£11) is made of compressed nashi pear, shitake, edamame, seaweed, yuzu mayo and tapioca. This was flavour of Asia with a modern touch. The tuna was nicely served and worked well with the fragrant shiitake. The only thing I was trying to work out with this dish is where was the tapioca.

Foley's Restaurant

Hake (£9) is made up of tamarind, fennel, coconut, crispy chickpeas, okra, coriander and kale. The fish was nicely cooked and being hake it has flavour similar to cod. The flavour of coconut gives this dish the flavour of Thai cuisines

Foley's Restaurant

Grilled octopus (£9) consist of back sesame mayo, spicy pork mince, peanuts, bok choy and house made sriracha. The octopus was beautifully tender and had the flavour of lemongrass.

Foley's Restaurant

We finished off the meal with dessert which unfortunately none of the homemade ice creams were available that evening. I was intrigued to try the blackcurrant sorbet which could not just be a few scoops of ice cream with a price tag of £7.

Instead we settled on the three main desserts on the menu, Fatboy elvis, Baklava cheesecake and Panna cotta. It was three desserts that brings three different flavours around the world.

Fatboy elvis is made up of warm chocolate chip banana cake, banana cream, peanut honeycomb, bacon crack and strawberry jam. Our version came with out peanut honeycomb as we asked for no nuts. Otherwise it would had been a much pretty boy.

This dish has a stong banana flavour which goes well with the strawberry jam. But the jam did bring the feeling of breakfast. I thought this dish would be very sweet but it was actually not. The banana cream balance the strawberry jam out and the banana cake itself was not sweet. I could not say if the peanut honeycomb would had made this dessert sweeter then I tasted on our version. But I would say that I would happily have it with out the bacon crack.

Foley's Restaurant

Baklava cheesecake (£6) is a decronstructed cheesecake made up of cardamom cheese, puff pastry, walnut pistachio and rose petals. It was a clever created cheesecake to imitate a baklava. It is lighter and less sweeter than having an actual baklava. The cheese was fluffy and light which made this dessert less heavy then a typical cheesecake.

Foley's Restaurant

Panna cotta (£6) is made up of coconut, lemongrass, lychees, chilli and chocolate crumble and basil. I could not see the chilli and chocolate crumble which could had been excluded as we had a friend with nut allergies. But the dessert did not disappoint as I love the frozen lychee that was garnished on top of the panna cotta. This was my favourite dessert on the menu.

Foley's Restaurant

Folye’s restaurant has a selection of drinks including their house cocktails. The most spectacular on the menu and the most expensive is Happy days (£13.50). This come served in a magnificent pineapple and is made up of Elyx vodka, coconut water, pink grapefruit juice, agave syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, ginger juice and bitters. We asked for a mocktail version which excluded the vodka. It was a refreshing drink which is great for the warm weather. I picture having one on a beautiful white sandy beach and blue ocean under warm sunny blue sky.

Foley's Restaurant

Another cocktail that we asked to be turned in to a mocktail is the The basil foley (£8). The original cocktail is made up of Strawberry, basil, blood orange liqueur, Chambord, cranberry and black pepper.

Foley's Restaurant

Overall I thought it was brave for the chef to be so creative with all the different flavours. However, not all the combination of the flavours work for me especially the fragrant flavour in the aubergine.

Foley's Restaurant

The restaurant was able to accommodate a friend with nut allergies and all the dishes we ordered could be excluded with nuts. This meant there was not a single dish we ordered that she could not try. So do bear in mind that most of my photos will be slightly different if it had nuts.

There were some part of the service that could be improved with staff being a bit more friendly and having a better knowledge of the dishes, as ours seem to find it hard to describe them

Foley's Restaurant

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of visit)

Foley’s Restaurant
23 Foley Street,
Fitzrovia,
London,
W1W 6DU

http://foleysrestaurant.co.uk