Hello, fellow foodies!

The last four weeks have been the most intense of my university life. I can finally say that as of Monday I will be done with my degree and done with university. I can’t wait to be a graduate and have time to blog again. Here are my top recommendations of the week, they’re going to include some of the best places I have eaten at over the past month. Enjoy!

The Orange, Chelsea

English classics with a twist

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Rabbit pie with asparagus. This dish was rich and tender with articulate presentation, far more artsy than your standard steak and ale!

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Tender lamb rump with potato puree, new season onion and wild garlic. This was my dish, I’ve never had pink lamb before but it was beautiful.  

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I wish I had picked this! Gnocchi with smoked garlic cream. Rich and heavenly.

Il Borgo, Kensington

A slice of Italy in London, the wall art and fish tanks will keep you looking around the room, rather than your phone!

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After craving gnocchi since visiting The Orange, I had to have the gorgonzola gnocchi at Il Borgo. Definitely worth a visit just for this.

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Calamari will always be a personal favourite, especially when served with aioli.

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Laduree, Covent Garden

Macarons are a food of the gods, the vanilla and salted caramel ones blew me away! Thanks to my bestie for getting me these for my birthday. Macarons used to scare me because I thought they were all marzipan flavoured for some unknown reason, but low and behold they’re not, and they’re awesome.

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Pix, Soho

This is something for a fun Friday night. Instead of going out for a normal meal, go to Pix in Soho and pick and choose exactly what you want to eat, the tapas style portions are so much fun and it’s great for sharing and conversation!

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With the same idea in mind as Yo Sushi, you pick as many tapas portions as you want and pay at the end. Tapas with the long sticks are £3.50 and small sticks are £2.50. It’s easy to rack up a big bill in here if you aren’t watching what you are doing, so be careful!

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The truffle oil, artichoke and parmesan toast were my favourite, closely followed by the prosciutto and quails egg. This is a great spot for people who love picky food or just want a light dinner.

So there we have it, those are my top foodie picks from the last month. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to visit these places, because they were all to die for.

Happy Friday!

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I’ve been meaning to try out ‘Dirty Bones’ for quite a while now and if you’re wondering why, think “6 oz house burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and BBQ sauce” (The Mac Daddy).  Or if that doesn’t take your fancy, think “6 oz aged steak burger with treacle bacon, poached egg and hollandaise” (The Benedict Burger).

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Their menu goes above and beyond in the indulgence category and even if it’s a slightly smaller menu than burger chains such as GBK or Byron Burgers, it supersedes such chains by having such whacky and wonderful combinations.

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The Benedict Burger (£9.00)

There’s an American twist to the menu, “classic yankee,” “chicken and waffles” and “coffee and doughnuts” all make an appearance and the extravagant dishes such as “deep fried mac and cheese balls” make me feel like I should be on Man vs. Food.

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The Mac Daddy (£10)

Be prepared to get seriously messy. These burgers are overloaded with delicious extras and napkins will be needed!

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If you want to visit: 20 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4EP or Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, Soho, W1B 5PW

Take a peak at the website: http://dirty-bones.com/food

 

The celebrations may be ending but the new diets are definitely beginning. It’s the cliche “new year, new me” and guaranteed you will feel like you aren’t hearing the end of it. But in all fairness, after a month of gluttony, everyone could benefit from a bit of dry January and some “detoxing”.

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The Detox Kitchen on Mortimer Street

The Detox Kitchen Deli on Mortimer Street is where I kick started the new, healthy approach this weekend. It’s quite hard to spot if you don’t know where it is.  There is no grand advertising outside the restaurant on this very dormant street, yet it was packed to the brim on the inside. There is even a fitness studio on the lower ground floor. Their slogan – “where healthy meets delicious” – couldn’t be more relevant.

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The Detox Kitchen offers a pick and choose service where you can pick the size of your portion and then choose your salads and protein accordingly. All of their dishes are wheat free, dairy free and free of refined sugar. A medium sized container is £5.95 for three to four salads and a portion of protein will cost you an extra £3.

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There were around eight delicious salads to choose from, three different types of protein and three vegetarian protein options. All of the food was packed full of flavour, defying the myth that healthy food has to be boring. On top of the deli food on offer, there is also an eat in brunch menu available here.

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There are also a wide range of smoothies and juices to choose from if that’s all you’re after – I had “protein power,” which was heavenly, and a meal in itself! One warning I would issue is that strict dieters beware as the calories aren’t listed on the food description labels. However, if you have the “My Fitness Pal” app, you can probably work it out yourself (give or take a calorie or two).

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Delicious vegetarian frittata at the front and other protein in the back

I’ve got to say, the food was absolutely delicious! They really go all out on flavour here, the “roasted squash, grilled pepper and paprika dressing” salad had to be my favourite – not to mention the pesto courgetti or the cauliflower and avocado salad. They don’t do boring salads here and you really have to try the food to experience the flavours.

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A medium sized portion with protein

The Detox Kitchen was heaving on a Saturday afternoon. The layout of the restaurant is made up of two long tables that fit about seven people each and there are a further three separate tables that can fit four at a push, meaning that if you can’t get your own smaller table you will have to share with others who are trying to enjoy their Detox Kitchen experience too.

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The decor is simple and modern, yellow tulips on the table definitely added a brightness to the dining experience. A wall of live plants greets you as you come in, adding to the whole earthly, detox feel they are going for here.

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The wall of live plants

You’ll need to check that there is available seating when you walk in as I witnessed a couple of people buying a delicious “eat in” plate of food, without first checking there were free tables to sit at, needless to say they were left standing there for a while whilst they waited for a table to free up.

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The staff were all incredibly lovely and three different members came over to check that the food was okay and that we had what we needed. There was a slight delay in making my smoothie so they upgraded it from a regular to a large at no extra cost which was an unexpected surprise!

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Protein Power

We were also given added extras of hummus and sweet potato with our meal at no extra cost. I couldn’t actually finish my regular size portion because they were so incredibly generous with their portion sizing.

The Detox Kitchen is perfect for a healthy lunch outing, I was left feeling comfortably full and extremely satisfied by what I had eaten, it’s even left me considering a dairy free & wheat free way of life. I’m dying to go back again. There are also other Detox Kitchen outlets in London that offer services such as grab & go.

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Enjoying a Protein Power smoothie

Lunch for two with two regular sized portions, two pieces of protein, a regular smoothie and a coffee came to just over £24.

If you want to visit: Fitzroy Place, 10 Mortimer St, London W1T 3JJ

Take a peek at the website: http://detoxkitchen.co.uk

My exciting first blog post will be about the best steaks I have enjoyed in London! Here are my top 3 restaurant’s based on service, food and atmosphere…

3. SOPHIE’S STEAKHOUSE 311-313 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9QH

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In third place is Sophie’s Steakhouse in Chelsea. In terms of service, Sophie’s Steakhouse was down-to-earth and positive. It was very busy and buzzing in here, meaning our waiter was slightly frantic, definitely more of a young person’s restaurant. The fillet steak (£30) was cooked well, very rare yet very very tender and incredibly generous with the portion – the phrase “melt in the mouth” has never been more relevant. The Rib eye comes in at £25 and the sirloin at £29. The creamed spinach side (£4.50) works stunningly with the steak. The steak also come with a bernaise sauce (in a separate pot), dripping fries and a house salad, so it is the best value for money out of of my top 3 restaurants. Sophie’s Steakhouse is great for a mid-week dinner outing with friends if you want to wine & dine in Chelsea.

I would also recommend:

The thick cut onion rings (£4), if you’re in the mood for pigging out with your meal then definitely get these as an added side to your steak.

2. HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS 157A Commercial St, London, E1 6BJ

In second place is Hawksmoor Spitalfields, self proclaimed as “the best steak restaurant in the UK,” the fillet comes in at £34 which again I had, the ribeye is £30 and the Sirloin is £27.50. The creamed spinach (£5) is incredible here, by far the best side I have ever had! Once again it was very busy and loud in here due to the tables being relatively close together, that’s the reason why it has come in 2nd place (the steak was just as mouth-watering as 1st place). However, the service was amazing. My boyfriend and I were offered a free starter due to our main only being slightly delayed (it was hardly delayed). I would definitely recommend Hawksmoor if you don’t mind the noise. It’s a thriving and buzzing atmosphere on a Friday night, so head here with some friends or maybe an exciting date if you want a lively atmosphere!

I would also recommend:

Puddings: The Peanut Butter shortbread (£7.50) and Salted Caramel Rolo’s (£4), both to die for if you have a sweet tooth.

2. MAZE GRILL 10-13 Grovesnor Square, London, WIK 6JP

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Maze Grill, Mayfair

The winner has to be Maze Grill in Mayfair. The fillet steak (rare breed) comes in at an eye watering £40, but it is worth every penny, I have accompanied it with the blue cheese sauce for an extra £2.50 both of the times I have been (yes, I had to go again!). In terms of flavour, texture and size, Maze Grill ticks all three boxes.

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Medium rare fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and garlic

If you opt for the Mac & Cheese, be warned it is a little on the salty side but still incredibly delectable. The service was attentive and polite, and it wasn’t too noisy as the tables were spaced well apart. We were given iPad’s in which to choose our wine, wine boff’s like my father could sit there for hours trying to choose a suitable bottle. I would recommend a Malbec with the steak as it compliments it beautifully, a bold Syrah also hit’s the spot. If you fancy a cocktail before you dine then enjoy one (£13-£15) in Maze Restaurant, (not to be confused with Maze grill) which is in the same building but on the left, rather than the right, as you enter. Maze Grill has been filled with an eclectic crowd both of the times I went; tourists, families, young couples, old couples and groups of friends. It seems like a wonderful setting for a birthday or for a special occasion. The restaurant is also notorious for its sushi and sashimi so if you’re more of a fish lover then Maze Grill can accommodate you too.

I also recommend:

Small Plates – Buffalo Chicken Fillets (£5)

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Buffalo chicken fillets

If you’re into bold, spicy, punchy flavours then this is the perfect starter for you, I could eat this all day, it also comes as a main course and it is exactly the same in terms of flavour.

One other restaurant that I would recommend is Flat Iron (9 Denmark St, Soho, WC2H 8LS). If you’re on a budget in Soho and want a steak night then this is the place to go! The only steak they serve is a “flat iron” steak for £10, also known as the “butler steak” or “oyster blade steak.”

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Flat Iron steak

The cut is from the shoulder of the animal and it is slightly tougher than the average fillet or rib eye, however it is packed full of flavour and the sides are marvellous. I had creamed spinach (£3) and dripping cooked fries (£2.50), all sides are between maybe £2.50-£3.50. The atmosphere in Flat Iron is great for a date night, the lighting is slightly darker and it’s a rather small area, however if the tables are full then you could be seated at the bar which actually makes for a very intimate and fun dining experience. Be warned it is an incredibly popular restaurant and they don’t take reservation’s so you could have to wait upto over an hour on a Friday or Saturday night.

I would also recommend: The salted caramel sundae (£3.50) is deceivingly delicious,  it erupts from what appears to be a whipped cream dispenser into a small cup, however once the mousse is sprinkled with sea salt it becomes a scrumptious, light dessert. If you’re with a partner who has a big appetite I would recommend getting two as they can disappear incredibly quickly.

If you want to “do it yourself” with steak then Wholefoods (Piccadilly Circus, Camden, Kensington, Fulham & Clapham Junction) do an incredible Wagyu steak for £10.

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Wagyu Beef

Simply season with salt, pepper and garlic paste and cook on an incredibly high heat in a pan full of melted butter for 2 & a half minutes on each side to accomplish a medium rare steak. Beautiful!